, 1863

A European War Imminent.

France and the Polish Question.–The Paris correspondent of the Daily News says rumors of war are more prevalent than ever. It is impossible not to be struck with the tone of the semi-official organs. They speak as if it were desired to prepare the public mind for some great catastrophe.

The Paris correspondent of the London Herald says:

“Great news–the French are preparing for war. The officers of the garrison are wild with excitement. Orders were yesterday received at the Arsenal of Vincennes to place on the full war footing, and prepare for immediate service, three batteries of 12-pounders, twelve guns and 100 artillery wagons–the 12-pounders being only employed as the reserve of field artillery of cavalry and infantry divisions–that is, rifled 4-pounders, three batteries of the reserve generally from the artillery, support a corps d’armee of three divisions, say 10,000 men. The news is no secret in military circles, but it has not yet transpired among the public. The officers at Vincennes think that the war will break out before the month of July is over, and boast that the French army will be ready for any emergency before that time.” Later letters, and the correspondence of other journals, contain no reference to these preparations, and afford no countenance to them.

Letters from St. Petersburg state that there is little probability that the Russian Government will make any satisfactory concessions on the Polish question. This opinion is confirmed by the formidable warlike preparations being made throughout the Russian Empire.

It is reported that M. Persigny will go to St. Petersburg on a special mission from the Emperor Napoleon.

Position of England.–Lord Palmerston, in Parliament, explained the substance of the propositions of England, France and Austria. They include a general and complete amnesty; a national representative for Poland; that the Poles alone shall fill official positions in Poland; that perfect liberty of conscience be granted; that the Polish language be used in all Polish transactions, and that a regular system of recruiting be established.

The reply of Russia is eagerly awaited.

The Times looks on the present position of England in European affairs with uneasiness. We are neither pledged to intervention, nor bound to an offensive or defensive alliance with France; yet we seem to have swerved somewhat from the wise and professed policy of keeping ourselves disentangled from the counsels of other States, and guiding ourselves by the doctrine of non-intervention. We have entered upon a career in which it is quite impossible to stop short; from which it may even be impossible to recede . . .

The Times adds: We confess to some of the uneasy and unsettled feelings which took possession of the minds of all reflecting men during the lowering and unsettled year which preceded the Crimean war. Our anchor is lifted, and we are drifting in a current which seems leading us to one of two disagreeable alternatives–war if we advance, loss of character if we retreat. The Times also says: The Russians in Paris seem to be persuaded that war is all but certain.

The Morning Post says: We are far from wishing to predict a European war, but we can imagine a combination which would render such a war rather a name than a reality. There is no reason why it should consist of anything much more serious than the breaking off of diplomatic relations. If Austria is allowed the free transport of arms and munitions of war across the Galician frontier, and to place a corps of 60,000 men in Galicia itself, and if the Russian fleet were blockaded in the Baltic so as to keep open the coast of Saragotia, the Poles could do the rest themselves. ->

The Morning Post announces the conditions under which alone an armistice would be consented to by the Polish National Committee: 1. The armistice must extend throughout the whole of Poland. 2. A plenipotentiary on the part of the National Government must be admitted. 3. A National Diet, composed of delegates from the Provinces, must meet under the guarantee not merely of Europe, but also of the national army, which occupies all the Provinces. If these conditions are not complied with, the Poles will hold out to the last.

The Post adds that, such being the temper of the nation, we can hardly expect that Russia will accept the proposals.


French Designs in Mexico.–It is not easy to discover the intentions of France in regard to Mexico. The official press is prodigal of those high-sounding, but empty phrases so common in Paris, and which, if they are taken for sterling, are tokens that France is in Mexico solely to restore her to a high place among nations, and to rescue her from anarchy. On the other hand, Frenchmen are leaving Paris in large numbers for the railways, telegraphs, post offices, customs, and other branches of public administration, as if Mexico was already looked upon as a French Department; and it is positively asserted for the only reason which prevents the French Government from contracting a loan [is] that in a short period of time all the money will be supplied “from the silver mines of Guanajuato and from the wealth of Sonora.” Our Paris correspondent writes us that there are two currents of opinion in that city. The Emperor, it is believed, desires to make Mexico a French dependency. The majority of Frenchmen are anxious to let Mexico alone. If Mexico exhibits the same energy in the arena of politics she has lately shown in the field, and elects a National Government which insists upon the evacuation of her soil by the French, promising reasonable indemnity for war expenses, public opinion in France will perhaps force the Emperor to withdraw his troops. Our correspondent expresses his opinion as follows:

I do not believe that any probable event can occur which will establish French rule in Mexico. France, which already finds the attempt to keep down Algeria by military force a continual, annual raft upon her treasure and her blood which she illy bears, will not consent to meet the drain of a trans-Atlantic Algeria. The people here will not agree to see France occupy Mexico unless Mexico pays all the expenses of the occupation. Is this possible of attainment with an army of 25,000 men? They may hold the road from Mexico to Vera Cruz and may give security–but even this will be no easy task–to this ribbon of territory. Regular conductas may periodically come down from the mines. But, as everybody knows, national prosperity rests upon broader foundations–upon peace, confidence, large markets and large “back countries,” and the entire freedom from military shackles. If a prolonged resistance is made, and if the fall of the capital even has in no wise disheartened the Mexican nation, public opinion here will oblige the Emperor to withdraw his troops. France is averse from losing more men and treasure. The losses incurred since 1852, especially those of the Crimean and Italian campaigns, are still felt. Of a truth there are not wanting influential persons here who counsel France to abandon Algeria on the ground of the drafts it makes on these vital resources of France.

JULY 27, 1863

More Rebel Steamers.

Our London correspondent, writing on the 4th of July, furnishes the following important intelligence: The decision of the Alexandra case has given new impetus to the building of rebel vessels in England. I have just learned that orders have been given for between fifty and sixty steamers, and nearly all iron-clad, of the highest speed. The most of them will take twelve months to build.

The Correspondenz, of Vienna, July 2d, says:

A communication has been received from Paris which asserts in the most positive terms, that the Emperor of the French has irrevocably determined upon the recognition of the Southern Confederacy. Before carrying out this resolution, however, the French Cabinet will again invite the Northern States to agree to an armistice, but the invitation will be couched in so decisive a form, that the Washington Cabinet must either accept or reject it. In the former case, the recognition of the independence of the South will at once follow, even without the co-operation of England.



There seems to be a general outcry of indignation against this illicit and unpatriotic traffic. Its moral effects upon our people are most disastrous. In the first place, to trade with the enemy, and thereby sustain his industry is but little less than treason. In the second, it throws out temptations to ruinous extravagance among our people. Thirdly, and a most serious objection, it builds up a large and influential class of capitalists whose interest lies in a continuation of the war and a ceaseless flow of the blood of their countrymen. Lastly, it is the agency by which the currency of the enemy is sustained and our own discredited and brought to an unjust and ruinous discount. As an evidence of this truth, we need only mention the disgraceful fact that a dollar in gold will buy fifteen dollars of Confederate money, (such a transaction took place here yesterday), and filthy “greenbacks,” which no man in his senses believes will or can ever be paid, are actually worth three dollars of our money, in our own Confederacy.

All this comes from running the blockade, by sea and land, and the facts put patriotism and national pride to shame. We have received many letters on this subject of late from some of the most considerate men in the country, and they all unite in denouncing the trade as demoralizing and corrupt. We agree with them fully, and more than a year ago urged our Congress to prohibit the export of cotton by individuals or private corporations. For ourselves we would almost as soon see it go to the Yankees as to England. Not a bale should be allowed to go out except as is sent by the government to be exchanged for military stores and to pay its debts abroad.

As regards those contemptible little traders who lurk along the lines and swindle the government by shipping in goods without paying the lawful duty, every mother’s son of them should be taken up and lodged in the nearest penitentiary.

The country demands that Congress take some definite and rigid action on this subject at the earliest day practicable, and as the session is some time off, the President should, as a military measure, close every port of the Confederacy to such a commerce, with such exceptions as in his judgment sound policy might dictate.–Savannah Republican.


The Chattanooga correspondent of the Atlanta Intelligencer says:

The people of the country look for and expect too much of Gen. Bragg. They expect him, with an army which has rarely exceeded the half of that of his antagonist, to hold and maintain his position successfully, and even to win victories, against overwhelming odds. But even with these great disadvantages to contend with, I do not hesitate in saying that, since his army left Tupelo, Miss., one year ago, he has inflicted more damage on the enemy than any other army in the field, in proportion to the means at his command.

From statistics and official reports made to the War Department up to January last, he has inflicted a loss on the enemy of 60,000 men in killed, wounded and prisoners–numbers amounting to twice that of his own army. In addition to the above, he has captured 30,000 stand of arms, between 60 and 100 pieces of artillery, captured and destroyed over 3000 wagons with their supplies, and some 5 or 6000 mules and horses. On the other hand, 15,000 men will cover the whole amount of his own losses in killed, wounded and prisoners, with the loss of none of his trains, and but few stores of any consequence.

Thus, when it is taken into consideration the great inequity of his own numbers, compared with those of the enemy with whom he has contended; the immense damage he has inflicted upon the enemy in men and supplies; and the insignificance of his own losses when compared side by side with those of the enemy–again, when all these things are taken into calm, unprejudiced consideration, the public can certainly have no grounds for complaint or dissatisfaction, relative to the operations of the army of Tennessee or its efficient commander.

I maintain that Gen. Bragg holds every foot of ground that was occupied by the Confederate forces when he took command of the department one year ago.


Short Memories, or Poor Readers.–Some of our constituents want to know who are the “Toole family,” in whose behalf we have acknowledged a few contributions. My friends, it was only two or three days ago that we stated their case, and it is a hard one. Mrs. Toole, the wife of a poor and worthy soldier in the 63d regiment, died a few days ago in the Warrior District, Bibb county, leaving six children–the youngest fifteen days old–without a friend on earth, a cent of money or a pound of food. The father, who is stationed at Savannah, got a furlough of two days to look after his babies, but he has nothing more than his monthly pay, and his neighbors are all poor. We don’t know how they will work out the case. It is one demanding help.1


JULY 28,

Jeff Davis Appoints Another Fast Day.

Washington, July 27.–The following extracts are taken from the Richmond dispatch of this a.m.:

Charleston, July 24, 9 p.m.–The bombardment was renewed this a.m. with rapid and continuous firing, until a flag of truce was sent down at 9 o’clock. The attack was renewed this evening by the enemy, Sumter replying heavily. The firing is still going on. We sent down to-day 105 paroled prisoners and received 40.

A physician just from Hilton Head says 54 of our regulars took the oath of allegiance last Wednesday.

The casualties this morning were 3 killed and 6 wounded. Those which occurred this evening have not been heard from.

Second Dispatch, Charleston, July 23.Regular firing from Fort Sumter and Fort Wagner at the Yankees on Morris Island was kept up all night, and continued all of to-day. The Yankees occasionally responded from their batteries on Morris Island. The monitors and ironclads are lying outside and took no part.

The Yankees have two batteries on Morris Island, and have strengthened their position. No casualties are reported to-day. Another monitor arrived to-day, making six in all.

Morton, Miss., July 24.–The enemy evacuated Jackson yesterday a.m. Col. Wiert Adams’ cavalry dashed in and captured a few stragglers. Canton has also been evacuated.

Grant’s entire army has gone to Vicksburg. An attempt to to blow up the State House failed, although it is badly damaged.

Our cavalry are pursuing. They have destroyed all the machine shops, rolling stock, cannon and railroad track between Jackson and Vicksburg. Mobile will no doubt be the next place of attack.

Second Dispatch, Morton, 24th.–An officer from Vicksburg says McPherson and his entire corps left that place on eh 21st, moving up river. Their officers stated they were going to Richmond. Transports from above are constantly arriving.

Jeff Davis has issued a proclamation appointing August 21st as a day of humiliation and prayer.

Fortress Monroe, July 27.–The Richmond Enquirer of the 27th has the following:

Atlanta, Ga., 23d.–Gen. Rosecrans is organizing a force to attack Atlanta, and make a raid on the North Western Georgia Railroad. Active preparations are being made for the defence of the city, and of the railroad to Chattanooga.


Mexico Declared an Empire.
Maximillian of Austria Made Emperor.

New York, July 27.–The steamer Roanoke, from Havana 22d, has arrived.

An arrival from Vera Cruz of the 13th, at Havana, states that Mexico was declared an Empire on the 10th, and Maximillian of Austria proclaimed Emperor, if he will accept it; if not, Napoleon is to select one. A salute was fired at Vera Cruz in honor of the event.

By the Roanoke we have City of Mexico dates to the 10th inst. It appears that the Council of Notabilities declares that the Mexican nation through them selects the Empire as the form of government, and proclaims Maximillian of Austria Emperor. Should he decline the throne they implore the French Emperor select a person in whom he has full confidence to occupy the throne. This proclamation was immediately made public, and a courier posted to Vera Cruz, whence it was sent by a French steamer to Havana.

Men to Stay at Home.–The New York Independent, with all its ultraism, is just and candid on the $300 exemption of the Conscript Act, by which men are permitted to remain at home. It fully explains the views we have advocated in the following paragraph:

“As to the $300, we have no doubt it is a wise provision of the Government. It is just as necessary that some should stay at home and keep the business of the country going regularly, to supply the means, as it is that others should go to the army and fight the battles of the country. And this provision enables many men of business to stay at home, whose absence would break up whole circles of productive business and spread poverty and distress all around. So, also, employers can thus arrange to keep those persons in their employ who have become most essentially useful. So, also, it is made practicable for public or private sympathy, if appealed to, to provide for all cases where the draft would involve any peculiar hardship.”


Great Fire at Havana.
Five Million Dollars’ Worth of Sugar Destroyed.

Havana, July 22.–A fire broke out here on the 20th, in Fesser & Co.’s warehouse. Fire still raging. Fifty warehouses filled with sugar destroyed. The loss is estimated at four or five millions of dollars. No insurance on the buildings and sugar destroyed.

The steamer Roanoke reports that when leaving the harbor of Havana on the 22d, an immense conflagration was raging along the warehouses of the Messrs. Fesser, on Regle wharf. Sixteen buildings had been consumed when the Roanoke left, and the prospect of subduing the flames was not good. It is estimated that the warehouses already destroyed involve a loss of $3,000,000 worth of sugar.


The death of a young female, Mary Ann Walkley, in the service of the fashionable West End milliner, Madame Ellis, a Frenchwoman, from exhaustion, caused by overwork and the breathing of impure air, has caused a sensation in London. The facts attending the extinction of this young creature, as they were developed at the inquiry before the coroner, reveal a state of things about which the fine ladies who employ these Court milliners can know nothing. Dr. Lankester has made a report on the subject. “I found sixty ladies,” he says, “working in two rooms which contained 3630 cubic feet of air, and this gives but little more than sixty feet of air to each individual.” It has been remarked that, in a sanitary point of view, these rooms have even less than the Black Hole of Calcutta, into which, though double the number of people were thrust, yet many of them died a horrible death in the course of a single night.

JULY 29, 1863


The Draft.

It is announced that the War Department has graciously consented that the Draft in this State may be made by towns, and that those towns which have furnished more than their quotas under previous calls for troops are to have such excess deducted from their present quotas, or rather to be discharged after the draft. This concession was obtained by Gov. Gilmore’s pretty plain threat of rebellion! But this did not satisfy the “malignant patriots;” it does not punish those towns which did not furnish their full quotas before. What is to be done to that end, we are not advised; but some way will doubtless be found to accomplish that object.

We do not hear that any time has yet been fixed for commencing the draft in either district, but it will doubtless be done very soon. In the meantime the military preparations to “put down the copperhead resistance to the draft” continue. During the past week, detachments of soldiers from the 13th and 14th regiments have arrived, and more are said to be on the way, and arms and ammunition in large supply are being got ready. Yet there seems to be much less excitement upon the subject than there was ten days ago, and if Hinks is kept from further provoking threats and insulting exhibitions of power, there is no reason to apprehend any disorder here when the drafting takes place.


Our wise and brave military authorities have planted a cannon in the rear of the Patriot office at the south side of the State House Yard, which is manned by some twenty soldiers. It is designed to disperse that mob which they fear is to assail the drafting officers in the State House when they commence the drafting! Its range is directly in front of the State House, and a charge of grape and canister would sweep the whole area, besides proving rather unpleasant to the houses on the north side. It is possible that there will be disturbances here during the drafting; but if so, they will be caused entirely by the authorities. And it would not surprise us to see them follow the example of the “Boston Massacre”–fire upon a peaceable, orderly and unarmed assemblage. They will find no other use for their arms and ammunition.


The Rebel Army Reduced One-half.–The Washington correspondent of the New York Commercial says that “a careful estimate has been made in official quarters of the prisoners taken, and the number killed and wounded in the various rebel armies during June and July, and it is found that with a liberal estimate of their forces, their available strength during that time has been reduced just one-half.–Boston Journal.

The same writer goes on to show that our army is now more than twice as large as that of the rebels. If such are the facts, why is the draft persisted in? What need have we of more troops? Are not two Northern soldiers equal to one rebel? If so, with the immense advantage we have in our navy and the still greater promised aid from the “American citizens of African descent,” the rebellion ought to be speedily put down without more soldiers. Indeed, to call more troops into the field, if the above statements are true, is to admit that one rebel is more than a match for two Union soldiers.

The Conscription.–Of 57 drafted men who presented themselves for examination in the Third District yesterday, 51 were exempted, 4 presented substitutes who were accepted, and 1 was accepted.

In the Fourth District 111 men were examined, of whom 95 were exempted, 12 offered substitutes who were accepted, and 4 were passed. Among the applicants for exemption was Thomas Simms, the fugitive slave.–Boston Journal.

The whole number examined in the Fourth District, Massachusetts, up to Saturday night, was 1135, of whom 937 were exempted, 70 paid $300, 108 furnished substitutes, and 10 were accepted and held for service.

Of 717 drafted men who presented themselves in Worcester, 272 were exempted for disability; 211 are exempt as aliens, or for other reasons under special provisions of the law, and 234 have been accepted and held for service.

Of about 300 examined in New Bedford, about 25 were held, about 20 paid the $300, two or three furnished substitutes, and the rest were exempted.

Of about 600 examined in Lawrence, 66 furnished substitutes, 21 were held, and most of the others were exempted or paid the $300 each.

Of 54 from the Cape, 53 were exempted.

In a Rhode Island town of 118 examined, but one was held.

In Hartford, out of 73 examined in one day, 69 were exempted and the other four paid the $300; and the next day, 70 were examined and 62 of them exempted, three paid the $300, and five furnished substitutes. At this rate the draft will produce but few soldiers.


True as Gospel.–The New Haven (Ct.) Courier, a devoted administration paper, says:

Contractors have carried on this war. The blood of our men, the graves of our wounded, the tears of the orphan and widow, have been coined into money. They have swindled the government out of hundreds of millions. They have piled fortune upon fortune. As a distinguished officer at Washington said, “all the operations of this war are managed by political swindlers.”


It is stated that Gen. Grant, since the fall of Vicksburg, has been offered the command of the Army of the Potomac, which he declined to accept. Thus he showed his wisdom. He has won all his laurels by reason of the distance of his operations from Washington, and he would soon lose them by attempting to do anything in a position where the meddlers and bunglers of Washington could interfere with him.


Morgan Captured.–Morgan’s invasion of Ohio has come to an end. We reported last week the capture of some 1300 of his men, near the eastern border of the State. On Sunday last, Morgan and the rest of his band, about 400, were captured near New Lisbon, by Gen. Shackford, “by the blessing of Almighty God,” he says. We wish the same blessing would aid us in other fields.

JULY 30,

The West and Southwest.
Johnston Escaped.

Gen. Grant sent a dispatch to Gen. Halleck, dated the 15th, saying that Gen. Sherman had Jackson, Miss., invested from Pearl river on the north to the rivers on the south. This has cut off many hundred cars from the confederacy. Sherman says he has force enough and feels no apprehension about the result. On the 16th General Grant sent another dispatch saying: “Jos. Johnston evacuated Jackson on the night of the 16th inst. He is now in full retreat east. Sherman says most of his army must perish from heat and lack of water, and discouragement.”

A Memphis dispatch states that Gen. Sherman ordered a charge on Gen. Johnston’s forces on Friday, 17th, but they had so far escaped that capturing them was out of the question. We only got a few stragglers, a few guns and some ammunition. A portion of Gen. Sherman’s army is now in Jackson, which is his headquarters, while the remainder is on its way back to Vicksburg.

One of the principal objects of Sherman’s pursuit of Johnston in Mississippi is to collect the rolling stock and locomotives which Johnston has in Mississippi. All the cars, engines, &c., which were taken from Nashville, Columbus, Memphis and New Orleans, are now lying west of the Tombigbee river, and many of them north of Jackson and Canton. If Sherman can cut the roads leading east at Jackson and Meriden, then the whole lot must fall into our hands or be destroyed.

Natchez Taken.
Booty and Beef.

Eight steamers left Vicksburg on the 6th inst., for Natchez, having on board 1200 soldiers under the command of Gen. Ransom. On their arrival, he captured five rebel officers, and crossing the river, he captured a battery of nine guns, four of which were 10-pounder Parrotts. He then marched back into the country nine miles, and captured 227 boxes of ammunition and nine more guns. The rebels fled in consternation. On returning to Natchez he found 5,000 head of Texas cattle and 4,000 hogsheads of sugar, all of which he took possession of in the name of the United States.

Gen. Grant gives this account of the same affair: “Gen. Ransom was sent to Natchez to stop the crossing of cattle. He mounted about two hundred of his men and sent them in both directions. They captured a number of prisoners and 5,000 head of Texas cattle, 2,000 of which were sent to Gen. Banks. The balance have been brought here. In Louisiana they captured more prisoners and a number of teams loaded with ammunition. Over 2,000,000 rounds of ammunition were brought back to Natchez with the teams captured, and 2,000,000 rounds besides artillery ammunition were destroyed.”

Other Operations.

The army paroled at Vicksburg have to a great extent deserted, and are scattered over the country in every direction.

On the 8th inst., two steamers arrived at Memphis from New Orleans via Port Hudson, bringing up 2,300 paroled rebel prisoners. Two steamers left on the 8th inst., for New Orleans with large loads of cattle, and more for Vicksburg with live stock.

Lee’s Plans Completely Baffled.
All the Gaps in our Possession.

Advices from the headquarters of the army of the Potomac received Sunday night say that during the past week our troops have not been idle, but by a close scrutiny of Lee’s movements have by rapid marches succeeded in baffling his several attempts to enter Eastern Virginia and forestalled his attempted possession of the gaps of the Blue Ridge. It is generally believed he is now moving rapidly towards Staunton by the Shenandoah valley. He tried successively Snicker’s, Ashby’s and Manassas gaps; but found a strong Union force already there. At the two last named places he was driven back with loss. At Chester Gap our cavalry captured 1100 of the cattle stolen by the enemy, and several hundred sheep. A large number of horses have also been recovered. Several brisk skirmishes have taken place. With the exception of cavalry engagements, the principal fight occurred Thursday evening, between Loudon and Front Royal, in which a brigade of rebel infantry, probably Lee’s rear guard, were driven through the town.

The Exploits of our Cavalry.

The cavalry have done excellent service. The several commands have performed arduous marches and reconnoissances and completely foiled Stuart in all his attempts on our flanks and rear. Mosby’s small but energetic band have alone given us trouble, principally by cutting off foraging parties and messengers. A private of cavalry reports that on Friday, as a division of cavalry was reconnoitering in the vicinity of Amissville, a large column of rebel infantry was seen advancing in that direction, and our cavalry was compelled to fall back. This force is supposed to be Longstreet’s corps. Up to Saturday night, however, this report has not been confirmed.

The Enemy Retreating.

The following information was received at headquarters in Baltimore, Sunday, by Maj. Gen. Schenk, from Brig. Gen. Lockwood: The enemy has disappeared from our front entirely, and there is now none north of Winchester. Our cavalry was in Charlestown, Friday, and sent scouts out to the distance of ten miles in every direction without any signs of the enemy.


Capture of Jeff Davis’s Library.
Light Upon the Secession Movement.

New York, July 27.–A correspondent of the Herald, dating Jackson, Miss., 12th, reports that the library of Jeff Davis has been captured. It comprises several bushels of private and political papers of the arch traitor. Several letters on secession date back to 1852, and the collection will bring to light the whole secret history of secession. The letters are from both Northern and Southern traitors.


Newspaper offices are sometimes unpleasant places for mobs to meddle with. The Tribune office on Tuesday night had about 150 men in it armed with guns and pistols and a large quantity of navy yard bombs to be used as hand grenades. If the mob had attacked the office that night, they would have suffered a terrible loss. Experience has taught that those hand-grenades are the best weapons of defence against such crowds.

, 1863

The Cumberland.
[Correspondence of the New York World.]

Fortress Monroe, July 29.

In conversation with Captain S. F. Holbrook, a day or two since, we learned that the raising of the sunken Cumberland is progressing satisfactorily. The lifting power is already on hand, and, although the vessel lies in a very bad position, the tide being exceeding strong and greatly retarding operations, is being applied as rapidly as could be desired. The ship is in all probability not much injured, beside [the] fracture caused by the ram of the Merrimack. The human remains on board of her are watched over with attention, an order from the government prohibiting any portion of them from being taken away, and many applications from the curious for relics are rigidly refused. When the ship shall be sufficiently raised to be accessible, the bones are to be collected with care and interred in a suitable place to be designated by the government, and a monument erected over them. The vessel will probably be afloat about the end of August. Captain Holbrook gives his whole attention to carrying out the orders of the government relative to the raising of the Cumberland, and the contractors spare neither money nor energy in executing to the letter the terms of their contract.


The Slain at Gettysburg.–Alderman Stevens and Councilman Cumston, of the Committee appointed to purchase a burial lot for the Boston soldiers killed at Gettysburg, will start this afternoon for the battle-field, for the purpose of taking the preliminary steps toward carrying out the noble enterprise suggested by the Mayor. The other members of the Committee will follow them in a few days. All those having information concerning the death of friends or relatives in the recent battle, are requested to communicate it at the Mayor’s office, and thereby aid the Committee in their work.


Colored Conscripts.–The Secretary of War has sent the following dispatch to the commander at Baltimore:

“Major-General Schenck: Colored troops will be credited to the State the same as any other troops.”

Edwin M. Stanton,
Secretary of War.

This seems to strike at the root of the Provost-Marshal-General’s order that colored recruits are not to be deemed an equivalent for white conscripts. The present determination by the Secretary of War will give great satisfaction to many both in Pennsylvania and Maryland.


The steamer Imperial, the first boat from New Orleans, arrived at St. Louis on Tuesday. A large crowd of merchants and other citizens greeted her arrival, and a national salute was fired in honor of the opening of the Mississippi. The steamer Albert Pierce sailed the same evening for New Orleans with a large load of private freight and a long passenger list. The Continental had left the day before for the same port, heavily laden with government stores.

The Invasions.–The rebel papers are variously affected by the ludicrous success with which Morgan got himself and his men captured. The Richmond Dispatch of the 27th takes the reverse a little hard. It says:

“This is a distressing blow upon the Confederacy. It has stood, and can stand, a little harder. But the pride of the people was very much interwoven with the achievements of Morgan. We do not like to judge after the result. But it seems to us that the expedition which out a river, navigable and unfordable for hundreds of miles, and fully commanded the whole distance by the enemy’s gunboats, between himself and all assistance, must have been rash and fool-hardy. Nevertheless, he has done the enemy great damage in this long excursion.”

The Richmond Examiner, on the other hand, thinks it nothing at all:

“No! Morgan’s expedition was not a failure. With twenty-five hundred men he traversed two enormous States from end to end–occupied their principal towns at pleasure–cut their arteries of communication, burned depots, destroyed engines, sunk steamboats innumerable. He threw several millions of people into frantic consternation for the safety of their property, turned entire populations into fugitives, and compelled a hundred thousand men to leave their occupations for weeks and go under arms–only as an equivalent to him and his twenty five hundred troops. What if he has been hemmed in at last, and compelled to surrender? Twenty-five hundred have been added to the Yankee exchange list–a great matter, truly, at this stage of the war. Is not the temporary loss of their services ten times, twenty times, a hundred times compensated by the blows they have struck, the loss they have inflicted, the panic they have created?”

After having its growl at southern want of enterprise, which it says “has been the curse of the South in war and as in peace,” the Examiner turns upon General Lee as follows:

“The conclusion of Morgan’s affair is easily understood. It is a casualty of war often inevitable. But the end of Lee’s campaign puzzles the more it is considered. We know now from both sides what was the battle of Gettysburg. It was a powerful effort to destroy the military power of the United States by a blow at the heart. It was unsuccessful from the misconduct of one division. But it was not a victory of the United States. Lee was unsuccessful but not crippled. He took an impregnable position within reach of Baltimore and Washington, and held it at ease. Why he gave up his campaign and came back to his old line of the Rapidan is not explained by any fact now before the public. But though this is a disappointment, it does not rob the campaign of its glory or its profit to us. The enemy has felt the weight of the war, and his army is just where it was when the battle of Manassas was fought two years ago.”

Some day the fact will be “before the public” in Richmond, that the battle of Gettysburg was “a victory of the United States,” and that will explain what now seems inexplicable in Lee’s abandonment of his campaign and return to his old line.

AUGUST 1, 1863


Exempts and their Disqualifications.

Perhaps no point connected with the enforcement of the conscription act has met with more unanimous and hearty condemnation than the order of the Provost Marshal General requiring the  publication of the names of exempts with catalogues of their disabilities. The regulation is indefensible in every way. While the government in time of war has a right to demand the services of its able-bodied citizens, it has no right to parade the infirmities of the unfortunate before the world. Were a physician to disclose the information acquired in the sacred privacy of eh sick room, he would be kicked out of the profession by his brethren, and would stand everlastingly dishonored in the eyes of the community. This principle of medical ethics is based upon sentiments common to humanity. Its force has been acknowledged even among barbarous tribes.

The country wants no soldiers whose physical ailments would render them a burthen rather than an aid. She will not accept them when they come forward voluntarily to solicit a place in her armies. The Government appoints surgeons to decide upon the fitness of subjects. Its officers in this department are, at least, presumed to be qualified for the work. Certainly the Government has not ordered this proceeding for the purpose of exposing to the world the fallibility of its agents, by giving the neighbors of the exempt an opportunity to pass judgment on the decision of the surgeon. If so, the remedy is applied too late, as the conscript is already freed from liability. Is it the design of the order to compel the sensitive to pay three hundred dollars rather than undergo the mortification of seeing their disorders in public print? If so the proceeding approximates closely to downright extortion. The law imposes no claim upon the physically infirm, and no agent for its execution has the slightest shadow of authority for inventing one.

Aside from the chagrin and sense of personal outrage involved in this needless and unwarrantable invasion of privacy, it may, in some instances, work irreparable mischief. Every large community has a class of unfortunates whose lives run closely on the borders of insanity. The taint, manifesting itself in occasional attacks of mental aberration, disqualifies the subject for military service. Perhaps reason maintains at best a precarious supremacy, Let the cause of exemption be published in such a case, and it requires no extraordinary discernment to anticipate the probable consequences.

We have yet to see the first newspaper or the first man who does not condemn the policy under consideration. It is not authorized by law.


A letter from Bermuda, dated July 22d, says “the pirate Florida is still in port, her departure having been delayed by the refusal of the authorities to furnish her with fuel. But she is now getting a supply from the rebel steamer Dorriet, and will sail in a day or two on her voyage of destruction. Any American vessel in these waters could have made an easy capture of her, as her speed has been very defective. The coal she is now getting is of inferior quality and must also affect her speed.”

Purchase of the Gettysburg Battle-field.

Arrangements have been made to purchase a part of the battle-field at Gettysburg for a cemetery, in which it is proposed to gather the remains of our dead. The ground embraces the point of the desperate attack made upon the left center of our army. Eight other States have already united with Pennsylvania in this [undertaking].2


No Bodies to be Disinterred at Gettysburg During August and September.

Gettysburg, Pa., July 31.

General Order No. 2.

During the months of August and September no corpse will be allowed to be disinterred from any of the burying grounds, cemeteries or battle grounds of Gettysburg. The health of the wounded soldiers and citizens of this community require the stringent enforcement of this order, and any violation of it reported to these headquarters will meet with summary and severe punishment. By command of

A. C. Alterman,
Col. 36th Regiment commanding post.


Escape of Convicts.

New York, August 31.–The steamer Continental arrived this morning from New Haven with 117 conscripts and substitutes, in charge of Capt. Davis, Capt. Broach, Lieut. Rockwood, and six privates belonging to the 14th Connecticut volunteers.

Shortly after the steamer touched her pier at Peck Slip ferry, forty of the men made their escape. The balance of the men proceeded at once to Washington.


The Tribune publishes a remarkable letter, dated Richmond, July 16th, received through a Baltimore secesh channel. The letter professes to give the object of Stephens’s mission, which was to protest against the mustering and arming of Negroes. The sum and substance of the matter is this:

“The Confederates are alarmed and indignant at our arming of Negroes to fight them, and desired to send Mr. Stephens to Washington to enter an imposing remonstrance against it, and to give our Government fair notice that, if we did not give it up, they would also embark in it with all their might, and arm ten Negroes to our one. This is what Mr. Stephens would have imposingly announced to the president, had he been permitted to proceed in his gunboat Torpedo to our capital, and been received there as a Confederate ambassador. President Lincoln didn’t see it.”

We think we see the South arming their slaves! They dare not do it.3


1 This was such a hard luck story in a period filled with raw deals, that I was moved to follow up on James Toole’s fate. His wife, Laura Serena Herrington, had been married once before, but, with her two children, was abandoned by her husband, Jesse B. Drawhorn, about 1845, when he removed to Texas. Laura waited seven years for his return, then married James Jefferson Toole in 1852. She bore him four children, the last of which–the newborn mentioned in the article–probably cost her life. The 1860 census lists a boy and a girl with the last name “Drawhorn” living with the Tooles in Bibb County; given that Laura’s first husband had departed in 1845, these two children would be at least 17 or 18, and are evidently included in the “six children.” Possibly these two acted as parents for the four younger children for the duration of the war. James J. Toole is listed as “Undercook” in Company F of the 63d Georgia, which was originally formed as an artillery regiment of 1100 men. Subsequent to this report, the 63d was reassigned to the Army of Tennessee and used as infantry, seeing hard service in the battles around Atlanta. By the time of its surrender on 26 April 1865, only 143 men remained. James Toole, was among these and, by 1870, had remarried; he not only had a newborn baby, but all four of his children (the elder Drawhorn children being old enough to have set up their own households). Information derived from the National Park Service’s Soldiers & Sailors System and various online genealogical databases.–Editor

2 Actual entry clearly says “. . . in this city.” Meaning?

3 See entry for 7 July 1863 for the initial report of this diplomatic mission.

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