, 1863

England’s Mission in China.
[Correspondence from the London Times, July 7.]

The hour of doom has sounded for the old fabric of Chinese Government and society. The cloud which in the early days of this generation began to form has become blacker, until now it covers with a thick darkness that ancient civilization. Weakness begets violence, violence provokes the enmity of foreigners, whose chastisements in turn tend to raise up rebels and pretenders against the humiliated Government. The blows struck by England twenty years ago, by breaking the spell of imperial invincibility, had not a little to do with the rise of the Taipings, who, since 1850, have been constantly busy at their work of destruction in the Empire. The natural violence and cruelty of the Chinese nature, increased by civil wars, has broken out again and again with the last few years, leading to fresh hostilities with the Christian nations, and further weakening the influence of a Government already beset by a gigantic rebellion.

While the Chinese political system seems approaching its end, the European element is plainly acquiring increased importance. Things have gone so far that the House of Commons is now appealed to and asked to discountenance the formation of permanent military bodies for service within the Empire. At Shanghai a force is enrolled for the defence of the place and the surrounding district, and Capt. Sherard Osborn will soon be in Chinese waters, ready to carry on active hostilities against the rebels, and support the authority of Prince Kung throughout such parts of his regency as a British seaman can reach. It is this swerving from the paths of peaceful commerce that Lord Naas last night desired to condemn. With great elaboration he labored to show that it was neither our duty nor our policy to interfere in behalf of the Regular Government. To the usual arguments in favor of neutrality, Lord Naas added others less common-place, though hardly more convincing. A man of peace will treat the question as one which general and abstract principles are sufficient to decide. Like Mr. Cobden, he will content himself with saying that the Chinese have governed themselves for several thousand years, and need to interference from us now. He will consider that whether there be peace or war within their borders we have nothing to do with the matter, our business being confined to buying tea and silk from whomsoever will bring it down to us, whether he be Imperialist if Taiping.

All that this country is doing now is to carry out honorably and cordially the principles on which the last reconciliation with China was effected. We have been placed by the Chinese Government–thanks to the courage of our soldiers and sailors–in the same position that Russia so long occupied alone. We have a Minister at Pekin, we have the opportunity of representing our views and wishes, and it is stated that the Chinese ruler is ready to attend to our advice. It may be that it is impossible to prevent the decay of Chinese society, but still it is possible and for the benefit of both native and European that peace and order should prevail, and that the industry of the people should resume its wonted course. The Government of Pekin asks our assistance in effecting this; and those who know the country think that much may be done by the ->

support of a power like England, and the use of a small naval force. Considering the magnitude of the British interests involved, it is impossible, as it seems to us, for the Government to hesitate. Unbounded resources, untold wealth, exist in a region traversed by bands of robbers, to whom the brigands of Naples are saintly and gentle. To those regions we are freely admitted by treaty, and only the state of the country prevents our reaping the full advantages of former exertions. We are now called upon to guide the destinies of that mighty population, and in conjunction with other European nations to take care that the collapse of its ancient systems may do as little harm as possible to them and to us.1


Vicksburg Bill of Fare.–The Chicago Tribune says:

We are indebted to the courtesy of J. H. Early, Surgeon of the 17th Iowa Regiment, for the  following copy of a bill of fare found in the rebel camps at Vicksburg. While it is a capital specimen of burlesque, it is no less a melancholy burlesque upon eh rebel rations of mule flesh indulged in by them during the last days of the siege:

Hotel de Vicksburg–Bill of Fare for July 1863

Soup–Mule tail.
Boiled–Mule bacon and poke greens; mule ham canvased.
Roast–Mule sirloin; mule rump stuffed with rice.
Vegetables–Peas and rice.
Entrees–Mule head stuffed a la mode; mule beef jerked a la Mexicana; mule ears fricasseed a la gotch; mule side stewed, new style, hair on; mule spare ribs, plain; mule liver hashed.
Side Dishes–Mule salad; mule beef soused; mule brains a la omelettes; mule kidney stuffed with peas; mule tripe fired in pea meal batter; mule tongue, cold.
Jellies–Mule foot.
Pastry–Pea meal pudding; blackberry sauce; cottonwood berry pies; Chinaberry tart.
Dessert–White oak acorns; beech nuts; blackberry leaf tea;  genuine Confederate coffee.
Liquors–Mississippi water, vintage of 1492, superior, $8. Limestone water, late importation, very fine, $2.75. Spring water, Vicksburg brand, $1.50.

Meals at all hours. Gentlemen to wait upon themselves. Any inattention on the part of servants will be promptly reported at the office.

Jeff. Davis & Co., Proprietors.

Card.–The proprietors of the justly celebrated Hotel de Vicksburg, having enlarged and refitted the same, are now prepared to accommodate all who may favor them with a call. Parties arriving by the river or Grant’s inland route will find Grape, Canister & Co.’s carriages at the landing or any depot on the line of entrenchments. Buck, Ball & Co. take charge of all baggage. No effort will be spared to make the visit of all as interesting as possible.


AUGUST 10, 1863


The disposition to be made of black troops captured from the enemy, has all along been a problem to our government and people. The recent order of President Lincoln, directing the execution of a Confederate prisoner for every Negro that may be hung, and sentencing to confinement and hard labor on the public works a white Southerner for every Negro that shall be sold into slavery, adds no little to the perplexity of the case. We trust our government will do what is right, and leave the consequences to those whose skirts they will properly attach. It should allow no sickly sensibility to swerve it from a proper regard for the dignity and final safety of the country. It may be a terrible duty, and require a vast strength of nerve to perform it, but true statesmen will be equal to the task.

A variety of opinions are entertained on this subject. There is an intense degree of bitterness in the popular mind of the South against the black troops of Lincoln’s army, and very many would grant them no quarter under any circumstances. They should be hung when ever taken, is a very general expression of sentiment; first because it would be wrong to put them on an equality with the white man, and, secondly, because it would be unsafe to incorporate them again within our community of slaves who have proven faithful. Our own sentiments are less harsh. We view the Negro soldier within the Yankee camp rather as a dupe and victim, than a criminal and cut-throat. The Negro race of the South is not warlike.

The idea of volunteering for a fight against white men, is opposed to all our experience of his nature and habits. He did not go to the enemy for the purpose of turning against his master, but in search of those delusive phantoms, Negro freedom and ease. In many cases, a very large majority, he did not go at all, but was seized and dragged forcibly from his master and home, and then driven into the ranks under the threat of death by the bayonet. He is a weak and generally inoffensive creature, and guarded by sentinels on every side, what could he do but submit? To be strictly just, we should regard his present position as more the result of necessity or of his own folly, than of criminal intent. He may voluntarily steal and burn, but he will never willingly fight. At Jacksonville, and again on James Island, they threw down their guns and ran like sheep; and in the assault on Battery Wagner they had brigades of bayonets behind them as fatal in case of faltering as the guns of the Confederates in front. In this way alone could they be brought to the encounter.

We learn, in addition, from the testimony of reliable scouts who have been among them, that the Negroes in the hands of the enemy are thoroughly disgusted and dissatisfied, and ninety-nine out of every hundred would return to their owners were it possible to do so with safety. All our emissaries concur in this, and the Negroes recently captured at Charleston confirm the statement! One free man told us that he would rather be sold to a Southern master than go back to the Yankee army or to the North–that he was forced into the army against his will, and that in Lincoln’s dominions white men had no liberty, much less the Negro.

We are, therefore, of the opinion that our Government should extend every clemency to this ignorant and betrayed people that the public safety will admit of. As regards the free Negroes, we see no way in which we can escape from their exchange as in [the] case of other prisoners. They are citizens of the Northern States where they came from, if not here, and so long as the Yankees hold them as equals, if not their betters, as they really are, they have a right in law to use them as soldiers, and it is our policy, after killing as many as we can, to catch as few as possible, and that few turn over under the cartel of exchange. It is difficult to tell what else we should do with them, as they would be of little service as slaves.

As regards the captured slaves, we would primarily consult the rights of their masters. They are stolen property, or apprehended runaways, and, in absence of proof to convict them of willful crime against the law, they should be turned over to their masters to be dealt with in the latter’s discretion. Their service is due to their owners, who have been dispossessed of their property by seduction or positive robbery. . .

To deliver up slaves as prisoners of war under the cartel of exchange would be a submission to the emancipation proclamation of Lincoln, and a base degradation of the Confederacy. It should never be done, let the consequences be what they may. Even though fifteen thousand of our citizens should be put to labor on the public works of the Abolitionists, such a demand should not be entertained for a moment.

On the question of retaliation, we hope the President will execute every sentence he has pronounced in revenge for Abolitionists cruelty and crimes. To be deterred from his published purpose by Lincoln’s threats will sink the nation beneath contempt, with even the enemy. Let the men selected by lot be executed, and leave the responsibility where it belongs. The drama of blood cannot last long, and the real authors of the carnage will speedily reap their reward in the execration and fearful vengeance of the enlightened nations of the earth. As matters stand under our forbearance, all the suffering and hardship is on our side, and will continue so, with augmented atrocity, to the end of the war.

From the Augusta Chronicle.

We have conversed with a gentleman who was thrown not long ago, by the chances of war, into New York city. Having had the good fortune to enjoy the unrestricted liberty of the city for two weeks, he made a diligent use of his time. Our informant says that there is nothing in the general aspect of the city that would indicate the gigantic war which is now in progress. On no previous occasion had he ever seen Broadway so thronged with people, either on foot or in vehicles of various descriptions. The shops were decked off in the most showy style, and traders were everywhere competing with each other for patronage by exhibiting their articles in the most attractive manner. Though our informant had been in New York on many previous occasions, he had never been so much impressed by the show. He thought, however, that he might have been more impressed by the contrast with the dismal prison from which he had just emerged, and in which he had been thrust without judge or jury.

Our informant imposed on himself the strictest reticence, except in the presence of two or three old acquaintances, where he thought he might communicate freely. He boarded at one of the large hotels, and in the conversations of the guests at the table or elsewhere, he rarely heard the subject of the war mentioned. Though he rode frequently in the coaches, travelled in the thronged ferry boats, and visited various places of public resort, he does not remember to have overheard among the strangers who thronged them, more than one conversation in regard to the progressing war. Every man seemed intent on making money, and every other theme appeared to be ignored. He was in the city when the news of the battle of Chancellorsville was received. For the first week the great effort of the Administration papers, which he saw, was to persuade the people that Hooker had laid a plot for the capture of the entire army of Gen. Lee; that though he might apparently have suffered defeat, yet this was only part of his strategy, and that the people might be assured the whole affair would result favorably for the Northern cause. By such lies they bolstered up the expectations of the people for some weeks. When they were ultimately compelled to acknowledge a disaster, they divested it of every unpleasant feature by such lies and exaggerations as characterize all their reports.

The most interesting event which transpired during the visit of our friend was the great peace demonstration which he attended. O meeting ever held in the city was a more decided success. He was at considerable pains to ascertain the number in attendance, and for this purpose visited all the stands and made his observations most closely. He does not think that there were less than thirty thousand persons on the ground. He has never heard at the South more bitter denunciations of Lincoln and the whole Abolition crew than he heard from the different speakers at this meeting. The war was denounced as cruel and unjust from the first, and an earnest wish for peace was characteristic of all the speeches.

He conversed with the most prominent men in the peace movement–whom he had known in former years–as to the duration of the war. He was told that it was useless for the South to expect any cessation of hostilities whilst the Abolitionists remained in power. The war, he thought, would certainly go on during Lincoln’s term, and if a successor was elected by the Republicans, he would go into office on an uncompromising platform. The only hope for peace was in the overthrow of the reigning party. If any of the Democratic candidates could be elected, there would be an immediate effort to settle all disputes by negotiation.

Our informant mentions that he was dogged by spies during his stay in the city, and that [he] felt the power of subjugation more whilst at large than when lodged in a bastille. He was never more happy than when he succeeded in eluding his pursuers, and found himself, though by a circuitous route, on his way to Dixie.



The Resolution in the South.

Even if there were no other evidences, the recent address of Jefferson Davis “to the soldiers of the Confederate States” shows that the recent rebel reverses are exerting a prodigious influence upon the masses of the Southern population. The army is disintegrating under the belief that further resistance is a useless waste of blood, and it is in vain that Mr. Davis appeals to their patriotism and ambition to fill up the depleted ranks. We hear reports to this effect coming from all quarters. It may not be well to give them undue importance, but nevertheless they constitute a sign–they indicate the existence of a feeling not before manifested since the commencement of the war. There have been individual expressions of discontent, generally coming from persons who have been taken prisoners, or from other cause had good reason for being disgusted with the course of events.

But what were then only sporadic cases of disaffection toward the rebel government, now have the characteristic features of an epidemic, so that it is necessary to issue a proclamation, calling on the recreant sons of the new-born Confederacy to rally once more to the breach–a proceeding to which recourse could not have been had, except in a desperate emergency.–New York Journal of Commerce.


Arrest and Return of Skedaddlers: Interference of Copperheads.–Among the persons drafted in the 4th District were three of the table waiters at the American House in this city. After receiving their notifications, the three conscripts left the city and went to Wolfsboro’, N. H., where they obtained employment at the Pavilion, and doubtless thought themselves safely “out of the draft,” but Provost Marshal Howe was on the look-out for them, and yesterday three U. S. detectives appeared at the Pavilion in Wolfsboro’, where they identified the three deserters and took them into custody, informing them that they would be taken on board the next boat for Alton Bay and thence to Boston.

This roused the ire of certain copperheads who were stopping at the Pavilion, and who managed to get up quite a demonstration, advising the conscripts to resist and not to return with the officers. We are further informed that one of the most prominent of the opponents to the enforcement of the law was an ex-office holder at this port and a resident of Ward 10 in this city, who harangued the crowd, arguing that the conscription law was unconstitutional, and intimating that the officers had no right to take the man away, &c. It is also stated that the daughter of this individual joined with the others in hissing the officers and making other unladylike demonstrations.

As the time approached for the boat to leave, one of the officers very coolly informed the crowd that it was not for him to either argue or decide upon the constitutionality of the law, and even if it was in his place to do so, he had not the time to do it then, as the boat was about leaving. He and his brother officers had only their duty to perform, and that they were bound to do at all hazards. The crowd were very much excited, but the firm bearing of the officers, and the intimidation of a revolver, prevented any further active demonstrations of opposition. The officers, with their three prisoners, left on the boat, and safely reached this city by the regular train.–Journal.


Railroad Iron Carried off by the Rebels.

New York, Aug. 11.–The rails of the Fredericksburg and Aquia Creek Railroad have been all torn up by the rebels and sent to Richmond, together with every other species of property in that section available for military purposes. The railroad bridges, depots, &c., have been burned, and the whole country between the Rappahannock and the Potomac is swept of everything.

Expedition up James River.

Fortress Monroe, August 9.–The expedition that left here on the 4th inst., under the direction of Maj. Gen. Foster, was accompanied by the turreted iron-clad Sagamore and the gunboats Commodore Barney and Cohasset. They proceeded up the James river, and when within seven miles of Fort Darling, at a point called Dutch Gap, a torpedo was exploded under the bows of the Commodore Barney by a lock string connected with the shore. The explosion was terrific. It lifted the gunboat’s bows ten feet out of the water and threw a great quantity of water high into the air, which, falling on the deck, washed overboard fifteen of the crew. Among them was Lieut. Cushing, the commander of the vessel. Two sailors were drowned, all the rest being saved. Gen. Foster was on board the boat when the explosion took place. The enemy then opened upon them from the shore with a twelve-pounder field piece. The Commodore Barney was penetrated by fifteen shots, besides a great number of musket balls, but not a man was injured except the Paymaster, who was slightly wounded by splinters.

The gunboat Cohasset received five twelve-pounder shots, one of which passed through her pilot house and instantly killed her Commander, Acting Master Cox, striking him in the back.

The Commodore Barney was towed down to Newport News by a tug and will be repaired. The object of the expedition was accomplished and the fleet has returned. The new army gunboat Gen. Jessup, commanded by Lieut. Col. Whipple, also accompanied the expedition and received several shots.


Cats vs. Rioters.–During the excitement arising from the recent riots in New York, the City Council of Bergen, N. J., appropriated the sum of $80 for ammunition to defend the town from the attacks of crowds who were expected to cross the river to destroy the bridge over the Hackensack River. When the bill was sent in inquiry was made as to how the powder and ball was used, when it was gravely stated that, no rioters making their appearance, the ammunition had been used in exterminating cats–upwards of 70 having been killed with corporation powder. The bill was paid.


Gen. Grant “Regulating” the Mississippi Steamers.

Cairo, Ill., August 9.–In consequence of the exorbitant fare charged for soldiers passing up and down the river, Gen. Grant has issued an order regulating the prices: commissioned officers will be charged ¾ cent per mil passage, including berth, and pay 50 cents per meal. Enlisted men ½ cent per mile, with the privilege of cooking rations. The boats are not at liberty to refuse to carry any soldier under the proper orders. The penalty for violation of the order is fine or imprisonment at the discretion of the court martial.

AUGUST 12, 1863


Shoddy Aristocracy.—In an address before the literary societies of the college at Lancaster, Pa., by a “loyal” gentleman named Dougherty, we have the following graphic and truthful picture of society now exhibited at the places of fashionable resort where the “shoddy aristocracy” congregate and “show off”:

“Grief may shed its bitter tears in the silent chamber, poverty may starve in its hiding place, the patriot may mourn, but no grief, nor fear, nor feeling seems to dwell in the public mind or touch the public heart. This year has been wild with fashion, hilarity and show. Our Northern cities eclipse the past in gorgeous dissipation; more diamonds flash in the glare of the gay saloon; the gentlemen stop at no extravagance, and the ladies in full dress powder their hair with gold; dinners, balls and masquerades, in ostentation and luxuriance, turn midnight into day; prancing steeds and gaudy equipages carry light-hearted loveliness through all the drives of fashion; stores where jewels, pearls and precious stones, and the rich goods of Europe and Asia are exposed, are crowded with purchasers, and have doubled ales, though gold touched a premium of seventy per cent; speculators in stocks make fortunes in a day; palatial stores and marble dwellings are springing from the earth on every side; resorts of amusement were never so numerous and never so crowded, prize fights excite for a time more interest than the battles of the Republic; thousands of dollars are staked on the favorite of the race; gambling hells are wide open to entice to infamy the young; crime is fearfully on the increase; the law grows impotent, and men who have, by the basest means, defrauded the laborer, the widow and orphans, hold high their heads and go unwhipped of justice.”

All of this is “shoddy;” no genuine worth, no self-respecting aristocracy either of birth or brains makes this shameful exhibition or helps to fill up this revolting picture. The “shoddy” and the genuine respectability are as easily distinguished as dross from the pure gold. This disgusting tribe has been produced entirely by the war; it is made up of contractors, sutlers, speculating officers, and other disinterested patriots who have made their “pile” by defrauding the public and the poor soldier. They are swarming the watering places and filling fashionable resorts, bedecked with the most costly and showy finery and bedizened with jewelry, which contrast with and make more conspicuous their vulgar manners and pompous extravagance and impudence. They are boisterously “loyal” and “patriotic,” of course, and loudly denounce every suggestion of peace; and for the very good reason that they are making their thousands by the war. Let the war stop and they would soon sink into their former position, for most of them “spend as they go.” Most of them before the war were content to make a bare living by some menial employment, and it would be well for the public health if they could be forced to return to the same way of life; but it is probable that they will continue to live by swindling, for they are the power which controls the Government.


The Rebel Privateers.—The Fayetteville (N. C.) Observer publishes an extract of a letter from Capt. J. N. Maffit, of the steamer Florida, to his children in Fayetteville. It is dated Pernambuco, Brazil, May 12, 1863. The following are extracts:

“I am very well, and very, very busy. I feel happy to tell you that the Florida has been doing a fierce business. Up to May 11th she has destroyed $9,700,000 of Yankee commerce, and eluded fifteen Federal men-of-war sent to destroy her and the Alabama. The Florida and Alabama destroyed ten of the enemy’s largest vessels April 22d, within sixty miles of each other, but up to May 13th have not met. I cannot write what my plans are–the duty is very terrible upon one’s mental and physical ability; but I am doing all in my power for the benefit of the Confederacy.”

Cost of the Draft.—The Hartford Times makes the following estimate of what the draft will cost. When it is considered that the required troops could be raised by enlistment, without taking a man from the army, and that thereby all the ill-feeling and real hardship sure to result from the draft would be avoided, it seems unaccountable that this unwise measure is persisted in:

“It requires about 30,000 men to make the present draft all over the country–enrolling officers, assistants, boards of examination, &c., and so on. These cost the Government in salaries about eight times the amount paid to soldiers. Multiply 30,000 by 8, and we have 240,000–or in other words, the means to pay 240,000 common soldiers, as long as the army of enrolling and drafting officers, with their assistants, are continued in office. In addition to this expense in carrying on the draft, the Provost Marshals have “guards,” and more than 50,000 “Invalid Soldiers” are distributed over the country to aid in enforcing the draft. Most of these are able bodied soldiers, fit for duty in the field. It is evident that the cost of the draft, with the provost Guards, is equal to the pay of an army of 300,000 men through the present year at least.”


The True Course.—It has already been announced that the Government has graciously consented that New Jersey may raise her quota of troops by enlistment, and the draft has been suspended in that State. And what is the result? The N. Y. Journal of Commerce tells. It says, “cities, counties, towns, villages, in which the draft has been exceedingly unpopular, have appropriated large bounties for volunteers, committees of all parties are working enthusiastically to promote the general object, and already, within less than a week, if reports from various parts of the State can be relied on, over one-third of the quota is raised and the balance is sure to be within the prescribed period. A large proportion of the volunteers are returned veterans, and all are willing soldiers.” Now there is no reason to doubt that the same result would follow the same course in other States. The troops required could thus be raised more expeditiously and more economically, and all the hardships and ill-feeling caused by the draft would be avoided. Even under the draft, three-fourths of the men secured are in fact volunteers–substitutes who are obtained for a less sum than the average bounties paid in this State last year. No good reason can be given for not pursuing this course everywhere, and if wise and patriotic counsels prevailed at Washington it would be done.


A dispatch says that out of 300 conscripts sent to the 5th corps last week, 299 were substitutes.



How the Battle Field of Gettysburg Looks at Present.
[Gettysburg correspondent of the Philadelphia Press, 28th ult.]

The past few days were again occupied in walking over the field to mark the difference after more than three weeks had elapsed. We took start from Cemetery Hill, and passed over all our lines on the first day. Shells, solid shot and bullets are still lying around, one would think as thick as ever, although a great many persons have made it their business ever since the battle to hunt bullets and sell them by the pound. Many thousand pounds have been gathered and disposed of in this way. Nearly every stranger returns from the field with his pockets heavy with lead. Government has forbidden any of the relics to be removed, so whatever visitors can conceal about their person they are most likely to take with them. All who come from a distance naturally desire to return home with some trophy of war. On account of this propensity, some very amusing scenes are sometimes enacted. Quite a number of those who come in from the country are not aware that these broken implements are “contraband of war,” so in their innocence they pick up a handful of bayonets, or sometimes they think it would be a capital idea to take along a good Enfield rifle; they shoulder arms, walk off coolly and exulting over their good fortune, when all at once they are arrested in their triumphant march and deprived of their plunder.

A close observer will notice an important fact in respect to the number of shells found on both sides of the field. The ground occupied by our forces is literally strewn with unexploded rebel shells, while along the Confederate fortifications very few can be found; but the fields and the woods are all covered with fragments of exploded shells. It is said not one sixth of the shells thrown by the rebels exploded; hence the greater destruction of life by our artillery from the same number of guns. One would think, from the number of bullet holes in the trees all through the woods, that it was almost impossible for a single man to escape unhurt. On Wolfe’s hill, on our extreme right, where the rebels made so many unsuccessful charges, we counted in a single tree but a foot in diameter over 70 bullet holes, 34 of which were within six feet of the ground.

The field contains many scenes of interest, the ground is yet covered with knapsacks, broken guns, cartridge boxes, broken cannon, wagons, rebel hats, boots, shoes, stockings, packs of playing cards, prayer books, bibles, &c., &c. Government wagons have ever since the fight been hauling away loads of whatever they could find of this description, but were they to continue their labors for months to come, it would be impossible to clear this vast battle ground of all its relics.

We found still a number of rebels unburied. On a farm occupied by Mr. Rose, we found no less than seven of those for whom not even a covering of earth was given to hide their ghastly looking forms. Others we found between two rocks, and covered with a few large stones, and numbers over whom only a little ground was thrown, their eyeless heads and livid feet still visible. Scores of dead horses are still scattered over the field, yet no effort is made to bury them, and no chlorates, no disinfecting agents of any kind are used. The people of Gettysburg, and all who visit there, must necessarily be exposed to the poisonous gasses resulting from the decomposition of animal matter.->

I have visited a great many hospitals, and must say that I have never seen anywhere the wounded better treated in every respect, than they are in and about Gettysburg. They all appear cheerful and well satisfied. The ladies of the town and vicinity deserve great credit for their kind assistance, not only in making and sending a great many necessary articles, but by going in person, and doing all they can to alleviate the suffering of the wounded. Wagon loads of good bread, cakes, wines, pillows, pads, shirts, and whatever may be desirable to the wounded, are every day sent to the hospitals from the surrounding neighborhood. From York Sulphur Springs, a small town in Adams county, they send several loads of provisions daily, and many of the young ladies in that place have exchanged their homes of ease and luxury for the watchful days and sleepless nights in the hospital.

With all the consciousness and pride of victory, it is still a heartrending sight to look upon this great burying ground. Fields waving with luxuriant grain but a few days ago, have now been turned into one vast sepulcher for the dead; woods in their primeval grandeur have been checked in their beautiful growth, and their tall oaks have now become monuments to mark the resting place of those who have been crushed beneath the deadly wheels of war.


The Reign of Terror in Texas.—A letter from Matamoras, published in the New Orleans Era, says:

“A great many Texan rangers are coming here, as they have been coming here for the last eighteen months. Some are deserters, some liable to conscription in the rebel service, but most of the 5000 or 6000 who have passed through this place were compelled to leave the State to save their lives, because our mistaken Southern brethren suspected them of being in heart, and in fact, citizens of the United States. Many who were skulking from hill to hill, and forest, in Northern Texas, seeking to get out of the country, and only desirous of being let alone, have been trailed by assassins and murdered outright. I do not doubt that 2500 murders have been committed within two years in Texas, every one of which has been for suspected sympathies for the old flag, but the new arrivals are all radicals–all intend revenge.

“Sixteen men from near Austin, only a week ago, arrived here, and one of them is on the way to New Orleans. There are hundreds of as good men in Texas as there are out of it. The Germans and thousands of Americans in Texas are loyal; Texas would be loyal if the reign of terror was at an end.”


Strange to say, the rush of pleasure seekers at all the places of resort in New England never was greater than at the present time. The rush at the White Mountains is entirely unprecedented, notwithstanding the Notch houses are charging as high as $3 a day. The Summer resorts of strangers in this vicinity are all unusually full. The Mont Vernon House is thronged, and they are having a good run of visitors at Milford Spring.

, 1863

How to Re-Construct.

We take it for granted that the most rabid of abolitionists look for a future government that shall cover the whole of the old Union, from the Atlantic to the pacific, from the great chain of Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. How to arrive at this result is the question. When the restoration of Charles II occurred, there was a famous debate in Parliament about how to start again the monarchy. There had been the interim of Cromwell, very shocking to the old royalists and cavaliers, who clung to the maxim, “The King never dies.” So they hunted for precedents by which to show that a king had existed and been continuous, from the days of Canute. This up-hill business continued till the old lawyer, Maynard, cut the knot. He said Parliament reminded him of the man who got lost in the woods, was blindfolded, and would not move except in the King’s highway. When he could see that, he would go.

So Maynard proposed that the Cromwellian interim should be regarded as nothing–time lost–and that they should step at once into the old highway, which all knew, and go right along according to the old Constitution of England. That, if in any way, is the mode by which to reconstruct our republic. It is of no avail to interpose methods by which to re-construct. There is only one way–and that is that all the people shall have a chance to say whether they will go back first to the old Constitution; and then, if the chart needs remodeling, do it according to the modes it prescribes.

It is quite apparent that the abolitionists look to a restoration through the abolition of slavery–the breaking down of a local right of the seceded States, guaranteed by the Constitution. That is what they all would most like. But there is another portion who would compromise and allow disunion, were the abolition of slavery impossible, as it is. Moncure D. Conway belongs to the latter breed of abolitionist–and so does Horace Greeley. The time has long been up with Greeley, who said if the rebellion were not crushed at a certain date, the South ought to be let alone.

Now when these abolitionists–philosophers all, in their own opinion–begin to talk of methods of restoration, we suppose all have a right to talk of them.

In the first place, then, it is not the abolition party alone that has the right to suggest the ways and means. The people of the whole country, seceded or not, have their rights under the Constitution–“the King’s Highway”–if they will only wipe out the past two and a half years, and get on the old track. The absurdity of a party claiming to control the matter will be seen at once, when we remember that the party now in power was elected by a popular vote of 931,694 minority of the whole people. Subsequent elections have made it certain that if an election could occur to-day, the party in power at Washington would not control one third–not one fourth, part of the votes of the whole people of all the States.

So, then, this pretense of the party accidentally in power that they are too discuss and arrange methods of reconstruction without the intervention of the great majority of the people, is mere presumption. It is not the way out of the woods and onto the King’s highway. And the country, which sees the only true way, is getting impatient at the delay made by those abolitionist theorists, while the country suffers so much. The people see no avenue out of the dilemma save the readiest return to the old track of the Constitution.

However we may have been accused, we have never advocated the withdrawal of our armies from the field. That we are for peace is true–as who would not be? But how are we to arrive at it? Now, while our army is, as the government informs us, stagnant from the effects of heat; and as a pyramid stands on its base and not on its apex, why not, in this interim of the suspension of fighting, propose a convention of all the States–or at least an amnesty, for constitution and arrangement?

Two years of fighting, such as the world never saw before, have not turned the final point as to conquest, or even to the suppression of the rebellion. Two more years of blood and carnage, desolation and ruin, may bring us no nearer. The flower of our young men may be cut down like grass before the mower, and yet the end, no matter what it may be, unaccomplished.

Men may sneer at this; but let such remember how they sneered at the assumed weakness of the South before the rebellion began. They made an awful error then, they may do so again. No rebellion was ever in history settled without compromise. Does history give us an example of six millions of determined people subjugated and exterminated? There is no such example. All the power of Russia, exerted for twenty-five years, has not yet subjugated (much less exterminated) the Circassians.

Why not, then, at this opportune moment, when the heat and the sickness of the camp are mutually doing to the hostile armies the work of the cannon and the bayonet, at least attempt some mode of peace, based upon the old Constitution? It seems as if the Almighty had interposed His hand to stay the slaughter and blood.

We verily believe that eight-tenths of all the people would hail such a proposition as we have suggested. Not that our army should be withdrawn; not that the proper and legal means by which to recover the Union should be relaxed; but that extermination and subjugation are impossible, and that Nature, kinder than Men, has for a time, suspended hostilities.

Who can say–both rebels and loyal men having tasted the bitter cup of civil war to its bitterest dregs–but some attempt at a fair arrangement on the basis of the old Constitution our fathers made, would from this terrible danger pluck out the very means of national restoration and safety? For it is plain we cannot fight the world, and intervention is every day more imminent; and when in two years we have failed to crush our own rebellion, why invite foreign war by refusing to offer even an armistice, and proffer arrangements? To our mind it would be the part of wisdom to propose it. Our late successes would make it magnanimous. And who can say but if it were done, another year would see this nation, after its horrible ordeal of fire and blood, emerge purified from the trial, and those now opposing bristling bayonets to each other, become more than ever brothers, a united army who would “in mutual, well becoming ranks, march all one way.”

It may be a crime in the eyes of some to make these suggestions–it may to narrow-minded men be treason. We care not. It should to our mind be the language of the press, pulpit and people.

AUGUST 15, 1863


Condition of the Confederacy.

The president of the Confederacy issued on the first, an appeal to deserters from his army to return at once, promising them free pardon if they came within twenty days, and also attempting to fire the southern heart for a last desperate effort in the failing cause, by telling them of the extermination, robbery and slavery the armies of the Union will inflict upon the South if the confederacy is destroyed. The tone of the great rebel leader exhibit perturbation and alarm almost to the point of absolute dismay, and if his people do not respond to this last call–of which there is no great prospect–Mr. Davis will evidently despair of his republic. After such hopes as his copperhead allies at the North excited, the revulsion will be too much for him, and if Charleston should soon fall, we should expect to see Davis hastening out of the country and sailing for Paris, where he has prudently sent most of his property before him. The universal tone of the southern press is despondent to a degree never seen before. They evidently see no means of recovery from their late reverses. The general distress caused by the decline of confederate money to a mere nominal value, which leads producers to hard their supplies, and rapidly increases prices of all the means of living, is causing distress in all the cities and towns of the South. Supplies for the rebel army are also obtained with great difficulty since Texas and Louisiana are severed from the confederacy. The southwestern troops in Virginia are disaffected nearly to the point of mutiny, and those of North Carolina escape to our lines whenever they can. Deserters from the rebel armies and fugitives from the conscription fill the mountain regions of Alabama and Georgia, and everywhere are seen frequent symptoms of disintegration in the military power of the South. For these reasons the rebel papers urge immediate action upon Gen. Lee in Virginia, evidently seeing that unless they strike a winning blow now, their grand experiment must come to a speedy and melancholy end. There are various reports of a quarrel between Lee and Davis, the most credible of which is, that Lee objects to the hanging of two Union prisoners, Sawyer and Flynn, at Richmond, and threatens to resign if they are hung, because he is not willing that his son, Fitz Hugh, should be hung in retaliation, as he certainly would be; but that the southern people insist upon the hanging, and Davis is in a strait between the two. Whether Davis is perplexed with this in addition to all his obvious embarrassments, is not certain, but probable enough.


General Military Matters.

The military censorship of the telegraph at Washington has died out from over-exertion and water on the brain, and it is comparatively easy now to detect the true from the false in the news coming from that quarter. Secretary Stanton has wholly given up the attempt to make the people believe that Lee’s army is routed and demoralized, or that a grand battle is imminent on the Rappahannock, or that Meade has got the rebels cornered and is sure to bag them.–The copperhead demonstration in Iowa has been crushed out, and this wing of the rebel army will not probably attempt anything more on this side of the Mississippi.–The government only waits authentic information of the bad treatment of our colored soldiers captured at Charleston (there are only vague hearsay rumors as yet) before proceeding to retaliate, according to the notice given and repeated by the president. ->

One of the most sensible measures taken by the government for procuring and organizing Negro soldiers is the sending of Frederick Douglass, the Negro orator, to accompany Adjutant General Thomas down the Mississippi to do the rhetoric of the business. And this he will do better than any other man, for although he has educated himself to a graceful use of language, he has not forgotten his own life on the plantation, and will know how to put himself into full sympathy with his brethren, while he furnishes in his own person and position an example of what they may aspire to under the benign influence of freedom. And although he hates slavery as only a black man who has tasted it can, he is not a fanatic, but a sober, practical man, more likely to do and say the right thing at the right time and in the right way, than the adjutant general, who is too recent a convert to free ideas to be their best possible exponent or administrator.


Affairs in Virginia.

It is gratifying to know that the army of the Potomac is well sheltered from the terrible heat of these days beneath the pine forests of Virginia, that the blackberry crop is abundant in that region and proves a pleasant substitute for medicine, that the first families of that section have a good stock of ice on hand, that conscripts are rapidly filling up the decimated regiments, and that on the whole the army is in excellent health and comfort, notwithstanding the fatigues of the late campaign, and is likely to have abundant time for the rest and recuperation the men so greatly need. Mosby’s rebel cavalry still hover in the rear of our army, and pick up whatever army or sutler’s wagons happen to be left without sufficient guard. These guerrillas prove to be citizens for the most part, who profess loyalty only as a cloak to their thieving operations, and Gen. Meade is taking the most effective measures to clear the country of them by arresting every citizen whose loyalty is not well established. But little is known of Gen. Lee’s operations. It is believed that he has been reinforced by Polk’s division of Bragg’s army, and it is known that he is gathering up all the horses he can find in Virginia and mounting many of his infantry. From these and other indications it is argued that he will soon resume the offensive again; indeed, that is the only line of policy now left to the rebels, as the folds of “the anaconda” contract irresistibly upon them at the Southwest. Among our won military men there is a difference of opinion as to the best course to be taken in the present aspect of affairs, some proposing the concentration of a great force in Virginia to defeat Lee’s army and take Richmond, and others believing that it is better to act on the defensive in the East, while the armies of Grant and Rosecrans move to Rome, Atlanta, Columbus and Montgomery, and establish themselves in the heart of the enemy’s country, whence the rebels draw their supplies of food, ammunition and arms, without which their eastern armies would soon be powerless. Practically it makes little difference where we meet and defeat the enemy, if the thing be done, and when Lee’s army is destroyed or badly disabled the war must soon terminate by the exhaustion of the power of the rebel leaders.

1 The “collapse” of China’s “ancient system” was the direct result of her self-sufficiency and independence. England had for decades prior to the 1830s been suffering a serious trade imbalance with the Celestial Kingdom, which, while offering a wide variety of goods for which Westerners hungered, wished no trade goods in return–only payment in silver. The flow of hard specie out of the country posed a serious threat to the United Kingdom. To counter the imbalance, the British Crown turned to opium smuggling. Using their territories in India to grow the poppies, processed opium was sold to smugglers just beyond the territorial waters of China. Imperial Chinese estimates place the number of addicts at 4,000,000; English data indicates the number to be as high as 12,000,000. Opium grew to be 57% of Chinese imports–not only removing but reversing the trade imbalance with England. The two Opium Wars fought in 1839-41 and 1857-60 were ostensibly to punish the Chinese for the executions of certain traders and missionaries, but were thinly-veiled excuses for forcing open the opium market to greater sales (and to punish the Chinese government for impounding and destroying lucrative shipments of British opium). The most successful drug dealer in all history was Queen Victoria. (Ref. When America First Met China and the Victorian Web.)

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