, 1863


One of the very few things of merit not likely to be under-estimated in these degenerate days is gold. Indeed, it is like a favorable telegram, which is taken for all it is worth, and a little more. It is so long now since gold has been used in America as a circulating medium, that people are beginning to view coins made of this material as curiosities; and industrious students are writing up the history of gold as one of the things of the past.

It is believed that at the date of the discovery of America, the stock of gold coin in Europe amounted to a value of only $150,000,000. It is estimated that from the seventh century to the fourteenth century the entire production of all the mines of Europe did not exceed $500,000 per year. The opening of the mines of Russia, which began to yield gold in 1704, made a considerable addition to the amount, and in the latter part of the eighteenth century the annual European production of gold had reached the amount of $1,000,000.

The first large quantity of gold from America was shipped in 1502, and amounted to $350,000. The annual produce of gold in America, from 1492 to 1519, is stated by Humboldt to have been $250,000. Cortez made his expedition to Mexico in 1519, and his invading army did not neglect to treasure of the country. The art of mining in Mexico had already made some progress, and after its conquest, the unhappy natives were forced to slave to enrich the victors. Twenty years later, the conquest of Peru, by Pizarro, added another and still richer gold-producing country to the world. Here it was found that mining operations had been conducted with much greater skill, and consequently better success. Meanwhile, Chile, in the hands of the Spaniards, and Brazil, in those of the Portuguese, were beginning to add their share to the gold of the world. The annual supply from the Western Continent reached, in 1546, the sum of $10,000,000, and, in the year 1600, the stock of gold in the world amounted to five times what it was in 1492. During the seventeenth century the product of the American mines gradually increased. In Peru, other mines were opened, and in Buenos Aires, new ones were discovered. The amount of coined money at the end of the seventeenth century amounted to $1,900,000,000. During the next century the large mines of Mexico had increased in productiveness, and fortunes were made by those fortunate enough to own shares in them. From 1700 to 1810 the product of American mines amounted to $4,000,000,000.

But during the twenty years immediately succeeding the year 1809, the American mines decreased greatly in productiveness. The political troubles in Mexico ad broken out in a civil war, and in consequence the mines were deserted, their works destroyed, and the supply of gold at once fell to less than one-fifth the usual amount. The same influence operated in Peru with the same results, and the whole produce of America during these twenty years was very much reduced. In 1824, some gold was discovered in North Carolina, and, a few years after, some was found in Virginia; Georgia and South Carolina also yielded small amounts; but these had little influence on the general result. The consumption of gold in England per annum, for other purposes than coinage, was estimated fifty years ago to amount to nearly $10,000,000. The amount used on the continent of Europe was about $20,000,000. In 1835, the estimated amount of coin in existence was $1,500,000,000.

The recent discoveries of gold–in California in 1848, in Australia in 1851, at Frazer’s River in British Columbia in 1858, In Nova Scotia on the upper waters of the Tangier river in 1860–have wonderfully added to the wealth of the world. The total amount of gold coin and bullion in the world was estimated in 1847 to be $3,000,000,000. For the following ten years, the yield of the mines of California amounted to about $500,000,000. The total value of the gold discoveries of Australia from 1851 to 1859 amounted to $500,000,000. These mines are annually increasing in value, and new discoveries are constantly making. In spite of the present rarity of coin in circulation in this country, we may be sure that, though much has gone abroad, none has been lost, and there may possibly be a time in the future when gold and silver will be once more used as a circulating medium in America.

Convention of North Carolina Troops.

Orange Courthouse, Va., Aug. 12.–A convention of North Carolina troops in the army of Northern Virginia met at the courthouse here to-day, and organized by appointing Col. Bryant Grimes Chairman, nine Secretaries and a committee of nine–one from each brigade–resolutions and arrangements. Col. Garrett was chairman of the committee. Resolutions were unanimously adopted pledging the fealty of the North Carolina army to the Confederacy; denouncing the Raleigh Standard and its supporters; expressing confidence that Gov. Vance will sustain the good course, and appointing Cols. Garrett, Jones, Cox and Grimes a committee to write an address to the people of the State. The convention was enthusiastic and unanimous.1


Carrying “The Flag” Into the North.—Among the paroled prisoners who have reached Richmond from the last flag of truce boat, is C. S. Clancy, color-bearer of the 1st Louisiana regiment, who was taken prisoner in the battle of the 2nd of July, at Gettysburg, while bearing his colors up to the very front of the enemy's breastworks, amid a perfect tornado of shell and bullets. Finding himself cut off from escape, and certain to be either killed or captured, Clancy tore his already bullet-torn flag from its staff, and secured it underneath his shirt. He was taken prisoner, and carried to Fort McHenry, Baltimore, and from thence sent to Fort Delaware, carrying his flag with him, not floating to the breeze, of course, but furled beneath his shirt. Clancy kept his own secret while in the fort, and when the sick and wounded prisoners were selected to be sent Southward, he feigned extreme illness, and was put on board the steamer, with a number of others, still holding fast to his regimental colors, which he brought safely away, and exhibited in this city yesterday. The flag bears the perforations of upwards of two hundred bullets and one shell, and the piece of another, passed through it in the fight at Gettysburg. Clancy is the sixth color bearer of the regiment, five having fallen in battle, with the identical flag in their grasp. The sixth, Clancy, has carried the flag for nearly a year, and he certainly can claim to have carried it farther into the North than the Confederate flag has ever yet been advanced, and, what is better, back again in triumph.–Richmond Examiner.


To Prevent “Pitting” in Small-Pox.—A Scotch physician–Dr. Smart–has announced an invention which, he asserts, has never failed in his practice to prevent the disfigurement consequent in small-pox known as “pitting.” The application consists of a solution of india-rubber in chloroform, which is painted over the face (and neck in women) when the eruption has become fully developed. When the chloroform has evaporated, which it readily does, there is left a thin elastic film of india-rubber over the face. This the patient feels to be rather comfortable than otherwise, inasmuch as the disagreeable itchiness, so generally complained of, is almost entirely removed, and, what is more important, “pitting,” once so common, and even now far from rare, is thoroughly prevented whenever the solution has been applied.


Valuable Acquisition.—The Confederate States Medical Department at Charlotte, N. C., received last week one of the most valuable cargoes of drugs from London that has ever been received in the Confederacy since the commencement of the war. In the lot are 200 cases of amputating instruments. The medicines are of the most superior quality. These drugs were bought in London by our Government and brought over at its own risk.

AUGUST 24, 1863

Mississippi Arming.

A correspondent, who was present at the late public meeting at Enterprise, Miss., writes to the Mississippian that “the people of East Mississippi are re-kindling afresh the fires of liberty on the altar of the country. Meetings are taking place here and there, with the best results. On the 13th, a mass meeting was held at Enterprise, Miss., and passed off in splendid style. Hon. J. J. McRae, J. W. C. Watson, an eminent lawyer of Holly Springs, Hon. E. Barksdale, and Senator Phelan, were present and made speeches. A preamble and some telling resolutions were passed unanimously, which are bound to have some effect in rousing us to action. The speeches were superb, and left an impression upon the hearts of the multitude that cannot be obliterated.

“The speech of the ex-Governor was good, and well received. Mr. Watson’s speech was a happy effort, eliciting cheer after cheer. He spoke of having been a prisoner in a Federal guard house, and had the opportunity of reading the leading papers of the North, and he informed us that we had no adequate conception of the growing divisions and disaffections of the people in the North. They were, he said, hopelessly divided, and that an intestine war would rage in their midst, ere many months. He gave speculators and extortioners some telling and healthy blows.

“As to the starvation process of the Federals, he said they were getting hopeless on that subject. He said some Federal prisoners were coming down the Mobile railroad, and the cars halted at Egypt station. One of the Federals walked out on one side of the platform, and glancing over the fields of corn that stretched far away in the distance like a young forest, then going to the other side, and behold, for miles and miles the waving corn greeted his eyes. He stood silent, dumb-founded, dropped his head, and as if the last lingering hope was gone, exclaimed, ‘Starve Hell!'2

“The Hon. E. Barksdale followed Mr. Watson in a stirring and eloquent speech; and as he urged us to action and sacrifices for the common good, we thought of that noble, brave and heroic brother, who had just offered up his life and poured out his blood as a fresh libation on the altar of liberty, and we gloried in the fact that we had such noble men, the very impersonation of patriotism, among us.3

“The crowning speech of the day, however, was from Senator Phelan. It was a glorious speech! Can you, Mr. Editor, print thunder, the scorching lightning’s bolt? Can you print the storm, and then the placid sky? If such a thing could be done, then we might hope to take down the speech of the Senator’s.

“It was brim full of solid logic, it abounded in burning, red hot thoughts, that stirred [the] soul to its profoundest depths; it was running over with bitter sarcasm and sparkling humor; and at times rising to the sublimest flights of eloquence.

“Well, sir, we have rekindled our fires; we have flung out our banners as if the contest had just begun; the tocsin of war peals clearer and louder than ever, and Mississippi is girding herself with armor as she has never done before.

“To arms, is the cry! Read the resolutions passed; action! nothing but action! from this time forward. The watchword, Liberty or Death, is uttered with a deeper significance.

“From this hour count fully upon Mississippi; the ball is in motion, and let us see who will take the advance of gallant Mississippians.”

The Mississippian, referring to the foregoing, says that “all the accounts we hear from Mississippi are to the same tenor. Our very blood boils with gratitude and sympathy when we read these glowing accounts from our glorious mother State. We know what the stirring of Mississippi means. We know that when their blood is up they are not very tame customers. In the hour of deep gloom and heavy depression a few of her citizens may have wavered for a moment; but, thank God, they have rallied again, and now there is only one sentiment among them. Her heroes in distant fields, who have won immortal honor, will never have occasion to blush for the State. She will maintain her proud position to the last. Three long, loud and hearty cheers for Mississippi!”

Feeling in the Army.

A gentleman of Fayetteville has received a letter from his son in Gen. Lee’s army, in which he expresses surprise and indignation at the existence of any feeling like despondency, which he ash heard exists to some extent in North Carolina. He says:

“This is all wrong. You do not find it in the army, which is just as confident as it ever was, and the fear of being overpowered or subjugated has not once presented itself to the men of this army. They are the men who do the fighting and bear the brunt of the war, and if they think themselves competent to the undertaking, why should those who are sitting off in the shade and comparatively uninterested in the contest, why should they set up the hue and cry, ‘we are whipped; we had better make peace on any terms,’ and such like erroneous and injurious statements.”

He goes on to speak of the tendency of such feelings at home to dispirit the soldiers, promote desertions, and keep the new conscripts from doing their duty. The war, he says, cannot, and will not, stop short of the independence of the Confederacy.


By Telegraph.

Charleston, August 22.–From 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. yesterday the enemy’s fire on Sumter was very heavy. Nine hundred and twenty-three shots were fired. Seven hundred and four struck the Fort, either outside or inside. The Eastern face was badly battered. Some guns on the East and North-east face were disabled. The flag was shot down four times. Five privates and two Negroes were wounded in Sumter.

The enemy’s fire on Wagner caused five casualties, including Captain Robert Pringle killed.

Our sharpshooters are annoying the Yankees considerably.

It is supposed the enemy burst one of their guns yesterday afternoon.

At eleven o’clock last night a communication from the enemy, unsigned, was sent to General Beauregard, demanding the surrender of Fort Sumter and the Morris Island batteries, with a notification that the city would be shelled in four hours if not complied with. Gen. Beauregard was on reconnoisance. Adj. Gen. Jordan returned it for the signature of the writer.

About two o’clock this morning the enemy began throwing shell into the city from their battery in the marsh, between Morris and James Islands, distant about four miles from the city. Twelve 8-inch Parrott shells fell in the city. No casualties took place. The transaction is regarded as an outrage on civilized warfare.

The shelling had a good effect on hastening the exodus of non-combatants.

At day light this morning the enemy opened vigorously on Sumter. The Ironsides has since opened. Sumter replying. Wagner is firing briskly on the enemy’s advanced works, four hundred and fifty yards from our batteries.



The Siege of Charleston.

The following interesting dispatch has been received from Admiral Dahlgren:

Flag-Ship Dinsmore,
Off Morris Island, Aug. 18th, 1863.

To Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy–Sir: Yesterday was begun another series of operations against the enemy’s works.

Early in the morning Gen. Gilmore opened all his batteries upon Fort Sumter, firing over Fort Wagner and the intermediate space. About the same time I moved up the entire available naval force, leading with my flag in the Weehawken, followed by the Catskill, Nahant and Montauk, the Passaic and Patapsco in reserve for Sumter, and the Ironsides in position opposite Fort Wagner, and the gunboats named in the margin at long range, viz: Canandaigua, J. F. Green; Mahaska, J. B. Creighton; Cameron, A. K. Hugis; Ottawa, J. L. Davis; Darling, J. L. Chaplin; Londono, Broadhead.

As the tide closed the Weehawken was closed to about 450 yards of Wagner, the other three monitors followed, and the Ironsides was taken as near as the great draft of water would permit.

After a steady and well-directed fire, Wagner was silenced about 9:30 a.m., and that of our own vessels was slackened in consequence.

In the meanwhile the fire of our shore batteries was working effectually upon the gorge of Sumter, which appeared to have been strengthened in every possible manner.

At this time the flag was shifted to Passaic, which, with Patapsco, both having rifled guns, steamed up the channel until within 2000 yards of Fort Sumter, when fire was opened on the gorge angle and southeast point of the work.

The Patapsco fired very well and is believed to have struck the southeast front nine consecutive times. To all this Sumter scarcely replied. Wagner was silenced, and Battery Gregg alone maintained a deliberate fire at the Passaic and Patapsco.

It was now noon, the men had been hard at work since daybreak and needed rest, so I withdrew the vessels to give them dinner.

During the afternoon our shore batteries continued the fire at Sumter with little or no reply from the enemy, and I contented myself with sending up the Passaic and Patapsco to prevent Wagner from repairing damages. The fort replied briskly, but in a short time left off firing. I am not able to state with exactness the result of the day’s work, but am well satisfied with what a distant view of Sumter allowed me.

Our entire power is not yet developed, as it will be daily, while the enemy is damaged without being able to repair.

The officers and men of the vessels have done their duty well and will continue to do so.

All went well with us save one sad exception. Captain Rodgers, my chief of staff, was killed, as well as Paymaster Woodbury, who was standing near him. Captain Rodgers had more than once asked on this occasion if he should go with me as usual of resume the command of his vessel, the Catskill, and he repeated the query twice during the morning, the last time on the deck of the Weehawken, while preparing to move in to action. In each instance I replied: “Do as you chose.” He finally said: “Well, I will go in the Catskill, and the next time with you.”

The Weehawken was lying about 1000 yards from Wagner, and the Catskill, with my gallant friend, just inside of me, the fire of the fort coming in steadily. Observing the tide to have risen a little I directed the Weehawken to be carried closer, and the anchor was hardly weighed when I noticed the Catskill was also under way, which I remarked to Capt. Calhoun. It occurred to me that Capt. Rodgers detected the movement of the Weehawken, and was determined to be closer to the enemy if possible. ->

My attention was called off immediately to a position for the Weehawken; and soon after it was reported that the Catskill was going out of action, with a signal flying that her captain was disabled. He had been killed instantly. It is but natural that I should feel deeply the loss thus sustained, for the close and confidential relations which the duties of the fleet captain necessarily occasioned, impressed me deeply with the worth of Capt. Rodgers.

Brave, intelligent, and highly capable, devoted to his duty and to the flag under which he passed his life, the country cannot afford to lose such men. Of a kind and generous nature, he was always prompt to give relief when he could. I have directed that all respect be paid his remains, and the country will not, I am sure, omit to honor the memory of one who has not spared his life in her hour of trial.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John A. Dahlgren,
Rear Admiral, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.



Col. Burke, of Gen. Rosecrans’ army, reached Cincinnati on Thursday last, and says . . . that Pemberton’s Vicksburg army has gone to pieces. The Texans left in a body for home, and the Tennesseeans and Alabamians were leaving it in numberless squads. Over ten thousand Tennesseeans have reported to the provost marshal of the Army of the Cumberland, as deserters from the rebels, having all come into our lines since Gen. Rosecrans’ advance on Tullahoma.

The suggestion of General Spinola that the troops in North Carolina wear straw hats has been carried out to a certain extent. The Massachusetts 23d have received a supply. Each hat is bound with blue galloon, and sports a blue ribbon one inch wide with the figures 23 in gold painted thereon, making a very neat appearance. They were manufactured by the young ladies at the Union Straw Works in Foxborough.

General Sickles, who lost his right leg at Gettysburg, is stopping at the Fort William Henry Hotel, Lake George. He moves about easily on crutches, and is in excellent spirits. His friends state that it is his intention to resume command of his corps within a fortnight.

Officers recently arrived in Washington from the front report that no movement whatever has taken place in either General Meade’s or General Lee’s army beyond the occasional skirmishing in which the cavalry are daily engaged. The position of both armies is unchanged.

The practice of desertion by substitutes under the draft has become so prevalent that hereafter, the extreme penalty of martial law will be awarded to such delinquents as may be recaptured, and extraordinary efforts made to effect that object.

The miners in the coal regions of Pennsylvania are receiving the extraordinary pay of $90 to $125 per month, not working over eight hours of the day.

AUGUST 26, 1863


The glorious intelligence of the fall of Fort Sumter is announced on the authority of the Richmond papers of Monday, which state that the fort was surrendered on Sunday, 23d. On Saturday, according to the rebel dispatches, 904 shots were fired at Sumter, of which 419 struck. The guns of the fort were all dismounted, and the walls sadly broken down, so that the work must be little better than a ruin. The Richmond Examiner has a Charleston dispatch stating that Gen. Gilmore opened fire on the city at midnight on Sunday. Non-combatants were fast leaving the doomed city. A Washington dispatch states that the government is in possession of no information relating to the surrender, and traces the many reports current to the Richmond papers. But there can be little doubt, we think, of the truth of the report. The arrival of the Arago, which was to leave Charleston on Monday, will now be hourly looked for with anxious interest.


Petroleum.—The article of petroleum, or coal oil, is assuming a great importance in the commerce of this country. The wells from which it is obtained, either by pumping or spontaneous flow, furnish a most enormous quantity at a very moderate cost, even including the transportation to the seaboard. Some of the wells which contributed largely at first have given out, but others are added as new fields are discovered, so that the production is still on the increase.

The low prices at which this oil was at first sold opened for it a ready market in Europe, and did more for its introduction than could have been accomplished by any formal introduction and recommendation.

Few persons not brought in contact with the business have any idea of its magnitude; and we propose to aid a little in their effort to comprehend it by a few plain statistics.

The shipments of petroleum from New York to foreign ports since January 1st have reached thirteen and a half million gallons, valued at five million dollars. The shipments from Philadelphia for the same period have been about four million gallons, valued at one million dollars (more of the crude being shipped thence); from Boston, one and a half million gallons; from Baltimore, three-fourths of a million gallons; making from these four ports a total shipment, in less than eight months, of about twenty million gallons, valued at nearly six million dollars. There is a paper published at Philadelphia, and exceedingly well conducted, which is devoted exclusively to the exposition of this trade.–New York Journal of Commerce, Aug. 25.


From San Francisco and the Sandwich Islands.

San Francisco, Aug. 23.–The steamer Oregon has arrived from the northwestern parts of Mexico, bringing $114,000 in treasure and 250 packages of specimen ores from the mines of Sonora and Sinaloa. The various California mining companies engaged in developing the silver mines were in good spirits at their prospects.

Sandwich Island dates of July 25 are received. The news is unimportant. The number of foreign vessels which had arrived at Honolulu during the first half of the present year is less by half than during the corresponding period of last year.

There was a great scarcity of laborers for the sugar plantations, and parties were earnestly urging the Government authorities to import coolies from Polynesia. The population of the islands is decreasing more rapidly than at any former period. It is now estimated that they contain only about 66,000 inhabitants.

An Interesting Document.
[From the Detroit Advertiser, August 13.]

The following interesting document, now in the possession of an officer of the Ninth Michigan Infantry, was found recently at Winchester, Tenn., having been in the possession of the family of Mr. Turney, former United States Senator from Tennessee. The agreement is in his handwriting. The signatures are all autographs:

“We will avail ourselves of any and every means, which a majority of those signing this paper may determine, to prevent the admission of California as a State unless her southern boundary be reduced to 36 deg., 30 min., and, if California be admitted with the boundaries prescribed, that such admission be allowed only after the people of California shall have assented thereto. This admission may be allowed, if necessary, by a proclamation of the President.

[Signed:] “H. L. Turney, A. P. Butler, D. R. Atchison, D. L. Yulee, Pierre Soule, Jeff. Davis, Jeff. Clemens, J. M. Mason, D. R. W. Barnwell, Jackson Morton

“August 2, 1850.”

On the back of this paper was endorsed the following, in Mr. Turney’s handwriting:

“August–Mr. Soule moved that we resist by all parliamentary means the passage of the bill; and the vote stood as follows: for the motion were Messrs. Davis, Turney, Soule, Morton, Yulee–5; against it were Messrs. Barnwell, Butler, Mason, Hunter, Atchison–5. Lost by a tie vote.”

The reader familiar with the debates of that day will recall the circumstances under which the above pledge was probably made. The Southern leaders, as is well known, were opposed to the admission of California as a free State, contending that it would break the balance of power which had so carefully been maintained in keeping the number of free and slave States equal, and thus endanger the rights of the South. It became apparent, however, that California could not be kept out of the Union, and that it must come in as a free State. An effort was made by the amendment of Senator Foote of Mississippi, to fix the southern boundary of that State on the line of 36 deg., 30 min., with the intention of organizing the Territory of Colorado south of that line, and subsequently bringing this in as a slave State. The above secret agreement shows how clearly the leading Southern men saw that freedom was getting the advantage, and how desperately they were prepared to resist. As is well known, they utterly failed. We should say that Mr. Foote was willing the State should be admitted with the boundaries she presented, and the division made afterwards. Mr. Davis opposed this, and advocated the division before the admission, contending that after admission the whole territory would come under the operation of the Wilmot proviso. It will be seen that Foote’s name is not appended to the above. This secret agreement is now doubtless brought to light for the first time.


Signs of Peace in North Carolina.

The most significant sign of returning peace that has appeared of late–or even since the Slaveholders’ Rebellion broke out–is the publication of a letter in the Raleigh Standard, which has recently been referred to in telegraphic dispatches. The letter is said to be the joint production of Hon. R. S. Donnell, formerly member of Congress from the 2d district of North Carolina, now speaker of the House of Commons of that state, and Hon. F. B. Satterthwaite, the president of the governor’s council of that state, and published with the approval of Gov. Vance. It may therefore be taken to represent the opinions of the executive of the state, and of the most influential classes, and may be considered as a semi-official declaration of the opinions and feelings of the state. In this view it is of the highest significance.

The letter arraigns the secession leaders for commencing the war upon insufficient grounds, and charges them with having involved the South in its difficulties against the reason and convictions of the southern people. It also acknowledges that there is no reason to complain of the way in which the United States government has prosecuted the war, and closes by declaring that a peace on the basis of division is now impossible. North Carolina is ready for peace on any other honorable terms, and suggests a general convention of the states as a means of reaching a basis of settlement. The letter opens with a history of the means used by the southern conspirators to promote secession, and says that if the South had labored under any real grievance, it should first have demanded redress, and if refused, should have fought for its rights in the Union. But the leaders were bent on war, and assured the southern people that it should be a short war, that England and France would assist, that all the slave states except Delaware would join the confederacy, and that it would soon become the most wealthy and powerful of nations. How these promises have failed of realization the letter proceeds to show:

“So far from the wars ending in six months, as they said it would, should it ensue, it has already lasted more than two years, and if their policy is to be pursued, it will last more than two years longer; and notwithstanding their predictions, the Yankees have fought on many occasions with a spirit and determination worthy of their ancestors of the revolution–worthy of the descendants of those austere old Puritans whose heroic spirit and religious zeal made Oliver Cromwell’s army the terror of the civilized world, or those French Huguenots, who, thrice in the sixteenth century, contended with heroic spirit and various fortunes against all the genius of the house of Lorraine, and all the power of the house of Valois. England and France have not recognized us–have not raised the blockade–have not shown us any sympathy, nor is there any probability that they ever will–and that cotton is not the king is now universally acknowledged. And Maryland has not joined the confederacy, nor has Kentucky or Missouri ever really been with us. Slavery has not only not been perpetuated in the states, nor extended into the territories, but Missouri has passed an act of emancipation, and Maryland is ready to do so rather than give up her place in the Union, and the best hope of obtaining one foot of the territories for the purpose of extending slavery has departed from the confederacy forever. The grievances caused by the failure of some of the northern states to execute the fugitive slave law have not only been remedied, but more slaves have been lost to the south forever since secession was inaugurated, than would have escaped from their masters in the Union in five centuries. And how have they kept their promise that they would respect the sovereignty and rights of the states? Whatever the government may be in theory, in fact we are a grand military consolidation, which almost entirely ignores the existence of the states, and disregards the decisions of their highest judicial tribunals. The great central despotism at Washington, as they were pleased to call it, was, at any time previous to the commencement of the secession movement, and even for some time after it had commenced, a most mild and beneficent government, compared with the central despotism at Richmond under which we are now living.

“Instead of an early and permanent establishment of the wealthiest and best government in the world, with unbounded credit, what have we got? In spite of all the victories which they profess to have obtained over the Yankees, they have lost the states of Mississippi and Tennessee, and in my humble opinion have lost them forever; and in all probability, Alabama will soon be added to the number. This will leave to the confederacy but five states out of the original thirteen and of these five the Yankees have possession of many of the most important points, and one-third of their territory. ->

So far, the Yankees have never failed to hold every place of importance which they have taken, and present indications are that Charleston will soon be added to the number. The campaign of Gen. Lee into Pennsylvania has undoubtedly proved a failure, and with it the last hope of conquering a peace by a successful invasion of the enemy’s country. Our army has certainly been very much weakened and dispirited y this failure and the fall of Vicksburg, and how long even Richmond will be safe, no one can tell. As the Richmond Enquirer said some time ago, ‘They are slowly but surely gaining upon us, acre by acre, mile by mile,’ and unless Providence interposes in our behalf–of which I see no indications–we will, at no great distance of time, be a subjugated people.” . . .


The Canadians Alarmed.

Mr. Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a Canadian, has written a letter to the Montreal Gazette, in which, after a long preamble on the necessity of vigilance, he asks if the condition of Canada at this time is critical, and if her statesmen are on the lookout for possible contingencies. He desires to know if England would “stand by Canada should the worse come to the worst.” These questions are to be called up before the Canadian Parliament, which meets on Thursday next. He is afraid that a lack of vigilance would lay Canada “prostrate at the feet of the Northern Americans before 1864 is half past.” He speaks of the haste shown in the completion, by our government, of Fort Montgomery at Rouse’s point, which will hold supplies for 100,000 men, and has barrack accommodations for 5000.

The plan of invasion, which he has upon “no doubtful information,” is to march an army of 100,000 men up the Montreal district “to cut the connection between Upper and Lower Canada, not to meddle in local affairs, but to enforce the separation by the mere fact of its presence.” He wants the members of Parliament on the way to Quebec to stop and look at the fortifications. He thinks that it is for the interest of England to help Canada in an emergency, for the short route to China and the Indies lies through her territory. For himself, he does not believe that England would help, and hence he counsels preparation.


Southern Ladies.—The Union officers and soldiers have had their estimate of the ladies of the South considerably taken down by what they have seen of them. A recent letter from an officer of our army in the southwest draws this picture of the southern ladies:

“I have talked with a great many of the women who came to Rousseau for their rations, and find them in most cases indifferent to the return of their liege lords. There is a startling amount of immorality among them. In their habits, such as smoking, chewing and ‘dipping,’ they are most disgusting. I was sitting in the tent of Capt. Williams, at Rousseau’s a day or two since, admiring the delicate, well-turned features of a woman who, had she been educated, would have been thought beautiful, and was about to express some such idea to Captain Williams, when she turned her head to one side and, with the air and appearance of a practiced chewer, ‘spirited’ a stream of saliva from her thin lips, and then, throwing away the tobacco she had been chewing, took from her pocket a small phial of snuff, and with a spoon shaped bit of wood filled her mouth with the filthy drug. ‘Major, allow me,’ said another young and beautiful damsel to a friend of mine who had just filled his pipe. At the same time she took a cob pipe from her pocket and filled it with the major’s strong smoking tobacco, and puffed away with the most perfect, but by no means charming, nonchalance. The ignorance of these people is as disgusting as their manners.  I am told by some members of the Christian Commission that they have ten times the number of applications from slaves for reading matter, primers, &c., than they have from the white citizens. At the headquarters of Gen. Cowan, at Rousseau, rations are issued to 235 persons daily, and the picture I have drawn of them will apply to all I have seen in this vicinity. I have seen no better class of chivalry yet. I suppose and hope they have gone South.”


, 1863

Hip, Hip Hurrah!

We have splendid news from Charleston. Sumter has again fallen, this time having surrendered to the Federal guns under Gen. Gilmore. Our information is not as full as we wish it was. The dispatch states that Sumter has surrendered and that Charleston is being shelled. This would indicate a speedy solution of the question who will occupy Charleston. At any rate we shall look for its surrender in season to vote on next Tuesday; but should it not come then we are sure it will soon after. It is two years and four months since the stars and stripes were lowered on Sumter’s flag-staff–they are now raised again. Let us thank God and take courage.

We have the most exciting news from Kansas. It seems a band of Guerrillas from Missouri, under the famous Quantrell, invaded the state on Thursday night, surrounded the city of Lawrence, and after pillaging the stores of everything they wanted, and shooting large numbers of citizens, set fire to the place. The excitement throughout the state was intense. Troops had been sent in pursuit of the marauders, but with little prospect of intercepting them.

Late accounts from Kansas represent the recent outrage at Lawrence as a most horrible piece of work. The list of killed and wounded citizens is said to number 180, the majority of whom were killed outright. Among those killed were the Mayor and his son, and a number of other prominent citizens–all shot down in their own houses, in the midst of their families. Pillage and murder has not before during the war been carried to such a fearful extent. Still later intelligence reports Quantrell overtaken and 60 or 70 of his men killed and much of the plunder recovered. We hope this is true. This outrage on Lawrence is but another illustration of the beauties of slavery and its twin brother, secession.

Refugees from Richmond report a guard about Jeff Davis’ home to prevent him from escaping from the confederacy. (More likely to prevent the men he has deluded from cutting his throat.) They also report great consternation over the expected capture of Charleston. It will be well to remember that deserters and refugees deal largely in “blatherskite.”

Thomas D’Arcy McGee, who appears to be constitutionally an agitator, has occasioned no little excitement throughout the Canadas, by predicting a scheme of invasion on the part of the United States. He points with apprehension to the fort at Rousse’s Point, and gets himself–and his brother Canucks–into a great frenzy about the Yankees. McGee should have a guardian.

The draft has progressed quietly in New York city the week past. Many prominent men have been hit. There is quite an army of Union troops in the city, and any attempt at rioting would be fatal to those engaged; and as far as is known there is no disposition to resist the laws.

Gen. Rosecrans attacked Chattanooga, Tenn., on the 21st inst., and made a marked impression on the place with his effective batteries. The town is well fortified and our progress will be slow, but its eventual downfall is certain.

The Draft–Conscripts–Substitutes.

The draft has been sufficiently tried in several of the states so that now some approximate calculations can be made respecting its results as relates to the filling up of our armies in the field. The impression is gaining ground that for army purposes the draft has and will prove a failure. It has evidently fallen short of the expectations of the government and of the men who made the conscript law.

It is believed that of the whole number of conscripts drawn in the free states not over 75,000 will be accepted, including the substitutes. Although this is probably far behind the expectations of the government at the outset, yet if these 75,000 were reliable men they would go far towards filling up the thinned ranks of the regiments now in the field. But the testimony of those who have to do with the substitutes represent them as anything but reliable. Rev. Sam’l Fisk writes that $21,000 worth of these substitutes deserted from the army near Elk Run, Va., in the three days previous to Aug. 17. He says rather than send such a class of criminals to the army as a large majority of the substitutes thus far have been, a better plan would be, as soon as the substitutes are regularly accepted and mustered into the United States service, to send them to the several state penitentiaries for three years or during the war, as they could be guarded more cheaply and safely there than here, and our army will be likely to have as much other business on hand as we can attend to, without the extra duty of guarding their criminals. He entreats the conscripts hereafter to give their $300 rather than send substitutes that they won’t “warrant for one year,” as the money can’t damage the country, but every murderer and rioter sent to the army does.

If the government had foreseen the effect of a draft very likely it would have filled up the armies by volunteering; bit the experiment had never been proved and the feeling was quite general that a draft should be made as an easier and more equitable method of raising men. And the democratic presses and politicians were as eager to have a conscription law as those of any party; and even Seymour was elected governor of New York on the cry raised for a “more vigorous prosecution of the war.” That is what loyal men still insist upon. The government is not to blame if the draft proves an entire failure. We are all in the ship together, and if we would weather the storm we must all stand by to lend a helping hand while the storm lasts.


A Full Vote.

Every voter owes next Tuesday to his country. Every vote cast for the Union ticket is a vote against secession South and secret treason North. Every vote cast for the Union ticket will have a silent but powerful influence in aiding to crush this rebellion–particularly will this be true if the vote is large and the majority overwhelming. The greater the majority over copperheadism the greater the influence.

Loyal men of Vermont! Maine and Massachusetts, and indeed the whole North, are looking anxiously for your report next Tuesday. Let every man do his duty.

AUGUST 29, 1863


Greek Fire.
[From the New York Journal of Commerce, Aug. 28.]

General Beauregard seems to have been suddenly and seriously affected by the appearance in Charleston of the fiery messengers from Gen. Gilmore, and so affected that it entirely escaped his memory that two years ago he threw similar messengers into Sumter when Anderson and his brave band were holding that fortress. Similar, we say, for it makes very little difference whether the fire which is sent into a besieged place be in the shape of red hot iron or burning mixtures. We cannot see the difference between throwing red hot shot into Sumter and setting fire to its wooden buildings, making that place a miniature hell for the brave men who were in it, and throwing cold shot with fiery mixtures inside of them to kindle flames in Beauregard’s quarters in the city of Charleston. War has its horrors, and there are barbarities which are not permitted in civilized warfare. But all nations, so far as we know, have been in the habit of using weapons of this class down to the present times. The British threw “stink balls” in the last war and in the Crimean campaign–“villainous compounds” not unlike what Beauregard complains of. Arrows and missiles charged with flames and fire have always been used in sieges.

The Greek fire of history was probably a compound of common sulphur and pitch. The generic name of Greek fire has been given to all kinds of incendiary compounds inclosed in shells and thrown into cities for the purpose of firing them. There are several patents out for these compounds, and the exact methods of mixing and using them are known only to the inventors. But the basis of them all is said to be phosphorous dissolved in bisulphide of carbon. The latter is a very curious liquid, having all the apparent purity of distilled water, and a very high retractive power, but evolving, on evaporation, or combustion, the foulest stench known to chemical science–a science which positively revels in nauseous odors. It has the extraordinary property of dissolving phosphorous freely, and preserving it in a fluid state for any length of time when kept from the air. The compound kindles at a heat as low as that of phosphorous alone. When the shell, charged with this “villainous mixture,” explodes by percussion or otherwise, the dissolved phosphorous is set on fire and scattered far and wide. Wherever it strikes, it burns for a long time with an almost inextinguishable flame, and ignites all combustible materials that it touches. At the same time, the bisulphide of carbon throws out its abominable odors, and assists­­­ in keeping soldiers at a respectable distance.


Morris Island, S. C., Aug. 24, 1863.

There is little to note concerning the operations of yesterday. Though Fort Sumter has been rendered useless for defence, the big guns in our batteries were deliberately engaged in rounding off its remaining angles and putting on the finishing touches of its destruction.

That Battery Wagner is a hard nut to crack must by this time be apparent to the people of the North. It is not yet in our possession, though foot by foot and yard by yard our brave soldiers are digging their way into it. During the bombardment of seven days not a moment has been lost in the work before Fort Wagner. With its supplies cut off and our men wielding the pickaxe and the spade under its very parapet, the prospect of its early transfer to federal ownership daily brightens. The destruction of Sumter relieves guns and batteries which may now be otherwise employed. That Wagner is destined to feel their power and yield before them is considered certain.->

The rebel warrior who, with twenty thousand men, drove seventy men out of Sumter some eight and twenty months ago, is terribly incensed at General Gilmore’s “style.” He has, if I am rightly informed, allowed himself to be betrayed into all sorts of angry expressions, and threatens terrible retaliation. He calls Gilmore a barbarian. He protests in the name of civilization and Christianity against the latter’s proceedings. He forgets the little affair which occurred on this island when he fired on the flag of his country and loosed upon the nation all the horrors of civil war. Let him protest. He may get as mad as he pleases, and tear his hair in his rage if he wants to. Hard words are not going to drive us away. Where bullets and batteries have failed, horrible threats will not be likely to deter us.

That Gen. Gilmore means business is evident from the fact that the “Swamp Angel” was again trained upon the city last night, and several of her messengers waited upon its inhabitants, if any yet remain. The guns of the James Island batteries continued to play upon this pet piece of ours with great animation all night, but without damage as far as I can learn. Think of a shell flying noiselessly through four or five miles of space, dropping suddenly among the sleepy people, exploding as it strikes, and as it explodes, scattering a seething, liquid flame which no water will extinguish, and you may perhaps imagine the consternation which these “errand runners” produce. Fly on, ye winged messengers! Search out the hiding places of traitors, and in all the nests they have builded scatter destruction and death.


A Stevenson, Ala., dispatch dated the 27th says a part of Gen. Wilder’s force met thirty rebels at Hanover on that day, killed three and captured two. The latter state that the Chattanooga Rebel admits the fall of Charleston, also that Lee has been defeated by General Meade. It also learns that General Burnside’s advance had reached Kingston on Tuesday and after a short engagement had whipped Forrest. Bragg’s army is reported as moving towards Atlanta.


According to the Rochester (N. Y.) Union, there has been recently an active demand in Canada for steamers to be used in running the blockade. Parties have purchased all the craft they could get and are looking for more. The Bowmanville, Arabian and Clyde, all of the Lake Ontario fleet, are now understood to be somewhere in salt water, in the hands of blockade runners. An offer of $35,000 was recently made for the steamer Zimmermann, which was burned at Niagara, but it was not accepted. The agents of the blockade runners, who are looking for steamers, the Union thinks, must be desperate, and quite willing to take great risks of navigation as well as of capture, or they would not purchase such craft as they do. They have bought lake steamers wholly unfitted to navigate those waters, much less the ocean.


1 See the entry from the Hartford Daily Courant of 18 August 1863, “Highly Important from North Carolina: Rebel Troops Take the Oath of Allegiance;” this 23 August article is in reaction to the earlier piece.

2 The fertility of the South was never an issue; her insufficient and inefficient railroad network was simply incapable of moving supplies where they were most needed. Lack of salt to preserve food was also a critical weakness. 

3 Brigadier-General William Barksdale was mortally wounded on 2 July 1863 at Gettysburg; he died the following day in a Union field hospital. Reference.

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