, 1863

The Condition of Louisiana.

A letter to the New York Times, from New Orleans, says that port Hudson is now occupied by Negro troops. Speaking of the condition of things in Louisiana, the writer says:

There is a vast difference in the character of the country lying above Baton Rouge and that below. Above they have been searching for their “rights” by erecting batteries and firing at steamers from every bend in the river. The result of their search is that where once there were towns and princely dwelling house there is to-day nothing but gloomy chimneys ad desolation; where once were prosperous communities and happy families, there are now only ruin, desertion and homeless vagabonds.

Below Baton Rouge the chivalry have not been so vigorously in search of their “rights,” and in consequence both banks of the river are continued successions of pictures of wealth, quiet, refinement and happiness. Not a single feature of destruction mars the view, save at Donaldsonville; here a few gentlemen took their rifles and endeavored to find their “rights” by sending a few volleys into some passing vessels. They got their “rights” in the shape of four Negro regiments now encamped there, and they will for a long time be enabled to remember the results of their adventure by the scorched chimneys which mark where once stood their beautiful town.

One would scarcely think, as he passes down from Baton Rouge, that a bloody war is convulsing the country., Steam issues from the mills, smoke from the chimneys of the planters’ houses and the Negro quarters, green oceans of sugar cane are rippled by the cool breezes of the Gulf, and song of the Negro is borne through the stillness of the night–everywhere, in short, are evidences of prosperity and quiet. There is but one feature that shows differently from that of old. There is evidently a sullen constraint among the residents; they do not sit on piazzas and watch the passage of river life, but conceal themselves, and, with closed doors and windows, resolutely ignore our existence.

This, however, we can submit to, without being seriously injured or mortified. With us is the consideration that we have made all these people happy, kept them wealthy, and preserved for them their homes and property in spite of themselves. If they choose to haunt their back kitchens in preference to their front parlors, or to sit in darkened rooms instead of admitting the beautiful, healthy sunlight, we can cheerfully, without compromising the dignity of the Government, afford to forgive them such petty slights. There are any quantity of miserable devils who are now encased in ragged gray, who are starving, fighting, and dying all over the South, who would most gladly exchange positions with them. Their lot is not the hardest known in the history of this present war.->

The first thing that strikes one as he passes along the levee of New Orleans is the Sabbath-like stillness that seems to reign over the city. The levee, as far as they eye can see reach, is bare of everything save a rich crop of grass, which, although a fine thing in an artistical point of view, is not calculated to convey a great idea of commercial activity and prosperity. A few Gulf steamers and merchantmen and a half-dozen river boats are tied up to the landing–one or two have up steam and seem to have been somewhere, or to be about to start for some other point; but the majority look as if anything to do is a thing of the past, or of a very indefinite period in the future.


Vegetables Needed at Fort Sumter.—A note from the Surgeon at Fort Sumter informs us that the men of the garrison are beginning to suffer seriously from the want of vegetables. We trust that this need of the brave soldiers, who are so resolutely holding the famous stronghold, will be at once supplied.1


Lamentable Accident.—On Saturday last, Lieutenants Payne and Hasker were proceeding to make some experiments in the harbor. The boat, which contained a crew of nine men, unfortunately parted from its moorings and sank. Five of the crew were drowned. Up to a late hour on Sunday, neither the bodies nor the boat had been recovered. The names of four unhappy men were as follows: Frank Doyle, John Kelly, Michael Cane and Nicholas Davis. All of these belonged to the Chicora. The name of the fifth, who belonged to the Palmetto State, we have not yet heard.2


Mr. Editor: I see that I am represented, in an extract from a Northern paper, published in yours, as having advanced and shaken hands with the officer from the enemy bearing a flag of truce to Battery Wagner on – inst. This statement is absolutely false. I have ever held that in such a war as this, no civility should be exchanged, even during a flag of truce, except such as is necessary for the transaction of business. Accordingly, in the interview alluded to, and to which I was accompanied by an Officer-of-the-Line and an Orderly, I declined the hand of the enemy’s officer, as I have declined the hand, in various interviews, of every one of his officers–company, field, staff and general–who has offered me his, deeming that the formal salutation of a bow and the announcement of my name and position were all that was necessary for the transaction of business. Any more cordial greeting of the enemy, in such a war as this, is contrary, in my judgment, to all that is becoming, and is abhorrent to every feeling of my nature.

Carlos Tracy.
August 27, 1863.

AUGUST 31, 1863

Menacing Attitude of Japan.

The news from Japan is highly important. The reported destruction of the residence of the American Minister is confirmed. The circumstances show plainly that it was fired in accordance with a premeditated plot, the flames originating in an unused part of the building after a rainy day. The Tycoon’s government, after repeated promises to the contrary, had refused to pay to the English Chargé the first installment of the Richardson indemnity. The Governor of Kanazawa, while expressing regret for the circumstance, stated that he had received instruction s from the Tycoon not to pay the money on penalty of death. The English as once prepared for coercive measures.

In the meantime, the Japanese taking alarm, gave assurances that the Tycoon’s government was still friendly toward foreigners. It was soon learned, however, that this officer was a prisoner in the hands of the chiefs at Miaco, where he had been compelled with to sign an order of non-compliance with the British demands.

Meanwhile the British Admiral Kuper had brought up strong reinforcements from China, and was preparing for offensive operations. On the 24th, the Japanese paid $300,000 as part of the indemnity, promising to pay the residue the next day.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a Japan letter dated June 24th, which states that the Japanese have written to the foreign ministers, declaring all open ports closed, and ordering all foreigners out of the country within thirty days. This is a virtual declaration of war by the natives. The foreign ministers immediately held a council, but its action had not transpired when the steamer sailed.


The Wounded at Gettysburg.–Information from Gettysburg states that there is but one general and two corps hospitals in that place, containing a total number of fifteen hundred wounded. In the general hospital there are about twelve hundred, and nine hundred and thirty-seven of them have wounds of the most dangerous character, being in the limbs and head. About one-half the number are rebel wounded, including Generals Trimble and Kemper, who are still in a bad condition.


A refugee from Richmond states that the rebel authorities and prominent citizens have grown very despondent about Charleston. They concede it certain to fall. Rebel soldiers, particularly from North Carolina, Virginia and South-western regiments, are deserting in large numbers. The deserters carry away their arms, and organizing into bands, defy their pursuers. Frequent skirmishes occur between deserters and detachments sent to capture them, in which the latter are almost invariably worsted.


The provost marshal in this district and probably every other district, have received orders to publish no longer a daily list of diseases and malformations for which men are exempted, but to give their names stating merely “physical disability.” It is a good thing that this indecent exposure has been checked. The strictures of the press have had much to do with effecting the change.

Southern Piety.

When the leaders of the rebellion cut themselves loose from all constitutional obligations and dragged the Southern States out of the Union by the grossest fraud, violating every oath which had been given solemnly and before High Heaven, loyal men had a right to question their motives. That they were selfish, unprincipled and wicked, was a fact too clear for dispute. True, to this day, Jeff Davis issues proclamations for Fasts, and invites prayer in behalf of the bogus government he represents, while Southern clergymen bow down in apparent meekness and ask Divine favor upon the temple of slavery, and the destruction of all those who love liberty and good government, all of which is called piety; but it is nothing, more or less, than mockery. The idea of a prayer meeting held by Jeff Davis, the repudiator and traitor; Floyd, the thief; Quantrell, the murderer; and others of the same class of morals, is more ridiculous than sublime. We find, however, that the Confederacy is getting tired of Divine Supplications, having come to the conclusion that they are not answered, and the Examiner of Richmond thus expresses itself thereon. If any man doubts that the result of secession is not infidelity and atheism, let him read this:

“Fast days and thanksgiving days strike the ear with a puritanical sound, always disagreeable, and now pre-eminently hateful. They smack of latter day sanctity; savor of the nasal twang, and recall disagreeable reminiscences of Praise-God Barebones, the Pilgrim Fathers, and their Yankee descendants."3


A Deserter Sells himself as a Substitute Seven Times.–Among the deserters arrested in Boston was one from a Massachusetts regiment, who had succeeded in hiring himself as a substitute seven times, obtaining the bounty, and had deserted each time. After deserting from the regiment in which he enlisted, he returned to Boston, and went into the business of substitution. He lodged at one of the fashionable hotels, dressed handsomely and entertained his friends in princely style; but when he wanted to hire as a substitute he would dress in coarse, rough clothes, and disguise himself in such a way that it was impossible to recognize him as the gay and fashionable “swell” of the first-class hotel. He would probably have continued to play this game while the war lasted, but he incautiously wrote a letter to a fellow-soldier in his old regiment, telling him what glorious times he was having in Boston, representing in glowing language his new business of going as a substitute, told how many times he had “fooled them,” and wound up advising the soldier to desert and come home, and “coin money by going as a substitute. The soldier addressed had no such intention, and he showed the letter to his colonel, who forwarded it to the Provost-Marshal General at Washington, who speedily caused the arrest of the deserter-substitute, and he was forwarded to his regiment a few days ago. He will, in all probability, be shot.


Fort Wagner had not been taken Wednesday morning. The evidences that Sumter is knocked to pieces and rendered harmless have accumulated to such an extent that there can no longer be any doubt upon the subject. Rebel advices to the 28th state that the federals were hard at work in the trenches before Wagner. No further attempt had been made to shell the city.


Negroes and the Black Flag.–The Richmond Dispatch talks savagely about the threat of the United States government to retaliate if its colored soldiers are not treated as prisoners of war when captured, and insists that the confederate government cannot yield its right to punish its slaves who have fled to the enemy. It therefore predicts that there will be no further exchange of prisoners, and that the war is approaching a bloody period, when no prisoners will be taken. A correspondent of the Atlanta, (Ga.) Appeal states that the game of retaliation has already begun in the Southwest; that some fifty Negroes in the United States service having been captured by the confederates near Port Hudson, were subsequently shot. The correspondent says:

“It is said that Colonel Logan has taken the entire responsibility, and that the Negroes aforesaid were shot soon after the engagement at a little place called Centerville, twenty miles from Jackson, La. It is said also that prior to the execution, General Andrews, learning the intended fate of the slaves, sent a communication under flag of truce from Port Hudson, warning Col. Logan that if he executed the Negroes he would immediately retaliate, as he had the material in his possession. If this should prove true, the Pandora box of this war is now opened in earnest, and the skull and cross-bones will become the insignia of the southern battle-flag.”


Items About the Draft.

The conscripts examined in this district yesterday numbered 94. Sixty-one were exempt, 41 for disability. Thirty-seven paid commutation, only 10 of whom, however, were examined yesterday.

In the 9th district 345 men were examined last week, 99 accepted, and 40 were sent to Long Island. One hundred and forty-six men in all have paid commutation money to Collector Alvord, making the sum received $43,890. Rev. Alonzo P. Johnson is the only man who has passed from Charlemont, and Samuel D. Rice the only one from Rowe.

There were 744 examinations in the third district last week, and the exemptions numbered 558, including 203 for alienage, 11 for disability, and 194 for other causes. Sixty-nine commuted, 35 furnished substitutes, and 5 reported for duty. There are 1000 conscripts in this district who have not reported, and it is believed, will not voluntarily.

Only 136 were examined in the fourth district last week, of whom 42 were exempted for disability, 14 for alienage, 70 for other causes, 37 furnished substitutes, and 14 commuted.

Seven hundred men were drafted in Worcester. Of this number 182 were passed by the surgeon, 185 were exempted for physical disability,231 for alienage and other causes, and 102 have never reported, and now stand as deserters. Of the 182 men accepted, 89 have paid commutation, 18 drafted men have been sent to Long Island, 49 have furnished substitutes, 12 have been furloughed for further hearing upon their claims for exemption, and 4 have not reported after being accepted.

Volunteering in New Jersey is proceeding very briskly. About 5000 men have been obtained since Gov. Parker’s proclamation was issued. Three new batteries are complete, and one regiment of cavalry and two regiments of infantry will be completed during the week. Almost every township in the state is at work, and it is expected that in a few days the quota of New Jersey will be filled by voluntary enlistments.

General News Summary.

The New Jersey shore is subsiding, or being washed under by the sea, at the rate of two feet in a hundred years. In a few thousand centuries the peach growing state will be entirely washed away.

At the meeting of the Sunday school teachers’ association of New York state, on Wednesday last, Gen. Wool was present and made a speech, in which he repeated a prediction he had made in New York, that the western powers of Europe would  rush “in at the death” to the rescue of the southern confederacy. Those powers, he said, will act with a preconcerted and terrible promptness. Their combined fleets of iron clads will attempt to place our Atlantic cities at their mercy. Gen. Wool assumes that the destruction of the Union is the concerted policy of Europe, without their aid if possible, but with their aid if necessary.4

The enlistment of colored troops in the lower counties of Maryland is progressing favorably. The slaves are glad to enlist in order to escape servitude. Generally, their owners are rebels or secession sympathizers. Some of these counties are becoming depopulated of able-bodied Negro men. On one plantation 41 chattels left their master at once and enlisted.

Two rebel deserters who have arrived at Washington tell a big story about an attempt of a rebel party from Richmond to board a United States gunboat on the Piankatoak river. Instead of surprising the crew, however, the rebels were themselves surprised; when within 300 yards of the vessel the gunboat was suddenly illuminated, and such a deadly discharge poured into their boat that only Lieut. Wood and four men escaped. The two deserters were with the party on the shore who brought the rebel boats across from Richmond on wagons and made their escape across the country to the Potomac.

The capture of the gunboats Reliance and Satellite at the mouth of the Rappahannock river by the rebels appears to have been a most disgraceful affair. No precaution seems to have been taken to guard against a surprise, and, in fact, a large rebel force were allowed to get on board without the slightest resistance, and once on their deck, of course, resistance was useless. It is reported that the Satellite has been out in Chesapeake bay since her capture and destroyed several schooners. She has returned to the Rappahannock, and several gunboats were to be dispatched to recapture or destroy the captured steamers.

Reports from Texas state that there are at least one hundred vessels loaded with contraband cargoes for the rebels, off the Rio Grande. Several of them are British steamers, waiting for cotton which the rebel government have contracted to deliver at Matamoras, to the extent of nine thousand bales, during the month of August.

The British steamer Cronstadt, captured after running out of Wilmington, N. C., and brought into Boston, has a valuable cargo, including 601 bales cotton, 400 barrels turpentine and 600 boxes tobacco. The vessel and cargo are probably worth about $250,000.



The War.

The Draft.—The Springfield (Mass.) Republican says the draft is nearly a failure, and that the Government will not get one-fourth the number of men called for, ad that more men could have been got by volunteering, at the same cost. Upon this the Providence Press remarks:

Last year the President wanted six hundred thousand men, and they were raised “in a jiffy,” without resort to conscription This year conscription is resorted to–much to our disgrace–and what do we see? Why, almost all the conscripts try for exemption certificates, and only about one-third of the “able-bodied” men fail to get them. In this State the draft is completed, and the work of examining the drafted men is nearly through. We have found some able-bodied men, but they nearly all pay their commutation fee or get substitutes. Thus far only nineteen drafted men in this State have put on the Federal uniform! They nearly all follow the example of the editor of the Journal, who thinks the New York “roughs” are good enough to do our fighting.

The results are about the same in all the New England States. Few drafted men will go, and the commutation money paid and the substitutes hired are a heavy and unequal burden upon those who are compelled to bear it.


The National Intelligencer of the 29th publishes a letter from John Adams, whom it vouches for as a loyal man and a friend of the administration, and who has just returned from a trip through Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

He says he has conversed extensively with the people, and with most of the leaders of the rebellion, all of whom regard their final defeat as inevitable, and express a willingness to accede to any terms which shall not humiliate and degrade them. They affirm that it is not for them to beg for peace, but for President Lincoln to hold out the olive branch. They desire the leaders in the rebellion to be held to a strict accountability for their crimes. The writer urges a proclamation from the President, after the fall of Charleston, offering protection to all who will at once lay down their weapons of rebellion.


During the last week all eyes and minds have been directed towards Charleston as the scene of the most interesting and important operations of the war; and during all that time our batteries and vessels have been vigorously assailing the rebel works. The result, so far as is known, is that Fort Sumter has been virtually demolished–so far disabled that Gen. Gilmore considers it a waste of labor and ammunition to assail it further. Yet it is so commanded by other works that our forces cannot take possession of it until those works are disabled. This will require time and great labor, but it will be done if Gilmore and Dahlgren are interfered with, but are properly supported, from Washington. It is stated that Gen. Gilmore has been receiving large reinforcements, and the capture of Charleston seems to be certain. It is evidently so regarded by the rebels.

The Two Parties.–There is a wide difference between the Democratic and Republican parties.

The Democratic party relies upon the people at the ballot boxes to redress political grievances.

The Republican party resorts to bayonets and military intimidation at the ballot boxes.

The Democratic party believe that the Constitution should be adhered to strictly, in time of peace or war.

The Republican party believe that the Constitution should be disregarded if their party is in power, and the administration of their choice deems it “necessary” to set it aside.

The Democratic party believe in the great constitutional right of the habeas corpus as a shield to the citizen, against an unlawful arrest, and that Congress alone can suspend it in time of insurrection or invasion.

The Republican party believe that this right should not be regarded if their partisan President sees fit to suppress it.

The Democratic party believe that the civil law is superior to the military.

The Republican party believe that military power is superior to the civil.

The Democratic party are opposed to arbitrary arrests “without due process of law” where the Courts are unobstructed.

The Republican party favor such arrests.

The Democratic party believe that the States are sovereign in all political power which they have not delegated to the federal government.

The Republicans centralize power in the federal government, and sanction acts which subvert the rights of the States, and suppress the liberties of the people.

The Democrats believe that the Union can be maintained only upon the principles of the Constitution upon which it was based–that when all the States are not admitted as equals in the Union, the Union itself cannot be sustained.

The Republicans propose that a portion of the States shall dictate to another as to the State Institutions that shall exist within their jurisdiction–and old that a portion of the States should be dependencies to the more numerous and powerful States.

The Democrats hold that secession and rebellion are hostile to the Constitution, ad wickedly in violation of the pledged faith of the States; and that the Constitution and the laws in pursuance thereof shall be maintained in all the States of the Union.

The Republicans go much further, and hold that the laws under the Constitution–the fugitive slave law and others–shall not be maintained, but destroyed by armed force–that the President’s word or order shall override Constitution and law, and destroy not only provisions of the Constitution, but State laws and State institutions. The Union as it was they will not have. No Union with slaveholders is their cry.

The people should judge which set of principles are the best, in peace or in war, and which party is the most likely to save the Union.–Hartford Times.



The long day of inaction of Gen. Rosecrans is fairly at an end, much to the joy of his gallant army. For months there has been, in the letters printed from it in the Western journals, a general expression of impatience to be led forward. The army of the Cumberland commenced moving on the 16th ult.; and on the same day Gen. Burnside’s army also commenced a forward movement.

On this day divisions of Gen. Rosecrans’s army moved from Decherd, Tullahoma and Cowan, all bound for the Tennessee River, which they expected to strike at Bellefonte, Bridgeford, Ala., and at a ford thirty miles north of Chattanooga; the object being the capture of this great situation, one of the most strategic points of the insurgents, and looked upon at the West as of far more importance than Richmond. Gen. Rosecrans reached this place on the 21st. The reports of his progress are very meagre; and the last telegraphic dispatch, dated August 28, from Stevenson, a small town, which is the base of the operations against Chattanooga, reads: “It is probable that the rebels are evacuating Chattanooga and all East Tennessee. Deserters who come within Gen. Reynold’s lines report that they are moving guns and useful and important machinery from the foundries at Chattanooga and Atlanta. The rebel cavalry is reported to be concentrated at Rome, Ga.,”

Rosecrans’s army is in splendid spirits and fighting trim. “It is,” a letter from it says, “in a very difficult country to operate. It is rough and mountainous, and the absence of forage in the country renders a heavier transportation of supplies necessary. It is hinted that Rosecrans and Burnside have a joint plan for the immediate occupation of East Tennessee, and the movements of both, thus far, are confirmatory of this idea. Bragg–what is left of him–may or may not fight at Chattanooga. The disaffection of his army has not been exaggerated. Crittenden’s corps has administered the oath to several thousand voluntary applicants, deserters and citizens, most of them giving bonds for considerable sums of money. Many of the deserters immediately join the Federal forces, being actuated, no doubt, by a fear that the guerrillas would apprehend them if they returned to their homes.”

This letter is from a Republican journal and one from a Democratic source giving the same facts, from a soldier who has talked with rebel prisoners, says, “I did not see a single person who did not express himself as satisfied with the old Government when the rebellion began, and as preferring reunion under the Constitution to a continuance of the war. They claim that they can only echo the sentiment of a vast majority of the rebel rank and file, and that a move for a return to the Union by prominent Southerners would rally to its support more men than the tottering Confederacy can retain in its service.” ->

Gen. Burnside, on the sixteenth, started for Stanford, Somerset and Fort Nelson for East Tennessee, and expected soon to reach Knoxville. It is related that many East Tennessee refugees are with Burnside’s army and impatient to march home under the old flag. Two hundred came into Stanford on the 16th in a body, and immediately enlisted in the First and Second East Tennessee regiments of mounted infantry. The progress of Gen. Burnside has been gratifying.

The most important intelligence may be looked for, at any time, from these quarters, and the hearty cooperation of these two Federal armies cannot but have a great bearing on the war.


All Sorts of Paragraphs.

Every species of ingenuity is being resorted to by our “English cousins” to build as “blockade runners,” for Southern assistance, the fastest kind of steam-vessels, and to so build them that they may endure the fire of our blockading fleets without much injury. The latest novelty of this kind is a steamer originally designed to run on the Mersey River, between Liverpool and Eastham, as a pleasure-boat. She has been so altered that, with a view to “resist the rough salutations generally dealt out to blockade-runners by the Yankee squadrons,” as a British journalist phrases it, she “has been fitted with an outer shell, or coat, of timber below the water-line. The space between this and the vessel herself can be filled with cotton, which, it is considered, will effectually resist the Yankee missiles. To obviate the danger of ignition, this space can be filled with water immediately without in the least disturbing the crew or injuring the cargo.” This cunningly adapted vessel is called the Alliance and has a speed, they say, of twenty miles an hour.

An awkward, bashful man, who was getting into a stage at Norwich, Conn., a few days ago, pushed his foot through the hoop skirt of a lady passenger. In the course of several ingenious expedients to extricate himself, he only succeeded in putting his other foot through the hoops of another lady. Sinking back in seeming despair, he shouted, “Hullo, driver, hold on! I thought I was getting into a stage, but I find myself in a cooper’s shop!”

The Richmond Whig announces the greatest victory of the age–the Confederate ladies are giving up hoop skirts.

It is suggested that the beach at Morris Island will hereafter be a famous place to pick up shells.

Three hundred and sixty dollars were taken in Nashville in one day for licenses to prostitutes! That is a novel application of martial law.

It is believed there are now fully two million bales of cotton belonging to the rebels in the Mississippi valley, which it is thought our Government will soon permit to come to market, under such regulations as Generals Grant and Banks may prescribe.

, 1863

Washington City.–All accounts from Washington concur in the statement that the society and the morals of Washington are very bad. The hotels and the streets are crowded with a motley multitude of army officers, place hunters, seeking contractors, idlers, sharpers and black legs, all earnest and some ferocious for gain out of the national treasury. Each fortunate one moves about with joyful aspect, willing to treat everybody; crowds of loafers are about him, congratulating him on his good luck and sponging him of mint juleps. It is wonderful how a man’s friends recognize him the moment fortune smiles. “I have seen,” says a late visitor to the National Metropolis, “a Senator claiming relationship with a fortunate candidate who would not acknowledge his obsequious bow before. A poor, unsuccessful wretch stands moodily nearby, as if meditating suicide. You have State and national office seekers here from all parts of the United States. If you are to credit themselves and their testimonials, they are the only men capable of keeping the government afloat.”

A letter says:

“Fortunate contractors are the nabobs of the hotels. Cotton was king in the South, but the dollar is king in the North. I am told the ladies of some of the ascendant luminaries of state occasionally hold a kind of entourage, when aspiring contractors pay golden respects, in the full assurance that they will not be forgotten by the higher powers.

“Sutlers are a prominent class here, many of them having squeezed a fortune out of the poor soldiers, who, getting tired of hardtack and pork, open  an account with the sutler, the latter fleecing him two or three hundred per cent. Though soldiers regard them as regular Shylocks, extorting their pound of flesh, still they cannot do without them. The rebels are so well pleased with their good things that they are taking charge of a good many sutlers lately.

“Shoulder straps are worn by too many who seem to be on permanent duty at the hotels. If there is a man I despise more than another it is an office who has the meanness to put his pay in his pocket and then shrink from the dangers of the battle field. I don’t know how it happens that some officers manage to get sick the moment they snuff a battle, and if the sick dodge doesn’t do they generally find some other to take them to Washington. Such fellows, though few indeed, should be cut by all brave men, and left to the congenial society of their companions of the faro table and beer saloons.

“Washington is a regular den of rowdies, pickpockets and loafers. It was past ten o’clock at night when I arrived at – Hotel. An officer leaning over the bar eyed me closely, and then politely informed me that he had met me before, but, for the life of him, he could not tell where. ‘Perhaps you have met me in the army,’ said I. ‘Oh, yes, yes! That’s it. Pray, sir, where did you serve?” ‘On General –’s staff.’ ‘Ah, there is where I met you! Recollect you now. How do you do?’

“These blackleg scoundrels don the military dress for a decoy, and worm themselves into the confidence of young officers in order to draw them into their gambling and dissipation.”

Price of Shoes at Richmond.–At a recent auction sale the following were the prices: ladies’ shoes $35 to $48 a pair; children’s $18 to $20; and brogans $35.


A Man Who Heard the Battle of Bunker Hill.–Stephen Crandall, the oldest man in Tiverton, R. I., died the other day, at the age of 98–and he wouldn’t have died then, but he had the cholera morbus. He weeded two acres of corn the week before his death; and summer before last he led a whole field of experienced mowers. He has always been a hard-working man, enjoyed excellent health, and sense of hearing and sight was always good. He heard the first gun fired in the battle of Bunker Hill, and by placing his ear to the ground, he heard, in the place where he then was, the reverberations of the whole battle.


Admiral Dahlgren.–It seems Admiral Dahlgren has been sick for some time past, and has either been confined to bed or able with difficulty to crawl on deck or into the pilot-house on critical occasions at a sad expense of ease and comfort. The abominable atmosphere of the iron-clads has taken hold of his system.5


The Portland, Me., Courier has heard of two ladies who have had the courage to appear without hoops. There are hundreds of ladies in Boston (says the Journal) who have repudiated a stupid fashion in the same way.

[The latter statement needs confirmation.]


A Russian-American Alliance.–Vienna, Aug. 17.–We hear that communications have been received from an English source, according to which we must prepare ourselves for the approaching ratification of an offensive and defensive alliance between St. Petersburg and Washington. This eventuality, should this somewhat speculative information be confirmed, would principally affect the bearings of the Mexican and Polish questions.


Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries.–An old fisherman, in a communication to the government, recommends, instead of destroying codfish spawn, that the peas be cast into the water or buried in the sand, as by so doing the greater part of them would be saved. The fish may be dead, but the spawn are not. The wholesale destruction of the spawn in the mother fish, now so common by the fishermen who visit the Banks from the United States and France, as well as by the resident fishermen of Newfoundland, must prove disastrous to the fishery in future years. By many of the latter class the spawn are salted and used for food, but this old gentleman implores them to desist, or they will cause the loss of many thousands of quintals of fish hereafter.6



Something About Quinine.–Mr. Clements R. Markham has just published in England a volume of “Travels in Peru and India, while superintending the collection of cinchona plants and seeds in South America and their introduction into India.” In a review of this work the London Times has the following remarks:

“The supply of quinine has been for sometime past a subject of serious anxiety. There is, perhaps, no drug which is more valuable to man than the febrifugal alkaloid which is extracted from the cinchona trees of South America; yet such has been the improvidence in gathering their crop of bark that, as the high price of the drug sufficiently testifies, we were in danger of seeing its supply reduced to the vanishing point. It was but the other day, after the battle of Harrison’s Landing, that the American government came into the markets and cleared away a very material portion of the existing stock. What would be our fate if to a cotton famine we added a quinine famine, has been a nearer subject of apprehension than many of us have supposed. It appears that under these circumstances, we have been looking to India, where the cinchona plants are now acclimatized, to sustain our supply of bark, if that of Peru should fail, and Mr. Markham, who has been the principal agent in the experiment, has published an elaborate narrative of his labors. In this narrative we have the latest intelligence on the subject of quinine. Apart from its importance as an article of commerce and a medical specific, all the varieties of the cinchona are here described for the botanist, and some new information on a subject which our encyclopædias confess that we are still much in the dark, has been collected for the general reader. . .

“In 1859 the services of Mr. Markham were engaged to superintend the collection of plants and seeds in South America and their transfer to India, and the necessary arrangements were authorized by Lord Stanley, then Secretary of State. Mr. Markham had various assistants, but he himself undertook to explore the forests either of Caravaya or Bolivia, and to collect C. Calisaya and other important species of that more distant region, and his labors and observations in the course of this quest constitute the principal subject of the volume before us. He has amplified this by some descriptions of Peruvian remains and scenery, illustrated by a few woodcuts and an account of the Peruvian Indians in their later days. . . More pertinent to his immediate subject is his account of the impediments he himself encountered to his removal of the plants he had collected, through the jealousy of the Juntas Municipales, which his operations had excited. He was, in fact, obliged to dodge the authorities before he could get his stores to the coast and prepare them for transportation. . .

“The author dwells upon the comparative success of the culture of cinchona in the Indian peninsula. The mistakes of the Dutch authorities have, it seems, been avoided, and there is now a prospect that, in various districts of India, and even in Ceylon, cinchona will be reared and become an important item in the table of our Indian exports. In India itself an ample supply of this drug will be an immense boon and benefit. Since quinine has been extensively used among our troops there, there has been a steady diminution in the percentage of mortality. Whereas, in 1830 the average percentage of deaths to cases of fever treated was 3.68, in 1856 it was only one per cent in a body of 18,000 men scattered ->

from Peshawar to Pegu. The importance to ourselves is hardly less, for by this means we shall be spared a contingency which was more imminent than we had supposed, and instead of a dwindling supply of this febrifugal specific we shall probably soon have the drug so abundant that its price will be sensibly diminished. At least, we shall have reason to be thankful if the supply is rendered secure, and no fevered Briton is deprived of a remedy for want of which, in the opinion of Mr. Markam, we may ascribe the deaths of Oliver Cromwell and Alexander the Great.”


The Mexican Expedition.
[Paris Correspondence of the London Times, Aug. 20.]

The Emperor Napoleon is said to have told Marshal Forey, when he was about to start for Mexico, that he was undertaking “la plus grosse affaire de mon regne.” I believe I am not solitary in my opinion that it will prove the most disastrous event of this reign. Its unpopularity is wide-spread ad invincible. Nothing appears to render it palatable to the country. Wrap it up in plebiscites, set it ablaze with rockets and Bengal lights, promise untold riches from its mines, dress up the subject in any way you like, the people, to use a common phrase, won’t have it. I for one utterly refuse to believe that the Mexican question forms a part of any vast scheme in the teeming brain of the French Emperor. I look upon the Mexican expedition as a solitary fact–one of the many desperate and reckless throws of the political dice which we have witnessed, and probably shall yet witness, during this adventurous reign, and I anticipate that each new phase of the “occupation” will be marked with new and increasing difficulties. For instance, here is this blockade question. Already we learn the seizure of an English ship, the Carolina Goodyear, by the French steam frigate Panama. The complications which have arisen between us and our American cousins are at hand to show us how great are the risks of ill blood in those questions of blockade.


Medical offices arriving at Washington from Gettysburg report that our wounded are growing better, and the hospitals rapidly discharging convalescents. About 1500 remain, 600 of whom are rebels. All of the rebel officers, with the exception of a few lieutenants, have been removed.


The Knoxville Register mentions “as a singular fact, that Confederate bonds are worth more in England than at home. Here Confederate money is almost constantly depreciating.” “It is difficult to make a purchase, however small,” the Register continues, “without being reminded by the seller of the great depreciation of our money. From the man who sells you a horse for six or eight hundred dollars, down to the shop-keeper who sells you an almanac for twenty-five cents, all pile on an enormous price, and by way of apology, give the currency a kick.”7


1 Despite the traditional association of scurvy with navies of this period, during the war, cases of this disease (occasioned by a lack of vitamin C), were more common in the armies. Stats from the Union side show one case for every 1000 sailors in the Yankee fleet–and 13 cases for every 1000 soldiers in the Federal Army.

2 This is the CSS Hunley, which had just been taken over by the Confederate Navy. The fifth drowned crewman was Absolum Williams. The crew was made up of only eight men, not nine on this voyage, and the third survivor was William Robinson. “A crewmember who survived later reported that the officer in charge, Lt. John A. Payne, accidentally stepped on the lever controlling the dive planes causing the submarine to dive while her hatches were still open.” Info from website.

3 See reference for information on Praise-God Barebones.

4 General Wool was absolutely correct. See Lincoln and the Emperors by A. R. Tyrner-Tyrnauer.

5 While a subsequent paper refutes the claim that the Admiral was suffering, the ironclads were considered abominations by sailors–who received a 25% bounty for serving aboard them in the heat and humidity of the South. Put yourself inside a poorly-ventilated black iron box powered by coal-fired steam engines on a sunny day and you’ll have an idea of the experience.

6 A quintal, also referred to as a hundredweight, is a unit of measure equal to 100 kg or 220½ pounds.

7 Compare to the 1 June 1860 listings in the California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences (San Francisco) for a 4-year old draft stallion ($30), matched mares ($20 each), and matched stallions ($10 each). In the same year, most almanacs were provided free of charge (the advertising paying for their printing); of those that charged, prices were less than half the 25¢ cited in this 1863 article. For example, the Jamestown Journal (Jamestown, NY) of 13 January 1860, advertises the Tribune Almanac for 13¢ a copy, or a dozen for one dollar. If you bought a hundred in bulk for $7, the price per copy dropped to seven cents. 

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