, 1863

The Three Turreted Rebel Rams Ready for Sea.
Threatened Raid on New York.

[New York Herald’s London Correspondence.]

In my last letter, dated from Liverpool, I informed you that the first of the great rebel turreted rams  was nearly completed. She was launched earlier than I expected, and is now in the Graving dock at Liverpool, completely plated, with her masts and boilers in and on board, and also a large part of her machinery. It is expected to have her ready for sea by the 18th of August. Her consort was launched on the 2d day of August, as well as the one at Glasgow, and both will be ready to sail late in this month or the 1st of September. The speed of these vessels will be greater than any of your iron clads, and, of course, if not early prevented, they will sail about doing all the harm they can.

It is generally supposed here that the blockading squadrons will be their first prey; but my own impression is, and it is founded on a good basis, that a dash at New York will be made; and I have no hesitation in saying, and that from a long experience in gunnery and ships, that with these three iron-clads, in broad daylight, they could enter New York harbor, by way of Sandy Hook, and burn and destroy all your ships of war, on the stocks and afloat, and dockyards, and then pass out by the way of the Sound, without receiving any material damage. These assertions are strong, but none the less true.

The rebels here are in great glee in anticipation of the intended movements of those ships. The London Times correspondent, writing from Richmond, says, “The Yankee fleet will make themselves scarce off the blockaded ports after September.” I have done my duty in this serious matter, and trust the Government will do theirs in time.


Life Insurance.—An exchange relates the following as “Josh Billings’s” experience in the life insurance business. He says he made application to the “Garden Angel Life Insurance Company,” when the following questions were propounded by a “slick little fat old fellow with gold specs:”

1. Are you male or female? If so, state how long you have been so.

2. are you subject to fits, and if so, do you have more than one at a time?

3. What is your precise fighting weight?

4. Did you ever have any ancestors, and if so, how many?

5. What is your legal opinion of the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments?

6. Do you ever have any nightmares?

7. Are you married and single, or are you a bachelor?

8. Do you believe in a future state? If you do, state it.

9. What are your private sentiments about a rush of rats in the head; can it be done successfully?2

10. Have you ever committed suicide, and if so, how did it seem to affect you?

After answering the above questions, like a man in the confirmative, the slick little fat old fellow with gold specs on, said I was insured for life, and probably would remain so for a term of years. I thanked him and smiled one of my pensive smiles.

Eighteen Centuries Ago.—The pick and shovel are letting the modern public into the family secrets of people who perished at the commencement of the Christian Era. More than eighteen hundred years ago a shower of fire, ashes and boiling water buried the city of Pompeii, the most dashing place in Italy, many a fathom deep. To-day the places of its “first families” are traversed by strangers from all parts of the civilized world, and the habits and modes of living of its former inhabitants, patrician and plebeian, are indicated so plainly by the relics that have been disentombed, that he who runs may read. Two hundred men, women and girls are now employed in excavating the ruins of Pompeii, and a new and most interesting chapter in the history of the city has just been opened; several of its inhabitants having been discovered in such a state of preservation as would enable any intelligent coroner’s jury to determine the classes to which they belonged when living, and the peculiar circumstances under which they met their fate. In one of the mansions lately uncovered lay the crumbling shape of a lady, evidently the mistress of the house, and by her side, in the remains of what had once been a sort of reticule, were ninety-one pieces of silver money, two pairs of earrings, and a finger ring of gold, together with some keys. She had evidently been surprised by death in the midst of her housewifery, and in the same attitude–a posture of agony–in which she breathed her last in the days of the Evangelists, the antiquarians found her skeleton form about two months ago. The web of the drapery in which was clothed was visible, and its fineness indicated that the wearer had belonged to one of the F. F. P.s or first families of Pompeii.1 Near her were the remains of a little girl, who had thrown a portion of her dress over her head when the burning storm burst over her. In the same building that contained these relics of a Roman mother and child of the first century, several other members of the household were discovered; each silent figure telling its own sad story of sudden surprise, attempted flight, and mortal agony.

It seems that the loafers of Pompeii, like those of modern cities, were in the habit of scribbling vulgar jokes on the walls of houses, and some of these, which have been brought to light within a few weeks, are said to be very funny. Among the domestic curiosities recently disinterred are sixty loaves which were baking when Vesuvius turned the whole city into an oven and barbecued a considerable portion of the population. With the exception of Jerusalem and its surroundings, there is no locality on the face of the earth more interesting to the traveller than Pompeii. There he can see with his own eyes how well-to-do Romans employed themselves in the reign of Tiberius, peep in to their kitchens, their larders, their wine crypts, their dormitories, and though the symposiarch no longer reclines on his couch in the banquet-hall, surrounded by the wits and bon vivants and men-about-town of the imperial capital, a shape of dust that once was he, and which perchance had hobnobbed with Sallust the historian (whose villa still exists in good preservation) is likely enough to be found in some corner of the silent mansion, enshrined in volcanic pumice.



From the Armies in Virginia.
Position of Lee’s Forces.
Reported Advance of his Army.

The Northern papers have nothing from the armies in Virginia but a string of rumors of Lee’s army. The Yankees are getting frightened lest he will cross over and pay them a second visit. A dispatch from Washington says:

The best attainable information locates General Lee in Richmond, and his army scattered from the line of the Blue Ridge on the west to Port Royal, Rappahannock river on the east, and south as far as the line of the Virginia Central railroad. His troops are so widely scattered, probably to facilitate subsisting. General Ewell has the left;  A. P. Hill the centre, lying on the railroad from Culpepper to Orange Court House; while Longstreet holds the extreme right, occupying the line of the Richmond and Fredericksburg railroad. Cook’s brigade of North Carolina troops occupies Fredericksburg. Jones’ brigade of cavalry is said to have gone back to the Shenandoah Valley and Robinson to Richmond. Stuart is still in command, but growing more and more unpopular. It is expected he will be relieved by Wade Hampton.

Last night an officer of “Scott’s 900” arrived here from Edward’s Ferry, where, we believe, he has been doing picket duty, and brought a report that a body of Stuart’s cavalry, represented to be between eight and ten thousand strong, were yesterday actually in the vicinity of Leesburg. The prevalence of this rumor in that quarter accounts for the burning of a small commissary’s depot in that immediate vicinity, said to have been done by those in charge of it about daybreak yesterday morning; the frightened ones performing the fact of skedaddling from that neighborhood immediately afterwards.

The imaginary eight or ten thousand rebel cavalry making this commotion were probably a brigade of Union cavalry which has been in the vicinity of Leesburg and Edward’s Ferry for two or three days past. On the night before last some cavalry–it is not known whether numbering ten men or a company or so–crossed the Potomac into Maryland at Conrad’s Ferry, near Ball’s Bluff.

As the fact of their having crossed is reported by sundry boatmen who were in eh vicinity at the time, as above reported, the chances are even that they were a small detachment from the Union brigade mentioned above; more especially as no information that they have done any damage whatever in Maryland has reached Washington, that we have been able to hear of.

A third dispatch says:

The report that Lee with 50,000 men had crossed the Rappahannock at Port Conway is discredited here. No such intelligence has reached the War Department. It is considered here by the best military authorities that Lee must commence offensive operations this month or disband his army. It is believed that to this end he is concentrating another large army for an invasion, which is his only hope, and is to be attempted as a last resort. To meet these expected movements of Lee, the army of the Potomac will be on the alert.


Whether ferocity, folly or beastly vulgarity is the predominating characteristic of the monstrous utterance with which Lincoln, the Yahoo President, to-day insults the human kind, is a question not easily decided. That such a creature should be the chief figure in such a period; that this compound of brute and buffoon should be master of the situation in one of the most awful convulsions remembered in history; is a fact not not indeed unparalleled, but of rare occurrence. Cromwell was a joker, and Cæsar a filthy man, but they kept their jests and their lusts in chambers, and displayed their stupendous abilities and terrible power to the world. But the Representative Man of the model republic and its revolution delights to display the proportions of his mind, and the qualities of his heart undisguised, in official papers, as in barroom talks.

“Nor must Uncle Sam’s noble fleet be forgotten,” says the grog shop President. “At all the watery margins they have been present. Not only on the deep sea, the broad bay, the rapid river, but also up the narrow, muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been and made their tracks.3

Shade of Washington! is this thy successor? Can this be the man in whose hand rests the resources of the United States, and who controls a million of soldiers? Nero, Claudius, Marat, even if they were what Tacitus and Thiers describe, would have blushed for this. Sancho, when ruler of the island of Barataria, would scarcely have written a letter parallel in style to that from which this passage is quoted.

Yet the reader will not smile, and disgust will vanish, before stronger sentiments when he has reflected on the intent and prospect revealed in this degraded language. Lincoln propounds as fact which none of his race deny or doubt, that he is invested with what he calls the “law of war.” This law of war is explained by him to mean the right or power of inflicting unlimited injury on the Southern people. “A few things,” it is true, are considered “barbarous,” and he will refrain from doing them. What is it he will refrain from? “The massacre of non-combatants male and female.” This is the point at which he will stop. He will not order the extermination of Southern women or the slaughter of little children. All short of that the ruler of the North intends to do. Every particle of property, real and personal, is the prize of the victors, and what they cannot take, he will “destroy.” Such is the future of the war. Such is the man of destiny.  


From the Army of the Potomac.
[Dispatch to the New York Herald.]

Headquarters, Army of the Potomac,
Sept. 6, 1863.

Several rebel prisoners are now in the guardhouse at headquarters, who state that the rebel army is still south of the Rapidan river, scattered over the whole country, from the Blue Ridge to the mouth of the Rappahannock, and that there is no sign of an early forward movement.

One of the prisoners is a deserter from Hampton’s brigade of cavalry, who avers that on Tuesday last he saw and received dispatches from General Lee at Stevensburg, and that there is no truth in the report of a New York paper of Thursday, that Lee was in Richmond. Lee has not been absent from his command a day since he left Maryland.

Wade Hampton’s famous legion numbered on Thursday morning last only 120 horses and 240 men.

There is a great scarcity of animals in the rebel States, and the rebel government paying as high as $1200 in Confederate money each for cavalry and artillery horses. A recent order from the rebel War Department takes from the brigade and regimental officers their horses, and gives no transportation to them except such as can be carried on the back of one mule to each regiment.

The prisoners deny that Lee is receiving any large reinforcements, and say that the army is being rapidly depleted by desertions. This report is confirmed by citizens who have come inside of our lines from the vicinity of the river and Culpepper.

Passes for over five thousand contrabands to go to Washington have been granted since our army came from Maryland. There is scarcely a slave now to be found east of the mountains and north of the Rappahannock who is not too old for service or too worthless to enjoy freedom.

On Friday a portion of Buford’s cavalry crossed the river at United States Ford, and traversed the rebel country some distance overland, and saw no rebel troops except a few pickets, who fled when our cavalry appeared in sight.

It is not thought there that the enemy have any troops save a few cavalry pickets between the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers.

The sanitary condition of the army is improving rapidly with the return of cool weather.


Gen. Canby has issued orders for the withdrawal of the troops from New York city, their presence being no longer needed for the enforcement of the laws and the preservation of peace. The soldiers are highly complimented, officially and by the press, for their correct bearing and good behavior.

War in Japan.

San Francisco, Sept. 6.–Dates from Japan to the 24th of July are received. The English ship Medusa, bound from Nagasaki to Kanagawa by the Inland passage, was on the 15th of July attacked by some forts that had previously fired on the American ship Pembroke.

The Medusa received twenty-four shots, and was much injured. She had four men killed and six wounded. On the twentieth of July the American steamer Wyoming arrived at Kanagawa from a trip to punish the Daimyos, whose vessels and forts fired on the Pembroke.

The Wyoming reported that she had done her work well, having blown up the Japanese steamer Lancefield, silenced nearly all the forts in the neighborhood, and left the Japanese steamer Lanrick in sinking condition.4 The Wyoming received twenty shots, and had five men killed and six wounded, when she deemed it prudent to proceed to Kanagawa.5

On the 24th of July Admiral Juarez, in the British steamer Semiramis, returned to Kanagawa and reported having arrived with the Semiramis on the previous Monday in Semioneski [sic] Straits. The British steamer Tancredi received the fire from the Japanese batteries, which, with the forts, were bombarded for about three hours.

One hundred and fifty-three British troops then landed, who destroyed the forts, batteries and town, spiked the guns, blew up the powder magazine and burned the village. But little fight was shown by the Japanese, after being shelled out of the forts, and what they did was from behind trees and jutting points of rocks.

Two thousand Japanese troops were reported to be descending toward the British vessels, but it was not thought that they would attempt to pass within the range of their guns. Nothing at last accounts could be seen of the Japanese steamer Lanrick and Lancefield, but the topmast of one of the sunken vessels was thought to be seen. The casualties of the British in the last attack were three killed.


The latest dates from Charleston are to last Friday, when the siege was progressing favorably. On the 1st inst. a general engagement took place between the iron-clads and Forts Sumter and Moultrie and Battery Wagner, resulting in serious damage to the rebel works. Lieutenant-Commander Oscar C. Badger of the Patapsco (fleet-captain) had his leg broken by a shell. This is the third instance of the disabling of a fleet-captain in this department. The shelling of the city had not been resumed, but new batteries would soon be opened.



From Charleston.

New York, Sept. 8.–A letter of the 1st inst., from Morris Island to the Times, says the enemy has been reinforced with 2000 troops from Lee’s army. They are encamped on Sullivan’s Island, the tents stretching along the beach can be plainly seen from Morris Island. Prisoners state that the whole of Longstreet’s division is coming to the defence of Charleston.

Yesterday morning we had the pleasure of witnessing a little affair quite mysterious in its way. At about daybreak a small black steamer was discovered coming down the channel above Sumter. The simple fact of seeing a steamer in that locality did not create any surprise, as that steamer or one similar had been seen at the fort every day for the past three months. But when it had arrived within a short distance of Sumter, it was made the object of a severe fire from the guns on Fort Moultrie, and in a short time sunk. Afterwards a number of knapsacks belonging to Tennessee troops, several blankets and other soldiers’ equipments, were picked up by our picket boats. It was the impression on board the flag ship that the rebel steamer had been seized by deserters, who were trying to make their escape. A number of men were seen on board when the vessel sunk, and were observed swimming towards Sullivan’s Island. A large number of deserters have come into our lines lately and all concur in the statement that half the troops around Charleston would gladly accept an opportunity to get away from rebel tyranny.

The same correspondent states that in the opinion of Admiral Dahlgren, Sumter is not yet silent. In that particular Gen. Gilmore differs widely from that of Admiral Dahlgren, the former claiming to have completely silenced the fort eight days ago, basing his assumption on the statements made by rebel prisoners and deserters. As the fate of Sumter has a most important connection with the operations of the fleet, the Admiral does not like to venture an attack until the fact of Sumter being rendered completely useless is established beyond a doubt. His chief pilot, and others who have been at a favorable distance to observe, assert that the northwest wall of Sumter is as sound as ever, and that six guns are mounted on the parapet, one of which fired more rounds of shell last Saturday.

The Times correspondent gives the following details of the charge and capture of the rebel rifle pits in front of Wagner, by the 24th Mass. regiment. The 24th was on duty in trenches at the time, and just before dark, in accordance with orders issued, the batteries on the right opened simultaneously on Wagner, and the rifle pits between the fort and the ridge and on the ridge itself. After 15 minutes fire, the 24th was ordered to march forward.

In a moment the men leaped over the parapet and in another were passing up the ridge. One company of the 61st N. C. regiment were in the rifle pits, but before they knew their own senses they were surrounded and taken prisoners. Our men then placed themselves in a state of defence, by throwing up earthworks, which had increased before morning to the dimensions of a parallel, making number 5 in the series.


Rebel Fleet Increasing.

New York, Sept. 8.–The Augusta, Ga., Chronicle says one of the crew of the Florida, states that Capt. Semmes, late of the Alabama, has taken command of the Mississippi, a new and formidable craft carrying 24 guns, and not the Georgia, as had been stated. With these four in hand, the Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, the rebel Neptune will drive a fast team among the merchant craft of the Federals.

Will There be Another Draft?

A foreign writer has made some estimates of the loss of life by this rebellion, which are indeed startling. It says:

“So prodigal has been the expenditure of life on both sides, but especially on the part of the North, that the most desperate expedients are now required for the reinforcement of the armies in the field. Volunteering, Mr. Lincoln himself tells us, is ‘palpably exhausted;’ recruits are no longer to be purchased by bounties, and at length a nation which prided itself above all things on the military organization of its willing and independent citizens, finds itself reduced, in the third year of the war, to the necessity of conscription. So urgent, in fact, are the needs of the State, that the President cannot wait till the arrangements for the draft are properly completed. The Governor of New York writes to him, with a statement demonstrating the unfair and partial operation of the projected levy in certain districts under his authority. Mr. Lincoln cannot deny that the figures show something wrong; but he answers that he has no time to rectify them. He will do the best that he can bye and bye, but at present the men must be pressed, enrolled and sent off to the depots without delay. He does not pretend that even the draft itself may be of questionable legality; but that point, too, must be left to future decision. At this moment he must have more men.”

It is demonstrated by the figures that the war has already used up 500,000 Federal soldiers. The calls since 1861 have exceeded a million men–and before the conscription we could not have had 600,000 efficient men in the field. At this rate of consumption of men, the war promises to become–what some of the promoters want–literally a war of extermination.

The conscription has proved inadequate to the number called for. Who cannot see that if nothing is done to change the policy of the administration there will be draft after draft, as Washburn said in his speech, “ if every New England wife has to be made a widow and every father has to be made fatherless.”


The Chain-gangs of Glory.—The newspapers are full of items like the following:

“A file of conscripts and deserters were marched down the avenue to-day, chained together and hand-cuffed.”

Deserters must of course be punished for deserting; and conscripts, who are indecent enough not to rejoice, as the administration organs constantly assure us that conscripts do rejoice at being conscripted, may perhaps be handcuffed into a happier frame of mind. But it must be admitted that there is something rather ugly in the spectacle of soldiers of the Union marching in chains to liberate the slaves of the rebels.



Genuine Heroism.

One morning, after a futile attack had been made by our forces on one point of the entrenchments at Port Hudson, the men of the Maine 12th Volunteers, who held the advance there, discovered a Union soldier lying in the ditch, and who, by signs made to them, showed that he was living but wanted water. To reach him by a direct course was impossible, as the enemy’s sharpshooters were within a few hundred yards, and before an explanation of the subject desired could be made, the party attempting it would no doubt be shot. Corporal Charles H. Blake, of Co. B, volunteered to go and carry a canteen of whisky and one of water to the wounded man. He thought that by creeping around a line of our fascines and through a slight valley, he could reach the wounded man without being discovered by the enemy. He accordingly got permission to go out, and upon all fours crept steadily up to the ditch, but as he turned one angle, he was suddenly hailed with the words: “Yank, what are you doing there?” Looking up, he saw some 15 or 20 rifles that, from a salient he had not seen before, completely covered him, and he concluded that his time had come. But he at once answered, “I am carrying drink to that wounded man still living in the ditch.” He was at once ordered to “get up and carry it to him.” He obeyed, and walked to the wounded soldier, gave him what drink he wanted, fixed his head on a pillow and left the canteens where he could get them.

He turned to walk back, and as he looked up, he saw the same rifles pointed at him; but conscious of having done a noble act, he walked calmly back. After he had proceeded a short distance from the wounded man, the word came, “Halt, Yank! File right and come in here as a prisoner of war.” To have disobeyed or hesitated would have been instant death; he therefore obeyed his first Confederate order, and marched boldly and safely up the escarpment into the fort. He was found a prisoner of war when Port Hudson surrendered, and said he had been well treated other than as to food, but he had fared as well as their own soldiers, who, for several days before the surrender, had only two ears of “horse corn” distributed to them daily, with the comforting remark that they could cook their rations in any manner they wished. Gen. Grover, on learning of the humane and courageous act of Blake, said he should report for promotion, which he well deserves, we think.


The Lawrence Sufferers.—New England has yet done but little for the houseless, homeless and destitute sufferers from Quantrell’s barbarous raid, although measures are now maturing for an organized effort for their relief. As Kansas was settled in a large measure by emigrants from this section of the country and Lawrence in particular was a child of New England, our people will doubtless be glad to participate in aid of her suffering people. It has been suggested as one mode of prompt action that, without interfering with other calls, contributions be taken up in the churches, and some plan of this kind will probably be adopted after suitable consultation.

Disaffection in the Rebel Armies.—A correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette with the army of the Cumberland, writing from Stevenson, Ala., on the 24th ultimo, furnishes the following interesting information:

“Two days  ago it was my fortune to meet, at the house of a Union citizen of Franklin county, Tenn., a citizen of Georgia. He has resided quietly with his family in Lumpkin county, a few miles north of Dahlonega. I asked him if it were really true that there were many deserters from the rebel army among the mountains of North Georgia, and told him some of the reports I had heard concerning them.”

“ ‘You have not heard half the truth,’ said he. ‘There is not in all North Georgia a cave, a dense forest or a rock of difficult access, where these men may not be found. My own county is full of them, and so also are White, Dawson and Pickens, especially the latter. In the vicinity of Prince Edward and Stock Hill a large number of refugee conscripts and deserters are banded together. The rebel authorities made some vigorous efforts at first to break up and capture this band; but so formidable in numbers are they and so inaccessible are the mountains among which they operate, that every attempt to dislodge them has proved a failure, and the rebel government now virtually leave them to themselves. Since the retreat of Bragg from Tullahoma, their numbers have largely increased, and before I left they were in the habit of coming down boldly from the mountains, purchasing (and in some instances taking without purchasing) and then returning to their haunts, no one offering to molest them. Indeed, the people of North Georgia are, in certain sections, governed by them. They are kind and clever to Union citizens, but hate implacably every avowed rebel, and visit with speedy vengeance every one of whom they suspect of giving information against them.’

“ ‘Perhaps,’ said I, ‘these men are mere freebooters, who, too cowardly to serve in the army and too lazy to labor, have banded together for the purpose of plundering their fellow citizens.’

“ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘it would be unjust to say that of them. Their mode of life is, I admit, having a bad effect upon their characters, and it may be that many of them are gradually becoming what you say; but it was not so at first. I know men among them who all their lives were quiet, honest, peaceful, industrious citizens, up to the day when they joined the rebel army; some of them voluntarily, others involuntarily, or so received notice that they had been conscripted.’

“ ‘Among the former (the deserters) are some men of abundant means, who led this life merely to avoid being forced back into the rebel ranks. The conscripts who fled to the mountains were, in a majority of cases, poor men, but all of good character, all without a blot upon their honesty, all hard-working, sober citizens.’ ”

, 1863

A Woman Before the Mast.—An American vessel recently put into Mauritius, Madagascar for supplies. Immediately after dropping anchor the Captain repaired to the Consul and informed that officer that he had a woman on board his ship, of whom he wished to be rid. He stated, and in this respect the testimony of the young woman coincided with his, that about nine months ago, and before the ship left America, there shipped on board her, to all appearance, a tall, over-grown boy of about 18 years. For full four months this pretended boy did a sailor’s duty without murmur, and without exciting suspicion. Then in some trouble which occurred, she confessed herself a woman, to the incredible astonishment of everybody on the ship. But incredible as the statement seems, it was true. The Captain did for her all, and more than all, that could be expected of him under the circumstances. Indeed, she expresses great gratitude to the Captain for his kind, considerate and gentlemanly treatment of her after the discovery of her sex; and there are abundant reasons for believing that he did indeed bear himself towards her in a very manly and honorable manner. For when he left her, the tears started in her eyes as she took his hard bronzed hand, and expressed her sorrow for what she had done, and her determination henceforth to be a woman.

This was the first port made after it was known that a woman was on the ship; and here she was placed under the care of the Consul, who provided for her immediate wants, and has secure her a situation in which she can provide for herself.

From her own statements, it appears she has been a soldier as well as a sailor. Her story in brief is this. She married a man who was attached to another woman, but who was overpersuaded by his friend to marry her. Soon after, his indifference to her became painfully manifest. Her father was a cavalry officer, and with his knowledge, if not consent, she donned a man’s attire and enlisted in his corps, and served under his immediate command for many months. At the battle of Fair Oaks her father was killed. Soon after, having been detailed to proceed to New York on some duty, she took the opportunity to leave the army; and, seeing an advertisement for seamen as she walked the street, suddenly and unaccountably determined to try her luck at catching whales. The result has already been described.

A large-hearted American shipmaster, after having thoroughly informed himself of the circumstances, and after repeated interviews with the young woman, finally concluded to ship her as stewardess of his vessel. A number of generous-spirited American residents have made up a purse for her outfit, and she has gone on her way rejoicing; and in due time will probably find her way back to her country and friends. Who will say that the age of romance has passed?


It is believed by military men whose means of information are of the best description, that Gen. Lee has, within the last few days, received heavy re-enforcements, and that he meditates another aggressive campaign. The weakness shown by the rebel armies at other points is thought to strengthen the probability that the insurgents are gathering their forces for a desperate effort under their most trusted commander. ->

The Richmond Enquirer of the 7th urges another invasion of Pennsylvania for political reasons. “Let him,” it says, “drive Meade into Washington and he will again raise the spirits of the Democrats, confirm their timid and give confidence to their wavering. He will embolden the Peace party should he again cross the Potomac.”

Miscellaneous News.

About 1,400 wounded still remain at Gettysburg. A large number of them are cases of compound fracture of the thigh. It is expected that in the course of the present month all the patients will be removed, and the hospital broken up.

In the city of New York alone, there are 20,000 girls who get their living by the manufacture of hoop skirts; and in case the fashion leaders should discard the use of crinoline, they would vote to a girl against the change.

A ridiculous report is circulating in Europe on the authority of a Catholic priest in the Samoan Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, that a fleet of American pirates is cruising among those islands and seizing all the male population for the purpose of replenishing the armies of America.

In illustration of the inflexibility of red tape, it is told that in one of the hospitals a wounded soldier was likely to die of a hemorrhage; the surgeon ordered ice applied, and the nurse went to the hospital steward for it. He declined to open the ice-chest at that time. It was the rule, he said, to open it only at stated hours of the day, and it lacked an hour and a half of the time. The surgeon in charge of the hospital was appealed to. He sustained the steward in adhering to the rule. The hour for opening the ice-chest came, after the lapse of slow minutes, and the chest was opened. Meantime the man had died.

The Scottish ladies are taking up fishing as the fashionable occupation. The Princess of Wales has set the fashion.


A Cute Widow.—It is related that a man on his death-bed called his wife to him and said: “I leave my horse to my parents, sell him and hand the money you get for him over to them. But my dog I leave to you; dispose of it as you think best.” The wife promised to obey. So in due time after the death of her lord she started to find a market for her animals. “How much do you ask for your horse?” inquired a farmer. “I cannot sell the horse alone,” she replied, “but I will sell the dog and horse at a fair price for both. Give me $100 for the dog and $1 for the horse, and we can trade on those terms;” and the cute widow conscientiously paid to the parents the $1 she received for the horse, and kept herself the $100 she received for the dog.

SEPTEMBER 12, 1863


Foreign Affairs.

There is evidently a crisis approaching in the relations of Great Britain and the United States. The pirates Florida and Alabama have both been in British waters of late, and the former captured and burned the United States vessel Anglo-Saxon in the Irish channel. At last accounts the two pirates were repairing and coaling at Brest, and getting ready, it is supposed, to convoy to the southern ports the new iron-clads and monitors now nearly completed in England for the confederate states. The visit of these vessels, and the fact that others are just ready to sail, has aroused anew the attention of the English people to the subject of furnishing the confederate states with vessels of war, and the feeling is arising that it is time the government took hold of the matter and put a stop to the violation of its own laws. Even the London Times says that it is time they were stopped, and in an article of unusual ability, argues the legal and moral bearings of the subject, and calls on the government to detain the vessels soon to sail. Whether those in authority will heed the signs of the times or not, remains to be seen. If they do not, the time has fully come for our government to take decided measures, and if England will not listen to remonstrances, to make use of force to compel the English to stop furnishing vessels to our rebellious states.–European politics are awfully mixed up just now, and though there is a good deal of loose talk and speculation, no one knows what is going to happen next. The Emperor Napoleon keeps his ideas to himself, and everybody is in dread of what will happen when he condescends to open his mouth. The Polish and Mexican questions receive no enlightenment. The report that Maximillian had accepted the throne of Mexico was premature, and he will not do so except on conditions which do not seem likely to be fulfilled. The Russian emperor has not replied yet to the last notes of the other powers, so it is not known what disposition will be made of Poland. It is a pity that the brave nation which has held its own for nearly two years against the most powerful military government in Europe, cannot have its freedom secured. It is reported that Russia will now give a constitution to Poland, if that will settle the difficulty, but the news lacks confirmation. The confederate states have made a large bid to Spain for recognition, but that power has shrewdly declined the offer.–Japan has commenced a war with England and the United States by firing on vessels from those countries. She has received prompt chastisement for the offense, and will know what to expect if she continues to persist in her present course.–While Mexico is being treated diplomatically in Europe, the French army is pursuing on the conquest of the country with rapidity. The region of the silver mines has just been taken possession of, and all over the country the invaders are having it their own way, the people apparently being discouraged in their attempts at resistance. It is the general expectation that sooner or later the United States will be embroiled with France about Mexico. But exactly how or when, none is yet wise enough to tell.

Will the Negro Fight?—An affair at Newberry, Ohio, briefly mentioned by telegraph, is told more fully in the Cincinnati Gazette. Some drunken copperheads, debating the question whether there is any fight in a Negro, determined to put a Negro in that neighborhood to the test. They began by smashing his windows and tearing down the end of the tenement. The Negro escaped through the back way, and procured a double-barreled gun of Mr. Stringer, who lived close by. Previous to this, however, clubs and stones were thrown at the Negro. Upon the latter returning with the gun, he shot one of the parties through the head and the other through the heart, killing both almost instantly. One of these was named Shields, and the other Williamson. A third party was struck with a skillet, and a fourth ran away. Thus it was demonstrated that this particular Negro at least had pluck to defend himself and his house against an unprovoked ad cowardly attack. He was an inoffensive and industrious man, and frequent outrages had been committed against him, and also against the farmer who employed him. Morale–one Negro is worth four copperheads.


Railroad Travel.—It is no wonder the diplomats who accompanied Secretary Seward on his recent northern trip were astonished at the number of people they saw, and the general evidence of prosperity. Everybody else is astonished also. The number of people travelling on business and pleasure this season is immense. There was never anything like it before. Railroads, steamboats and stages are reaping rich harvests. Just now the amount of travel on the railroads is greater than before this season, and there is not likely to be any falling off till decided cold weather. The express train from this city for Boston on Friday afternoon went out with eight long passenger cars, all of them full, and all the express trains which run through this city between Boston and New York average from six to ten cars each. And we have similar reports from all parts of the country. Railroad officials look happy, and stockholders are rubbing their hands over prospective large dividends.


Ben Butler Sound on the Goose.6We confess to no enthusiastic admiration of Gen. Butler, but when it comes to practical dealing with hard facts, he generally hits nearer the true policy than the theorizers. He sent a telegraphic dispatch to the late Illinois convention, in which he set forth the practical method of restoring the Union, in contrast with the various theoretical methods proposed, in a way which illuminates the whole subject, and is worth volumes of argument. If all loyal men would take this view of it, act accordingly, all difficulties would be swept away. These are his words:

“Compromises are impossible, save between equals in right. Reorganization or reconstruction is alone useful when the vicious parts are left out. Amnesties are for individuals, not for organized communities. Therefore, prosecute the war. Bring every part of the country into submission to the laws of the United States. Then there will be no place for rebellion, no parties for compromise, no occasion for reconstruction, and clemency may be shown and amnesties offered to individual citizens who desire them. Is there any other way to restore the Union?”

1 This is a play on FFV or “First Families of Virginia.”

2 The type is clear on this line; I have no idea–Editor.

3 The actual quote is “Nor must Uncle Sam’s web-feet be forgotten”–a reference to the U.S. Navy and their contributions in the campaign along the Mississippi and its tributaries. The passage comes from a letter Lincoln sent to James C. Conkling, which he wrote in lieu of speaking in person at an upcoming convention in Springfield, Illinois. Conkling shared the contents beforehand with local papers, which resulted in Lincoln writing, “I am mortified this morning to find the letter to you, botched up, in the Eastern papers, telegraphed from Chicago. How did this happen?” [Source] Overall, this article from a Richmond paper is important only for its closing paragraph. The purpose behind the first three paragraphs seems merely to have been to use up any anti-Lincoln invective left over from previous issues.  

4 These are the original British names of the Japanese vessels, which had been renamed Koshin (Lancefield) and Kosei (Lanrick); a third vessel, the Daniel Webster, was purchased from Americans, but her Japanese name is unknown.

5 This brief mention does not do justice to one of the most incredible naval battles in history, which, as Teddy Roosevelt  said, “Had that action taken place at any other time than during the Civil War, its fame would have echoed all over the world.” Captain David S. McDougal took Wyoming into the tortuous and fast-running Straits of Shimonoséki to take on three modern steamers, well-armed, and a half dozen batteries on the encircling bluffs. Spotting a series of ranging markers near the main channel, McDougal correctly surmised that the Japanese artillerists had pre-sighted their guns–and so he conned Wyoming nearer the shore, deliberately running under the enemy guns, which they could not re-sight before Wyoming began knocking them out one by one. Turning to the three Japanese warships, superior American gunnery quickly paid off: all told, Wyoming’s crew fired only 53 shots against batteries and vessels, while the Japanese had loosed 130 rounds; twenty-two of the latter had struck home, yet Wyoming survived, while silencing six shore batteries, sinking two ships and sending the third fleeing in sinking condition.

6 According to Volume III of Farmer & Henley’s 1893 Slang and Its Analogues, Past and Present, to be “sound on the goose” meant, “Before the civil war, to be sound on the pro-slavery question; now, to be generally staunch on party matters; to be politically orthodox.” This evolved into simply “true, staunch, reliable.”

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