13, 1863

The Contraband Trade of Matamoras.—The supply steamer Bermuda, at Philadelphia, reports:

While at the mouth of the Rio Grande, the officers of the Bermuda had an ample opportunity to observe the manner in which the English and French preserve their neutrality. The port of Matamoras is a Mexican importing and exporting city. The rebels use it as the chief city of the cotton trade of the South. The cotton is conveyed across the Rio Grande to Matamoras. The merchant vessels of France and England clear for Matamoras and anchor in the stream. Tugs carrying fifty or sixty bales of cotton then come from the city, and the cotton is hoisted on board eh vessels in neutral waters. While the Bermuda lay off the Rio Grande, a fleet of merchantmen were in the river, and a continual line of tugs passed to and fro. The steamers thus receive their cargoes, but the meteor flag of England or the lilies of France floats from the masthead. The United States gunboats may approach, but they cannot take the vessel in custody and confiscate her cargo. The blockading squadron, the Princess Royal and other, lie off Matamoras, but they are powerless to stop the neutral traffic. Over the blue waves go the merchantmen. Their prows dash aside the swelling billows of the Gulf, and they reach London, Liverpool or the French ports of entry. There a cargo of supplies, provisions, clothing, shoes, every article that the Confederacy needs, is shipped; the prows again turn seaward; the course is directed toward the Mexican Gulf, and the cargo is landed at Matamoras. Such is English neutrality; such is French honesty.


Paris, reported one of the cleanest cities in the world, is suffering a variety of epidemics from filth and summer heat. An almost tropical sun acting upon the accumulations of filth in the lower districts, has engendered some of the most fatal epidemics which flesh is heir to, and dysentery, fevers, and other direful diseases have made shocking havoc among all classes of the people.


There were 20 American sea-going craft reported as totally lost during the past month. The most serious is the foundering of the United States brig-of-war Bainbridge. The list comprises 1 brig-of-war, 2 steamers, 4 ships, 3 barks, 1 brig and 9 schooners. Of these, 11 were wrecked, 1 abandoned, 4 foundered, 2 burnt, and 2 captured and converted into privateers. The total value of the property lost and destroyed is estimated at $1,500,300.

The Blockade of Wilmington, N. C.—There is no doubt that the blockade of Wilmington is inefficient to a degree that is simply farcical. Not only do blockade runners have almost uninterrupted access to the port, but armed steamers pass the blockading fleet and run in readily. That this state of things exist is no fault of the Navy Department. The mouth of the Cape Fear river is so wide that a large number of vessels is required to watch it. Upon either headland are two forts, Caswell and Fisher. For some distance up the river the shores are lined with sand batteries. The bar at the mouth of the river is so situated that the blockading vessels cannot lie close in and command the channels. Consequently the blockade runners, which are very fast vessels, can creep along in the dark, slip by the blockading fleet, and soon gain the protection of the forts and batteries. To pursue them would involve the loss of the pursuing vessel.1

For these reasons the blockade is not effective, and cannot be made so unless with a very large fleet, which cannot at this time be spared for the service. Until Charleston falls, and the fleet there is released from duty, or until Wilmington is captured, neither of which events seem imminent, we must expect the blockade of the last named port to be inefficient.–N. Y. Comm. Adv.


Another War in New Zealand.—A correspondent of the London Times writes from New Zealand (no date given) that the Northern Island is now involved in a war with the natives, which threatens to be greater in extent than any of its predecessors. In spite of every possible effort to conciliate them, the natives have again risen up in arms. Sir George Grey, the Governor, has taken every precaution against danger, and Gen. Cameron has put himself at eh head of a large body of troops, who are ready to repel attack at a moment’s notice. A considerable volunteer force has also been organized in the principal cities and towns. Some hot skirmishes have already taken place between small parties of troops and New Zealanders, concerned in the massacre of last May. The good understanding which now exists between all parties and the greatly improved condition of the colonial finances the last three or four years, will enable it to stand the strain much better than in 1860.

SEPTEMBER 14, 1863

The Awful Doom of Charleston.

A Yankee paper thus discourses upon the “righteous retribution” which, it says, is about to fall on the devoted head of our sister city:

“Carlyle somewhere speaks of Justice putting on her terrible garments–“her robes of hellfire.” It is in just this aspect she is to-day approaching Charleston. There is something fearfully imposing in the manner in which that sheet of flame works its resistless way toward the devoted city. Yet men rejoice. And well they may. Not for revenge. Revenge is a passion fit for savages only. But because there is a deep instinct in the human breast that finds pleasure in righteous retribution. This visitation upon the chief city of South Carolina causes peculiar satisfaction, for the reason that South Carolina is the guiltiest of all the rebel States. It gave birth to the master traitor, Calhoun–idolized him living, and canonized him when dead. It plotted disunion for thirty years; twice made a desperate effort to compass it by open resistance, and was the head and front of the present, yet more formidable, movement. It was South Carolina that first began the war–that, first, shut up the Federal courts; that first withdrew her members from Congress; that first passed an ordinance of secession; that first laid hands upon the Federal property; that first fired upon the national flag and opened the war. Had it not been for South Carolina, in all earthly probability this impious rebellion would not have existed at all. As it is said of Satan that he “drew” one-third of the angels after him in fool revolt, so may it be said of this arch apostate in the family of American States–she drew a third of them away by her own original and infernal wickedness.

Yet the punishment, though long deferred, will be all the more terrible now that the full time for it has come. Neither the army nor the navy at her gates is in a temper to palter or temporize with her blackest treason. Nothing but the promptest and completest submission will save South Carolina from a loss of property and sacrifice of life, before which all dispensations of justice in the war thus far will sink into insignificance.

But the worst misery that will befall South Carolina will be her humiliation of spirit. Never was there a community on the face of the earth that made such pretentions to invincibility; never one so habitually arrogant and domineering. Her children have been brought up to the notion of their superiority of blood and condition, and have learned to cherish no other feeling than that of sovereign contempt for the “mudsills and greasy mechanics” of the North. They call themselves the chivalry, and for a whole generation have been practicing the airs and the tones of the tragic tyrant that stalks his brief hour on the stage. Such vaporing and bravado, such insult and contumely, such superciliousness and scornfulness, as have been set forth by these palmetto sprigs, have never been exceeded among any people, either civilized or barbarous.

There is one Northern State for which they have affected peculiar disdain, and which they have taken pains to vituperate and aggrieve–the glorious old Bay State–whose resplendent worth they are no more capable of appreciating than the dogs that bay at the ->

moon. Thirty-two years ago they attempted to deal out their unmeasured scorn of Massachusetts through the lips of their Senator, Hayne, who was the selected instrument to emit that long-prepared exterminating diatribe, which, when it came, drew forth from the Senator of Massachusetts the response whose echoes have not yet done ringing in the ears of men. Seventeen years ago they expelled from their limits, with the grossest indignity, Judge Hoar, whose errand, in the name of Massachusetts, was to secure the rights of citizens of Massachusetts by a legitimate appeal to the Federal Court. Eight years ago, not satisfied with what abusive language against the State at large had accomplished, or the abusive treatment of her deputy, sent for a most just purpose, through two of their representatives in Congress, made a murderous assault upon a Senator of Massachusetts, in his seat, on the floor of the Senate–an act the audacity of which astonished the civilized world–and then gloried in the outrage. Massachusetts, indeed, had good cause to lay to heart the treatment she in former days had received from the foremost rebel State; and there is a dramatic justice in the fact that Massachusetts men were the foremost to land upon her traitorous shores with gleaming arms to force her into humble submission to the flag she had betrayed and defied.

“Never since history began did arrogance receive more humiliation than is in store for South Carolina, or treason more condign punishment.”


Serious Accident.—This morning a serious accident happened to Miss Lucy Knott, daughter of Judge Knott, who was leaving the city in a buggy for home. The horse which she was driving took fright at the flying of a kite by some boys, in the streets, and ran off, throwing Miss Knott out of the buggy with much violence. She was taken up, in an insensible condition, and conveyed into the house of Dr. Thomson, where she was receiving all the attention it was possible to bestow. At last advices, she was recovering from her insensibility, and we hope her injuries will not prove dangerous to life or limb.

The practice of kite flying in the streets is, we believe, prohibited by an ordinance of the City Council, but still it is kept up to a considerable extent in the western part of town. Let this dangerous amusement be forthwith discontinued, either in town or in the highways leading therefrom.–Daily Confederate.


A Paper Mill Stopped.—We regret to see by a card from the Superintendent, published in the Rebel of the 11th, that the Marietta Paper Mill has been stopped–all the operatives having gone into the service. We trust the suspension will be very brief–otherwise a good many of our interesting contemporaries will be in the same condition.


The Capture of Forts Wagner and Gregg.—The special correspondent of the N. Y. Evening Post writes from Morris Island, 9th inst., as follows:

“During Saturday and Sunday the fire of all our guns and mortars was concentrated continuous upon Fort Wagner, and at night the bombardment was continued sufficiently to prevent the enemy from repairing the damages which the day’s work had made. We could see that the commissary building in the fort had been struck and destroyed. One heavy gun had been dismounted, and its great black muzzle projected into the air almost perpendicularly. Other guns had been struck, so as to give pretty good assurance that they could not be used. The fire of the fort was entirely silenced.

“Meanwhile the work of sapping had been pushed forward until one sap not only reached the fort, but went past its left angle (the right as seen by us), leading out upon the beach. Three storming parties were made up for a charge on Monday morning at eight o’clock–Gen. Stevenson’s brigade to go through the sap, follow the beach till they could get around to the back of the fort, and there make the assault; Col. Davis’ brigade to follow the same line of attack, covering the remainder of the rear of the fort, and preventing the escape of the garrison; and Col. Goss, with two regiments, to storm the front. The plan was well laid, and promised success–but who could have said at what cost of the best blood in our noble little army? No one who remembers the charges of July 11 and 18 could avoid a feeling of the deepest solicitude, even amid the general hopefulness.

With these anticipations and anxieties Sunday closed. With early light on Monday we were awakened with the good news–‘The rebels have evacuated and we hold the whole island.’ Two or three hours after midnight, deserters brought word of the movement that was taking place. A small body of our forces pushing forward found themselves treading with impunity the fastnesses of this long-dreaded stronghold. Another party of skirmishing up to Fort Gregg found that too deserted.

As the light dawned, what a spectacle was presented by the interior of Fort Wagner! There were splintered timbers, dismounted ad exploded guns, walls and traverses torn and furrowed by shot and shell, here a mangled fragment of a body, a leg, an arm, half of a head, three or four bodies lying in a pile, on which the heat and sun had produced the frightful marks of decomposition (one of these bodies was a lieutenant colonel). Strewn all round were bodies of horses and mules. The air was unspeakably foul and loathsome with the stench from all these masses of decay. Those who first went into the fort could not help vomiting repeatedly. Attracted by a groan, they found, in one of the bomb-proofs, a wounded man whose injuries had not been dressed at all. He died while being removed to our hospital.->

Probably a number of causes combined to produce this abrupt flight of the rebels. The destruction of their commissary storehouse threatened them with starvation; the murderous effects of our shells (attested by the ghastly relics strewn through the fort) showed that their bomb-proofs and splinter-proofs were by no means impenetrable; the condition of the garrison, crowded into those close shelters with but a narrow door, and that at times so closed up with sand dislodged from above by our shells that the inmates had to dig themselves out, must have been one of nearly absolute suffocation.

The process of our sap and its extension past the angle of the fort showed them that they would soon be taken in the rear, where they had made little or no provision for defense. In addition to this, if the lieutenant colonel whose body was found in the fort was in command, it is likely that his death threw the garrison into disorder, and perhaps into a panic.

During the day I visited both of the forts. Hardly less worthy of attentive curiosity than these is the extended system of parallels and saps by which we made our approaches to the fort. A very epitome of the war and a transcript of the character of the Yankee nation are these approaches. While the chivalry rave, and shove, shovel, till they are vanquished and circumvented by our steady and toiling energy. As one approaches the fort, he sees its front stuck full of pikes and pointed stakes, intended to impale a storming party. Passing around and entering it from the rear, he is struck with the immense labor that the fort has cost, and the strength which labor and art have given it. The rampart at its base cannot be much less than forty feet thick. A perfect mountain of earth has been thrown up in the erection of the entire work. To a storming party, attacking it in front, it might truly be pronounced impregnable. It is rather a succession or congeries of forts than a fort, and if by any almost impossible good fortune and valor an attacking force could gain possession of one of these, they would have accomplished nothing but to win a spot for their own sacrifice. A very intelligent officer of engineers pronounced it the strongest work of the kind in the world.

A walk of about twelve hundred yards brought me to Fort Gregg, a small but very strong work, mounting three eight and ten-inch guns, and furnished with two howitzers. The inducements for staying long in Fort Gregg or to rambling much between it and Fort Wagner are quite limited. Shell from forts Moultrie, Beauregard and Johnson are falling perpetually upon this narrow arena, with a frequency and an accuracy which pay the rebels tribute to the value of the position we have gained. Yesterday afternoon, while standing on Fort Gregg, watching the rebel works, Captain Baker, of the Ninth Maine, was struck by a shot from Fort Beauregard on Sullivan’s Island, and instantly killed.

SEPTEMBER 16, 1863


Incidents Connected with Gen. Burnside’s Movements.

Gen. Burnside marched upon Knoxville so rapidly, that the whole garrison hurried away without destroying the property of the confederate government. Our forces took possession of extensive foundries and machine shops belonging to the rebel authorities. They found there two million pounds of salt, and granaries full of wheat–the product of the tithe tax. Three locomotives and a number of cars were also captured.

The rebels at Cumberland Gap were cut off and forced to an unconditional surrender. The garrison consisted of the Second North Carolina, First Virginia and First Georgia regiments, with several companies of artillery. The regiment from Georgia numbered eight hundred, and was among the troops captured by Gen. Burnside at Roanoke Island. While the Federals were lying before the Gap, on the night of the 7th, two companies penetrated the line of the confederate pickets, and in plain sight of their camp, burned the mill which furnished the enemy with meal; this hastened the surrender.

Excursions are now scouring the country to clean out the few remaining rebels. The saltpetre works, where the rebel government employed several hundred men, and which furnished it a goodly proportion of their supply of this article for the manufacture of gun powder, are within our lines.

The crops of grain and vegetables in the valleys of Clinch and Holston rivers are extremely plentiful and luxuriant. It is said that both the inhabitants and our army can subsist for a year on the native products of the soil. In expectation that the Union troops would come to deliver them from the yoke of the oppressor, the women had mostly planted the crops.

The whole campaign of Gen. Burnside was attended with but one casualty–a private killed in a skirmish. There is hardly a case of sickness among the troops at Knoxville.


The U. S. transport Nellie Peritz arrived at Fortress Monroe Tuesday morning from Hilton Head Saturday last at 8 a.m. Capt. Diggs reports the arrival of the relief boat Cosmopolitan from Morris Island on Friday evening, at which time the white flag was flying over the shattered walls of Fort Moultrie, and our forces had captured half of James Island. Two monitors were lying between Sumter and Moultrie. Capt. Diggs passed Charleston Bar Saturday afternoon at 4 o’clock, at which time he saw the white flag still flying over Fort Moultrie. Fort Moultrie fired her last gun at 4 o’clock Friday afternoon.


A Washington dispatch says: “The buildings in course of erection on the Maryland shore of the Potomac river at Gresboro, nearly opposite to Alexandria, are nearly completed. Soon, therefore, the cavalry now scattered over a surface of several miles in that neighborhood, will be concentrated at that point in permanent barracks. There are several thousand troops in camp already. Brig.-Gen. Merritt, selected solely for his fine soldierly qualifications, is in command. Cavalrymen and their horses are here to be drilled. On Friday not less than 800 recently purchased horses were sent hither, and additional supplies are daily furnished. It is apparent that more than one-half the animals are of an inferior quality as compared with those furnished at the commencement of the war, thus showing that the quartermaster’s department is obliged to take what it can get–very much of the horse stock having been exhausted by the severe military service.”

Washington Items.

Washington, Sept. 15.–On Sunday morning a party of fugitive slaves, thirty in number, were making their way to Washington from their masters’ homes in Anne and Arundel counties, through Centreville, a patrol composed of citizens of Prince George’s county attempted to stop them. The slaves resisted. Some of them were armed with old muskets and attempted to use them, but they “hung fire,” and proved inefficient. The patroller then fired in among the fugitives, and wounded five of them, two seriously. Other parties coming to the aid of the patrol, most of the slaves were secured and taken in charge by their owners, who had by this time overtaken them. Five were placed in jail in Marlboro. One of them received a load of fine shot in the face, by which both eyes were entirely destroyed.


The Richmond Whig has an editorial under the head of “Better die than be Conquered,” which reveals the consciousness that, with all their boastings, the rebels feel their cause lost. The Whig threatens that, in the last resort, the rebels will “take to the woods and the wilderness, like savages, and there fight against cold and hunger” as long as they may be able. Perhaps they will consent to die in the last ditch.


Gen. Gilmore recently sent a special message to Washington, asking the government for instructions as to shelling Charleston. The reply was that he was expected to bombard the city until the rebels shall surrender. The Providence Journal, in reference to the “regular, persistent, plucky and thoroughly scientific way in which Gen. Gilmore is making his sure approaches upon Charleston,” and the probable obstacles he has yet to encounter, says: “What we want is the harbor and the site of that city; it will suit us quite as well with or without the buildings upon it.”


The Charleston Mercury describes the evacuation of batteries Wagner and Gregg by the enemy, and says that both places were mined to give our troops a hot reception. The slow match was applied at Wagner by Captain Hugenine and at Gregg by Captain Lesesne, but owing to some defect in the fuses, no explosion took place.


The number of prize vessels taken into the port of Philadelphia since the commencement of the war is eighty-five. The most valuable, including the cargo, was the steamer Bermuda, which realized more than half a million of dollars. Several of the late prizes, which brought heavy cargoes of cotton, realized large sums.


The Pirate Florida to be Seized by the French
for Destruction done to their Shipping.

New York, Sept. 16.–The Commercial’s Paris letter of the 1st, says: The Florida is still in the port of Brest, and to-day it is stated in the Journal that not only is she going to be seized by the owners of certain French vessels burned by her, but that for the burning of British vessels, a British man-of-war is lying in wait for her. All this, it is hoped, will give time for an American armed vessel to arrive. Some of the officers of the Florida are now in Paris spending their money.

The funds and commerce generally have undergone a great advance, in view of the certainty that peace will be maintained in Europe. The next war, in the opinion of the majority, is to be with the United States, but that is yet too remote to affect business operations.

To-day the bakeries became free. The price of bread is no longer fixed by the authorities, and the price consequently fell two centimes on the pound loaves.


The White Flag over Moultrie.

Washington, Sept. 16.–The fact that a white flag was lately seen floating over Fort Moultrie is not considered of unusual significance, as the Confederate flag itself is white, with the exception of the union, which is red with a blue cross studded with white stars. No importance is attached to the statement of the “white flag”” seen by Capt. Diggs.


Right of Rebel Piracy to be Tested in France.—The claim of rebel piracy on the ocean to be treated as legalized privateering, is soon to be tested in the French courts. A preliminary decision has already been rendered, whereby the British owners, of London, of the bars of silver stolen by the privateer Maffit from the ship B. F. Hoxie, restrain the disposition of their property, by Marcara & Co., acting for the rebel firm of Fraser, Trenholm & Co., of Liverpool.

The value of the silver is $100,000. The House of Marcara & Co. have advanced upon it about $40,000, and being on stolen property they may not only lose their advances but be impounded for damages to the rightful owners. The President of the Civil Tribunal at Paris has issued an order for the sale of the silver, and directed that the proceeds should be invested in Treasury bonds at six months, till the question of ownership should be daily decided.


More Blockade Runners.—The Edinburg Scotsman, received per steamer Hansa, says:

“Two more river steamers have left the Clyde this week for the purpose of running the blockade. The Rothesay Castle, of 840 tons, which was one of the fastest river steamers built on the Clyde, and was lately sold for the sum of £8500 sterling, and a very fine new paddle steamer named the Fergus, of 1000 tons, which is said to have great power and to sail very fast, have cleared for Nassau, and are manned by picked crews of thirty hands.

“Three other steamers left early in August, viz: the Diamond, Gem, and Scotia, and two large powerful paddle steamers of 500 tons are fitting out at Greenock.”

“Compromise.”—Ex-Governor Noble, of Wisconsin, in his speech at the Young Men’s Convention at Syracuse, on the 3d instant, referred as follows to the proposition to “compromise” with the rebels.

“If John Jones lives in a house, and owns it and the property in and about it, and some day when he is out, three or four scoundrels enter the house and steal all he has in it, and take it in the yard; and if John should come in and catch them at it, what do you think John would do? Compromise the matter? Of course not. What then? Suppose he finds the servants of his house have been privy to the act and, to his astonishment, these servants who have intrigued and got these thieves in there, and after that had got the property, say to Jones, ‘Oh, settle this difficulty, and not have any trouble.’ ‘Well,’ says Jones, ‘How will you settle it?’ The thieves say, ‘We propose to take all the personal property we have; we propose, also, to take and hold the estate, and live here, because the property belongs to this place; and lastly, as it cost us something to get here, we want you to pay the livery hire of this buggy and horse.’ [Great laughter.] ‘Do you suppose Jones would acquiesce? My friends, that is almost identically the case with the rebels and our northern copperheads.”


In regard to the colored soldiers captured before Charleston, the editor of the Savannah Republican wrote from Charleston on the 29th ult., as follows:

“I have omitted to state in previous letters that the captured Negroes, who were turned over to the State by the military authorities a few weeks ago, were brought up for trial under the laws of South Carolina on Monday. On motion of counsel on either side the cases were postponed until next Tuesday week. Able counsel have been assigned the prisoners, and other steps taken to secure them a fair and impartial trial. Public sentiment here is against a rigid execution of the law, and I shall not be surprised if a plea in defense that they were acting not of their free will, but under compulsion, should avail in securing a verdict of acquittal.”


Indian Tribes Returning to Allegiance.
The Whole Indian Territory Reclaimed.

Leavenworth, Sept. 16.–The latest intelligence from the Indian country gives additional significance to the victories of Gen. Blunt at Perryville and Fort Smith. Chile McIntosh and Unis McIntosh have come over to our side, bringing with them the entire Creek nation, of which they were leaders and chiefs. Contrabands from the Red river report that the Chickasaw Indians have declared their allegiance to the federal government. Briefly, the entire Indian territory is now under our control, and will remain so.


Persons who have recently visited the fleet doing duty off the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina represent the unanimity of sentiment among officers and men in favor of a war with England as remarkable. The most intense feeling prevails upon this topic, and the presence of an English frigate in Hampton Roads becomes daily more distasteful. Speculations are freely indulged as to how many shots from a 15-inch gun would be required to sink the intruder, and the problem is enlarged so as to embrace her Majesty’s navy.2

, 1863

Depopulation of the Rebel States.—A letter from Cairo to the New York Tribune makes some important statements as to the depopulation of the southern states by the rebellion:

“From inquiries made of persons reaching this point from as many as seven states, I gather that the population in the South is rapidly decreasing. A boat never arrives here without having more or less refugees on board, sometimes as many as two, three and even five hundred. There is little doubt but that by this means Illinois alone has received an addition of 100,000 to her population. They have also lost an immense number of soldiers by sickness, and this for several reasons: one, because the enervating climate and general disregard of the laws of health, previously produced constitutions which broke down with unaccustomed hardships. All accounts agree that northern soldiers are capable of greater endurance. Another reason is that they have suffered for want of medicine, clothing and proper food, hence fever and ague, or more properly chills, for they do not shake, have resulted–other tonics which are required, not being in the country, this disease has lapsed, by consequence, into pneumonia, or, as it is generally called, winter fever. This is a congestion of the lungs–it is similar to what used to be called quick consumption, and more people always died of it in eh South than of all other diseases combined. Another cause of mortality, particularly among officers and men of intelligence, is a deep-seated melancholy arising from the disordered state of their affairs, superadded to the malarious tendency just mentioned.

“Another reason is that many women and children having lived in great wretchedness not only during the war, but before, have died for want of food. They may not actually have starved to death, but exposure and poor and insufficient food have brought on the winter fever. Almost any day here in Cairo, one may see children of refugees from three to twelve years old, carried in their mothers’ arms, and they are almost wholly skin and bone. Frequently have I seen children ten or twelve years of age who would not weigh as many pounds; sometimes they would be one mass of scabs and sores. During the spring and summer I saw crowds of well children with bunches of mustard or turnip tops, partly in blossom, costing five cents, which they would eat green as greedily as cows eat grass. And their mothers, too, would eat them with equal relish. To the families of such persons the government donates, on their arrival here, from $10 to $30 and transportation. In these days, among other food, they buy Irish potatoes, and now one may see these children seize these potatoes and eat them raw as heartily as happier children eat apples. I have the best of reason for saying that a similar story might have been told before the war commenced. Everywhere is the human body governed by the same laws. The new-born infant of savage parents will freeze as quickly as the infant of rich parents. The traitor Floyd, in his account of the surrender of Fort Donelson, said truly, ‘There is a limit to human endurance.’ When a people, in any respect inferior, wages an irrepressible conflict with another contiguous people, it can in no way save itself from annihilation, except by absorption.”

The Situation in Virginia.

The real position and strength of Lee’s army is not known at Washington, and probably not at Gen. Meade’s headquarters. There were reports on Wednesday night of a large rebel cavalry force, some three thousand strong, at Hancock’s Ferry, on the upper Potomac, and the commissary and quartermaster’s stores at Warrenton and Manassas are being sent to Alexandria for safety. One dispatch from the army states positively that it is known that Lee’s retreat has ceased at Orange Court House, where two roads lead through the mountains into the valley. The rebels may hope to get Gen. Meade south of the Rapidan, and then move their army to the right and get between him and Washington and crossing the Rappahannock, march towards Maryland. Many well-informed officers look for some important movement of Lee to which this retreat is only a prelude. He maneuvered in the same way before his last advance, and completely missed Gen. Hooker. The prisoners taken at Culpepper on Sunday all say that Lee is in full force south of the Rapidan, and chuckle over the idea that Meade will be terribly whipped if he goes much further. But Gen. Meade is not likely to be entrapped in that way, and a letter from his headquarters on Tuesday says, that though additional pontoons are being laid, and several more corps are likely to follow the 2d corps, yet the Rapidan will not be crossed, nor will any aggressive movement be made, without a very definite idea of the enemy’s condition, and that the army will not be marched any further from its base of supplies except upon information amounting to a certainty as to the position and strength of the enemy. There are some of our officers who believe that the cotton state troops have all left Lee’s army and gone South.

Another theory entertained at Washington is that the bulk of Lee’s army has gone down to East Tennessee to attack Burnside, leaving only small garrisons at Gordonsville and Richmond, and that by the time we verify this movement, Burnside will have met an overwhelming force of the enemy. It is certain, however, that Burnside cannot be surprised, for he holds the railroad for nearly a hundred miles east of Knoxville, and can keep the enemy at a distance until he makes a junction with Rosecrans, if seriously threatened. All this is little better that guess work, however. One thing is certain, that Rosecrans and Burnside have little to fear from the armies of Johnston and Bragg, unless greatly reinforced from Virginia, for Rosecrans writes to Washington that hundreds of rebels desert daily to his lines. A few days will develop the real designs of the rebels, both in Virginia and Tennessee.

SEPTEMBER 19, 1863


From Charleston.

New York, Sept. 18.

A refugee from Charleston reports that the line of torpedoes does not run entirely across the channel, and the main obstructions are an immense net work of ropes formed somewhat like a ladder, which extends across the channel. When a vessel designs to leave Charleston, word is sent to Fort Sumter, and the rope work is drawn in to one side to permit the egress of the blockade runners. When a vessel come in she lays to under Sumter until the same process is re-enacted. This obstruction is supported by tar barrels.

There are floating batteries ribbed with iron, and only two steam iron-clads rams in the harbor. Upon these the rebels count very much in their defence of Charleston.

In reference to the feeling of the people concerning the burning or surrender of Charleston, he says that the universal resolve of the inhabitants is that they are willing it should be burned rather than surrender it to Gen. Gilmore.

There were not over 300 non-combatants in the city when Gen. Gilmore shelled it with Greek fire.

The main body of Lee’s army is below Gordonsville, and is about 70,000 strong. The division which was reported to have been sent through Richmond was Jenkin’s division of South Carolina troops. They were sent to the relief of Charleston.

The feeling among the privates is in favor of peace, and especially if their property would be guaranteed them by our government.

Our informant also says that there are more Union people in the South than we imagine, and the belief of the rebels in their cause is fast failing. They feel now that something desperate must be done or all is lost. France and England are despised for their double dealing course.


Gen. Lee’s Strategical Movements.

New York, Sept. 18.

The Washington correspondent of the Tribune says, according to the most accredited versions, supported by unmistakable evidence, Gen. Lee’s recent movement was not produced by the dismemberment of his army, but was a strategical combination calculated to throw a portion of his force on the flank and rear of Gen. Meade, in case the latter should leave his position and advance far enough to be caught in the trap set for him by the wily rebel leaders. The rumor of the weakening of his forces by the departure of Longstreet was, it is asserted, purposely spread by deserters and others, in order to deceive the Unionists as to his real intentions, and to induce Gen. Meade to a position where he could be fought to greater advantage.


Resources of America.—A few figures lately obtained from the Department of Agriculture tell a story which the world do well to consider. Out total agricultural exports (exclusive of cotton) in 1860–when we were yet at peace–were $90,849,556, of which Southern ports exported $19,738,365. In 1861, with half a million of men in arms and no Southern exports, they amounted to $137,026,505, and in 1862, with a million one men in the field (one-half of them from the rural districts) and no Southern exports, they reached the sum of $155,142,074. The amount of wheat and flour alone exported in the year ending September 1, 1862, exceeded that of the previous year by over seven millions of bushels.



Those who desire to enter the Navy may apply at any time of the day on board the

Now lying in the Harbor of Provincetown.

Where they can ship for the General Naval Service.
The wages are:

For     First Class Firemen . . . . . . . . . $30 per month.
          Second Class Firemen . . . . . . .    25          
          Seamen  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    18          
          Ordinary Seamen . . . . . . . . . . .    14          
          Landsmen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    12          
          Boys of 18 years and upwards    10          
            Also wanted–Good Musicians.

An additional $4.50 is paid to all persons in the Navy, in lieu of the spirit ration.

They may ship for One, Two or Three Years–at their own option, with three months’ advance–and may allot half their pay to the support of their families.

Minors applying must bring the written consent of their parents or guardians.

Promotion to Petty Officers.

Seamen are eligible for promotion to the offices of Masters at Arms, Boatswain’s Mates, Quarter Gunners, Captains of Tops, Forecastle, Holds, Afterguards, &c.

Mechanics may be advanced to Armorers, Armorer’s Mates, Carpenter’s Mates, Sailmakers Mates, Painters, Coopers, &c.

The pay of these petty officers is from $20 to $25 per month.

Warrants, Bounties, and Medals of Honor.

All those who distinguish themselves in battle, or by extraordinary heroism, may be promoted to forward Warrant officers, or Acting Master’s Mates–and upon their promotion receive a gratuity of $100 with a medal of honor from their country.

Prize Money.

The laws for the distribution of Prize Money carefully protect the rights of the captors, and ship’s crew are awarded a liberal share.

Navy Pensions.

For total, or inferior disability, by reason of any wound received or disease contracted while in the line of duty a liberal provision for life is made by Government–and in the event of death from such causes, the pension to be drawn by widows, mothers, and children or orphan sisters under sixteen years of age.

Mileage Allowed.

Any one who resides at a distance and is desirous of shipping should go to his city clerk and obtain a certificate that he is a resident, and leaves to enter the Navy. This certificate will entitle him to three cents a mile traveling expenses.

1 The problem in blockading Wilmington was that there were two channels to watch, and the fact that they were separated by a shallow bar (Frying Pan Shoals) which necessitated a 40-mile a detour to circumvent. Until a double squadron could be spared, as the writer of this piece indicates, there was no way the port could be sealed up.

2 The full lyrics to “Give us a Navy of Iron” are online, but the refrain alone is indicative of the sentiments expressed in this short article: “O give us a navy of iron / And to man it our Yankee lads / And we'll conquer the world's broad oceans / With our navy of iron clads / Then adieu to Britannia's power / We'll crush it whenever we please / The lion shall yield to the eagle / And Columbia shall rule the seas.” 

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