4, 1863

The Mexican Question.1
[From the Dispatch.]

France has taken possession of the isthmus of Tehuantepec, placing a force at the town of Minatitlan, which is situated near the mouth of the river Coatzacoalcos, which enters the Gulf near the southeastern boundary of the Mexican State of Vera Cruz. This river is on the line of the Tehuantepec route from the Gulf to the Pacific, a route which has many advantages, and has attracted much attention in the politico-commercial world. So Louis Napoleon is in time with his measures to control it and to do what can be done with it.

In further pursuance of his policy of occupying the important positions on the Gulf, he is also about to throw a proper force into Tampico, the second largest seaport of Mexico. Having already occupied Vera Cruz and Matamoras, he leaves no commercial or military point of importance on the Gulf unoccupied, and we shall soon hear that those of the Pacific–Mazatlan, Acapulco, San Blas, etc.–have not been overlooked.

Indeed, the work of France in Mexico is going on as well as we could desire, and, we may well infer, as much to the discomfort of Lincoln as to our satisfaction. We shall probably hear soon hear some grumbling at Washington–some opinions mutterings of a storm that is to come–but it may not be allowed to break forth uncontrolled. The Federal Government may complain and threaten, but they have frequently declared through their organs that they cannot afford to have open rupture and war with any other power until they whip us.

[From the Examiner.]

The establishment of a solid and well regulated Government in Mexico, if such a thing be possible, taken in connection with the probability of a still further dismemberment of the United States, would be the germ of a new order of things in the Western hemisphere, and the origin of a balance of power on this continent similar to that of Europe. The selection of an Austrian prince for the sovereign of the country looks like an ostentatious disclaimer by the Emperor of the French of territorial cupidity. He does not contemplate the establishment of a French colony; but the erection of a dependent sovereignty, supported by his arms and obedient to his inspirations, may inure him all the solid advantages without the odium of the name of conquest.

As Egypt in the ancient world was the great highway for European commerce with the East, so may Mexico become the entry port for the greatly enlarged trade with the settlements of America, the increased facilities of navigation, and the extended development of Asiatic countries opens to modern countries.->

The immediate result of events in Mexico affect us very nearly, if they have any bearing upon the course of the war in which we are now engaged. Beyond the fact that they open a wide range of complications that may ultimately result in war between France and the United States, it cannot  well be said that they are likely to exert direct influence. At the same time the bold measures of the French Emperor undoubtedly proclaim his deliberate judgment as to the result of our war of independence, and almost necessarily involve a guaranty of protection in case of need. Had he thought that it was probable the United States Government would be re-established in its former power, he would never have embarked in an enterprise which would inevitably cause a collision with that power, and now that he has so signally accomplished his end, he cannot permit his work to be undone and his schemes subverted by the establishment of an immense malevolent military power by the side of his newly created monarchy.


A Historical Gun.—We gave a few days go some account of a brass piece which we saw on board the steamer Chancellor, from Vicksburg, on its way up the river. The piece is a handsome 36-pounder, and has the French Bourbon crown and Bourbon cypher handsomely engraved upon it. The only peculiarity in its appearance is the existence of two handles at the centre of gravity, intended, we suppose, to facilitate moving or transport. This piece was cast in France in 1768. It was brought to this country to assist in the revolutionary war, by Lafayette, and landed in Charleston on the 25th of April, 1777. The gun was used in some of the battles of the revolution, and went next to New Orleans, and was in service there in the war of 1812, when Jackson defended that city. When the Texas revolution occurred, a company of Americans who went from New Orleans in the spring of 1836 to assist in the struggle took it with them, and there it was mounted on the walls of the Alamo, a place made memorable by the memorable massacre, on which occasion the gun fell into the hands of the Mexicans, who used it in their numberless brawls and revolutions. In their hands it travelled to the city of Mexico, where it again fell into American hands, being captured by Gen. Scott when he took that city. When the rebellion occurred, a New Orleans artillery company brought the gun to Vicksburg, and it was used in the siege there. At the fall of that place, it fell, of course, into the hands of Gen. Grant, and it now goes North as a trophy.–Memphis Journal, Sept. 3.

OCTOBER 5, 1863

The Situation at Chattanooga.

From Mr. John A. Fisher, Cashier of the Bank of Tennessee, who reached this place last night, immediately from the environs of Chattanooga, we get some items of interesting intelligence of the situation of affairs there, and a very correct description of the field and position of the two armies.

As soon as he had learned of the destruction of his house by the Yankees, and anxious to learn the fate of his family, who remained at Chattanooga after our army evacuated it, he went directly to the front. He spent several days going from point to point along Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain, with a marine glass, examining the works of the enemy and their movements in the town. He saw only the charred remains of his house, which had been burned by the enemy to open a space for the fire of their batteries upon our columns, which they supposed would enter at the Bird’s Mill Road Gap, a slight depression in the Ridge.

Mr. Fisher’s loss cannot be less than twenty thousand dollars. He had a fine farm, well stocked, and his granary and store-houses stored with provisions to last his family a year. He had expended a great deal upon this residence, and had only begun to enjoy the comforts of a completely furnished home, when the chances of war threw it into the way of the enemy, and it was destroyed as a military necessity. His family–it is reported–together with the families of Colonel Andrews Ewing, of Nashville, and Mr. James Warner, of Chattanooga, were, at their own request, furnished transportation to Nashville. We trust this account is true, and that they are out of danger. Several houses beside that of Mr. Fisher were destroyed–Mr. Campbell’s, Col. Bruce’s, and all the little frame tenements along that road, as far out as Warner’s Grove. The whole space of country has been cleared away, the timber cut down, and every other obstacle to the play of the Yankee batteries removed.

The position of the enemy is a very strong one. They have repaired and strengthened our old forts, and have constructed double lines of rifle pits connecting the forts, and their lines extend from the base of the Lookout Mountain, as near as they dare approach it, through the Rolling Mill grounds, round to Fort Cheatham, and quite round to the fort on Babson’s Hill, and extending beyond to the fort next to the cemetery. Their lines are so arranged as to be connected immediately, and form almost a semi-circle from the river above town, to the foot of the mountain below. They have fortified every little elevation, and their artillery commands the flats in front of the town.

Our line comprises a semi-circle along the top of Missionary Ridge to Lookout Point, and are about six miles in length, touching the river above and below the town, so that we have the enemy completely environed. We have two hundred pieces of artillery, including several heavy siege pieces, commanding the town and the whole Chattanooga Valley, encompassed by the river and our lines together in a circle of about fifteen or twenty square miles. Mr. F. thinks that if General Bragg should take it into his head to open upon them with these two hundred and fifteen guns, Chattanooga will be made so hot a flea could not remain in it. Besides this heavy corps of artillery, Longstreet’s batteries have yet to arrive and be placed in position.->

One of our siege pieces is in position on Lookout Peak, and another on the ridge commanding the Bird’s Mill road. Longstreet is on the left and Polk on the right. Cheatham is on the extreme right, on the Shallow Ford road, and Hill and Buckner are in the centre. In addition to our heavy batteries on the ridge, we have a number of light field batteries in the flats at the foot of the ridge, protected by infantry lines in rifle pits. The lines are in sight of each other, and skirmishing is frequent, though it can scarcely be said that we have picket lines, for they are actually lines of battle.

The enemy have two pontoons at the Chattanooga Wharf, and Gen. Cheatham’s scouts report that they have also a trestle bridge, over which they bring supplies. The enemy are only using the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad as far as Bridgeport. It is believed they have rebuilt the railroad to Jasper, in Sequatchie Valley, and are wagoning through from that point.

The spirit of our army is represented as splendid. The prestige of their recent glorious victory is worth thirty thousand men to us, while on the other hand, the result has had a most depressing and demoralizing effect upon the enemy.–Chattanooga Rebel.


The Two Armies.

We can hear of no change in the condition of affairs in the Tennessee. The question is frequently asked, are we to have another season of inactivity on the part of our late victorious army, which the Yankees will improve, doubtless, until they feel themselves in condition to attempt a repetition of the tactics by which they so bloodlessly forced our lines back from Murfreesboro and Shelbyville, after our triumph at the former place. It looks, at the present time. We have seen a private letter from the front, dated yesterday, which says: “The enemy still occupy Chattanooga, and it is presumed Gen. Bragg will not attack them in their stronghold.”–Appeal.


Horse Impressment.—The impressment of horses for the army was commenced in this city on yesterday. It is a very annoying and delicate business, and we trust it will be conducted with the greatest possible regard for the necessities of the people, and that the victims of the policy will acquiesce as gracefully as possible. There are doubtless many horses in the city that can be spared for the public services without serious detriment to individual or public interest. There are also many which are doing the country as useful service here as they could do in the army. With due regard to these considerations, the impressment may be relieved somewhat of its odious features, and the public interests properly subserved.–Constitutionalist


The Rebel Plot to Destroy Mississippi River Steamers.—The New Orleans Era of the 23d of September has the following details of the rebel plot to destroy all the steamers on the Mississippi river, of which we have already published a telegraphic account:

“We learn from a gentleman, who speaks from the best information, that while on a recent trip up the river he was told by a former friend, who is now an insane and unscrupulous rebel, that Jeff. Davis and his Cabinet had decided to employ incendiaries to destroy every steamboat navigating the Lower Mississippi and Ohio rivers, offering as an inducement to these miscreants in accomplishing their barbarous mission sixty per cent on the estimated value of all boats and property thus destroyed. His informant assured him that the Ruth had already fallen a victim to this scheme, and he would soon hear of others. He being a merchant of this city, and known to be a holder of western produce, was advised, in a friendly way, to hold what goods he had, as there was sure to be a rise in price. The whole plot struck him as so diabolical barbarous and improbable, that he paid no further attention to it than to note it down in his memorandum book, which he has since shown us, and from which we have copied the main points. On his way up the river, he heard threats from some suspicious looking strangers against the Imperial, the very boat which was first fired at St. Louis, under circumstances of grave suspicion.

“It was further told him that the man who burned the Ruth had since made his way to Richmond, received his sixty per cent on the boat and cargo, $100,000, and had been heard from by his friends in Memphis, who were vastly elated by the streak of good fortune of their diabolical friend.”


Early Closing.—We have received several communications from mechanics entering complaint on account of the closing of stores at seven o’clock, which is too early to permit of their making purchases in the evening, after having finished work for the day. Being confined in the shop till six o’clock, they have not sufficient time before seven o’clock to get supper and change their dress so as to be prepared to do shopping; and many of them desire to accompany their wives and inspect goods before they are bought. If the merchants would consent to keep open an hour later–till eight o’clock–the difficulty would be avoided. The following is one of the communications we have received on the subject:

Mr. Editor: I notice that since the first of October various stores are closed at 7 p.m. instead of 8 as before. Now allow me to suggest to our merchants that it would be much more beneficial to them, and of convenience to very many of their customers, if, up to January, at least, they would keep their stores open till 8 o’clock. They are no doubt aware that in many cases, mechanics, after they are through with their work desire to do considerable shopping, and often accompany their wives; but, as they do not get home till after six o’clock and as it will take them an hour to get supper and change their working clothes, they are, according to the present closing arrangement, shut out from making purchases. The stores are closed by the time they get ready to trade; and I think if our merchants will take these, and a good many other reasons into consideration, they will consent to keep their stores open till 8 o’clock each evening.–Mechanic.

Interesting Items.

The Richmond Sentinel of the 29th ult. states that “the house of delegates yesterday, in the most summary manner, disposed of a resolution for inquiring into the tone and temper of the people of the United States on the subject of peace, with a view to responding if favorable. The House by a unanimous vote put its foot on the resolution, and without a word of discussion or a moment of delay.”

Recruiting for colored regiments is proceeding with great rapidity in Maryland. One full regiment and enough companies to fill another have been sent South from Baltimore, and a third regiment is nearly full–making the seventh of the United States colored troops raised in Maryland and District of Columbia. One hundred recruits on an average come in daily. Loyal masters receive certificates for each enlisted slave for $300, payable after the constitution of Maryland, which now prohibits manumission, shall have been so amended as to permit it.

A letter from Kanagawa, Japan, dated July 22d, says: “The arrival of a Japanese brig from the Bonin Islands brought up some English and American sailors, deserters from whaling ships. Among them was an old man, named Horton, upwards of 83 years of age, who was left on the island ten years ago, from on board the United States ship Plymouth. The male portion of the inhabitants are chiefly Americans, the oldest of whom, named Savory, from Connecticut, has lived in that out of the way place 33 years.”

The Nashville Union, in an article respecting the declaration of the opposition that the emancipated slaves cannot take care of themselves, says that amid all the excitement and extraordinary troubles of civil war, the black people of that city have been carrying on no less than eight highly respectable schools which are attended regularly by some six hundred pupils. The trustees and teacher are all “American citizens of African descent;” no white person interfering in any way.

Hallet & Co.’s circular for September 30, says that when the prospective clearance of the laird corsairs seemed most threatening, it was definitely resolved by the Cabinet that such an event must be considered an act of war; that a war with Great Britain, with all its terrible results to either side, would be preferable to these continued accessions to the rebel pirate-navy; that, in such an event, a rebel vessel was to be engaged wherever found, even if it had to be cut out of a British port. Lord John Russell and his colleagues were thus brought to their senses.

OCTOBER 7, 1863


English Sentiment.

Within a few weeks there has been a slight but significant change in the tone of British feeling towards the North. While they are still bitter, some of the foreign papers, which have been notorious for their secession sympathies, have lately exhibited less of that sneering depreciation of Northern prowess and pluck, and doubt of our resources, which have characterized their articles on American affairs. What can be the reason of the change?

Doubtless, one of the causes which has been instrumental in the change is that our Transatlantic cousins are beginning to find out that we are of the old stock, possessing all the national traits of character which placed England at the head of Europe, and has maintained her for so many generations in that position. Our national pride is no less high, no less enduring than their own, and it is unquestionably as free from mercenary considerations. When the war commenced, it was the custom of the London secession press to sneer at the supposed mercenary spirit of the Yankees, and the idea that they were capable of sacrificing their material interests for the sake of sustaining the honor of their country, was laughed at. This fallacy, however, has exploded; but the English give it up with a bad grace. It is a bitter pill for them, to find that the northerners fight well, and with a determination to conquer or perish to maintain their position in the family of nations; they are disappointed that the northern spirit has not been crushed by the reverses which have befallen our arms, and that we have not kneeled submissively in the dust, begged our enemies to name the conditions of our servitude, that we might hasten to fulfill them. But the Bull Dog is beginning to open its eyes. They find that the effervescent enthusiasm of the first twelve months of the war is passing away, and a truer and more substantial feeling taking its place.

There is another reason. However partisan correspondents may gloss the truth over with lies, the war maps as they appear from time to time, tell of Union progress with convincing particularity. Irresistible argument! It pierces even their thick crown, and makes an ineffaceable impression. It is an old saying that Providence is on the side of the heaviest battalions; England always is, and she will soon show a disposition to give a cold shoulder to her southern friends.

With every Union success, we may expect to receive better treatment from England. For their sympathy we care nothing. It will be a moral triumph for us to know that our victories and progress have secured for us the justice which was withheld, while the balance was supposed to be wavering.


Mexico.—By advices from Mexico, it is evident that the Mexicans are not willing to acquiesce quietly to the new order of affairs. Vigorous efforts are being made by Juarez and his government to oppose the invaders of the land. An army of considerable strength is organizing, and it is their intention to fight the enemy with determination. It is safe to say that they can the French much trouble and m ay make it necessary for them to send reinforcements to the army.

War News.

Information has been received from the Army of the Potomac that affairs are apparently unchanged. Nothing is transpiring to indicate any immediate active operations. The enemy is in strong force on the south side of the Rapidan. Gen. Hill’s entire corps is supposed to be there. The enemy’s pickets are on the north and west sides of our lines. A few days ago a considerable column of rebel troops was observed going northward, near the Blue Ridge, perhaps forming a part of the forces reported to be concentrating in the valley.


The Democracy in Favor of Peace.—In the letter of “Confederate,” in the London Times of September 10th, is found the following significant language:

The war will not last more than one year beyond the next Presidential election, even though events should not occur that may bring it to an earlier close. The Northern Democrats are now for peace in their hearts and in their private avowals, though their unworthy politician leaders, with a view to the approaching election, shrink from confessing and proclaiming it. If they get into power they will first try the now vain attempt of conciliating the South back into the Union, and after the failure of that experiment of reconstruction (too late! too late!) they will accept the necessity of recognition which will have been bequeathed to them by the present Administration. If Lincoln, on the other hand, is re-elected, the Northern Democracy, no longer restrained by the motive now influencing their leaders, will soon, commencing in New York, revolutionize the North itself against the Abolitionist Republicans, or at least create such a state of things as will necessitate the maintenance of repressive armies quite as large at the North as at the South; and that will produce the same result.


Mason, the Rebel Commissioner, who has resided in England since the wear commenced, is about to leave that country in disgust. The Providence Journal has the following comments on the subject:

England has passed through many a hard trial, many a day of darkness and despondency. Her foes have more than once predicted that her fate would soon be sealed. But with her mighty power, her wonderful vitality, her amazing resources, she has survived and gone on increasing in strength. But now it seems she is called to endure a new test. Now, her energies are to be tasked as they never have been before. For Mason, the rebel commissioner, threatens to leave her soil. He proposes to shake off the dust from his aristocratic feet in Earl Russell’s ante room, where he has been so long cooling his heels. In virtuous indignation he will deprive England of the sight of his benign countenance, and leave her to get on as she can in her solitude and gloom. It is her own fault, if ruin comes upon her after this. His southern friends long ago declared that scarcely any other mortal would have remained hanging about the foreign office, only to get snubbed day after day, while that Yankee, Adams, was filling Russell’s ear. At last his patience or his money failed, and he threatens to depart, carrying the light of the new southern civilization with him. What will become of England?


The Battle of Gettysburg.—The road at Gettysburg was lined with Yankee dead; and as they had been killed on the 1st, the poor fellows had already begun to be very offensive. We then returned to the hill I was on yesterday; but finding that to see the actual fighting it was absolutely necessary to go into the thick of the thing, I determined to make my way to Gen. Longstreet. It was then about 2:30. After passing Gen. Lee and his staff, I rode on through the woods in the direction in which I had left Longstreet. I soon began to meet many wounded men returning from the front; many of them asked in piteous tones the way to a doctor or an ambulance. The further I got the greater became the number of the wounded.

At last I came to a perfect stream of them flocking through the woods in numbers as great as the crowd on Oxford street in the middle of the day. Some were walking on crutches composed of two rifles, others were supported by men less badly wounded than themselves, and others were carried on stretchers by the ambulance corps; but in no case did I see a sound man helping the wounded to the rear, unless he carried the red badge of the ambulance corps. They were still under a heavy fire; the shells were continually bringing down great limbs of trees, and carrying further destruction among this melancholy procession.

I saw all this in much less time than it takes to write it, and although astonished to meet such vast numbers of wounded, I had not seen enough to give me any idea of the real extent of the mischief. When I got close up to gen. Longstreet, I saw one of his regiments advancing through the woods in good order; so thinking I was just in time to see the attack, I remarked to the General that “I wouldn’t have missed this for anything.” Longstreet was seated on the top of a snake fence at the edge of the wood, and looking perfectly calm and unperturbed. He replied, laughing, “The devil you wouldn’t! I would like to have missed it very much; we’ve attacked and been repulsed–look there!”–Blackwood’s Magazine for September.


Silver in Circulation.—The jolly tars attached to the Russian fleet are cruising about the city, and spending their money with the grand improvidence of seafaring men the world over. The apple stands and fruit stores are particularly patronized by them. When the Chinese first came to New York, they invested all their money in omnibus rides up and down Broadway; but the Russian sailors seem to think their funds most judiciously laid out in peaches and apples. The sidewalk vendors of these articles are doing a fine business with our strange visitors; and the pecuniary transactions involved are usually carried on in the centre of a large crowd of curious spectators. It is difficult to say whether the Russians or the queer looking silver pieces which they pay out are regarded with the greater astonishment and interest. In the absence of any definite and known valuations of the Russian silver coins, the apple dealers estimate them by their size, compared with the dime or quarter of our remote past, and give the Russians change accordingly, and the latter take what is offered them and pocket it trustingly. The postage currency staggers them a little, but they courteously accept it out of regard for the country and its institutions.

The Russian sailors are jovial and well behaved; and, in all their zigzag wanderings about town, none of them have yet been brought up at the station house. They fraternize in the warmest manner with our citizens, and it is one of the most touching of spectacles to see a mixed party of the two nations, sauntering along arm in arm, neither of them able to understand a word that the other says. The police take good care to guard the Russians against imposition; and they report, to the honor of the city, that these good natured visitors are treated with great fairness and politeness wherever they go.–N. Y. Journal of Commerce.

Rebel Prisoners in the North.—We have conversed with two prisoners by the last flag-of-truce boat, one of whom, Alex. Weil, of the Second Louisiana, was from David’s Island, New York, and the other, Thomas J. Grant, of the Thirteenth Alabama, from Harrisburg and Baltimore. David’s Island is a place of about ninety acres, eighteen miles from New York, and the wounded prisoner is fortunate who gets there. Some of our wounded were carried there from Gettysburg. Upon their arrival all their clothes and blankets were burnt, and new and comfortable clothing furnished them. Mr. Weil says the clothing was of a most comfortable character, though the coats, which are United States regular coats, have the tails cut off before they are given to the prisoners. The men put them on, and thus, according to the jokers among them, became members of the “bobtail battalion.” The food is excellent, and many delicacies are provided by the kindness of some ladies from New York, who have established three kitchens, independent of the hospital cooking apparatus. These ladies are very kind to the sick, and furnish them almost any sort of food they ask for. The 20th Indiana regiment was recently on guard there, and proved the members to be an unmitigated set of brutes. They were succeeded by the 1st Massachusetts, who were entirely different, and very kind in their treatment of the men whom they were guarding. When our wounded officers were sent from there to Johnson’s Island, there were each given a $5 greenback. Another place where the Confederate wounded are well treated is at Harrisburg, Penn. Our informant, Mr. Grant, who was wounded at Gettysburg, says the treatment there was most humane, and that the ladies did everything in their power for the wounded. The accounts of these two gentlemen are cheerful rays in the dark history of Yankee hospitals generally, and David’s Island is as different from Fort Delaware as day is from night.


Revelations of a Confederate Mail-Bag.—Among the captures by our troops at Cumberland Gap was a rebel mail-bag, the contents of which have afforded both amusement and instruction to those who have examined them. Among other things, the letters confirmed beyond all question the fact that the Georgia troops are as dissatisfied as any in the Confederate service. Out of the large number of Georgia letters in the mail, but two displayed any confidence whatever in the rebel cause. One gentleman wrote home for his wife not to sell his two pigs for Confederate money, as it was entirely worthless. Another says: “If this war ain’t closed soon, there will be no men left. We can’t fight a worldful of men; the South can’t stand it much longer–our men are all deserting.” Another is more explicit: “I have never seen men so out of heart. You had better set your house in order, for by Christmas we shall be back in the Union. If peace don’t come soon, we will all desert.” This is the spirit displayed in all or nearly all these letters–a spirit of utter despair for the rebel cause, and a willingness to take the Union on any terms, so it brings peace.

, 1863

A Villainous Plot Unmasked.
Jeff. Davis Resorting to the Torch.

The New Orleans Era of the 23d ult., learns from a gentleman who speaks from the best information, that while on a recent trip up the Mississippi river, he was told by a former friend who is now a rabid rebel, that Jeff Davis and his cabinet had decided to employ incendiaries to destroy every steamboat navigating the lower Mississippi and Ohio rivers, offering, as an inducement to these miscreants in accomplishing their barbarous mission, 60 per cent on the estimated value of all boats and property thus destroyed. His informant assured him that the Ruth had already fallen a victim to this scheme, and he would soon hear of others.

The following seems to corroborate the above statement:

A Steamer Burnt Near Vicksburg–Great Loss of Life.

The steamer Robert Campbell, from St. Louis to Vicksburg, was fired by incendiaries on Tuesday morning, near Milliken’s Bend, twenty-five miles above Vicksburg. The flames spread so rapidly that the passengers were forced to jump overboard before the boat could be got to shore. Seventy-two lives are known to have been lost.

The incendiary of the steamer Campbell is believed to be a white man painted black and who left the boat above Milliken’s Bend.

The Incendiaries Still at Work.

The steamers Chancellor, Forest Queen, and Catahoula were burned at the levee at St. Louis Sunday afternoon. The two latter boats were totally destroyed. The hull and machinery of the former were saved. All the boats were undergoing repairs. They were valued at $75,000.


Escape of Substitutes.

Brattleboro, Sept. 29.

Ed. Cal.: Sometime between the hours of 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock Saturday night last, three deserters made their escape from the guard house of the U. S. Barracks at Brattleboro. How they escaped without observation remains a mystery, as a guard was stationed only a few paces from the window through which they made their escape. Inside of the room to the bottom of the window there was fastened thick planks, outside of this there was formerly a door. A blanket was thrown out by the prisoner extending from the tip of the grating to the ground, to shield operations. The door outside, upon which was a bar of iron, was then pried open, leaving an opening between the planking and the next bar above large enough for one man at a time to crawl through, and probably when the sentinel’s back was turned, the prisoners made their escape from behind the blanket round the corner. One of the guard at that post during those hours was very near-sighted, consequently and escape could more easily be made.

The Atlantic Telegraph.

It is quite possible that we shall yet live to witness a repetition of the jubilations of a few years ago, when England and America joined hands across the Atlantic, and the British queen and American president felicitated each other upon what seemed the greatest triumph of the age–the completion of the Atlantic telegraph. The gratification however soon died away in disappointment, for the electric current, that had been wont to play among the clouds, scorned its watery bed and refused to comply with the wishes of science. But out of failure comes success, and, nothing daunted by eh result of the first experiment, the projectors of the enterprise went bravely to work to ascertain the defects that had occasioned the failure and it possible to remedy them. Too much praise can hardly be bestowed upon our own countryman, Cyrus W. Field, for the untiring energy and perseverance he has manifested in this matter. He has never had a doubt of the final triumph of the enterprise, and has labored unceasingly to interest others in the same direction.

The contract for laying another cable from Ireland to Newfoundland was signed September 5, and the summer of 1864 is to test the success of this new attempt at intercourse between the continents. The contractors are Glass, Elliott & Co., who have now in successful operation over twenty lines of submarine telegraph, varying in length from three miles to fifteen hundred. For the sum of $3,000,000 the cable is to be laid and placed in good working order. The expense of the cable laid in 1858 was not quite $2,000,000. Mr. Field has just returned from Europe, and he brought a specimen of the new cable, which is already being manufactured with all possible dispatch. It is about three-fourths of an inch in diameter, and is composed of seven small copper wires strongly pressed together, and around these is a covering of gutta percha one-third of an inch in thickness, and ten strong iron wires twisted like a rope. The whole is wrapped in the best of Russian hemp. The contractors evince their faith in the success of the undertaking by taking a large part of their pay in stock, while the London insurance companies are insuring all risks in it at 25 per cent premium. The distance between the two coasts is 1640 nautical miles, but 2000 miles of the cable is to be prepared. The cable is to be laid in July or August of next year.


Dogs vs. Sheep.—The State Board of Agriculture report the damage by dogs to sheep in Ohio in 1862 to be 37,778 sheep killed and 24,972 injured. Amount of damage, $136,347.


Yellow Fever at Pensacola.—A New Orleans letter in the New York Herald states that the yellow fever has made sad havoc with our fleet at Pensacola. Captain Spear of the transport steamship Nightingale is dead; also the surgeon of the United States steamer Relief. Many of the crews have died. New Orleans remains very healthy.

OCTOBER 10, 1863


Excitement at Windsor.
An Attempt to Haul Down the American Colors.

This morning, as the steamer Heather Bell was lying at the dock at Windsor, an attempt was made by a number of the British regulars, who were on their way to attend the military review at Malden, to haul down the American colors flying at her mast. Sergeant Kelly, of the regulars, and Sergeant Brown, drill officer of the Chatham company, made the demand, which, not complied with, they, with drawn weapons, made a sortie and were going to cut the halyards, when the captain of the steamer, together with a number of other Americans, sprang to the flagmast and defied the threats of the British soldiery. The excitement at this time was intense, and it was feared a general fight would ensue. The Americans, however, stood their ground, and not until the crowd had dispersed, did the captain take down his colors. He distinctly told them that he should not be forced to haul down the American ensign, but would do so when he saw fit. We are informed that the majority of the British regulars did not join in the unreasonable demand, and more that the flag was not taken down until long after the excitement had abated. Doubtless the better portion of the Canadian people disapprove the uncalled for assault.–Detroit Tribune, 2d inst.


Foreign News and Gossip.

An immense number of bets have been made in Southampton during the American struggle between the sympathizers with the North and those who are for the South. In fact bets have been made upon every particular struggle between the belligerents. One of the most amusing wagers was a new hat that the Federals would enter Richmond before the Confederates entered Washington. As both parties have heads of the same size, a new hat was ordered to be made, and kept until the bet was decided. When Lee crosses to the north of the Potomac, or the Federals cross to the south side of that river, the fate of that had excites the greatest curiosity. The siege of Vicksburg caused a large number of transactions, the Southern sympathizes betting freely, owing to the confident statements of the London Times and Standard that the town could not possibly be captured. A bushel of ripe apples of a new sort, grown at Woodlands in eh New Forest, was laid that the great fortress on the Mississippi could not be taken, and the winner has just received the “Vicksburg pippins,” as they have been named. The current odds are that the steam rams will escape from Lairds and get into the home of the Confederates.

An English lady was recently walking through the streets of Sydney, Australia, when she discovered in a jeweller’s window a necklace which she recognized as one stolen from her in England two years before. She entered the store, and, seizing the necklace, touched a secret spring, and beheld two curls belonging to her deceased children. She claimed the prize, and the jeweller gave it up, asking as a favor, that she would not mention it; but she did, and it led to the discovery that for many years the thieves of Paris and London have been in the habit of sending their stolen goods to Australia.

An English newspaper writer inquires to whose genius the British navy is indebted for such names of war-ships as “Alligator, Biter, Blazer, Bouncer, Bloodhound, Badger, Buzzard, Cockchafer, Cracker, Cormorant, Devastation, Ferret, Growler, Hyena, Jackal, Monkey, Revenge, Spider, Terrible, Vindictive, Vulture, Weazel, &c. We laugh at and despise the Chinese for painting dragons and devils on their armor to deceive and frighten their enemies, but are we not as ridiculous by going into battle with our Avengers, Blazers, Crackers and Devastations?”

Optical Illusion.—The Richmond Examiner is responsible for the following illustration of optical illusion:

Three young men, handsomely dressed, sat by the well fountain in Capital square yesterday, smoking and chatting pleasantly and leisurely. While thus engaged in whiling away the time, a respectable looking citizen, whose head was rather grayish, and expression somewhat stern and cynical, took a seat on the same bench, and managed to glide into the conversation, turning its course meanwhile to the army. At length he asked, “How is it, gentlemen, that you, in the full tide of health, with apparent plenty time and money, well brought up and all that–how is it that you sit here idly, and see others fighting and being butchered up, and sickening to death for your sake?” “Well,” responded one, “the army would suit me well enough, but for one thing; if you will pull off that neatly fitting shoe, and roll up my drawers, you will find a leg made of leather straps and iron ribs. The original I left at Sharpsburg.” “As for me,” remarked the second, “if you will take the trouble to feel this left arm, you will discover that the bone between the shoulder blade and the elbow, to the length of about five inches, has been removed. When I stand upon my right foot, also, I am balancing on my toes, the heel being gone. Result of bullets at in the second battle of Manassas.” The third youth scarcely knew what to say, but looked daggers at the cynical old codger, and finally broke out: “The same sort of talk forced me in. I was a shaking skeleton when I joined, and on the first march I broke down, got in one of the meanest hospitals in the country, and came out paralyzed in one side.” [Here he held up a shriveled and lifeless arm.] “And may I ask, sir,” he added, “what keeps you out? You seem to be in excellent vigor?” “Me? I? Why–ahem–I am over forty-five.”


The Work Progressing.—Two congratulatory telegraphic messages passed through our Chicago office on Wednesday night last, which, coming as they did from points but a brief period ago deemed beyond reach by any of the rapid means of communication which this age has brought out, deserves a passing notice. One was from Omsk, Eastern Siberia, and the other from Alexandria, Egypt, and each was directed to San Francisco, Cal. The Russian American Telegraph Company expect in the next two years to complete the connection between St. Petersburg and San Francisco. Under the Russian charter the wires, according to one dispatch alluded to, have now reached Omsk, and are rapidly progressing, while the California State Telegraph Company are moving on the American end of the great line with all possible speed. These messages were severally dated September 13th, and were delivered in San Francisco on the night of the 23d, making ten days’ time between these two remote cities, including the conveyances across by steamers. This one more link is added to the chain which will ere long circumvent the world.–Chicago Tribune.

Then we don’t see the use of the trans-Atlantic cable. Really this Russian American Puck, at the instance of an almost unseen Oberon, has “Put a girdle round the earth in forty minutes.”


1 The papers quoted in the article are both Southern publications.

  Having trouble with a word or phrase? Email the transcriptionist.