11, 1863

The Foreign Fleets at New York.

New York, Oct. 3, 1863.

The most important question, or rather one that is most in the ascendant just now, relates to the concentration of the Russian, English and French fleets in the waters of New York. The Russian was the first to arrive, and the impression at the start was that it was connected in some way with the “alliance,” which a sensation reporter of the Herald announced a few weeks since. This impression, however, was not general, and at the present moment there are few who credit it at all, and these few are confined to a certain clique who are hourly growing rich by the war, and who see in the visit of the Muscovite Jack Tars a close alliance with the Federal power–the fruits of which are to appear the moment France interferes in favor of the South.

But it is not here that these individuals care so much about “making an impression,” (as Dix said,) as in England and France. It is these countries that are to be made to believe (of course they will) that something does exist–that the visit has a political significance–that it is, indeed, a threat to John and Nap that if they do not cease their encouragement to the South they will be pounced upon by the united strength of the “two greatest powers in the world.”

The ovation given to the Russian officers on Thursday was one of the parts in the programme for creating an impression abroad, and the fact was still more patent from the refusal to extend an invitation to the officers of the French and English fleets. Even the Herald plead for this, but it was no go. That would spoil everything. What business had the English and French tars here? Could not our “Russian friends” drop in and see us without these “allies of the South” poking their nose into the affair? This is exclusively a Russian greeting, and no third party can have part or lot in the matter. So the British and French were not invited, and while the Russian vessels were decorated all over with flags, and flags waved everywhere around the harbor ad through the city, and English and French vessels lay sullenly within stones’ throw, with not a flag save that of their own nationality flying! Nor was even a sailor from the latter vessels allowed to come ashore, though I believe this has been forbidden from the first hour of their arrival, in consequence, as is alleged, of bitter feelings which exist towards the Russian sailors, and which might break out in scenes of violence were the respective tars to come in contact. The Russian sailors are allowed to come to the city as often as they please, and on the day of the welcome their blue jackets and caps and white breeches were everywhere visible. That they enjoyed the ovation amazingly was very evident, for not a Jack did I see who was as “happy as a lord.”

But all this does not answer the question, “What is the fleet doing here?” and what is the purpose of its visit? That it has any real political significance, or that it is proof of an understanding existing between Washington and the Petersburg Cabinets, I do not believe, and despite all the display, for effect abroad, I doubt whether any such effect is visible, albeit a morning journal declares the “alliance” to have been “consummated” by the late ovation.->

How long the honored fleet is to remain here is not stated. I have seen it announced that it would spend the winter with us, but more latterly it has been asserted that it will coal, take in supplies, and then leave for Mexico–perhaps to watch the Emperor. The officers as I stated in my last know nothing of their movements, but state that they are “waiting dispatches.” The mission of the English and French vessels is announced in one paper to “keep an eye on the Russians.” Every incident on board the Russian fleet, it is added, is watched closely by the foreign vessels, and when the Russians leave, the flag of St. George and the tri-color will with them.

The Albion, I see, advances the opinion that the Russian fleet have brought up here as the most advantageous neutral port during the adjustment of the difficulties between Russia and the Western Powers.

The presence of the British fleet, it continues, is merely one of those coincidents that will sometimes happen, while the French are here for a change of climate for their crews (lately in the Gulf,) and on business connected with the Mexico occupation. How far these surmises are correct, we must wait for time to answer.

A grand banquet and ball is is to be given the Russian officers next week, and an effort will no doubt be made to have an invitation extended to the British and French officers to join in the festivities, though I apprehend there would be little chance of its acceptance.

There are reports that the Russian Admiral will be invited to visit Washington, and the Mayor of Baltimore is also anxious that the Russian officers should visit that city, because of the friendliness of the Czar’s Government as compared with England and France. More political capital, you will see.

The speeches of Walbridge and one other guest, at the Gun Contractors’ dinner to the Admiral, though perhaps very pleasing to the “Alliance” believers, are nevertheless denounced by every dispassionate man in the community. Walbridge said the fleet was here in order that, “at a given signal, they might sweep the commerce of France and England from the ocean,” and the other speaker declared that “the United States and Russia were the only two first class powers in the world!”

But then, these were after dinner speeches, and perhaps those who delivered them did not know what they were actually saying.

OCTOBER 12, 1863

Withdrawal of Mr. Mason.

We are glad that the President has found it compatible with the interests of this government to withdraw Mr. Mason from “near the Court of St. James,” and trust that the next tender of friendly intercourse will be suffered to come from the British government. One of the Richmond papers in an article extensively copies, suggests that the withdrawal of Mr. Mason should be followed by an enlarged and elevated embassy to France. Why so? What has France done? She appears to have treated our embassage with ordinary courtesy, which cannot be said of England. It is believed that she has once submitted a proposition to the English Court for a joint recognition of the Confederacy; but does not everybody know that France must have been well aware beforehand that it would be rejected; and that in bringing her action in the premises upon that of England, France is as safe from friendly committate to the Confederacy as England herself? England, in truth, has been of some service to the Confederacy, but France none, so far as we are able to judge. In both we are the victims of a vulgar fanaticism and a policy thoroughly and exclusively selfish. If France shows a more complaisant face now, it is due simply to the fact that we may be in come sort essential to the accomplishment of her own purposes on the American continent. We see no reason for any extraordinary diplomatic provisions in France. Although others, doubtless, are able to see much more than we do. To the President, who has much fuller information upon the subject, we are quite willing to leave it.



Richmond, Oct. 10.–The exchange notice of Col. Ould declaring the men and officers who were captured at Vicksburg duly exchanged has elicited a letter from Gen. Merideth, Yankee Commissioner, in which he makes out a balance in favor of the United States of ten thousand men, and demands a release of the prisoners at Richmond. He charges in this matter a deliberate breach of good faith on the part of the Confederate authorities.

Ould, under date of October 2d, make a very lengthy reply showing that he had acted according to precedent and a letter of cartel. He repels the offensive aspersion upon himself and his Government. He represents and demonstrates a sharp rebuke to the Yankee Commissioner from the coarseness of his language.

In conclusion, Ould says that the Confederate authorities will consider themselves entirely at liberty to pursue any course as to the exchange and paroles which they may deem right and proper under all the circumstances of the case; at the same time are willing to adopt any fair and just reciprocal rule in relation to these subjects without delay.

The Senate of Virginia to-day passed a very stringent act for the suppression of gambling in the State.

The review of troops for local defence by Gen. Elzey took place to-day. The weather is delightful. The parade was witnesses by a multitude of ladies and other spectators.

Houston, Texas, 28, via Jackson, 10th.—Movements are on foot in every county in the State to furnish the families of soldiers with corn at a maximum price of fifty cents per bushel. In many counties it is given and delivered to families without any charge.

The result of the Sabine Pass fight shows it to be a most brilliant one. Forty-two men all told were attacked in a battery by four gunboats, backed up by a fleet of transports of twenty vessels carrying 10,000 men. We captured two of the gunboats with all on board and crippled a third which afterwards sank at sea, and sent the whole force back to where it started from. The numbers of killed and wounded Federals was greater than our entire force. The number of prisoners taken was eight times our entire force. The number of guns captured was more than double the number we had and of five times the weight of metal. These men were the Jeff Davis Guards–a company of Irish volunteers raised in the city of Houston in 1861 for the war. Silver Medals have been presented to each member of the garrison by the citizens of this city.

The gunboat Clifton, one of the captured boats, is now in as good condition as when the attack was made, and it is the headquarters for the time being of General Magruder. Commander Crockett, of Clifton, and  Captain Thomson of Sachem, together with the balance of the officers captured, are confined in the Court House of this city. Another attempt is shortly looked for to invade Texas.

Our army is ready for the invaders at all points. The Sabine Pass was the weakest point we had. The people are rallying at the call of danger in a most gratifying manner. The draft for State troops which at first resulted in about five thousand men, has now produced ten thousand. Minute companies of exempts are being formed all over the State. Captain Herbert, member of Congress from the Second District, has a splendid company of this sort now in the field. The spirit of resistance is fully equal to that of the  spring of 1861: Soldiers and citizens will give a good account of themselves when the enemy appears.

The Indians are troublesome. They are armed and provisioned by the Yankees. Full proof of this has been found on the bodies of the red devils that have been killed.


Negro Prisoners.—The Federal papers say there are some thirty-five or forty Negroes in Fort McHenry, all of whom were taken at Gettysburg. They profess an undying attachment for the South. Several times General Schenck has offered to release them if they would take the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government, and join the Lincoln army. They have peremptorily refused in every instance, and claim that they should be restored to their masters and homes in the South. They say they would prefer death to liberty on the terms proposed by Schenck.


The Confederate prints are copying a very interesting description of the capture of Nana Sahib,1 when it turns out that he has not been taken at all. Nana is a cruel, remorseless fellow–but his cruelties have been committed against a remorseless invader, who holds his country for mere purposes of plunder and profit, just as the Yankees propose to hold the South. The South is to be the Lincoln India, if he can make it so, but she has in no particular accepted our tender of friendly official intercourse.


The Alabama at Cape Town.

The Salem Register, of yesterday, prints a long letter from a trustworthy young man in Cape Town to his parents in Salem, giving an account of the reception of the Alabama at Cape Town and the feeling which her presence excited among the Americans at that place. We make copious extracts, which will be found of much interest:

“After looking along the deck, (she is flush fore and aft), an officer came up and offered to show us the ship, to which we assented. First he showed the effects of Hatteras’s shot, of which all are very proud; there were two big holes in the smoke stack, roughly patched, new pieces let into the deck, the fore chains splintered and bent, and two scabs in her bow. Below he showed us where two shots came through and lodged in the opposite side; one of these gouged the deck directly over the magazine, but did not burst. I looked hard at the place over the magazine, but it was well guarded. I asked him how the Hatteras fought. ‘First rate, but the officers were d----d cowards and the men kicked them away from the guns,’ Said I, ‘Your men are all English or Irish, would you trust them to fight if you met your match?’ ‘Trust’em? You should have seen how they handled the guns against the Hatteras.’ ‘But she was a little gunboat.’ ‘No matter, the men are good grit, not one but will fight till she goes down.’ ‘Suppose you were attacked by two men of war, would you surrender?’ This touched him, and he began to curse and swear against the flag, the navy, the Yankees, said they had given up their lives already, they belonged to their country, and were ready to die any time. I had never heard such stuff before, but I was on board their ship, and did not feel that it would be right to answer him there. I felt I was a self-invited guest, so I grit my teeth and dropped the conversation. A few moments after, some of them told the officer we were Americans, and he began another tirade. C. and I both took it up when he got personal, and we had it strong, collecting quite a crowd. C. was formerly in the navy. The officer said, ‘I may shake hands, here and now, but you get into a steamer, and see how quick I’d shoot you.’ Said I, ‘So would I you,’ and felt I could do it on the spot. Another officer now called him and we continued looking about. A while after he came up again and asked if we would like to be introduced to Captain Semmes. I felt that I could not be introduced as a friend, and did not wish, in his own cabin, to be, as an enemy, so I answered no. However we went down by ourselves and had a look at the varmint. I presume it is unnecessary to describe him, he is now so well known. He looked very much as I expected: about my age, of military appearance, hard, cold grey eyes, mouth ditto, with a light moustache over it. He was standing behind his table, bowing and talking sweet to a cabin full of F.F.C.T. His table was literally covered with flowers and photographs; there was very nearly half a peck of visiting cards, while he was writing his autograph for dozens. One lady (?) says, ‘You have my prayers, sir, for your success and independence; we all feel the same way.’ Semmes assumed a picture of wounded innocence look, and turns to hear another say, ‘I congratulate you heartily, Capt. Semmes; you have done a great deal for your country, and will have a large share of the honor after the war is over.’ ‘No, madam,’ blandly and (ir)reverently pointing upwards, ‘I wish for no credit; let us thank God for this and all He has done for us; the right will soon prevail,’ &c. Half the audience seemed disposed to kiss him, the other half to cry. I had seen enough and went again on deck. So many were standing about that I only saw a few of his chronometers. He has a small cabin, in fact all the officers’ quarters are small and inconvenient. ->

They told people no one knew how much they suffered, but if it was for their country they did not mind how they lived. This was the stuff I heard wherever I went, and I felt quite bewildered, yet was so fascinated, I did not feel disposed to leave. The officers wore rather seedy grey uniforms, and a few English officers the regular English blue uniform. They appeared to have poor discipline on board. Some of the men were smoking about the decks, apparently as a matter of course. I heard an officer say to one of them, ‘Jimmy, do thus and so.’ Another man answered an officer who told him to do something, that he ‘did not believe there was any need of doing it,’ &c. The machinery was in perfect order, but with that exception, the ship looked no more man-of-war like than a common merchant ship; this, too, after renovating in Saldanha for a week. She is so sharp that there is very little room on board; you follow the lines of her bow along and find they insensibly run into those of her counter. No wonder she will sail. They told me they had never once had her under full steam. Her spars are heavy and her staysails immense. After getting into our boat we pulled slowly around her, took a parting look, and steered for the shore. There were countless boats afloat, large and small, and the boatmen made quite a harvest. The excitement continued growing hour by hour; it would be easier to say who did not go off than to tell who did. Occasionally one of their boats would come ashore with their rag in the stern; the crowd on the wharf would give three cheers and a detachment follow an officer through the streets. . .


The Volunteer Movement in Canada.—The Toronto Globe in commenting on the successful grand review of provisional volunteers on Thursday last, thus speaks of the progress of the volunteer movement in Canada:

“Nearly two years have elapsed since the Trent affair aroused our people to the fact that a more extended armament was necessary that Canada had previously known. The enthusiasm then manifested, it was prophesied, would die away with the danger which called it forth. But the facts we now have before us prove the contrary. The inaction of the Macdonald-Cartier Government, indeed, damped at the start the ardor of the volunteers, but no sooner was it known to the young men of the country that their services would be accepted than they responded in a manner far exceeding the hopes of those who had always contended that they were worthy scions of the old stock. Instead of flagging, though many adverse influences have been brought to bear upon the system by its opponents, there has been a gradual development in the most favorable direction. The number of volunteers has rapidly increased, their discipline has constantly improved, their organization has been perfected, and the spirit which animates them has risen higher and higher as each step has been taken. The question now is not will the volunteer movement succeed, but to what length are we prepared to carry it out?”

The Globe follows up this question with a suggestion that next summer a camp may be formed for a week, wherein a large volunteer force might attain a considerable degree of efficiency. It urges this point quite strongly and recommends the government to aid the Force by a supplemental grant.

OCTOBER 14, 1863


Shooting by Wholesale.—The Government is doing a big business at catching and shooting deserters. Scores are being shot, and the thirst for blood so increases that they have raised the reward for catching deserters from $10 to $30. Stimulated by this liberal bounty, the Government spies are swarming over the landing and “taking” whom they please–the suspension of the habeas corpus preventing the defeat and exposure of their rascalities. And many men who never belonged to the army are thus seized and sent off, to be either shot for a crime they never committed or forced to enter the army. This, to the minds of the Republican papers, is all right–harms nobody who minds his own business! But what did these same papers say of the return of a Negro to his master? The Cheshire Republican says that :it is probable that more young men have been shot within the past month for running away from the army, than there have been Negroes killed for deserting their masters since the adoption of the Constitution; and yet while the humanitarians have shed so many tears and brought on so much trouble in their sympathy for the poor Negro, who has sometimes been punished for deserting those to whom he owes service, we hear from them no words of sympathy and no prayers for the thousands of white men who are publicly advertised in the abolition papers as subjects to be shot like so many dogs. These are only white men, these meek philanthropists think, and if they disobey the law and try to avoid fighting for the proclamation, they deserve to be shot. But the Negro is better flesh and blood. If a black man disobeys and is punished we must pray for, sympathize with, and if need be get up a great war in his favor, and sacrifice a million or two of lives and tax posterity for his benefit? If Ham had not been colored quite so deep as he was, and his descendants had been less deficient in civilization, what a vast amount of hypocritical philanthropy would have been saved the world, and how many crocodile tears would have been lost to it!”


Corruption Everywhere.—The late campaign of Gen. Pope against the Indians in Minnesota seems to have been much like his other military operations. The St. Paul Pioneer represents that no harm was done to the Indians, and that they believe they were victorious–a belief which is very reasonable in view of the fact that our forces hastily retreated after two or three skirmishes. But in other respects the expedition was quite successful. The plunder obtained by means of it–from Uncle Sam–was enormous. The Pioneer says:

What then has the expedition accomplished? It has been the means of making a few men rich. From the first to the last it has been a marvel of corruption–of open, indecent favoritism and plunder. There are men who two years ago were bankrupts, and as such the glad recipients of charity, who to-day are proud and arrogant from their possession of their ill-gotten gains. There are springing up around our city splendid palaces, which are pointed at by the common crowd as monuments of public plunder. How it has fared with Major General John Pope in the general we have no means of knowing. He has borne through life a disreputable character, and it is hardly to be credited that, with dishonesty tainting every branch of the service in his department, he has not shared its fruits.

Abolition Intolerance.—In Rhode Island, on Monday of last week, the question upon the adoption of the following amendment to the State Constitution was submitted to a vote of the people:

“Aliens, residents of this State, who have enlisted or volunteered, r who may enlist r volunteer, in any of the regiments of this State, and shall be honorably discharged therefrom, and who are now or may become naturalized citizens of the United States, shall be admitted to vote at all elections in this State on the same terms as native born citizens of this State.”

In the city of Providence, the vote upon this question was yeas 473, nays 862! And the vote of the whole State shows a majority of more than two to one against the amendment! This is simply infamous. The question has been agitated for two years, and during all that time, to induce foreign born citizens to enlist, the Republican leaders have professed to be earnestly in favor of according this rightful privilege to them. But at the very last moment, their organ, the Providence Journal, came out against it, and the whole party came up in a body to the polls and voted it down! The Providence Post says “the promise of suffrage to the foreign born soldiers was meant to be a cheat, nothing more and nothing less. Soldiers were wanted, and adopted citizens were promised suffrage if they would respond to the call. They did respond. They had already most generously responded. They added to their numbers by scores and hundreds. And here is their reward!” This action well illustrated the sincerity of the new born regard of the abolitionists for foreign born citizens. Those citizens are good enough for soldiers, but unfit for voters, while every Negro who can be stolen from his master is at once invested with the right of suffrage!


The late disastrous battles in Northern Georgia were the result of dictation from Washington. Gen. Rosecrans was ordered to advance into Georgia in the face of a superior force, and the consequence was defeat, disaster and retreat. The correspondent of the N. Y. Herald, describing the signs and incidents at headquarters the night before the first battle says:

I shall never believe that Rosecrans or Thomas entered into the first battle of the Chickamauga with that degree of confidence which should have been felt by them. There appeared to be something over which Rosecrans had no control, urging him to battle, and the knowledge of it made Thomas, who blanches at nothing, look black. That invisible something took shape that morning, and more than one looked upon Dana, of the War Department, as a bird of evil omen, who had brought with him ill-timed orders from men at Washington, who knew nothing of the situation. There were some of those who looked on who knew that, on the 7th of September, after having suggested to Gen. Rosecrans that he ought to form a junction with Burnside, Gen. Halleck had declined to “assume the responsibility” of ordering Burnside to join Rosecrans, but who on the 10th did not hesitate, against the advice of Gen. Rosecrans, who proposed concentrating at Chattanooga, to order him to pursue and destroy Bragg.


A Barbarous Relic of Slavery.

Letter from Gov. Andrew.–The following letter from Gov. Andrew was sent with the iron necklace that is now on exhibition at Williams & Everett’s, Boston, and which was taken from the neck of a slave girl who was nearly white:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
Executive Department,

Boston, Sept. 10, 1863.

To Messrs. Williams & Everett,2

Gentlemen: Your rooms are visited every day by multitudes of cultivated and refined Massachusetts women, attracted by your displays of art. I send you, with this note, an iron yoke, from the neck of a slave girl, nearly white, in New Orleans, who was liberated by military authority from a foul and narrow dungeon, where in darkness and fear this poor child of sorrow had borne the double torture of confinement and of this painful instrument for three weary months. She would have borne it indefinitely had not our arms delivered her, as they did many more, from her oppressors. Her offence, as it was stated by her mistress, was that “she runned away.” An officer of Massachusetts volunteers, whose letter I enclose to you, sent me this memento of a barbarism, soon, I trust, to become wholly extinct. And I send it to you in the hope that you will permit it to be placed on exhibition for a few weeks in your rooms, where the sight of it and the story of the poor child who wore it may remind mothers, wives and daughters, under whose eyes it may fall, of some of the good done by those whom they have sent from their firesides to encounter the hardships of war.

I am very truly yours,

John A. Andrew.

The following is the letter referred to by Gov. Andrew:

New Orleans, (La.), Aug. 28, 1863.

To His Excellency, John A. Andrew, Governor State of Massachusetts,

Sir:–I have the honor to present to your Excellency, herewith, an iron relic of a poor slave girl’s torture, which I procured near this city, under the following circumstances.

Soon after the Federal occupation of New Orleans, I was placed in command of a detachment of troops, and instructed to proceed down the river for the purpose of searching suspected premises for arms and munitions contraband of war. At the plantation of Madame Coutreil, a French Creole, residing just below the city, I found quite a quantity, and was about leaving when a small house, closed tightly and about nine or ten feet square, attracted my attention. I demanded the keys of the strange looking place, and, after unlocking double doors, found myself in the entrance of a dark and loathsome dungeon, alive with the most disgusting and sickening stench that can be imagined. The hot, close and stifled air puffed out by me until I was obliged to fall back for fear of suffocation.

“In Heaven’s name, what have you here!” I exclaimed to the slave mistress, of whom I had demanded the keys.

“Oh, only a little girl–she runned away.”

I peered into the darkness, and was able to discover, sitting at one end of the room upon a low stool, a girl about eighteen years of age. She had this iron torture riveted about her neck, where it had rusted through the skin, and lay corroding apparently upon the flesh. Her head was bowed upon her hands, and she was almost insensible from emaciation and immersion in the foul air of the dungeon. She was quite white–quadroon or octoroon–and previous to her confinement, which had continued as I found for three months, must have possessed a considerable claim to beauty. Her only crime, according to her mistress’s statement, was that she had attempted to run away.->

She was also, I believe, suspected of having some sympathy with the “Yankees,” and it was the intention of her mistress to keep her in the dungeon until the rebels had driven the Federals from the city–an event confidently expected at that time by the Confederate sympathizers.

I had the girl taken to the city, where this torture was removed from her neck by a blacksmith, who cut the rivet, and she was subsequently made free by military authority.

Very respectfully,
Your most obedient servant,

S. Tyler Read,
Captain, 3d Mass. Cavalry.


Died at Gettysburg.—The following beautiful extract is from a funeral sermon preached in Maine, over a brave young volunteer who fell at Gettysburg:

We esteem it an honor that one brave, young life has, from this congregation, been yielded up in so great, so holy a cause.

We consider it an honor–sore, unutterable grief though it be–to these parents who have been called to give up their first-born, the object of their love and their hope, to God and their country, to the whole race whom Christ came to save!

Died at Gettysburg! No prouder epitaph need any man covet. Who of all who have occupied these houses, and tilled these fields–building, planting, reaping and returning to the dust whence they were taken–who of them all has earned a nobler memorial? Who of all who now dwell here will merit a more affectionate, honored remembrance, than the young volunteer who, from this community, went forth to fight, and as the event proved, die for his country?

Died at Gettysburg! Do you know what it means? It means, “Died to chasten the insolence which had grown inordinate through a series of successes.” It means, “Died to restore courage and hope to an army saddened and despondent through long continued disaster.” It means, “Died to turn back the torrent of invasion and pillage, and wide spread devastation.” It means, “Died to still the panic fear which filled all hearts in the great cities of our land.” It means, “Died that mothers might put their children in security to their night’s right.” It meant, “Died that insurrection and riot, theft and robbery, conflagration and red-handed murder might not rage at will–not in New York and Boston alone, but in every city, every town, every village in the land.” It means, “Died that you might assemble in this house without fear that your homes will be plundered and burned in your absence–that you yourselves might fall by the shot or stab of the assassin.”

For all that was experienced in New York is but a small sample of what must, in all probability, have been experienced throughout all the North, had the men who died at Gettysburg faltered when desperately assaulted by a proud, outnumbering foe.

Died at Gettysburg! It means, “Died that the best government on which the sun ever shone might not be bound and powerless, calling in vain for the succor which would not come–as our government, in all seeming, would have been, had not God, in his mercy, interposed for us, saving us by those who, at Gettysburg, opposed their breasts as the bulwarks of our defence, against the enemy who thought to tread us into dust!”

That is what it means–Died at Gettysburg.”

, 1863

Gen. Meade’s Army Falling Back.
The Rebels Driving Gen. Meade in Virginia.

The important news is received from Washington that the whole rebel army have crossed the Rapidan, that Gen. Meade had fallen back to the north bank of the Rapidan, evacuating Culpepper, and burning such stores as could not be conveniently carried. Captured prisoners say that Longstreet’s corps has returned from the southwest, with the evident intention of turning Gen. Meade’s right wing. It was reported in Washington Monday night that the rebel cavalry held the pass in the Bull Run mountains, but a large cavalry force sent to the front was expected to dislodge them. The force holding the pass is supposed to be White’s and Mosby’s men.

The vigilance and precaution exercised in the army of the Potomac may be inferred from the statement that a whole division was thrown into consternation by the rebels shelling a foraging expedition on Sunday morning.


The Crew of the Florida in Liverpool.

The crew of the Florida are now in Liverpool. They are ninety-five in number, and are nearly in a state of great destitution. The paragraphs in the pro-Confederate papers stating that immense sums as wages and prize money were paid to them were pure fabrications. Many of the men are Irishmen–all fine athletic fellows, full of determination. They were originally taken from the Confederate army, and, according to their statements, pressed on board. On their arrival at Brest they asked for wages; for during eighteen months they received only ten dollars each. There was no money forthcoming, and being in a neutral port, they were bold in their demands. Captain Moffit, they say, then charged them with mutiny, put some of them in irons, but ultimately discharged them all. Before discharging them he gave each an acknowledgement for sums varying from $100 to $130. The order  was signed by Paymaster Dais and Commander Moffit. This money they were to receive from Messrs. Fraser & Co., Liverpool, and they were accompanied by an officer who paid their passage. On arriving in Liverpool, Messrs. Fraser & Co. repudiated the claim. The officer who accompanied them had a letter to Captain Bullock, but has been unable to see the captain. The men are in great distress, and are full of anger with every party concerned. They even threaten to go back to Brest and burn the Florida.


Escape from Guerrillas.
By Corporal A.

During the advance of the Army of the Potomac to meet the enemy at Gettysburg, the troops at Harper’s Ferry were ordered to join the main army in order that every available man should add to its strength. The hurried movement made it necessary to leave a large amount of government property, to be subsequently disposed of according to circumstances. A small guard was detailed to protect it, “the men being selected from those least able to march.” Being one of this number on account of recent fever, I was placed in charge of a large amount of ammunition, together with several others from my regiment. The boxes of cartridges were piled closely together, near Fort Duncan, and our shelter tents pitched in the immediate vicinity.

We waited for a day after the troops had left, expecting the trains which were to take the boxes, and which we were to accompany as a guard; but they did not arrive. The next day passed, and no indication of any wagons. It was but natural that we should feel uneasy, for rumors reached us of many guerrillas hovering in our vicinity, and waiting for a chance to steal and destroy. While we were discussing the best means of making our escape in case the outlaws came in numbers, Jones came rushing into our small camp, out of breath, and informed us that the “cut-throats” were close upon us, and that we had not a moment to lose if we wanted to escape capture. Remembering our instruction to burn the pile in case of necessity, we hastily gathered the brush and fence-rails from the vicinity and set it on fire. Observing that the flames spread slowly, I was ordered to return and light the brush on the opposite side. While so engaged, I heard the feet of galloping horses, and saw the butternuts dashing round the turn of the road. The thought of self-preservation was instantly uppermost. My companions were gone, and I would have a cleared space to cross before I could reach the nearest woods. Terrible as was the alternative, I resolved to hide myself among the boxes of cartridges. Finding an opening, I wormed myself into the middle of the pile, and strained my ears to watch the movements of the enemy by the sound of the horses’ feet. Never shall I forget my emotion while there, almost stifled by the smoke, and expecting momentarily the explosion of the ammunition. I heard the voices of the guerrillas as they looked at the burning brush.

“Which way did they run?” exclaimed a rough voice.

“They took to the woods.

“Hank, you take a squad and hunt’em up. Hang the d----d Yankees.”

They then began to drag away the brush, and my heart beat with dread, for I knew if they extinguished the fire I should be discovered.

“What is it anyhow?” exclaimed the first voice, which seemed to be that of their chief.->

“Ammunition,” was the reply.

“Well, taint no use botherin’; we will look after the stores. Keep guards while we search.”

I could hear the clanking of the sabres as the sentinels moved, and also the fierce crackling of some dry twigs which had just caught. Merciful Heaven! Must I perish? My wife–my children! I fainted.

It was dark when I regained consciousness. I could not, for a time, remember where I was; but, by degrees, I recalled the circumstances which surrounded me, and began to think of some way to escape. With great caution I moved from my cramped position, and crept to the edge of the pile. The night was still, and the moon an hour high. I could detect horses tied to the trees, and judged that the guerrillas were bivouacking in the woods. This belief was confirmed by the expiring embers of fires and an occasional groan, like that of a restless sleeper. I determined, when the moon sank, I would steal away, and trust to fortune for escape.

At last the moment came for my attempt. I crawled from my place of concealment, and rolled myself cautiously toward some high grass. Here I lay for a few moments to listen. I could observe that the fire we had kindled had gone out on account of the greenness of the wood; but the boxes were blackened and scorched. The boxes of hard bread had been broken and removed, and the industry with which the ransacking had been done, showed the perpetrators skilled in devastating.

“Who goes there?” growled a husky voice.

I was motionless. Presently a horseman approached and answered, as I thought, “Street.” I could not exactly distinguish the word, which was evidently their countersign. His horse turned his head toward me and shied.

“What is the matter with you, Jack?” exclaimed the horseman; and kicking his horse, he passed on a short distance, and, dismounting, tied his horse to a stump, and joined the rest. I could perceive he was quite tipsy.

After the conversation, which I could partially overhear, their voices ceased, and everyone seemed to be asleep.

“If I could only get that horse,” I muttered to myself, “I could escape, knowing the roads well.”

With the caution of an Indian, I rolled myself toward the horse. He watched me and seemed alarmed,  but did not attempt to break his bridle. On nearing him, I found a twig, and raising it carefully, gradually slipped the rein off the stump. Rolling over gently, I drew the horse after me. Every few yards I paused to let the horse graze.

“Jim,” exclaimed the sentry, “your horse is loose.”

A groan was the only response.

“Jim, you lazy fool.”

“D--n the beast. He won’t go far.”

I continued to let the horse graze for some time, and then resumed his gradual abstraction. Finally I drew him to the turn in the road and at once mounted. Riding over the grass, I kept him on a fast walk, until I thought his feet would not be heard, when I increased the speed to a canter.

I had nearly reached Solomon’s Gap, when I came suddenly upon a rebel picket.

“Who goes there?” challenged the sentinel.

“Friend,” answered I, as gruffly as I could.

“Halt! halt! or you are a dead man. Have you got the countersign?”

The perspiration  beaded on my forehead. Suddenly it occurred to me that it must be one of their leaders, and, as my case was desperate, I exclaimed: “Longstreet.”

“Right. Advance.” That I did so is almost unnecessary to say. I continued up the hill until out of sight, when I took a wood road, quite indistinct and seldom travelled. I had not gone far before I heard the sound of horsemen riding with haste. After the challenge, I could hear, “Which road did he take?” “The d----d Yankee! Stole a horse!” “Hang him!” and other exclamation of a similar character, shouted with wrath, and too plainly indicating my fate should I fall into the hands of the lawless men.

I dismounted, and taking some salt from my haversack, gave some to my horse to keep him amused and prevent him from neighing.

They dashed on.

I again mounted, and pursued my way. By morning, I had reached the edge of the woods and was near Pleasant Valley. All day I remained concealed, and at night crossed fields and woods until I approached the Catoctin range, which I knew was held by our troops. I finally rejoined my regiment in safety, and was the hero for an hour. The boys admired my horse, which was really a good one. If I had been a rebel he might have become mine; but as is our rule, I next day received an order to “turn him into the quartermaster’s department,” and I now occasionally see my “friend in need” ridden by a wagon-master.

OCTOBER 17, 1863


Gen. McClellan Shows his Colors.

Major General George B. McClellan, formerly commander-in-chief of the army of the Potomac, and now gentleman at large with presidential aspirations, has at last shown just where he stands. He has joined the copperheads, but with his usual caution and mulishness has made his own platform. It is a platform, however, on which his friends do not stand, and the general knows it. He professes to want to have the war pushed forward vigorously; the party he has joined are peace men. The general wishes the war to be waged in accordance with the principles of humanity and civilization; the copperheads don’t want the war waged at all. But there is a common ground where the general and his friends meet–their desire for the preservation of slavery. Gen. McClellan’s letter to Charles J. Biddle, giving his adhesion to the democrats, and expressing sympathy with the copperhead candidate for governor in Pennsylvania, says nothing about slavery, to be sure; all is left to be understood. The general succeeds as well now in saying nothing, as he did in doing nothing when he commanded the finest army in the world. But we all know what talk about the “constitution,” “the laws,” and “original limits” indicates in the mouth of a copperhead. It means the preservation of slavery, and on this subject Gen. McClellan and his friends are cheek by jowl. They want the war conducted and brought to such a termination that slavery may be continued intact.

This is where Gen. McClellan cuts himself loose from the sympathies of the loyal people of the North. They want the rebellion crushed, slavery or no slavery. They do not wish the war protracted for the abolition of slavery, how much so ever they may wish for such a desirable consummation; they are simply willing to let the slaves take their chances with the other property of the rebels. They reason very justly that if the rebels want slavery, or any part of it, preserved, the best thing they can do is to lay down their arms; for the longer the war goes on, the more they are losing. On their own heads rests the responsibility for the destruction of their pet institution. Gen. McClellan and the copperheads are not content with this view of the case, but want to take upon themselves the responsibility of saving the institution, thus placing their dear, dear friends of the South under the eternal debt of gratitude, to be paid by votes hereafter. That’s what’s the matter, and nothing else.

Gen. McClellan has now fairly and openly adopted politics as a trade, and we must conclude that his military career is ended. Henceforth he has no claim to be treated as an officer of the army, but simply as what he is, a politician trying for the next presidency. This has undoubtedly been his true character for a year past, but as he kept very still, people would not hardly believe it, and if they did, felt a little delicate about saying so. Now, however, like a certain character of bible history fame, he has opened his mouth and spoken, and there can be no hesitation in speaking of him in his true character. If he does not make a better politician than soldier, however, those opposed to him have very little to fear. And as to his aspirations for the presidency, he may find out in the course of time what every body else realized long ago, that the easiest road to Washington was through Richmond. Gen. McClellan says he would gladly give his voice and his vote to Judge Woodward, the copperhead Pennsylvania candidate for governor. The voice he has given, and the judge is no doubt thankful for it. As for the vote, why, any paddy’s would do just as well, so it doesn’t much matter.

Gen. Lee Ignores the Cavalry.—Some of the rebel papers frankly confess their mortification that the Yankee cavalry now excel their own and the prestige of the “cavaliers” is gone. The fact that Gen. Lee, in the report of his northern campaign, says but little about his cavalry operations, is significant. The army correspondent of the N. Y. Times says on this point:

“Gen. Lee, in his official report of the last blundering movement of his army northward, ignored all the cavalry fights, except at Beverly Ford, Aldie and Middleburg. At the first named he says the Union troops were forced to retire; of the second he has an impression that the Yankees were beaten; and in the last he admits that the confederate cavalry were compelled, in turn, to retire, the enemy having been reinforced by infantry. These statements are as wide from the truth as can well be imagined. The movement across the Rappahannock at Beverly Ford was solely a reconnoissance, and as such was perfectly successful; nor is it true that our troops there were forced to retire, for they retired only at nightfall and when the object of the movement has been fully accomplished. In evidence of this, it is only necessary to state that the last squadron which re-crossed the river, commanded by Capt. Hanley of the 9th New York cavalry, Col. Devin’s brigade of Gen. Buford’s division, met with but very little annoyance from the enemy; more than this, of dozens of rebel officers with whom I have conversed since that battle, not one of them has spoken of it as but a success for our arms. It is equally notorious that the confederate cavalry at Aldie were forced from their position east of the town to three miles west of it, and at night our troops occupied the whole battle ground. There is a grain of truth about the fight on the next day. It is true that our cavalry were supported by infantry as far as Goose Creek; but no infantry were engaged in the desperate fighting that took place between Upperville and Ashby’s Gap. Gen. Lee seems not to have heard anything about Stuart’s discomfiture at Hanover, Hunterstown, Smithburg, Gettysburg, Boonsboro, Hagerstown and other places where the confederate cavalry met with inglorious defeats. It is some satisfaction to find the Richmond Whig admitting that ‘the cavalry engagements of the last six months have ended with the same old song: Our cavalry fell back!’ ”

1 Encyclopædia Britannica article on Nana Sahib.

2 Williams & Everett (est.1855) in Boston, Massachusetts, was an art dealership run by Henry Dudley Williams and William Everett. The firm sold original artworks by American and European artists, as well as "photographs and carbon-pictures of eminent persons, noted places, and famous paintings." Source: Science (Cambridge, Mass.) v.1, no.6, March 16, 1883.

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