25, 1863

The Line of the Potomac.

The late movements in Virginia, and the seeming transfer of the theatre of war to the West, cannot but suggest to the attentive observer an interesting train of thought. “War with a hundred battles” has raged upon the soil of Virginia for more than two years, and still the hostile armies are in line and ready. From Big Bethel to Gettysburg, or to the late cavalry engagements near Culpepper, it has been a series of triumphs and retreats, of fields lost and won with frightful carnage; conflicts of such large proportions as would surely shake Europe to its centre, but in these instances left victor and vanquished still opposing hosts. A field was lost and won, so many thousands killed, wounded and prisoners, so much spoils, so many deeds of daring and valor, so many young hero hearts stilled forever–themes for camp ire gatherings–another rallying name to light up the battle-stained flag like a line of fire, and when the smoke of the conflict cleared away this was all that was left to the victor. The grand prize for which he fought was still beyond, and the defeated foe was again ready for the onset the very next day. He had been driven from the field, not wholly subdued, and even the victorious army would hazard much in the renewal of the fight. This, we think, is a fair picture of the campaigns on the line of the Potomac. The two armies on that line have fought each other from Aquia Creek to the Chickahominy, along the James, the York and the Potomac, across the Nansemond, up and down the Rappahannock and the Shenandoah, and from the Potomac northward almost to the line of the Susquehanna. If we include the department of Western Virginia, the field of operations is extended westward to the Ohio. What a vast extent of territory this, over which was has rolled so uninterruptedly since June, 1861. How often have the hills reverberated the tramp of these armed hosts and the earth trembled beneath the shock of their great encounters, drinking in the blood of the slaughtered thousands and taking to her bosom the mangled remains of the valiant dead!

There may have been blunders in the conduct of these campaigns, both as to political and military considerations. But the investigations of these points we leave to the military critic and political analyst. The results of the fighting are certainly not proportioned to the strength of the forces engaged and the sacrifice of life. We confine ourselves to the single consideration that, after thirty months of war, with a pitched battle for nearly every month, and as many decisive victories so far as the mere holding of the field is considered, the two armies occupy the same territory, indeed are now probably occupying the same lines they held in July, ’61. This protracted and sanguinary struggle is not after all entirely barren of important results, if we view it in the light thrown upon it by our able contemporary, the Boston Courier. “We have fought them,” says the Courier, “and the result would be mutual respect, than which there can be no better foundation for future regard and friendship, could we show them that we ourselves, as a people, possess the high quality of magnanimity. ->

“These (the indecisive battles) have taught us that, maugre slavery,1 the people of the South equal their Northern brethren in ingenuity, energy, perseverance, manhood, self-devotion, and all the other qualities which go to make a great, noble and powerful people.” The Courier, as our readers well know, is not a radical journal. It can view the struggle apart from that atmosphere of hate which seems to hide from so many others the lessons of experience. These conclusions of the Courier, though indicating the near dawn of a better day, do not surprise us, emanating as they do from such a source. But we were rather taken aback to find that an extreme journal like the New York Evening Post derives almost the same lessons from these drawn battles. The Post is one of the longest necked of the long-necked geese of fanaticism that are ever hissing dispraise–as Maud’s mad lover would phrase it–at the South and everything Southern. Therefore that it should admit that any good can come out of Nazareth, is a thing to be noted. Referring to these battles, the Post says:

This is curious in the history of wars, where a single action generally, or at most a series of actions extending over the parts of a day, terminates the campaign, and very often brings the war itself to a close. Thus, at Marathon, Cannae, Chalons, Ramillies, Austerlitz, Jena, Waterloo, Solferino, and a hundred other warlike encounters, in which the hosts of opposing nations were pitched for a trial of strength, the result of the conflict has determined the question. One side or the other won the superiority and maintained it after for years. No second day’s battle was necessary to show who had conquered on the first day. The result was so pronounced, the triumph so unmistakable, that victors and vanquished were alike agreed in awarding the palm. But in our war it has been different, and the soldiers on either side have seemed like those fabled heroes of the Scandinavian mythology, who repair at night by their jolly feasts the wastes of the day, and go at it afresh in the morning.

One reason of this is a certain equality among the men on both sides, who are of the same race and nation, and very much alike in their physical characteristics. Between French and Spanish, or German and Italian, or English and Indian, there is a marked difference of character, which appears in their combats. If one is more light and dashing than the other, he makes a clean thing of it whenever he attacks by surprise, and bears his adversary down by the impetuosity of his charges; or if he happens to be more sturdy and enduring than the other, the very obstinacy of his courage renders his success sure. There is a marked result either way, which does not take place with us, because in the exact counterpoise of forces, and in the terrible determination to win the mastery, neither of us will acknowledge himself whipped, or indeed is whipped until he is extinguished. Our battles, if they have no other result, will at least beat us into a reciprocal respect for each other’s prowess and endurance.

OCTOBER 26, 1863

Treason in Ox Carts.

“M. P.,” a correspondent whose pen always give us something delectable and racy and instructive in matter and manner, writes to the Southern Christian Advocate from Bell Lodge, Alabama:

There begins to be serious concern on account of the deserters in the lower part of Dale, Coffee and Covington counties. They are countenanced by a good deal of Unionism down there. Through Pensacola and Milton, and by Yankee schooners along the coast and up the rivers, a considerable contraband trade is going on. This trade is demoralizing and corrupting. The people there think they have a right to “run the blockade,” too; and really I see not why they haven’t as good a right as others. They run the blockade with ox carts and one-horse wagons and not ships. They ship out a cotton bale or two and return with Yankee notions of both sorts, that is, with Yankee ideas and sympathies, as well as Yankee manufactures. I am told they sell cotton at 38 and 40 cents per pound in gold. All this is wrong and hurtful to be sure–cutting the sinews and wasting the blood of the country and supplying the enemy. But who can blame the ox cart man for running the blockade with one bale of cotton and smuggling in his cargo from the Yankee peddler on the Florida coast, while ships owned or chartered by individuals or private companies, loaded with hundreds of bales go out of our ports under the eye of the government, and return with eclat, having their cargoes advertised for sale in the great cities?

A citizen of Dale county told me last week that a detail of men from the 3d Alabama Regiment had been sent to his county to arrest some deserters there. They got help and set about the arrest, but they were too many and strong for them. One of the company thus reported proceedings to my informant: “We found’em, the deserters, and run’em a mile or so through the swamp, but we were a good piece ahead of’em all the time.”


Gen. Wheeler’s Exploit.

We have conversed with several officers who were with Gen. Wheeler in his recent raid. All say it was a decided success. He went entirely around Rosecrans’ army, crossing the Tennessee River above Chattanooga as he went out, and below on his return. He was frequently driven back and defeated by the enemy. He did not, however, go out to fight, but his object was to destroy Rosecrans’ stores and transportation. His captures of stores were immense, nearly all of which were destroyed for the reason that he could not bring them out with him.

Eleven hundred and sixty wagons were destroyed by him, and hundreds of mules were killed. The destruction of railroad bridges, &c., has inflicted an injury upon the Yankees which they will feel for some time to come. Our friend, Capt. A. J. Bearden, says the people of Tennessee were overjoyed on the arrival of our forces. At one place, he says, two beautiful young ladies, when they saw the Confederate flag, ran out into the road, clapped their hands and shouted at the top of their voices.–Rome Southerner.

The War.

The war interest has now subsided in Northern Virginia. Meade has gone to water his horses in the Potomac. We have gathered up our prisoners and stopped the pursuit.

The affair at Bristoe Station on Wednesday last was graver than was at first supposed. From what we have since understood, it commenced as a skirmish on our side, and a battle on the enemy’s. The force of the enemy which had halted at Bristoe was supposed to be small, and hence only two of our brigades, Cook’s and Kirkland’s (late Pender’s) were sent forward to dislodge them. The gallant North Carolinians suddenly found themselves confronted by two corps of the enemy, concealed behind the railroad embankment, but they maintained the unequal struggle with admirable courage, retiring when forced to retire, with perfect coolness and order. As our reinforcements came up, the enemy fled.

On no field on which they have fought did our tow brigades win for themselves a juster fame than at Bristoe. We deeply lament the losses which they have suffered.

The eyes of the country will now turn again to Chattanooga and to Charleston. At the latter point the cannonading of late is chiefly from our batteries. Gilmore is still “getting ready.” The siege has already lasted more than twice as long as that of Vicksburg.

The heavy floods have probably affected operations at Chattanooga. Rosey’s pontoons have been swept away. Chattanooga is the great point of interest now. The little piece of serpentine river that forms the rear of Rosey’s camp is all that is now left of the famous anaconda. If we can kill that, the snake will be as dead as its showman, McClellan. “A little more grape, Capt. Bragg!”2


Historical Parallel.—Washington, in the darkest day of the Revolution, remarked: “I am under more apprehensions on account of our own dissensions than of the efforts of the enemy.” And, again: “Unanimity in our councils, disinterestedness in our pursuits, and steady perseverance in our national duty, are the only means to avoid misfortunes. If they come upon us after these, we shall have the consolation of knowing that we have done our best. The rest is with God.” How applicable are these words of wisdom to the present timers.


Reconstruction Out of the Question.

Gov. Brown, of Florida, has addressed a letter to the editors of the Tallahassee Floridian and Journal, in the course of which he says:

“Fellow citizens, we have taken our position, from which now there is no retreat without dishonor. We must all stand square up to the issue. There must be no hiding or dodging–no getting behind civil offices to escape from the post of honor, the battle-field. Every man must do his duty–every man who has the physical power must fight. Yes, fight, and the battle cry must be ‘Liberty or death.’ When we have all done our duty, honestly, faithfully, manfully, God will give us the victory and crown us with independence.

“Why should any man doubt or despond? Have we any cause for gloomy forebodings? Are we not now in a better position than we were when this unjust Yankee war was first waged upon us? What was our condition when we seceded from the federal Union? Without a treasury, an army or a navy–without an organized government or any conspicuous great man to lead us. What is now our condition? A well organized general government, with an able chieftain and statesman at its head, the best appointed army and the ablest general the world can boast of, with the prestige of victories clustering thick upon them. A navy, if not large, a terror to the Yankees. Who, with the eye of faith, cannot see the hand of Providence in all this–and shall we hope to win honors and glory without reverses and trials?

“If we are not degenerate sons of noble sires, we will redouble our energies, and with patience and perseverance show ourselves equal to the crisis, and win an independence which the civilized world shall acknowledge and respect. . . These are no times for character complaints. All are called on to do their duty in their proper sphere. I am ready to cast in my mite. I may be able to do something–nurse, or, if need be, assist in dressing a wound–or, if nothing else, by force of example. I have little of ‘life’ to pledge and less of ‘fortune,’ but all with my ‘sacred honor’ are bound in the cause of Southern independence.”–Thomas Brown.


What it Costs to Light the Streets of a Great City.—During the year ending April 30, 1863, the whole cost to the city for lighting the streets was $159,716 against $141,774 during the previous year. The total number of gas lamps the past year was 3,362; of fluid 1,308. The cost for gas in the city proper is nine mills per hour; a South and East Boston one cent per hour. The gas lamps are all cleaned, lighted and extinguished by the gas companies, who are allowed $1.43 per night for every one hundred lamps. The fluid lamps are lighted and cleaned by men employed by the city who are allowed at the rate of about $1.56 per one hundred lamps per night. The total amount paid for gas during the year was $92,868; of which $72,978 was in the city proper; $10,034 at South Boston, and $9,875 at East Boston. Total number of lamps in city proper 2,694 and 673 oil; South Boston 838 gas, 461 oil; East Boston 340 gas, 228 oil.

Destitution in Virginia.
[From the Washington Star of Saturday Evening.]

We are told that no description can give an idea of the sufferings of the people of Fauquier and Prince William [counties] for want of food. The wealthier have divided with the poor as long as there was aught to divide; but all are now on a common level of want. When Ewell (who came up in the rear of Meade, while A. P. Hill undertook the flank movement) was at Warrenton, a lady there sent him six pounds of white sugar. He returned it, saying that his knowledge of the utter destitution of the people forbade him from appropriating any portion of their scant supplies to his own use.

At the residence of Samuel Chilton, (well known here formerly as a lawyer,) a peck of meal constituted the sole stock of food supply. Chilton himself is in Richmond, but his family are at the home place, among them a son, late an officer in the rebel army, now dying of consumption. Almost the sole food for Lee’s army during this movement was dry crackers. Prisoners and refugees say that the great pinch for food has come on them since we took Chattanooga and Knoxville, and cut them off from their great sources of supply. And terrible as is their condition now, it is but a foretaste, they fear, of what it will be through the coming winter. The necessity for doing something at once was doubtless at the bottom of Lee’s fruitless advance.


The Russians.—The Advertiser, alluding to the anticipated visit of the Russian naval officers to Boston, suggests a musical entertainment in lieu of a ball:

The idea of giving a ball to our Russian visitors was exceedingly attractive when first suggested, but on sober second thoughts we think it had best be abandoned, to give place to some more characteristic method of showing the good will of Boston to her Muscovite guests. We are by no means destitute of such means, since we have our beautiful Music Hall and our grand new organ. With these instrumentalities and the children of our public schools, of whom, like Cornelia, Boston may say, “These are my jewels,” we can give to our visitors an entertainment such as they cannot possibly have elsewhere; while a public ball is, at best, not a very high order of amusement. The concerts given in the Boston Music Hall to the Prince of Wales and to the prince Napoleon and Princess Clothilde, are mentioned in terms of especial interest in the recorded accounts of their travels, by gentlemen in their respective suites. Now that we have the great organ, a musical festival could be arranged that would exceed in its attractions even the preceding, for the organ, as we fondly believe, is unsurpassed in the whole world.

OCTOBER 28, 1863


The British Iron-clads.3
[Correspondence of the New York Evening Post.]

Dublin, October 10, 1863.

The far-famed Channel fleet has sailed from Dublin Bay for Plymouth, its visit here a few days ago being the end of its triumphal home cruise, of which your readers have no doubt occasionally heard through the English newspapers.

This fleet is just now the pride and boast of the British, and comprises the present iron-clad strength of the British navy. Their tremendous powers have been so often described to me by Englishmen that I determined to examine the ships thoroughly, and judge for myself whether they really were the formidable engines of war reported. With this view I visited Dublin, and have passed many hours on the different ships of the fleet. It may interest your readers to know what impression they made upon an American who is not unfamiliar with naval affairs.

The iron-clads in the squadron are the Warrior and Black Prince, of six thousand tons and forty guns; the Resistance and Defense, of three thousand six hundred tons and twenty-two guns; and the Royal Oak, four thousand tons and twenty-six guns.

The favorite ships with the crowds of visitors–as with the nation at large– are the Warrior and Black Prince. Their vast size, bold, dashing bows, apparent strength, and above all their spacious and well-ordered decks and magnificent engines, impress all visitors, and call forth enthusiastic expressions of approval from the crowds of loyal and delighted country squires and shopkeepers who flocked to see them in this as in the English ports.

To hint, in such a crowd, that the Warrior and Black Prince are gigantic failures, utterly unworthy of the name of iron-clad ships, would of course be rank heresy. And it was only to the officers and men belonging to the fleet that I dared express the opinion that as war-ships they are worthless. These officers and crew are the picked men of the British navy; many of them are intelligent, and all were courteous. The men do not hesitate to speak of the ships as failures in all sea-going qualities. The officers are more reticent as to the bad qualities of their craft, yet one can easily see that many of them have no high opinion of the sea-worthiness or fighting powers of their great ships.

The Warrior and Prince have four and a half inch armor on their midships broadsides, the bow and stern for more than one hundred feet at each end being unprotected and as vulnerable as the ends of one of our wooden frigates. If they ever go into close action with a real iron-clad, these ends will be shot away and the ship become an unmanageable wreck. I asked an officer how long these unprotected ends would stand if the Warrior or Prince were pitted against each other? He frankly admitted that they must go as soon as the ships came to close action. To me the principle on which these vessels are built, or rather armored, is something like making a two-inch chain cable with half-inch links on one-third its length–the test of strength is in the weakest part. Had we built these ships the London Times would never have done sneering at our folly.

The Warrior is no doubt the fastest frigate afloat, and with plenty of sea-room would find this speed serviceable in overhauling a wooden ship or running away from an iron-clad. To attain her highest speed she consumes eight tons of coal an hour, and would at that rate exhaust her bunkers in four days. Under canvas both ships are tubs. They need half a gale of wind to give them steerage way, and a whole gale to drive them five knots an hour. They will neither wear nor stay without steam, and plenty of it. They steer wildly, and, as one of the quartermasters said, need the whole British Channel to go about in. With their coals in they draw twenty-eight feet, a serious obstacle–if no others existed–to their going to New York; but by lightening and taking a spring tide they might cross the bar. ->

And if they ever make the attempt I hope they will be permitted to cross the bar and come up to the Hook; let the attack commence when they turn the point of the Hook and get into the Horse Shoe, then at them with two or three small, hot, quick monitors; it will be more exciting than elephant hunting. The monsters will be forced to keep in mid-channel at half speed; there they can neither turn or run, and a light-draught monitor can play round them, planting shot and shell in their vulnerable parts. If no more serious consequences were involved, I would like to see this same Channel fleet sent to New York. We could give John Bull the greatest start he has had since Captain Dacres (the father of the present Admiral and commander of the Channel fleet attacked the Constitution.

The Resistance and Defense are more dangerous than the Warrior and Prince, simply because they are more manageable. They are also only partially iron-clad, and draw too much water to act freely in any of our harbors. Their speed, with full steam, is about nine knots; with canvas the Resistance is the best, and her consort the slowest of all the iron-clads.

If there is any virtue in four and a half-inch plating, the Royal Oak is by far the most formidable ship of the lot. She could stand a hammering from one or all of the other ships long enough to destroy them, being iron-clad all round. She is a razeed line-of-battle-ship; her sides tumble home, her ends are clumsy, and in the distance she looks not unlike our Ironsides. The resemblance ceases when you get alongside and on deck. The Royal Oak has no bomb-proof deck, and carries, like other ships, a mass of encumbrances in the shape of masts, spars, rigging, boats, and other appendages of a seagoing frigate. She is a slow sailer and rolls fearfully–to an extent, indeed, that will prevent her venturing across the Atlantic. As the Oak is the pioneer of a class of converted iron-clads, which includes the Caledonia, Prince Consort, and others nearly ready for service, it is satisfactory to know that she is not a sea-going ship, and is therefore useless for aggressive warfare against us. Divested of spars and other–to her–useless appendages, the ship will make a useful battery for English harbor defence.

Looking at these ships as possible foes, I do not desire to underrate their power to inflict damage upon our coast and hurt us; but I am now quite satisfied that we have nothing to fear from any iron-clads in the British navy. The ships of the Channel fleet cannot cope with our monitors and raft batteries in our own harbors, and will fail if they make the attempt.


From Washington.
All Quiet at the Front.

Washington, Oct. 27.–The Star of this evening says: “No information has been received here indicating that the two hostile armies upon the Rappahannock have come into collision again, that is, since Saturday last. It turns out that the importance of the cavalry fight on that day on this side of the river has been greatly magnified. It is the belief of nearly all military men here that no considerable portion of Gen. Lee’s army have recrossed into Farquier county, as alleged, and his act of laying pontoons across the river in the vicinity of Rappahannock Station was intended to facilitate retreat, when pressed, of the portion of his cavalry and the inconsiderable support of infantry which he threw north of the stream to support his cavalry.”


Weekly Review of War News.

The Washington correspondent of the Tribune, in announcing the removal of Gen. Rosecrans, says the fact that he (Rosecrans) was with gens. McCook and Crittenden asleep in Chattanooga while Gen. Thomas was fighting a brave and desperate fight alone, has been known to the Government for weeks. It is also understood that Gen. Rosecrans has failed, ever since the battle of Chickamauga, to exhibit in his dispatches a spirit equal to the circumstances in which he found himself. It is now ascertained that Gen. Rosecrans came very near losing his command during the siege of Vicksburg, in consequence of his refusal to assist Gen. Grant, after repeated orders by the Government and requests from Gen. Grant himself, by attacking Bragg so as to make a diversion in Grant’s favor, and prevent the reinforcements of Johnston. The Government is satisfied that he was too cautious before crossing the Tennessee, and too rash afterward, in the first case hesitating to obey orders to move, and in the second disregarding orders not to move too rapidly; that, in a word the Chattanooga campaign was really a failure.

By the arrival, Saturday night, of the steamship Morning Star, we have New Orleans dates to the 17th instant. The advance of our forces had crossed the Vermillion river, under Col. Davis, and near Vermillionville were met by the rebels, who determined on making a stand, but, after some skirmishing, retired. The village of Morganza had been occupied by our troops, and on their departure, was set on fire and totally destroyed. Gen. Banks in person will take command of the army. The planters in some districts had begun to grind the sugar cane, but the crop did not promise to be very large. The New Orleans Era contained some items with reference to affairs in Texas. Our vessels are busily occupied with the blockade runners, several of which they have lately captured or destroyed.

There are no indications of active movements on the part of the Army of the Potomac. No sutlers are now with this portion of our forces, all having been ordered to the rear, and the restrictions not having as yet been removed. Despite this the necessary supplies for officers and soldiers have been promptly furnished. A dispatch dated yesterday states that Stuart seems to be in considerable force along the Rappahannock. On Saturday a slight skirmish took place near White Sulphur Springs, and in the afternoon a dashing cavalry fight occurred near Bealton Springs. The Second Virginia regiment discovered a body of rebels in the woods in the region of Beverly Ford, and a party of skirmishers were sent forward to drive them out. A fight ensued and the rebels were beaten.

The military authorities have no information of any engagement beyond mere picket skirmishing, and are convinced that there is no large infantry force of rebels on the Rappahannock, and believe that our army of the Potomac will be abundantly able to crush completely what may be left of that of Lee, whenever a general engagement can be brought on.->

An order from the War Department, just issued, states that regiments now in service which re-enlist are to be credited to the States, and so far as practicable, to the Congressional districts to which they belong. An order has also been issued directing that when a man arrested as a deserter claims not to be such, by reason of having been discharged from the service or never having been enlisted, he shall not [be] forwarded to any military post until he has had a fair and ample opportunity to present proof of his claim. Provost marshals are ordered to investigate such cases carefully, thoroughly and promptly.

A rebel Commissioner is reported in North Carolina moving in favor of a great National Peace Convention. It is also rumored that the authorities at Richmond are making great preparations for a contemplated campaign against the Union forces in North Carolina.

Later reports from Gen. Burnside show that he is rendering good service in East Tennessee, and repeatedly driving back parties of rebels. A letter dated Midway, East Tennessee, Oct. 10, gives an account of his march and repulse of the rebels in two engagements that day near that town, our troops encamping that night on the field. Our loss 75 killed and wounded. The rebels in their retreat from the timber before a charge made by Col. Morrison, left ten of their dead and two of their wounded on the field. We took a number of prisoners.


A Washington letter writer says the magnificent reception given to the Russian officers by the American people will tend to bring about important changes in European politics, and that the most immediate results of the American and Russian entente will be to draw closer the ties which unite the policy of England and France in some matters of common interest, to cause Austria to be more active and more energetic in the Polish question, to hasten the departure of Prince Maximilian for Mexico, and to introduce the rebels in the policy of Europe as the friends and allies of the four nations–France, England, Austria and Mexico–which are now connected by a community of interests in the old and in the new world.


The draft was rather severe on New Hampton; it took the only physician in town, two of the Selectmen, the principal teacher in the literary department of the Seminary, all the theological students who graduated in July last, and six of the class in theology at the present term.


The annual catalogue of Dartmouth College reports 261 students, 60 of whom are medical students, 48 seniors, 42 juniors, 40 sophomores, 31 freshmen and 10 scientific students.4

, 1863

A Scientific View 0f Belligerent Rights.

At one of the Sessions of the Social Scientific Congress recently held in Ghent, there was an interesting discussion of the rights of neutrals, in which Messrs. Henri Marten Villaume and Clamargeran took part. M. Clamargeran, a sound French writer on questions of political economy, contended for the necessity of ascertaining the character of a belligerent power of before proceeding to a definition of the rights of belligerents. His remarks have so direct a bearing upon the questions of international law now at issue between the United States and Great Britain that their profound wisdom merits consideration. We quote:

“What should be the criterion? Hitherto it has been the fact which has given birth to the right. If the insurrection lasts, the insurgents become belligerents, that is, by the fact. It is time to substitute for this justice and right. These are the principles. First, there must be oppression, and the oppression must be manifested by the protests of the oppressed, who must have exhausted pacific means. Out of these principles there is injustice and anarchy. Present events afford us what the English call an ‘illustration’ of these principles. In America we see a group of men, the proprietors of slaves, rise against the established government. They have been recognized as belligerents. Is the recognition right? No. The South enjoyed al possible liberty. If it had complaints to make, it had every means of bringing them forward. Moreover, it had a considerable share of power. And yet it had recourse to war without employing any pacific means, and rose in order that it might maintain the right of oppressing blacks. Not that that right was disputed, but because the chief magistrate of the nation had an opinion opposed to it. These are the people whom France and England have recognized as belligerents. We are justified, therefore, in saying that if these two nations are at the head of civilization, their governments are sometimes in the rear. The motive of France may be divined–it is mistrust of liberty. In England a noble sight has been seen, the meetings of workmen, who, in spite of the death of cotton, have repelled the slavery men. That is a great contrast with the acts of the government. In another quarter of the world something very different is occurring. Poland, an ancient nation, has been divided by an act of brigandage, it has been oppressed by the powerful. Have the people submitted? Never; they have unceasingly protested. They have arisen again, and for what cause? To retain their sons in the midst of them. Here, then, are belligerents, if ever there were any. And yet France and England have not recognized them! In the name of right we protest.”

Compare this transatlantic view of international law with that of Wendell Phillips, as presented by him in a discourse at Music Hall, (“Under the Flag,”) April 21, 1861, and to be found on page 405 of Mr. Redpath’s volume:

“Further than this, we should have the right to remind them [the South,] in the words of our Declaration of Independence, that ‘governments long established are not to be changed for light and transient causes,’ and that, so long as government fulfills the purposes for which it was made–the liberty and happiness of the people–no one section has the right capriciously to make changes which destroy joint interests, advantages bought by common toil and sacrifice, and which division necessarily destroys. Indeed, we should have the right to remind them that no faction, in what has been recognized as one nation, can claim, by any law, the right of revolution to set up or to preserve a system which the common conscience of mankind stamps as wicked and infamous. The law of nations is only another name for the common sense and average conscience of mankind. It does not allow itself, like a county court, to be hoodwinked by parchments or confused by technicalities. In its vocabulary, the right of revolution means the right of the people to protect themselves, not the privilege of tyrants to tread under foot good laws, and claim the world’s sympathy in riveting weakened chains.”

A Wrong Use of the Title.

We devote a large portion of our present number to a very racy and telling speech delivered by Henry Ward Beecher at the free Trade Hall in Manchester, (Eng.) on Oct. 9th, as reported in the Examiner and Times of that city.  There was an immense audience present, attracted by the fame of the speaker, and by the intense interest felt in the subject of the lecture. It appears that there was a sprinkling of rebel sympathizers present, but the vast multitude were enthusiastic in their demonstrations of friendly feelings in behalf of the American Government and President Lincoln. The occasion was one of extraordinary attraction, and Mr. Beecher must have felt highly gratified at the handsome reception given him.

There is one portion of his speech which we cannot allow to pass with animadversion. He claims it as “a historical fact, that all the great and renowned men that flourished at the period of our Revolution were Abolitionists.” Among these he names Washington, Jefferson, and “the principal Virginian and Southern statesmen.” That Washington was in favor of an ultimate termination of slavery; that Jefferson, in view of the wrongfulness of slavery, “trembled for his country when he remembered that God was just, and that his justice would not sleep forever;” and that some of the Southern statesmen indicated a disposition to regard slavery as an evil at the same time referred to, is true; yet these were all slaveholders, and remained such to the close of life–Jefferson, unlike Washington, leaving all his slaves in bondage after his death. To call such men Abolitionists is as great a misuse of language, as it would be to call those Christians who, while expressing their opposition to idolatry in the abstract, should live and die idol-worshippers.


It is calculated that the rebels lose one hundred slaves per day, who are valued at $100,000. At the same rate of loss, the secesh, in one year, would be out of pocket $36,500,000 in the value of human chattels alone.


Advices from Cuba state that there is serious alarm on many of the plantations on the island, lest the slaves should break out into open insurrection, their conduct in many places being such as to excite the most serious apprehensions.


Gen. McClellan is the same kind of politician that he is a general. He does not strike till it is too late to hurt anybody but himself.

OCTOBER 31, 1863


Russians in New York.

A private dinner was given at the Astor House, New York, on the 12th inst., to the Russian officers. Two hundred guests sat down to the table. The guests and the 50 waiters in attendance were dressed in black coats and pants and white vests and gloves. Ladies came in to enjoy the intellectual entertainment.

The grand Municipal banquet to the Russian visitors came off at the Astor House Monday evening of last week. The attendance of the Russian guests was large, every officer attached to the seven vessels in the harbor being present–sixty-five in number, including the admiral. The dining room was tastefully adorned for the occasion. On the lower end of the hall both doorways were curtained with the stars and stripes and the Russian cross. In the center, between the doors, hung the Russian eagle, flanked on both sides by the banner of the Republic. The principal table in the room, intended for the most distinguished guests, was tastefully arrayed. The windows behind were beautifully adorned with flowers. At half past seven the guests entered the hall, while the band discoursed in order the national music of both nations. The Russian officers took their places at the two center tables, while the Common Council and numerous guests disposed themselves as best they could. Among the distinguished guests occupying the principal table were, on the right of the mayor, Baron Stoeckel, Captain Meade, brother of Gen. Meade, and Thurlow Weed. On the mayor’s left were the Russian Admiral, Dr. Cummings, the well known Catholic clergyman, Admiral Paulding, William Webb, the distinguished ship-builder, Judge Hoffman, and David Dudley Field. Mons. Labout, a distinguished gentleman of Paris, was also present. Hon. Wm. H. Seward sent a letter, proposing the sentiment: “Health and honor to Prince Gortchakoff, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Not more able in defending the policy of his own country, than just and liberal in conducting its relations with the United States.”

A model of Fort Sumpter was placed at the lower end of the hall, and its miniature barbette and casement guns thundered forth in salute when the President of the United States and Emperor of Russia were toasted. “The President of the united States,” was the first toast proposed. It was drunk standing, while the miniature Fort Sumpter fired a presidential salute. “The Emperor of Russia” was next given. After the band played “God Save the Czar,” Baron Stoeckel responded.


The Capital of the tycoon.—Fair to look on is the capital of the tycoon even in winter, thus nestled in a broad valley, girdled with green woods, and crowned with undulating hills, sloping with a gradual descent to the edge of a bay, in to which the Pacific seeks in vain to pour its stormy waters. Nature has barred the entrance, twenty miles below, with a breakwater of volcanic islands and verdant headlands on either side. And, to make it more secure, she has shoaled the whole gulf, so that five miles from the city it is difficult to find anchorage for a vessel drawing twenty feet–the best of all defences against assault from without, whether the elements or a hostile fleet be the enemy. ->

Nor are these Eastern potentates at all ignorant of the fact, for when a proposal was made some time ago to the King of Siam to remove the bar at the mouth of the river leading to Bonkok, his majesty frankly replied: “If necessary, I would pay you to keep it there for the defence of my capital!”

The government at Yeddo, not content with what nature has done, are busily engaged in erecting another battery, to carry the chain of fortifications still higher up the bay. They have no idea, therefore, of being found defenseless; though of all cities situated on the edge of navigable water, there are few so unattackable by a naval force as Yeddo. The only conclusion to be drawn from such preparations for defence is not of good augury. Either the Japanese would seem to have looked forward to an attack as a contingency to which they had unavoidably become exposed from the moment the treaties were signed with foreign powers, whom it would seem in that case they little trust, and like still less, or they had themselves some ulterior policy which they knew would sooner or later make a collision inevitable. If we are to judge from the evident efforts so perseveringly made to prepare for effective resistance, it is difficult to come to any other conclusion. Not only new batteries erected a Yeddo, and the port of Kanagawa below, but enough gunpowder is habitually expended in musket and artillery practice, in the course of a few months, to supply an army during the whole campaign.–Sir R. Alcock’s Three Years in Japan.


Southern Railroads.—Mr. John B. Hoxie, who has been identified for several years with southern railroads, but is at present United States Superintendent of railroads running into Knoxville, gives some important information as to the condition of the rebel lines of communication. Nearly all of them, he says, are rapidly becoming worthless. The endurance of track, road-bed, and rolling stock has been stretched to the utmost, and their facilities for repairing are so limited that the roads can be of but little further service to the Confederacy. It is generally supposed that all the roads in the South are of the same gauge, but this is a mistake. The roads running from Richmond to Charleston by way of Weldon, North Carolina, are four inches narrower than the roads running from Richmond to the South by way of Lynchburg and Knoxville. This fact now becomes important. Our seizure of the Knoxville road has diminished by one-half their facilities of communication between Richmond and the South. Their possession of nearly all the rolling stock of the East Tennessee and Virginia and East Tennessee and Georgia roads will do them very little good, as none of it will fit the roads south from Richmond by way of Weldon. Mr. Hoxie is of the opinion that there is not a main trunk in the South that can maintain itself six months longer, unless they get materials for repairing outside of the “Confederacy.”


1 maugre means “in spite of” or “notwithstanding.”

2 A quote from the Battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican War, when General Zachary Taylor admonished then-Captain Braxton Bragg to use “A little more grape, Captain Bragg!”, at which point Bragg saluted, turned and exhorted his men to “double-shot those guns and give’em hell!” (Source)

3 This lengthy and detailed article is indicative of the concern the people of the North had over a war with England. Gettysburg was acknowledged at the time as an important battle, but mention of it dropped out of the papers just as quickly as other major engagements. Lee’s army escaped, recovered and reinforced–and by now is back at the same old game with the Army of the Potomac. War with Britain was an intense and ongoing fear.

4 As usual, the total is off. The missing 30 were evidently math students: their absence accounting for the reporter’s inability to add simple figures.

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