, 1863

A War Cloud in the Harbor of New York.

We gave in our edition yesterday afternoon the contents of some of the English journals on the presence of the Russian fleet in the harbor of New York. We subjoin the contents of another, those of the Liverpool Courier, which are quite significant to say the least:

The events taking place in America, in which Americans alone are actors, are sufficiently interesting and important in themselves. The scene of war required the introduction f no distinct European element to heighten its interest; yet at this moment the cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, which seems destined to darken Europe, has arisen, faintly indeed, but clearly, in the harbor of New York.

We have, since the commencement of the civil war, maintained a strong squadron in the American waters. What duties were imposed on the British Admiral is not very clear. British vessels were captured within the range of British guns. British ports were blockaded. British commerce between Nassau, Havana and Matamoras was almost annihilated. The British squadron was scattered in different harbors, and latterly the seamen have not been called upon to witness the outrages on the English flag, committed by American admirals and captains, without firing a gun. Our ships were placed in our own Northern harbors, or at a station rarely visited by enterprising Federal commodores. One small ship-of-war represented England at New Orleans, another dropped into the harbor of New York in the first week of September, but left immediately. The sea coast was apparently abandoned to the Federals. Perhaps Mr. Adams or Mr. Dayton had threatened Lord Russell with something dreadful if the red cross of England should exercise the preying eagles.

Suddenly, however, the Nile, flagship of Admiral Milne, left Halifax on the 24th ult., for New York. When she enters the harbor she will find there five Russian frigates, three of which arrived on the 24th ult. Five more are expected. Some time since we noticed the rapid increase of the naval power of Russia. In the Black Sea, in the Sea of Kamchatka, in the Baltic, her fleets are numerous, though not very formidable. This fleet, however, which has so mysteriously appeared in the harbor of New York, is unaccounted for. Whence has it come? Is it a portion of the Russian fleet in the Pacific, which has crept round Cape Horn? Has it moved out of the creeks of the Mediterranean, or stolen forth from the Baltic? It is not of much consequence,  however, from what places this fleet has gathered. It is enough to know that it is in New York harbor. The next question to be solved is, what brings it there? The Czar has not sent his frigates to New York without an object.

It is not too uncharitable to suppose that the Czar, intending to insult the three allied Powers, and judging they would resent it, sent these frigates to New York to prepare for contingencies. The Russian ships are not able to cope with iron-clads of wooden English ships, but their machinery is of a good class. Their artillery is excellent. They do not scruple to use "Greek fire" against an adversary, as Sinope would testify. Against British merchant ships they would be omnipotent. The damage a squadron of light frigates might inflict on our Atlantic trade is almost incalculable.

The fairest interpretation that can be put upon this extraordinary move on the part of Russia is this: the Czar reasonably expected that when the three Powers had menaced him with "serious consequences," they really meant what they said. The "serious consequences" have evaporated in a declaration on their part that the treaties of Vienna have no force--a thing all the world knew. The first gun fired during the Italian war tore those treaties to shreds. The three Powers by no means intend this solemn mockery to be a declaration of war; but the Czar may choose to consider it a casus belli. Observing the hesitation and timidity of the three allied cabinets, and relying on the aid of the United States, he may have determined to provoke war. Ice, if not an enemy, would soon seal up the Baltic; the British Mediterranean fleet would suffice to check the Russian vessels there; the Russian ships in the Pacific would have enough to do on the coast of China, against the harbors of India and British Columbia. The friendly harbor of New York offered the best position that could be conceived for a station from whence at any moment a combined fleet of Russians and Americans could swoop down upon our scattered squadrons and our unarmed merchantmen.

If this be so, then the Confederates have been fighting the battles of England and France, and the victory of Chattanooga has preserved, for a time at least, the peace of Europe. One war at a time is Mr. Lincoln's aphorism; but had the Union troops captured Charleston, taken Richmond, annihilated Bragg's army, and stormed Mobile--all which events were anticipated by the Northerners, and in some degree feared by the friends of the South--Mr. Lincoln would then have had but one war on his hands. A Northern Minister at the Russian Court eight weeks ago might have confidently said, that by the 20th of September the civil war would be at an end, and the whole force of the United States would be at the service of the Czar.

We now see some explanation of the course adopted by Earl Russell respecting those iron rams of which the world has heard so much. Earl Russell had not one more particle of evidence against these ships when he ordered their detention then he had when, a few days before, he declined to interfere. He must have heard in the interval that Russia was preparing to act with the United States; he may have heard that the Russian frigates were preparing for a voyage to New York. To obviate war, Earl Russell committed an illegal act, and will endeavor to throw the responsibility of it upon Parliament.

We take it for granted that the British Admiral will gather his vessels round the flagship and take care of these Russian frigates. They have entered New York haven mysteriously; there must be no secret respecting their destination when they are permitted to leave it. They prepared a surprise for us, and the fight at Chattanooga has spoiled their plans. The British Admiral has them comfortably in their own trap. Out of it they should not be permitted to go without good reason.

NOVEMBER 2, 1863

Alleged European Coalition with the Confederate States.

The New York Herald of the 22d inst. contains one of those sensational productions peculiar to that sheet. It is in the form of a letter, dated London, October 10th, addressed to James Gordon Bennett, Esq., but which in all probability was concocted in the Herald offices. The writer professes to give the outline of a treaty to be entered into between certain European powers and the Confederate States, the latter stipulating upon the guarantee of its independence, and a fair vote in Maryland that they will never attempt to annex any portion of Mexico, Cuba or Porto Rico, and aid in repelling any armed intervention of the United States in Mexico, adverse to the doctrine of the “Latin race,” or in the Spanish West India colonies.

The writer says that “intelligent Europe is shocked at the socialistic theories of the Abolitionists,” and at the usurpations of the Government; and, it is feared, that if the Lincoln administration should conquer the South, that it “would not only undertake to rule all America by the sword, but eventually consider the whole civilized world too contrasted a sphere for the field of its ambitious operations.”

Then comes the most interesting portion of the letter–interesting because, whether written in London or New York, the suggestions it contains embrace the only possible solution of the “American question,” and would never have appeared in the New York Herald, except in the irresponsible form in which it is given, and not even in the shape, but for the existence of a feeling in favor of that war. We subjoin an extract:

If there is anything in the councils at Washington that could be dignified with the designation of even third or fourth rate statesmanship, it would at once occasion a pause in the hostilities prosecuted against the South, propose terms of peace, and thus make the most of a virtue which is speedily to become a necessity.

A sagacious President would not hesitate a moment in employing all the means at his disposal to forestall the European alliance while it is yet unperfected, by proposing terms to Jefferson Davis that he would not decline to accept. He would put an end to the existing belligerence, while he may yet do so without disgraceful humiliation. He would acknowledge her independence in the sense in which it will be acknowledged by the alliance. He would say in eh truthful consciousness of his heart–“Come, come, my old confreres; I have employed such forces by land and by water, and such other means as no belligerent ever employed before, and never will perhaps employ again, to coerce you back into the old Union. You have resisted them with a constancy, a resolution, and a dauntlessness which no belligerent ever displayed before, nor perhaps ever will display again. Let us shake hands and be friends henceforth and forever. There is room enough for us both in this hemisphere. Let us be sister republics, in fact and in truth, and enter upon the high career of working out for the benefit of contemporaries, and all future ages, the problem of man's capacity for rational self-government–each emulating the other in its benign progress for the attainment of this ennobling end.” ->

This, you may be quite confident, is beginning to be the sentiment of the United States sojourning in Western Europe--many of whom until recently were cordial supporters of the war. Unless a measure of this kind can be adopted, and adopted promptly, mark my words, darker days are awaiting the Union than ever developed themselves upon such usurpations of power as the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and the enforcement of the conscription; and the party resisting will shield itself under any authority which may be presented for the recovery of a portion of its lost liberties.

You may rely upon it, sir, that if you will employ your powerful influence in behalf of such a policy, you will take the initial step to win for yourself the glorious appellation of “Benefactor of your country.” Millions of pens will be employed forthwith and millions of voices raised for the benign consummation.

Bennett’s right hand does not comply with the invitation penned by the left. The time has not yet arrived for him to aspire to the application of “Benefactor,” and at present he chooses to avoid martyrdom in the cause of peace. This is shown by the fact that in an editorial discussing “developments” of his “correspondent” he abstains from any reference to the advice volunteered in the above extract, but employs a “blood and thunder” style of bombast, which seemingly offsets the pacific suggestions of the letter. The editorial closes as follows:

“We have the rebellion upon the hip–another heavy blow or two will finish it; but the favorable season for military operations down South is getting short. We must keep up the fire; we must not allow the enemy time to recuperate or re-organize; for thus, in prolonging the war, we increase the dangers of European intervention and of a war throughout all Christendom and over all the habitable globe.”


High Prices in the Country.—We are in receipt of a letter from a friend in Upson county, stating that woolen jeans were selling in that county at $18 per yard, and colored homespun $3.50 per yard. This is the retail price of these articles in Macon. In fact, the quotations in the former article range from $15 to $18, and very pretty colored homespun at $3.50. At whose door, we ask, does the sin of depreciating the currency and raising the prices of food and clothing to such enormity lie?


Restoring the Union.—A Mississippi correspondent of the Atlanta Appeal, writes on the 13th, respecting the late raid of the Hessians in the vicinity of Holly Springs:

“On their retreat, passing through Wyatt, they burned every house in the place, and would not permit any of the sufferers to save anything–not even wearing apparel. In the western portion of the county through which they retreated they burned all the residences and barns. They also destroyed the little town of Tallaloosa, six miles west of Holly Springs, as they passed through it. On yesterday, from the cupola of the court-house in Holly Springs, the smoke from as many as fifteen or twenty fires could plainly be seen all along the route of their retreat, and it is believed not a single residence or barn in that part of the country has escaped them.”


The Russian Ball in New York.
[From the New York World, Nov. 2.]

It is difficult to say whether the event of the present week is to be the election or the Russian ball. The latter has the advantage in novelty, which is a great deal. There was some talk last week of appropriating the money raised for the occasion to the Sanitary Association, and postponing the ball until after the war, if not forever. But it was reasoned with force that the people of New York ought not to propose a thing, especially if it involved a compliment to a foreign power, without carrying it out; and it will be carried out with a munificence and magnificence that will be an improvement on all that New York has done in the way of festivity and display on past occasions of memorable mention.

The time for the ball, as our readers know, is Thursday evening, November 5, and the place, of course, the Academy of Music. But the Academy of Music could not contain all the magnificence that was designed to be devoted to the occasion, and for that reason a covered way across Irving place will be erected, through which it will flow out and fill Irving Hall opposite. Wondrous things are spoken concerning the transformation and decoration the Academy is to undergo. The entire Parquet will be covered over and added to the spacious stage, affording room for dancing and promenade by at least a thousand couples. A superb new white canopy or tent will be stretched over the stage, fringed with gold, and at the front and back there will be presented new scenes and beautiful international designs, painted and arranged by Mr. Minard Lewis, the well known scenic artist of the Academy, and his assistant, Mr. Dufoe. One of three designs is especially spoken of. It consists of two figures personating Russia and America–Russia being represented by a maiden clothed in furs, with the sweetest face the painter could conceive, and America by the figure of a beautiful Indian girl. Their hands are clasped over the arms of the city of New York. The Academy will be dusted, scrubbed, painted and retouched. The proscenium boxes, dressing-rooms, lobbies, and all public portions of the edifice will be decorated tastefully, richly, and effectively. The lobbies will be re-papered with imitation of maple and satinwood, and with other portions of the interior, will be newly furnished with crimson carpet. Draperies of flags, vases of natural flowers, wreaths and garlands of evergreens and rare flowers, statues and pictures, soft or brilliant lights from jets and chandeliers, will form the reliefs of the scene in which the gaily dressed throng will move. Two bands, of fifty performers each, will furnish dancing and promenade music.

The building will be well ventilated, the atmosphere often renewed, yet always soft and sweet with the perfume of flowers, but never disagreeably warm. The entrance at Fourteenth street will be under a covered passage-way across the sidewalk, so that ladies may walk up from their carriages to the building without being incommoded by passers-by. The cloak and dressing rooms, it is promised, will be arranged so that all confusion and crowding, and destruction of dresses, will be prevented. ->

Irving Hall will be sued exclusively for a supper-room. It will be under the charge of Mr. Harrison, the well-known proprietor, who never failed to do the best that was to be done on an occasion of this character. The supper will be furnished by Delmonico, which is another word for perfection in cuisine. The hall will be decorated with crimson, with white medallions of flower-work, splendidly illuminated, canopied, and hung with flags, streamers, and emblems, mingling the Russian and American in their character.

There will be accommodation at the tables for eight hundred persons at a time. They will be ranged on each side, and to the rear of the hall, the guests occupying them from the centre, and the waiters will occupy the passages next the wall, being thus easily at hand, and yet in a degree separated from the company. The ingle of dishes, knives and forks will be drowned by music from a band of forty pieces. There is plenty of room in the basements for the preparation of the supper, and Delmonico having no restraint will surpass all his previous efforts. The supper will be served from 11 o’clock and onward.

The structure between the Academy of Music and Irving Hall will be put up during the day and removed the next morning. It will be one hundred and twenty-five feet long, seventeen feet high, and twenty-six feet wide, leading from the vestibule of one building to that of the other. It will be substantially put together and thoroughly enclosed. Elegant carpets, hangings of blue, white, and gold, banners, emblems, wreaths of evergreens and flowers, will make it an appropriate passage-way between the two brilliant scenes presented at the Academy and at the hall. It will be illuminated with twelve large gas chandeliers.


Rebel Vessels at Rio Janeiro.—The Rio Janeiro correspondent of the New York Herald gives an account of the affair of the bark Gracie, mentioned in our dispatches. This correspondent states that the rebel vessels Fanny Crenshaw, Ann E. Grant, Abigail, and brig Virginius, which have been lying at Rio Janeiro for a long time, have obtained British papers, through a pretended sale, and the Fanny Crenshaw, now called the Gracie, was granted clearance papers by the Brazilians, notwithstanding the Minister of Foreign Affairs had assured our Minister, Mr. Webb, that they should not sail. The Gracie sailed about 4 p.m. on the 13th of September, in tow of a steam tug, and in less than one hour and a half the gunboat Mohican started in pursuit, but was unable to overtake her before nightfall, and was compelled to give up the chase and return to port. The delay of the Mohican in starting is explained by the statement that her boilers were out of repair and a portion of her engine was in a British machine shop some distance off.

NOVEMBER 4, 1863


Volunteers vs. Conscripts.

Washington, Oct. 29.–In the recent announcement of the quotas of the several states under president Lincoln’s proclamation of October 18th, calling out an additional three hundred thousand men, the deficiency of the states under former calls and under the recent draft are taken account of only in reference to a subsequent draft in case another is rendered necessary by the failure to furnish the full quota of volunteers. It is presumed that there will be no draft in those states which raise their quota of three hundred thousand volunteers called for by the president’s proclamation; but in states where, through failure to raise their quota of the three hundred thousand volunteers, the draft has to be resorted to, all deficiencies at the time existing in such states will be take into account. Drafted men and substitutes are entitled to the one hundred dollars bounty provided by law, and not to the increased bounty of three hundred dollars offered to volunteer recruits.



The progress of opinion in Maryland during the past two years and a half is one of the most remarkable and encouraging events of the time. Every one remembers, with a hot flush of shame, how less than three years ago the chosen head of this great nation fled through the rebellious city by night and in disguise; and how a few weeks later the blood of Massachusetts then reddened its streets. Slavery, which makes all communities and states where it controls natural allies of rebellion, had firm and fast hold of Maryland, and wanted but little of dragging her after Virginia into the fatal gulf. But a change more wonderful than any of modern record has come over the spirit of her dream. Read the incidents of this grand revolution. The president now sends to the people of Baltimore, from whom he so lately fled to escape assassination, his sympathy and co-operative aid in the cause of unconditional emancipation. On the spot where no anti-slavery man, scarcely a conservative Union man, could pronounce his convictions with impunity, the battle of immediate emancipation is now fought, both as a question of right doctrine, and of sound public policy. The state that scarcely tolerated a government which only contemplated certain limitations to the territorial expansion of slavery is the first, not to follow, but to make an example of manly and courageous action for the immediate and unconditional regeneration of its entire policy. We commend the facts of this important movement to those citizens of Massachusetts who question or condemn the little the administration has done in the direction of an anti-slavery policy. Before the present administration expires, both Maryland and Missouri–if indeed Missouri can have as fair a chance–will prove that the policy reluctantly accepted by the government was at once right and wise, and that of the two who have spoken about it, Mr. Chase, and not Mr. Blair, was the statesman of its cabinet.


The exempts in the 9th district will be glad to learn that a complete list of all exempted under the late draft in the district is being published, so that each “exempt,” his heirs and assigns, his friends and his foes, may see recorded in black and white a statement of the precise ailment which detained the unfortunate person in question from entering the service of the government. The Greenfield Gazette says that the names for Worcester and Hampshire counties are to be published in the papers of those counties.

Hospital Cars.—The Worcester railroad company have fitted up two cars, to run on regular trains, daily, to and from New York, for the transportation of sick and wounded soldiers. The arrangements for convenience and comfort seem to be all that could be desired. The cotton berths are really stretchers, suspended on India rubber loops, acting as springs, and can be taken down or put up, so that patients can be removed from the hospitals or elsewhere in an unchanged and horizontal position. In addition to these beds are easy seats, chairs, apparatus for the preparation of hot drinks, the supply of water and pure air, and almost everything that could be asked for in a sick chamber. From such inspection as we were able to give these cars, we can safely recommend their general adoption. If sleeping cars and smoking cars, and even eating saloons, are luxuriously furnished for healthy, non-combatant travellers, the least corporations, who are coining money out of the war, can do, is to care tenderly, and regardless of expense, for those suffering from hard and perilous services in the field. Whoever suggested, or introduced these improved carriages on the Worcester railroad, deserves credit for his humanity, and will be silently thanked by hundreds returning maimed or sick from the seat of war.–Boston Transcript.


The July Draft.—The provost marshal general has published an interesting statement of the results of the draft last July. Of those drafted, over eighty per cent reported for examination. Of those who reported, about thirty percent were exempted on account of physical disability; about thirty per cent were found to be improperly enrolled. Of the men examined, about forty per cent were held to service, and either entered the army in person, furnished substitutes, or paid commutation. Of those held to service, about one half paid commutation; two thirds of the remainder furnished substitutes, and the rest went in person, and are now with their regiments in front of the enemy. The expense of the draft, including the expense of arresting some twenty thousand deserters, has but little exceeded one million and two hundred thousand dollars, while the amount of commutation money received from drafted men exceeds twelve million dollars. The advantages that could reasonably be expected from the law, are, in the opinion of the provost marshal general, already accruing, and he has no doubt that with suitable modifications, the military strength of the country may, under its operation, be surely and cheaply brought into the field.


The Rebel Pirates and Federal Cruisers at Cape Town.—We have been favored with the perusal of the Cape Town papers of September 19, containing very interesting accounts of the movements of the Alabama, Georgia, U. S. Steamer Vanderbilt, &c. It seems that the visit of the Alabama and Georgia to Cape Town was followed closely by the U. S. Steamer Vanderbilt, which vessel arrived a little too late. The Vanderbilt was delayed by the poor quality of coal purchased at St. Helena, and when she touched at the Cape, found that the Alabama had sailed. She at once started in pursuit. A day or two after the Alabama returned and sailed again. The people of the Cape consider the Vanderbilt a formidable vessel of war and more than a match for the Alabama, both in armament, strength of vessel and speed. Captain Baldwin of the Vanderbilt states that he has sailed in all thirty thousand miles in pursuit of the rebel pirates.

An incident of Captain Baldwin is related in the Cape papers greatly to his advantage. After touching at the Cape and leaving to pursue the Alabama, he fell in with a Dutch ship from the East Indies for the Netherlands, in distress. She had been beating about the ocean for five weeks in a dismantled condition. This vessel he towed into the port of St. Simons, a distance of over one hundred miles. This brought out a card of thanks from the Dutch Consul, and a reply from Captain Baldwin, in which he alludes to the truly neutral course of the Dutch Government as regards the contest in the United States.

The appearance of the Vanderbilt at the Cape released several United States vessels which had been blockaded there by the pirates, including an East India vessel. They had all sailed for their ports of destination. The people of the Cape were of opinion that the Alabama was not far distant. If so it is not impossible that she may yet be captured.

The Cape Town Advertiser says:

“During their respective stays at the Cape, both the Vanderbilt and Alabama have excited great admiration, and Captains Semmes and Baldwin are in all respects foemen worthy of each other. In our unrestricted intercourse with both of them, we could not detect the slightest trace of brag or bravado, nor even of the personal bitterness of hostility, which almost invariably mark a civil war. Each spoke of the other with individual respect, and felt that they were severally engaged in a grimly earnest work, which they were bound to perform for the service of their respective countries.”


The Price of Coal.—Philadelphia papers say that there is no accumulation of coal in that city, notwithstanding the very great increase of production this year, the total of which is 7,986,905 tons, against 6,452,540 tons last year. This is probably due to the great demand from the Government for our large and increasing steam machine. The public must make up its mind for a season of high prices.

Ice Trade and Manufacture.—The trade in ice is now one of great and increasing importance. Ice has always been esteemed as a luxury in warm weather; and this early led to the storing of it in winter and preserving it for summer use. The Greeks, and afterwards the Romans, at first preserved snow, closely packed, in deep, underground cellars. Nero, at a later period, established ice-houses in Rome, similar to those in most European countries up to the present time. But these means were not enough to supply the luxurious Romans with ice for cooling beverages, and they actually established a trade in snow, which was brought to Rome from the summits of distant mountains.

The trade in ice in this country has, until lately, been very limited, having been chiefly confined to the supply required by a few of the first-class fishmonger and confectioners–the private residences of the more opulent families being furnished with ice-houses, in which a sufficiency is kept for private use. But the North Americans have started a trade in this article in their own cities, which has extended to Europe and Asia, and has, in an incredibly short space of time, attained a surprising magnitude. The export of ice from America was commenced about 1820, by a merchant named Tudor, who sent ice from Boston to the West Indies. After persevering against many losses, he succeeded in establishing a trade with Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay; and now not only is it sent in vast quantities to those places, but also to Hong-kong, Whampoa, and Batavia. About fifteen years since, the Wenham Lake Ice Company commenced sending to this country from Boston, which is the great American port for the shipment of this material; and, since then, not only has there been a continually increasing supply, but the success of the company has been so great as to tempt others into the market, and many cargoes now annually come from Norway and Sweden.–English paper.


The Original Draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.—President Lincoln has sent the original draft of this famous State paper to the Sanitary Commission Fair at Chicago, and a subscription has been opened for its purchase in behalf of the Historical Society of that city. Mr. Lincoln, in transmitting the document to the ladies who have charge of the Fair, says:

“According to the request made in your behalf, the original draft of the Emancipation Proclamation is herewith enclosed. The formal words at the top and the conclusion, except the signature, you perceive, are not in my handwriting. They were written at the State Department. The printed part was cut from the preliminary Proclamation and pasted on merely to save writing.

“I had some desire to retain the paper, but if it shall contribute to the relief and comfort of the soldiers, that will be better.”

, 1863

Progress of the War.

The Government detectives have succeeded in bringing to light a deep and well-laid plot in Ohio, in which many prominent men were engaged, to attack Camp Chase, release the rebel prisoners there, seize the arsenal at Columbus, attack the penitentiary, release John Morgan, and begin a grand rebel campaign in Ohio. U. S. Marshal Sands and Provost Marshal M. J. Reamy have arrested the following persons implicated in the plot: Charles W. Grant of Columbus, formerly School Commissioner of Ohio, and J. D. Crewsop of Columbus, formerly sutler in the 18th Regulars, who were to lead the attack on Camp Chase; James D. Patten of Covington, a regular agent of the rebel Government, who furnished money to the detectives under the impression that they were spies, and, according to agreement, were to meet Cathcart and the others at Camp Chase and assist in maturing the plan of attack; Ruth McDonald of Covington, who acted as mail carrier through the rebel lines, and whose house was the headquarters of the rebels; Samuel P. Thomas, merchant tailor of Cincinnati and his wife, and Catherine Parmenter of Cincinnati.

Information has been obtained that the organization exists in Illinois, waiting for the outbreak in Ohio. Other particulars are known to the authorities, but have not yet been made public.

But little is doing in Virginia. It is known that Lee and General Meade are both manœuvering for favorable positions, but the opinion prevails in military circles here that Lee will not risk a battle outside of his entrenchments on the south side of the Rapidan, which can be held by a small force against a great army, which will leave him liberty to send a part of his forces to flank the attacking party, and compel it, as before, to fall back north of the Rappahannock or even to Centreville.

Our forces in front of Charleston re-opened fire upon the city and the harbor forts on the 27th ult. Greek fire was thrown into the heart of Charleston. The firing was very accurate, and that of the rebels in reply not equal to what it was some weeks ago. Forts Wagner and Gregg are in our hands. Sumpter, Johnson and Moultrie are still occupied by the enemy. A vigorous prosecution of the siege appears probable. As we go to press, reports arrive that a severe bombardment is going on, and that the monitors are engaged.

Gen. Hooker, with a portion of his forces, while pushing onward toward Chattanooga on the 28th ult., was attacked at 12 o’clock midnight, and a severe fight ensued, which continued for two hours, with lighter work until 4 a.m. Gen. Hooker reports that the conduct of our troops was splendid. They repulsed the rebels, attacked them and drove them from every position they assailed. The fight took place at Brown’s Ferry, on the Tennessee river, near Chattanooga, and the result is considered of the highest importance, as it removes the rebel obstructions to steamboat navigation from Nashville to that point and secures other advantages in opening up the way for army suppliers. Lookout Mountain, one of the range of hills occupied by the enemy before Chattanooga, has been taken by our troops, with but little resistance. Gen. Hooker took four officers and one hundred and three men prisoners; also captured nearly one thousand Enfield rifles. His loss was 350 killed and wounded. ->

News from the Southwestern expedition begins to arrive. Gen. Banks had returned to the field. On the 12th inst. the advance of Gen. Franklin’s cavalry captured the rebel Gen. Pratt and his nephew between Carrion Crow and Bayou Opelousas. The latter was acting as his Assistant Adjutant General. Gen. Pratt was born in Hartford, Conn. He is about fifty years of age, twenty-five of which have been passed in the South. Up to May last he commanded a brigade of Louisiana volunteers, but resigned on account of ill health. When taken prisoner he was engaged in enforcing the conscription act in this State. Nims’ Massachusetts battery had an action of several hours on the 14th inst., driving back the rebels. On the 16th, eight hundred of the enemy with three of Semmes’ guns attacked our men. Gen. Weitzel drove them about three miles to their main body, 1600 strong. No general engagement is reported. The impression is general throughout the State that an invasion by the Unionists was not far off. Maj. Gen. Magruder, commanding the district of Texas, appeals to the planters to furnish an additional quota of Negroes to erect the necessary fortifications to prevent the Union troops from successfully invading the State. To meet the emergency he requests the services of one half of the male Negroes between the ages of sixteen and fifty. The Texans insist that the State was never so well prepared to resist invasion by Federal troops as at the present time, and no force likely to invade them can, by any possibility, penetrate to any distance in the country.


Oil Trade.—There are sixteen petroleum refineries in the vicinity of Cleveland, in which 103,691 gallons of the refined oil were produced during the month of August last, of which 23,709 gallons were for exportation. This does not include the heavy lubricating oil, and the benzoin also obtained from the crude petroleum. There are thirty-nine refining stills in operation in these refineries; the petroleum is obtained from the wells in Pennsylvania, and costs from $6 to $7 per barrel.


English Women as Smokers.—The custom of smoking by women has lately been introduced in England, and according to the Court Journal, is like to “become very prevalent.” That authority says, “Fashion holds such a tyrannic sway over society that we need never be surprised at seeing the most astounding changes of manners, customs and dress brought about through its magic influence. High waists, short waists, no waists at all, chimney-pot bonnets, flat bonnets, powdered hair, dishevelled hair, rouge, patches, enamel, hoops, farthingales, crinoline, high-heeled boots, sandals, high dresses, décolleté dresses, have all had their day; we have lived to see the time when duelists and four bottle-men no longer exist, and when every man, high and low, rich and poor, old and young, indulges in the German and Dutch luxuries of the short pipe and mild Havana. But a more startling change is likely ‘to come over the spirit of our dream;’ ladies belonging to la crème de la crème of society have introduced cigarettes. We could mention the names of many of England’s aristocratic daughters who openly indulge in mild Latakia.”

NOVEMBER 7, 1863


Visit to a Battle Field.

Washington, Oct. 21, 1863.–On Monday night I rested with a part of the army that pitched their tents for the night on the section of the old Bull Run battle-field adjacent to the Warrenton pike.

Bullets are picked up and exhibited by the handful, and soldiers who participated in the fray are comparing at the same time their gathered mementos and their personal recollections of the bloody field. In the long, luxuriant grass, one strikes his foot against skulls and bones, mingled with the deadly missiles that brought them to the earth. Hollow skulls lie contiguous to the hemispheres of exploded shells. The shallow graves rise here and there above the grass, sometimes in rows, sometimes alone or scattered at regular intervals.

Through the thin layer of soil one sees the protruding ribs when the rain has washed their covering, a foot or an arm reaching out beyond its earthen bed; and once I saw one of these long sleepers covered snugly up to the chin, but with the entire face exposed and turned up to the passer-by; one could imagine him a soldier lying on the field wrapped up in his blanket, but that the blanket was of clay and the face was fleshless and eyeless.

In one case a foot protruded with the flesh still partially preserved; in another an entire skeleton lay exposed upon the surface, without any covering whatever. The tatters of what had been his uniform showed that he had been a cavalryman. The flesh was decomposed, but the tanned and shriveled skin still encased the bony framework of the body, and even the finger nails were in their places. The ligaments that fastened the joints must have been preserved, for he was lifted by the belt which was still around his waist and not a bone fell out of place.

When found, he lay in an attitude of calm repose, like one who had fallen asleep from weariness. This was in the camp of the Ninth Massachusetts regiment. He was buried, as were more that night, who had waited a long fourteen months for their funeral rites. In fact the different pioneer corps were engaged for some time in paying this last tribute to the gallant dead.

The Pennsylvania Reserves bivouacked for the night on the ground where they themselves were engaged in deadly strife in the battle of fourteen months ago, and the skulls and bones of some of their former companions in arms lay around within light of their camp fires. It may even have happened that men pitched their tents over the grave of a lost comrade, and again unwittingly rested under the same shelter with one who had often before shared their couch on the tented field.

A soldier of the First Regiment struck his foot against a cartridge box, near his tent, and, picking it up, read on it the name of an old associate who had been among the missing, and whose death was only known from his prolonged absence. His resting place had at length been found.

Yesterday I devoted a half hour to a survey of the field by daylight. As I looked around in the soft sunlight of early morning, from a point of woods where the trees are scarred by bullets or fragments of shell and the graves of the dead lie underneath, my eye wandered over a fair and peaceful scene.

English vs. American Feminines.—An English critic takes in ill part Mr. Hawthorne’s comments on the personal appearance of English women. He ventilates his wrath in not over-choice language:

“As to Mr. Hawthorne’s criticism of English female beauty, it can only be accounted for by supposing that he has a deliberate preference for paleness of complexion and scragginess of form. Every man to his taste. It may be observed, however, that English girls of the highest type have a roseate flush which is quite as healthy yet more delicate than the milkmaid’s–and an exquisite elegance of form which is as far removed from rustic plumpness as from the superb American scragginess delightful to Mr. Hawthorne’s æsthetic eye. We should not think of quarrelling with a man though he preferred a skeleton to the Venus de Medici; but when Mr. Hawthorne, one of the most popular of contemporary Americans, goes out of his way to depreciate the loveliest race of women the world ever saw, a slight protest is requisite. Let him by all means admire the bony charmers of his native land, with complexions exquisitely pale as that of the well boiled turnip, and ribs that tear your coat sleeves if you clasp them too roughly in the waltz; but let him not expect that Englishmen will be induced to join in the admiration.


The muskrats in Minnesota have double-lined their nests, and the trout have already left the small creeks for deep holes–sure indications, says the St. Paul press, of as severe a winter as that of 1857, when the same occurrences were observed.


Four or five Irishmen lately opened a pork store at Fordingbridge, Hampshire, England, and selling their meat at 2½d. (5c.) a pound, almost destroyed the trade of the beef butchers, whose beef cost 7d. a pound. The latter got over the difficulty by gravely telling an old woman that the pork was American, and had been fattened upon dead soldiers, who were always picked up after battles and given to the pigs.


Minute Guns.—Not the “minute guns at sea,” but the minute guns they make in Hartford, Conn. It is stated that at Colt’s armory in that place, they made a gun a minute for ten hours a day during the whole month of October. Say there were twenty-seven working days, this would make the number manufactured for the month 16,200.


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