6, 1863

We would advise gentlemen and ladies who are desirous of inspecting in the present cool but pleasant weather the ancient thoroughfares of business in New Orleans, to take the present opportunity to look at Poydras and Tchoupitoulas streets. In ordinary times it is as much as a lady’s dress is worth to try to get through the crowds of eager, thorough-going men, who in the business season run distractedly through and jostle and tumble over the pavements.

In the summer time the weather is too hot for the ladies to venture there, but now they can do so with impunity both as to heat and the crowds. What will they see? Nothing but stores, it is true, but stores where piles upon piles of merchandise were daily brought in and carried out, which are now almost as idle as the quays of Venice. Cross the streets any where now, ladies, and walk leisurely, there is no danger of your being run over; but were you here in 1860, you would have endangered your life among the immense trains of drays, driven at headlong speed, which perpetually crowded the roadway.

Will we ever see Tchoupitoulas street so busy again? Perhaps so, but it may not be soon; its memory, at least, will remain with us long; the busiest, most energetic, most rapid of mere commercial thoroughfares perhaps the world has seen.


The Result.—The St. Louis Republican, of the 28th ult., thus sums up the results to be gained by the Federal victory at Chattanooga:

The dispatch of Gen. Grant, in which he announces a complete victory over Bragg, in the engagements lasting from dawn till nightfall on the 25th, is in the usual modest vein of that officer. Reports from various sources confirm the glad tidings fully. About fifty cannon and somewhere in the neighborhood of six thousand prisoners have been captured, together with minor trophies. The very strong positions of the enemy on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge have all been taken. Bragg has been beaten disastrously, and must at once call Longstreet from the siege of Knoxville, where, at last accounts, Burnside was still holding a superior force at bay.

The ground gained in the recent operations is considerable, particularly in the centre, where Gen. Thomas moved. The whole of the southern part of Missionary Ridge, from near Rossville, which is in Georgia, to the tunnel, and, as the dispatch states, to Zummel Hill, was carried on Wednesday. Zummel Hill is on the railroad, about eight miles below Ringgold, and but seven from Dalton.

The victories of Grant cannot but have a demoralizing effect upon the rebel troops, and a discouraging effect upon the rebel civilians. We suppose Jeff Davis will now no longer be able to resist the pressure for the removal of Bragg, whose head must roll off in obedience to the demands of his generals, and a disappointed community.


Gay Cloaks.—The New York Sunday Times says:

It is not too much to say that the pretty peripatetics of Broadway present a dazzling spectacle. Bright yellow cloaks with scarlet hoods, scarlet cloaks with yellow hoods, blue cloaks with white hoods, purple cloaks with orange hoods, striped and checkered cloaks with crimson hoods, moving continually in prismatic procession through that great exhibition thoroughfare, threaten with “color blindness” the man of weak vision who ventures into their flare. It is not “a sight for sore eyes,” but is calculated, like the glare of an Egyptian desert, to produce ophthalmia and inflammation of the optic nerve. . .

One would never surmise that a tremendous war was sweeping off by thousands and tens of thousands the very flower of our population, were it not that the splendors of this gorgeous show are blotted at short intervals by groups and single wayfarers swathed in crape–the widowed wives and sonless mothers, the brotherless sisters, the orphaned daughters, made desolate by the sword.

More Prize Money.
Distribution of the Ladona’s Prize Money.

Some days ago we printed the amount of money distributed to the officers and crew of the Magnolia and Memphis. Those of the steamer Unadilla have just received the following amounts:

S. F. Dupont, flag officer $5,795.78
Napoleon Collins, lieut. com. 11,591.57
Chas. H. Green, lieutenant 5,738.00
Edward Vanice, acting master 4,583.99
Wm. L. Tuttle, acting master 4,583.99
Peter N. Cruse, acting master 4,583.99
Edward Marshland, 1st assistant engineer 3,899.99
Edward Way, paymaster 6,111.99
Robt. H. Thurston, 3rd assistant engineer 2,291.99
Henry H. Lionel, 3rd assistant engineer 2,291.99
Fred. Burd, 3rd assistant engineer 2,291.99
Wm. R. Price, master's mate 1,464.88
James Collins, captain's clerk 1,528.00
Geo. E. Thomas, acting master's mate 1,466.88
Chas. F. Hubbard, assistant surgeon 3,819.99
Pat. H. Brown, paymaster's clerk 1,222.99
Yeomen 880.12
Boatswain's mates, masters-at-arms, gunner's mates and carpenters, each 916.79
Quartermasters, masters, each 880.12
Sylvester M. Earle, surgeon's steward 916.79
Coxswains, captains of forecastle, ship's cooks, each 880.12
A. M. Drummond, captain of hold 734.44
Quarter gunners, officer's stewards and cooks, each 734.44
First class firemen, each 1,100.16
Second class firemen, each 916.79
Seamen, each 660.09
Ordinary seamen, each 530.14
Landsmen, each 660.09
Refugee pilot 1,100.16
Third class boys, each 293.40

Under the act of Congress, approved March 2, 1863, there are three classes of persons entitled to prize money, namely: first, persons who, at the time of presenting their claims, are on board of United States vessels of war; second, persons who have been discharged from the service; and third, representatives or heirs of officers, marines, and seamen, deceased. The Treasury Department is ordered to credit the Navy Department with the amount held for distribution from prizes sold, and the officers, sailors, etc., sharing in the prize money, are credited to their accounts with the amounts to which they are respectively entitled. With a view of saving the claimants from the piracies of claim agents, they are to receive their respective shares through the paymasters of the vessels to which they may be attached at the time the proceeds of the various prizes are ready for payment by the Fourth Auditor.


Among the women of England there were in 1861, 10 bankers, 7 money lenders, 274 commercial clerks, 25 commercial travellers, 54 brokers, 38 merchants, 29 farriers, 419 printers, 3 shepherds, 49,964 out door agricultural laborers, 13 ladies were doctors, 2 were bonesetters, 6 were reporters or shorthand writers, 3 parish clerks, 4 choristers, 4 teachers of elocution, 17 dentists, 2 knackers, 4 conjurors, 1 astronomer, 8 “naturalists.”


DECEMBER 7, 1863

Interesting from New Orleans–
Treacherous Planters and Patriotic Women.

A correspondent of the Mobile Register writes from Meridian, Miss.:

“Over ten thousand bales of cotton have been shipped to New Orleans from Natchez and its vicinity.” Conspicuous among these traitors (for such they are) are the names of Dr. Duncan, L. R. Marshall, Surget and Mandeville, the latter acting as commission merchant. W. M. Shaw, from Lake Providence, who bought nine hundred bales last spring, has shipped four hundred to the city, which he has sold for sixty-two to sixty-five cents. Duff Green, of Vicksburg, having taken the oath, brought down to the city forty-seven bales, and says he considers such traffic legitimate and intends to make all the money he can. This rich “clique,” having been allowed to save their cotton, are thus to sell it to our detested foe–while the poor man has his cotton burned.

What a contrast does this make with the following extract from a letter, by a lady in New Orleans. Truly have the ladies of New Orleans acted nobly in this, their day of captivity.

The town is full of Yankee men and women–speculators. Yankee soldiers, white and black, although not so numerous as our civilians, are quite enough so to make walking for anything but business a nuisance. You would not recognize our once pleasant city–no opera, no parties, no elegantly dressed ladies (Southern ones, of course, I mean) on the street, no private carriages, no visiting; indeed, a stranger would never take this for the Paris No. 2–the centre of refinement and elegance. We poor mortals who are here take as much pain to dress plain and common as was once our effort to dress well; in fact, no other style would suit our employment of carrying clothes and food to the prisoners at the custom house and the hospitals. This is our daily occupation, and I think the excitement has been advantageous to us all.

This is all Saints’ day, and the streets are alive with people going and coming from the various cemeteries. The cars are a perfect jam. The girls have been down early this morning to place some flowers on the graves of our boys who have died here in the hospitals, the victims of this cruel and horrid war. Thank God they were not neglected in their sickness and not forgotten in death! Not a grave but had its floral tributes, although the occupant was unknown.

_____ has just returned from the North, perfectly disgusted with the heartlessness and extravagance there. He says you would never imagine there was a war, or the misery with which they are surrounded. We have enough misery in our city to make one’s heart bleed, and when the winter sets in I don’t know what is to become of the poor that meet you at every step.

I have been to the cemetery where our poor boys were buried–you know we get permission to bury them, and a plot was appropriated in Cypress Grove No. 2, where we can place them–but only five persons are permitted to follow them. Such a fear of demonstration in this great Union city! It would gratify many an aching heart in eh Confederacy could they see the graves of their loved and lost ones as I saw them this morning–one mass of the richest and most beautiful flowers–in the centre a cross, covered with black crape, spangled and in gold letters: “To our Southern brothers, by the ladies of New Orleans.” On the reverse is suspended a white wreath, between two red roses, and a blue one over them, containing a single star. The spot was constantly crowded, and not a small number of Yankees among them.

Exciting News from Texas.
Five French Men-of-War Watching General Banks’ Movements.

The correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer, writing from New York under date of December 1, has the following:

A startling piece of intelligence from Texas comes to us this afternoon, to the effect that, on the 16th of last month, a French squadron of five steam vessels appeared off the mouth of the Rio Grande, apparently for the purpose of watching the movements of General Banks. The news is communicated to the Boston Journal by a correspondent at Brownsville. There is no reason to doubt the truth of it, I suppose, yet one cannot help wondering why the correspondence of other journals, written at about the same time, are silent on the subject. True or false, however, the item is one that has created much talk down town this afternoon. The bears interpret it as the sure harbinger of a war with France. The steamer which arrived here from New Orleans on Saturday last, you will remember, brought a bearer of dispatches from General Banks. The gentleman was in such a hurry to reach Washington, I am told, that on proceeding to Jersey City to take the cars, and finding that the half-past seven o’clock train had just started, he desired to make application to the President of the road to have the train detained at Newark, so that he could overhaul it. The President, however, could not be found, and none of the subordinates felt warranted in taking so unusual a step. An extra train would have been chartered if one could have been got ready. But, as it was, the messenger had to hold over till next day, when he went on in the usual express train. His dispatches are supposed to have had reference to the French movement alluded to.


A Female Strike at the Laboratory.—At the Friday noon roll call of the female operatives at the Confederate States Laboratory, all but fifteen or twenty refused to answer to their names, their spokesman intimating, with a blush and a simper, that they had “struck” for higher wages. They were receiving two dollars and forty cents per day, and their demand was three dollars per day, which they esteemed very moderate pay, considering the advance of food, beard and clothing. Consequent upon the strike very little work was done on Brown’s Island that day, and the girls had a holiday, while the authorities in charge deliberated, in council, upon the momentous question of yielding to their demands for an advance. Meanwhile, the little animosity engendered between the strikers and those who had refused to join them broke out, and displayed itself harmlessly in threats of “ducking” in the James. The strikers were in the great majority, and their number was increased during the day.


Details of the Rebel Repulse on Wednesday.

Washington, Dec. 7.–The Star has the following:

Tazewell, Tenn., Dec. 6.–noon. Our cavalry scouts have just returned from the vicinity of Blair’s Cross Roads. They report a rebel column passing all night from Knoxville to Blair’s Cross Roads. They heard the rebels say they were going to Virginia–that the Yankees had their wounded, but they were going to fight their way out. The Union scouts on the top of Clinch Mountain say that large camp fires were seen last night on the road from Blair’s Cross Roads to Rutledge. There is no longer a doubt that Longstreet has retreated.

P. M. There seems to be no doubt that Longstreet is in full retreat. A deserter that came in to-day reports that he came out from Knoxville with the rebel column on the 4th inst., the infantry and transportation moving up the valley on the other side of the Houlston river and the cavalry on this side to cover an attack from the Union troops in this vicinity. The talk among the rebel soldiers was that they were going to Virginia or North Carolina.

General Foster’s cavalry division was four miles this side of Maynardville at 2 p.m., when the courier left, preparing to attack the enemy’s cavalry.

9 P.M. After the repulse of the enemy’s cavalry at Clinch River on the 2d inst., their whole force continued to hover around, endeavoring to turn our flanks and to force some of the fords. In all these efforts they were foiled and driven back in several small encounters. In addition we succeeded in blockading a portion of the valley road near Rutledge, in the rear of Ransom’s column. Yesterday the whole rebel cavalry withdrew in the direction of Knoxville. Graham’s brigade followed for a short distance.

It is reported that the roads in front are blockaded and that the rebels have burnt the railroad bridges at Strawberry Plains and Mosey Creek. If this be so, it indicates that Longstreet is or soon will be retreating.


[From Our Regular Correspondent.]

New Orleans, Thursday, Nov. 26, 1863.–The arrival of Gen. Banks on the coast of Texas is said to have been a perfect surprise. All available rebel forces had been withdrawn and concentrated to oppose the advance by way of the Teche. In evacuating Brownsville, the rebels fired the U. S. barracks, and the flames communicated to a portion of the town. As soon as practicable our forces moved on Corpus Christi, about 140 miles from Brownsville, which we occupied without resistance. On the 17th they surprised the garrison at Aransas Pass, and after a short affair, in which Brig. Gen. Ransom displayed great tact and skill, and in which the Maine 13th and 15th played a distinguished part, the place was surrendered with 13 officers and 90 men, 4 guns, a schooner, and a quantity of arms, ammunition and transportation.

On the 23d inst., Gen. A. L. Lee, Chief of Cavalry in this Department, sent out a detachment which surprised a camp of rebels about 20 miles from New Iberia, La., and captured 6 officers and 35 men, and a large number of horses and arms, belonging to Major Du Pierre’s Battalion of the 1st La. Mounted Zouaves.->

The Southern guerrillas have resumed their infernal attacks upon the Mississippi steamboats. Between the liability of these steamers to get burned to the water’s edge through the agency of rebel incendiaries, and the danger of being destroyed by rebel batteries along the shores, the navigation of the Mississippi is not a little precarious, and a very uninviting enterprise in a business point of view. There are a few gunboats stationed along the river at long intervals, and an occasional patrol by others, but these precautions prove altogether inadequate to the present emergency on the lower Mississippi.

There must either be a larger and more effective patrol fleet, or the boats must be attended by a safe convoy. A large fleet of gunboats are now lying idle at this port, and has been for several weeks. Why are not a portion of them sent up the river to protect our commerce, without which Vicksburg and Port Hudson might as well not have been taken. The last boat attacked was the Black Hawk, near the mouth of the Red River. The boat was fired by means of a shot upsetting the stove, and very narrowly escaped burning, the pilot house and several staterooms being consumed. Seven 6 and 12-pounders, together with musketry, played into the steamer from every angle, but fortunately the gunboat Choctaw, hearing the firing, came to her relief at a timely moment, dispersed the rebels, and towed the steamer back to the gunboat station, where her injuries were repaired, and a temporary steering apparatus furnished, and which, accompanied by the steamer Welcome, also fired into, she continued to New Orleans under escort. The personal injuries done on board the Black Hawk were as follows: The cabin boy, hidden under a berth, had his head taken off; a Federal deserter was also killed; Samuel Fulton, a brother of the captain, and one of the boat’s officers, had his leg taken off, but is doing well. The barkeeper, James Ferguson, was wounded in the face by a splinter. The officers and cabin boys lost all their clothing by the burning of the Texas [deck].1 The steamer Brazil, Capt. Crane, which arrived here to-day, received forty shots near Bayou Sara.

Lieut. John Bauer and Sergt. Carl Fischer, of the Rhode Island 2d Cavalry, were convicted on the 27th before Judge Atocha, of extorting valuable watches and jewelry from a planter near Franklin, last spring, during the first Federal occupation of the Teche country. The former was sentenced to one year at hard labor, with ball and chain, on Ship Island, and the latter to six months hard labor at the same insular retreat.

November 27th.–The National Thanksgiving was quite generally observed by the Northerners in New Orleans, although the attendance at the churches was rather meagre. Not so at the theatre in the evening, where Dan Setchell and his associates played “Rosedale” to an immense audience. The traditional turkey was served at many a board, and thoughts of the absent and the past mingled pensively with the pleasures of the hour. Your correspondent was fortunate enough to be the guest of Paymaster Beaman, late of Boston, on board the supply steamer Union, where a Northern turkey, Northern oysters, and Cape Cod cranberries graced the occasion.

DECEMBER 9, 1863


Gen. Meade’s Campaign.

The campaign of the Army of the Potomac is over for the present–probably for the winter. It is hard to believe that the troops who set out last week so full of exultation could return so soon to their old encampments with nothing accomplished. So far as can now be seen the campaign is barren of results, and presents a contrast to the great promises with which it was begun, by no means agreeable to think about. The army is now encamped in its old quarters near Brandy Station, on the line of the Orange and Alexandria railroad–having lost about six hundred men, mostly wounded and missing, during eh week’s campaign. The retreat was advised by a council of war, who, seeing the enemy had chosen his position and entrenched himself in it, thought it too hazardous to risk a battle. This difficult does not seem to have been taken seriously into the account till our army’s ten days’ rations were nearly exhausted, and the cold weather came to increase the perils of an offensive campaign. Under the circumstances Gen. Meade acted the part of a humane, if not a great and successful general. Whatever blame is to be awarded does not belong to the act of retreating, but to the poor strategy which allowed the enemy to fortify himself in a position of his own choosing, till retreat was the only way of escape from impending disaster. The result, however, is not worthy of very serious disappointment. It is simply a failure to obtain a victory for which the country began to hope too soon. Now the army of the Potomac will probably wait till it is strengthened by fresh troops, and then by such a movement upon the communications of the rebels as that of which the army of the west have given brave examples, make an easy end of the rebellion in Virginia.


Rumors of Change.

New York, Nov. 3.—A special Washington dispatch to the Evening Post says it is rumored that Gen. Meade will be removed from the army of the Potomac, and the new commander will lead the army in a December campaign.



Five million two hundred thousand dollars in prize money has been adjudicated since the war began.

The rebel guerrillas have killed and carried off more than 5000 hogs on the Kansas border.

The Japanese are making it very unpleasant for foreigners in Kanagawa. They murdered a French officer, and are acting like devils generally. An armed force from the fleet guards the city, and there were twenty-two war vessels in the harbor.

It is estimated that 60,000 to 70,000 Irish emigrants have reached this country, from Cork alone, during the past year, and this is but a small portion of the immense emigration that is going on.

The surplus of the Russian ball fund in New York, amounting to $3000, will be divided between the United States Sanitary Commission and the Society for Ameliorating the Condition of the Poor.

It is decided! The Empress Eugenie, mistress of the robes to Christendom, has put her foot down and decreed the abolition of hoops, and from her dictum there is no appeal.

A serious disturbance broke out, Dec. 4, at Amboy, N. J. Five hundred railroad employees have struck, and have stopped one thousand tons of government freight consisting of cannon, arms, stores, &c., &c. The military were called out to restore order.

Troubled Mexico.—The last advices from Mexico indicate a growing spirit of discontent among those who have heretofore acquiesced in the French farce. A squad of men offering the Mexican crown to an Austrian prince, whose name was unknown to one in a hundred thousand throughout the country, is not regarded as a popular thing at all. And the church party are further discontented, on account of the little respect paid by the French soldiery to church property. They have appropriated the rare paintings and diamond eyes of the images, and used the church for a stable–a stable government not much to the mind of the church party which helped the invaders, and has long been a curse to the nation. If this spirit of opposition should grow into a revolution in favor of President Juarez, the best and most enlightened head the nation has had for years, it will be a good result for this unsettled country. Several priests throughout the republic have seceded from the church of Rome, intending to act hereafter with the Greek Catholic church of Constantinople.


Military Etiquette.—Lieut. W., of the 3d R. I. heavy artillery, at one of the posts in the department of the south, while on duty in a carriage, had the kindness to favor a staff officer with a ride. On meeting a private of a colored regiment, who paid the required salute, which was properly returned by the lieutenant, the following dialogue, in substance, ensued:

Staff Officer–“Do you salute Negroes?”

Lieutenant–“He is a soldier, and he saluted me.”

Staff Officer–“I swear I won’t salute a Negro.”

Lieutenant–“The regulations require you to return a salute.”

Staff Officer–“Curse such regulations; I’ll never salute a Negro, and I don’t think much of a man who will.”

Lieutenant–(Coolly reigning in his horse.) “You can get out and walk, sir.”

The official was consigned to shoe leather and the sand, with the reflection, we could hope, that he was less of a man than the Negro.–Providence Journal, 4th.


Philadelphia, Dec. 4.—The Bulletin publishes the following: We learn this afternoon from an agent of a steamship company that he has been endeavoring to-day to purchase 1000 tons of coal, but thus far unsuccessfully. He has received information that a meeting of coal operatives was held last evening, at which it was resolved, in order to keep up the present high prices, to suspend operations. The suspension was to commence immediately, but it was finally determined it should not commence until the 11th of December.


Maryland.—The city of Baltimore has just enjoyed the luxury of a draft–the loyal and half-loyal, slaves, and their masters, being affectionately sandwiched together. The secessionists who were drafted pay their three hundred dollars with alacrity. With equal alacrity the slaves enter into the service of the country. The Methodists there are holding old-fashioned abolition meetings, such as their fathers used to hold in the colonial days. Secessionist women, too, are finding Jordan a hard road to travel, many of whom General Schenck has persuaded to try the benefit of southern travel before winter closes in.


Women’s Labor.

The New York papers have been much exercised lately over the Women’s Labor question, involving as it does the strike of the seamstresses, hoop-skirts women, umbrella girls, &c., &c., and the diversity of opinion and suggestion elicited is somewhat amusing. How many times Hood’s Song of the Shirt has been quoted would require a lightning calculator to determine;2 but one thing is certain, viz: the decided sympathy for the girls and the prevailing hope that some benefit to them may be the result of so much publicity. We observe, however, that a well-known and fashionable modiste has entered the arena of discussion, and she pretty sharply takes up the question of higher wages and the claims to employment presented by the thousands of indigent young women found in such a large city as New York. One would fancy that Madame Demorest3 could fairly comprehend the subject of finding employment for the needy and the justice of the female strikes, but whether she may not be somewhat biased is an open question. The arcana of mantua making and bonnet trimming are dangerous for even the boldest editor to seek to penetrate. There is something awful also in the mystery of tucks, Smyrna edging, frills, scallops, trimmings, curtains, &c., &c., as every husband will testify, and the complete inability of the masculine mind to appreciate the importance of a lore of a bonnet as an article of commerce, much more as an article of manufacture, renders him liable to admit everything as fact without presuming to enter into any argument concerning this phase of women’s rights. Madame Demorest says she is willing to bear the odium of apparent opposition to her sex if she can only awaken in them a spirit of emulation to acquire skill and efficiency in any situation they assume to fill, and thus elevate and dignify all useful employments. She then proceeds to expose the foolish pride of many work-girls, their care when soliciting employment to make it known that “they have never done anything”–a remark seldom made with any apparent regret–the practise peculiar to many of carrying to and from their shops a roll of music or a book or two to indicate going to school, taking or giving music lessons; in short, the false vanity which seems to actuate a large proposition of them. Finally Madame Demorest urges the work-girls to determine to be worth more than they receive as the only just claim to higher remuneration. In this view, and this only, she says, “the laborer is worthy of his hire.” The rustle of the modiste’s skirts hardly subsides before a bluff old bachelor correspondent ventures a hint to unemployed needlewomen, viz: to open a Mending Establishment to meet his own and other unhappy cases. He describes his wardrobe as shirts in rags for want of a stitch in time, hose open-mouthed, night shirts with no buttons, drawers stringless, pocket-handkerchiefs hem-less, and exhibiting a variety of dilapidations as melancholy as it is universal. ->

A Mending Shop this bachelor believes would be a fortune to competent working-women. But more practicable than either another respondent suggests a different occupation as a relief to the seamstresses. Every young girl without education enough to be a teacher, who is compelled to earn her own bread, turns seamstresses, and the natural result is that there are too many seamstresses. A vast number of them would, however, be healthier, better clothed, fed and lodged, and paid by becoming cooks and housemaids. Employment of this kind there is no difficulty in obtaining. No doubt there is a certain loss of independence involved in accepting it, and a certain amount of discomfort involved in living in another person’s house; but the question is not one of independence or dignity, but of food and clothing. It is of the difficulty of  getting petticoats and good dinners that the working-women complain; and he submits with all deference, that it is only after these have been provided that they can fairly ask the public to sympathize with their want of social position. If all the farm boys in the country were to insist on coming to the large cities, turning dry goods clerks, and finding themselves unable to obtain employment, or only at miserable wages, should refuse to go back to their farms, because farm work was dirty, he doubts if they would meet with much commiseration. And if women will insist on starving as seamstresses, when they can grow fat and save money as chambermaids, he really doesn’t see who is to blame but themselves.  A decidedly sensible view.–Boston Post.


The art of photography is likely to play an important part in future works of foreign travel. All travellers ought to know how to sketch, but not many do; and what, after all, is a sketch to a photograph? The former may represent a landscape, a ruin, a celebrated personage, with tolerable accuracy; but the latter must, for does not the object in question sit to the sun, the truest of all artists? We are not surprised, therefore, to learn that Mr. du Chailin, who has lately returned to Africa, has taken with him a set of photographic instruments and chemicals, having previously prepared himself for their use by learning the art of photography. With a series of cartes de visite of his future gorilla acquaintances he may be able to overcome the incredulous attacks of Dr. Gray, and other of his English enemies, who may be expected to pounce upon him at his return. Another African traveller, M. Jules Gerard, the lion-killer, who left England in the spring on an exploring expedition, in the endeavor to find a route from the west coast of Africa through Timbuctoo to Algiers, was similarly equipped as an amateur photographer. We shall look for their “sun-pictures” of Africa with interest.

, 1863

Mr. Lincoln’s Daily Life.

“Perley,” the Washington correspondent of the Boston Journal, writes as follows of the daily life of President Lincoln:

Mr. Lincoln is an early riser, and he is thus able to devote two or three hours each morning to his voluminous private correspondence, besides glancing at a city paper. At nine he breakfasts–then walks over to the War Office to read such war telegrams as they give him (occasionally some are withheld) and to have a chat with Gen. Halleck on the military situation, in which he takes great interest. Returning to the White House, he gets through with his morning’s mail, in company with a private secretary. Some letters are endorsed and sent to the Departments–others are entrusted to the Secretary, who makes a minute of the reply which he is to make–and others the President retains, that he may answer them himself. Every letter receives attention, and all which are entitled to a reply receive one, no matter how they are worded, or how inelegant the chirography may be.

Tuesdays and Fridays are Cabinet days, but on other days visitors at the White House are requested to wait in the ante-chamber, and send in their cards. Sometimes, before the President has finished reading his mail, Louis will have a handful of pasteboard, and from the cards laid before him Mr. Lincoln has visitors ushered in, giving precedence to acquaintances. Three of four hours do they pour in, in rapid succession, nine out of ten asking offices, and patiently does the President listen to their applications. Care and anxiety have furrowed his rather homely features, yet occasionally he is “reminded of an anecdote,” and good-humored glances beam from his clear, grey eyes, while his ringing laughter shows that he is not “used up” yet. The simple and natural manner in which he delivers his thoughts makes him appear to those visiting him like an earnest, affectionate friend. He makes little parade of his legal science, and rarely indulges in speculative propositions, but states his ideas in plain Anglo-Saxon, illuminated by many lively images and pleasing allusions, which seem to flow as if in obedience to a resistless impulse of his nature. Some newspaper admirer attempts to deny that the President tells stories. Why, it is rarely that any one in his company for fifteen minutes without hearing a good tale, appropriate to the subject talked about. Many a metaphysical argument does he demolish by simply telling an anecdote, which exactly overturns the verbal structure.

About 4 o’clock the President declines seeing any more company, and often accompanies his wife in her carriage to take a drive. He is fond of horseback exercise, and when passing the summer at the Soldiers’ Home used generally to go to and fro in the saddle.

The president dines at 9, and it is rare that some personal friends do not grace the round dining-table, where he throws off the cares of office, and reminds those who have been in Kentucky of the old school gentleman who used to dispense generous hospitality there. From the dinner-table, where coffee is served, and where the President passes the evening, unless some dignitary has a special interview. Such, I am informed, is the almost unvarying daily life of Abraham Lincoln, whose administration will rank next in importance to that of Washington in our national annals.

The President’s wife ought not to be left unmentioned, although there is little of interest to chronicle in the daily round of serving, reading and visiting hospitals which occupies the time of Mrs. Lincoln. She may have made mistakes–who does not?–in her invitations, and thereby provoked envious criticisms. Neither do those of the Democratic era admit that there can be any courtesy displayed here now-a-days. But I am sure that since the time that Mrs. Madison presided at the White House, it has not been graced by a lady so well fitted by nature and by education to dispense its hospitalities as is Mrs. Lincoln. Her hospitality is only equaled by her charity, and her graceful deportment by her goodness of heart.

Disaster on the Hudson.
Loss of the Isaac Newton.

On Saturday evening at 7 o’clock, the splendid steamer Isaac Newton, while on her way to Albany, caught fire near Fort Washington, from the bursting of a flue, and was burned to the water’s edge. She is a total wreck. The details of the disaster are substantially as follows: As soon as the explosions took place, one of the pilots anchored the boat near the shore. In a few minutes thereafter it was discovered that the vessel was on fire amidships, but all attempts to extinguish the flames proved unavailing. It was impossible, owing to the dense smoke and steam on the lower deck, to get at the hose, and the heat drove the engineer from his post. Fortunately, a tug and propeller hastened to the relief of the passengers, offices, and crew, who were speedily transferred from the burning wreck to a place of safety.

Fourteen persons, badly scalded, were taken from the vessel, six of whom died during the night and yesterday.

At the time of the accident, the passengers had been driven into the cabins by the cold. The signal of distress given by the captain soon brought assistance, but the scene presented as the vessels approached the burning boat was one which will not fade from their memory during the lifetime of those who witnessed it.

The darkness of the night–the fire issuing from all parts of the vast five-decked vessel–the reflection of the flames on the sky and on the water–the people hurrying from the hills, moving like shadows in the dreadful firelight–he struggle to get on board the craft that came to relieve the sufferers–the quick, yet tender, handling of the burned and scalded and suffocated firemen who were snatched like brands from the burning–the column of flame that blazed up, lighting those who escaped and their deliverers to the opposite shore–the final sinking of the wreck, and the darkness that shrouded all, forma  picture that needs none of the coloring of fancy to make it vivid and startling.


A Hard Case.

Private Alvah H. Miles, Co. F, 2d Vermont regiment, detailed for duty on the gunboat flotilla, Mississippi River, and who deserted March 15, 1862, has been sentenced to be branded with the letter D on the palm of his right hand. This unfortunate man claims a slight consideration, for his manly testimony before the court evinced him to be a man of honor and spirit. He was ordered to report as above, with a number of soldiers, and on their way thither they became intoxicated to a beastly degree, which was more than the honorable soldier could endure, so he deserted them and enlisted elsewhere. When the specification and charges were read to him, he bravely pleaded guilty, and explained to the court the trying situation in which he was placed by the dishonorable conduct of his companions in arms. “I am in your hands, gentlemen, and at your mercy. If I am restored to the ranks, I shall faithfully perform my duties as a soldier, and endeavor to retrieve the error I have committed. If I am sentenced to be shot, I’ll stand and meet my fate as a man.” These as near as I can remember, are the exact words of the condemned soldier, who, to shun one evil, unwittingly committed a greater.


DECEMBER 12, 1863


English Artillery.–The English, in view of European complications, are striving very hard to keep pace with other nations in the matter of effective artillery; but by their own confessions they are far behind. The London Times has an article on the subject in which it says their best gun yet is the old 68-pounder, and they can only indent 4½ inch iron. That would be nothing on this side, for that thickness could be easily honeycombed by the better classes of both federal and rebel cannon. The Times says the famous German maker Krupp has supplied Russia with a large number of funs that will easily pierce the thickness of the iron on their (English) ironclads. France, too, is vastly ahead in the effectiveness of their rifled cannon. There is another new feature in artillery experiments which we have never before seen discussed, and that relates to throwing shot under the water, and even firing submerged cannon. When we consider the incompressible density of the water, and that it will flatten or break a conical shot which may strike it at right angles, we are hardly ready to believe that much can be done in this way; but there is hardly any limit to human ingenuity, when, as now, it is all devoted to the heroic science of human slaughter.

The ironclads, of course, are not plated under the water line any further than to protect what may be exposed of the hull below the load line by careening. A vessel so clad to the keel might sink by her own weight, if her sub-marine parts were equal in specific gravity to the portions out of the water. Now, how to get shot into this vulnerable part–this heel of the iron Hercules–is the question.4  The Times says Mr. Whitworth has invented a flat-headed shot which holds its path straight into the water, instead of rebounding. And after having thus penetrated twenty feet of water obliquely, and reached a depth of three feet, it will prove effective, and has in fact penetrated a thickness of eight inches of oak timber.

Again: The Times says that more startling developments have been produced by guns which were themselves submerged, and fired when under water at a sub-marine target. For this purpose an Armstrong 110-pounder was faced at a target at 25 feet distance. When the tide had risen to as to cover the gun to a depth of six feet, it was fired. Out of some dozen experiments there were few failures, and the effect on the target was most extraordinary. The shot passed through 13½ inch piles, having 5-inch oak planks bolted in front of them, or a thickness of eighteen inches of solid timber. An old vessel, the Griper, was next moored at a similar distance, and the gun pointed at a place where her side made an angle of 42 degrees with the line of fire. The solid shot went through both her sides; a shell penetrated one side and burst inside.

These statements are rather staggering to one skilled in hydraulics, and we rather hold to the theory that if one places the muzzle of his gun under water, and fires it, the effect will be to burst the gun. But if these missiles can be got to operate under the water, it would seem that the nicety of the process must be such as to render practical use out of the question. The resistance of the water to a submerged ball or shell would be such as to require the most perfect shape in the missile to give any certainty to its directness. The proportion of divergence from any slight imperfectness in shape would be as much greater in water than air, as water is more ponderable than air. Since the wooden walls of England no longer serve for purposes of defence, England has been rushing from one thing to another without advancing much; and this when a general European war is imminent.

Jeff. Davis’ Message.

Fortress Monroe, Dec. 11.–The message of Jefferson Davis to the Confederate Congress was sent in on the 7th inst.

He is very despondent over the losses of the strongholds of Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and many other points. He says there has been no improvement in the relations of the Confederacy with foreign countries since his message last January; on the contrary, there is greater divergence in the conduct of European nations, assuming a character positively unfriendly, and adds:

“The marked partiality of Great Britain in favor of our enemies [is] strongly evinced in their decisions regarding the blockade, as well as their marked difference of conduct on the subject of the purchase of supplies by the two belligerents. This difference has been conspicuous since the commencement of the war.”

Of the Confederate finances he says:

“The public finances demand the strictest and most earnest attention. A prompt and efficacious remedy for the present condition of the currency is necessary to a successful performance of the operations of the Government.” He recommends taxation instead of further sales of bonds or issues of treasury notes, adding: “The holders of the currency now outstanding can only be protected by substituting for it some other security.”


A veteran officer of the regular army writes as follows to the Army and Navy Journal:

“At Gettysburg, on the first three days of July, the regulars, out of 2044 men, lost 1000, by far the heaviest loss, proportionately, suffered by any body of men in that field. And yet, while every State whose volunteers were engaged, is to have a plot for its illustrious dead, these brave fellows of our old regular army, many of whom had served for twenty years, and who finally met their death in the van, are to be buried with the unknown–thrown into a corner ditch because they fought but voted not–put on a level with the horses that fell with them, because their officers were soldiers, not politicians.”

This injustice toward the brave regulars should be promptly remedied; and we concur entirely with the suggestion of the Army and Navy Journal, that an honorable and suitable position for their burial would be at the base of the proposed monument, or the inside, fronting the tier of State burial lots.


Gen. Grant.–If Gen. Halleck does not look to his laurels, says a Washington correspondent, Gen. Grant will be promoted over him, to the rank of Lieutenant General. A commander who can show as his trophies four hundred and seventy-four cannon, and ninety thousand prisoners, merits all the honors a grateful Republic can bestow upon him.


1 The Texas deck is the one directly below the pilot house, thus named because the largest cabin (that of the captain) is located there, and, at this time, Texas was the largest state.

2 Full text of Hood’s poem is available at The work refers to the exploitation of home workers in early nineteenth century England, and was part of a larger movement toward social reforms.

3 Ellen Louise Curtis Demorest is credited with the invention of the mass produced paper pattern for clothing. (Source).

4 A mangled reference to Achilles’ heel . . .

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