JANUARY 31, 1864

Life in New York: Its Extravagance.—The New York correspondent of the Newark Daily Advertiser says:

The city is full to overflowing. Hotels are crowded and they refuse to accept any more families or guests for the winter. Three dollars and a half per day is the maximum price for transient people. Private boarding houses have every apartment filled to the attics. Lodgings can hardly be had for “love or money.” Many persons who close their country houses in winter and sojourn in New York have been compelled to go to Philadelphia. Others have returned to their comfortable rural homes, and there stay, waiting the coming of spring time and the birds.

Whence is it that, with such extravagant rates of board in New York and such vast accommodations, people are rushing there in such unprecedented numbers? The custom, or rather the fashion, of passing the winter in the city by people of means from the rural districts, is on the increase. Many gentlemen, with country residences on the Hudson, and only small families, close their residences, and pass the winter in private boarding houses or in the great hotels. This fashion is largely on the increase.

It is the same with business. Nearly every department of trade this autumn has been unusually prosperous. A lady friend tried to get an order executed at a large mantilla establishment on Broadway not many months ago. It was positively declined, the proprietor saying his engagements already made utterly prohibited new contracts. He said he was overwhelmed with orders, especially from the Southwest. The heaviest, he said, were from Memphis, Tenn.

Another hotel of mammoth, even colossal dimensions, opposite Central Park, is in agitation. An aged friend, a venerable retired merchant, owns the entire block opposite the corner end of the Park, between Sixth and Seventh avenues. It is now covered with an enormous crop of rocks, but the location is unsurpassed, and a hotel, occupying the entire block, is in agitation! An offer of $750,000 has been made, but declined! My esteemed and venerable friend says he has no use for the money, and so he refuses the cash. As his bank account often shows a surplus of sixty or seventy thousand in his favor, he has no immediate need of their funds. So he won’t sell!

Churches of magnificent dimensions, of great cost, are in progress on Murray Hill. One for Rev. Mr. Hastings, Presbyterian, on 42d street, opposite the reservoir, will be a commodious and beautiful structure. Another for the Episcopal parish of Rev. Mr. Montgomery has just been begun on Madison avenue and 34th street. This will also be an expensive and noble church edifice. On Park, or 4th avenue on the corner of the same street, the Presbyterian Church, under Rev. Dr. Prentiss, are building a stone house of worship of great magnitude and architectural beauty. Other parishes have new edifices in progress in different parts of the “up town” section of the city, while old and costly churches are constantly being abandoned “down town.” The massive stone edifice opposite the New York Hotel on Broadway, occupied by the Unitarians, under Rev. Dr. Osgood, is offered for sale. They are also going up town. Dr. Chapin, the famous Universalist preacher, whose splendid church is just above the St. Nicholas Hotel, he and his flock, which fluctuates with him present or absent, is also on the lookout for up town accommodations.

Broadway was never so crowded as during the beautiful days of last week. Equipages of every sort and type help “jam” this beautiful thoroughfare, and they give great life and attractiveness to Central Park.

What May Be.—We shall see, some of these days, when the Chinese find their way out here in Great Eastern emigrant ships, the most beautiful and remarkable pagodas erected on the handsome and shady avenues which will then cross Canal street and Bayou Road, far out in the swamp.

In other localities will be seen the temples of Brahma; and though the funeral pile may not be permitted to consume a living victim, yet the clay of those who die will be reduced to ashes. Nor are we so sure that the car of Juggernaut may not roll through our streets, for the benefit of those suicidally inclined.

All may be in progress ere we sleep the sleep of death; for are not Chinese rites now celebrated in San Francisco, and are not Hindoo laborers numerous in Demarara and in the West Indies? The Chinese are now nearer than that, for Cuba has many of them. We shall need the labor of these children of the sun more than England, or France, or Spain.

When they come, if we wish them to work willingly and happily, we must respect their religion–not merely the principles of it, but their rites; and we must leave them untrammeled in the exercise of them. If the English or French should desire to have chapels here, we would not object to it. Such things are allowed the English and Americans in Rome. Why should we deny as much liberty of conscience and freedom of worship to the disciples of Buddha or the votaries of Brahma?

But that is not all. It may be the case that many other religious sects may be introduced among us by immigration and inoculation. As it is true that when civilization is supposed, among themselves at least, to have received its highest pitch, that new religions and new codes of morals as well as social and religious rites, are most frequently invented and carried into practice, so some may desire to return to those of their fathers and fetishism will then be honored among us. Sometimes we have been prone to wonder that gallantry and quixotism did not lead some distinguished gentleman to defend certain religious rites which have been disturbed here by inquisitive policemen in times back. The charge of immorality is easily made, but it is a nice question at times to show which of the two, the prosecutor or prosecuted, is the most immoral.

Be all this as it may, we will venture the prediction, that while we ourselves may not go back to Druidism, there is a fair prospect that Buddhism, Hindooism and Fetishism may become fashionable creeds in this region, and we see no reason why they at least should not be permitted to enjoy entire freedom of worship. Congress, at the least, is enjoined against “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

FEBRUARY 1, 1864

Gen. Lee on the War.

A gentleman who has just arrived in Columbia, from Richmond, brings the cheering intelligence that Gen. Lee, in conversation with a bevy of friends, recently made the remark that, with 20,000 additional men in his army, and 40,000 additional troops in the army of Gen. Johnston, we could whip all the Yankee tribes that may be brought against us. He further observed that if the contest was prolonged until September next and we should meet with no grave disasters, (which Gen. Lee does not anticipate,) the greatest crisis of the war would be successfully passed.

If these opinions of the great captain of the age be faithfully reported, they are worthy to be written in gold. We hold them up before the eyes of every man, woman and child in the Confederacy, and point to them as a day star. Sixty thousand men more, and our struggle is over! The very thought makes the heart leap for joy. And now, men, to the work of strengthening the army. Gather up the absentees, officers as well as privates; cultivate your fields and prepare for heavy crops; bring down the price of the extortioners; cease for once the giddy race for wealth; stand by the Government in its effort to reduce the currency; let us once more have spontaneity of action–strong, determined, fervent action–and the next spring will, in all probability, see the beginning of our glorious end.

Already the busy note of preparation is sounding. Ring it across the land! Rally in heart and rally in person. Our armies, though small, are in splendid health and spirits, full of life and hope. The enemy are massing all their gigantic powers for a final throw of the dice. Millions are pouring out in bounties, and hirelings, such as they are, will confront with their superior numbers our brave boys on the field. But Providence has been with us in the past, and Heaven will not desert our cause if we but deserve its blessings, while we struggle for the right. The North chafes under its already immense burden; the approaching national election there is destined both to weaken and revolutionize, and chaos promises to come again. Let us hope, then, for success. United we can never be overwhelmed. Let our people prove true to themselves and their post, man the ramparts for a final struggle, and we shall make good the prediction of Gen. Lee–that before the dawn of another year, the flag of victory will wave over a free and independent Confederacy.–Columbia South Carolinian.


The Situation in Europe.—The London Index pictures the “situation” in Europe at the present moment:

At this time every member of the European family stands armed to the teeth, and each for the last few years has spent a greater proportion of its resources than at any previous epoch in preparing itself for deadly armed strife against the others. To meet in family council at such a time could at worst precipitate by a very brief period what must inevitably come otherwise; it is far more likely that it would avert the danger.

Wreck of the Steamer Vesta.—We have the particulars of another disaster off the Carolina coast–the wreck of the Vesta, one of the finest steamers in the blockade running line. The incidents are obtained from a Confederate officer, who was a passenger from Bermuda.

This was the first trip of the Vesta from England. She was a double screw steamer, perfect in all appointments, and commanded by Capt. R. H. Eustace, an Englishman.

The Vesta left Bermuda on the 3d inst. For seven days she was chased by a number of Yankee cruisers, but succeeded in eluding them, and on the 10th inst., made the coast in the vicinity of Wilmington. Being compelled to lay to, she was descried by a Yankee cruiser, which gave chase, and in half an hour seven more Yankee vessels were pouncing down upon the suddenly discovered prey. The Vesta, although apparently surrounded, ran the gauntlet in splendid style, through one of the most stirring scenes that the war has yet witnessed on the water. Some of the cruisers attempted to cross her bows and cut her off, [but] she was too rapid for this manœuvres, and at about half a mile distance some of the cruisers opened their broadsides upon her, while five others in chase were constantly using their bow guns, exploding shells right over the deck of the devoted vessel. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the vessel ran the gauntlet, raising her flag in defiance, suffering only from a single shot, which, which, though it passed amidships above the waterline, happily escaped the machinery.

But the trouble seems to have commenced with what the passengers anticipated to be the triumphant escape from their captors; for the Captain and the first officer, Tickler, are reported to have become outrageously drunk after the affair was over and the night had fallen. It was said that the Captain was asleep on the quarterdeck, stupefied with drink, when he should have put the ship on land; and at two o’clock in the morning he directed the pilot to take the ship ashore, telling him that the ship was ten miles above Fort Fisher, when the fact was that she was about forty miles to the southward of Frying Pan Shoals.

Fifteen minutes afterwards the Vesta made land, the pilot having run her so hard ashore that it was impossible to get her off. She was run aground at Little River Inlet; the passengers landed in boats, minus their baggage; and although there were no cruisers in sight, and not the least occasion for precipitation, the vessel, with all her valuable cargo, was fired before daylight by order of Captain Eustace, and burned to the water’s edge. The cruisers did not get up to the wreck until two o’clock on the afternoon of the next day, and then they were attracted to it by the smoke from the conflagration.

The cargo of the Vesta was one of the most valuable description; three-fourths of it on Government account, consisting of army supplies, and including a very expensive lot of English shoes. There was also lost by the wreck a splendid uniform, intended as a present to General Lee from some of his admirers in London. Nothing of any account was saved.


Our Relations with France.
Rumor that a War with that Power is not Improbable.

New York, Feb. 2.–The Herald’s Washington dispatch pronounces the report of the rebel authorities being desirous to propose terms of peace a canard.

A caucus of the Republican members of Congress will be held Wednesday night to agree upon a policy with regard to future legislation.

The gunboat Eutaw leaves this week for the fleet off Wilmington.

Lieut. Semmes, of Stuart’s cavalry, cousin of the pirate Semmes, was captured yesterday in Maryland, near Fort Washington.

The World’s Washington dispatch says it is rumored in high official circles that we are upon the eve of a war with France.

Mr. Seward is said to have pursued such a course towards the French government concerning the Florida, Rappahannock and the other rams known to be building in France for the rebels, as to elicit a response from the French Foreign Minister, in accordance with which the United States must either abandon its pretensions or go to war to maintain them.

Mr. Ewarts was, it is said, instructed to demand of France the surrender of the belligerent rights accorded to the rebels, and it is certain that there is some serious difficulty with the French cabinet, which alarms all but Mr. Seward. He, in view of the almost certainty of a war in Europe, takes the highest possible ground toward France.

This may be taken for what it is worth.


Appeal of General Lee to the Rebel Army.
Why They Have Short Rations.

New York, Feb. 2.–The Richmond papers contain the following order of Gen. Lee’s to his army:

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
Jan. 22, 1864.

General Orders, No. 7.

The commanding general considers it due to the army to state that the temporary reduction of rations has been caused by circumstances beyond the control of those charged with its support.

Its welfare and comfort are the objects of his constant and earnest solicitude, and no effort has been spared to provide for its wants. It is hoped that the exertions now being made will render the necessity but of short duration. But the history of the army has shown that the country can require no sacrifice too great for its patriotic devotion.

Soldiers, you tread with no unequal steps the road by which your fathers marched through, suffering privation and blood, to independence. Continue to emulate in the future as you have in the past their valor in arms, their patient endurance of hardships, their high resolve to be free, which no trial could shake, no bribe seduce, no danger appall, and be assured that the just God, who crowned their efforts with success, will in His own good time send down His blessings upon you.

R. E. Lee, General.

The Examiner has the following leader:

The time has passed for offensive military operations on the part of the Southern army. Beyond recovering lost portions of territory, the true policy is now to risk nothing. Our means of subsistence have been too far exhausted to admit any other than defensive tactics. It has become with us a simple question of endurance with the South.

The duration of the war is simply a question of a continued supply of food for the people and the army. The South can hold out indefinitely if at the eleventh hour she does not go mad. The Richmond Congress can bring her to subjugation in six months more by conscripting her present producing classes, and thrusting them into an unclad and untried army. The first duty of the government is to provide these supplies, and they cannot be provided except by weakening the army.

The alternative must be adopted of resisting with small armies, using the tactics of Fabius, and the strategy of defence.


Great Rebel Raid Reported.
Probability of a Visit to Pennsylvania.

New York, Feb. 2.–The Tribune’s dispatch dated Harrisburg, Feb. 1st, says a report prevails here tonight that Imboden crossed the Potomac near Sir John’s Run, 3 miles below Hancock. He will aim at Chambersburg and the Cumberland Valley ad will reach Harrisburg if possible.

Imboden is daring and persevering. He has no artillery or infantry with him, except two sections of a six pound battery. There is no adequate force to pursue or interrupt. The 20th and 21st Pa. cavalry have just been discharged from the service. General Sullivan’s force is inadequate to pursue him successfully.

Letter from Ireland.

The following is an extract from a letter written by a young Boston artist, now visiting Europe, (having gone out in the Canada on her last trip,) to his mother in this city; it is dated at Dublin:

You will be surprised when you see where this letter is dated, but you will be more surprised when you learn that I have visited all the largest cities in Ireland at a cost of only $15. Upon my arrival at Queenstown I heard that there was to be a large fair at Dublin, and that excursion tickets had been issued, so my friend and I determined to go to London that way.

We bought an excursion ticket, and it will cost us only $10 or $15 more than to have gone the other way, and we can travel two or three hundred miles in Ireland. We have already visited Queenstown, Youngall, Cork, and Limerick, and are now at Dublin.

When we landed at Queenstown we were completely beset with beggars; some pulled our coats and some grabbed us by the shoulders, while about 20 or 30 women with babies crowded around us, poking the children at us, and at the same time asking for coppers. I should think there were 150 of them.

Finally, I put my hand in my pocket and threw them some Yankee coppers, and you never saw such a squalling and tumbling in your life; it was as good as going to a theater. They struggled and squealed for about five minutes, when the discovery was made that we were Americans, and then they swarmed around us more than before, crying out “God bless the Yankees,” “We love the Yankees,” &c., &c.

We stood it as long as we could, but at last got mad, and I pitched into the crowd, right and left–my friend with his carpet bag, and I with my shawl done up as a bundle. We soon cleared a way to the hotel, but the crowd stood outside two or three hours waiting for us to come out; finally, the police drove them off. I don’t suppose you ever thought that a son of yours would be welcomed with a procession on his first night in a foreign land! What a big show they will have for us in London and Paris!

I have seen a great many interesting things in Ireland, including castles and ancient buildings, and to-day have been tramping about in Dublin. It is a large city, nearly twice as large as Boston, and has a population of nearly 400,000. Assure the girls that I have seen “swate ould Ireland” and Tipperary, too, and have seen and talked with all classes. The Irish aristocracy are unkind to the tenants, and always were, and the laboring classes need some one to look after them, not being capable of caring for themselves. There are many splendid looking men among them, but the “confoundedest” homeliest women I ever saw, both in the upper and lower classes.

I have been at a first class ball in Dublin, and have walked through the streets of all the large cities and towns, and have seen only two passably pretty women, though I have seen large numbers of splendid looking men, and some god fellows, too, I assure you. From the earliest ages the lower classes of Irish have always been noted for their joyous and carousing times, and the nobility for getting up rows and fights. It is because of these characteristics that the nation is what it is to-day.

There seem to be great men in the country, but they are Irish in name just as any horse is a horse; but our best horses are carefully bred, and are called Morgans and Black Hawks, and there is the same difference between the Irish nobility and the lower classes. If ever any people had reason to love America, it is the latter, because they will be made men of there.

Among the objects of interest which I have seen in Dublin are the old House of Parliament, the old House of Lords, just as it was left years ago, the tables and chairs and books in the Lords’ Chamber and in the Lords’ rooms, and the castles where the Irish Kings resided.

FEBRUARY 3, 1864


500,000 More Troops!
Another Draft Ordered!

Executive Mansion, Washington, Feb. 1, 1864.

Ordered, that a draft of 500,000 more men to serve for three years, or during the war, be made on the 10th day of March next, for the military service of the United States, crediting and deducting therefrom so many as may have been enlisted or drafted into the service prior to the 1st day of March and not heretofore credited.

[Signed] Abraham Lincoln.

This order will be read by the people of this State with surprise. The Republican papers have been constantly assuring them that the war was near its close by the decisive triumph of our arms. They have said, on the one hand, that the rebellion was on its last legs, its treasury bankrupt, and its armies thinned by desertions, and demoralized by loss of all hope; and, on the other hand, that our armies were being rapidly filled up and increased by re-enlistments of veterans, and by accessions of new volunteers, all flushed with confidence of victory. But this order now suddenly exposes the falsity of these representations. It shows that a far more severe and desperate struggle than has yet tried our powers, is before us; and that victory still hangs in doubtful balance.

The order will be read with painful surprise on another account. The people of this State have exerted themselves to the utmost to meet the repeated requirements for more men, which have already been made upon them. New Hampshire has been behind very few, if any, States in prompt compliance with those requirements. At the commencement of the war, she gave freely of her own sons; and since, when she could not spare more, she has poured out money like water to procure others in their stead. Nearly every town in the State has exhausted all its means and credit for that purpose. And they have been encouraged to do so by the assurances, from Republican sources, that the war was nearly over and the homes of their citizens would be saved from the afflictions of an unsparing and merciless conscription. But scarcely have they done so, when now comes this order to make a greater call than before!

Never were there more gross and wicked deceptions than are practiced upon the people by the Republican leaders in this matter. Why not let the whole truth be known? Why make repeated calls for men, and encourage compliance with each, in the hope that it will be the last, when they know that others, and greater, must follow? It is simply because they know that the people would not endure the continuance of Republican rule and policy, if they foresaw all the consequences. And millions after millions of money are borrowed, to weigh us, and generations after us, down with a most oppressive taxation, so that we may not now feel the consequences which, if felt, would lead us to demand a change.

This new call for more men, so soon, does not surprise us. It is the inevitable consequence of the Republican policy, and must be repeated, again and again, so long as that policy is continued. Republicanism says to seceding States that so long as the Republican party is in power, no propositions for peace will be listened to, and no terms will be allowed to end the war except unconditional submission. Hence our enemies find new energy and resources in desperation, and fight as for life itself.

At our last State election, the people were deceived by the Republican assurances that there would not be any draft. But the repeated calls since, and this order, will prevent any such deception in this election. And let every voter remember that a vote for the Republican candidates is a vote for a policy to continue this war, without any compromise, to the bitter end, for the Abolition of Slavery–and for such a war, not this order only, but many more such, must be obeyed.

End of the War.

Mr. Seward predicts that the war will be over in less than three months, and all the radical papers tell us that the rebellion is about suppressed–that the Southern Confederacy is tumbling to pieces. They daily represent, as they have done for two years past, that the people are starving, sick of war, disgusted with their rulers and ripe for revolt against them; that the army is suffering for all the necessaries of life, deficient in arms and munitions of war, and so “demoralized” and disaffected that it requires about one-half of the men to guard the rest and keep them from deserting; and that the spring campaign is sure to result in “cleaning out” the rebels and putting an end to the war. This has been the tenor of Republican representations for two years, and never have they talked more confidently in this strain than they do now. We wish it was true; we wish we could see the least ground for hope of peace at an early day. But we cannot, and the reason we cannot is because our rulers will not make peace upon any terms upon which it can be made. If the present dynasty is continued in power, the war will go on. The only chance for peace–the only means by which the people can relieve themselves from further sufferings and burthens consequent upon war, is by a change of rulers. To vote for the Republican party is to vote for perpetual war–for their policy can result in nothing else.

The Troy Whig, a radical Republican paper, is more honest than its contemporaries in this State, for it tells the truth, while they suppress it. In a recent issue that paper says:

“We are not lacking in faith that this rebellion is to perish, thoroughly, certainly; but we see no evidence, as yet, that it is to go by the board soon. In the Southwest daylight has been knocked through it, but only there. After all our efforts ad expenditures, the blockade is far from being perfect, rebel vessels notoriously entering with supplies from Europe, and going out again with cotton.1 The army of the Potomac is yet to win a great, decisive victory on rebel soil, and Lee’s forces are a great deal nearer Washington than ours are to Richmond. Though it has been frequently announced that ‘the backbone of the rebellion is broken,’ the public ‘don’t see it.’

“Looking at facts as they are–and it is only folly to blind ourselves to them–it is easy to foresee that the present call for men is not the least urgent one, by three or four, which may be made. The number of able bodied Northern men between the ages of 18 and 45, who can certainly promise themselves that they will not be actively engaged in the war before it is over, is not large. And the causes of exemption, reduced to a very few now, are likely to grow less. If we are wise, we shall endeavor to comprehend and act upon these facts, and put ourselves, in mind as well as substance, on a ‘war footing.’ ”


Southern News.

Late southern papers show that the question of supplies for the rebel army and people, is becoming a very grave one. While it is unsafe for the North to rely on the hope of starving out the rebellion, the extremities of our enemies should encourage us to redoubled exertions, from the well-grounded assurance that a proper use of our power will suffice to the speedy re-establishment of federal supremacy throughout all the states of the Union. The finances of the enemy are in such deplorable condition that they are compelled to rely entirely on paper money, of which the material and the expense of printing cost more than the lower denominations bring in the market. The Richmond Whig of Jan. 28th thus satirizes the attempts to keep the bubble afloat:

Among the interesting proceedings of the Senate of Lilliput in secret session, we find the following:

“Resolved, That the Committee of Finance be instructed to report the profit of the operation of issuing ---’s countenances, costing for printing 7 cents per capita; selling at 5 cents, and redeemable at 100 cents.”

The Richmond Examiner of the same date has an editorial urging that the time for offensive operations on the part of the southern armies is past. It trusts the hopes of the confederacy to a rigid adherence to the Fabian policy. It admits that the means of subsistence at the South have become too exhausted to justify any other than defensive tactics. The following from the article in question, is one of the most lamentable confessions of weakness we have yet seen:

“Hereafter our strength will consist in our very poverty. Our country is too sparsely inhabited, too scarcely supplied with food and forage, to be successfully invaded for an indefinite period. The war will last as long as the North can maintain a muster-roll strength of three-quarters of a million, and support an army of four hundred thousand men at a distance of several hundred miles from its basis of subsistence. It has become with us now a simple question of endurance. We can husband our resources; we can maintain our armies at a standard of strength apportioned to the productive capacities of the country; when outnumbered, we can weary the enemy and waste his strength by artful maneuvers, attacking him in detail and destroying him by piecemeals; but if we undertake more, we risk all.”

Compare the wail of the Richmond editor with the promises held out, after the election of Mr. Lincoln, to tempt the slave states to secede. Instead of the wealth and prosperity which were to flow in upon them from all quarters, they are compelled to rely on poverty and the desolation of their country as the chief means of defense. Our armies have already recovered the principal grain and meat-growing regions from the confederacy. There is not fertile enough soil left, when cultivated by the disordered industry of the South, to subsist, except on the coarsest and scantiest rations, the white and black populations that now throng the the Gulf States. In the spring our mounted troops will penetrate these regions, and by autumn our armies will be ready to harvest the crops.


Interesting Items.

The returns show that the quantity of coal mined in this country last year was greater by more than 2,300,000 tons than it was year before last. As the government steamers consumed only 400,000 tons, the theory of some of the coal dealers and miners that the high prices were due to a short supply, falls to the ground.

It is an interesting fact that the sale of confiscated estates now being mad at Beaufort, S. C., is carried on from the verandah of the Edmund Rhett House, where more than ten years ago the rebellion was brooded over by the very men whose estates now pass under the hammer. It is singular, too, that the chairman of the tax commission, Dr. Wm. Henry Brisbane, is the man who more than twenty years ago was driven from the State because he would liberate his slaves.->

Some surprise has been manifested in military circles by the news that the most successful fire at long range upon Charleston was maintained by Norman Wiard’s twelve-pounder light battery steel guns. Since the failure of the large rifled Parrott guns, Gilmore has been using these overlooked pieces of Wiard, that drifted down to Hilton Head from the waste of the Burnside expedition. Accident and insolence combined to show their extraordinary value. A rebel cannoneer, making a beastly exposure of his person a mile and a half off, was made a target of by a gunner familiar with these steel cannon. The wretch went fifty feet in the air in pieces. Practice from day to day revealed the truth that Wiard’s small steel guns, with the Hotchkiss shell, have the longest range with the greatest accuracy and least expenditure of ammunition of any gun now in use in our army.


Rebel Correspondence.—Lieut. W. K. Mayo, U. S. N., has placed in our possession two letters taken from captured rebel mails near Mobile. One of them is written from Havana to Thomas H. Jones, Mobile, and is from his wife evidently. She says, among other things:

“I spend hours thinking of the rich blessings that once were mine, and I cannot banish the thought, ‘Why am I deprived of all that made life so happy?’ ”

Poor woman; she doesn’t see that the rebellion has done it all. That she is an ardent rebel appears by the following:

“I don’t feel one hundredth part of the hatred for the privates (Union soldiers) that I do for their thieving officers. May every Southern heart and hand be fortified with superhuman strength, until we are free, or all annihilated! Conquered, never!”

She signs herself “Adois,” and winds up as follows:

“And now, good-bye. No name is best; then there is no fear of reading them in Yankee prints. Your name and address won’t harm us, as you are a rebel without disguise–I, a loyal citizen! But human nature will out in spite of the oath.”

The other letter is written by “Ever your faithful and affectionate Adeline,” from Algiers, La., to “My dear Thomas,” husband of the writer. He has been in Bragg’s army, and hasn’t written to his family since he left home, and his wife, in complaining of it, shows herself to be altogether too good a woman for him. But we have room only to quote what she says about other matters, which show that the rebellion has done toward “developing” the resources of the South:

“I suffered very much last winter, and my prospects for the present are no brighter. But for the assistance of a few kind neighbors, I should at times have been in a state of starvation. I have been compelled to sew until twelve and one o’clock at night for people, for whatever provision they might give me–money being out of the question. Working for cold victuals and old clothes is a grade of poverty that I never descended to before. Orange leaves boiled as a substitute for tea, and hard crackers, is very poor fare for two and three days at a time, with a baby to nurse,” &c.

Not a word is said in the letter about the war. Hundreds of similar letters, showing the great destitution which prevails in the confederacy, are intercepted by our forces.


5, 1864

Colt’s Pistol Factory in Flames.
Several Lives Lost by Falling of the Roofs.

Hartford, Feb. 5.

A fire broke out about 8 ¼ o’clock this a.m. in Colt’s Pistol Factory. It is an awful fire and burning furiously. The chances of extinguishing it are small. It is certain that the loss will be immense.

Second Dispatch.

The fire is said to have broken out in the polishing room in the old building. Up to this time (9 ¼ a.m.) the old buildings are entirely destroyed, and the fire is crossing on the buildings connecting the old with the new factory. It is said there is considerable powder stored in this connecting building, and an explosion is feared.

Third Dispatch.

Hartford, 9:45 a.m.–The oldest and largest building facing the Connecticut river is a mass of ruins. There appears to be but one wall on the north side standing. The fire has been arrested on the connecting buildings and hopes are entertained that the new building will be saved. The office, a large building separate from the others, is now in flames.

Fourth Dispatch.

Hartford, 10:15 a.m.–Several lives have been lost by falling roofs; names as yet unknown. The loss it is said will exceed one million dollars. The fire is still raging with indications that the new factory will also be destroyed.

[From the Hartford Times Extra.]

Hartford, 10:30 a.m.–This morning about 8 o’clock, a fire was discovered in the steam drying room, center wing of Colt’s armory, which quickly spread to other parts of the building and in a short time was beyond human control. The floors which were full of oil burned like tinder. The firemen were promptly on hand, and rendered all possible aid. The loss cannot be correctly stated, but it will probably be a million dollars worth of property. The old factory is burnt down. The new one, 800 feet long, will be saved. It is the most destructive fire that ever took place in this State, and 1000 poor men with dependent families will be thrown out of employment.

Immense masses of machinery are strewed about the grounds, guarded by police. From ten to fifteen thousand people are present.

There is reason to fear the loss of the lives of three workmen, killed by falling walls. Many workmen escaped by leaping from the windows. The two great engines amounting to 500 horse power, are among the losses.

The insurance is nearly $1,000,000; about $200,000 in Hartford, the balance in New York.

[By the American Line.]

Hartford, Feb. 5.

The original building of Colt’s pistol factory was destroyed by fire this morning between eight and nine o’clock, with all the machinery and a large amount of property.

The building was 500 by 60 feet, with ell 100 by 60. The office, a large three-story building, was also destroyed. A new building, in which Minié rifles were made, is saved.

Seventeen hundred workmen in all were employed, half of whom are thrown out of work.

Loss at least half a million dollars; indeed, the machinery alone was valued at that sum.

Juveniles on the War Path.—The fierce conflict of arms which has recently raged around Knoxville has infused the spirit of war into the boys living in that city and those resident in Shieldstown, a small place divided from Knoxville by a narrow creek. A fight raged fiercely between the Shieldtowners and Knoxvillers. They used slings and minié balls, which they handle with great dexterity. They had camp fires built along in a line. Each morning each party appeared on its own side of the stream, drawn up in array; ammunition was distributed out of a bag, fifteen rounds to the man, and they commenced. Our soldiers of the Ninth Corps, who have been through many a storm of shot and shell, kept at a respectful distance as they hurled their missiles with vigor. One day the Shieldtowners made a charge at the single plank that crossed the stream, the Knoxvillers ran, all except one little fellow about eight years old, who stood at the end of the plank, swearing oaths like Parrott shells, calling them cowards, and, by a vigorous discharge of miniés, repulsed the assault. The casualties amounted to bruises and cuts in all parts of the body, rather serious to look at, or to think what they might have been; but every little fellow was proud of his wound. So it went on for several days, when one bright morning, as they were drawn up in full fighting array, and only waited signal to commence, suddenly appeared some women in rear of each; a half-dozen were caught up, severely spanked, and let off. The rest were disconcerted and dispersed.


The Newsboys’ Lodging Room.—The New York correspondent of the Boston Journal thus speaks of this benevolent institution:

“One of the institutions of New York that deserves public notice is the Lodging Room of the Newsboys, as it is called. But it is a home not only for newsboys, but shoe-blacks and homeless boys of all trades and callings. In the upper story of the Sun Building, occupying the whole story, is the home for these wandering boys. The rooms are handsomely carpeted, warmed and well ventilated. The lodging rooms, where from a hundred to a hundred and fifty sleep, are a model of cleanliness and comfort. On the payment of five cents a night the boys can enter this room, have the benefit of a bath, a good supper, instructions in reading and singing, with a good bed. Entertaining services are held on Thursday night and on Sunday night, which are crowded. No boy is turned away who seeks a lodging because he has no money. A Savings Bank is a part of the institution, and one boy has laid up $200 of his earnings. A healthier, heartier, happier, shrewder class of boys can’t be found in New York.”

FEBRUARY 6, 1864


The three hundred rebel prisoners taken to the Charlestown Navy Yard from Chicago, are men who have taken the oath of allegiance and enlisted in our navy. The same number were taken to New York. We presume that they will be distributed in small squads among our vessels. They probably prefer the navy to the army, because there is less danger there of their being taken prisoners and shot as deserters.


From Newbern we have further particulars of the rapidly increasing feeling of discontent in North Carolina. The people are urging the calling of a State Convention, and Dr. Leach, one of the recently elected members of the Rebel Congress, says, through the Raleigh Standard, that North Carolina now claims the fulfillment of the compact, or the right to depart from the Confederacy in peace. Gov. Vance opposes the taxation of State property by the rebel government. The Raleigh Standard, in an article addressed to slaveholders, says if the war should continue twelve months longer, the institution of Slavery would be destroyed.


Advices from the front of Gen. Meade’s army represent that some of the rebel regiments are almost in a state of mutiny. The rations are cut down to the scantiest allowance, and clothing has not been issued since the early winter. Of 3000 rebels who accompanied Early’s expedition into the Shenandoah valley, it is said that only about 500 have returned, the others being frozen or frost-bitten, and bestowed about in the farm houses and villages along the route.


What will be done to liberate the unfortunate men now held, and who have been so long suffering, as prisoners in Richmond and elsewhere in the South? The hope that the “rebel authorities,” if indeed there are any such authorities, would avail themselves of the opportunity to negotiate with our Gen. Butler for an exchange of prisoners, appears to have been disappointed. The Washington correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger states, that the third note, addressed by Gen. Butler to the “rebel authorities” has been treated in like manner with the two previous notes, and has been equally unsuccessful. All these notes are understood to relate to an exchange of prisoners and to have failed of gaining their object on account of personal objections to the General in that quarter. But the neglect of the enemy to appreciate the agent appointed for that purpose may not be a sufficient reason for leaving the sufferers in rebel prisons to pine away and die without further service to their country and to their friends. If the rebels are cruel enough to neglect an opportunity to release their associates held as prisoners by or authorities on account of their personal objections to our agent, will it be thought advisable on our part to so far follow their example of cruelty, as to insist upon their accepting an agent obnoxious to them, merely because he is acceptable to us, and on that account to sacrifice the valuable lives of worthy men, whom it is our duty to protect and save by all honorable means in our power? All negotiations of the kind suppose an equality between the parties; and either party is understood to have the right to object to an unacceptable medium of intercourse, provided such objections can be easily obviated. The delay in this case is the more to be regretted, as it is hardly possible, under the present circumstances of the rebellious States, that our countrymen held as prisoners in that region can fare in any respect but in the most miserable manner. Without trusting to starvation stories, the proclamation of Gen. Lee seems to settle the question as to the destitution of the South.

Among the recent events connected with the war, about which the public are yet perhaps uncertain, is the reported suspension of the siege of Charleston. The journals which have stated that Gen. Gilmore had left, or was about to leave, for the North–and that not a few of his regiments had been transferred to another theatre of action–would not be likely (we suppose) to give currency to such a report unless they were satisfied of the truth of the statements. Perhaps it is not well for the public to know too soon what change, if any, has been made in the conduct of the war in that quarter. But the attack and defense of Charleston being among the most remarkable events of the war, however they may end, will form an important chapter in history. Experience will answer some questions either for or against the superior efficiency of what have been deemed great improvements lately introduced into modern warfare. The result must be particularly interesting to military and naval circles. If the siege of Charleston has been actually, many will attribute the result to the inefficiency of the Monitors when employed to reduce batteries of sand or of solid masonry. And the opinion before ventured upon this subject will be sustained: that land is a better than water to build fortifications upon–other things being equal. But it seems, if the siege for the purpose of the immediate capture of Charleston has been abandoned for the present, all operations directed to that end have not been suspended. The land batteries are said to keep up a more or less effective fire upon the city and upon Fort Sumter. The city by this means is said to be made a very uncomfortable place of residence, and the Fort a very dangerous place for laborers to be employed in when making repairs–though it may not be absolutely a mass of ruins, as we have been so often told it was. By some it is said that the same old bone of contention still forms the most gigantic obstacle to the passage of our fleet to the city. And that the navy before Charleston is now only a blockading and not also a bombarding fleet. But the question still returns, is the siege of Charleston raised?


Beauty is Public Property.–The following very sensible advice from the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table:

“There are some very pretty, but, unhappily, very ill-bred women who don’t understand the law of the road with regard to handsome faces. Nature and costume would, no doubt, agree in conceding to all males the right to at least two distinct looks at a very comely female countenance, without any infraction of the rules of courtesy or the sentiments of respect. The first look is necessary to define the person of the individual one meets, so as to avoid it in passing. Any unusual attraction detected in a first glance is a sufficient apology for a second–not a prolonged, impertinent stare, but an appreciative homage of the eyes, such as a stranger may inoffensively yield to a passing image. It is astonishing how morbidly sensitive some vulgar beauties are to the slightest demonstrations of this kind. When a lady walks the streets, she leaves her virtuous indignation countenance at home; she knows well enough that the street is a picture gallery, where pretty faces, framed in pretty bonnets, are meant to be seen, and everybody has a right to see them.”


1 In reality, the blockade was working splendidly–just not at the 100% hermetically sealed level that people (then and now) thought it should. It did not need to. By merely making the importation of supplies risky, the blockade caused inflation to skyrocket; as it grew more stringent through the war, and the amount of incoming foodstuffs declined, inflation became scarcity. As for cotton being shipped out, the amount being smuggled through was one-third of the pre-war level.

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