, 1864

The Fall of Vicksburg.
[From the Richmond Examiner, 18th.]

We have already placed before the public the most material portion of the hitherto unpublished history of the fate of Vicksburg in Gen. Johnson’s official report. In connection with this document are some of the extraordinary developments which are necessary to history, and which show how the popular credulity has been abused with reference to the Vicksburg disaster.

So far from Vicksburg having been surrendered on account of a scarcity of supplies, it now appears officially that Pemberton had, at the time of the surrender, about 40,000 pounds of pork and bacon, which had been reserved for the subsistence of his troops in the event of attempting to cut his way out of the city. Also, 51,241 pounds of rice, 5000 bushels of peas, 112,234 pounds of sugar, 3240 pounds of soap, 527 pounds of tallow candles, 27 pounds of star candles, and 428,000 pounds of salt.

If curiosity insists upon knowing the real cause of the surrender of Vicksburg, it must satisfy itself as well as it can with the words of Pemberton’s own official report. It says:

“Knowing the anxious desire of the Government to relieve Vicksburg, I felt assured that, if within the compass of its power, the siege would be raised; but when forty-seven days and nights had passed, with the knowledge I then possessed, that no adequate relief was to be expected, I felt that I ought not longer to place in jeopardy the brave men whose lives had been placed in my care.”

But the most astounding disclosure of the documents referred to is Pemberton’s explanation of his selection of the 4th of July for the day of surrender. The explanation was this: That he was willing to gratify the vanity of the enemy by this dramatic humiliation of the Confederacy, in order to obtain better terms for himself and garrison. A confession so extraordinary needs no comment. Here it is in Pemberton’s own words:

“If it should be asked why the 4th of July was selected as the day for the surrender, the answer is obvious. I believed that upon that day I should obtain better terms. Well aware of the vanity of our foes, I knew they would attach vast importance to the entrance, on the 4th of July, into the stronghold of the great river, and that, to gratify their national vanity, they would yield then what could not be extorted from them at any other time.”

The fall of Vicksburg has therefore been a story written in the characters of misfortune. But we did not know until now that it was an incident of such humiliation on the part of the Confederacy.


Headquarters, Defences of New Orleans.

New Orleans, March 24, 1864.

General Order No. 12.

All colored persons, of either sex, who are unemployed, or who have no visible means of support, will be taken in charge by Col. G. H. Hanks, Superintendent of Negro Labor, who will make provision for their employment and pay, in accordance with existing Department Orders on the subject of labor.

Citizens are requested to report all cases of vagrant colored people to Col. Hanks, at No. 138 Julia street.

That no private servant may be interfered with in executing this order, parties who employ colored people will give to each a certificate of employment, which certificate will exhibit the name and residence of the employer.

Citizens having colored people in their employ, who are superfluous or insubordinate, will be promptly relieved of them by reporting the fact to Col. Hanks.

By command of

Major Gen. Reynolds.
John Levering,

Major and Ass’t Adjt. General.

The Charleston Iron-clads.—The Washington correspondent of the St. Louis Republican, writing about the situation before Charleston, says:

Lately we have heard considerable about the rebel iron-clads in that quarter, both from Federal and rebel sources. There is no doubt that the officers of our iron-clad fleet expect to be compelled to accept a challenge to combat some of these fine days from a fleet of Merrimacks which will steam down the Ashley and Cooper rivers, out into the harbor, and there bellow forth the bold defiance from their armament of the celebrated Brooks gun; and, further, there are indications that they do not anticipate the result of such a contest as certainly to be favorable to our side. The rebels are known to be building two or three more iron-clads in the above rivers; and there is good reason to believe that the Chicora, Ladies’ Gunboat, and other nondescript craft, finished long since, are now being clad with additional iron plates. When this fleet is finished, it is not likely to remain behind Sumter; and should it come out, the momentous question is, can our iron-clads hold their own against it? Some of our officers think not. They say the old Merrimack, in her first contest with the little Monitor, was provided with nothing but shells; that with these she could not injure her antagonist, while the latter succeeded in hitting her below her iron plating when grounded and careened, but all efforts to penetrate her mail were unsuccessful.

Subsequently the Norfolk monster being repaired came out provided with solid shot, and steamed around in sight of the Monitor for several days without getting a fight out of her. Had the Monitor accepted a fight, the result is to be inferred from the manner in which the solid shot and steel bolts of the rebel guns battered up our iron-clads in the subsequent engagements before Charleston. Supposing the rebel iron-clads of the Merrimack order in Charleston harbor are able to withstand the fire of the heavy ordnance of our Monitors, it follows that the latter must succumb to the terrible power of the Brooks gun, with its steel pointed projectiles, at close quarters. But the old Merrimack was probably the best of her class ever constructed, and though her mail was strong enough to resist the missiles of the Monitor, it does not follow that those lately constructed by the rebels are as invulnerable. The case of the Fingal is altogether in our favor; but the experience gained in that affair very probably suggested to the rebels the idea of increasing the strength of their craft, and when next they run a tilt with us for supremacy in iron-clad construction, it may be discovered their vessels are not so easily disposed of as the Savannah abortion.1


APRIL 11, 1864

The New Mexican Empire and the War.

A dispatch from Richmond, the 8th instant, announces that the Lincoln House of Representatives have just resolved to ignore the new Mexican Empire, and their resolution, in the shape in which it passed, must be regarded as a standing menace to that power. The same dispatch, in singular coincidence, also announces that the new emperor turned the cold shoulder upon the Confederate commissioner at Paris, Mr. Slidell, refusing him an interview; and it was reported as the purpose of his Government to maintain a strict neutrality between the American belligerents. Thus while the Lincoln Government is snubbing Maximillian, Maximillian snubs the Confederates, and the same dispatch brings news of both. It may well be, however, that the French news is nothing more than rumor, or the offspring of Federal invention.

We hope so. It would be [a] matter of sincere regret to discover that the Administration has sent a Commissioner to Mexico without ample assurance that his errand will be respected and successful. The status of Mexico as a national power does not admit of solicitations or a recognition of the Confederate States without a compromise of dignity. It is enough that we have approached France and England with cap in hand and been repulsed–we cannot go the circuit of the earth begging acquaintances and associates, as if we were dying for lack of recognition and somebody in the whole circle of nations must speak to us or we would sink in our estimation below the level of self-respect.

If Mexico flouts us, we shall feel a mortification that the neglect of France or England could not inflict. But we hope the news is bogus–we believe it will be found so. The course of the Lincoln government must already have satisfied France that her Mexican protectorate will be a costly and unprofitable affair if the South is subjugated, and the colossal power of the United States is again restored. A terrible war or an abandonment of his whole American programme will then be his only alternatives. The resolution of the House Committee on Foreign Relations is notice of the fact in advance. Two contiguous nations, with a common boundary of great length, and in diplomatic intercourse and treaty relations, could not indeed, if they manfully desired it, long preserve the peace. But the Northern government relieved of this war by a restoration of its former limits, would plunge into a struggle with France and Mexico with relish, and with the purpose of reconsolidating their own people. So sagacious a ruler as the Emperor of France cannot be blind to these considerations, and hence, we must believe that the ­­­­. . . policy reported by the Northern papers as determined upon by Maximillian is not to be the policy of the new Empire.

The Condition of Affairs in New York.

A New York letter in the Philadelphia Inquirer gives the following account of the mad folly reigning in that city:

If the condition of New York society is correctly indicated by the tone and drift of our public journals just now, I am afraid a stranger coming among us might be led to believe we are rapidly going to the bad. The Post, for example, tells of some people up town who are building marble stables for their horses and of others who are constructing edifices for private theatricals, who are giving dinner parties that cost $2,000 and parties to children where every child was clad in dresses entirely imported from Paris.

The Times dwells on the gorgeous displays of jewelry at all our places of public amusement, on the costliness of the equipages which whirl through the aristocratic avenues almost every hour of the day, and the ostentatious prodigality which prevails elsewhere. The Journal of Commerce, the Express, and the World [offer] other illustrations of the same character, while the Daily News is showing that “while the rich are thus getting richer, the poor are getting poorer.” The utmost prominence is given to the working men’s strikes for higher wages, and the woes of the poor needle women are as usual made the burden of elaborate lamentation.


Since the siege of Charleston commenced, the Federals have thrown 30,000 shells into and at Fort Sumter, 3000 at the city, and some 70,000 at Wagner and Gregg–making over 100,000 shells, mainly 12 and 15 inch; three hundred 200 and 100 pound Parrotts–a number that has no parallel in any siege in history, says the Columbia South Carolinian. Averaging the weight of the shells at 150 pounds each, although they will come nearer 180 pounds, the aggregate would be 15,000,000 pounds of iron hurled against this devoted nest of rebellion and its defenses.2


Treason in Congress.

Saturday was probably the most exciting day in the House of Representatives that has been witnessed since the commencement of the war. Speaker Colfax called Mr. Rollins of New Hampshire to the chair, and offered a resolution for the expulsion of Long of Ohio, for the treasonable sentiments uttered by hi the previous day in committee of the whole. A debate of several hours duration followed, the speakers and the audience manifesting intense interest. Several democratic members distinctly repudiated all sympathy with the views of Mr. Long, at the same time contending that expulsion was not the proper remedy for words spoken in debate. Fernando Wood, on the contrary, read the most odious extract from the manuscript of Mr. Long, and endorsed it. The extract runs–“I now believe there are but two alternatives–either the acknowledgement of the South as an independent nation, or their complete subjugation and extermination as a people. Of these alternatives I prefer the former.” Mr. Wood assured the House that if the gentleman from Ohio was to be expelled for the utterance of these sentiments, they might also include him for concurrence in them.

Mr. Harris, of Maryland, then spoke in a strain of mingled violence and folly, gong far beyond Long in the madness of his ravings. After promising that he would stand by his friend from Ohio in this issue, he proceeded to declare that he was a radical peace man; that he was for recognizing the southern confederacy and acquiescing in the doctrine of secession; that he hoped a tornado would sweep the present rulers of the nation from power; and that he was a better man than any of them. He continued: “The South ask you to leave them in peace, but now you say you will bring them into subjection. That is not yet done, and God Almighty grant that it never may be. I hope that you will never subjugate the South. The President has proved himself unfit to be entrusted with the moneyed power.” Such blasphemous treason the House refused to listen to. Harris was called to order, and permission to proceed denied him.

Mr. Washburn, of Illinois, then introduced a resolution for the expulsion of Mr. Harris. This was not carried, as the war democrats opposed it, and without their co-operation a two-thirds vote could not be obtained in its favor. The war democrats, however, voted for the resolution of censure subsequently introduced.

It is difficult to see how any man claiming to be actuated by motives of patriotism can carry his opposition to the administration so far as to willingly allow an avowed traitor to continue a member of the same legislative body as himself. There would be no greater outrage in admitting the most rampant rebels from Charleston or Richmond to seats in the House, as representatives of their respective districts. Jeff Davis could well afford to transfer  Mason and Slidell from the courts of England and France to Washington, if such consideration is to be shown to traitors.

The course of this debate proves unmistakably that no middle ground is left to the people of the United States. He who is not for the government is against it. The war democrats were thrust into a painfully ridiculous dilemma, in the effort to preserve their milk-and-water, non-committal policy. One cannot serve two masters. All who attempt to equivocate–to hover between the opposite sides–will be ground as between the upper and nether mill stones.

Southern Men Making Anti-Slavery Speeches.

On Thursday last, Mr. Henderson, of Missouri, advocated in emphatic language the constitutional amendment to abolish slavery. Reverdy Johnson, in a speech in the United States Senate which astonished every one, also took the same ground. Senator Johnson did not base his argument upon expediency, but upon right. His lofty words produced consternation in the camp of the copperheads, and proportional delight among those who discern in the signs of the times the speedy gift of freedom to the enthralled.

Mr. Johnson argued that the constitutional provisions sanctioning slavery were adopted for political and material reasons; that the questions of morality and religion were ignored, because otherwise the possibility of forming the Union itself was a matter of doubt. Had the framers of the instrument refused to recognize slavery, no witness of passing events would regret the decision. Mr. Johnson said that he entertained the same opinion of slavery how that he had from the first time he studied the subject of human right. In advocating the measure he did not depart from his earlier convictions. War was upon us and slavery had produced the mischief. Without its destruction there could be no permanent peace. Abolition is not to be effected by direct legislation, or through the exercise of the war power by the President. It must be accomplished by changing the constitution. The speaker maintained that the preamble of the constitution itself gave full warrant for the proposed amendment. He believed the Union would be restored and that we would have our National and State government without human bondage.


The Impending Campaign.

Gen. Grant has issued an order directing that property for which transportation is not furnished by existing orders, shall be sent to the rear at once, and that all sutlers and citizens shall leave the army by the 16th inst. Officers and men doing duty in other corps than their own are ordered to return to their regiments, and all furloughs are stopped. These preparations foreshadow active work in Virginia as soon as the character of the roads will permit.

The rebels are also busy in making ready for the impending campaign. Looking upon the events of the summer as decisive of the war they have suspended nearly all industrial occupations in order to place every able bodied man in the ranks. By means of exhaustive conscriptions, the Confederate armies have been tolerably filled. Wherever our columns have penetrated, in Florida, Mississippi, and Georgia, the enemy have been discovered in strong force. Having no reserves, they will fight with the madness of desperation, and if routed their cause is lost. Some conjecture that Lee is planning another invasion of the North. His previous attempts, however, have terminated so disastrously that he will hardly venture to repeat the experiment. Appearances indicate that the enemy are bringing up troops from all quarters to reinforce the army before Richmond. Gen. Grant’s order announcing that his headquarters would be with the Army of the Potomac and in the field gave them sufficient warning where the next blow was to fall. Our columns at the West are also very strong. When Richmond is assailed, we need not be surprised to hear that other armies are advancing toward the centre of the Confederacy. As the federal forces were never before so numerous, so well disciplined, and so well commanded as now, we may anticipate overwhelming results.

APRIL 13, 1864


Work for the Crisis Year.—It is a fact which is extremely unpleasant to the bulk of the people that multitudes of men are treating the war as a circumstance which it is desirable to prolong. The number is not few who seem to be seeking situations in the Army, as if to be occupations for life–we mean, of course, those places the compensation for filling which is large–contemplating the war as an event in the history of the Republic which is to afford permanent support to many men, as the army and navy of England do to the sons of the aristocracy of that kingdom. This is such a view of the national calamity as naturally disturbs all reflecting people; and the Administration should feel the absolute necessity of dispelling such a belief. But how can it accomplish such a purpose? How can it convince the people that the War must only be an episode in the history of the Republic? How can it most speedily dispel the fears of many that the strife will endure until an insupportable burden is placed upon the public industry, with heavy taxation, as permanent as in England? Clearly by waging the conflict this year with all the vigor that can be infused into the army and navy. According to the current of testimony from rebel sources, the enemy is ready for such encounters as we choose to essay in at least as great strength as at this time in 1863. He is regarding this as a year that may decide the controversy, and will fight with a degree of desperation perhaps not yet equalled even by himself.

Hitherto, all those people who sympathize with the Administration have not been censorious regarding the management of the War. They have felt that they could afford no better proof of their common sense and forbearance, than to bid the Government pursue the great work it has in hand by such methods as military men and naval commanders deemed best. But now a disposition is increasing to complain that affairs have not been conducted with that degree of energy the people had a right to expect. They are coming to believe that the war lags because too many people desire it to be permanent, or at least endure sufficiently long to afford avaricious and ambitious people opportunity to accomplish their purposes. Such apprehension on the part of many people may be unfounded, but they are, nevertheless, widely entertained, and the Administration can not do a better work than dispel such belief by all the means it can summon to its aid.


Mrs. Lincoln appeared at the Capitol the other day, attired in a very elegant black silk dress, with sweeping skirts and handsome furs. Mrs. Jeff Davis, it is said, lately received many rich dresses and some superb articles of jewelry, sent to her by friends in Europe. A contemporary regards it as gratifying to know that both the Presidents’ wives have got good clothes.

Aiding the Rebels.—The Abolition press and orators are constantly proclaiming that the Democrats are daily giving aid and comfort to the rebels. A recent development shows that they had better “dry up” on this subject, and “look at home” for “traitors” of that description. The rebel papers recently announced the arrival within their lines of Mrs. White, a sister of Mrs. Lincoln, returning from a visit to Washington, with “lots of comfort” for her friends. Now we have the Northern version of the story, telling how it was done. The N. Y. Tribune says she carried trunks full of contraband goods, and the World gives the particulars thus:

Mrs. J. Todd White, sister of Mrs. President Lincoln, was a rebel spy and sympathizer. When she passed into the Confederacy a few days ago, by the way of Fortress Monroe, she carried with her in her trunks all kinds of contraband goods, together with medicines, papers, letters, etc., which will be doubtless of the greatest assistance to those with whom she consorts.

When General Butler wished to open her trunks, as the regulations of the transit there prescribe, this woman showed him an autographed pass or order from President Lincoln, enjoining upon the Federal officers not to open any of her trunks, and subject the bearer of the pass, her packages, parcels or trunks to any inspection or annoyance. Mrs. White said to Gen. Butler, or the officers in charge there, in substance, as follows: “My trunks are filled with contraband, but I defy you to touch them. Here,” (pushing it under their noses) “here is the positive order of your master!”

Mrs. White was thus allowed to pass without the inspection and annoyance so peremptorily forbidden by President Lincoln in an order written and signed by his own hand, and to-day the contents of his wife’s sister’s trunks are giving aid and comfort to the enemy–nor least is the shock which these facts will give to the loyal hearts whose hopes and prayers and labors sustain the cause which is thus betrayed in the very White House.3


Mixing Blacks and Whites.—Fred. Douglass, in a late speech in Hartford, said the “Negro must vote and be voted for;” that he must be permitted to hold any office that a white man can hold; that in the body politic and in social relations he must be the equal of the whites; that no law (for instance, that against the marriage of Negroes with whites) must be permitted to retard its progress. This is the “new doctrine” which is to prevail in the next Presidential election, if the Republicans succeed in carrying it. The Hartford Times truly says that when the President proclaimed emancipation, he proclaimed also the mingling of races. The one follows the other as surely as noonday follows sunrise. This is abolition doctrine; it is a part of their creed. Abolitionists control the Republican party; they will not support the party unless it comes up to their creed; and the Republican leaders know it would die at once should the abolitionists proper withdraw from it. Some voters say they are not abolitionists, but that they vote the  Republican ticket. In voting that way they are inconsistent, for their votes support all the abominable doctrines of the abolitionists.


The War for Schleswig-Holstein.

The reported repulse of the Prussian attack upon the fortified position of the Danes at Duppel is confirmed. A German account of the engagement says that after the Prussian outposts had nearly completed their entrenchments, the Danes, supported by the fire of their batteries and their iron-clad, renewed the engagement, but after a close hand to hand fight the Prussians were able to maintain the position they took before attempting to storm Duppel. The Danish iron-clad was driven off. The village of East Duppel was set on fire. Fifty-three Danish prisoners were taken. The Prussian regiment of the guard lost 14 killed and 53 wounded. A Prussian division of the guards had gone to Frederica to aid the Austrians in the siege. The Prussian government announces that the blockade of several ports has not yet been carried out.

The London Times speaks hopefully as to the result of the conference on Danish affairs which was to commence at London on the 12th. The basis is to be the integrity of the Danish monarchy, that is, the powers entering upon the conference recognize that the sovereignty of Schleswig and Holstein belongs to Christian IX. The question to be decided is in regard to the connection between the different parts of Christian’s dominions.

The Paris Consitutionnel says that considering the diversity of pretensions, France would not consent to a conference deciding the destiny of Schleswig-Holstein, either by choosing a sovereign or by dividing those places between different powers. The only possible solution would be in conformity with the principles of the imperial government, and this alone would afford European powers durable guarantees.


Report upon Confederate Prisoners.

The report of the commissary general of prisoners, accompanying the secretary of war’s report just published, shows that the total number of confederate officers and men captured by the United States since the commencement of the war has been 1 lieutenant general, 5 major generals, 25 brigadiers, 186 colonels, 146 lieutenant colonels, 244 majors, 2497 captains, 5711 lieutenants, 16,563 non-commissioned officers, 121,156 privates, and 5800 citizens. Of these, we had on hand at the date of the report 29,229 officers and men, among whom were one major general and 7 brigadiers. There have been 121,937 confederates exchanged against 166 federals returned. In the computation of the exchanges, officers on both sides are computed at their exchangeable  value in privates. Since the date of the above report there have been less than 1000 exchanges, and very few captures on either side; consequently the figures are approximately correct. No statement has been furnished our government of the number of prisoners held by the rebels.


The falling of the Green river bridge of the Troy and Greenfield railroad, at Greenfield, a second time–and now of its own weight–gives Gen. Haupt, its builder, a good deal of annoyance. Elaborate explanations are attempted in the Boston Post in his behalf. The last of these attempts to cast the blame of the last fall upon the state commissioners and engineer with whom the road and bridge have been for the past year or two. They are charged with neglecting the work, which Gen. Haupt, or his friends for him, now say he left in an imperfect, unfinished state. For a man who professes to rank high as a bridge-builder, Gen. Haupt certainly has very damaging luck. His ingenuity is taxed heavily to throw the blame of the failure of his structures on to other people’s shoulders. We see that letters from the army of the Potomac ridicule the bridges he has been building for the government down there, and make it a matter of rejoicing that the late freshet swept them away.

Dividends from the Hoosic Tunnel.—Two lawsuits, growing out of the operations of Gen. Haupt on the Troy and Greenfield railroad, are now pending in the the supreme court of this state. One of these is by the commonwealth itself against the holders of the second mortgage bonds of that road, as a test of their validity, which the state denies. About half a million of these bonds were issued and distributed around by Haupt & Co.–Gen. Haupt hasn’t kept any of them!–and if they are valid, the state will have to assume and pay them, in addition to all its other investments in this enterprise, and assumptions of unsettled accounts of the defunct contractors. The other suit is by a former partner of Gen. Haupt–Mr. William A. Galbraith of Erie, Pa.–and against him, and for the purpose of getting his (Galbraith’s) share of profits which he alleges Haupt made out of the contract, and has not accounted for. Gen. Haupt has always insisted that no money was made in the work, and that he left it a poorer man than he began it; but his partner believes the fact to be far otherwise, and expects to be able to show it under a judicial investigation. Thus Gen. Haupt is likely to be pretty busy for some time in defending his friends Gwynn and Hamilton, his bridges that will fall down, and his pocket, which is suspected to be fuller than he represents. If Mr. Galbraith succeeds in exhibiting a large pile of greenbacks his away by this pious Haupt, there will be a fine opening for a fresh batch of suits from the missionary and Bible societies. For don’t we all remember that the enterprise tunneller voluntarily dedicated all his profits to religious and benevolent objects? Not a dollar should be laid up on earth!


The Golden Circle Revived.—The western papers have accounts of the revival of the order of the “Knights of the Golden Circle,” under a new ritual and with an organization so ingeniously contrived that all the lodges act together under the leaders without any liability to exposure. If we may credit the accounts, this order is more powerful and dangerous than ever before and likely to make mischief. The important article in the new ritual is perfect in its Jesuitism and implied falsehood:

“We are against the extermination of the white race of the South, and against the universal emancipation of the black race by federal authority. We are against the effort now making to bring black labor in competition with the labor of the freemen of Illinois. We are against every infringement of the rules of civilized war. We are against the administration of Abraham Lincoln; and we believe that a policy looking to peace, founded on good faith, an honest interpretation of the constitution, and a real desire to restore the former brotherhood of states and sections, are the only means to reconstruct the Union and save the republic.”


15, 1864

The News of the Week.

The reorganization of the Army of the Potomac is nearly completed, and to judge from orders issued from headquarters, active operations will commence as soon as the “sacred soil” of Virginia becomes travable. An order has been issued directing the inspector general of all commands to effect a reformation in the matter of absent officers. They have had their holiday and now have got to work in earnest. The army hospitals and those nearer the scene of active operations are being cleared and convalescent men sent further north. Old regiments and new recruits are constantly passing to the front. These movements are not for mere display, but are indications that offensive operations will soon commence all along the lines.

A Fortress Monroe dispatch says that on the night of the 30th, forty rebels landed on the wharf at Cape Lookout and placed the keeper and his wife under guard. They destroyed all the oil and exploded a keg of powder under each of the towers, but as the windows were open but little damage was done.

The rebel ram Tennessee, which was relied upon to destroy our fleet off Mobile, has shared the fate of other rebel experiments in that line, and gone to the bottom. This occurred on the 1st of March. The formidable affair was lying near Grant’s pass; the day was stormy, and she was struck by a squall, which sunk her almost immediately, taking the crew down with her.4 She was an extremely powerful vessel, her armor plates being six inches in thickness. Her armament is the greatest loss to the enemy. It consisted of six 100-pounder rifled Parrott guns, three affront and three astern.

Officers of steamers from the Red River report a considerable fight at Cane river, 35 miles above Alexandria, on the 28th ult., between General Smith’s forces, consisting of 8,000 infantry, under Gen. Mower, and Dudley’s brigade of Lee’s cavalry corps and Dick Taylor’s army, estimated at 17,000 strong, posted in an advantageous position. The fight lasted about three hours. Our loss is reported at 18 killed and about 60 wounded. That of the rebels was much greater, some placing it at 200 killed and wounded. We capture 500 prisoners, and others were still being brought in.

Col. Clayton, with a small force of cavalry an infantry and one battery, went to Mount Elber, on the Salem river, in Arkansas. Leaving the infantry and artillery there to guard the bridge and cover Pine Bluff, he proceeded with his cavalry towards Long View, further down the Salem river, and twenty miles southwest, where the main body of the rebel army was stationed, for the purpose of destroying the pontoon bridges and the army stores at that place. An advance of one hundred men was sent on, who, on arriving at the bridge, saw a large number of rebels opposite preparing to cross. Our officers hailed the enemy, and told them that they belonged to Shelby’s command, which wears the federal uniform, and informed them that the Federals were upon them, and begged them to hurry to their rescue. The rebels rushed forward, and as fast as they crossed they were captured, and their guns thrown into the river. In this way 260 rebels were captured, and 35 wagons, laden with supplies, taken, which were destroyed; also 30 horses and mules.->

High Dresses.

We are thankful for at least one of dame fashion’s freaks: she has turned her back upon low-necked dresses, and rather insists that collar bones and shoulder blades shall be covered. It is certainly a great improvement–not only because the study of anatomy in private parlors is not desirable, and that American damsels are apt to run to bones as some flowers do to seed; and because spinsters of uncertain age, fearful of being outdone by their nieces, presented such vast expanse of yellow neck and shoulder to the view at evening parties as were calculated to alarm nervous people very seriously; but because, since custom obliges us to wear garments, there can certainly be no reason why we should leave the most delicate portion of

On Saturday morning a daring attempt was made to destroy the frigate Minnesota. An apparently floating spar approached her, and, getting nearer, was ascertained to be a boat with three men in it. The lookout warned them off, but they pushed boldly for the frigate. In a few moments an explosion occurred similar to that of twenty cannon. The vessel shook as with paralysis, and the crew tumbled out of their berths. When the confusion subsided, orders were given to pursue the daring rebels, but the Admiral’s dispatch tug, Poppy, lying alongside, had not steam up. The other tugs on picket duty were too far off to be of use, as the marauders rapidly disappeared in one of the creeks abounding in the James River. The damage to the Minnesota is serious. The shaft alley of the propeller was crushed in so as to prevent the working of her machinery. Several guns were lifted from their positions and thrown against the ports with great violence, crushing the latter completely.


 our frame without protection. Plump shoulders and arms are pretty. But so (let us whisper) are plump legs. The mother who could fail to provide her daughter with stockings would be considered a cruel wretch, yet a year ago she might neglect to cover her chest and arms with impunity. We trust this state of things is over. We hope that the wisdom which causes every prudent parent to protect the pretty shoulders of her little girls with comfortable woolen sacques or capes will be appreciated; that sense will conquer vanity, and that in a little while it will be as absurd to see a woman in a low-necked dress as it would to-day to see a man in a low-necked coat.–Sunday Times.


Extermination.—The rebels are perpetually telling us that we will have to exterminate the whole population of the South before we can bring their territory back into the Union. Now, at the late election for State officers in Arkansas, held under the national flag and authority, there were polled seventeen thousand votes–being one-third the entire vote of the State at the last Presidential election. Yet in other days we heard the like rebel cry from Arkansas, that we would have to exterminate everybody there before it would submit. Probably these rebel malignants simply mean that they themselves must be exterminated, which is quite likely to be true.–N. Y. Times.

APRIL 16, 1864


The Balloons “Gone Up.–When Gov. Sprague came here with his noble Rhode Island regiment and battery, at the commencement of the war, he brought a balloon, which was the commencement of an attempt to use these aerial cars for purposes of military observation. AT one time Government had a dozen balloons, but somehow those who went up in them never were able to make any reconnoissances of practical value, and they were expensive appendages to camp. Of late the remaining balloons have been stored in a public warehouse here, and on the 18th they are to be sold to the highest bidders.–Wash. Corr., N. Y. Com. Adv.


The proposed constitutional amendment permanently abolishing Slavery in all the States and Territories of the Union, has passed the United States Senate by a vote of 38 against 6. Action on the measure has yet to be taken by the House of Representatives, after which, if there agreed to, (and there is said to be little doubt of its passage,) it goes before the Legislature of the several States.


Louis Napoleon.–An accident which the superstitious would call ominous recently occurred in the studio of a distinguished French sculptor. The city of Rouen had ordered a fine equestrian statue of Louis Napoleon. After much labor it was completed; but as the artist, in exhibiting it to the committee, was turning it upon its axis, the great horse and rider fell to the floor, broken into a thousand pieces. But this is really nothing of a warning to the French Emperor, compared with the results of the last two elections in Paris. The Government did not even put up any candidate, but only favored one of the opposition candidates as the least obnoxious. The whole representation, we believe, of the city of Paris is now in opposition–and “Paris is France,” according to the old saying. The uniform result of these elections, extending over a considerable space of time, shows that they are no demonstrations of popular whim, due to any single cause of offence in the imperial region, but a matured and earnest warning to the Emperor that France wants and will have more freedom for her people, or his dynasty will not be respected as in the past.

At the same time our popular branch of Congress has given the Emperor another warning in regard to his Mexican policy. The declaration moved by Henry Winter Davis, that “it does not accord with the sentiments of the people of the United States to acknowledge a monarchical government erected on the ruins of any republican government in Mexico, under the auspices of any European power,” passing, as it did, by a unanimous vote, undoubtedly expressed the feeling of the masses of our country. It is temperately expressed, and very wisely refrains from menaces or from the laying down of any definite course of policy, but so sagacious a man as Louis Napoleon will understand it just as well.–N. Y. Com. Adv.


A butternut-clad individual, who had succeeded in making good his escape from the rebel conscription, and reached our lines in Tennessee, being asked if the conscription was rigid, replied in this wise, “I should think it was. They take every man who hasn’t been dead more than two days.”

The faint hopes excited by rumors without any good foundation in favor of the Mexican republicans, have not been sustained by more accurate information. The French appear to have been  constantly gaining ground, while the forces engaged in defense of the country are not successful in effecting any important result, but they are generally suffered to remain inactive and in some instances are reported to have become discontented and mutinous. Some victories may have been gained, but it seems no one of them has been anything else than fruitless. The details are far from being inviting on account of the hopeless progress of the Juarez adherents on one side, and of the overpowering advance of the Imperialists on the other. The most important articles of news from that quarter in relation to either of these subjects, is perhaps the report that preparations are being made by the French to attack and occupy Matamoras. The naval and land forces sent to Vera Cruz are said to have already arrived at the mouth of the Rio Grande. This approach to what should be the borders of the American Union may not be attended with no danger to the future peace with France; and taken in connection with what appears to have been published in the Opinione Nationale of Paris,  is perhaps of more importance on that account. Because, from the revelations of that journal, it appears that firms at Nantes and Bordeaux have been months at work building war vessels, ostensibly for China, but really for the Southern rebels in America. Last fall, when a remonstrance was made by our American Minister at that Court, it is said, the work on those vessels was stopped by the orders of the French Government. But that, within the last two months, according to the Opinione, the same work has been resumed; and that two of those vessels, iron-clad, were then ready to be delivered to the rebels for their use. Can it be true that Napoleon III is willing, as intimated, to have an entire fleet of the kind constructed in French ports for the same purpose, contrary to his often repeated declarations in favor of a strict neutrality?


A book has been recently published which shows the amount of contributions by the loyal States, counties and towns for the aid and relief of soldiers and their families since the rebellion commenced, and the amount is $187,209,608.62. The amount contributed for the care and comfort of soldiers by associations and individuals has been $24,044,865.96. The contributions at the same time for sufferers abroad has been $380,140.74. The contributions for freedmen, sufferers by the N. Y. riot of July, and white refugees have been $639,644.13; making a grand total, exclusive of the expenditures of the Government, of $212,274,259.49.

1 A reference to CSS Atlanta, a rebel ironclad converted in Savannah from the blockade runner Fingal. On 17 June 1863, Atlanta attacked the blockading squadron, and  was overwhelmed by the combined firepower of USS Nahant and Weehawken, and surrendered. She spent the remainder of the war as USS Atlanta, serving along the James River in Virginia. (Source)

2 Despite oft-repeated comparisons of whatever point was currently under attack, with the city of Sebastopol, which endured a year-long assault between September 1854 and September 1855 during the Crimean War, data such as this report trots out are dwarfed by the number of artillery rounds that descended upon the Russian seaport. As per an article in the Lowell (MA) Daily Citizen of 26 April 1862, the Allies (France, England and Turkey) threw 2,381,042 shot and shell from 2,587 guns into the town–a figure which does not include the heavy broadsides of the supporting fleets. This is almost twenty-four times as many rounds as fell on Charleston to this date. The same paper on 2 December 1858 also published an excerpt from General Niel’s, Journal of the Operations of the Siege of Sebastopol, in which that officer reported that the French alone had fired off “510,000 round shot, 236,000 shells from howitzer; 350,000 shells from mortars, and 8000 rockets.” While not minimizing what Charleston endured, it was certainly not “a number that has no parallel in any siege in history.” And, by the way, neither Charleston nor Sebastopol were actually “sieges,” although we use that word to describe both; neither city was ever totally surrounded or cut off, which is the definition of a “siege.” 

3 See “Mrs. Lincoln’s Sister” in the Salem Register of 5 May 1864, which refutes and explains this entire story.

4 This report is entirely bogus.

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