, 1864

Europe in Arms.

We believe the day is not distant when the fierce flames of war will envelop every country of Europe, excerpt, perhaps, England. The course of events is hurrying rapidly towards war. Let us review the events of the past few weeks. The minor German powers entered Schleswig very much as the United States army entered Utah in 1857-8; they dragged Austria and Prussia reluctantly after them. The Duke of Augustenburg was proclaimed Duke of the province. Holstein was next entered by sheer force of impulse, of acquired motion.

At the same time an incident occurred which seems likely to produce important effects. A wide-spread insurrection burst forth in Galicia, that portion of Poland incorporated in Austria, and which had remained quiet during those heroic struggles of the noble Poles to free themselves from the rule of the most ignoble power in the world. It is believed that Posen, the spoil which fell to Prussia’s share on the dismemberment of Poland, is only waiting an opportune moment to rise, too. Who has forgotten the position which Austria stupidly assumed towards Russia last year on the Polish question? Fires within her own frontier have made her change her mind. Prussia has acted as mediator and intermediary between her and Russia, and it seems now almost certain that something like an alliance has been formed between all the powers of Germany and Russia for common offence and defence. The first consequence of this alliance (if alliance there be) has been the invasion of Jutland, the last remaining continental possession of Denmark. The telegrams which bring this announcement hint also that Prussia is actively engaged at Stockholm, endeavoring to persuade Norway and Sweden to take possession of insular Denmark and annex it to them, to form one great kingdom, to be called Scandinavia. The treaty of London (1852) will be avowed null and void, and all Germany will proceed to annex Schleswig, Holstein and Jutland to the Confederation.

The consequence of this revival of the holy alliance will be to renew the intimate diplomatic understanding between England and France which existed during the Crimean war.

Now, if England will come to a cordial understanding with France, and, without engaging in active hostilities, agree to support France, at least so far as to give France assurance that the English fleet shall not be turned against her, the French Emperor will be free to move. In this event–but let us premise that there re obstacles in the way to the establishment of this understanding. The Queen is notoriously philo-German, and could with difficulty be brought to consent to throw even England’s moral weight against the land where already two of her daughters and one of her sons are heirs apparent of thrones. The present Cabinet–at least the present Minister of Foreign Affairs (Earl Russell)–is scarcely the Ministry to move  harmoniously with France, even if it commanded a large majority in the House of Commons, which it does not. In France the situation of the finances, the situation of the Bank of France, the situation of the Bourse and of trade are believed to render any war by France an extremely hazardous undertaking.->

It is even said that Mons. Fould recently had audience of the Emperor, and told his Majesty that he must resign if the Emperor entertained warlike designs. It is true, the Emperor replied, that at present he had no such intentions, but the day might not be distant when the interests of France might require her to go to war. In the event of a cordial intimacy between England and France, we should probably see Germany and Russia attached by Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Italy and Denmark, while France (even if she kept aloof from actual war) would paralyze no inconsiderable portion of the allied armies by massing formidable corps of observation on the German frontier and by assisting Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Italy and Denmark in various ways. This, however, would probably be only the first act of the bloody drama, and the second act would open by the imperial eagle swooping on the allied armies then decimated by the battle-field and the hospital. France’s policy would then be to reestablish Hungary and Poland, to give Venetia to Italy, to take the left bank of the Rhine to herself, and to surrender Rome to Italy upon condition of the cession of the Island of Sardinia to France.


A Lightship for the Atlantic.—A project of a novel and important character  has been for some months past under discussion, and we are informed that a company is now in course of formation, with a view to place the proposal in a practical shape. It is intended to station, fifty miles west of Sicily, a ship bearing a floating light, containing stores of provisions, and connected by an electric wire cable with the shore. It is considered that thus early news may be conveyed, homeward ships may receive their orders while at sea, and much suffering, privation and loss of life prevented. The work is to be carried out by Moore’s patent for an improved method of anchoring ships, and attaching electrical cables. The idea is seriously entertained and, if carried out, might prove of much commercial value. We should be sorry to pronounce it impossible, or to throw an obstacle in the way of its accomplishment; but if Moore’s patent can securely moor a vessel amid the wild waves of a broad and deep Atlantic, and can secure any communication at all times with passing ships and with the shore, the invention must be ranked as one of the most marvellous of the age.–Western Morning News.1


Mrs. Lincoln and the Disembodied.—There is a story going the rounds of the capital to the effect that Mrs. Lincoln, a few days since, consulted the spirits on the subject of the next Presidency, and that the disembodied stated very emphatically that she would not be the mistress of the White House longer than the 4th of March, 1865. Mrs. L., though hitherto an orthodox member of the rappings fraternity, expressed her disbelief to “manifestations,” and departed the “circle,” fully persuaded that the medium was a charlatan.

APRIL 18, 1864

The Duration of the War.

The impression generally prevails, says the Richmond Whig, that the campaign on which we are now entering is the last–that the death grapple has come, and the struggle must soon be over. The army makes no calculations. With grim humor and gay defiance worthy of the cavalier stock from which they come, our soldiers volunteer for “forty years or the war.” But civilians indulge themselves in speculations, the failure of which cannot affect men who make none. Whether the fourth year of the war will be the final one depends mainly upon the incidents of the campaign. We leave out of view the possibility of other things always possible–such, for instance, as the long-delayed, but inevitable, financial crash at the North, of which the upward tendency of gold there, in spite of all Chase’s thimble-rigging, affords improving prospect; the counter-revolution that has been hoped for, and of which the late outbreak in Illinois is prophetic; foreign intervention, rendered more likely of late by the hostile demonstration in Washington towards the European arrangements for Mexico–we leave these out of the calculation, and speak only of military contingencies. If the campaign is a successful one to us, it will almost certainly end the war, though it may not bring immediate peace–peace settled by treaty ad declared by proclamation. We do not see how it is possible for the enemy, if at the end of four years of such gigantic combat as we have had they find themselves no further advanced towards their object than they now are, to stand up before the world and insist upon continuing the contest. We do not see how the world, without shaming the civilization and common sense of the age, could permit it.

What is most to be feared, all in fact that is to be feared, is that advantages of such apparent importance may be gained by the enemy as will afford them a pretext for continuing the strife, and will enable them yet awhile longer to practice upon the credulity of other countries. This would give them a little longer respite from the humiliation of admitted defeat, and the more terrible consequences they will have to face among themselves, when the appalling fact strikes the mind of the masses that all this bloody and wasting war, this frightful sacrifice of human life, the blood and tears and anguish of a whole people, the nightmare of national debt, the prostration of national name and rank, the corruption of public morals, the subversion of the general industry and the ruin of private fortunes have been in vain, have been wasted and lost–and all through the connivance of a set of knavish politicians. Lincoln and his men will postpone their day of reckoning as late as possible, and to that end will protract the war as long as any pretext that will delude their people can be found. If, by force of numbers, they can gain anything amounting to an advantage this year, or by the art of lying can make it appear they have, they will probably be able to carry their armies over into another campaign. It becomes, therefore, our chief duty, as well as our highest policy, to strain every nerve to defeat them in all their attempts, and to see that, at the end of the campaign now opening, they are less favorably circumstanced than they now are. Let this result appear, and we may confidently count on the practical ending of the war with the expiration of the fighting months of this year. Our noble armies, we are sure, will do their duty; the people must do theirs, by taking care that their armies lack nothing that can contribute to their efficiency.


Slave Labor for the Coast–Division No. 1.

I. The Commissioners of Roads and the Town Authorities within the Judicial Districts of Pickens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Union, York, Chester, Laurens, Abbeville and Newberry, will forthwith summon all slaveholders within their respective limits to deliver one-fourth of their slaves liable to Road Duty at the Railroad Depots nearest their residence on Monday, the twenty-fifth (25th) day of April prox., at 10 o’clock, a.m., there to await transportation to Charleston for Thirty Days’ labor on the fortifications.

II. The Act of December requires the arrest of all defaulters, and that they be forwarded for a double term of service at the expense of the owners. This requirement will be rigorously enforced; and, that the State Agent may proceed intelligently and do justice to all, Commissioners of Roads and Town Authorities are earnestly enjoined to make, without delay, the Returns called for by the Act referred to. They will state, in every instance, the names of owners, district, number of Road Hands, and total amount of labor performed. No District in the Division now called on has made complete returns, and in several this important duty has been entirely neglected. ->

III. The Commissioners and Authorities aforesaid are also required by law to impress and forward one-fourth of all the male free Negroes, between the ages of 16 and 50 years.

IV. The only exemption recognized by the Statutes is where the owner has but one Road Hand.

R. B. Johnson,
Agent for the State of South Carolina.



Charleston, April 18, 1864.

I. ALL MALE WHITE PERSONS IN CHARLESTON DISTRICT, between the ages of seventeen and eighteen and forty-five and fifty years, are required to report to the Enrolling Officers of this District, in person, for enrollment–except those who may have reported and enrolled since the first day of April instant. Persons of the classes designated, who fail to report within the time prescribed by the Act of Congress “approved February 17, 1864,” will subject themselves to be assigned to general service with the class of persons between eighteen and forty-five years.

Exemptions Revoked.

II. All certificates of exemption hitherto granted by Enrolling Officers are revoked by the recent Act of Congress, except those granted to mail contractors, drivers of post coaches and hacks, and on account of religious opinion.

All persons, therefore holding certificates of exemption (with the exceptions above indicated) will report forthwith for enrollment, exemption or detail, pursuant to provisions of said Act of Congress.

III. All applications for exemption or detail (except Confederate and State Officers and Railroad Employees) should be made to Captain L. M. Grist, the local Enrolling Officer for Charleston District. Applications for the exemption of officers of the Confederate and State Governments and Railroad employees must be made to Major C. D. Melton, the Commandant of Conscripts, at Columbia.

Details to Bureaus or Departments.

IV. Persons who are not artisans, mechanics or of scientific skill, cannot be detailed for service in any of the Military Bureaus, or in the Quartermaster’s Commissary, Ordnance or other Departments of the Government, or for any of the like duties, unless they may be persons between the ages of forty-five and fifty years, or persons who have been adjudged by an Examining Board to be unfit for service in the field.

All applications for detail for Government service must be made by the officer for whose services the detail is asked, and must set forth clearly the duties to be performed, the particular necessity for the personal services of the person applied for, and the period for which the detail is asked.

Detail of mechanics, etc.

V. Applications for the detail of mechanics, or of persons of whatsoever class, whose services are necessary to the public generally, must set forth distinctly the nature of such necessity, and be supported by the affidavit of the applicant, and other sworn testimony.

VI. No application for detail can be entertained until the person reports at the office and is enrolled.

VII. Information on all matters pertaining to the conscription will be furnished on application at this office.

VIII. The office will be opened at Summerville on Saturday, the 23d instant, and on every Thursday thereafter, until further notice.

Office in Charleston–corner of Coming and Radcliffe streets.

S. A. Durham,
Major, Chief E. O., 2d Congressional District, S. C.
April 18, 1864.


Grand Opening of the Baltimore Sanitary Fair.
Speech of President Lincoln.

Baltimore, April 18.–The inauguration ceremonies of the great Fair at the Maryland Institute to-night were very imposing. The display was exceedingly fine. The immense building was thronged. President Lincoln made a speech. Speaker Colfax and Senator Wilson accompanied the President to Baltimore. The President’s appearance in the hall was greeted with tremendous applause which continued for some moments.

After the inaugural address of Governor Bradford, the President was loudly called for, and in response he proceeded to make a brief address. He referred to the great change that had taken place in Baltimore in the last three years. “Truly,” he said, “the world moves. At the commencement of the war the soldiers of the Union could not pass through Baltimore unmolested, and now we have this large assemblage of people brought together to do honor and provide for their wants and make them comfortable. All honor to the brave patriots who had wrought the change and to the noble women who aided them. When this war began scarcely one individual supposed it would it would have lasted till now. All thought it would end in some way in a much shorter time. Very few at that time thought the institution of slavery would be much affected. But these expectations were not realized, and here we are. (Laughter.) And slavery has been somewhat affected. (Great laughter.) So true is it my friends, that man proposes and God disposes. The world had long been in want of a correct definition of the word ‘freedom.’ Whilst all proposed to advocate liberty, there was in the minds of many a very opposite view of what liberty was. With one man, liberty implied to work for himself and do as he pleased with the proceeds of his labor. With others liberty meant to do as you pleased with other men and their labor. One of these two conflicting ideas would have to give way to the other. He thought from some occurrences which had recently taken place in Maryland that her people were about to determine which of these views of freedom should control her destiny.”

The President then passed on to refer to a matter which he said he supposed was just now deeply agitating the minds of the people all over the country. He alluded to an occurrence which was reported to have taken place at Fort Pillow, namely, the massacre of several hundred colored soldiers by the Confederates. Many supposed the Government did not intend to do its duty in regard to the protection of these colored soldiers. He desired to say that all such were mistaken.

When the question of employing colored men as soldiers was left to the  Government, it rested very much with himself whether he should make soldiers of them or not. He pondered the matter carefully and when he became convinced that it was a duty to so employ them, he did not hesitate.

He stood before the American people responsible for the act–responsible before the Christian world–responsible for it he stood before God–and he did not shrink from the decision he has made, for he believed it was right. But when the Government determined to make soldiers of these colored people, he thought it only just that they should have the same protection as the white soldiers, (applause) and he hesitated not to declare that the Government would so protect them to the utmost of its power.

Whenever a clear, authenticated case should be made out, retribution would follow. It had hitherto been very difficult to ascertain with that certainty which should govern a decision in a matter so serious. But in the affair at Fort Pillow he thought they were likely to find a clear case. The Government had no direct evidence to confirm the reports in existence relative to the massacre, but he feared that the facts as related were true. When the Government does know the facts from official sources, and they substantiate the reports, retribution will be surely given. (Great applause.)

But how should retribution be administered was a question still to be settled. Would it be right to take the life of prisoners in Washington, in Fort Delaware or elsewhere in retaliation for acts in which they have not shared? Would it be right to take a prisoner captured, say at Vicksburg, and shoot him for acts of which he was not guilty, and which, it probably will be found, were the ordering of a few individuals, or possibly of only one man? The President reiterated the declaration that the Government would not fail to visit retribution when the acts were clearly prove.

Throughout, the President’s remarks were warmly applauded, especially his enunciation of a determination to visit retribution for the barbarous deeds of the rebels.

The Fort Pillow Affair.

The massacre at Fort Pillow has intensified the feelings of our Western officers and men to such a pitch that they declare that unless Government takes retributive steps, they will consider it their duty to shoot every man of Forrest’s command they meet and take no prisoners. The absence of gun-boats up the Red river and its tributaries in pursuit of cotton left but one war vessel at Fort Pillow at the time of the attack. An affidavit taken at Memphis declares that the Quartermaster of the 13th Tennessee cavalry was, while living, nailed to a board by the rebels and thrown into the flames of a burning building at Fort Pillow.

Fort Pillow is an isolated post, of no value whatever to the defence of Columbus, and utterly untenable by the rebels, who have skedaddled from that vicinity ere this; having been disappointed, with considerable loss in the object of their raid thither, which was the capture of Columbus, whence they were promptly and severely repulsed, with no loss to us. The Washington Star is of the opinion that due investigation will show that the loss of Fort Pillow was simply the result of a mistake of a local commander, who occupied it against direct orders–a contingency incident to all wars.

Gen. Sherman has been directed to make an immediate and thorough investigation of the massacre with a view to exact retaliation. The investigation by the Committee on the Conduct of the War will be made simultaneously with General Sherman’s.


Affairs About Home.

A Case of Mayhem.–Horatio N. Wilson, who lives at No. 1 Ridgeway lane, entered a complaint at police station No. 3 last night, against one John Young, who had ill treated him. Wilson had one of his thumbs in his pocket, the member having been bitten off by Young, and stated that the quarrel was the result of a dispute in relation to bounty money.


Raid upon Fast Drivers.–The Chief of Police continues to enforce his prohibition of fast driving on Beacon street and the Mill-Dam, on Sundays, and last evening overhauled at the foot of Beacon street two teams which were being propelled at a more rapid rate than the law allows.


Precocious Young Highwaymen.–The Common and vicinity has been infested for the past year by a gang of boys who, lying in wait for their victims, and taking the opportunity when they are alone, have been in the habit of seizing children of their own age and younger, and robbing them of whatever they might have in their possession at the time, including money, marbles, books, etc. The police have been on the alert for the young rascals for a long time, but without success, until yesterday, when officer Sturdivant, of the 4th station, having dressed himself in citizen’s clothes, succeeded in capturing three of them, and two others were shortly after taken prisoners by officers from the second station. The names of the boys arrested are William Kelly, James Kane, Daniel Lyons, Patrick Collins alias Holland, Michael alias Murtagh Driscoll, and their ages vary from 10 to 13 years.

They yesterday robbed a little boy named Charles W. Ray of his Sabbath School books, and forced him to remove his jacket in order that they might search him. They also attacked a little girl in a brutal manner, pulling up her clothes and searching her person in an indecent way, to see if she had concealed pockets. The boys all belong on Fort Hill, and have all the pertinacity and daring of the gentlemen of the road of the last century, without a particle of their refinement. These boys will be arraigned in the Police Court this afternoon.


APRIL 20, 1864


Our Soldiers Chased and Shot.

The Wounded Vainly Begging for Mercy.

The St. Louis Democrat, of Saturday, brings detailed accounts of the horrible affair at Fort Pillow, from which we gather the following clear statement of the forces engaged, and the dreadful scenes which followed the capture–for it was not a surrender:

The Attack.

The rebels, under Forrest, appeared and drove in the pickets about sunrise on Tuesday morning. The garrison of the fort consisted of about two hundred of the Thirteenth Tennessee Volunteers and four hundred Negro artillery, all under command of Major Booth; the gunboat No. 7 was also in the river.2 The rebels first attacked the two outer forts, and in several attempts to charge were repulsed. They were constantly reinforced, and extended their lines to the river on both sides of the fort. The garrison in the two outer forts were at length overpowered by superior numbers, and about noon evacuated them and retired to the fort on the river. Here the fight was maintained with great obstinacy, and continued till about four p.m.

The approach to the fort from the rear is over a gentle declivity, cleared and fully exposed to a raking fire from two sides of the fort. About 80 yards from the fort is a deep ravine, running all along the front, and so steep at the bottom as to be hidden from the fort, and not commanded by its guns. The rebels charged with great boldness down the declivity, and faced, without blenching, a murderous fire from the guns and small arms of the fort, and crowded into the ravine, where they were sheltered from the fire by the steep bank which had been thus left by some unaccountable neglect or ignorance. Here the rebels organized for a final charge upon the fort, after sending a flag of truce with a demand for surrender, which was refused. The approach from the ravine was up through a deep, narrow gully, and the steep embankments of the fort.

The Capture.

The last charge was made about four p.m., by the whole rebel force, and was successful after a most desperate and gallant defence. The rebel army was estimated at from two thousand to four thousand. The gunboat had not been idle, but guided by signals from the fort, poured upon the rebels a constant stream of shot and shell. She fired two hundred and sixty shells, and, as testified to by those who could see, with marvellous precision and with fatal effect. Major Booth, who was killed near the close of the fight, conducted the defence with great coolness, skill and gallantry. His last signal to the boat was, “We are hard pressed and shall be overpowered.” He refused to surrender, however, and fought to the last. By the uniform and voluntary testimony of the rebel officers, as well as survivors of the fight, the Negro artillery regiment fought with the bravery and coolness of veterans, and served the guns with skill and precision. They did not falter or flinch until at the last charge, when it was evident they would be overpowered, they broke and fled towards the river, and here commenced the most barbarous and cruel outrages that ever the fiendishness of rebels had perpetrated during the war.

The Rebel Atrocities–Negro Troops Murdered.

After the rebels were in undisputed possession of the fort and the survivors had surrendered, they commenced an indiscriminate butchery of all the Federal soldiery. The colored soldiers threw down their guns and raised their arms in token of surrender, but not the least attention was paid to it. They continued to shoot down all they found. A number of them, finding no quarter was given, ran over the bluff to the river, and tried to conceal themselves under the bank and in the bushes, were pursued by the rebel savages, and implored them to spare their lives. Their appeals were made in vain, and they were all shot down in cold blood, and in full sight of the gunboat. The rebels chased and shot them down as they would dogs. ->

I passed up the bank of the river and counted fifty dead strewed along. One had crawled into a hollow log and was killed in it; another had got over the bank of the river, and got on to a board that ran out into the water. He lay on it on his face, with his feet in the water. He laid there when exposed stark and stiff. Several had tried to hide in the crevices made by the falling bank, and could not be seen without difficulty, but they were singled out and killed.

From the best information I could get, the white soldiers were, to a very considerable extent, treated in the same way. One of the 13th Tennessee–D. W. Harrison–informs me that after the surrender he was below the bluff, and one of the rebels presented a pistol to shoot him. He told him he had surrendered, and requested him not to fire. He spared him, and directed him to go up the bluff to the fort. Harrison asked him to go before him, or he would be shot by others, but he told him to go along. He started, and had not proceeded far before he met a rebel who presented his pistol. Harrison begged him not to fire, but paying no attention to his request, he fired and shot him through the shoulder, and another shot him in the leg. He fell, and while he lay unable to move, another came along and was about to fire again, when Harrison told him not to fire. He asked Harrison if he had any money. He said he had a little money and a watch. The rebel took from him his watch and 90 dollars in money, and left him. Harrison is probably fatally wounded.

Several such cases have been related to me, and I think, to a great extent, the whites and Negroes were indiscriminately murdered. The rebel Tennesseeans have about the same bitterness against Tennesseeans in the federal army, as against Negroes. I was told by a rebel officer that General Forrest shot one of his men and cut another with his sabre who were shooting down prisoners. It may be so, but he is responsible for the conduct of his men, and General Chalmers stated publicly, while on the Platte Valley, that though he did not encourage or countenance his men in shooting down Negro captives, yet that it was right and justifiable.3

Gen. Forrest is represented to have been badly wounded. Dr. Fitch, surgeon of the fort, was taken prisoner, and through the influence of some rebel surgeons, was released on his parole and came up with us. He confirms, from his own personal observation, the butchery of our soldiers by the rebels. He informed me that after the fort was taken the soldiers ran down the bluff to the river, throwing away their arms, holding up their hands, and crying out that they surrendered, but the rebels continued to fire on them from the bluff without the least regard to their cries. Dr. Fitch says he saw twenty white soldiers paraded in a line on the bank of the river, and when in line the rebels fired upon and killed all but one who ran to the river and hid under a log, and in that condition was fired at a number of times and wounded. He says Major Bradford also ran down to the river, and after he told them he had surrendered, more than fifty shots were fired at him.

All of the officers of the Negro regiment and most of the Federal officers of the fort were either killed or wounded. Among the killed known are Adjutant Hiel, Cap. Bradford of Co. A, Capt. Porter of Co. B, Lieut. Barr of Co. D, and Lieut. Wilson of Co. C–all of 13th Tennessee. Adj’t Deming was mortally wounded. Some seven of the white wounded died after they were brought on board the steamer Platte Valley, and two of the colored.


Charleston as it is.

The following letter (says the Philadelphia Press) from a respectable citizen of Charleston, S. C. a Union man, to a gentleman of Philadelphia, gives a truthful account of the city, as it was February 22, 1864. The statement can be depended upon as accurate and impartial:

“A great change has come over the city since you left. The population is almost entirely above Wentworth street–hardly a soul below Market street. The Post office is at the corner of King and Ann streets; the bank at the west end of Cannon street; the military headquarters in John street, and above that point. The lower part of the town is given to Gilmore’s shells. [Below Wentworth street are fourteen parallel streets, including the most valuable of the public buildings, stores and private houses. Cannon street is almost suburban. The deserted portion of the city, from which the bombardment has driven the few inhabitants who remain, occupies about three square miles.–Ed. Press.] Probably over five hundred houses have been struck by shells in that part of the town. Your old room in the upper story had a shell explode in it.

“The prices of living here are, in our currency, enormous. Hotels charge from $12 to $14 a day, and the cheapest boarding-house is $6 a day. At present rates it costs me $600 a month. Beef is selling at $3 a pound; sugar (poor brown) at $4.50 a pound; corn whiskey from $60 to $75 a gallon; oak wood at $36 a cord. You can therefore imagine the pleasures of house-keeping at these rates. A barrel of salmon from Wilmington cost me $105, and I bought a box of herring, which used to cost seventy-five cents, today for twenty-five dollars.

“--- has lain in a hiding place for several months to avoid conscription. He does not even dare to do as the owls–go out at nights. Once he was the victim of misplaced confidence; he went to Wilmington to try and get a chance out; he was nabbed, enrolled, and only escaped by jumping from the cars and taking to the woods. Finally, after enduring incredible hardships, and walking seventy-five miles in thirty-three hours, he got back to a place of hiding in Wilmington, whence he returned here; and is now in purdah, where only intimate friends can find him.4

“Deserters throng the woods and swamps all over the country; the rebels hunt them as they do Negroes, with dogs. --- says he saw twenty-two brought in the other day, tied two and two, who had been caught by hounds. Two others were shot in attempting to escape.

“Our condition is as bad as it could be. The despotism is as bad as it can be, though curses loud and deep are uttered against the government by many men who were secessionists. There is a very large sprinkling of Union men here. It is quite doubtful if there is not a majority in Charleston who are for the Union. The town is very much changed. Scarcely anybody believes that slavery can exist much longer. The thing is about up. If the Federalists make the spring campaign what it ought to be, the people will cry ‘enough.’

“Congress has just passed a law compelling the funding of Confederate notes in four per cent bonds before April 1, on penalty of paying a tax of thirty-three and one-third per cent on the notes after that date, and if they are not funded by January 1, 1865, they are to be taxed one hundred per cent. This is repudiation with a vengeance. Then a tax of five per cent on everything adds to the delights of our situation.”

The Attempt to Blow up the Minnesota.–The Norfolk correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer gives full particulars of the attempt of the rebels to destroy the frigate Minnesota by means of a torpedo:

About two o’clock on the morning of the 9th inst., the deck officer of the Minnesota discovered a floating object moving toward the frigate. It was hailed, but no reply was made; but with the third hail, the officer shouted, “A boat from the Roanoke–fire and be -----!” An instant afterward the Minnesota experienced a tremendous shock. Men were thrown violently out of their hammocks, and balls and shells rolled from places where they were stored. The crockery was shattered into innumerable fragments. The force of the concussion was so great that it sprung some of the timbers and started the decks slightly out of position.

The torpedo was placed amidships, and was not properly adjusted. Had it been rightly fixed to the vessel, there can be no doubt that it would have blown to atoms and the hundreds of unconscious sleeping men hurled into eternity, without the least warning. Amid the confusion and excitement prevailing, the boat that brought the torpedo down managed to escape.

The rebels must have become possessed of many facts concerning the strength and position of our fleet.

The picket boats in the river had been materially reduced within a short time past. Three had been sent to Norfolk for repairs, and another to the storeship at Fortress Monroe for supplies. These were the most efficient small gunboats of the fleet. But notwithstanding all this, it seems exceedingly strange that the mysterious craft could come down the river past all the remaining picket boats and not be observed until almost along side of the flag ship, which lay nearer the mouth of the river than any other vessel of the fleet.

Had there been less dark prevailing, and a full head of steam on some of the boats, the rebel could have been captured. Where she came from is not known; but it is surmised that she ran out of Chuckatuck. She must have been propelled by muffled oars as she neared the flagship; but as soon as the torpedo was attached she steamed away rapidly.

Another correspondent says the deck and walls of the engineers’ steerage are badly blown up. The paymaster’s store room is also badly damaged. The shell room appeared as one mass of ruins, owing to the displacement of the shell. The shaft alley of the propeller was crushed in, and prevented the working of the machinery. The steamer which caused this excitement was of small dimensions and was a propeller. She did not appear to be a steamer, excepting the smoke stack. The only time that she showed any signs of life was when she was retreating. She was capable of containing but few men.5

22, 1864

Rout of Sherman’s Corps.
Our Loss over 2000.

There is bad news from the Red River expedition, which was lately moving on with so much confidence. Our cavalry and the third and fourth divisions of the fifteenth army corps, under Gen. Sherman, encountered the enemy at Pleasant Hill, De Soto parish, Louisiana, and after a hard fought battle, were put to rout by a largely superior rebel force. The nineteenth army corps finally came up and checked the enemy. Our loss was over two thousand. The enemy also lost heavily.

Gen. Ransom, who commanded the third and fourth divisions, was wounded in the earlier part of the fight. The Chicago mercantile battery lost all its guns and four officers and twenty-two men.

Full Particulars of the Fight.
The Rebels in Heavy Force.

A letter dated the 10th says: “Our cavalry has been driving the enemy for two days, but in the forenoon of the 8th sent back for infantry support. Gen. Ransom, in command of the 3d and 4th divisions of the 13th corps, was ordered to send forward a brigade and he did so. At noon he followed with the 4th division. After advancing about five miles from where the 3d division of his command and the 19th corps were encamped, the rebels made a stand, and our line, consisting of only 2400 infantry, formed in a belt of woods with an open field in front, and the enemy in the woods on the other side. Gen. Stone, of Balls Bluff fame, chief of Gen. Banks’ staff, was on the field, and took direction of the movements. Gen. Ransom was in favor of advancing only in force, but his wish was disregarded. After a skirmish across an open field for about an hour, the enemy advanced upon us in overwhelming numbers, estimated at 10,000 strong. Gen. Ransom got all the available troops to the front and opened on them. The enemy lost heavily, but advanced steadily. Soon all the cavalry gave way and the infantry fell back. In a few moments the enemy pressed up closely, and the panic of the cavalry so demoralized the army that the retreat became a rout. Gen. Ransom did all in his power to rally his men, but finding it impossible without reinforcements, made every effort to save the artillery. While endeavoring to get the Chicago mercantile battery off safely, Gen. Ransom was severely wounded in the leg. Capt. Cyrus E. Dickey, his adjutant, was instantly killed.”

Union Loss Very Heavy.
Troops Falling Back.

Our loss was large; probably 2000. The mercantile battery lost all its guns. Capt. White is a prisoner. Lieuts. Throop and McBride are killed. The loss of the battery in killed and captured is 31. One hundred and ten of them returned to camp after the disaster. While the 4th division was falling back in disorder, the 3d division, numbering only 1800 men, came up and was immediately routed. Finally the 19th army corps, with 7000 men, came up and formed in line. They checked the enemy and held them until we got all the trains off except that of the cavalry. The whole army is falling back, and must wait to re-organize before proceeding further towards Shreveport.


Artificial limbs are now made of vulcanized india rubber. As they are hollow, all the machinery is contained within, and not liable to be deranged or broken. They are much more readily made, and lighter than those made of wood or iron.

These limbs were invented by Hiram Kimball, a young man from Stockbridge, Vt., who is now manufacturing them in Philadelphia.

Suspicious Rebel Movements.

It is reported that Lee is moving a part of his army across the Rapidan at Madison Court House. A detachment of the 2d Mass. cavalry, under Major Forbes, returned to Vienna Monday night from a reconnoissance through Centerville, Gum Spring and Drainsville, bringing 6 prisoners, Mosby’s men, and information that a large body of rebel cavalry were at Leesburg and vicinity seizing forage, grain and all available teams, and taking them off toward Upperville. Col. Lowell immediately started with his brigade of cavalry from Vienna, supported by Gen. Taylor’s brigade of infantry from Fairfax Court House, to give battle. Two of Lee’s scouts were captured a day or two since at Culpepper, but a third made his escape. They were disguised as teamsters.

Guerrillas are resuming active operations in Virginia, annoying the troops guarding the railroad incessantly. No one ventures out of sight of our pickets, and some have been killed within our lines in the immediate vicinity of our camps. The utmost vigilance has become necessary to avert surprise and capture, the rebels having sent an increased force into the section of country between Washington and the army for the purpose of robbery and pillage.


Forrest’s Raid.

The raid of the rebel Gen. Forrest into Kentucky turns out to be an exciting affair. It has shown of what spirit the rebels are, and how they are disposed to treat Negro soldiers and Union soldiers from the South when these fall into their hands. For them they have a deadly hatred and they intend to give them no quarter. Thus from sad and repeated experience are we learning the animus of those who uphold and who fight for slavery. We hope that Kentucky will profit by the lesson. That State wished to be neutral in the great conflict; desired that the North without her aid should fight the great battle in which she was deeply interested. But she could not be neutral. She must join one side or the other. And reluctantly she sided with us. It was not with a hearty good will. A large part of her people have sympathized with the rebels. She has not furnished her quota of men for the army. She has been and is still unwilling that her black men should be enlisted into the service of freedom. And now she is experiencing on her own soil the effects of her semi-disloyalty. A rebel force marches through her territory, robs, plunders, steals and massacres men that fall into their hands. Will this open her eyes, and show her the folly of her backwardness and lukewarmness in the cause? Will she now call out her men, black and white, to rid her soil of the bands of ruffians that infest it? We hope so. We shall see.

APRIL 23, 1864


Progress of the War.

From the army of the Potomac we learn that all traces of the recent storms have passed away, and the weather is bright and beautiful. Deserters from General Lee’s lines say that the utmost vigilance and activity prevail there. Mosby made another small raid on Saturday near Fairfax Station, capturing a train. He burned twenty empty wagons and carried off the horses. A scouting party sent from Gen. Tyler’s headquarters at Fairfax, in search of the guerrillas, captured twenty-one of them and two deserters from the Union army, together with twenty-five head of fine beef cattle. Gen. Grant, accompanied by Gen. Meade, reviewed the Sixth army corps on Monday. They presented a magnificent appearance. Gen. Prince has been sent out West, to report to Gen. Sherman. Gen. Ricketts succeeds him in command of his division in the Third corps. The rebel guerillas in Virginia are very active.

Further details of the affair on the Red river have been received from Cairo. The battle on the 8th was fought at Sabine Cross Roads. The rebels were commanded by Gens. Magruder, Holmes and Taylor, under the chief command of Kirby Smith. The fight on the second day was at Pleasant Hill, where Gen. Andrew Jackson Smith led the Union forces, Gen. Banks being in chief command. The loss of the enemy on the first day was about fifteen hundred. On the second day they lost heavily–two to our one. Among their killed were three generals–Morton, Parsons and Greene. The fleet had advanced up the river to within eighty miles of Shreveport, when General Banks, finding his rations running short, ordered it back. On its way down it was attacked by the enemy on both sides of the river. A brisk fight ensued, which ended in the defeat of the rebels, with a loss of nearly six hundred killed and a large number wounded. It was in this action that Gen. Greene was killed, his head having been blown off by a shell.

The news from North Carolina is important. The rebels made an attack on Plymouth on Sunday last, with a force 10,000 strong, but were repulsed. They attempted to capture Fort Gray, which is situated a mile from the town, but, after three separate assaults, were driven back by Captain Brown of the 85th New York. The rebels had a ram and four gunboats in the engagement, which were dispatched down the Roanoke river to assist the troops. A rebel ram came down the river about three o’clock on Monday morning.6 She floated down with the current, and was not discovered until close under the bows of the Miami. Commander Flusser rushed forward, sighted and fired the bow gun, loaded with shell, which struck the ram, rebounded, and instantly killed him, a piece of the shell penetrating his breast. The ram then attacked the Southfield, and she sank in five minutes. The Miami was somewhat injured. The ram passed the guns at Plymouth without being discovered.

Details of Gen. Graham’s expedition up the Nansemond (Gen. Butler’s Department) in search of the propeller which used the torpedo against the Minnesota, are given. Considerable destruction was effected by the expedition, including the capture of sundry horses and Negroes, but the propeller was not found; hence the main object of the enterprise failed.

The steamer Alliance, built on the Clyde, a famous blockade runner, was captured on the 12th near Dawfuskie Island in the Savannah river, where she ran aground. All but six of her crew were taken prisoners. She was from Nassau with a cargo of assorted stores for the rebel government, valued at eighty-five thousand dollars. ->

From Eastern Kentucky we learn that the rebels have been beaten in two fights on the Licking river. The rebels attacked the Union forces at Paintville on the 12th and were repulsed, after which the Unionists pursued the enemy, and on the 1th surprised their camp at Half Mountain. The result of the movement was the killing and wounding of eighty-five rebels and the capture of seventy others, besides two hundred horses, four hundred saddles, three hundred stand of arms, camp equipage, &c. Col. Clay is among the prisoners.

Reports from Cairo state that Capt. Phelps of the gunboat No. 26, captured a rebel mail steamer near Crockett’s Bluff, Arkansas, on the 4th inst., with five hundred letters from Richmond and other points, and 60,000 percussion caps for Gen. Price’s army. The letters contained official communications for Shreveport, and a considerable sum of federal money.7

The guerrilla chief Reynolds and his command were surprised by a force of our cavalry near Knoxville on Friday. Ten of them were killed, and Reynolds, with fifteen of his men, were taken prisoners.

The President made a speech at the opening of the Sanitary Fair in Baltimore last Monday night, in which he alluded to the massacre of the colored Union troops at Fort Pillow. He declared that if the statements, as now reported, should be officially substantiated, he would retaliate amply upon the rebels, but that he had not yet decided in what manner he would execute the lex talionis.8


The large number of immigrants continuing to arrive here becomes more and more a remarkable feature of the times. There arrived at New York last week 3,678, making the number since January 1st 35,302, or over twice as many as arrived in the corresponding period of last year, four times as many as landed in that of 1862, and more than arrived in that of any former year, not excepting 1854, when the number of arrivals for the year was 320,000. The number that arrived up to April 20 of last year was 17,650.


Lewis A. Horton, of Plainfield, has had a merry time of it for a few years past. At the beginning of the war he enlisted in the navy, and was wrecked on the Bahamas. He afterwards undertook to take a prize ship into port, but was himself taken and confined in the Libby. When he was exchanged, he went on board the ship that was to tow the Monitor to Charleston, and when that vessel went down, he, while attempting to rescue the crew, was drifted off into the Gulf, and was not picked up till the next day. Afterwards, while firing a salute at St. Domingo, both his arms were blown off by the explosion of a gun; and now he has just been married at Newburyport.9

1 Of equally marvellous import would be the understanding that Sicily, even 150 years ago, was firmly rooted in the Mediterranean, not “amid the wild waves of a broad and deep Atlantic.” Geography, like simple arithmetic, was seemingly not a strong suite of reporters in this period.

2 Gunboat No. 7 was the New Era, a light-draft “tinclad.”

3 James R. Chalmers was second in command of rebel forces under Forrest; presumably he was aboard the civilian steamer Platte Valley to oversee the removal of the wounded after the battle.

4 purdah is the “seclusion of women from public observation by means of concealing clothing (including the veil) and walled enclosures as well as screens and curtains within the home. The custom seems to have originated in Persia and was adopted by Muslims during the Arab conquest of what is now Iraq in the 7th century. The Muslim domination of northern India led to its adoption by the Hindu upper classes, but it was discarded by Hindus after the end of British rule in India.” (Source) In this article, it means “in seclusion / concealed.”

5 For the rebel report of this attack, see the article on the Confederate Torpedo Service on the Navy & Marine LHA website. Scroll about 5/8ths of the way through to the section entitled “Offensive Torpedo Warfare.”

6 This is CSS Albemarle, which would rule the Sound until late October, when she will be sunk in a torpedo attack led by Lt. William B. Cushing, USN. (Further info.)

7 This is the tinclad Queen City.

8 Literally, the “law of retaliation,” which claims “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, &c.”

9 A surprising amount of this short report is incorrect. Horton was actually from Taunton, Mass'tts--born and raised in that city and enlisted at New Bedford. The wreck in the Bahamas took place in 1859 while aboard his father's vessel, the Virginia. In Richmond, Horton was imprisoned for eight months in Liggon's Tobacco Factory; Libby did not yet exist. The accident that took his arms occurred at Cap Haitien in Haiti, not St. Domingo. The writer did get the part about Monitor correct, and for this Horton and six others received the Medal of Honor. Despite his traumatic wounds, Horton survived, married, and fathered and raised three children; he worked as a watchman at the Customs Houses in Newburyport and Boston, Mass'tts through 1910, and passed away in 1916.

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