, 1864

France, Mexico and the United States.

The Monroe doctrine has suddenly started up into great political significance. The near approach of Maximillian to assume the imperial crown of Mexico has raised up the inquiry, will the Government of the United States accept the planting of monarchical institutions along our southern border, by entering at once upon amicable international relations with an imperial court established by foreign arms on the ruins of a republic?

Late accounts from Europe brought the report, published as authentic news in the London Globe, that Mr. Dayton, the American Minister in Paris, had already intimated to Maximillian the readiness of his Government to recognize the empire, and send and receive Ministers, as between friendly states. About the same time, the reports came from Washington that the Foreign Committees in Congress were taking up the subject, but had been advised and requested by the Secretary of State to delay action, because the subject is under diplomatic discussion. Since then, a contradiction has come over the wires, apparently proceeding from the State Department, in which it is said that no assurance has been given, or been authorized to be given, by Mr. Drayton, that the United States are ready to recognize the new Emperor. It is a guarded contradiction, and confines its denial to the immediate fact that Mr. Dayton has not been authorized to take such a step. It is consistent with a policy which will, in due time, accept the Emperor, and this is plainly foreshadowed as the intention in the diplomatic correspondence of Mr. Seward, furnished to Congress at the beginning of this session. An extraordinary vote, which was taken in the House of Representatives on a recent occasion, may have an effect in modifying that policy. Mr. H. Winter Davis, of Maryland, a border State Republican, who has taken quite a prominent position in opposing the re-nomination of Mr. Lincoln for the Presidency, offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Congress of the United States are unwilling by silence to leave the nations of the world under the impression that they are indifferent spectators of the deplorable events now transpiring in the Republic of Mexico; therefore they think it fit to declare that it does not accord with the people of this United States to acknowledge a monarchical government erected on the ruins of any republican government in America, under the auspices of any European power.

The resolution passed unanimously–yeas, 109; nays, none. Absent members have since desired to have their names recorded on the question; and the list published now includes 131 names, all in the affirmative. No member of Congress has offered his dissent. No journal has objected to the principles of the declaration. Whatever has been said against it, is directed against its utility as a means of arresting the march of events in Mexico, and as anticipating foreign difficulties to spring out of it. It is also contended that under the present circumstances of the country, it will seriously embarrass the Government in the prosecution of the existing war to a speedy and successful close. The French intervention in Mexico has been a great trouble to the Administration from the beginning. Embarrassed by the war at home, it accepted, for a long time, with overstrained courtesy, the assurances of the French Government that nothing was intended in Mexico inconsistent with the independence and self-government of the Mexicans; and it interpreted them in the sense which it wished, long after the observant Minister to that country had given warning of the results which have since transpired exactly as he foretold them. Mr. Seward persuaded himself, in 1862, to write to Mr. Corwin as follows:

“It is very certain that the idea of preparing a throne in Mexico for an Austrian prince, if ever entertained, was long since discarded.”

There is no doubt that Mr. Seward’s faith, then so sanguine, as to the speedy suppression of the “insurgents,” and the restoration of the prestige of a united country, led him to temporize with Mexican affairs, to postpone with the intention to reassume at a more convenient season, which he supposed not far off, the assertion of the American  doctrine against monarchy and European protectorship on this continent. In this sense is to be understood one of his earliest instructions to Mr. Corwin (August, 1861), not to renew the assurances given by the former Administration to support the independence of Mexico against foreign force, for the following reasons:

“The present moment does not seem to me an opportune one, for the formal reassurance of the policy of the Government to foreign nations. Prudence requires that we should not unnecessarily provoke debates with foreign countries, but repair as speedily as possible the prestige which these evils have impaired.”

Unhappily, for the view of this case, the civil war grew in magnitude, and at the same time the French projects in Mexico expanded, or were developed with more indifference to the concern which might be taken in them by the United States. As the overthrow of the Mexican Republic became more certain, and the Empire came up broadly into view under French auspices, with the same  “Austrian prince” for Emperor, Mr. Seward grew argumentative, through Mr. Dayton, on the inexpediency and undesirableness  of such a consummation, and gave the French Government very good advice in handsome didactic style about the future results of a policy “adverse to American opinions and sentiments,” and wise cautions, that the “seeds” thus scattered might “ultimately ripen into collision between France and the United States and other American Republics.” The French were not influenced by such dissuasives; and at length, on the 26th of September last, Mr. Seward formally removed all right of opposition on the part of the United States to royal or imperial forms of government in Mexico, more than in Europe. He holds his opinions still that it will not turn out well, but disclaims all wish to interfere, and right of interposition in the following plain language: ->

“The United States hold in regard to Mexico the same principles that they hold in regard to all other nations. They have neither a right nor a disposition to intervene by force in the internal affairs of Mexico, whether to establish and maintain a republic or even a democratic government there, or to overthrow an imperial or foreign one. If Mexico chooses to establish or accept it, the United States have neither a right nor a disposition to intervene by force on either side in the lamentable war which is going on between France and Mexico.”

The French Government was therefore officially informed in September that the United States have only opinions and advices to offer against the establishment of an “imperial” or “foreign” government in Mexico.

The single point left uncertain here is, what are the conditions which the United States would require in order to determine that the empire is “established?” The French Government took an occasion, in a conference of M. Druyn de L’Huys with Mr. Dayton at Paris, in October, to draw out a specific understanding. Mr. Dayton describes it as follows:

“Mr. Druyn de L’Huys went on to say, that the danger of the Government of the Archduke would come principally from the United States, and the sooner we showed ourselves satisfied, and manifested a willingness to enter into peaceful relations with that Government, the sooner would France be ready to leave Mexico–and the new Government to take care of itself–which France would at any event do, as soon as with propriety she could; but it could not send or tempt the Archduke into difficulty and then desert him before his government was settled. He added, France could not do that.”

There was a great deal of significance in these guarded words. It meant plainly that France requires the recognition of the imperial government by the United States as a condition precedent before leaving the country; and will, at all events, await the secure settlement of the Government of Maximillian against the chances of “American hostility.”

Mr. Dayton reported this conversation to Mr. Seward, who replied immediately, dating his dispatch on the 23d of October, which was by return of the first mail. It referred generally to the declared opinions of the United States, that the “permanent establishment of a foreign or monarchical government in Mexico will be found neither easy nor desirable,” but authorizes the withdrawal of all opposition, on principle, by the United States, in these words:

“You will inform Mr. Druyn de L’Huys that this opinion remains unchanged. On the other hand, the United States cannot anticipate the action of the people of Mexico–nor have they the least purpose or desire to interfere with these proceedings, or control, or interfere with their free choice, or disturb them in the enjoyment of whatever institutions of government they may, in the exercise of an absolute freedom, establish.”

The immediate recognition of the Empire was declined by the United States “for the reasons,” as Mr. Seward expressed it, that the war in Mexico was not considered ended. The United States, he said, cannot, consistently with their own principles, do otherwise than recognize the sovereignty and independence of Mexico, “in whatever form they themselves shall choose that the sovereignty and independence shall be manifested.” Diplomatically, therefore, Mr. Dayton may not have been instructed to assure the new Mexican Emperor in Paris that this Government is ready to accredit a Minister to him as soon as he is inaugurated in Mexico. But he was not only entitled, but authorized and expected to assure the French Government that on the acceptance of the Imperial Government by the Mexican people, the United States are bound, “consistently with their own principles,” to recognize it as the manifest representation of the sovereignty and independence of Mexico. After the Executive Department of the Government, the only organ of communication with foreign nation, has committed itself to this engagement, the popular branch of the Legislature comes forward and makes a unanimous and independent protest in the name of the American people, against such recognition. What is the character of this action, an what is to be its effect? Constitutionally the declaration has no binding force upon the Government. The House of Representatives is not an organ of communication with foreign Governments, and has no control over the subject of the recognition or non-recognition of foreign states, other than its power to vote on the salaries of Ministers appointed by the Executive. It has the power to refuse these as it has the power to omit to do any other act which requires an appropriation in order to carry it into execution. The President alone originates missions and receives and sends Ministers in recognition of other Governments. That is one theory. Others think the consent of the Senate indispensable. No theory gives the House of Representatives any voice in the original question. The Administration is just as competent to-day to commission a Minister to Maximillian as though the House of Representatives had expressed no opinion. Would such a recognition be held to be a sufficient acceptance by the United States of the government which France has set up in Mexico to fulfill the condition stated by M. Druyn de L’Huys, that “the Archduke” must be secured against the hostility of the United States before France could withdraw her troops, in good faith to him?

APRIL 25, 1864

The Shame of Georgia.

The hated enemies of the South; the slayers of our sons, husbands, brothers and fathers; the insulters of our women; the devastators of our possessions, are on the soil of Georgia, threatening subjugation, degradation, annihilation; and yet thousands of Georgia’s able bodied young men are resorting to every unworthy expedient to escape the service of her defence. Gallant men from other States, leaving home, relatives and friends, are in the army of General Johnston for the defence of Georgia, while her own degenerate sons, encouraged by the State Executive, are seeking, in the  civil and militia offices of the State, exemption from active military service; cowardly shirking the duties which they owe to country, to State, and to their noble countrymen in arms. While Gov. Brown promises to condemn the election of young, able-bodied men to militia and civil offices, he has by his own conduct invited this disgraceful policy. It is within the knowledge of this writer, that he has, by telegraph and by letter, assured many anxious seekers after exemption that he would protect all civil and militia officers of the State from the operations of the Confederate Conscription law. Many of these offices have become mere sinecures, devolving no important duty upon their incumbents, and are sought after avowedly to avoid the more honorable and important duty of repelling the invader from our State. Every magistrate’s district in the State claims the exemption and protection from the Confederate military service of two magistrates and two bailiffs, when it is a well known fact that there has not been, since the commencement of the war, employment for one. Each militia district has been ordered to elect one Captain, four Lieutenants, five Sergeants and four Corporals. Men who, before the war, would have considered it a humiliating condescension to accept either of these offices are now eagerly canvassing for them, for no other purpose than to keep out of the army. And this is done in face of the fact that Georgia, the boasted “Empire State” of the South, is partially occupied by the enemy’s troops, and liable at any moment to be devastated by the rapacious ad insolent vandals! Ought not every true Georgian’s cheek to mantle with the blush of shame at such conduct on the part of her sons? Well-dressed, able-bodied young men of elegant leisure are seen in all our towns and cities, smoking cigars, drinking liquor and playing billiards. Ask the conscript officer how they keep out of the service, and he will tell you they carry with them Gov. Brown’s protection–a militia or civil commission! In many instances, too, they are blood-and-thunder men who were ready to scalp, skin and eat five Yankees a piece, before the war; even condescend to be critical upon the conduct of our officers and soldiers now in the field, and but for the important duties attaching to their home positions, and the veneration they have for Gov. Brown’s prerogative, would illustrate by great deeds their superior capacity for repelling the invader, and giving the “d----d Yankees” a taste of Southern chivalry.

These are the Magnus Apollos of our stay-at-home soldiers–the especial favorites of Gov. Brown, the corps de reserve to which, as a last resort, Georgia must look for protection. God help the State, when such shall have become her dependence! Last year they said: “Let the enemy once invade Georgia, and we will all rush promptly to her defence.” Now they say: “Wait! If our boys don’t whip the Yankees at Dalton, and should be driven back to Atlanta, then we will buckle on our arms and go to the State’s defence!” “Our boys” stand like a wall of Adamant between the enemy and the contingency contemplated in the last promise; but if they did not–if the Yankees should get to Atlanta, “circumstances over which they could have no control” would probably induce Gov. Brown’s protégés to seek some “secluded spot,” far away from the din of arms and the aroma of “villainous saltpetre!” ->

But the blame and disgrace attaching to Georgia from this too-prevalent desire to escape military service rests not more upon the exempts themselves than upon those who vote them out of the army. While our gallant sons in the field are doing all they can to illustrate the honor of their State upon the battle-field, the ballot-box has been prostituted at home to the base purpose of restraining efficient men from the ranks of the army. Men are voted for upon the open avowal that their only object in seeking office is to escape Confederate military service.

Gov. Brown has said in effect, “I am powerful to protect all in the State who will resort to my exemption policy. My honor is involved  in sustaining the dignity of the Executive prerogative. Once elected to civil or militia office in the State, and I will stand between you and the dangers of the battle-field, no matter how competent you may be for military service, or how urgent the necessity for troops to defend our State. True, the State Militia is composed of infirm old men and weakling boys, capable at best of doing nothing more than a home police duty; but if able-bodied, vigorous young men, whose friends, neighbors and former companions are winning laurels on Georgia soil in defence of Georgia’s freedom, aspire to the command of these, I will commission and protect them!”

Magnanimous Gov. Brown! Proud vindicator of Georgia’s sovereignty! You may thwart the purposes of our Confederate President and Generals, and by subtracting from the efficiency of our forces in the field, render “aid and comfort” to Abe Lincoln, but when the vandal hordes of Thomas shall have crushed, by overwhelming numbers, our brave soldiers and overrun the “Empire State of the South,” what will your tenacious adherence to an abstraction, your captious stickling for “State Sovereignty” have accomplished? When the Yankee hordes are plundering, burning and murdering all over the State, will a proclamation from His Excellency, Joseph E. Brown, Governor of the Sovereign State of Georgia, restrain them? Will these able-bodied exempts, who have failed to march to the State’s defence upon the first approach of the enemy, be likely to confront him flushed with victory and steeped in the gore of our best and bravest sons? Shame upon the recreants! Shame upon a State and its Executive when they countenance such degeneracy! In almost every instance that has come to the writer’s knowledge of recent elections in this State, men physically qualified to discharge the duties of soldiers in the field have been encouraged to stay at home. They have taken shelter under Gov. Brown’s protection, and now face the public and mix with society, without a blush for the reproach they bring upon the State. To wipe this blot from the State’s escutcheon, our soldiers in the field will have to fight harder and bleed more freely than, under better circumstances, would have been necessary. To them the State will owe its glory–to the able-bodied exempts, its shame.



Plymouth Taken by the Rebels.
Capture of the Whole Federal Force.

The Richmond Sentinel of Friday has the following dispatch to the rebel war department, dated at Plymouth, Wednesday, April 20:

To Gen. Braxton Bragg: I have stormed carried this place, capturing one brigadier, one thousand six hundred men, stores and twenty-five pieces of artillery. R. F. Hoke, Brig. Gen.

A telegram was also received by the president (rebel) from Col. John Taylor Wood, dated Rocky Mount, 21st inst., giving further particulars of the capture of Plymouth by the forces under Gen. Hoke, with naval co-operation. He says that twenty-five hundred prisoners (three or four hundred of them Negroes), thirty pieces of artillery, one hundred thousand pounds of meat, one thousand barrels of flour, and a full garrison outfit. Our loss was about three hundred in all. Col. Merce was among the killed. Two gunboats were sunk, another disabled, and a small steamer captured.

The Report Fully Confirmed.

Capt. Weatherbee of the 23d Massachusetts regiment has arrived at Fortress [Monroe] from Roanoke Island. He makes the following report: Gen. Wessels, commander at Plymouth, N. C., surrendered tot the enemy on Wednesday the 20th inst., when the rebels took possession, after four days of hard fighting. Our loss is 150 killed and 2500 captured. The rebel loss is 1500 killed.

There were reports at Baltimore, Monday morning, purporting to have been brought by a colored sutler, that the colored troops at Plymouth, N. C., were murdered after the surrender of the place, by the rebels. There are no means of verifying this statement, and the rumor is probably without foundation.

Gen. Peck Announces the Surrender.

General Orders Number Sixty-six.

By telegraph to the Republican.

Headquarters of the Army and District of North Carolina,
New Berne, N. C., April 21, 1864.

With feelings of the deepest sorrow, the commanding general announces the fall of Plymouth, N. C., and the capture of its gallant commander, Brig. Gen. H. W. Wessels, and his command. This result, however, did not occur until after the most gallant and determined resistance had been made. Five time the enemy stormed the lines of the general, and as many times were they handsomely repulsed with great slaughter, and but for the powerful assistance of the rebel iron-clad ram and the floating sharpshooter battery, the Cotton Plant, Plymouth would still have been in our hands. For their noble defense, the gallant Gen. Wessels and his brave band have and deserve the warmest thanks of the whole country, while all will sympathize with them in their misfortune.

To the officers and men of the navy, the commanding general tenders his thanks for their hearty co-operation with the army, and the bravery, determination and courage that marked their part in the unequal contest. With sorrow he records the death of the noble sailor and gallant patriot, Lieut. Commander C. W. Flusser, United States Navy, who in the heat of battle fell dead on the deck of his ship with the lanyard of his gun in his hand. The commanding general believes that these misfortunes will tend not to discourage, but to nerve the army of North Carolina to equal deeds of bravery and gallantry hereafter.

Until further orders the headquarters of the sub-district of the Albemarle will be at Roanoke Island. The command devolves upon Col. D. W. Wardrop of the 99th New York infantry.

By command of Maj. Gen. John G. Peck,
J. A. Judson, A. A. G.


Particulars of the Surrender.

North Carolina Troops and Negroes Shot.

By telegraph to the Republican.

A New Berne telegram of the 22d says: The battle which had been going on night and day at Plymouth, from Sunday the 17th till Wednesday the 20th, resulted in the capture of the city by the enemy Wednesday noon, including Gen. Wessels and his force of 1500 men. The enemy obtained possession of the town at 8 o’clock in the morning. Gen. Wessels and his troops retired into Fort Williams, and held out until noon, repulsing the enemy in seven desperate assaults. The rebel loss is said to be 1700, while our loss was slight. Gen. Wessels, who gained such distinction in the seven days’ fight before Richmond, had made in this siege a most heroic resistance with his little band of veterans. Several weeks since, he called for five thousand men, stating in the most solemn manner that it would be impossible to hold the city with a less number. Gen. Peck, who has given Gen. Wessels all the assistance in his power, in the same solemn manner time and again called for reinforcements. It is reported that the enemy have left Plymouth, and are now moving on Washington and also on New Berne. The rebel ram at Kinston, on the Neuse, has, it is ascertained, moved towards New Berne, and is expected to make the attack in a day or two. More gunboats and reinforcements are immediately required at New Berne and at Washington. Two companies belonging to the 2d North Carolina Union volunteers were among the captured at Plymouth, most of whom were taken out and shot by the enemy after our forces had surrendered. All the Negroes found in uniform were also shot. The funeral of Commander Flusser was to take place at New Berne on the 23d.

Great Need of Union Gunboats.

The rebel ram at Plymouth which is down the Roanoke is expected to act in concert with the other rams in the attack on Washington and New Berne. She carries three small guns and one sixty-four pounder. With the aid of a few gunboats, these rams could be readily run down as their sea-going qualities are bad. Under the cover of night the ram at Plymouth sank two of our gunboats, but it is not believed that it would attack any respectable number of gunboats in the day time.



Lee Still Remains on the Rapidan.

Grant Mystifies the Rebels.

By telegraph to the Republican.

The Washington Star of Monday afternoon says: Information from the rebel lines as late as Friday morning last is to the effect that Lee was not, as has been reported, going towards the Shenandoah valley, but was at that time in his old position on the Rapidan. Such movements of his cavalry as were going on seemed to be in the nature of reconnoissances to ascertain Grant’s purposes; and the fact of Grant having sent out unusually large picket forces seems to have mystified the enemy on various occasions. Lee’s army was preparing for a sudden move, but was seemingly disposed to wait for Grant to open and develop his game. The movement of our gunboats up the Rappahannock had raised an alarm in Richmond that Burnside was effecting a landing there, and a new alarm had been raised among the rebels of a movement by the federals up the south side of the James river. The rebels are divided between the fear that Lee may be invested in Richmond, should he fall back there, and the fear that he may be outflanked by Grant, should he remain in his present position. Two weeks ago Lee’s forces amounted to 40,000 men, and it is believed now that, with reinforcements he has been able to bring up, they do not amount to over 85,000.

APRIL 27, 1864


The Reverse in Louisiana.

The only authentic intelligence yet received of the reported disaster to the Red River expedition is contained in the following dispatch sent to the navy department yesterday:

Cairo, Ill., April 19, 1864.

To Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy :

I have received private letters from Red river–one dated Grand Ecore, La., 10th inst., and one dated Alexandria, La., 10th inst., stating that the army under Gen. Banks met with reverses on the 8th inst., near Mansfield. Our army then fell back, and on the next day the rebels attacked them and were handsomely whipped. Loss heavy on both sides. Admiral Porter, when last heard from, was about forty miles above Grand Ecore. The river was low.

A. M. Pennock, Fleet Captain.

There is also a report by way of Chicago that on the day following the disaster to the 15th corps, Gen. A. J. Smith, with the 19th army corps, engaged the rebels and defeated them, capturing 2000 prisoners and 20 cannon. These reports put a little better face upon affairs in that region. There is no news of the fighting yet direct from New Orleans. If the news of the defeat of the 8th inst. was known there when the steamer left on the 13th inst. it was suppressed. Gen. Banks had his headquarters on the 7th inst. at Natchitoches. There had been skirmishing for several days all the way from Grand Ecore to Pleasant Hill, but no general engagement as would be inferred from the dispatch sent by the rebel general Maury to Richmond. That dispatch was an invention.

The circumstances under which the repulse of the 8th inst. appears to have occurred are not encouraging. Somebody seems to have adopted the tactics of Big Bethel and Olustee, and led the troops into the very jaws of danger without adequate support. The dispatches thus far are too loose and incomplete to show where the fearful responsibility rests. Gen. Banks has still a large army under his command–it has been supposed much larger than the rebels were able to concentrate across the Mississippi. Gen. Steele has also had no mean command in Arkansas, which has probably joined Banks ere this and aided in retrieving his disaster. Better news may be looked for.

These repeated reverses show that the rebels are fully prepared for the fortunes of the campaign. They have had compact and resolute forces wherever there has been need of them, except only on Sherman’s march into the interior of Mississippi–a march which, if it was without danger, was also without fruits. They have also had men to spare for roving excursions over states which ought to have been impenetrably guarded against them. They are to be met somewhere and overcome. Till ten there will be doubt and fever in the public mind. Mr. Chase, engrossed with financial questions, has suggested several ways of escape from immediate financial difficulty. But, he adds, “without military successes, all measures will fail.” That is the greatest want. Heaven send fair weather and dry roads to those whose duty is to achieve it!


Injustice to Colored Troops.—We copy the following extract from a letter from an officer in the Massachusetts 55th regiment to a gentleman of this city:

“The one great drawback with us is the non-payment of the men. It is a burning shame to the country. Not a cent have they got since May last, nearly a year ago. Some of their families are in great destitution. We hope to see a settlement soon. I do not think it will be possible to quiet them much longer. Congress must be mad thus to trip up themselves. Men scarce; great bounties offered for white men; and yet they boggle at giving black men $13 a month, when the greater portion of them could earn more than that at home, without personal risk. I am sick, tired of our legislators and their doings. They don’t deserve to have a country, trifling as they do with its vital interests. I hope they are not representatives of the people themselves.”

The Massacre at Fort Pillow.1
Disgusting Toadyism.

Two or three Union band-box officers on board the Platte Valley, one of them with his young bride, made themselves conspicuous in fawning around the rebel officers.2 They brought Gen. Chalmers and several subordinate cut-throat looking officers on board the Platte Valley, drank with them, introduced them to their wives, and invited them to dinner. They made room for them at the ladies’ table, and they sat down to dinner, but it happened, either by accident or a just idea of the fitness of things on the part of our high-spirited captain, that at that moment the signal bell for moving was heard, and the rebel officers, leaving their soup untouched, skedaddled, Gen. Chalmers soliloquizing as he hurried past your correspondent, that he had learned to run as well as to fight. In the conversation preceding the dinner, Gen. Chalmers said he did not countenance or encourage his soldiers in killing captive Negro soldiers, but it was right and justifiable. A Union officer who will so disgrace himself and his country, ought to be dismissed from the service. . . To the honor of others, one officer in particular, whose name we could not learn, refused to drink or have any intercourse with the barbarians, as they so truly proved themselves by slaughtering men who, with uplifted hands, failed to obtain mercy, but had their heads cleft from their shoulders or laid open with sabres or their skulls stove in with butts of guns.3


The Attack upon the American Mission at Fuhchau.—A circular letter from Fuhchau, China, gives a particular account of the mob upon the American and English missions at that place in January last. It occurred at the time of the “quarterly meeting,” when many native christians connected with the mission, some from a great distance, were assembled. The christians were pursued, beaten, and subjected to every conceivable outrage. The chapels were broken into and their contents destroyed. The residences of some of the missionaries were attacked, and the inmates only found safety in flight. The shameful remissness of the local authorities who connived at the mob compelled the interference of the American and British consuls, to whose energy the missionaries were indebted for the arrest of some of the principal offenders and their subsequent punishment. The American consul at Fuhchau is Addison L. Clarke, whom some of our readers will remember as a former resident of this city. The missionaries speak of his conduct with high praise. In reference to the cause of the riot they say:

“It is doubtless in some way a development of the deep-rooted hostility to foreigners, and especially to the christian religion, which is implanted in the hearts of these people, but whether it is the result of a deliberate plan or of a sudden diabolical inspiration is as yet unknown. All will be known in time.”




War Items and Incidents.

Preparations for the Terrible Conflict in Virginia.—On Tuesday 6000 boxes fixed ammunition were taken from the Watertown Arsenal, and conveyed over the Worcester Railroad to New York, to be transported thence to Washington and the army of the Potomac. Eight-inch howitzers and eight and ten-inch siege mortars, in considerable numbers, have been recently sent from United States posts in this vicinity.

The Fort Pillow Massacre.—From Southern papers we learn that General Forrest admits the brutal slaughter of the garrison at Fort Pillow, and it would appear that the rebels are so shameless that they have no excuses to offer for their barbarity. A planter near Fort Pillow is reported as saying that Forrest informed him that his men had already buried three hundred and sixty Negroes, and that the last one in the fort would be buried before they left. As there were only four hundred Negroes in the fort, there could be but few survivors to this, the most fiendish butchery that ever disgraced the world.


Curious Illustration of Red Tape.—About fifteen years ago, it happens, in a certain country of Europe, that the Inspector General of garrisons, while in a provincial town, observed a sentinel stationed at a little distance outside the walls, keeping guard over some ruined building in the suburbs. The General inquired of the sentinel, with some curiosity, why he was posted there. The sentinel referred him to his Sergeant. The Sergeant had nothing to say but that such were the orders of his Lieutenant. The Lieutenant justified himself under the authority of the Captain Commandant of the garrison. Upon being applied to for  his reasons for the standing order in question, the Commandant informed the Inspector General, with much seriousness, that his predecessors in office had handed down to him the custom as one of the military duties of the place. A search was immediately instituted in the archives of the municipality, the result of which was to obtain satisfactory proof that, for the last seventy years, a sentinel had always stood over the ruined building in the same manner. With awakened interest and curiosity, the General returned to the capital. He there set on foot a more elaborate investigation among the State documents of the minister of war. After long delay it was at last discovered that the ruined building of the Faubourg had been, in 1720, a storehouse for mattresses belonging to the garrison, and that in the course of that summer it became desirable to repaint the door. While the paint was green, a guard was placed outside, to warn those who went in and out; but, before the paint was dry, it came to pass that the officer on duty was dispatched on a mission of importance, and left the town without remembering to remove the sentinel. For a hundred and thirty years a guard of honor had consequently remained over the door–a sacred and inviolable tradition, but one which represented, at bottom, no higher idea than the idea of green paint.–London Review.


Lee Preparing to Fall Back on Richmond.
No Great Battle at Present.

Washington, April 27, 1864.

The indications now are that Gen. Lee is making preparation to fall back from the Rapidan to Richmond. Some of his heavy artillery has disappeared from our right, and troops have left the vicinity of Madison Court House, moving eastward–also baggage trains.

Officers in high position do not think Lee will make a stand this side of Richmond. His present line is eighty miles long and he cannot hold it. He will concentrate his forces at the base of supplies, thus compelling Grant to attack him at a disadvantage.

Gen. Ricketts’ old division is near Hanover Junction. The rebel force in that vicinity has been increased lately.

There may be skirmishing but no great battle at present.–Carleton.

The Faith and Strength of the People.

The great intestine conflict in which the people of the United States have been engaged for more than three years illustrates, in a manner that must arrest the notice of all reflecting minds in all parts of the world, the marvellous strength of character which republican institutions impart. In the rebellious States, notwithstanding the baleful and enfeebling influences of the system of Slavery, the masses are exhibiting, as the effect of democratic ideas, of self-government, of freedom from monarchical domination, and energy and perseverance not surpassed, perhaps, in any former period of history or in any other country. But in the loyal States, the manifestation of the “strength that slumbers in a freeman’s arms,” of the inexhaustible and invincible power of a people trained by republican institutions, is truly marvellous.

Much as we were accused of being a boastful people, we never, in our prudent self-estimates, began to dream of the energies and resources, physical and moral, individual and social, which the crisis has brought to light. From the day when the world witnessed the first Great Uprising of the people in April 1861, to this hour, the loyal States have presented a spectacle of constant wonder and admiration. A peaceable people, absorbed in industrial occupations, all unused to war, never making pretensions to chivalry, has risen, in a moment, all clad in bristling armor, like the dragon’s teeth over the whole surface of the land. Thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands are swept away by the fires of battle, the exposures of the camp, the fatigues of march, privation, captivity and disease. But new thousands upon thousands rise up spontaneously to take their places. The supply is boundless. The walks of life, the marts of business, the cities, villages and fields, seem to be as full as ever. Travel, traffic, and all social activities are crowded. Places of amusement are filled. The arts of refinement were never more largely patronized–comforts and even luxuries were never more diffusely spread–the circulations of business were never more rapid, and they never rested upon a more solid foundation. Society never was better organized or wore a brighter aspect. The productions of industry, in all forms, the true and only basis of national prosperity and wealth, are multiplying to more than meet all liabilities.

In no other than an intelligent, educated, free, republican, self-governing people, knowing their rights and the value of them, could such a condition of things be found. It makes strong with a might which must control events, and determine issues. The consciousness of this strength makes the faith of the people impregnable and unwavering. Defeats, disasters, disappointment in particular campaigns, the failure of particular generals, the inefficiency of administration organs, are of no account. The whole people proclaim with one voice, “the national life cannot, shall not, be allowed to perish.” No matter how long the struggle lasts, how much it costs, an enlightened people, who have long tasted the fruits of liberty, and enjoyed the security of their own power, will never allow their country to be destroyed, its flag torn into tatters, and its name erased from the list of nations.


29, 1864

The Fort Pillow Massacre.

Additional evidence confirmatory of the horrible deeds of butchery at Fort Pillow comes to us daily. The last piece of testimony is that eyewitness who writes as follows to the Springfield (Ill.) State Journal:

“Blue uniforms to the number of forty were counted shrouding the dead bodies of the slain martyrs. In all positions they lay–many were lying head downward on the bank at the edge of the water, having been driven backward to the river and then shot or stabbed till they fell. About three hundred blacks had been driven into the river and drowned.

“The following morning the shooting of Negroes was resumed, and many who had escaped the night before were now discovered and met their fate.

“Some of the sabre gashes were frightful. Eyes were shot out, heads laid open till the brains oozed out, and many were shot through both lungs. Most of the wounds were in the bowels and lungs, and some of the men had from five to nine wounds. The legs of one man were both crushed, and one boy, not yet fifteen, had both legs and his back broken. Scarcely any had less than two or three severe wounds.

“There is no doubt that the murderers intended every one should die. Nearly all the wounded could talk when first brought on board, and they all told the same story. There were no contradictions in their statements, and every one assured me he was unwounded when he gave himself up a prisoner. The hospital was fired and the sick and wounded burned without mercy, and one sick man brought on the boat, who had escaped, told me himself that the rebels came to his tent and deliberately set fire to it.”


Rebel Plot in Kentucky.—The Louisville Journal regards the disbanding of three Kentucky regiments in that state by the rebel Gen. Forrest as part of a scheme to obtain possession of the state. It says:

“The Confederate authorities have not given up all hopes of again possessing Kentucky, and a plan less subtle could scarcely be conceived to aid their cause than by disbanding three veteran regiment to enter the state without opposition or alarm, and effecting an organization, in a quiet moment strike at some unguarded point, hoping to be successful.”


The Rebel Papers.—These are again calling for an invasion of the North. The Savannah Republican urges this war policy as necessary to the sustenance of their army, and as well calculated to develop the peace party of the North. The Montgomery (Ala.) Mail says that the trans-Mississippi army must invade Missouri, Gen. Lee must enter Ohio, and Gen. Johnston move through Kentucky and Tennessee into Illinois and Indiana. Without such a sweeping movement, it says, “our agriculture will be ruined and our manufactories will be destroyed.” It says also that “the copperheads will swell our ranks,” and it adds: “Better die there, with arms in our hands, than starve here or expire in chains.” The wail of despair is in such utterances as these.

The Veteran Reserve Corps.

It is evident by articles which may be almost daily seen in our papers, that the object of organizing the veteran reserve corps, and the duties to which it is assigned, are but little understood. Hence, are those who, because they do not understand and will not take pains to inform themselves, who write articles making gross misstatements, consequently doing great injustice to those men whom the fortunes of war have placed in this corps. And if the writers of such articles understood the subject upon which they profess to enlighten the community sufficiently well to confine themselves to facts and the truth, the statement would never have been made, as it has been, that the organization was useless, a retreat for shirks, sneaks and cowards, and that those who compose it are but pensioners upon the bounty of the government, without in any degree rendering an equivalent for what they receive.

In making such sweeping statement, the writers must have forgotten how many surgeons, generals and even departments of the government they pronounced incapable of filling their position. As it is known to all that the men who compose this organization must pass a strict physical examination before being transferred or discharged from the service. Those who had been discharged previous to the organization of the corps, must twice pass a physical examination–one upon being discharged, and again upon re-enlistment. They must show testimonials of former honorable service. The statement that the reserve corps is but a retreat for shirks and cowards implies inefficiency on the part of the medical department of our army, and a want of honor on the part of all those concerned in its government. Are we to have so little faith in the ability or honor of our surgeons and officers, as to believe them incapable of deciding upon a man’s fitness for field service, or as not to be able to tell the difference between a sick man and one who shirks his duty? The fact seems to be utterly ignored that a large majority of the men of which this corps is composed are those who have been disabled by wounds upon the battle fields, or who have breathed the malaria of Southern prisons until their health has been utterly destroyed. With any true American, who has the good of his country at heart, these misfortunes would excite pity instead of calling forth vituperation. The enlistment of men into this organization from the first amounted in substance to putting so many able bodied men into the field. They relieved from duty those acting as clerks, wardmasters, nurses, orderlies, cooks and hospital guards; which positions at that time were being filled by able bodied men. It will readily be seen that a man so disabled that he could not carry a knapsack and equipments on a march, might still be able to do some of these duties with as great a degree of efficiency as one able to be at the front. This work is apportioned to the men according to their fitness and ability. In fact, each man of the corps is doing the duty which were it not for this organization would be performed by able bodied men.

APRIL 30, 1864


The Campaign of 1864.

Thus far, the military operations of the fourth year of the war have not been promising of speedy success in the work of “crushing the rebellion.” The movement from Chattanooga against Dalton was a failure; the expedition of Sherman into Alabama entailed a disaster to our cavalry, and we have yet to see the advantages derived from the operation. It did not stop Forrest from moving through West Tennessee into Kentucky, and generally where he pleased. The Florida expedition, set on foot by Mr. Lincoln for political purposes, failed, as almost any movement of the kind with which he has had anything to do has. And now we have another disastrous result of the “scatteration policy” in the defeat of Banks’ expedition to the Red River. This affair was partly political and partly speculative. A large train was taken along, with which to bring away the cotton, &c., it was supposed would be found in immense quantities. It was to be another grand marauding trip, in which certain favored speculators would “catch the bird” after the government had been to immense expense to “shake the bush.” The importance of the movement, in a military point of view, was about equal to that of Lincoln and Hay in Florida.

The grand opening, however, is to be in Virginia. The giants are there gathering strength for a mighty struggle that will shake the continent and probably decide the issue of the war. Grant having been elevated to the chief command, can not but feel that the world expects him to strike a blow and uphold the reputation for success he earned in the West. So far as developed, his plan appears to be to employ Lee on the Rapidan, while he collects a force at Yorktown for a  movement against Richmond. Already a large number of men have been added to the force with which Butler has been playing soldier, collected from posts along the coast, and it is understood the column is to be under the command of Gen. “Baldy” Smith. Butler, of course, was not to be trusted with so important a movement.

With a force on the Rapidan strong enough to hold Lee’s whole army at that point, it would seem at first glance that a strong column advancing up the Peninsula might capture Richmond by a coup de main. But this scheme may not work as anticipated. In the first place, Lee is reported to have erected a formidable line of fortifications in his present position behind the Rapidan; Richmond, too, is believed to be well defended. Unless Gen. Smith is made strong enough to contend with the bulk of Lee’s army, the movement will be a dangerous one. When Smith has arrived before Richmond, he is liable to be detained some days or weeks by a nominal force occupying the fortification. Lee, by means of his works on the Rapidan, may be able to detain Grant while he withdraws the mass of his army to fall upon Smith. Even if Richmond should be taken, it can be of no permanent advantage will the army of Lee is disposed of, and the force that takes or attempts to take Richmond by a flank movement up the Peninsula must expect and be prepared to meet the Confederate army of Virginia. Even without using his works, Lee might be able to make a retreat and delay the advance of Grant, by destroying roads and bridges, long enough to prevent his assisting Smith. ->

On the other hand, if Lee should be pressed so hard and followed so close by the Army of the Potomac that he could not go to the defense of Richmond, the Confederate capital might be taken, and the main body of Smith’s force used for a dangerous movement in the rear of Lee. A defeat of the rebel army under such circumstances would clear Virginia and go far to end the war.

From the hasty glance we have taken of what, from present appearances, may be the design of the leaders of the opposing forces in Virginia, it will be seen that the contest is likely to be one in which intellect–the much despised element of “strategy’–will play an important part. It is a grander field than any on which Gen. Grant has been called to act, and he is opposed to a master mind. If he succeeds, it will place his name in the first ranks of military men. He labors under the difficulty of having to move in accordance with the political necessities of Mr. Lincoln, whose presidential schemes will not bear a defeat, or too great a triumph by Grant. Perhaps we shall have to wait till after the Baltimore Convention for the great battle, and perhaps Lee will not consent to such a delay.


General Banks’ “great military skill” has at last been demonstrated, in a rather expensive as well as unfortunate manner; and is a good illustration of the folly of putting civilians at the head of armies. It would be quite as reasonable to put men of military education in the seats of judges, and expect them to satisfactorily expound law, as to look for military genius in men who have neither theoretical or practical knowledge of such matters. Other nations are not guilty of such nonsense, but on the contrary, commit the leading of armies to the most experienced captains.


Emancipation of the Serfs.

By the ukase of Alexander II, Emperor of Russia, all the serfs in Russian Poland are to be liberated on the 15th of April. By the same imperial order the serf is to own the cottage and ground which he has been occupying. He is to pay no compensation to his master, but the government levies a tax upon him, which is to compensate the master to some degree. This order of the government of Russia, and the Emperor is the government there, is especially applied to Russian Poland, in order to reach the nobility of Poland, who are in insurrection against the Czar. The Czar allows the serfs to elect their own Sheriffs, Mayors, Justices, and other village officers. The rest of the Russian serfs are to be emancipated gradually.

1 This short section is excerpted from a longer report on Fort Pillow, the details of which mirror that of the extensive piece in the Boston Evening Transcript of 20 April 1864, to which our loyal readers are referred. 

2 A bandbox is a usually cylindrical box of cardboard or thin wood for holding light articles of attire. In the 17th century, the word “band” was sometimes used for ruffs, the large round collars of pleated muslin or linen worn by men and women of the time period, and the bandbox was invented for holding such bands. The flimsy cardboard structure of the box inspired people to start using its name for any flimsy object, especially a small and insubstantial one. But people also contemplated the neat, sharp appearance of ruffs just taken from a bandbox and began using the word in a complimentary way in phrases such as “she looked as if she came out of a bandbox.” Today, “bandbox” can also be used as an adjective meaning “exquisitely neat, clean, or ordered,” as in “bandbox military officers.” (Source) In this passage, the phrase is used slightingly to mean that the “bandbox officers” were not men used to field duty.

3 Definitely one of the most macabre scenes of the entire Civil War: with men still dying of their wounds on the river bank and other wounded aboard the same boat, these officers (North and South) settle in for a round of drinks and conversation–this is straight from Apocalypse Now

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