, 1864

Gleanings of European News.

It appears from a recent decision in a Parisian court of law that Erlanger & Co., the bankers, had cleared  13,500,000 francs by the Confederate loan.

The standard height of recruits in the British army has been reduced one inch, so that in regiments of the line the men need only be five feet five inches.

The French Government has maintained, since 26th December, an electric light at La Heve lighthouse near La Havre.

The French press proposes that a new nation should be formed on the left bank of the Rhine, or that the province there should be united with Belgium, so as to shield France from Austrian and Prussian presence.

The bill to introduce the French metrical system into Great Britain has passed into a second reading in the House of Commons.

A submarine boat propelled by compressed air has been built at Rochelle, France. It is intended to pierce an enemy’s vessel under water, leave a combustible shell on her side, and then to discharge it by means of electricity as the boat retires to a safe distance.

An English newspaper says that only one person ever got to the bottom of the Schleswig Holstein question, and he was a German professor, who immediately went mad.

Lord Palmerston has been petitioned by the working men of London to use his influence toward having the public museum opened on the Sabbath, as that is the only day they can enjoy those exhibitions of art.

Several of the great iron works in Paris are employed in the manufacture of improved machinery for working the mines in Mexico.

The latest intelligence from France tends to confirm the reports that the Confederates are fitting out a navy in that country. Lieut. Maury and Capt. Bulloch have been prominent in these negotiations. These vessels are iron-clad, and the Confederate authorities have ordered an entire fleet, which the Government of Napoleon seems willing to have built at French ports, in spite of its reiterated desire to maintain a strict neutrality.

With the sanction of King Leopold, a volunteer corps of guards is to be embodied for service in the new Empire of Mexico, and 2000 Belgians will form a Garde de l’Imperatrice, their equipment and conveyance to Mexico to be duly provided for, and prospective grants of land, after a stated period of service, to be the reward of their expatriation.

The number of small birds destroyed by the cold weather of last winter in France is estimated at several millions, and years must elapse before the places of these useful friends of agriculture can be supplied.

The Confederate Cruiser Florida.—In the New York Commercial Advertiser of the 20th, we find the following:

A letter from Remedios, Cuba, of the 7th of April, says: “A Swedish vessel arrived here yesterday, and reports that when about thirty miles at sea, she was overhauled by a bark-rigged steamer, carrying six or eight guns, and flying the British flag. Her papers were examined, and she was allowed to pursue her course. The captain of the vessel supposed the steamer to be a Confederate cruiser. The Consular agent at Remedios telegraphed to Havana, in order that the news might come per steamer Eagle, but the authorities would not allow the dispatch to go over the wires. Letters from Havana, received here on Monday, mention the arrival of the Confederate corvette Florida at Remedios on the 11th, and that several Union gunboats had gone to overtake her.”


The New Bedford (Mass.) Mercury tells a good anecdote of a bright little shoe-black and a penurious curmudgeon. One of these little fellows, it seems, who has a sharp eye to the condition of boots of pedestrians, spying a man whose leather looked muddy, proposed too give it a polish. “No,” gruffly answered the owner of the boots, “I’ve no money for a boot-black.” “Hold your foot up,” said young Day & Martin, “and I’ll polish it for nothing.” The man complied, and the little fellow fellow plied his brush till the boot shone like a steel mirror, when he put up his tools and moved off. “Hello!” cried the customer, “black the other boot!” “For five cents,” said the boy, and the five cents was paid.1


The Confederate Navy.—The New York Commercial Advertiser of the 20th has the following:

The rebel authorities have been very successful in throwing the veil of secrecy over their preparations for the coming campaign; but we have now and then an inkling of their undertakings. Deserters and returning prisoners for months past have reported that formidable ships-of-war were in process of construction at Richmond and other points. Our Fortress Monroe correspondent stated, a few days since, that he had received positive information to the effect that two iron-clad ships up the Juniata river were nearly completed.

The Richmond Examiner of last Wednesday inadvertently confirms all of these statements. In alluding to the “Federal iron-clads,” it says:

“Europe will watch with nervous interest the first great trials made of these improved monitors, if it should be our good fortune to finish and equip our own vessels of that class in time to meet them on equal terms. The famous deeds of our noble Merrimac will be repeated. We have not been idle, and both afloat and on shore all is prepared to resist attack and to meet the foe on his own terms.”2

Relying upon their “new navy” and torpedoes, the enemy will undoubtedly assay once more to cope with us by water.

MAY 2, 1864

Additional Particulars from the Plymouth Fight.
[From the Richmond Dispatch of the 25th.]

We gave on Saturday morning some of the particulars of the fighting which resulted in the capture of Plymouth. Our forces arrived in front of Plymouth on Sunday afternoon about 4 o’clock, and succeeded in capturing most of the enemy’s pickets, which were stationed a few miles from town, and felt their works, and, finding them much stronger than was anticipated, the men being exhausted by a long day’s march, the attack was postponed until next day. During the whole day Monday the artillery and sharpshooters were engaged with their gunboats and forts, which resulted in one of the former being sunk. At about dusk on the same evening, Fort Sanderson, a very strong earth-work, was assaulted and carried by storm after a spirited resistance. During this assault a number of our men were killed by hand grenades in the ditch. After carrying the above-named fort, our forces advanced close up to the main works of the enemy on the west side of the town.

On Tuesday morning at 2 o’clock, the Albemarle, one of our iron-clad gunboats, commanded by Capt. Cook, came down the river and engaged the enemy’s batteries and gunboats, which were lying in front of the town. The enemy’s boats attempted to board her, which attack was handsomely repulsed. They also attempted to trap her, having stretched a chain under water across the space that intervened between their boats; but instead of running between them, Capt. Cook made direct for the largest, striking her amidships, and sunk her in a few minutes, together with most of the officers and crew, only a few of whom were picked up. He immediately engaged the other, and pursued her some distance down the river; but not deeming it prudent to venture too far down the river, he returned to his former position in front of Plymouth.

After daylight on the same morning, Gen. Hoke demanded a surrender of the place and its defences, which demand the enemy declined to accede to. During the day their works were reconnoitered at different points. Tuesday night the position of our troops was moved around through a very difficult route to the east or opposite side of the town.

At daylight on Wednesday morning they charged and carried the centre line of fortifications on the east side, driving the enemy at the point of the bayonet completely through the town to the opposite side, where some of our troops were left, who succeeded in capturing a large number of prisoners.

During all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning the Albemarle, with the gallant Cook in command, engaged the enemy’s batteries, taking them in reverse. The town now being entirely in our possession, together with the enemy’s works, with the exception of the main fort, a demand was made for its surrender, which was refused, but as soon as our sharpshooters commenced to advance, the enemy began to desert, by twos, threes and twenties, coming into our lines and throwing down their arms. The flag of the fort was then soon hauled down, which resulted in the surrender by Brigadier General Wessels of four regiments of infantry, one squadron of cavalry, a battalion of artillery, and two or three companies of North Carolina “Buffaloes,” together with the large amount of stores, provisions, siege guns, etc., previously reported in this paper.

From Gen. Lee’s Army.
[From the Richmond Dispatch of the 26th.]

Information was received in this city through passengers who came down by the Central train to the effect that there was heavy skirmishing going on Sunday evening between a portion of our forces and those of the enemy on the line of the Rapidan.

We further learn from a gentleman who left Gordonsville yesterday, that it was currently reported at that place that the enemy crossed the river at Ely’s ford on Saturday night in considerable force, and also that another column were crossing Sunday night at Germana. The rumor of the crossing on Saturday night had reached the neighborhood of Fredericksburg, as we learn from a gentleman who came from that vicinity yesterday.

From the Peninsula.

The report in relation to the landing of the enemy force at Yorktown was again repeated yesterday, and seemed to be confirmed by scouts who came in from that direction. But, on the other hand, a citizen who reached the city yesterday from the vicinity of Yorktown states that they are embarking. A few days will probably develop their movements. We learn from a reliable source that a barge load of Yankees who crossed the river above Yorktown were captured  by our forces on the other side of the river.

The French Squadron Below City Point–Mysterious Movements.

It has been heretofore announced that a French war steamer and several merchant ships had arrived and had been lying at City Point for some time past. The object of the expedition was for the purpose of taking away the tobacco purchased in this city by agents of the French Government previous to the war, the arrival of which at City Point had been delayed for some cause unknown to us. On Sunday afternoon, about 2 o’clock, a Yankee steamer came up from Fortress Monroe under a white flag of truce and communicated with the officer in command of the French man-of-war, remaining only a few minutes, and went back in the direction from whence she came. Immediately after the departure of the Yankee craft a French officer landed from the Frenchman and set out for Petersburg, but on arriving in that city, ascertained that no train would leave for this city earlier than Monday morning, at half past three o’clock. He procured a private conveyance, by which means he reached Richmond some time during Sunday night. It is reported, through a reliable channel, that orders came up by the Yankee flag of truce for the French squadron to leave City Point immediately.

The fact that the French had probably overstayed their time seems to confirm the truth of this report, though it may be that trouble is brewing in some other quarter, or from complications, the nature of which remains for us to learn.

Since writing the above it has been ascertained that the Frenchman were recalled by Butler on account of some informality in previous proceedings, and that they will probably return in order to get the tobacco.

MAY 3,

Arrival of Prisoners from Richmond.
Horrible Results of Their Starvation by the Rebels.

Baltimore, May 3.

The American’s special Annapolis letter says the flag of truce steamer New York arrived at the Naval Academy wharf yesterday morning from City Point, with 34 paroled offices and 364 men.

Such was the condition of the latter that every man of them were admitted to the hospitals. One hundred and fifty of them had to be carried from the boat on stretchers and cars. Their looks and words abundantly show that their miserable condition has been produced by starvation, and many are undoubtedly past the reach of medicine or nourishment.

Among the officers is Col. Rose of the 77th Pennsylvania regiment, who was the chief engineer of the tunnel by which so many of our officers escaped in February last, he having been recaptured.


How to Choose a Cow.–There is always some risk of buying cow, of whose previous character and history we know nothing, for there are no infallible signs of excellence. A rough, scrawny, coarse, ill-shapen cow is often a noble milker. Yet there are a few points generally agreed upon by experienced farmers, which it is well to consider before purchasing. A small-boned had and light horns are better than large. Long legs make too wide a gap betwixt udder and milk pail, and long-legged cows are seldom quiet feeders, but wander about too much. A slender rather than a thick neck, a straight back, wide ribs and broad brisket, are to be sought for. The body of the cow should be large in proportion to head, neck, and legs, though not excessively large; and the hind quarters if large out of proportion indicate good milking qualities. Medium sized cows, all things considered, prove the best milkers for the amount of feed they consume. The color of the hair has has probably nothing to do with the milking qualities, and good looks should be regarded but little in purchasing dairy animals. As to the color of the skin, a bright yellow, approaching that of gold coins, creamy color within the ears–this and good rich milk are very apt to go together; and with a soft flexible hide, loose over the ribs and rump, is also to be sought. The udder should be large, soft and full of veins, which ramify over it, with full-sized milk veins stretching forward along the belly, and the teats be large and not crowded together. Test the cow’s disposition and inquire about it. Irritable and nervous cows are unpleasant to handle, and almost always scanty milkers. Something can be ascertained from the looks and motions. Large, mild eyes, easy, quiet motions when driven, and gentleness when handled, indicate good nature. What the butchers term “good handling” is an important quality in a milch cow, for it indicates not only good milking properties, but easy fattening, when service in the dairy is over.–American Agriculturalist.


Execution of a Smuggler of Contraband.–Martin Smith was executed to-day, in Fort Pickering, for the crime of smuggling percussion caps to the enemy, and violating his oath of allegiance. He stated at the gallows that his sentence was just, and that he was guilty. There are two other men now in prison for the same crime, who will probably suffer the same fate.

Rebel Fears of an Attack in Georgia.

Washington, May 3.

The following is from the Richmond Examiner of the 29th:

We have again rumors of an impending battle in the Georgia and Tennessee lines. The opinion appears to be that the enemy is to make a grand effort of the campaign in that quarter; but while there is much stronger evidence that the effort is to be made in the direction of Richmond, it must be recalled that this theory by no means excludes the probability that an important issue is to be tried in western Georgia. The enemy has no army there which is formidable in numbers and discipline, but it possesses one great advantage which they have not in Virginia–the impregnable fortifications of Chattanooga upon which to fall back in case of disaster. The state of preparation of the army in Gen. Johnston’s front, the removal of a great body of troops from Knoxville and Cleveland to Chattanooga, and the facility with which reinforcements can be thrown from Tennessee and Kentucky warn us that we need not be surprised at any time to hear that an earnest attempt is being made to break our lines at Dalton, and that a grand battle is going on.


Matches.–By the new internal revenue bill, matches are to be taxed one cent per box. This will be a productive source of revenue without doubt, and will be paid in sums that the burden will hardly be felt. To give the reader an idea of the magnitude of the business of match-making, we will give a few statistics of one of the manufacturers of this indispensable article:

Mr. Carleton, of Boston, has three factories, in which he consumes twenty cords of wood and five hundred pounds of brimstone per day. He employs two hundred girls and a number of men (girls cannot make matches without the co-operation of men,) and on his business alone the Government will receive a revenue of $1,440 per day. At present he is selling his matches at one third of a cent per box or bunch, so that the tax will amount three hundred per cent more than the cost of the article to retailers. There are many other large manufacturers of matches in Massachusetts and New England, and many others still in other parts of the country.–Washington Republican.


The Danish War.–Thus far the Danes are the losers in the “war for the succession.” The allies took their stronghold, Duppel, on the 18th of April, and with the place 90 cannon and 2,600 prisoners. The loss of men is heavy on both sides, but it is evident that the Danes are no match for their enemies. How far Europe will allow the allies to push their successes remains to be seen, but we presume not far enough to endanger the integrity of the Danish monarchy.

MAY 4, 1864


Banks’ Cotton Expedition.

Gen. Banks’ Red River expedition was undertaken mainly to obtain a large amount of cotton which was supposed to be “laying round loose” along Red river. It was simply a great marauding expedition–a foray for plunder and spoils. The object of the expedition has doubtless been defeated by the delay occasioned by the defeat and retreat of Banks’ forces, and the expedition will therefore probably be given up. As the enemy will have time to remove or destroy all the cotton in the region before Banks’ army is “reorganized” and reinforced sufficiently to warrant another advance, it is not likely that the attempt to reach Shreveport will again be made at present.

This expedition has resulted even more disastrously than was reported last week. The shameless but characteristic lying of the Government tools, which announced magnificent victories, was resorted to as usual to deceive the people and to break the force of the sad reality which it was known would soon shock the public mind. Instead of the magnificent victories so exultingly reported, after and during a series of bloody conflicts, Gen. Banks retreated some forty miles down the river, leaving his dead and wounded, his artillery, his wagons, his supplies. The extent of the disaster will never be made known. A letter from New Orleans says:

“The disaster to our arms in the Red river has proved a very serious one, in which we have lost some 7000 in killed and wounded, 200 army wagons with stores, &c., 19 pieces of artillery with caissons, ammunitions, &c., even the personal effects of staff officers. We have the entire gunboats flotilla above the rapids, with the water of the river turned into Bayou Pierre, so that the boats are useless. General Banks has been forced to retreat 60 miles, after suffering great loss, and the enemy are now between the gunboats and the army.”

A dispatch from Washington says a letter has been received there from Admiral Porter, who commands the gunboats co-operating with Banks’ army, which “pronounces Gen. Banks’ expedition a complete failure. Besides over thirty pieces of artillery, a large quantity of small arms, several hundred wagons and a first-class gunboats, (the Eastport,) near 4000 prisoners have been lost; also, in addition, the Paymaster’s safe, containing a million dollars in greenbacks, was captured by the rebels.”

It is feared that this disaster may lead to another. Gen. Steele, with 15,000 men, was advancing through Arkansas to join Banks at Shreveport. Having disposed of Banks, it is feared the active rebel Generals will turn upon Steele with an overwhelming force and annihilate his army.

The management of this expedition by Gen. Banks is sharply criticized and severely censured. A letter from New Orleans says:

“I have seen a large number of those who were in the fight, and they all agree that Banks, by marching up his men in brigades to encounter the massed army of Kirby Smith, simply led them to wholesale slaughter, and his loss of eighteen pieces of artillery, among which was Nims’ Battery, shows how effective he made his artillery.”

The N. Y. Evening Post, an Administration paper always friendly to Banks, says: ->

As to the military management of General Banks, it is too early yet to speak a decisive word; but the newspaper accounts thus far received of his grand expedition up the Red River, and of the late battles at Pleasant Ridge, are anything but assuring; they would seem to show the most prodigious blunders in the whole ordering of the march and the conflict. For a commander who is approaching the presence of the enemy to send cavalry some eight miles in advance of his main army; to let the baggage-train of that cavalry occupy the only road between the two; and when the cavalry is attacked by superior numbers of infantry, not to withdraw it, but to support it with one or two light brigades, is to evince bad judgment, to say the least. General Banks’ policy was to defer battle as long as he could until he should be joined by the forces under General Steele and others, rapidly concentrating, and then fall upon the enemy with superior numbers. According to the representations we have, he allowed himself to be drawn into the fight under disadvantageous circumstances; he lost needlessly both men and munitions; and if on the third day we partially retrieved the case by a merciless slaughter of the rebels, who had become too confident, it was owing to the endurance and valor of the troops, and not to the generalship of the commander.

It is stated that in this bold push into the enemy’s country in search of plunder, Banks’ column was thirty-six miles long! The cavalry were four miles ahead of the nearest corps of infantry; that twelve miles ahead of the next; and that twenty miles ahead of the reserve! No one corps was within supporting distance of the other; and it was not until they were hurled back and heaped upon each other that the troops made an effectual resistance. They fought bravely, and sacrificed much, to repair the orders of a political General, who was using them for a political scheme and a moneyed speculation. An expedition thus managed could not reasonably be expected to succeed; and its failure brings disgrace upon all concerned in its management. It has effectually blighted Banks’ Presidential prospects, and thus effected one of the standing purposes of Lincoln–the “suppression” of rival candidates for the Baltimore nomination.


The N. Y. Post, (Republican,) says “the rebels move without trains, they live without commissary, they fight without ammunition, and yet they beat us.” Yes, and that too when, according to the Republican papers, our forces outnumber them three to one. How long, in view of this, will it take to subjugate them?


It is admitted that, if the war should be brought to a close to-day, the national debt would be at least $4,000,000,000. At the commencement of the war there were less than 4,000,000 slaves. If they were all made free now they would cost $1,000–besides the loss of one white man for every four slaves. Rather an expensive way of getting rid of slavery.3

MAY 5,

Gen. Grant in Camp.—A military friend who has just passed some days at the headquarters in Culpepper, has given me an account of his visit and of the habits of the Lieutenant General, that I am glad to transcribe. Gen. Grant messes with his staff in a house in the village, and at his table sits familiarly every member of his military family. The expenses of the mess are divided among the ten, not in equal proportions exactly, but in a manner that is satisfactory to all. There is not the slightest attempt at show or parade in the furniture and equipage; everything is for use and economy of trouble and space. The crockery is scanty and of the plainest, and the fare, though sufficient in quantity, is just as homely as that of any thrifty and careful mechanic in your city. A chop with a cup of coffee for breakfast; a bit of roast beef, with potatoes and “hard tack,” confronting a dish of pork and “greens,” served for the 5 o’clock dinner, which was concluded without pastry or dessert. A cup of tea and a bit of bread and butter at 8½ o’clock finish up the day. The beds were simply camp cots, some with and others without mattresses; and all the toilet apparatus anywhere visible were a few tin wash-basins, a moderate supply of towels, a bit of looking-glass, and a horn comb. At the table neither distilled liquor nor wine is permitted. The General will not have either about him, for his own or others’ use.

The inventory of the General’s baggage when he made his brilliant campaign in the rear of Vicksburg is, I take it, well remembered–a briar-wood telescope and a tooth-brush. In what relates to personal adornment and outside of the necessity of eating and drinking, personal comfort, he has not greatly enlarged his possessions. His three stars indicate his exalted rank, but to say nothing of the charm which, in soldiers’ eyes these glittering marks of rank possess, I doubt if there is a commissariat officer in his army who is as plainly clad as he. His clothes are worn threadbare, and despite the steady brushing of his servant, they will have an untidy look, due, no doubt, to the General’s habit of going everywhere and seeing everything for himself. The General understands the relation between cleanliness ad godliness, but in his opinion, practically evinced, there is as much of either in a flannel shirt as in one of linen of drawing-room immaculateness.

Your readers are not to suppose that I am describing a careless or indolent man, or one who does not know the difference between the garb of a gentleman and that of a sloven. The facts are pointed out only as a proof that this man’s mind is so intent upon the great problem before him that he has neither the time nor the inclination to consider miserable frivolities.

Gen. Grant never swears. No man in his camp has ever heard him give utterance to profanity in any of its many forms. He rarely laughs, either; but he has a sort of grim humor which is not without its effect. It is related as a part of the gossip of “the front,” that an officer attached to the Quartermaster’s Department of his Army wanted one wet day to consult with his General-in-Chief. He is a believer in the old regime, and practiced what under McClellan he was taught. He had half a dozen miles to go, more or less; so he ordered out his close carriage, and as it was likely that night would come before he could return, the lamps were trimmed and hung out on each side of the driver’s seat. Then, with an escort of twelve dragoons, he started, happy, no doubt, in the belief that he was proof against the descending rain.

Approaching Culpepper, he met an ordinary looking man on horseback, attended only by an orderly. As he passed he recognized the Lieutenant General, who, in spite of the rain, was making his usual round in his usual modest way. To descend from his carriage and salute his chief was but the work of a moment; but Grant, irritated by the style and pretension of his officer, was in no hurry to see him gain the shelter of his carriage roof again. “Walk along with me a little,” said the General; “I want to talk with you.” With polished boots and unexceptional kids, Mr. Quartermaster did as he was bidden; and, with a touch of that grimness to which I have referred, the General led him through the muddiest parts of the road, and did not release him until he was wet to the skin–as wet as the General himself. He was then dismissed with an admonition that will be remembered, tough it was interlarded with no oaths.–Wash. Cor. N. Y. Post.

Mrs. Lincoln’s Sister.—“Perley” writes to the Boston Journal, that “the croakers and grumblers at Washington are assailing President Lincoln with, among other matters, a romantic tale about his having sent his wife’s sister South (under a flag of truce) carrying a large amount of munitions of war and other valuable articles. The following account of this exaggerated fact I have obtained for The Journal, from the highest authority, and can be relied upon as correct:

Visit of Mrs. Lincoln’s Sister South.

Mrs. Lincoln has some half sisters who have never been particularly intimate with the branch of the family to which she belongs, and when the rebellion broke out they took sides with the South. One of them had sometimes visited them at Springfield, and was considered a pleasant and agreeable girl. Some little time since she appeared at the White House on a Saturday afternoon, sent in her card, was received and spent the Sunday. As she was leaving on Monday she remarked that “Martha” was at Baltimore and desired a pass to go South. How she got to Baltimore the President could not imagine, but he said he would give her precisely such a pass as he gave any one. About two weeks subsequently, this “Martha” appeared at the White House and sent in her card. Mrs. Lincoln responded that she could not receive her. She then sent in word that she desired the promised pass. The President wrote one in his usual way–precisely such a one as is given to any lady and sent it out to her, and she drove away. The next day she appeared again, sent her card to Mr. Lincoln, who returned word that she could not be admitted. She then sent in a note that the pass she had received was not such a one as she wanted–she wanted to take some goods South. Mr. Lincoln turned over her note and wrote upon the back that the pass was precisely such as he gave others, and she could have nothing different.

The next day she appeared in his reception room with others, waiting to see the President, but finding it out, Mr. L. told his messenger not to admit her. The next day she appeared again, the same directions were given, and she did not get an audience. The next day she came with a Kentucky member of congress, who told the President that she was in waiting; thought it hard that she could not see him, &c., &c. He intimated to the M. C., that if she did not avail herself of the pass without delay, she would find it revoked. The next day she again appeared with another M. C., but the President still refused to see her, and told the Congressman that he had heard of her talk where she was stopping, and that if she continued it or stayed around here she would find herself in the Old Capitol in less than twenty-four hours. She departed, and the President heard nothing more from her until the newspaper stories appeared.4


A Good Move.—The ladies of Indianapolis, Indiana, have responded to the Governor’s call for hundred-day troops, by offering to take the places of the clerks in the stores–allowing the later to retain their salaries, and the ladies taking the government pay of $13 per month. The business men favor the movement. Will the clerks go?

6, 1864

To Be, or Not to Be.

Carleton, the reliable correspondent of the Boston Journal, discourses as follows about army affairs, as to what might be done, what may be done, but never says a word about what will be done:

The Situation.

It is well known to the rebels that the old army of the Potomac is concentrated near Culpepper; that Smith has a force at Yorktown; that Burnside is moving somewhere–but if Lee can understand Grant’s intention, he is sharper sighted that any one on Washington. Burnside’s movement to Alexandria had upset all the calculations of the wise men, who would have it that he was going to North Carolina, or up the James, or up the peninsula. Everybody thought last week that Urbanna, on the Rappahannock, was the place appointed for his landing. The advance of the fleet to that port gave color to the idea. The rebels thought that that was the route of Burnsides advance. The Richmond papers published the fact and said his aim was Hanover Court House. But all speculations, rebel or Union, as to where he is to go, or what he is to do, amount to nothing. The latest speculation is quite as reasonable as any: that he is to be the reserve. The 9th corps has had a hard time. It has just arrived from Knoxville, while the corps on the Rapidan have had no hardship since the advance to Mine Run six months ago. If any one corps is entitled to rest it is the 9th, but when the order to advance is given, there will be little rest for any portion of the army.

The Rebel Forces.

Without doubt, the rebel army is as large as it has ever been. The remorseless conscription has filled the ranks, but the new soldiers are boys and gray haired men. Lee has more men under him than he led into Pennsylvania, but his line is long–reaching from Petersburg to Fredericksburg, and from Fredericksburg to the brow of the Blue Ridge–one hundred and twenty-five miles. The main portion of his army is on the Rapidan. Elzey, commanding Pickett’s old division, which was badly cut to pieces in the last attack at Gettysburg, is at Hanover Junction to resist Smith if he advances up the peninsula. The twenty thousand men which are menacing Newbern can be rallied at Petersburg to resist an advance up the James and to hold the railroad to Weldon–the only connecting line to the South over which Lee receives his ordnance stores, furnished by blockade runners at Wilmington. It will show an unusual military strength and genius if he can hold a line so long–vulnerable as it is on both flanks as well as in the centre. Gen. Grant, I believe, has the power to turn either flank or pierce the centre.

Sigel, with a considerable force at his disposal, is at Beverley, in West Virginia, three days’ march from Harrisonburg or Staunton, with no formidable force of rebels to oppose his march to that place. He would menace Lee’s left flank, compel that General to change or extend his present line, and thus weaken him. Or if not this, Burnside in reserve, as a movable column, his centre can be pierced by a sudden stroke across the Rappahannock, near the bloody field of Chancellorsville. Or, Smith, with his troops on transports, can choose in a night to strike up the Rappahannock, or up the York, or up the James, landing on the north or the south side. It is not probable that Gen. Lee will attempt to hold all these points, but that he will fall back as Grant advances, and concentrate his troops on the James in the vicinity of Richmond, where he will have his supplies at hand; whereas Grant, by such a maneuver, will be obliged to change his base. But if this should happen, a second siege of Richmond will not be like the first. Then Lee had the Eastern Virginia Railroad, and all the fertile Shenandoah, and all the rich upland counties north of the James for foraging ground; but if he falls back to Richmond, his foraging country will be confined to the country south of the James. Can he support his cavalry and artillery deprived of that territory? Doubtful. ->

There are some indications that Lee intends to make a desperate resistance in his present position, hoping to repulse Grant in any flank movements. I think that Grant would like to have him decide upon adopting that policy. Some of the heavy guns which have been in position in the rebel works in front of Culpepper have disappeared–troops have been seen moving eastward; but on the other hand, new camps are to be seen from day to day. We shall know before many days what is intended on both sides.


The Schleswig-Holstein Question Explained.

At breakfast: Q.–What is the Schleswig-Holstein question, papa? A.–Well, my dear boy, I am pleased to see that you have an inquiring turn of mind, and take notice of  what is said in your presence, and I will endeavor to make you understand. Schleswig-Holstein is in Denmark–that is, it is not exactly in Denmark, at least Schleswig may be called so, but not Holstein–no, it is Holstein that may be considered Danish, or if you like the word better, Scandinavian. Let me see, what did I say? Oh, yes, Holstein is the German division of the territory, and Schleswig is an ancient fief (you know what a fief is) of the crown, and was ceded in 1816; that is to say, Holstein was ceded, not Schleswig, Holstein having been an ancient fief of Germany, and therefore you see Prussia takes an interest in the question, as a part of the German confederation; but Lord John Russell is only in the matter as a mutual friend, and he thinks that the proposals of Prussia–no, I mean Denmark–yes, of course, Denmark, that concession shall be made to Holstein–no, Holstein does not want concessions, but a veto (that is Latin for “I forbid”) upon taxation and other things, and Schleswig is to be allowed to speak German–well, Lord John thinks this is fair, but the Prussian minister does not think that Prussia–at least Denmark, has any right to impose conditions of this sort, because there was a promise of a constitution to Schleswig or Holstein, I forget which, but the principle is the same, and there are some other points mixed up with it which you might not be able to understand so easily as the simple outline of the case I have given you.–Punch.


Be Hopeful.

Whatever may happen, let us be hopeful. However disheartening the present–let us be hopeful. However the battle goes–let us be hopeful. However forbidding the future–let us be hopeful. However weary grows the eye in watching for the tidings of the brave boy in the field–let us be hopeful. However blighting the tidings when they come–let us be hopeful.. The country that we love so fervently and suffer for so cheerfully, expects us to be hopeful. The flag that we cherish with such fondness looks down upon us, pleading from every hue and stitch and star that we be hopeful. All the millions of down-trodden people the whole earth over, entreats us with tears, to be hopeful. Holy Liberty, the cause of the race, beseeches us to to be hopeful. And hopeful we will be. It is easy to be hopeful in so hopeful a cause. The Spring months will not go without bearing the green garlands for the brows of our chiefs, and the Summer will not close without bringing us nearer the end of our terrible strife for self-preservation. He who is over us is faithful and pure in purpose, and he who is over all our armies is a stranger to defeat, and He who is over all and over both will see to it that a government and social order so benignant and excellent shall not fall to the ground. Let us then be hopeful.

MAY 7, 1864


A Screw Loose in the Treasury Building.

From the revelations by members of Congress and newspaper correspondents, republicans as well as Democrats, there is reason to believe there are serious irregularities in the Treasury Department. In the House on Friday, Mr. Brooks, of New York, preferred charges against Mr. Chase, in a resolution of inquiry, and in a speech declared that millions of the public money had been sacrificed in the bureau of printing, and the Treasury building turned into “a house of orgies and bacchanals.” (It is well known that a large number of females have been introduced there as “clerks.”) Mr. Brooks was interrupted at every sentence by the friends of Chase, who would not allow a word to be spoken against their favorite without objection. Their extreme sensitiveness indicates that they fear the result of the searching inquiry. It is broadly intimated that there have been over-issues of treasury notes, and other irregularities. Mr. Brooks declared that if he was not allowed to speak in the House, he should go before the high court of the newspaper press of the republic, and expose the plundering and stealing of the public treasury. Gen. Blair, on the night he left the House, made serious charges of corruption against Chase and his agents.

What wonder that Mr. Chase, with the prospect of a financial crash, as the result of his mismanagement, and exposure of corruption, is now anxious to get out of the Cabinet! It is said he has abandoned his duties and located himself at Philadelphia. His excuse for this course is the action of the President in reference to Gen. Blair; and it must be confessed that affront was of such a nature that he could hardly have a better opportunity for breaking with Lincoln and getting “out of the wilderness.”


A Little of Everything.

There seems to be no escape from the fact that the instructions concerning the attack upon Richmond, reported to have been found upon the person of Col. Dahlgren, were genuine. Photographic copies have been forwarded from Richmond, and it is admitted that they have every appearance of being genuine, but Gens. Meade and Kilpatrick both deny having issued them. Were they drawn with the sanction of the War Department, or of A. Lincoln, like so many other military matters of the sort, including Kilpatrick’s raid? The question is of some importance; for if the document is genuine, it will not do to talk very much about the “Fort Pillow massacre,” if it was really as bad as represented.

The Buffalo Courier has some timely remarks on the Red River disaster, in which, it now appears, some 4,000 men were lost. It says:

“Before the Washington authorities pronounce the doom of Gen. Banks, the people will want to know just the extent of his and their responsibility in the matter, respectively. Mr. Lincoln’s little Florida affair, with its attendant massacre, has been partially hushed up. Let the truth come out touching this new military holocaust. Why was an army sent where an army was not wanted; and what is there to show for the thousands of lives lost and the millions of money spent on the Red river expedition? Will Congress give us an Investigating Committee that has not made itself, among men of all parties, a by-word for its dishonesty?”

An Hibernian was reproved by an officer for daring to whistle in the ranks while going on duty. Just as the officer spoke, one of the enemy’s balls came whistling over the ravine. Pat cocked an eye up towards it and quietly said, “There goes a boy on his duty, and, by Jabers, hear how he whistles!” ->

Edward R. Burton, a native of Waltham, Vt., and for nearly two years past a resident at Fort Pillow, who was in the fort during Forrest’s recent attack upon it, was examined at Gen. Rosecrans’ headquarters at St. Louis on Thursday, and fully corroborated all the previous reports of the rebel barbarities there.

A Newbern correspondent say that Gen. Wessels, at Plymouth, was last seen by the gunboats, with his coat off, throwing hand grenades.

Mr. Forney writes from Washington to his Philadelphia paper: “A few months ago I thought we were near the end of the rebellion; at present, I don’t think we have reached the middle of it.”

The spiritualists have told Mrs. Lincoln that she will not reside at the White House after the 4th of March next. She is in deep distress about it.

There were some 250,000 muskets in the National Armory in Springfield a week or two since.


Attempted Desertion from the Conscript Camp: One Man Shot Dead.—About half past 9 o’clock last (Tuesday) evening, a squad of six men attempted to run the guard at the east corner of the Conscript Camp. They succeeded in passing the inside guard and scaling a high picket fence. They seized the musket of one of the sentries, a member of the 12th Regiment C. V., and during the struggle one of the deserters, named James W. McCartney, a recruit for the 12th, was shot through the body and died in a few minutes. Three others of the party were captured and two escaped. Capt. Sears, commandant of the camp, immediately sent out patrols in search of the two who had got away, but they had not been secured when our reporter left the camp at half past twelve. About the time the stampede was made, signals were heard near the lines, and a squad was sent to the spot from which they proceeded, and a man was found behind a tree and at once arrested. He gave the name of Stephen Kennock, and it was understood he had a brother among the recruits. It was found that he had two full suits of clothes upon his person. We are indebted to Capt. Sears and Lieut. Benton of the 12th for the foregoing particulars.


Sharp Practice.—A few weeks since a San Francisco stock operator, disgusted at his losses, concluded to shake off this mortal coil and take shares in “kingdom come.” To this end he swallowed a lot of laudanum, which, being discovered by his friends, they called in a physician, who, by the exercise of force, got a stomach pump at work, pumped out the poison and saved the man’s life. Physician subsequently sent in a bill for $50 for his services; laudanum taker refused to pay, saying he had not employed him; the physician sues for his money, and laudanum man threatens to prosecute physician for assault and battery. Rather a pretty case as it stands.



1 Day & Martin was a firm in London engaged in the manufacture of blacking which had a high reputation. Their blacking was known to the public by the name of “Day & Martin's.”

2 Notice that, two years after her scuttling, the rebel ironclad is still referred to as Merrimac. While technically renamed Virginia, she was commonly identified by her original name, by naval, military and civilians, North and South. The insistence upon calling the ship CSS Virginia, while technically correct, is a modern affectation not used by people at the time.

3 The number of slaves in this piece is accurate: As per the 1860 census, the total number was 3,950,528. (Source.)

4 See “Aiding the Rebels” in the New Hampshire Patriot & Gazette of 13 April 1864.

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