, 1864

The Second Great Battle of Cold Harbor
and Gaines’ Mill.

Army of Northern Virginia,
Battle Field of Cold Harbor, June 3, 4 p.m.

A gracious God has given the Confederate arms another victory–a victory that is almost bloodless to them, but fearfully fatal to their enemies. The annals of modern times furnish no parallel to the battle of to-day–so slight has been the loss on one side and so great has been the slaughter on the other. The enemy have been slaughtered by thousands, while Lee’s veterans have hardly received a scratch. How else can we explain these strange results except upon the theory that Heaven has smiled upon our arms and wrought mischief among our foes?

A brief résumé of the operations which preceded the battle of to-day will enable the reader to accompany me in the hurried narrative here presented, and to understand clearly the movements of the hostile armies.

As you are aware, there was heavy skirmishing along the lines on Wednesday, the 1st. Early on the morning of that day, Kershaw’s and Joke’s divisions attacked the enemy and drove him to his entrenchments. Hoke, who is reporting to Anderson, moved from Old Cold Harbor, and Kershaw from the vicinity of Beulah Church, their object being to secure certain positions to be used either in attack or defense, as occasion might require.

During the afternoon the enemy attacked Heth, of Hill’s corps, and was handsomely repulsed by Cooke’s and Kirkland’s North Carolina brigades. Breckinridge, who reports to Hill, and Mahone, commanding Anderson’s old division, drove the enemy from their front, taking about one hundred and fifty prisoners.

Whilst these movements were being made below, the Federals pushed forward a heavy column of cavalry from Hanover Court House in the direction of Ashland. The men were provided with ten days’ rations, showing that they had started out on a raid, probably with the hope of being able to reach the Danville railway, or at least create a diversion in front of Grant. Hampton, who had been placed in command of all the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia, was prepared for them however. They reached Ashland, and had begun to destroy the railroad track at that place, when the Confederate horse attacked them and drove them back to the Pamunkey. Generals Rosser and Pierce Young played a conspicuous and important part in the obstinate battle that ensued. Gen. Young, commanding Hampton’s old brigade, received a severe but not mortal wound. The enemy lost heavily in men and animals. Our own loss was considerable.

Late in the evening a force of infantry was reported to have arrived at Tunstall’s Station from White House, and to be extending up the York river railway. They stated that they belong to Butler’s forces, the object of their movement being, doubtless, to connect with Grant’s left wing and open the way to the Chickahominy.

Yesterday, the 2d, perfect quiet reigned along the lines until five o’clock in the afternoon, when Early attacked the enemy in his works and drove him out of their formidable lines of entrenchments. Heth, of Hill’s corps, participated in this good work. While the attack was being made in the front, Gordon moved around and took the enemy in flank. So vigorously did our troops press the flying foe, that he was unable to make a stand behind his second line of entrenchments, which they entered pell mell with him. Early’s loss will not exceed 200, while the enemy’s was heavy, including 700 prisoners, taken chiefly by Gordon, Rodes, and Heth, nearly all of whom belonged to the U. S. Regulars. The Stonewall Brigade behaved as it was wont to do in the days of its first great leader. Whilst our loss was slight in numbers, it was great in fact, in that it includes the brave General Doles, of Georgia, who fell with his feet to the foe and his face to Heaven. . .

This was on our left. On the right, about the same hour, Breckinridge, supported by Wilcox, was ordered to assault the enemy on Turkey Hill and wrest It from him. This he and Wilcox did in handsome style; and thus an important position was secured in time for the great battle which, it was then evident, could not be much longer postponed.

He assaulted the entire line, as already stated, at an early hour. But one assault was made on Early and Heth, and that was repulsed with ease and great loss to the enemy, and with trifling loss to the Confederates. The attack upon Kershaw, Hoke, and Fields, of Anderson’s corps, and Breckinridge, of Hill’s, on the contrary, was heavy and vigorous, and was continued from half past four o’clock until half past ten. An immense force was massed against this part of the lines, and it was brought up again and again and hurled with Titanic violence against the Confederate position. As many as seven assaults were made against Kershaw and a portion of Fields’ division, each one of which was repulsed with tremendous slaughter. The carnage was dreadful, not only at this point, but in front of Hoke and Breckinridge also. Hunton and Corse’s brigades, of Pickett’s division, were also engaged, and acquitted themselves handsomely. Indeed, the Confederates, if such a thing were possible, excelled all their previous performances.

The enemy broke over the lines at a salient in Breckinridge’s front, and for a few minutes had possession of three guns and so much of the ground as had been occupied by three companies, but Finegan’s brave Floridians, attached for a time to Mahone’s Division and acting as reserves, rushed forward and swept them out of the works like a whirlwind. Colquitt’s Georgians performed a similar feat when Clingman’s brigade was pressed back momentarily on Hoke’s front; they sent the enemy literally flying across the field. . .

But it is too early to attempt to go into details. The loss of the enemy in front of Kershaw’s veteran division is represented on all hands to exceed anything that occurred during the war. The ground was strewn with the Federal slain in front of Fields, Hoke and Breckinridge also. What the enemy’s loss was I shall not now undertake to say. Our own casualties, on the contrary, are so small as to appear almost incredible. I will only add that, in high and well informed quarters, it is estimated that for every hundred men we lost, the enemy lost more than a thousand! How can this be explained? Was there not an unseen, but All-powerful Hand imposed between us and our enemies, to turn aside their missiles of death and save us from harm?

Sure enough, with the early dawn this morning came the boom of cannon and the sharp rattle of musketry. Grant made a furious assault along our whole lines except on the right. The Confederates had thrown up entrenchments or breastworks of logs and earth during the preceding night and day, and were prepared for the onset. Early occupied the left of the lines, having Heth, of Hill’s corps, on his extreme left; Anderson held the centre, and Hill the right. The lines were an irregular crescent, covering the battle field of Cold Harbor, and extending from a point somewhat above and in advance of Beulah Church in a southwesterly direction to the vicinity of McClellan’s bridge over the Chickahominy. It was for these bridges that Grant was aiming, and, having secured them and forced Lee back into his works about Richmond, he hoped to have things his own way. He had abandoned his strong position behind the Totopotomony Creek, and had slid around to the right once more; but Lee had anticipated him this time. The latter had not only thrown his army across his path, but his men had constructed strong field works for their protection. The Confederates have become as great adepts with the spade as McClellan ever was. Some of the army wits say that if a column is halted a few minutes on a march to rest, the men will go immediately to work to throw up entrenchments.

Grant evidently hoped he would be able to take Lee by surprise. He had first been reinforced by Butler, and the last man in the hospitals, Provost guard houses, and even the clerks in the Quartermaster’s and Commissary’s Departments had been sent to him to make a sure thing of it. But when he moved last night further around to our right, he did not know that Lee had also moved, and been reinforced by portions of Beauregard’s forces, and that his troops had been provided very good works behind which to receive his attack.

JUNE 13, 1864

Three Accounts of the Same Battle.

On the evening of Saturday, May 21, the sleepers in General Butler’s army were awakened by a tremendous artillery fire of artillery. The gunboats shelled the woods, the rebel artillery opened, and our artillery replied. Major Trumbull of the 1st Connecticut artillery, had left a gun trained exactly to throw its shot into one of the enemy’s embrasures. He repaired to this gun, fired it, and had the satisfaction of seeing the explosion of a caisson follow at once within the enemy’s works. No attacking column appeared between the lines, and after half an hour’s incessant artillery practice–no man knowing why they were firing–the “conflict” ceased. The explosion of the caisson was at first supposed to be the only result of the action. It afterwards appeared that a few of our pickets were wounded by fragments of shells.

Official reports subsequently showed that this cannonade arose from a mistake between a signal officer and the commander of a battery on a gunboat. It is very certain nobody saw any enemy.

This being the true account of the action in question, our readers may be interested to read the sensation accounts of the same, from the journals on both sides.

Beauregard Badly Cut Up.
[from the washington republican of may 25.]

“Lieut. Commanding Lowry of the Navy left Gen. Butler’s headquarters on the James river, on Sunday morning, and arrived here about noon, Wednesday. He has had an interview in the afternoon with the President and Secretary of War. He states that Gen. Beauregard made a desperate attack upon Gen. Butler’s centre, commanded by Gen. Gilmore, on Saturday night, by moonlight. Deep ravines protected the works in front of Gen. Butler’s right and left; hence the attack was made exclusively upon the centre. Beauregard led the assaulting column in person. His force altogether numbered at least forty thousand men, and they were all massed and thrown into this fight.

“Commander Lowry describes the attack as the most impetuous and promising for a time in the series of charges made, that could be imagined. The rebels yelled as they came up like wild men. Gilmore kept his batteries silent until the enemy massed, was within the best possible distance and range, when the word was given, and the death-dealing cannon opened along the whole centre.

“In an instant the rebel shouting ceased, the defiant column advanced no longer. Nothing but a skeleton was left of it to reel and stagger back. Beauregard called new men to the breach, and again and again Gilmore hurled the defiant traitors back. The battle lasted about two hours, closing about midnight, and was probably one of the most desperate conflicts for the time it occupied, and the number of men engaged, that has occurred during this war.

“There is little doubt that Beauregard was reinforced for this occasion with the hope of overpowering Gen. Butler. Instead of doing so, however, he was most gallantly and completely repulsed with terrific slaughter.

“During the battle the gunboats on the James and Appomattox rivers shelled the enemy, doing great execution.

“Gen. Butler was commanding in person during the entire battle, and at times was much exposed.

“Our loss on Saturday night was comparatively slight, as we were fighting behind works; but the enemy’s loss must have been very large, from the fact that they concentrated upon the centre in masses, and were not fired upon until near enough to be mowed down with certainty.

“Commander Lowry says he saw the enemy’s ranks completely swept away, one after the other.

“The whole affair is a complete success on the part of Gen. Butler, and has proved awfully expensive to Beauregard.”

Neither Commander Lowry nor General Butler were within a mile of the batteries on the occasion thus described. Gen. Butler’s duty in the premises was done when he discovered, the next day, to error the cannonade was due.

The Richmond Examiner of the 24th gives the following narrative of the same incident:

“On Saturday night the enemy renewed his assault, assailing the part of our line held principally by Wise’s Brigade. In some manner our men had been apprised of the intentions of the enemy to make a night attack, and were fully prepared for it. The enemy was allowed to advance, our men deliberately receiving their fire until they were within 20 or 30 yards of them, when they poured into their ranks a terrific fire, driving them back with great slaughter. The repulse is said to have been a most decided success. The enemy was thrown into great confusion and retreated rapidly. The enemy’s loss is said to have been very severe–as it is estimated at hardly less than four or five hundred in killed alone–while we are said to have lost none in killed and some thirty or forty in wounded.”

It is by reconciling such statements as these that the historian constructs history.


Natural Weather Indicator.—At the last meeting of the Polytechnic Association of the American Institute, Mr. L. B. Page exhibited a very sensitive hygrometer made by connecting a rotating index hand with a curious and beautiful exotic which grows in the Desert of Arabia, and is called by the Arab the talisman or prognosticator. A mercurial thermometer is attached to the hygrometer, and the whole does not exceed ten inches in length. The plant used is very susceptible to weather changes, and coils or uncoils according to the dampness in the atmosphere. It was found that the moisture in the human breath was sufficient to give instantaneous motion to the index. The chairman remarked that the Association have not tested the accuracy of this instrument, but, from the number of certificates shown from scientific gentlemen, there seems to be no question as to its practical value in the hands of the farmer or gardener. Prof. Henry of the Smithsonian Institute says in a letter written several years since: “It appears to be peculiarly sensitive, and gives a greater range of motion than either the animated oat or ordinary catgut.” The wet bulb and hair hygrometers are too delicate instruments for general use. This little instrument requires no attention after it has once been properly adjusted; and, as it is said to indicate a change in the weather several hours before the change will take place, the farmer will have less difficulty in anticipating rain or sunshine than with the ordinary barometer.

JUNE 14,

The Great Campaign.

Since the hard battle of Friday, the 3d, the enemy has made frequent night attacks and been repulsed with great loss. Gen. Lee has found it impossible to break through Gen. Grant’s lines or drive him from his position, and the experiments cost him so much that for some days he has discontinued them. Gen. Grant has also satisfied himself that the rebel defenses on the Mechanicsville road to Richmond were too strong to be carried by assault except at a sacrifice of life not to be made except upon necessity. He is therefore working another flank movement around Lee’s left, with what success the dispatches do not inform us. From the fact that the railroad to White House is being thoroughly destroyed and the iron removed, it is clear that Gen. Grant will establish a new base, probably on the James river and opposite Bermuda Hundred, or at some point nearer Richmond. On the east side of the river there are four good roads to Richmond, but the city is represented to be a strongly fortified on its southeastern as its eastern approaches. It is probable a column will advance on each side of the James, the gunboats co-operating, and so reduce the defenses one after the other till the city is reached. It is impossible, however, to predict Gen. Grant’s intentions from his present movements, and this uncertainty is a great embarrassment, and may become a source of serious discomfiture to the rebels.

All accounts from the army represent the officers and men as maintaining high courage and confidence. They do not under-estimate the difficulties of the work before them, but they feel certain that what they have already done and suffered has told effectively towards the desired end; they know that they are receiving fresh reinforcements, that they have before them the last army the rebels can get together, and that when they have destroyed that army and taken Richmond the rebellion is at an end; and they believe in the sagacity and skill as well as the pluck of Gen. Grant, and that he will accomplish what he has undertaken. Nobody attempts to predict how soon he will do it, but the faith of every man in the army is fixed that it will be done.

The letters and dispatches from Gen. Sherman’s army all express the same confidence that Johnston’s army is to be destroyed and Atlanta taken. The rebel army exhausted its power of resistance in the battles near Dallas. Since that time they have abandoned several strong positions upon the approach of our troops, with very little fighting, especially the Altoona passes, which were capable of very easy defense against superior numbers. Gen. Sherman has been moving cautiously and maneuvering to force the enemy beyond the mountains. Our advance is already close upon Marietta, and when that position is won from the rebels they must fight in the open country and on something like equal terms, or retreat completely out of reach and abandon Atlanta to Sherman without resistance. From the central and commanding position of Atlanta, its loss will be nearly as serious to the rebels as the loss of Richmond. The capture of Atlanta is quite as confidently expected as that of Richmond, and with less delay, as there are no strong works around Atlanta to be reduced. The country awaits both these great successes without impatience, and the popular pulse never beat with a truer and firmer purpose to see the gigantic work of saving the nation carried through to entire success.

Negroes on Guard.

A correspondent with Gen. Meade’s army notes this difference between white and Negro troops–white veterans learn to march in a careless, leisurely manner, and when physically exhausted, sustain their languid bodies by mental endurance and pertinacity, while the Negroes, like our mule teams, tug away energetically until the last moment, and finally break down all at once, like a “one horse shay.” The service the Negroes like best is guarding the prisoners. The their vigilance and faithfulness, and the heartiness with which they perform their duties, appear most conspicuous. How would you like to see a tall, lank, straight-haired Carolinian, wearing a cockney hat, the brim pinned up on one side, and ornamented with a rude effort to imitate in needlework the palmetto or South Carolina cabbage tree, marching along under guard of three blacks, who occasionally accelerate his reluctant pace with such incentives as–“March along dar, Mass–no stragglin’ to de rear–close up dar, Sar!” It is one of the most amusing spectacles which we have the pleasure of witnessing in the army. The situation is singularly suggestive of the propriety and fitness of things.

We recall an instance in which a lady of respectable family and estate, who was rapidly losing the few onions and strawberries that grew in her garden, together with the few chickens and turkeys which caught the wandering grasshoppers, made application for protection. The guard was immediately furnished, and four fine fellows from one of the black regiments marched up the avenue in front of the house, with shining muskets and faces. Oh, you should have seen the scorn with which the Virginia gentlewoman refused the protection of the United States Negro soldiers, and besought destruction and starvation to visit her house and family, rather than to be saved therefrom by Negro soldiers. I have no doubt that colored soldiers perform guard duty faithfully, when it is entrusted to them, but I must acknowledge I too have seen them, with some disrespect for confederate property claims, carrying away fine cuts of fresh pork, lamb or veal, fastened to their bayonets.


No Starvation in Virginia.

The Tribune’s correspondent writes from Gen. Meade’s headquarters: “If any one has formed a picture of [a] starving, foodless, defenseless, isolated South, let them look for a moment on the true picture of the country which our army has occupied for several weeks. With the exception of a few poor families, who often make pretense of destitution to save themselves from robbery at the hands of our soldiers, the country is abundantly supplied with everything. Granaries are filled with corn until they overflow. Gardens grow all the luxuries of the season. Flocks and herds have not deserted the pastures and hills. Corydon and Thyrsis eat their country messes in the shade. Fowls frequent the barn-yards, and dove cotes are not abandoned by their meek and innocent inmates. Our horses wade through clover knee deep, and the growing wheat brushes their sides as they pass through it. Immense tracts are filled with thriving corn-fields, and one whose imagination has been filled, as mine had, with pictures of want and desolation, would believe that time had run back and brought again the former days of peace and contentment. Even the maidens stand in the doorways and smile on us as we pass, in spite of their hatred of Yankees in the abstract. We have very serious doubts, engendered by our late experiences, of ever starving the confederacy, and we look for the end only by hard fighting in connection with Gen. Grant’s left-flank strategy.”

JUNE 15, 1864


Union Soldiers Poisoned in Virginia by a Rebel Woman.–Private S. N. Ellsworth of Co. K, 1st New Jersey Volunteers, furnishes the following item to a newspaper correspondent with the Army of Gen. Meade in Virginia. The charge of poisoning our men has heretofore been made against women in the Rebel States. This case is substantiated by the essential particulars of names, date and place:

“On Thursday, the 26th of May, at a farm house near the Pamunkey river in Virginia, seven soldiers, belonging to the first New Jersey Volunteers, partook of some hot mince pie offered them by an old woman, who pretended to be friendly. She professed to be a pious woman, a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Shortly after eating the pie, the men were seized with the symptoms usually attendant upon poison by arsenic. The stomach-pump was applied by Dr. Mott, of the 1st N. J. Volunteers, and Dr. Hendricks, of the 2s N. J. Vols. The contents of the stomachs were analyzed, and in all of them arsenic was found. The men had been overdosed. None are dead, but all are disabled for duty up to the present time.”


The Mutiny on Board the Ocean Queen.The Army and Navy Journal gives the following version of the difficulty on board the California steamer Ocean Queen:

“On the trip of the steamship Ocean Queen from New York with 800 passengers and 220 seamen for the Pacific Squadron, the latter mutinied, and terrible consequences were prevented only by the cool resolution of the officer who had them in charge–Commander Daniel Ammen. These seamen had been transferred from the army to the navy, and on the third day out from New York they came aft and attempted to force the grating which separated the cabin from the steerage passengers, declaring they would dine in the cabin.

“Commander Ammen warned them that if they persisted he would shoot some of them, to which they replied insultingly, and continued their attempts. Three of them made a rush, whereupon Commander Ammen shot two of them dead. This quieted the mutineers, and the dead bodies of their ringleaders were sewn up and thrown overboard. The other men were then all mustered and passed on to the upper deck, where they were put in irons and disarmed. Afterwards a portion of them were placed on board the U. S. steamer Neptune, and all of them were taken to Aspinwall in irons. On the 24th May they were taken across the Isthmus and put on the sloop-of-war Cyane, under a strong guard of marines. On their way across, eight succeeded in escaping, and another was shot.”


Southern “Manufactures.”–The Charleston Courier complains bitterly at the failure of manufacturing enterprise at the South. Glassware and pottery of Confederate origin are things unknown. No rebel maker of matches has succeeded, there is no manufactory for the supply of agricultural implements, and experiments in oil-making have proved failures.


Cigars for Grant.–The New York correspondent of the Portsmouth Chronicle was commissioned a few days ago to buy a twenty dollar box of cigars as a present to Gen. Grant from a friend. A note placed under the lid read: “General, smoke one in Richmond. A. G. P.”

Another Reception on Board the Russian Fleet.–Yesterday afternoon a brilliant party was entertained on board the Russian frigate Peresvetz. It comprised the reception committee of the City Government, their ladies, and such others as they chose to invite, all being present at the invitation of Capt. Kopytoff, the commander of the vessel.

The upper deck of the ship was screened from the rays of the sun by a heavy awning, and the sides were gaily decorated with bunting and evergreen. The same was the case with the deck beneath and also the cabin.

The principal feature of the entertainment was dancing, which was indulged in chiefly by the ladies and Russian officers, music  being furnished by the band connected with the fleet. A collation was also served, of which all partook with much good cheer.

It seems to be definitely determined that the fleet will leave our waters on Thursday.


Capture of the Blockade Runner Isabel.–Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Wm. B. Eaton, commanding the United States supply steamer Admiral, has again given proof of his vigilance and good management by capturing the steamer Isabel, a notorious blockade runner, while she was attempting to enter the port of Galveston, Texas. She has made upwards of twenty successful trips between Havana and Mobile and Galveston. The Isabel endeavored to run away from the Admiral, and did not surrender until after receiving two broadsides at short range. Commander Eaton says “every shot hit,” but he does not state what damage was done to the vessel. The fire with small arms from the deck of the Admiral drove the men away from the wheel of the Isabel. One of the crew was wounded and had his left arm amputated, and three fingers of his right hand taken off. The Isabel was one of the three steamers that ran out of Galveston on the night of the 30th of April last. The Isabel had a cargo consisting of powder, arms, percussion caps, hardware and merchandise, some portion of which was thrown overboard during the chase. The prize is on her way to a Northern port.


Immense Emigration to the Gold Fields.–There is an immense emigration this year to California, Idaho and the  mineral regions of the great plains. Judge Tullis, an old plains trader, informs the St. Joseph (Mo.) News that on  recent trip from Kearney to St. Joseph, he was “never out of sight of wagons,” all rolling westward. On one day, at  appoint of the road he travelled over, four hundred wagons were observed to pass by. The starting points are St. Joseph, Atchison, Leavenworth, Omaha City and Nebraska City. Each of these last claims to have sent out over twelve hundred wagons a week; and the multitudes which take their departure from the other places mentioned are certainly not less.


Activity in Petroleum.–There are twenty vessels loading with petroleum at Philadelphia for Liverpool, Cork, Glasgow, Falmouth, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Havre, Marseilles and Bremen. Their cargoes will comprise 28,500 barrels of refined and 11,700 barrels of crude petroleum.

JUNE 16,

The War News.

Rumors have been current that Gen. Grant had effected or was about to effect a change of base. It was definitely stated in Washington papers and by telegraph that he had caused the track between White House and his front to be destroyed, ad that no supplies save forage were being landed there. Dispatches from Washington announce that all was quiet with the army, and likely to remain so for several days; also, that no engagement save cavalry fighting had taken place.

The movement of the forces under Generals Gilmore and Kantz upon Petersburg last week was intended as a surprise. General Kantz appears to have accomplished the object of his mission and entered the city of Petersburg, but not being supported by General Gilmore’s demonstration, was compelled to withdraw, and that, too, so hastily that he could not destroy the bridge over the Appomattox river. Gen. Gilmore had a series of skirmishes, in which he lost about twenty-five in killed and wounded. He returned in consequence of hearing that Beauregard had very strongly entrenched the city, and was prepared to receive him. The object of the movement appears to have been simply to destroy the stores in Petersburg, and not to hold the city for any length of time.

General Hunter’s operations in the vicinity of Staunton have met with such success thus far that the most sanguine hopes are entertained that he will, now that he has been joined by Generals Crook and Averill, with their commands, be enabled to push forward and speedily accomplish the capture  of Gordonsville, Charlottesville and Lynchburg. It is of the utmost importance that the railroad lines in this section should be in our possession, for such an acquisition would greatly facilitate the execution of General Grant’s plans. The immense military stores contained in these towns would prove highly valuable to our forces, and their loss of almost incalculable disaster to the rebels. But it must not be understood that the capture of these depots of provisions would imperil Richmond or Lee’s army. It might inconvenience both, but so long as their great railroad lines to Danville and directly south are open from Richmond, they have an almost inexhaustible reservoir from which to draw. Until Richmond is closely invested, therefore, and all the railroad communications are severed, the rebels will be able to sustain themselves without great difficulty. General Hunter has an army so large now that he can operate with success. The rebels may send troops to check his progress, but unless a force as large as an entire corps d’armee is detached for the purpose, it is believed that they would not be able to inflict serious disaster upon him. It is not probable that so great a depletion of Lee’s army will be deemed safe while Gen. Grant is operating so energetically against Richmond.

The news from General Sherman is satisfactory. His army is making slow progress, it is true, but the nature of the country in which he is operating and the great distance from his base will not probably admit of more rapid movements. Rebel papers announce that the 17th army corps is moving to reinforce him, and that it has already arrived at Van Buren, DeKalb county, Alabama. It was announced some time ago that Gen. A. J. Smith would join Gen. Sherman, and that he had crossed the Mississippi for that purpose. It is scarcely possible that he could have reached Van Buren, Alabama so soon, as his force was engaged at Columbia, Arkansas on the 5th.

John Morgan, since he entered Kentucky at Pound Gap on the 28th ult., has swept through twelve of the counties in the eastern portion of the State, and has robbed the inhabitants and destroyed the railroad lines. He met with a temporary check at Mount Sterling, but pushed on after his defeat to Lexington, which he entered on Friday morning and destroyed the depot buildings. His purpose seems to be to do as much damage to public property as possible, and especially to destroy the railroad lines, with a view to cripple General Sherman. The grand base of the army now operating in Georgia is on the Ohio, and any extended interruption to railroad communication with Chattanooga would prove a serious detriment to General Sherman. But the Union forces in Kentucky are actively engaged in restoring the lines of communication as fast as they are broken, so that no permanent damage will be sustained by the raid. General Burbridge, with a heavy cavalry force, is now moving rapidly in pursuit of Morgan and, as the rebels are only about three thousand strong, it is believed that they can soon be overthrown.

Columbia, Arkansas, the scene of General A. J. Smith’s success on the 5th, is on the Mississippi river, 538 miles from New Orleans. He rebels were under command of Marmaduke, and appear to have taken a position there for the purpose of blockading the river. General Smith landed near the place, and moved upon their entrenchments, when, after an engagement of about two hours, the enemy retreated across the bayou, making it impracticable for our forces to follow. The rebels have thus been driven from a position which, had they not been molested, they would soon have made very strong, and might have given considerable trouble, besides temporarily suspending the navigation of the Mississippi.

The siege of Franklin, Ky., was raised at 4 o’clock on Saturday, the enemy abandoning the attack at that time. Our loss is said to be six wounded, while that of the enemy is unknown. No injury was done to Frankfort, except the burning of a few barracks on Friday. It is reported that Gen. Burbridge came upon the army of Gen. Morgan while the latter were at breakfast on the 12th inst., and after a very severe fight, defeated him, scattering his force in all directions. One hundred prisoners, including twenty officers, were taken. Gen. Burbridge is supposed to be in pursuit of the enemy.

From Cincinnati we learn that Gen. Logan, with about 3,000 Confederates, attacked the 168th and 171st Ohio regiments under Gen. Hobson at Cynthiana on the 11th instant, and compelled Hobson to surrender. The fight took place principally in the streets of Cynthiana. General Hobson is reported to be wounded, with several others of our officers. Our loss in prisoners is stated to be from twelve to fifteen hundred men.

Unofficial dispatches from the Army of the Potomac state that both armies maintain their old positions, but that there is some skirmishing and cannonading along the right and centre of our lines. The railroad from Dispatch Station to White House has been torn up and the rails carefully carried away by our troops.

17, 1864

Sharpshooters–Fatality among Officers.

The reader cannot fail to have noticed the undue proportion of casualties among the officers of the Union army during the present campaign, and indeed all through the war. Most of these officers seem to have been picked off by sharpshooters, an important arm of the service, but one in which the rebels seem to have a decided advantage. The superior skill in the use of the rifle of most inhabitants of the Southern states over those of the North, and particularly the New England and Middle states, is a sufficient reason for this difference. Many of the poor whites of Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia get much of their subsistence in hunting, and their unerring aim is a matter of world wide notoriety; while the slaveholders and aristocracy of the South become skilled in the use of deadly weapons either for the pleasure they seek in the chase or for self protection, or both. It is these men who are shooting down our officers and destroying the lives of the best in the land. Rebel sharpshooters killed Gen. Sedgwick, Col. Preston and Capt. Frost, and a host of other good and brave men who would otherwise now have been alive.

On the other hand, the bulk of the Union army is made up, in the east at least, of mechanics and laborers from the manufacturing towns, a large proportion of whom have acquired no skill in the use of fire arms, and very many of whom on entering the army are totally ignorant of their use. But what they lack in skill they make up in bravery and indomitable will. When they charge the rebels they always drive them.

These facts which the present war has developed should teach us two lessons: That our boys and young men should learn the use of the rifle, and our officers should not needlessly expose themselves to the fatal bullets of the emissaries of Slavery.


Rebel Barbarities.

The inhuman barbarities of the rebels in this war are probably without a precedent within the present century. We have published very many authenticated accounts of their diabolisms, yet not a tithe have ever been in print. Our correspondent from the 3d regiment in his letter this week tells us that two of our men were shot at and wounded while burying our dead. The lines of the two armies after the indecisive battle at Cold Harbor were not over fifty yards in some places, and the poor wounded men of that battle lay where they fell, and any attempt to take them off by our soldiers was sure death or wounding by the rebel soldiery so near at hand. In the Journal of Tuesday we find the following statement:

“While our wounded lay between the lines beyond the reach of rescue, they suffered much, and a Lieutenant who was brought in at night reports that a wounded private lying near him, unable to endure the pain of his wounds, after several unsuccessful attempts, at length succeeded in opening a pocket knife, with which he cut his throat, although every effort was made by the Lieutenant to dissuade him from his purpose. Another private was brought in on the second night who was wounded in eight places, the rebels having inhumanly fired at him every time he stirred.

Lieut. Arthur L. Chase, of the 8th New York artillery, a cousin of Secretary Chase, died at Washington of wounds received in one of the late battles. A memorandum was found in one of his pockets, in his own handwriting, which states that he had been wounded, disabled, and had fallen on the battle-field, and that while in this helpless state he was approached by four rebel soldiers, who shot him through the neck, chest and thigh, placing the muzzles of their guns so near him that his clothing and flesh were burned by their discharge, and are now the witnesses of the truth of this memorandum, which he had strength to make after suffering from the atrocious act.

Andrew Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, the Union candidate for vice president, rose, like Mr. Lincoln, from the people, and even, if possible, from a humbler origin. He was born at Raleigh, N. C., Dec. 29, 1808. When only ten years of age he was apprenticed to a tailor, and worked at his trade until he was seventeen years of age. He never attended school, but by diligent study by himself, acquired the rudiments of education. The statement has been made, we know not with how much truth, that he was indebted to his wife for the only instruction he received in his first efforts at learning. Having moved to Greenville, East Tennessee, he was chosen  mayor in 1830. He afterwards served in the legislature, and in 1843 he was elected to Congress and remained in that body until 1853. He was then Governor of Tennessee four years, and in 1857 was chosen United States senator.

During the whole of this period he was a democrat of the genuine Jackson stamp, devoted in heart and soul to that Union which had enabled him to rise from poverty, ignorance and obscurity to station and commanding influence. When, therefore, the rebellion broke out, he never wavered for a moment, but, with great personal sacrifice, threw himself into the cause of loyalty. He was appointed by Mr. Lincoln military governor of Tennessee, and his vigilant and effective services in that capacity have been of immense value to the country. Though himself a slaveholder, Mr. Johnson soon saw in slavery the cause and cement of the rebellion, and prominently took ground for its overthrow. In this respect, as well as on all other vital questions of the day, he stands side by side with Mr. Lincoln, and if chosen to the vice presidency, as there is no rational doubt that he will be, he will become a powerful auxiliary to the former in completing the great work of national restoration.


Some cowards in the army mutilate themselves in order to get to the rear. They shoot themselves through the hand, selecting generally the second finger of the right hand, and then go back to the hospitals in hopes of being sent to Washington with the wounded. The surgeons having noticed the recurring frequency of these cases–as the character of these wounds, burned and discolored with powder, was sufficiently indicative of their origin–they reported the matter to headquarters, and the delinquents in future are to be put upon the skirmish line. It is customary in ordinary cases to put the patient under with chloroform; but, as a punishment to the coward, the surgeons now perform the amputation of wounded fingers without any anæsthetic.


JUNE 18, 1864


Miss Major Pauline Cushman.
The Federal Scout and Spy.

Among the women of America, says the Detroit Tribune, who have made themselves famous since the opening of the Rebellion, but few have suffered more, or rendered more service to the Federal cause than Miss Major Pauline Cushman, the female scout and spy. At the commencement of hostilities she resided in Cleveland, Ohio, and was quite well known as a clever actress.

From Cleveland she went to Louisville, where she had an engagement in Wood’s Theatre. Here, by her intimacy with certain Revel officers, she incurred the suspicion of being a Rebel, and was arrested by the Federal authorities. She indignantly denied that she was a Rebel, although born at the South and having a brother in a Rebel Mississippi regiment. In order to test her love for the old flag, she was asked if she would enter the secret service of the Government. She readily consented, and was at once employed to carry letters between Louisville and Nashville. She was subsequently employed by General Rosecrans, and was for many months with the Army of the Cumberland. She visited the Rebel lines time after time, and was thoroughly acquainted with all the country and roads in Tennessee, Northern Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, in which sections she rendered our armies invaluable service. She was twice suspected of being a spy, and taken prisoner, but managed to escape. At last, however, she was not so fortunate.

After our forces had captured Nashville, Major Cushman made a scout towards Shelbyville to obtain information of the strength and position of the enemy, and while returning to Nashville, was captured on the Hardin pike, eleven miles from the latter city. She was placed on a horse, and, in charge of two scouts, was being taken to Spring Hill, the headquarters of Forrest. While on the way to this place she feigned sickness, and said she could not travel any further without falling from her horse. Her captors stopped at a house on the roadside, when it was ascertained that a Federal scouting party had passed the place an hour before.

Knowing that her guards had important papers for General Bragg, the quick-witted spy seized the fact and schemed to use it to her advantage. Seeing an old Negro, who appeared to commiserate her unfortunate plight, she watched her opportunity and placed $10 in Tennessee money in his hand, saying: “Run up the road, uncle, and come back in a few minutes, telling us that four hundred Federals are coming down the street.” The faithful Negro obeyed her literally, and soon came back in the greatest excitement, telling the story. The two “rebs” told him he lied. The old colored man got down on his knees, saying: “Massa, dey’s cumin, sure nuff; de Lord help us, dey is cumin.” The scouts at this believed the story, mounted their horses, and “skedaddled” for the woods.

Miss Cushman, seizing a pistol belonging to a wounded soldier in the house, also mounted her horse and fled toward Franklin. She travelled through the rain, and after nightfall, lost her way. Soon came the challenge of a picket, “Who comes there?” Thinking she had reached the Rebel line, she said: “A friend of Jeff Davis.” “All right,” was the reply, “advance and give the countersign.” She presented the countersign in the shape of a canteen of whiskey. She passed five pickets in this way, but the sixth and last was obdurate. She pleaded that she was going to see a sick uncle at Franklin, but the sentry couldn’t see it. Sick and disheartened she turned back. Seeing a light at a farm house she sought shelter.

An old man received her kindly, showed her to a room, and said he would awake her at an early hour in the morning, and show her the road to Franklin. A loud knock awoke her in the morning from her lethean slumbers, and upon arousing she found her horse saddled, and the two guards from whom she had escaped the previous afternoon. She was taken to the headquarters of General Forrest, and he sent her, after a critical examination, to Gen. Bragg. Nothing could be found against her until a Secesh woman stole her gaiters, under the inner side of which were found important documents, which clearly proved her to be a spy. She was tried and condemned to be executed as a spy, but being sick, her execution was postponed. ->

She finally, after lying in prison three months, sent for Gen. Bragg, and asked him if he had no mercy. She received from him the comforting assurance that he should make an example of her, and that he should hang her as soon as she got well enough to be hung decently. While in this state of suspense the grand army of Rosecrans commenced its forward movement, and one fine day the Rebel town where she was imprisoned was surprised and captured, and the heroine of this tale was to her great joy released. She is now at Detroit visiting friends, having arrived at the Biddle House one day last week.


Emigration from Ireland.
[From a Late Liverpool Paper.]

The ceaseless flow of emigration from this country is scarcely more important than the direction of the current. The mass of the emigrants are bound not to the British colonies, but to the United States. When the City of Glasgow arrived off Queensland on Thursday, 320 passengers were put on board, making her entire number 700, while no less than 900 were left behind who had procured passage tickets. The Cork Reporter states the rush for passages to have been so great that persons desirous of being booked on Thursday would not be entered for any time before the 25th of June next, with a probability of being obliged to wait still longer. There are over 2,000 persons already entered to sail in the Inman company’s boats, and before one of that number can be sent, there will be a vast increase by other entries made in Liverpool and Queenstown, and by the receipt of advance fares paid in America. “When it is considered,” says the Reporter, “that this company dispatches three boats every fortnight, and that the Cunard Company’s boats depart weekly, and that the emigration continued through the whole of the past winter, although previously it had ceased during ungenial weather, some notion may be formed of the magnitude of that tide which is ceaselessly rolling from our shores.”

One day last week 70 persons from Tralee and Killarney took their departure for New York. Next day the number was between 200 and 300, of whom 40 had their passages paid by Lord Castlerosse. All of them had been occupants of small farms, and they are described as the bone and sinew of the country. This movement may be said to be universal, tho’ prevailing more in some districts than in others. The political effect of it is that the Queen loses an immense number of Irish subjects, who become citizens of a foreign State, and while the present generation lasts, they will be enemies to British power. Another effect, not less important, is the rapid change of religious convictions brought upon the minds of the Roman Catholic emigrants. Here Ultramontanism has been pushed so far that Church authority embraces the whole domain of civil affairs, and the laity are not allowed one inch of ground on which they can take their stand and resist the dictation of the priest. The line between the spiritual and the temporal is obliterated, and according to this doctrine, which is now rigidly enforced, the duty of the people is implicit submission to the Church in everything. But in the United States the Irish make the distinction between the spiritual and the temporal boldly, and adhere to it with firmness.

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