, 1864

Battle of Gettysburg.

The following quaint and beautiful description of the battle of Gettysburg is extracted from the “New Gospel of Peace, According to St. Benjamin,” one of the most unique productions of the war literature:1

1. Now, when Robbutleeh marched northward into the province which is called the land of Mary, Joseph of Kalaphorni, whom Robbutleeh had driven out of the Wilderness of Pharjinnee, was yet chief captain of the army of Unculpsalm, which aforetime had been led by Litulmak the Unready, and by John the Boaster, and by Ambrose the Faithful.

2. And this army was an army of chosen men, and valiant, which had borne the heat and burden of the war, and which had been thrice turned back with great slaughter, but could not be conquered, no, not even by calamity.

3. And Joseph of Kalaphorni was a valiant man, and a trusty. And when Robbutleeh marched northward, Joseph marched after him to give him battle.

4. But, so it was that Joseph saw that Abraham's counsellors of war distrusted him, because that he had been driven out of the Wilderness of Pharjinnee, and that they worked not with him to obtain the victory. And he said, What am I, that my honor and my glory should peril the land of Unculpsalm ? Let another be made chief captain in my place; and let me be a soldier in the armies of my country.

5. And Abraham and his counsellors made George the Mede chief captain in the place of Joseph.

6. Now, George the Mede, was of the city of the Cooacres. And he was a meek man, and had been for a long time a captain in the armies of Unculpsalm, serving faithfully and eschewing flatterers. And the people of Unculpsalm, save his own soldiers, the Cooacres of the province of Schaddbellee, knew not his name.

7. Wherefore the land was astonished, and trembled when it saw that he was set up against Robbutleeh, who had discomfited Litulmak, and John the Boaster, and Ambrose the Faithful, and Joseph of Kalaphorni.

8. But the Kopur-hedds rejoiced in their hearts, and said within themselves, Now shall the armies of Abraham be utterly put to rout by Robbutleeh, and the people will say, Abraham is unfit to rule over us.

9. And the scribes of the Kopur-hedds wrote in the books which they sent out day by day, such things as would prepare the people for the defeat of George the Mede, and the destruction of the government of Unculpsalm.

10. And George the Mede said, Who am I, that this great office should be laid upon me? But he halted not, neither doubted, but marched straight forward by swift marches upon Robbutleeh.

11. And when Robbutleeh heard that the army of the Iangkies (for so the Tshivulree called all the men of Unculpsalm who did not buy and sell the Negro, and get their bread by the sweat of his face), and that George the Mede was its chief captain,

12. He said, What be these Iangkies, that they dare to withstand their masters ? and who is this Mede, that he cometh with a thrice defeated army between me and my great purpose ? Behold, I will scatter him and his host to the four winds of heaven, and give their flesh to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field, and they shall perish from off the earth, and the land of Unculpsalm shall be purged of the Iangkies and their rule forever.

13. Likewise also, said the other captains of his host; for such had been the manner of the Tshivulree from the beginning.

14. And Robbutleeh called his army together from the cities of Schaddbellee round about, a mighty host, to fall upon George the Mede suddenly, and destroy him. For the host of Unculpsalm was scattered, and weary by reason of its long marching; and Robbutleeh said, I shall fall upon it piecemeal, and grind it to powder.

15. And George the Mede saw that the battle drew nigh, and that the host of the Phiretahs was greater than the army of Unculpsalm, and that those were rested, and well fed and high hearted, because they had come together by short marches, and that they were puffed up with conceit of the might of their valor, and that these were weary and worn with the length of the way and with watching, and that they remembered how they had three times turned back before the sword of Robbutleeh.

16. So he made a proclamation to all the captains of his host, even the captains of hundreds and the captains of fifties, saying,

17. Speak unto the men, and say unto them, The hour of deliverance or of captivity is at hand. Choose ye, therefore, whether this nation shall be destroyed, or whether it shall be saved by the might of your arms and the stoutness of your courage. Choose ye, whether ye will live or die for this land in honor, or die before your people in dishonor. For as I live, he that turneth his back this day, shall be slain by them of his own company. Behold, the hearts of all this people are stayed upon you, and ye fight each one of you for a thousand, for your fathers, and your brethren, and your wives, and your little ones. Be valiant, therefore, as ye have before been valiant, and ye shall be worthy of the victory.

18. But George the Mede promised them not the victory, neither boasted he of what he would accomplish.

19. And so it was, that as the men marched swiftly through the darkness before the dawn, they communed together with low voices in their ranks, and said one to another, Let us die together this day, my brother, but let us not turn back. And afterward they were silent, and their hearts went homeward, and they said within themselves, God help us, and this people.

20. And it came to pass, that as the vanguard of the army of George the Mede pressed forward, and got far before the main body, the host of the Phiretahs fell upon it in great numbers, and drove it back, and its captain was slain. But it fled not, but went backward fighting, so that the Phiretahs left pursuing. And they pitched a camp, and fortified it in the burial-ground of a city, called Gettingsburg. 

21. For in the language of that land burg meaneth a city ; and the men of this city were altogether occupied in getting, even in getting gelt, so that for the honor and the glory and the freedom of the land of Unculpsalm cared they nothing. Wherefore their city was called Gettingsburg.

22. Yet was there one man of Gettingsburg, a poor man, who took his weapons and went out to fight the Phiretahs.

23. And on the morrow, Robbutleeh set his army in battle array to attack the army of George the Mede before it was well brought together. And about the fourth hour of the evening he came down upon the men of Unculpsalm with all his host, and fell furiously upon them, and there was great slaughter. And the men of Unculpsalm were outnumbered ; yet fought they valiantly, and slew of their enemies more than there fell of themselves. And they went a little backward fighting, and the Phiretahs followed hard after. 

24. Then came up succor, even a great company of the army of George the Mede, which had been marching all the night, and which now moved swiftly toward the noise of the battle. And they came up running, and went into the fight without halting. Then the men of Unculpsalm stood fast again, and drove the Phiretahs backward. And this was about the going down of the sun.

25. And the Phiretahs and the captains of the Tshivulree wondered, and said among themselves, Who is this George the Mede that he thus withstandeth the great Robbutleeh? and what men be these that do battle under him? Is this the host that was to flee like sheep before us? Yet they were not dismayed ; for although they were boasters, yet were they valiant. And they looked anxiously for the morrow.

26. And early in the morning, while it was yet dawning, the host of the Phiretahs was set in battle array and marched quickly upon the host of Unculpsalm, even upon one wing thereof. For they said, So shall we crush them unawares. But the men of Unculpsalm fell back a little, fighting, and George the Mede sent them succor, and again they stood fast, and drove off the Phiretahs with great slaughter. 

27. Then were the captains of the Phiretahs perplexed in their souls, and waxed very wroth. And one of them, a man of blood, who was possessed of the evil spirit Blustah, and which was called of the men of Jonbool Hew-hell, took an oath in the name of his god, and blasphemed after the manner of the Phiretahs, and swore that he would break through the ranks of the men of Unculpsalm that day.

28. And Robbutleeh sent unto George the Mede, saying, Let there be peace between us for a time, that I may bury my dead and that we may exchange our prisoners.

29. And George the Mede sent back the messenger, saying, There cannot be peace between thee and me. For thy dead, I will bury them even as my own, and my men whom thou hast taken I mean to take from thee again. For he saw the craft of Robbutleeh, that he would have given up the battle and escaped, even as he had done afore-time with Litulmak.

30. Then was Robbutleeh astonished at the subtlety and at the boldness of George the Mede, and he addressed his army again to battle, for he saw that his case was desperate. And he set all his men in array with their banners, and marched them forward with pomp and great majesty, even as on a feast-day. In two ranks they marched, so that the second might finish the work which the first begun. For still they were confident and high-hearted. 

31. And they went forward in order, terrible and beautiful, shouting as they went. But the men of Unculpsalm answered them not; for the footmen all lay flat upon the ground, and the horsemen and they that worked the great engines of fire, held their peace craftily.

32. And when the first ranks of the Phiretahs came near, the men of Unculpsalm rose and fell upon them; and the two fought together, but neither prevailed. Yet fell there more of the men of Unculpsalm, for they were outnumbered, and the Phiretahs were valiant and had waxed desperate.

33. Then came on the second ranks of the Phiretahs, running fiercely upon the remnant of the men of Unculpsalm, who fell where they stood in their ranks or went backward fighting. But so it was that when the Phiretahs looked to fall upon the men of Unculpsalm and put them all to the sword, the engines of George the Mede poured out fire upon them, and out of the fire came thunderings and bolts of iron that swept way the foremost of their second array, and of the residue some fled backward, and some threw themselves down upon the ground and gave themselves prisoners. For they saw that they could not pass into that fire and live. And they said one to another, Behold we be all dead men. And again this was about the going down of the sun.

34. And all the night George the Mede made ready to pursue the Phiretahs in the morning.

35. But when Robbutleeh looked upon the field he saw that the day was lost, and that if he tarried until the morning he would be destroyed and cut off. So he gathered his army together and fled in the night (for he was a wary man and a prudent) ; and in the morning the men of Unculpsalm found that their enemies had vanished away from before them.

36. Then they pursued the host of the Phiretahs, but they could not come up with them; for those had the start of these, and both alike were weary and suffering from the battle.

37. So the Phiretah captain who was called of the men of Jonbool Hew-hell, brake not through the ranks of the men of Unculpsalm, in spite of his oaths and his blasphemies, nor did he wait to receive from the men of Iawrc the rest of the money and the corn and the unmentionable raiment, neither did he sojourn in the city which is called after the name of Hagar, the concubine of Abraham, but gat him out of it speedily. And George the Mede and the men of Unculpsalm pursued after him. And this was the end of his oaths and of his boasting and of his respecting of private property.

38. So Robbutleeh hied back again into the land of Pharjinnee.

JULY 4, 1864


The Mexican Empire has become a fact. It actually exists. Whatever may be thought of its probable or possible future, its success or failure, the right or the wrong of it, no doubt can be entertained as to its real existence. The boasted “Monroe Doctrine” is dead to all intents and purposes, and the foot-prints of Maximilian upon the sands of Vera Cruz are but the initials to deeper and broader tracks upon the soil of the American continent.

We cannot say that we are very sorry at all this. In the days of spread-eagleism, when it was a crime to butt against the few crude and primitive notions that governed our national politics, we brayed as loud as the best of them the glories and beauties of the Monroe doctrine. Nonintervention, quoth we, or eternal war. Hands off, or fight. And in truth that was a very good idea in its way and fit enough for the time; but in a liberal or just sense, it was as narrow-minded as any of the exclusive prejudices of the Japanese, and it perished with the Union, whose power could alone give it value. Now that it is gone, we wish it a hearty journey among the shades of defunct theories, and a peaceful issue at last into the heaven of dead and buried political catch-words and penny trumpets.

Two little things that Maximilian has done look well for us. He has made Santa Anna a Field Marshal, and recalled him home; and he has created Dr. Gwinn Duke of Sonora, with the office of Governor General of that Province. Both of these dignitaries are truly and loyally inclined to us and our cause. As far back as 1861, Santa Anna was betting high on Southern valor, at Havana, and did win, it was said, several thousand pistols upon the result of the first battle of Manassas. He wrote a letter to his agent in New Orleans before its fall, offering a large sum to be applied to the Confederate Hospital Fund, and subscribed to $50,000 worth of Government stock. His partisans in Mexico are anti-Lincoln to the core, and his interest will be thrown in our favor wherever he can find a chance. He is to be made Prince of Matamoras, it is said, and placed in charge of the military department of the Rio Grande. In this event he will have many occasions to show his kindly disposition, and we do not doubt that he will redeem his expressions of sympathy. If he had no other motive, the interest invested in our success would be a sufficient inducement.

Dr. Gwinn is a Confederate by birth. He was born in Tennessee, raised in Mississippi, and schooled in an extreme school of Southern politics. A Democratic member of Congress from the State of his adoption, he emigrated to California in the beginning of the gold fever, and flourished there. He made a fortune, married, and became an American Senator. At Washington City he held the position of a bold, unscrupulous leader, a dashing financier, and a lucky adventurer. When the Yankee element in California deprived him of his place in the Senate, he went to Paris. He has been there until recently, and the result of his mission is as above stated. ->

It is not hard to decipher out of the situation of Maximilian, and these two appointments, where his interests ad sympathies incline, ad the day is almost in sight when a close bond of fellowship will exist between his floral empire and the Sunny South, a union which we heartily approve as natural, expedient, and right. The two nations will represent the chivalry of this continent. Their territory joins together at a point where there can be no great commercial or domestic conflict. Both people hate, or ought to hate, the puritan Yankee. Each has its mission to do in restoring peace, order, and social liberty to a devastated land. The habits and feelings of the pair are congenial, brave, gay, and aspiring.

Paris will be reproduced in the halls of Montezuma, and a new world of art, literature, and life will spring up under the Magnolia of Dixie. The Yankee pedlar and Aztec bandit–a twain of nuisances of alike description, with different names and styles of doing the same business–will be put down, and “dance and song and sunburnt mirth” will prevail instead. Maximilian and Jeff Davis will [get] along finely, and when the present term of the President expires, we will elect Gen. Lee to succeed him, and he will be also hand and glove with his neighbor, the Emperor. You will see them visiting each other, like excellent friends, gentlemen, and cousins. That is the way we are going to make the Monroe doctrine work of its own accord, without any pressing.

Events are hurrying. The revolutions are reaching their natural conclusion. Peace, prosperity, and happiness will follow both and crown the one with a chaplet of its native Magnolia, whose emblem is “perseverance,” the other with a diadem of imperial silver!–Atlanta Confederacy.


The General Situation.–There is little on this 2d day of July which seems to call for remark. The weather is intensely warm and has been so for a week. The wheat panic has subsided and a large crop will be saved with some damage. The total yield will be largely above last year’s. There is no military news. The tangled attitude of affairs in Virginia remains still unsolved by mail or telegram. Both we presume to be cut off for the present, but no doubt will be soon resumed over the Danville connection. A verbal report reaches us from Petersburg as late as the 29th. All said to be well to that date, and troops with plenty to eat. Grant holds the road at Ream’s and the traveller doubled that point by stage coach and a circuit of twenty miles. The other route is clear of the enemy and will be run as soon as repaired.

In the Georgia Front all is quiet, but they look for a row soon. Sherman’s rear is too much in damage to allow him to remain inactive much longer.


arrival from europe.

nine rebels killed.
The Pirate Semmes and most of his crew saved by the English Yacht Deerhound.

New York, July 5.

The City of Baltimore has arrived. The Alabama was sunk by the Kearsarge, and nine rebels killed and twenty wounded.

The pirate Alabama left Cherbourg on the 19th to engage the Kearsarge, attacked her ten miles from Cherbourg. The engagement lasted an hour and forty minutes. Both vessels made seven complete circles in manśuvering at the distance of a quarter to a half a mile. The Alabama then sunk. Pirate Semmes and crew were nearly all saved by the English yacht Deerhound. Semmes was slightly wounded in the hand. Before going out, the pirate left all his chronometers, sixty in number, specie and ransom bonds, at Cherbourg.

Further details give nothing additional of moment, relative to the fight.

The whereabouts of the Kearsarge is doubtful, one rumor places her at Ostend, another at Cherbourg. She landed some wounded men at Cherbourg. It is confirmed that no one was killed on the Kearsarge and only three seamen wounded. Vessel very little injured.

Semmes declined a public dinner at Southampton.

Some Paris report to the Confederate commissioner says three of the Alabama’s officers and six of her crew were landed at Cherbourg from a French pilot boat. Also several from the British ship Acteon.

The pirate Semmes, in an official report, says that in an hour and ten minutes the Alabama was found to be in a sinking condition, the enemy’s shells having exploded on her sides and between decks for a few minutes. He had hopes of reaching the French coast, but the ship filled rapidly, and the furnace fires were extinguished. Capt. Semmes says, “I now hauled down the colors to prevent the further destruction of life, and dispatched a boat to inform the enemy of our condition. Although we were but 400 yards distant from each other the enemy fired at me five times after our colors had been struck. It is charitable to suppose that a ship-of-war of a Christian nation could not have done this intentionally. Some 20 minutes after my furnace fires had been extinguished, and the ship being on the point of sinking, every man, in obedience to previous orders which had been given to the crew, jumped overboard and endeavored to save himself. There was no appearance of any boats coming from the enemy after the ship went down. It was fortunate for myself to thus escape to the shelter of the neutral flag on board Mr. Lancaster yacht Deerhound, together with about 40 others.”

The correspondent of the London Globe says the Alabama made two attempts to board the Kearsarge, but her commander out-manśuvred Semmes, and finally sent a projectile right through the Alabama’s boiler; then, seeing what had occurred, he brought all his guns to bear on the pirate in a concentrated broadside from starboard and made a breach 4 yards in length under her water mark, when she began to sink rapidly.

The New Conscription.–Congress has finally agreed upon a new conscription law. It abolishes commutation, requires fifty days’ notice before the draft is enforced, accepts drafted men in person or by substitute for one, two or three years, allows them a bounty of $100, $200 or $300, according to the time for which the recruit goes into the service, and authorizes the several State Governors to recruit in the rebel States, except in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The exception is rather important, and to some extent amounts to saying that recruits may be enlisted in all the rebel States, except where they can be obtained.

Now then, unexempt reader, if you want to be represented in the army, or if you wish not to be a “martyr of the revolution,”–the “revolution” of the draft wheel–you had better arrange your plans to send a recruit at once. Now is a better time than you will ever see again. A draft is very sure to come, and possibly several of them before the war closes. Patriotism and self-interest should prompt you at once to set about this work. If you want to go as somebody’s substitute, better advertise that fact in the Daily Union, name your price, and keep clear of the substitute brokers.


News and Gossip.

Congress adjourned yesterday to the tune of the the Declaration of Independence. The august body has done some good, and left much undone. One of its last acts was a special war tax of 5 per cent on all incomes exceeding $600, to be expended in bounties for soldiers. An extra tax on liquors was voted down. The members know what costs them money. Apropos to this, the Republican mentions four Senators–two Democrats and two Republicans–who were drunk on Saturday night. They were Saulsbury and McDougall, and Chandler and Wilkinson. We fear that that special is too true. Pity that the Senate wouldn’t summon courage enough to expel its members who thus publicly advertise their sensuality.

It is decided at last by Congress that the rebel States are out of the Union–in a certain sense at least. They are out so far that they cannot come back without a permit to do so–a regular re-admission. This does not endorse the secession theory any more than to allow a divorce in matrimony on account of the secession of one of the parties endorses the desertion, but it provides a penalty and a safeguard. The Copperhead Republican sheets will please howl long and loud.

JULY 6, 1864


The Engagement Between the Alabama and Kearsarge.


The London Times, in its account of the action, states that as the guns of the Alabama had been pointed for 2000 yards, and the second shot went right through the Kearsarge, that was probably the distance at first. The ships were never nearer than a quarter of a mile.

The Alabama fired quicker–in all 150 rounds. The Kearsarge fired about 100 rounds, chiefly 11-inch shells. One of these shells broke the Alabama’s rudder and compelled her to hoist sail. By this time, however, after about an hour’s work, the Alabama was sinking, and could only make the best of her way in the direction of Cherbourg.

To all appearances the superiority of the Kearsarge lay partly in her guns, and of course somewhat in her more numerous crew, but not less in her more powerful machinery, which enabled her to move quicker and manśuvre more easily.

There appears to have been a very respectable allowance of killed, wounded and missing, and among the latter is an English surgeon, who is supposed to have gone to the bottom in the midst of bleeding his patients.

Exactly an hour elapsed from the first shot to the moment when it became obvious that the vessel was sinking, when, indeed, the rudder was broken and the fires were put out. That is the pace at which our naval engagements will be fought for the future. In this instance the pace was all the quicker because the guns had start of the ships, the guns being the new artillery–the ships wooden.

On board the Alabama all the hammocks were let loose, and the arrangements had been made for sinking rather than that she should be captured.

As far as is known, not a relic of the Alabama is in the possession of her successful rival. When she was sinking, Captain Semmes dropped his sword into the sea to prevent the possibility of its getting into their hands.

The men were all true to the last. They only ceased firing when the  water came into the muzzles of their guns; and as they swam for life all they cared about was that their commander should not fall into Federal hands. He reports that he owes his best men to the training they received on board the Excellent.

The Kearsarge carries ten very heavy 11-inch shell guns–the so called Columbiads of the American navy. The Alabama, on the contrary, is stated to have had only two heavy rifled guns and six broadsides (32-pounders).

Before leaving the Deerhound, Capt. Semmes presented to Mr. Lancaster’s sons one of his officer’s swords and a pistol in remembrance of the occurrence and the kind treatment he and his men had received on board his yacht.

Capt. Semmes is reported to have said that he was completely deceived as to the strength and armament of the Federal ship, which he only recollected as an ordinary sloop of war. If he had known that she was an iron-clad, and much more heavily armed than the Alabama, he would not have fought, as it was madness to do so.

The Alabama fired three times faster than the Kearsarge, but the latter’s broadsides were each 100 lbs heavier.

The London Star, in its account, says:

It appears that when the Alabama arrived in Cherbourg some delay arose in obtaining permission for her to refit, owing to the Emperor’s being at Fontainebleau. Meantime, the Kearsarge appeared off the port, and Capt. Semmes declared that he would not have “that d----d Yankee flaunting his flag before him,” but would go out and fight with him. The engineers reported that it would require three months to refit fully, and the captain, though well aware that the Kearsarge carried a somewhat heavier armament than his own, declared that he would not go into dock, but would fight the Kearsarge as soon as he had got in coal. The Alabama had sent on shore at Cherbourg a number of prisoners who had been five weeks on board. Before leaving Cherbourg Captain Semmes took the precaution of sending on shore the ship’s chest, containing the money, valuables, and ship’s accounts; also sixty chronometers and several nautical instruments. ->

All being in readiness at about ten a.m. on Sunday, the Alabama got up steam and proceeded out of Cherbourg to meet the Kearsarge–manśuvering so as to prevent her enemy from discharging a broadside effectively, and ten minutes after eleven commenced the battle by firing her starboard broadside effectively at about a mile distance. To the disappointment of the officers of the Alabama, the shell fired at the waist of the Kearsarge was observed to strike the side and rebound, exploding harmlessly in the water. This is said to have been caused by her having chain plating outside her planking. After a few rounds of very smart firing, during which the crew of the Alabama declared they fired three times for the enemy’s once, a shot struck the screw and carried away one of the blades, another rendered the ship unmanageable as to its steering–whether from the rudder itself being destroyed or the steering gear carried away is not known. The rigging was also much cut up, and some of the shells fell on the yards. Three shells had burst between decks and the bulkheads were all carried away. Finally, a shell entered the coal bunkers and set the fuel on fire. At this time the vessel had sunk so far that the water was reaching the engine fires. Captain Semmes then directed the first lieutenant, Mr. Kell, to go below and report the state of the ship. That officer soon returned, saying she was in a sinking state, and the captain decided on striking his flag. The flag had been already three times shot away, but replaced.

A large number of the crew rushed aft, conjuring the captain not to strike, and expressing their readiness to sink in her and die with honor; and one of the seamen, named Smith, cutlass in hand, stood by the flag and declared he would not allow it to be lowered. The captain leveled his revolver, and insisted on its being hauled down, which was done, and a white flag hoisted. Meantime, the whaleboat and dingy, the only two boats uninjured, were lowered, and the wounded placed in them.

When Mr. Fulham reached the Kearsarge he had his sword by his side, and let it fall into the water lest he should have to surrender it. He went on board the Kearsarge, and was asked by Captain Winslow if he had come to surrender the ship. He said that he had no such orders, but was sent to ask for assistance, as they were sinking fast. The Kearsarge then ceased firing and lowered her boats, while Mr. Fulham returned towards the Alabama, which sank ere he could reach her, and, after picking up a few of the swimmers, he contrived to reach the Deerhound, where he found Captain Semmes, twelve other officers, and about twenty-eight men. When the ship was perceived to be sinking, orders were given to cast loose all spars, &c., and when the vessel sunk the sea presented almost the appearance of a pavement of human heads, seventy of which were above the water within a small space. Nearly all lives were saved, and many men generously shouted to the boats to leave them for a short time and save those in more imminent danger. The first inquiry from the boats of the Kearsarge was for Captain Semmes. They were answered that he had gone down, and he succeeded in reaching one of the boats of the Deerhound, which got up steam as quickly as possible to avoid any attempt on the part of Captain Winslow to make prisoners of those she had saved.

The action lasted exactly one hour and thirty-five minutes, during which time the vessels manśuvred so as to describe seven circles round each other. The firing from the Kearsarge was very good, though apparently not so quick as that of the Alabama.

The Shipping Gazette, in its account of the engagement between the Alabama and Kearsarge, states that the Confederate flag remained flying from the mainmast when the Alabama went down.

The Times on Tuesday, 21st ult., states that Semmes, then at Southampton, left in the afternoon for a country residence, to get a few day rest and repose, being in a somewhat exhausted state from his wound in the head and exposure in the water. Mr. Mason, the Confederate agent, had visited him.


The Girls in My Day.

Not the girls of eighteen hundred and sixty-four, who jump at once from bibs to ball-dresses; but the girls of “my day,” as old ladies say, and I know I ought to be an old lady, and am only waiting for my hair to turn grey before I stop jumping down three stairs at a time and clapping my hands when anything delights me.

Yes, in “my day” girls were girls; and did not think a soiled silk dress more appropriate for school wear than a clean, nicely-fitting calico; nor did they run out of school in recess to the nearest confectioner’s to get a pocket full of candy and poisonous fruit-drops, to munch in school hours to spoil their appetite and digestion; nor wear long ribbons, streaming from their hair, or rings, or bracelets, or gold watches; but instead–shilling calico; and learned less Spanish and more sewing; and had women-teachers, kind-hearted, but of iron will, who would stand no girl-nonsense or evasion. The talk of girls in my day was not of “balls and opera,” but their dolls–yes, you may laugh–their dolls; which I played with, well pleased, until I was fifteen years old, and with whom I held long conversations about matters nearest my childish heart, outpouring all my griefs and joys, and going to sleep cheek to cheek with these my silent but steadfast friends. Learning the dexterous use of the needle in the manufacture of their little robes and under garments, which were one day to be exactly reproduced for dolls not quite so silent; but I did not think of that then; no–I only knew that I only wanted somebody, if I ever became too big to play with dolls (which I doubted,) to whom I could talk as freely and who would listen to me as patiently as they did. There were little boys among my playmates, to be sure; but it was not the custom then to talk to little girls in pantalettes about their “beaux;” so that we played together without any thought of sex; and when a little boy who used to come and see me Saturday afternoons and sit on a log in the woodshed, poured into my apron a store of three-cornered nuts and raisins, I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him for it as heartily as if he had worn a frock, and told him that my doll had another baby, and that it was a boy, and that it was to be christened next Saturday.

At that age, in eighteen hundred and sixty-four, I should have been promenading Broadway in a flounced silk, with an embroidered pocket-handkerchief dangling at the ends of my kid gloves, and a French bonnet on the back of my head, declaring that I was “so bored!” As it was, I coasted downhill on the boys’ sleds, making fearful havoc with my pantalettes; climbed fences like a cat, rolled over and over in the snow, and took my simple supper of bread and milk, and went to bed without a thought of what I should wear the next day.

These recollections often come up to  me now, when I meet flocks of school-girls, with their jaunty hats and feathers and embroidered dresses, and I wonder are they any happier than I was then; when no policeman stood guard over the mud-puddles that I had to skip across on my way to school. ->

When, if I fell, I had to “jump up and take another;” when the word “headache” was unknown to me, and I didn’t wait for my plain dinner till three o’clock in the afternoon when school was dismissed; when there were no long lessons to study out of school; but, instead, plenty of time to jump, and run, and climb, and “slide,” and play at snow-balling, and in short, to earn for ourselves good constitutions, and that terrible modern bugbear of a name–romp.

All that is poured into a vase after it is full runs to waste. In other words, after twelve o’clock, when the cheeks of the school-girls flush, and their heads begin to ache, I wouldn’t give one penny for all they learn.–Fanny Fern.


“$700 worth of Government property, consisting of soldiers’ coats, army blankets and other articles, were seized in Charlton, Mass., Saturday morning, by order of Provost Marshal Stone, and Sophia Bond and Mrs. Barnes and Mrs. Robbins, daughters of Jacob Bond, arrested. The goods were sent on by two members of the Bond family who belong to the Reserve Corps, and are stationed at some hospital in the vicinity of Washington. They have undoubtedly been arrested before this.–Worcester Spy.”

The Journal of Commerce says if the Government is anxious to obtain more “stolen” property, a search through several towns in Massachusetts which might easily be mentioned, would develop pianos, guitars, and other musical instruments, ladies’ wearing apparel, Shetland ponies, costly chandeliers, rare books, fine statuary, pictures, &c., of an aggregate almost fabulous. Let the good work now commenced go on. If sold at auction, and the avails turned over to the public treasury, Secretary Chase would receive timely relieve.

And we may add that examinations need not be confined to Massachusetts, nor perhaps to any one Northern State. Parlors in a city in the interior of this State are ornamented with choice pictures, and vases, and other valuable articles, taken from private residences in New Orleans. We have even heard that in one case an elegant set of China was brought from the Crescent City, and now adorns the table of one of the “first families,” the head of which has long been celebrated for sympathy for the slave. Box after box filled with choice and costly articles pilfered from Southern parlors have been brought north on Government vessels. Paintings by the finest artists, thus procured, have been unblushingly exhibited in show windows, with as much assurance as though they had been legitimately purchased and paid for. The Vandalism with which Southern houses have been ransacked and plundered is without a parallel in civilized warfare. The possessor of property thus taken has no more right to it than the highwayman who murders his victim and then appropriates to himself the contents of his pockets.–Albany Argus.2

8, 1864

What the Rebels Say of Old Abe’s Re-Nomination.

The Richmond Dispatch declares the re-nomination of Mr. Lincoln the best thing that could happen for the confederates. It takes quite the copperhead view of the matter:

“For our own part we are glad to hear that Lincoln has received the nomination. When some enterprising partisan officer of the revolution proposed to carry off Sir William Howe from the midst of his army, Washington put his veto to it at once. He had no doubt that it was feasible, but Howe had conducted the war as stupidly as it was possible for any man to conduct it, and any change whatever could but be for the British interest. Let him stay, for fear of a successor who might not be quite such an imbecile. It would be impossible to find another such ass in the United States; and therefore, we say, let him stay. We, at least, of the confederacy, ought to be satisfied with him, for he has conducted the war exactly as we ought to wish it to be conducted. He has confirmed those that were wavering, heated red-hot those who were luke-warm, made those zealous who were careless, converted cold indifference into furious passion, and calculating neutrality into burning patriotism. As for the military operations conceived and executed under his auspices, surely we have no right to complain. No service ever had so many blundering officers, and no campaigns were ever conceived with greater stupidity. For these reasons we are decidedly in favor of Old Abe, and if we could command a million of votes in Yankeedom, he should have them all. He has made the South the most united people that ever went forth to battle with an invader; ad for that he deserves the lively gratitude of every southern man. If anything could add to the obligations under which we lie to the Baltimore convention, it would be found in the nomination of Andrew Johnson–the man of all others most detested in the South, and the most likely to keep together the parties already united in one solid mass for the prosecution of the war. Convinced, as we are, that nobody in favor of closing the war could be elected, and that no other would conduct it so foolishly, we go for this ticket.”


Volunteers and Regulars.—The London Times of the 10th, in an article on the American war says: “There is hardly a ‘regular’ battalion in the whole of the numerous hosts which are contending with such unparalleled ferocity and resolution. The ‘veterans’ who are occasionally spoken of cannot by possibility be soldiers of more than three years’ standing. Our own volunteers are older troops than the oldest troops under Grant or Lee. There is not a regiment in either camp which was raised before the spring of 1861; for the numbers of the regular army almost vanished in the mass, and it has never been found practicable to give it any material increase of strength. The whole of this dreadful fighting has been done by volunteers, and by volunteers without as much training as our own riflemen. Yet these raw companies, without professional spirit or regimental traditions, with Captains snatched from the counter of the store, and with Generals who were attorneys a few months ago, are fighting with as much heroism and obstinacy as Napoleon’s Old Guard or Germany’s bravest warriors! There may be little science in the business, but of all that makes soldieries there is as much as in any war of which we read.”


Increase of Soldiers’ Pay.—The President has signed the bill increasing the pay of Soldiers of the Army. From and after the 18th day of May last, accordingly, the pay of a private in the Army is $16 per month; a Corporal’s $18; Commissary and Quartermaster Sergeants’ $20; Sergeant Major’s $29.

A Copperhead Subsides.—As Joseph Bailey of Pennsylvania, one of the four Democrats who had the patriotism to vote for the constitutional amendment prohibiting slavery, was answering to his name on that question, Alexander H. Coffroth, also of Pennsylvania, a violent copperhead, who was passing at the time, laid his hand heavily on Mr. Bailey’s head and drew It down over his face, accompanying the action with words abusive of Mr. Bailey’s vote and unfit to be printed. Mr. Bailey, suddenly forgetting his Quaker principles, seized Coffroth, who is much the larger man, by the collar, drew his head down, and dealt him a powerful blow under the ear, which sent him reeling against the opposite desk. Mr. Coffroth then subsided.


By direction of Surgeon Josiah Curtis, acting medical director for the department of the Ohio, the following excellent provision has been made for the identification of bodies of deceased soldiers:

“Upon the death of a soldier in this military department–whether in hospital or in the field–the chaplain, wherever one is on duty, and in all other cases the surgeon, is instructed, whenever practicable, to cause the name, rank, company, regiment, age, date and cause of death, last place of residence, and any other items deemed of importance relating to the deceased, to be legibly written upon white paper with ink, and to place this record in a bottle, to be well corked, and deposited in the coffin, at the foot of the body, before burial.”


All Sorts of Items.

“Perley” writes from Washington: “Officers from the James river are astonished at the doubtful manner in which the campaign is spoken of by some here. The city of Petersburg is now under the guns of Grant’s batteries, and in due time the rebel fortifications in the vicinity will be commanded. The skirmishes show the desperation of the enemy, and officers captured admit that they have staked everything on the defense of Richmond, while Petersburg is regards as the rebel capital.”

The Christian Commission has sent a steam fire engine from Baltimore to City point, to force water from the river into the hospitals a mile distant.


The Icelanders observe the following old custom of hitching their horses: Two gentlemen riding out, wishing to visit some object at a distance from the road, they tie the head of one horse to the tail of the other, and the head of this to the tail of the former. In this state it is utterly impossible that they can move either backwards or forwards, one pulling one way and the other the reverse; and therefore, if disposed to move at all, it will only be in a circle, and even then there must be an agreement to turn their heads in the same direction.


JULY 9, 1864


How Semmes Escaped.

New York, July 5.–The Southampton correspondent of the London Daily News says: Mr. Lancaster, of the English yacht Deerhound, being requested by the Commander of the Kearsarge to save from drowning the Alabama’s men in the water, he proceeded to do so. Passing near one of the men nearly exhausted, one of the men in the boat cried out, “That’s Semmes,” and the drowning man responded, “I am the Captain–save me. I cannot keep up any longer.” He was dragged in, when he said, “For God’s sake, don’t put me on board the Kearsarge, put me on board your yacht.” This was promised, and Semmes was stowed away in the bottom of the boat, and covered with sail to conceal him from those in the Kearsarge’s boats, which were evidently anxiously searching for him. He was then taken to the yacht and placed below. Mr. Lancaster soon after hastened away, fearful he would be overhauled and his vessel searched.

The N. Y. Commercial’s Paris correspondent says Semmes was ordered to leave Cherbourg by the French government, on the demand of Mr. Dayton, who based his demands upon the fact that the Alabama did not come in through stress of weather, but for repairs which would take months to complete. Semmes, finding it impossible to stay, and knowing the Kearsarge was waiting for him, sent her Commander a challenge, which was promptly accepted. The Alabama, after being disabled was sunk by a broadside. A demand will be made upon the English government for the rendition of those picked up by the yacht.


Shoe-Making.—Few are aware what changes have been wrought in the past twenty years in the various branches of mechanical industry by the introduction of new and improved machinery. One can scarcely visit any manufacturing establishment in the country, and not see some new and important improvement, to facilitate the manufacture of the peculiar branch carried on. The war has taken the surplus labor, and business men have had to invent or purchase an agency that will supply the deficiency.

Stepping into the store of Messrs. Joyce & Ensign, No. 161 State street, one day last week, we were kindly shown over their establishment, for the manufacture of ladies’ shoes, in the second, third and fourth stories over their store–where they have some of the best machinery now in use, and greatly changes the old method of making shoes. A whole side of leather is cut by the aid of machinery in soles for shoes, in the time it would take by the old hand operation to cut a single pair–and that, too, without a scrap to be wasted. By the aid of another machine, the soles are made of a uniform thickness–some sides of leather being thick enough for two soles, by splitting the leather in two. The soles are very nicely stitched to the upper leather by one of Blake’s patent stitching machines, the thread passing through the sole and upper, and so uniform is the length of the stitch, and the thread so evenly waxed and drawn, that buyers regard it equal if not superior to hand work. After the sole is on, the heel, previously prepared by nailing and pressing together pieces of leather not large enough for any other purpose, is firmly nailed on and worked into shape by a heel trimming machine, the invention of these gentlemen; and so quickly does it accomplish the work, that we do not doubt but that manufacturers will look upon it with favor and adopt it at once. There are several other improvements which greatly facilitate the business, but not of importance enough to interest the public in their description. About thirty men are now employed by this firm, who have the necessary machinery to employ one hundred more. They manufacture entirely for the New York market–one firm taking all that they can make.

A Little of Everything.

Chicago must be getting in a bad way. The mayor is charged with receiving a $2,000 bribe from a street railway company; the Controller with a fraudulent use of the public money; a police commissioner is arrested on a State warrant for adultery; the superintendent of police is “enjoined” for usurpation of office. This, in addition to about half a dozen scandalous cases, sundry robberies, and two murders, form the record of about a month.

The London Times, referring to the immense Union army, says: “The successive reports bewilder us with their tremendous details, but New York regards the returns without consternation, and even with a species of pride. We could not levy or lose one-tenth part of these numbers without the deepest concern, but no such effect seems to be produced in America. These numbers considerably exceed the whole male population of Scotland, and yet the calls for 1864 are not yet over. How are these men found, and how is the waste sustained? The population of the federal States could not have included at the beginning of the war more than some 5,000,000 men of fighting age. By this time nearly half these men must have been called for, while a drain of at least equal severity must have been going on at the south. It is really hard to imagine any effectual standard of measurement for such proceedings as these. They exceed our powers of realization altogether; but let us accept that very fact with thankfulness. It is something to feel that our security and our peace leave us without the faculty of even estimating in their true proportions the calamities which have fallen upon others.”

Women dressed as soldiers are said to commit daring robberies in Louisville. They escape detection by resuming their petticoats.

We will repeat, for those who haven’t yet found it out, that the personal income tax is now 5 per cent for incomes over $500 and under $5,000; 7˝ per cent for over $5,000 and under $10,000; and 10 per cent for all over $10,000.


A Southern View of Confiscation.—Rev. R. L. Dabney, a professor in Hampden Sidney theological school in Virginia, writes to a friend in New York, asserting the unity and determination of the South for independence, and expressing the opinion that the United States will not realize much from confiscations at the South, for these reasons:

“A war of subjugation leaves society so disordered and impoverished in the conquered region, and the malcontent conquered population at once so inactive from despair and so embittered, that lands are worth very little among them. Residence is dangerous and irksome. If they are sold for a small sum, speculations eat up the larger part of this; for what subject at such times hesitates to steal from a government which has just set it the example by a wholesale robbery? All these reasons would exist in peculiar force in a conquered South. We mean to spend everything except the land, fighting the Yankees. When that is left, infested with four million lazy, free Negroes, and beset with seven million scowling, revengeful, conquered men, hating the Yankees worse than the devil, it will be worth nothing to them. The government of the United States, if it conquered the South, would never raise enough money to pay one-tenth the cost of one year’s military occupation, which will be necessary to keep the Southerners from massacring every land robber in one night. No, Brother Jonathan, the goose can’t lay golden eggs for you after you have gutted her. You’ll have to pay your own score.”

1 Written in 1863 by Sinclair Toussey. (Full text). The “biblical” names “translate as follows: Robbutleeh (Robert Lee); Joseph of Kaliphorni (Joe Hooker, who was from California); Pharjinnee (Virginia); Unculpsalm (Uncle Sam); Litulmak the Unready (McClellan); John the Boaster (?); Ambrose the Faithful (Burnside); George the Mede (Meade); Cooacres (Quakers); Schaddbellee (shadbelly–a swallowtail coat worn by the Amish and Quakers to church in the 1860s; as Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers, “Schaddbelle” means the Keystone State); Kopur-hedds (Copperheads); the Tshivulree (the chivalry); Iangkies (Yankees); Phiretahs (fire-eaters); Jonbool (John Bull=England); Hew-hell (Ewell); Iawrc (York, PA)

2 The difference between the cases is that the Bond sisters received stolen government property, while the goods taken from Southern houses were, by this point in the war, perceived of as spoils of war. The “rosewater policy” mandated by the Lincoln administration in 1861–a “kid glove approach” which instructed the military to preserve and protect the property of private citizens–had by 1864 long gone out of fashion.

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