, 1864

Our Cairo Correspondence.

Cairo, Ill., July 2, 1864.

Editor True DeltaI need not inform you or your readers that a trip up the Mississippi now-a-days is a far different thing from what it was in the time of the country’s prosperity and peace. What a subject for admiration and wonder, to gaze upon the stately steamers of that day , laden with the rich treasures of every clime, ad displaying in the magnificent trim of their equipments, and the untiring velocity of their course, the powerful notion of that “inward fire” by which they wafted along the Father of Waters! There was the staid and solid planter, wending his way to market, to drop into the lap of commerce the products of his teeming soil; there, too, was the man of business, intent upon the accumulation of wealth; the seeker after pleasure; and, though last not least, fair and smiling women, man’s chief encourager and prompter to ambition. Now, instead of these floating palaces, we see the formidable engines of destruction, which “grim-visaged war” has evoked to maintain the supremacy of justice over attempted usurpation, Everything looks gloomy along the route; nature herself seems to have drawn a veil over her features–the sun rises with a drowsy countenance, and appears to set in languor. The old Father of Waters looks as if he were growing gray.

Leaving your city on Thursday, the 23d ult., on board the good steamer Pauline Carroll, we “dragged our slow length along,” and only reached Morganza on the following evening about six o’clock. Having had a heavy government freight for that great military depot, we were detained there for the night and far into the next day. Although learning some of the movements in progress there, I may as well not allude to them here, as you have ample means of learning all that those concerned are required to know at present. Before leaving Morganza, two deserters from the Confederate army came on board, having claimed the aid and protection of that government against which, a few weeks before, they were in arms. I had a long conversation with one of them. He stated that he and his companion had made their way from Alexandria since the previous Monday, and had a “hard road to travel” before reaching a Federal gunboat. They were in the late contest on Red river, and say that Taylor had scarcely the shadow of a hope of gaining any advantage over the troops opposed to him. It was owing to the growing discontent of his men that the battle had come off so soon, as his orders were to retreat sixteen miles farther. “If the object of the Federal army,” said he, “was to destroy the country and leave it worthless and untenable to the Confederates, then, indeed, they have fully accomplished their object, for the Confederates are already retreating to their base of supplies at Austin, Texas.” Taylor, they say, has been created a lieutenant general, and gone to the other side of the river, Walker succeeding to his command. One of the party had on a pair of boots, for which he had given one hundred dollars and a pair of shoes, the negotiation having been effected with a Federal prisoner. They looked as if they were the “seven-league boots” so famous for their speed. The parallel to the remainder of their toilet you have often seen drawn in the Illustrated papers, and I need not repeat it here.

Our boat had quite a gay party on board, including several ladies, who, by their smiles and song, whiled away many an otherwise tedious hour. Some members from Louisiana to the Democratic Convention at Chicago were among the passengers. On passing a saw-mill, I suggested to one of them the propriety of taking along a plank, so as to have something original in the platform of the resurrectionists. As the day for holding the Convention has been postponed, the delegates will have time to ruminate upon human follies, and perhaps return wiser if not better men.

After leaving Port Hudson, and nearly all the way to Vicksburg, the river was well guarded by the gunboats of Uncle Sam. Some of those who had swallowed the story of the rebels having possession of Fort Adams kept a sharp lookout when approaching that place; but, lo! a Federal gunboat, lying cozily near shore, was all that met their distorted visions. Her gallant commander saluted us with the cool inquiry, “How are you off for ice?” Vicksburg looks like a widow in her weeds–interesting even in its gloom. At Milliken’s Bend and Goodrich’s Landing we took in some cotton, together with the fortunate owners of that now precious article. Both these places are garrisoned

Little occurred to relieve the dull monotony until we reached Memphis, which we did on Tuesday. Save upon the levee, there did not appear to be much business activity in the city, and in all I had seen of them, there were but few customers in the stores. The weather having been extremely warm may partly account for this dullness. Whilst in Memphis  had the pleasure of meeting that courteous gentleman, B. F. Longley, Esq., the popular and indefatigable agent of the Illinois Central Railroad, and well may the company feel proud in having secured the services of such a vigilant officer. I also interchanged courtesies with your contemporary of the Bulletin, and felt justified in authorizing him to give the most unqualified contradiction to a report which he said prevailed in Memphis, that some terrible epidemic was rapidly thinning the population of New Orleans. This is not the first time that such reports have been started, to the detriment of the Crescent City; they come as naturally as the weather almanac, and are just as near the truth as the weather prophets themselves ever succeed in getting.

The steamer Missouri, from your city, passed us about midway between Memphis and Cairo. She spoke to us, and said that a few musket shots had been fired at her in the neighborhood of Grand Gulf–therefore I cannot yet chronicle the death of the last guerrilla. I noticed Judge Peabody among the passengers on the Missouri.

The evening before we arrived here, we had a death on board–that of a poor woman, the mother of three children. The children were taken on to St. Louis to be placed in some orphan asylum there.

I must confess that first impressions did not make themselves very favorable in my mind towards this city. The streets here are villainous, and a little shower of rain will make them as difficult to walk as the feat of Zanfretta in his clog-dance on the tight-rope.1 Accommodations are poor, and the prices are extravagantly high. Business is dull, and no boats for New Orleans have arrived from  above in some days. I seldom hear any person speak of the war, and the people appear to pass but little thought upon it. The opposite side of the river is often visited by guerrillas, and woe betide the straggler on its margin. Preparations are being made for the celebration of the Fourth of July, in various forms. The “Fenian Brotherhood” are to have a grand excursion and pic-nic a short distance from the city; their programme, decorated with the musical emblem of Ireland, is already out. Defiance Theatre closed its season night before last; in charity, I will let it sleep, for it does not deserve a passing notice. A new company is announced in a few weeks. “D. Castello’s Great Show” is also here, and the juvenile folks around the city are gathered daily in the saw-pits, imitating the clownish and acrobatic feats which they have witnessed in the genuine ring. Nothing but a few small steamers are in port, together with a  gunboat. The provost guard appear to be very active in picking up and bringing in their straggling and wayward brothers. The weather is very warm on the levee, and some little business is doing in the neighborhood of the railroad depots.–R.K.


A Formidable Rebel Iron-clad Completed.Washington, June 29.—For the past year the agents of the rebel Navy Department have been busily at work at Columbus, Georgia, in the construction of an iron-clad vessel, which they intend shall play an important part in clearing the Florida waters of our fleet. This monster is now completed, and ready to engage in the work of destroying our blockaders, or assisting in an attack upon our monitors, whenever Mr. Davis or Mr. Mallory shall give the word. The name of the vessel is Muscogee. She is a light-draft boat, notwithstanding the immense weight of her armor. Her dimensions are: Fifty-six feet beam; forty-two feet floor, flat bottom. She has a centre-wheel of a dimension of twenty-four feet. Like the Merrimac, Arkansas, Louisiana, and in fact all the rebel iron-clads and rams, that portion of her above water is angular in shape–the rebels having never deviated from the rule adopted at the beginning of the war in regard to the construction of the exposed portions of their offensive vessels. Like her predecessors, she is clad with railroad iron; but the bars are not attached, as were those upon the earlier efforts of the Confederates in this line. Formerly it was customary to lay a roofing on their iron-clads of common rails. Upon these another layer of inverted rails was placed, thus closing up the interstices. But it was found upon subjecting the vessels mailed in this manner to the ordeal of cannonade, that the shot in striking loosened the upper layer, causing it to fly off. Therefore a change in the manner of armoring their vessels became necessary, and the rails are now rolled out into bars two inches thick and four inches in breadth. Two of these bars are welded together, forming an armor four inches in thickness, which is placed upon their vessels. The Muscogee, as well as the other late productions of rebel naval ingenuity, is mailed in this manner. She is furnished with five or six high pressure river boats as tenders. These last are fortified with cotton bales. It is intended that this new iron monster shall come out of the Apalachicola river, to join Buchanan in a simultaneous attack against Farragut’s fleet, now off Mobile. How far this programme will be changed of course depends on circumstances.–Special Dispatch to the N. Y. World.

JULY 11, 1864

Capture of Martinsburg, Harper’s Ferry and Hagerstown by Our Forces.

The great feature of the news in the Northern papers is the announcement that an army had made a splendid movement into Maryland, and had captured Martinsburg, Harper’s Ferry and Hagerstown. A dispatch from Harrisburg states positively that Hagerstown was occupied Wednesday by a Confederate force, supposed to be commanded by Bradley Johnson, and that the Federal troops stationed there had retreated to Greencastle. The Baltimore Gazette of the 7th, in its editorial news summary, says:

“Martinsburg, Leesburg, Harper’s Ferry and the Point of Rocs fell into the hands of the Confederates, who were thus left in undisputed possession, not only of these places, but also of the line of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad from the mouth of the Shenandoah to the bridge at Patterson’s creek, a few miles east of Cumberland. They obtained a very considerable amount of booty a Martinsburg, Harper’s Ferry and the point of Rocks, but whether any of the Government trains were captured it is impossible at present to state.”

The Washington Chronicle says:

“Martinsburg had been captured, with a large quantity of supplies. The Baltimore and Ohio railroad and Chesapeake and Ohio canal have been badly damaged. Ransom is supposed to command the rebel cavalry and Early the infantry. The rebels were believed to have reached Hagerstown by the 6th, bound on an extensive raid into Pennsylvania.”

The sudden appearance of our army in Maryland had caused immense excitement throughout the North. So fixed was the belief that another invasion of Pennsylvania is about to take place that Governor Curtin has issued a proclamation calling for 12,000 men to serve one hundred days, and President Lincoln has made a requisition on Governor Seymour, of New York, for a similar number. Governor Curtin says in his proclamation: “The enemies of the Government, in desperation, are threatening the State with an armed force in the hope that General Grant may be withdrawn from before Richmond.” A call for 5,000 volunteers from Massachusetts for garrison duty at Washington has been issued at Boston. The North was considerably mystified what to understand by this movement of our army. The Baltimore Gazette says:

“In the midst of the prevailing excitement on the Upper Potomac and the adjacent counties, t is exceedingly difficult to get at the facts in regard to the number of Confederates in that region, or the real object which they have in view. The force is variously estimated from 7,000, under Imboden and Mosby, to 35,000, under Early, Ransom and Bushrod Johnson. Rumor gives to General Ransom the command of the cavalry, and to General Early the command in chief.”

General Sigel has withdrawn to the north side of the Potomac.

From Grant’s Army.

The latest news from General Grant is the report that he made a demand for an unconditional surrender of Petersburg, or the alternative of a short time to remove the women and children before an attack was made on the city. The answer to the demand was not received at last accounts.

Desperate Assault and Attempt to Murder an Enrolling Officer.—Mention was made the other day of an assault upon Constable Spencer Hancock, State Enrolling Officer for Chesterfield District, by a man named William G. Burton, whom he was attempting to enroll. On the 5th of July Burton, who had been notified to report himself to the Examining Board at Petersburg, rode up to Constable Hancock’s office in Manchester, in a buggy, and wanted to know what in the hell he wanted with him, and what he meant by it. Hancock told him just to consider himself under arrest, whereupon Burton placed himself an attitude of resistance, and Hancock drew his pistol to enforce his authority, but at that moment found the lock of the weapon was out of order, and would not stand cocked. Burton, who is very strong, heavy man, assaulted and struck Hancock, who is a thin, weakly man, and Hancock defended himself with his pistol, one barrel of which was exploded, injuring neither of them. Burton was finally overpowered and carried to Castle Thunder.

On the 7th instant, (last Thursday,) Hancock, having received his orders, went to the Castle, took Burton out, and started with him for Chesterfield Court House. He was there accepted as a full conscript, and Hancock, in returning, was to deliver him at Camp Lee. At the water station, while waiting for the cars, Hancock being unwell, laid down, with Frank Clopton, son of Judge Clopton, and one or two men between him and Burton, who pretended to be very penitent and sorry for what he had done. Though handcuffed, he watched his chance, and sprang over Clopton and jumped full at the face of Hancock with heavy boots armed with great clog nails. As he sprang Clopton gave him a shove, and that threw him off his aim and saved Hancock’s life. As it was, one of his boot heels struck Hancock on the left temple, scalping the flesh off; the other boot struck the plank, and the nails were sunk half an inch in the boards. They grappled and a most desperate struggle ensued between the prisoner, Hancock and the other persons present.

Hancock inflicted several severe kicks on Burton’s face; and Major Bridgefort, Provost Marshal, coming to their assistance, Burton was tamed down and bound, foaming at the mouth, and invoking the vengeance of hell ad heaven upon Hancock. He was brought to Manchester and confined in the cage. Notwithstanding Hancock’s injuries and his brutal treatment by Burton, he sent to the cage bed clothing, food and drink, and had Burton’s irons removed over night. The next day he carried him to Camp Lee.

Hancock is still partially confined to his house by his injuries, which are quite serious, and may be internal.


The Cause of the Firing Yesterday, we learn, was attributable to the fact that a Confederate soldier stationed in the lines near Bermuda Hundred, while examining a shell, caused it to explode. The enemy mistook it for a shot fired at their lines, and opened from their batteries. After firing for some time without eliciting a response from the Confederate guns, they ceased. The soldier whose thoughtlessness created the explosion of the shell was instantly killed.

JULY 12,

The Great Rebel Raid.

The rebels in Maryland extended their conquests on Monday, sweeping around Baltimore on the northeast and striking the Baltimore and Wilmington railroad at Magnolia Station, about fourteen miles from Baltimore. Here they tapped the telegraph and obtained important information, destroyed the railroad station and Gen. Cadwallader’s house, captured one or two trains, taking from the passengers their watches and money, and burning the cars and baggage, and doing much general mischief. There were some soldiers captured on the trains, and among the officers was Maj. Gen. Franklin. The telegraphic communication with Baltimore being thus cut off, the news from Baltimore and Washington is consequently fragmentary and uncertain. That plunder is the leading object of the raid is evident from the fact that horses, cattle and supplies taken are hurried across the Potomac into Virginia as rapidly as possible. Whether a serious attempt upon Baltimore or Washington is contemplated, does not yet appear, and there is still a strange uncertainty as to whether the rebels number twenty thousand or forty thousand. There is unfortunately no doubt that Gen. Wallace’s force was badly defeated at Frederick on Saturday, whatever the number of the enemy may have been, and that defeat has allowed the rebels great freedom of movement since.

There are reports that Gen. Smith, with the 18th Corps, from City Point, and Gen. Reynolds, with the 19th, from New Orleans, have reached Baltimore. If not, they are on the way. It is also stated that Hunter’s force has made a junction with Wallace’s, and that they are driving the enemy, somewhere–which may become true in a day or two, if not so now. It is certain that gen. Hunter’s force is coming toward the scene of action; that Gen. Couch has a militia force gathering at Harrisburg, and that the hundred day men are beginning to go forward. Baltimore and Washington are supposed to have men enough to hold their defenses, and ought to be considered safe.

The indignation expended upon the rebels in some of the telegrams, wherein they are berated as “displaying their fiendish passions” upon the railroads and in stealing horses and other property, is amusing, considering the amount of glory we lavish on our raiders doing the same things. But there will be genuine indignation, at the proper time, visited upon those whose neglect has made this destructive and alarming raid possible. After Gen. Hunter retreated westward from Lynchburg, nothing was more natural than that the fore sent by Lee to pursue him should take the opportunity to make a raid down the Shenandoah valley. But nobody thought of it, or at all events no watch was kept at the open door, and Early’s was almost upon Harper’s Ferry before Gen. Sigel knew it was approaching. With proper scouting up the valley, he should have discovered the movement a week before the enemy could possibly have reached him. There is no reason to believe that the invaders of Maryland are any other or more than Early’s force, with Mosby’s and Imboden’s cavalry. It is humiliating to know that this invasion was a surprise alike to Sigel and the authorities at Washington, and that in fact the latter were incredulous and made no preparations to meet it until half Maryland as in the hands of the rebels and every railroad at their mercy. But the present necessity is to drive out the invaders so needlessly admitted, and to put an end to their devastations as soon as possible. Let the hundred day militia men be pushed forward.

Secesh Guard for Trains.—In order to stop rebel guerrillas firing into the railroad trains. Gen. C. C. Washburne, at Memphis, issued an order on the 6th, that forty of the most prominent and bitter secessionists in and between Memphis and Lagrange be arrested, and that twenty of them, each day, be placed upon the cars in the most conspicuous positions, one being placed upon each side of the engineer, and no train will be allowed to leave Memphis without a secesh guard until this murderous business is desisted from. It is known that several citizens of Memphis have publicly applauded this firing upon trains. They will be given prominent places on the train, and quarters will be fitted up for them at White’s Station, where they will be tenderly cared for wen not on duty on the trains. This is the order alluded to as making immense excitement at Memphis.


Union Men in the South.—There is a disposition among those committed to reconstruction hobbies to ignore the Union element in the South and deny that there are enough loyal men in the rebel states to be taken into account at all. Doubtless there are many instances of false professions of loyalty, as there are also at the North; but the number of southern men now serving in the Union armies is good evidence that there is sincerity and vitality in the southern Union element, in spite of the distrust and hard usage it has received. We suppose there are from fifteen to twenty thousand men in the Union ranks from the states in rebellion. We have lately seen a letter from a Union citizen of Mississippi, stating that deserters from the rebel army daily come into Vicksburg and Natchez and enlist in our ranks, and nearly a regiment of these deserters has been organized at Natchez. There can be no doubt that thousands of men now in the rebel army are Union men at heart. They are with the enemy because they cannot help themselves, and they take the first opportunity to escape. The silence of the Union men of the South by no means disproves their existence. They are compelled to silence. Wherever there has been any reasonable prospect of protection by the federal armies they have not failed to show themselves, and, as great as is the desolation wrought in the South, there will be enough Union men left there to govern it after the rebellion is thoroughly quelled.


The Last Man, the Last Dollar and the Last Loaf.—A soldier who passed through the late raid south of Richmond says: “The impression on my mind about the rebellion is that the rebels are now using their last man, last dollar, and last loaf of bread. There is absolutely nothing in reserve. If beaten now, they go up suddenly and surely. We could see this everywhere. The last card is now being played, and if lost, all is lost for them. I do hope our people will hold out, no matter what happens to Grant or anybody else. A little perseverance is bound to win the day. All rebels want to end the war now. They prefer subjugation to another year of war.”

JULY 13, 1864


The Pirate Alabama.

The news which came from across the Atlantic on the first of last week was of such a nature as to send a thrill of joy through every loyal heart. The pirate Alabama, which during her career has destroyed nearly seventy American vessels, has at length met her fate, and now lies at the bottom of the English channel. The Alabama had put into Cherbourg for repairs after a long cruise in the Chinese seas. Through the exertions of our Minister at Paris, Mr. Drayton, she was ordered off by the French authorities, and to save his reputation, Capt. Semmes sent a challenge to Capt. Winslow of the U. S. screw steamer Kearsarge, which was laying off the port. The vessels were about equally matched, the chances, if any, being in favor of the Alabama. Accordingly, on Sunday, the 19th of June, the rebel pirate left Cherbourg, and steamed out into the English Channel. Capt. Winslow had, through Mr. Dayton, been thoroughly posted on international law, and upon the approach of the pirate, although some five miles from land, steamed further out to prevent any questions or doubts arising. The fight commenced at 11:10 a.m., and lasted an hour and a half, when the Alabama, completely disabled, attempted to make for land, but was sunk by the guns on the Kearsarge. Capt. Semmes and many of his officers were picked up by the English steam yacht Deerhound, which claimed to act as a tender to the Alabama, and made its way into an English port. If its motives had been understood by the Captain of the Kearsarge, a stray shot would doubtless have ended its career, and no tears for its fate would have been shed on this side of the Atlantic. To the captain, officers and crew of the Kearsarge the thanks of the nation are due. In a fair open fight they have destroyed the pest of our commerce and the pride of the rebels. Although she is now gone, one thing, however, will not be forgotten. In an English port she was built, manned and supported by English seamen and money, and after striking her flag and surrendered, an English vessel carried off her officers and crew. Certainly, nothing could be more English although sailing under a confederate rag.


Mexico.—Advices from Havana to the 2d inst. state that the Emperor Maximilian had arrived in the city of Mexico, where he was enthusiastically received. Processions were formed, guns fired, addresses made, and other signs of public satisfaction manifested, though it was generally thought that the whole affair was managed under the instruction and supervision of the French. The Emperor proceeded immediately to organize the French Mexican court, and gives his attention to the condition of the finances.


The Enrollment Bill.

The new enrollment bill recently passed by Congress differs in many important respects from the old. The President has power to call for troops, allowing 30 days to fill the requisition, volunteers being accepted for one, two or three years. After the expiration of the time limited, drafting will be resorted to in such towns as have failed to fill their quota. The commutation clause, exempting  drafted person upon the payment of $300, has been stricken out, leaving it imperative for able bodied men to either provide a substitute or go. The necessity which has caused Congress to take this action has not been made apparent to the public. The mode of raising effective armies has thus far been found to be through the volunteer system. At the present time volunteers can be had at a moderate price, compared to what will be asked after a call has been made. A bill passed the legislature allowing citizens who furnish alien substitutes in anticipation of the draft the sum of $300. To influential and substantial men, who have a fair and liberal income, no investment can be found to pay better in time. Let them each furnish a substitute and be represented in the army. In this way, fresh recruits will be continually sent into the field, adding their strength to strike such blows as will soon crush the rebellion, and place the nation and its finances above reproach.


Gen. Sherman’s Army.

There are perhaps but few who understand the importance of the campaign which is now in progress under Gen. Sherman. The objective point is undoubtedly Atlanta. In deed, it is stated by the knowing ones, that the capture of  Atlanta would inflict far greater damage to the rebel cause than the capture of Richmond. Atlanta is situated upon the Chattahoochee, in the heart of the Confederacy, accessible from all points by railway, and has probably done more in giving life and sustenance to the rebel cause than any place. It has been of rapid growth, there having been in 1845 but a few log huts on the site where it now stands. At the present time it is the most important depot for supplies and the manufacture of arms and munitions of war in the rebel states. Large foundries have been established which turn out guns from the largest to the smallest, including the Springfield pattern, and vast quantities of shot and shell, and rolling mills for furnishing plates for their iron-clads. Workmen are steadily employed in making percussion caps, gun carriages, ambulances, saddles, harness, tents, shoes and clothing. In the immediate vicinity are to be found vast quantities of coal, iron and granite, and material for the manufacture of saltpetre. Thus it can easily be seen that the combination of so many interests at one point, tend to render he place of the greatest importance to the rebels. Its loss would be almost irreparable, depriving them of the material indispensable for the prosecution of the war.

JULY 14,

The Rebel Invasion.

The news from Maryland and Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia for the last few days has been of a most exciting character. An excellent resume of the events that have occurred connected with the invasion, which has assumed large proportions, is given below, copied from the New York World.

The Washington Star of Monday, the 11th, says:

The numbers and purposes of the rebel invading force are confusingly conflicting. We have elsewhere given the opinion entertained by many around us that the rebel force is not of weight sufficient to undertake a serious attack upon the fortifications of Washington, and that it is not their purpose to do so. Per contra, we have just received the following from a source of great intelligence and reliability, one that has on repeated occasions had the earliest and most accurate information of rebel movements in Virginia. The information received from this quarter is as follows:

“The rebel army of invasion marched down the valley forty-five thousand strong, including 8000 cavalry, under the command of Maj. General Jubal Early, and Brigadier-Generals Breckinridge, Ransom, Imboden and McCausland. Longstreet was at Gordonsville on Tuesday last, with additional forces to join the rebel army of invasion; and the purpose of that army was an attempt at the capture of Washington by surprise.”

A dispatch from Washington, on the 11th, says:

“The information received to-night is to the effect that a very large force of rebels is within six miles of this city, not far from Tenallytown. There has been no general engagement, but continuous skirmishing all day.

“There seems to be no doubt that the rebels are threatening Washington, but the preparations for its defense are of such a character as to give assurance of safety. Many persons during the day were abroad in quest of news, but no extraordinary excitement prevailed.

“A large number of families, temporarily at summer residences, together with citizens in the adjoining counties of Washington, have come into the city for safety.”

It is reported that Gen. Baldy Smith, from Gen. Grant’s army, with 12,000 men, arrived in Baltimore on Monday. The Nineteenth Army Corps of Gen. Franklin, (from General Canby’s department in Louisiana,) numbering some 16,000 men, is said to be in Baltimore. Franklin’s men are understood to have been detached from the disastrous expedition of Gen. Banks, having sailed from New Orleans on the 19th ult., ostensibly for Mobile. Their timely arrival, therefore, is not due to strategy so much as to extraordinary good luck.

A telegram from Baltimore, dated 5 p.m. on Tuesday, says:

“Nothing is known of the state of affairs at Washington. All the wires are down.”


An army letter says many of the prisoners captured of late are better clad than usual, and wear a substantial suit of light-blue cloth resembling that worn by our men, which they state is manufactured in England and brought into the “Confederacy” by blockade-runners.

Desperate Efforts of Rebel Prisoners at Camp Chase to gain their Liberty.

The rebel prisoners of war confined at Camp Chase are not as well contented with their position as might be supposed from reading in the loyal papers that most rebels are glad to be captured in order to enjoy the extra good living in the North. There is no doubt that they have been meditating a stampede for some months past and only awaited a favorable opportunity to make the attempt. The 4th of July possessed superior inducements for the efforts, and was perhaps selected with reference to its historical associations. At all events, on the morning of that day, as the gate to the inclosure of the rebel prison was opened to allow the sanitary cart to pass out with its assorted cargo of debris, the prisoners made a rush upon the sentinel at the gate; overpowered and knocked him down, and about thirty of them got out. They were immediately fired upon by the guard on the parapet, and two of the grey jackets brought down wounded. The others, taking advantage of the long piles of wood near the prison, used them as a screen and ran along for a considerable distance, and some of them, it is said, actually made their escape out of the camp. The alarm was son given, and the Provost Guard of the camp, the 88th regiment, gave chase to the runaways, and speedily recaptured most of them. When their advance was cut off, and their rear threatened by the near approach of the guard, the rebels would throw up their hands in token of surrender. Col. Richardson, commandant at the post, reports that all who got out of their inclosure were recaptured, and that but two of them were wounded, one of whom, the most seriously hurt of the two, was shot in the arm, and had the limb amputated. The other was not seriously hurt.


Important Decision.—A man recently drafted in Lehigh county, Pa., and who paid his commutation money, was again drafted on the first day of June, when the District Provost Marshal decided that he was again liable to service, but the conscript objected and claimed exemption on account of his having once paid the commutation price. Application was therefore made to Washington, and Provost Marshal General Fry decided that the man’s payment of the commutation fee exempted him for three years, and that the second payment of commutation must be refunded to the drafted man.


The fact is now formally announced–the transfer of Gen. Butler’s troops before Petersburg to the command of Gen. W. F. Smith. Gen. Butler is ordered to return to his headquarters at Fortress Monroe, and still retains command of the troops in his department that are not in the active campaign. In the Gulf Department the same process has taken the mobile troops from Gen. Banks and placed them under Gen. Reynolds, while Gen. Banks still commands the department and its garrisons.


Some places have been favored with copious rains during the past week. In this vicinity rain is much needed. The streams are very low, and Mills wholly dependent upon water power run but about half time.

15, 1864

News Summary.

The Nevada Constitutional Convention has adopted the name of Nevada for the new State. The bill of rights adopted declares the paramount allegiance of every citizen to the United States Government. This Constitution which was rejected by the people last year has been accepted as the basis of a new one. It is believed that a majority of the people are in favor of a State Government.

It is believed in Washington that the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and the establishment of martial law in Kentucky is in anticipation of possible trouble from the enforcement of the draft, and particularly of the enlistment of slaves.

Gen. Lee’s personal property, which has been condemned by the United States District Court, is to be sold at Alexandria on the 19th inst. Some of the households are of an elegant description, and a number are rare and valuable.

A California paper says: What California needs most to-day is rain. What she wants to-morrow is seventy-five thousand females to mate off the extra male population according to the last census.

Two families in Hunterdon, N. J., were fined and obliged to pay $500 for refusing to pay the internal revenue tax a few days since. The tax they refused to settle was $1.

The new income tax of five per cent is in addition to the three per cent previously laid, so that eight per cent will be required on the incomes of the past year.

Since the commencement of Grant’s campaign, 1,000 nurses and surgeons have been sent to the Army. 775 of the number were ladies.

The loss by the great conflagration which has been raging in the lumber country, in the northern part of Wisconsin, will easily foot up $150,000. In many instances whole villages were destroyed, and with such haste and fury that the inhabitants had to flee for shelter under the bluffs of the lake, leaving their cattle and horses in their retreat, which in many cases were devoured by the flames. A large amount of tan bark, lumber, and cordwood was destroyed.

Fires are raging in the woods of Maine, destroying much property. In some towns the citizens have great difficulty in keeping the fire from their buildings. Twenty-three of the twenty-seven buildings in the village of Alma, Aroostook County, Maine, were destroyed by fire on the 23d ult.

We cannot recollect a period when fires of buildings and in the woods, all over New England, were so common as they have been within the past week.

Tomatoes sold in Richmond, Va., on the 2d inst., for $20 a dozen.

A horrible case was brought to light in New York this week. A man named Richard Stevens was arraigned in a police court for hiring  his daughter as a prostitute to the keeper of a house of that description, and receiving $5 per week for her degradation.

From all appearances, the wheat crop of New Jersey promises to be larger this year than was ever known before. Throughout the entire State immense fields of ripe waving grain can be seen ready for the sickle, though considerable difficulty is experienced in procuring the necessary help to gather the crop. The increase this year of wheat raised in the State will be greater by several hundred thousand bushels than was ever known before.

Harvest hands are so scarce in St. Mary’s County, Md., that some farmers have offered $3.50 to $4 a day for good cradlers.

San Francisco dates to the 9th instant state that the British were defeated by the natives of New Zealand, one hundred if the former being killed and wounded. In another engagement the natives were worsted.

A man in South Boston, just married and recently drafted, sold nearly all his new furniture to raise the three hundred dollars commutation, but on being examined by the surgeon, was pronounced unfit for military duty.

Job Stafford of Canajoharie, N. Y., Deputy Marshal of the Northern District of New York, was shot through the head by a deserter, who  he was endeavoring to arrest some days since. He died in a short time.

The steamer Golden City has sailed from San Francisco with one million, one hundred and fifty-five thousand dollars.

A Fourth of July toast drunk down east was–“Lincoln and Butler”–“Beauty and the Beast.”

A fearful accident occurred on Wednesday, 6th inst., on the Chattanooga railroad, near the tunnel. Three hospital trains were coming up, loaded with sick and wounded soldiers. Two of the trains, which were some distance ahead of the other, stopped this side of the tunnel. The rear train, by the extraordinary negligence, or something worse, of the engineer, ran into the train of seven cars before it, containing three hundred soldiers, and pitched them down an embankment about forty feet high, making a total wreck of three cars–killing three persons outright, and mortally injuring four others. The enraged soldiers would have murdered the guilty engineer, but he fled into the woods and escaped.

A young man named Wm. H. Lawton, of Camillus, N. Y., met his death at Niagara Falls, on Monday of last week, under the following circumstances: In company with the guide he was visiting the Cave of the Winds, and in defiance of the warning given, insisted on stepping upon a rock out of the path usually taken. Almost as he touched the rock his foot slipped and he was taken to the dark depths below. The unfortunate youth was about seventeen years of age and was not known by any around at the time.

The Philadelphia Ledger of the 7th tells the following of two lucky gold-seekers: Two brothers of Maine yesterday deposited in the U. S. Mint 1,371½ ozs. of gold, for which they received $24,780. They have just returned from Barrac City, in Idaho, where they were engaged in digging about five weeks. The highest amount obtained in any one day was $2000, and the smallest amount $150. Upon leaving, they sold their mine for $14,000. They have been absent from home about ten months.

The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser has been presented by Mrs. W. G. Morris, of Wetumka, with a few skeins of black sewing silk thread of her own manufacture, which compare favorably in all respects with any that has come through the blockade from foreign countries. Mrs. M. raises her own silk-worms and mulberry leaves to feed them, and from the cocoons obtains the silk to make the thread.

JULY 16, 1864


The Dark Side of the Revolution.

Those who are accustomed to take discouraging views of our present contest, because they imagine we are so much more corrupt and wicked than the patriots of the old Revolutionary days, would do well to read the fourteenth chapter of Lorenzo Sabine’s “Historical Essay” in the new edition of his “American Loyalists.” It reads very much like  series of pungent observations on contemporary events, although none will dispute the accuracy and sound judgment of Mr. Sabine as a historian. We make a few pertinent extracts. Of the prominent men of the Revolutionary era, Mr. Sabine says “they were great and good, little and bad, mingled; just as elsewhere in the annals of our race,” and he adds:

“Still again, avarice and rapacity were seemingly as common then as now. Indeed, the stock-jobbing, the extortion, the forestalling, the low arts and devices to amass wealth that were practiced during the struggle, are almost incredible. Washington mourned the want of virtue as early as 1775, and averred that he ‘trembled at the prospect.’ Soldiers were stripped of their miserable pittance, that contractors for the army might become rich in a single campaign. Many of the sellers of merchandise monopolized articles of the first necessity, and would not part with them to their suffering countrymen, and to the wives and children of those who were absent in the field, unless at enormous profits. The traffic carried on with the royal troops was immense. Men of all descriptions finally engaged in it, and those who at the beginning of the war would have shuddered at the idea of any connection with the enemy, pursued it with avidity.”

Washington, in one of his private letters, bears full testimony to the correctness of this description:

“ ‘From what I have seen, heard, and in part know,’ said he, ‘I should in one word say that idleness, dissipation, and extravagance, seems to have laid fast hold of most; that speculation, peculation, and an insatiable thirst for riches seem to have got the better of every other consideration and almost every order of men; and that party disputes and personal quarrels are the great business of the day.’ ”

The difficult of raising troops was almost insurmountable in several of the States. Bounty jumpers and deserters were as common then as now, in proportion to the size of the armies. Washington declared in a letter to his brother that the States were sending him officers “not fit to be shoeblacks.” With regard to the troubles among officers, Mr. Sabine says:

“Eighteen of the generals retired during the struggles; one for drunkenness; one to avoid disgrace for receiving double pay; some from declining health; others from the weight of advanced years; others to accept civil appointments; but several from private resentments and real or imaginary wrongs inflicted by Congress or associates in the service. The example of the latter class was pernicious, since, when heads of divisions or brigades quit their commands for reasons chiefly or entirely personal, it was to be expected that regiments, battalions, and companies would be left in like manner, without officers. Abundant testimony can be adduced to show that individuals of all ranks entered the army from interested motives, and abandoned it from similar reasons. John Adams wrote in 1777: ‘I am wearied to death with the wrangles between military officers, high and low. They quarrel like cats and dogs. They worry one another like mastiffs, scrambling for rank and pay like apes for nuts.’ Washington, more guarded to Congress, uses language almost as pointed in his letters to private friends.”

Such were some of the clouds of discouragements through which, with infinitely less advantages than we enjoy, our fathers fought their way to victory. Why, then, should we falter before the same obstacles?

The week has been one of excitement and those even who never allow their feelings to become depressed have been scarcely able to withstand the shock. The rebels finding their communications cut around Richmond and their supplies fast diminishing, were compelled to make a bold dash into Maryland to secure their desired wants. Their forces were scattered at first to deter our forces from giving them battle and for the purpose of collecting the farm stock in that section of the country. Finally, when they had accomplished their purpose and started thousands of head of cattle towards their beleaguered capital, their forces were concentrated and an effort made to capture Baltimore. Failing in this, they next proceeded to damage the railroads and destroy Government property in retaliation for the doings of Hunter and other Generals, and at last, to give time for the slow movements of their stolen cattle, a feint was made upon Washington. Finding our forces ready to receive them and no chance of holding their ground, after one day’s fight the entire force retired across the Potomac. The indications are that they will find their way obstructed as Hunter is reported to be in a position to oppose them, and Sheridan with his whole cavalry force is reported to have crossed the James river and proceeded to join Hunter. Other forces are said to be following the rebs in their retreat and it is hoped that they may find themselves between two fires, with no chance of escape.


The favorable news of the latter part of the week, showing the rebs to have retired across the Potomac, Sherman to have crossed the Chattahoochee and captured five or six thousand prisoners, Grant to have taken possession of Petersburg, and the stringency of the money market on account of the delay in making payments from the Treasury, had a beneficial effect upon the market, and everything took a fall. Gold went down to $2.46, flour fell $1.00 in two days, and every kind of provisions ruled low. Speculators could get no money, and began to grow shaky, and were ready to sell at lower prices. Things began to look better, and the humbug about the scarcity of gold and products was made evident. How long this will last it is impossible to tell, as we are at the mercy of rascally speculators, who will ply their vocation when the money market is easier.



A dispatch was received just as we were going to press, stating that news from a reliable source gives the glorious news of the capture of Atlanta, Georgia, by Gen. Sherman, with 8000 prisoners.2


On Thursday of last week, Miss Olympia Brown was installed as pastor of the Universalist Church, at Weymouth, Mass.

1 The Zanfretta family were famous gymnasts and tight-rope walkers. This reference is probably to Alexander Zanfretta.

2 Nope, not yet . . .

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