JANUARY 15, 1865

Grant’s Sagacity.–The New York Evening Post, referring to the taking of Fort Donelson, relates this anecdote:

A colonel then serving on Grant’s staff related to me that during the night preceding the final and successful attack, he was sent down the river to meet Grant, who had ridden down to consult with Foote, after darkness put a stop to the fighting. He was instructed to represent to Gen. Grant that the enemy were evidently preparing; that an attack was expected; that already upon one part of the lines the enemy had made a sortie, but were repulsed; and that there were fears of the result in case a general attack was made by the troops then within Fort Donelson. Grant asked: “Did you take any prisoners?” “Yes, sir, a few.” “Ride back at once, and overhaul their haversacks; if they are full, be sure that the enemy is desperate and bent on cutting his way out. Order, in that case, preparations for a general assault as quickly as possible.”

The haversacks of the prisoners were examined, and found to contain, as Grant supposed, three days’ provisions. If the enemy had meant to hold Fort Donelson, he would not have encumbered an attacking party with a heavy load of rations. Grant followed his aide and ordered an immediate assault, which resulted in the surrender of the fort and the rebel army within it.


Monstrous Traffic.–The German papers say that a very disgraceful trade is being carried on in the Grand Duchy of Hesse and the Duchy of Nassau. A number of children of both sexes are being bought from their parents by certain “agents,” and exported for immoral purposes to England and Russia, and even California. One woman especially has sent to England repeatedly batches of young girls from fourteen to eighteen years of age, embarking them at Rotterdam. Negotiations are going on between the Dutch and Prussian Governments to prevent this vile traffic.


Two young ladies, genteelly dressed, were riding in a street car. One of them, remarkable for an excessive prominence of nose, exhibited to the other a photograph of herself, and they were engaged in discussing its merits, when an elderly lady reached out her hand, and said to the lady who had the picture, “Please let me look at it.” Her modest request was met with an indignant frown, and the reply, as the card was returned to the pocket of the lady,” It’s none of your business.” The old lady settled back in her seat very complacently, when the companion of the one with the picture asked, “What do you wish to do with it?” “O, nothing,” replied the old lady, “I only wanted to see how successfully the artist put such a nose on so small a card.” The car was full, and the shouts of laughter could have been heard a square.

A Great Restaurant.–It is contemplated to open in London a monster restaurant, after the plan of Duval’s establishment in Paris. The guests will be served by girls in uniform, and distinguished by numbers as the performers in the ballet of the Danaides. The bill of fare will be published daily in the morning paper. The bread will be cut and the meat carved by machinery. The beer and other drinks will be delivered at each table by pipes laid under the floor, and the plates be brought heated upon small railway cars. A special department is reserved for customers’ dogs, to be attended to by boys detailed for this purpose.

To carry out the idea thoroughly, payment should be made and money exchanged by machinery.


Worth Knowing and Remembering.–How to act when the clothes catch fire is an important piece of information. The Scientific American says three persons out of four would rush up to the burning individual and begin to paw with their hands without any definite aim. It is useless to tell the victim to do this or do that or call for water. In fact it is generally best not to say a word, but seize a blanket from a bed, or a cloak, or any woolen fabric–if none is at hand, take any woolen material–hold the corners as far apart as possible, stretch them out higher than your head, and, running boldly to the person, make a motion of clasping in the arms, most about the shoulders. This instantly smothers the fire and saves the face. The next instant throw the unfortunate individual on the floor. This is an additional safety to face and breath, and any remnant of flame can be put out more leisurely. The next instant, immerse the burnt part in cold water, and all pain will cease with [the] rapidity of lightning. Next, get some flour, remove from the water, and cover the burnt parts with an inch thickness of flour; if possible, put the patient to bed, and do all that is possible to soothe until the physician arrives. Let the flour remain until it falls off itself, when a beautiful new skin will be found. Unless the burns are deep no other application is needed. The dry flour for burns is the most admirable remedy ever proposed, and the information ought to be imparted to all. The principle of its action is that, like the water, it causes instant and perfect relief from pain by totally excluding the air from the injured parts. Spanish whiting and cold water, of a mushy consistency, are preferred by some. Dredge on the flour until no more will stick, and cover with cotton batting.


JANUARY 16, 1865

A Plain Talk.

The times demand a plain talk, and we propose to have it with our friends.

Reader, you were a secessionist. Feeling that the honor, safety and prosperity of the South demanded it, you placed yourself in the ranks of secession–announced your devotion to the cause–paid out your money to equip our troops–gave your sons to our army–called upon your neighbors to vindicate Southern honor and maintain Southern rights. By your words you confirmed the faithful–stimulated the doubting–aroused the indifferent–rebuked those who hesitated, and denounced as submissionists those who were willing to wear the abolition yoke. Upon your shoulders rests the responsibility of all that has followed, and, as in success and triumph, you may justly claim the honor due to patriotism and manhood, so, if failure and disaster be our lot, you must share the humiliation and be responsible for the consequences.

We ask you to-day–has honor become less dear to you? Do you love the South less, and are you less willing to make sacrifices now, than when in the first hours of the revolution you made such bold announcement of what you were willing to do in the holy cause of Southern rights? Then life was not so dear but that you would freely give it to win Southern independence. How is it with you to-day? Your noble boy–the first offering you made to the cause–where is he? Sleeping with the honored dead, or still bearing in triumph the proud banner of his country which you placed in his hands, and bid him, God speed, as he went forth, his eyes lit with patriotism, a true Southern soldier. Your neighbor, whom you argued, exhorted and pressed into the ranks of secession–where are he and his sons? Many of them sleep with the dead–others till live to fight our battles. Have you the nerve to face them with your half-uttered whisperings of dishonorable peace? Are you ready to yield all that has been won of honor and glory and national independence? Are you alike indifferent to the memory of the dead and the feelings of the living? Are you willing to submit to the tyranny and oppression from which you aided to tear your State only four short years ago? Will you clasp again in brotherhood the blood-stained hands of the murderers who have covered our land with the graves of our noble boys and brave men? What has worked in your mind this marvelous change? Where now is that high sense of honor–that self-sacrificing devotion to the cause of the South, that you announced with so much earnestness and eloquence in the early days of the revolution? Tell us, have the Yankees shown themselves more worthy of your association by their wantonness and brutality in the course of the war? Do you think better of them since Beast Butler trampled upon the rights of men, and insulted with his vulgarity the women of New Orleans? Have you a more kindly feeling to them since Sherman has marched through your State, and by the indiscrimate robbery and outrages perpetrated upon your fellow citizens, exhibited himself a monster, compared to whom Butler might justly be considered a gentleman? Would fellowship with them be more congenial to your feelings since you have seen and known their proficiency in stealing silver spoons and forks–insulting defenceless women–robbing Negro cabins, and their general exhibition of loathsome bestiality? ->

If not, then tell us what has cooled your Southern ardor and caused you to lower your crest? There remains but one other solution of the problem, and that is found in your love of property and the fear of losing it. We place the picture before you, that you may enter upon the work of self-examination. It is a humiliating spectacle, but one from which there is no escape, save in the speedy return to the path of duty. You may attempt to conceal from yourself the consciousness of your humiliation, but there is no escape from the estimate which will be placed upon you by every thinking man. Dishonored yourself, you seek to drag down to your own level of degradation, the men who fraternized with you in the days of your better manhood and purer patriotism. In the language of pregnant warning, we bid you, pause and reflect.

Reader, you were not only a secessionist, but with self-exultation you have been accustomed to remind your neighbors that your enlistment under the banner of Southern Rights dates back to the contests of 1850 and ’51. When others, less astute or less sensitive in the matter of Southern honor than yourself, were clinging with a false confidence to the old Union, you had already unfurled the Southern banner, and pledged life, honor and property to its support and maintenance. At that early day you raised your warning voice, and summoned your fellow citizens to the work of saving the South from the ruin which a longer alliance with the North would certainly bring upon her. Are you despondent now? Do you falter in the great work in which we are engaged, and does there arise in your mind a suggestion that the Yankees might propose terms of submission to which you might assent? If so, how changed you are from the Southern Rights man of 1850, the secessionist of 1861, and the life-long advocate of Southern honor. With you, too, honor has lost its charms, and the love of property has taken a still deeper hold upon your affections. We ask you to pause for one moment–contemplate the picture we have drawn of the secessionist of 1861, and as you shrink back from its contemplation, only think how much lower you have sunk in the estimation of all right-thinking men, than he has. We need not tell you of the criticism that falls from the lips of almost every man, when your former professions and present position are brought to his attention. The man of honor has become the slave of avarice. After all, there may be too much truth in the significant remark of Sherman, that “Yankee gold had proven too much for Southern chivalry.” . . .

In this article we have treated the subject upon the theory that by submission these men can save their property. By submission we may escape with life-but our property, our honor, our manhood will be lost. Despoiled, insulted, scoffed at, we will crawl through a dishonored life, scorned alike by our Yankee masters and by mankind.

We ask pardon of a vast majority of our readers for inflicting upon them this lengthy article. We know there are but few among the thousands of patrons of this journal to whom the article if applicable–and to those few we dedicate it.

17, 1865

Bombardment by the Fleet!
Attack by a Land Force!

Baltimore, Jan. 16.–The American has the following:

Annapolis, Jan. 16.–The flag of truce boat New York from Aiken’s Landing, James river, with paroled soldiers and citizens, arrived here this morning.

The attack on Fort Fisher had been renewed. The Richmond Examiner says there is a rumor that a Yankee land force have commenced an attack against the fort, but the War Department has not yet received any intelligence of it. The Yankees will not take Fort Fisher.

Baltimore, Jan. 16.–The special correspondent of the Baltimore American, under date of the 9th inst., communicates the following important information relative to the renewal or continuation of the great movement against the defences of Wilmington, situated at Federal Point, at the mouth of New Inlet. This correspondence has been withheld from publication until it should become known that an attack had actually been commenced:

Steamship Santiago de Cuba,
Off Beaufort,
Jan. 9.

Having ridden out a heavy southeast storm at our anchorage during the past two days, off Beaufort harbor, we are now enjoying one of those periodical calms peculiar to this latitude, which can scarcely be expected to last more than 24 hours. Yesterday morning the wind got round to the northeast and the sun shining out so brightly, we were blessed once more with a quiet sea, and our eyes were delighted also with the approach of a fleet of transports with troops furnished by Grant to co-operate with Porter in the capture of Fort Fisher. The first vessel that arrived was the flagship of the Commanding General, which crossed the bar at once ad proceeded up Beaufort harbor to communicate with the flagship of Porter. Next came the steamers Atlantic and Baltic, each with near 2000 men on board. Other transports also arrived soon after, the names of which, however, I did not ascertain. All the transport fleet, as I now write, are anchored outside the bar alongside with the naval vessels.

The plan of the battle is fully arranged and the Commander of each vessel has been supplied with a new chart, indicating not only his exact position, but the precise point of the works of the enemy on which his fire is to be directed. The Santiago, being commanded by the senior Captain of the gunboat fleet, Capt. Glisson, is stationed at the head of the vessels of her class, eleven in number, and whilst others of the line are to concentrate their fire on the outworks of Fort Fisher, our guns are to throw a flank fire into the fort. My position to witness the fight will, therefore, be most advantageous for having a full view of the operations of the monitors, Ironsides, and heavy frigates on the right of the line, and of the gunboat attack on the outer works of the enemy, including Mound battery on the left of our position.

The positions of the vessels are nearly the same as in the first attack, except the ironclads will take position about a quarter of a mile nearer Fort Fisher than at the former attack, and the Dictator will also join them with her two 15-inch guns, making the monitor fleet twelve guns strong, including four guns of the Monadnock; then the Ironsides with her tremendous 11-inch broadside, and Minnesota, Wabash, Brooklyn, Susquehanna, Tuscarora, Seneca, Ticonderoga, Mohican, Colorado, Shenandoah, Juniata, Yantic and Kansas form the second line. The Nyack, Unadilla, Huron and Pequot, which act as tenders to the monitors, are also in the inner line.

The gunboat fleet is to forma  line in front of the shore batteries, extending to the right of Fort Fisher, in the following order: Santiago de Cuba, Fort Jackson, Tacony, Osceola, Chippewa, Sassacus, Maritanza, Red Island, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Quaker City and Itasca. Reserves of the various divisions consisting of a smaller class of gunboats are assigned to a position outside the line of battle.


A steamer has just arrived from the inner harbor and reports that at noon to-day a signal was hoisted on the flagship of the entire division to prepare for sea. The probability therefore is that we will sail to-morrow morning if the weather should continue favorable. ->

The fleet outside the bar are all ready to sail at a moment’s notice, and will fall in line as soon as the forest of masts comes out of Beaufort harbor. The larger transports are also outside about fifteen miles from shore, awaiting the movement of the fleet.


The Kearsarge Subscription Fraud–Not a Cent Received by the Crew.

Editor of the Boston Herald!Dear Sir.–Permit me to correct a statement which I have seen in your paper of the 14th inst, that $21,000 was judiciously divided amongst the officers and crew of the above named ship. The crew, either collectively or individually,, never received a single cent of this sum of money, but the officers did. Now I want to set the public right. I can’t object to the officers receiving the presents which they have got, but I protest against the judicious mode of distribution of money given by the good-hearted public. “Nothing for the crew” cannot be a judicious mode of distribution. Certainly there is a sum of $4000 placed in the “National Sailors’ Home,” the interest of which will go for the use and benefit of the officers and crew if they ever require it, and if all division of money is so judiciously managed, then indeed the crew will require the interest to help them.

Does the Boston public know that the crew of the Kearsarge did not receive one dollar? I want the New York public to know how the crew were treated, and then call it judicious. Is there no friend to stand up for the ship’s crew? Not a single cent for the men who did the work?

I write for the crew, as well as myself, and I know they will say they protest against any such statement, and that it was not judicious to treat the crew so. But having done so, let the plain truth be given, that the crew received nothing.

Your inserting this in your paper will be one act of justice to the crew.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

W. Ahern
Late Paymaster’s Steward, U. S. S. Kearsarge,
Boston, Jan. 16, 1865.


Interesting Revelations of Jeff Davis’s Government.

New York, Jan. 16.–The Times’ Washington dispatch learns from an interview with Mrs. Senator Foote that her husband resigned his seat at the time reported; that the rebel Congress is slavishly subservient to Jeff Davis; that when any bills meet with opposition, the majority go into secret session and rush them through;  that the character of the war is changed by Jeff Davis and is now carried on for his purposes; that unless it can be terminated to suit him and his school of politics he will carry it on more bloody and barbarous than ever; that there is not the slightest prospect of Mr. Blair meeting with success; that the contractors do not desire a termination of the war, and are doing everything to continue it; that the great mass of the people want to come back into the Union under the constitution, but are restrained by military powers, and as the freedom of the press is entirely gone, there is no way for them to express their views. It was for the purpose of serving these people that Mr. Foote endeavored to reach Washington. Mrs. Foote says those who side with the Richmond junta live as well as ever, being supplied with all luxuries at a comparatively small cost, as the government pays the expenses.


Fiendish Revenge.–The New Bedford Standard states that several times during the past week large stones have been placed on the track of the Old Colony and Newport Railroad at the point in Randolph where a man was run over and killed short time since. Luckily they have been discovered in season to avert disaster. It is probable that this outrage on the public safety is the work of some misguided friend of the unfortunate victim.

18, 1865

Account of the Bombardment.
Our Gunboats Up the River.

Baltimore, Jan. 17.–The correspondent of the Baltimore American gives the following detailed account of the bombardment of Fort Fisher on Friday, Jan. 13:

“At 4 o’clock this morning we were aroused by a gun from the flagship and the burning of the preparatory signal, as an indication that it was time to be up and stirring, preparing breakfast and  getting through with the routine of morning duty so as to be in readiness at dawn to commence the serious work of the day. The moon is still shining brightly, and the throng of vessels rest calmly on the sea, the wind being too light to ripple its surface, this, too, it should be remembered, just out of cannon shot of the dreaded coast of North Carolina. Truly the elements promise to favor this great enterprise.

“At five o’clock a second signal was given by the flagship to get ‘under weigh.’ At half past five signals of division commanders to ‘move forward’ were given and responded to, causing a brilliant pyrotechnic display.

“The gunboat Tacony was sent ahead last night to anchor off Flag Pond battery, and the day not having yet dawned, her lights can be seen as the steering point of the fleet in shore about three miles ahead of us. The three frigates, Wabash, Minnesota and Colorado, moved off first, led by Porter’s flagship. They were followed by the New Ironsides and the monitor fleet. Signals from the army transports added to the scenic display.

“At first dawn of day the whole squadron was in motion. The wind has changed due west during the night, and coming off sore tends to render the landing of the troops comparatively easy. At quarter to seven the Admiral signaled ‘form in line of battle,’ whereupon the Brooklyn, with her line of vessels, moved along close to the beach in the following order: Brooklyn 26 guns, Mohican 7, Tacony 10, Kansas 8, Unadilla 7, Huron 4, Maumee 5, Pawtuxent 10, Seneca 4, Pontoosuc 10, Nyack 7, Yantic 7, Nereus 11. This division was ordered to prepare for action and move in close to the shore to shell the beach at the point decided for landing the troops, about 3½ miles from Fort Fisher, near the deserted Half Moon battery. In a few minutes the whole division was in position, throwing shells into the narrow strip of woods separating the sea shore from Cape Fear river, about a mile inland, parallel to the beach.

“In the meantime the iron-clads moved into position directly in front of Fort Fisher, the Ironsides about three quarters of a mile and the monitors about half a mile off, in the following order: New Ironsides, twenty guns; Monadnock, four guns; Saugus, two guns; Canonicus, [two guns]; Mahopac, two guns. Before they got into position the fort opened on them, but they heeded it not until they had secured their anchorage, when at 8:30 the Ironsides opened on the fort, and was followed by the monitors with their tremendous shells. Every shot struck in the embrasure, and exploding threw clouds of sand high into the air. The fort occasionally responded, but did not send more than one shot every ten minutes, and at times so rapid was our firing that they found it impossible to work their guns.

“At nine o’clock the boats of the fleet were called away to assist in landing the troops. The woods had in the meantime been thoroughly shelled, and no enemy had appeared. The transports were enabled to go within half a mile of the shore, and were soon surrounded by not less than 200 boats, supplied from all the vessels in the fleet. Several tugs also joined in the work and carried soldiers to within 100 yards of the beach, where they were transferred to small boats. Tents and camp equipment were also landed with several days’ provisions for the entire force, which was 8,000 strong. At nine o’clock the boats from all the transports moved simultaneously for the shore, and in a few minutes the first 500 men stepped on the beach and planted their regimental flag on one of the highest sand-hills amid cheering from the transports and fleet. The men were overjoyed to again get from shipboard, and in a few minutes had cut down cedars sufficient to make a roaring fire to dry their clothes, some having got wet to their knees in passing through the surf. The band soon commenced playing, while the men could be seen running about and rolling in the warm sand like a school f children enjoying a holiday. No sign of an enemy could be seen at this time in any direction. ->

“At ten o’clock, about 4000 troops having been landed, a skirmishing line was sent forward. Admiral Porter signalled to Capt. Glisson, commanding the Santiago, to move with his gunboat division inside the line of frigates, and shell the beach in advance of the skirmishers’ division. The woods in advance of the pickets were thoroughly shelled up to within a mile and a half of Fort Fisher, where we dropped anchor in the rear of the iron-clad fleet, and fully two miles in advance of all the balance of the landing of the troops, where they remained up to 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

“From our advanced position I had a splendid view of the work of the iron-clads, which was the main business of the day, though some shells fired from Fort Fisher came in rather close proximity. The firing on the fort from the monitors and New Ironsides was a magnificent sight.

“From 8 in the morning up to 4 p.m., the monitors poured in ponderous shells at the rate of 4 per minute, the whole number thrown in at that time not less than 2000. Every shot struck the embrasures or parapets of the fort, and the gunnery exhibited was never surpassed. During this time the fort probably threw 300 shells in return, but the difficulty they had in managing their guns amid the explosion of our shells and the clouds of sand that constantly enveloped their works from our well directed shots, doubtless marred their gunnery, as most of their shots struck beyond or short of the mark. All of our vessels, however, received honorable scars in the fight, and we could see that several of their smoke stacks had been perforated and their armor bruised. The damage done to the fort by outward appearance was most distinct; what the internal damage may be is not known.

“About 4 o’clock, dense and continued smoke from the inside of the fort indicated that some rebel huts had been fired. At 4 o’clock the Admiral signalled to the vessels in line of battle, Number One, to take the position marked out for tem on the chart and join in the bombardment. They moved forward in the order given–11 vessels–led by the Brooklyn, and carrying 136 guns. An order was then given to line of battle Number Two to take position to join in the bombardment. It immediately moved forward as follows, presenting an array of the largest vessels in the service–a magnificent spectacle of old wooden walls with their ponderous armaments, viz: the Minnesota, 52 guns; Wabash, 48; Powhattan, 21; Susquehanna, 16; Juniata, 9; Shenandoah, 10; Ticonderoga, 20; total number of guns 175.

“At 20 minutes to 5 o’clock these two immense divisions, carrying 312 guns, in addition to the iron-clads, joined in the grand and awful yet terribly brilliant cannonade. The number of shots fired while this great bombardment lasted (one hour and a half–closing at ten minutes past six o’clock) could not have been less than four per second, broadside after broadside being poured in without the slightest intermission, occasionally interspersed with the dense bass of the guns of the monitors. Four shots per second during this time counts up 21,600 shots. Indeed, I have no doubt that up to the withdrawal of the wooden walls this evening, not less than 25,000 shells were fired into Fort Fisher. After the general bombardment commenced, but one shot was fired by the fort in return, consequently none of the wooden vessels were injured. The Ironsides and monitors did not withdraw, but kept at work throughout the night, throwing one shell every ten minutes into the fort to prevent repairing of damages by the garrison.

“The camp-fires of our troops on shore, together with the burning signals and the display of white and green lanterns by the fleet, presents a grand spectacle to-night. The troops have advanced up to within about a mile and a half of Fort Fisher, their camp-fires extending down the beach for more than a mile.

“The troops are in high spirits, and anxious to be led forward to assault the fort. They wish to wipe out the stain cast upon them by the withdrawal of Butler, and to prove to the country that they did not believe that the fort could not be taken.

“The announcement received here to-day that Butler had been relieved from the command of the Army of the James caused great rejoicing throughout the fleet.”


The Fort “Reduced to Pulp.”

Washington, Jan. 18.–The following was received at the Navy Department this morning:

Flagship Malvern Hill,
Off Fort Fishers
, Jan. 15, 1865.

To Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy:–

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that we have possession of Fort Fisher, and the fall of the surrounding works will soon follow.

As I informed you in my last we had commenced operations with the iron vessels, which bombarded while we landed the troops.

On the 14th I ordered all the vessels carrying XI-inch guns to bombard, with the Ironsides, the Brooklyn taking the lead; by sunset the fort was reduced to a pulp; every gun was silenced by being injured or covered up with earth so that they would not work.

On the 15th General Terry and myself arranged for an assault, and I ordered 1,400 sailors and marines to participate. At daylight the iron vessels, Brooklyn, and XI-inch gunboats commenced battering the work, while the troops made a lodgment within 150 yards of the fort.

At 10 o’clock all the vessels steamed in and took their stations, opening a heavy fire, which was kept up until 3 p. in., when the signal was made to assault, the soldiers taking the land side and the sailors the sea face, the ships changing (but not stopping) their fire to other works.

The rebels met us with a courage worthy of a better cause and fought desperately. About 30 of the sailors and officers succeeded in getting to the top of the parapet amidst a murderous fire of grape, canister, and musketry; they had planted the flag there, but were swept away in a moment. Others tried to get up the steep pan coupé.1 The marines could have cleared the parapets by keeping up a steady fire, but they failed to do so and the sailors were repulsed. Many gallant fellows fell trying to emulate their brothers in arms who were fighting to obtain an entrance on the northeast angle as it appears on our charts. The enemy mistook the seamen’s attack for the main body of troops and opposed a most vigorous resistance there, but I witnessed it all and think the marines could have made the assault successful.

In the meantime our gallant soldiers had gained a foothold on the [northwest] corner of the fort, fighting like lions, and contesting every inch of ground. The Ironsides and monitors kept throwing their shells into the traverses not occupied by our men but occupied by the rebels. In this way our troops fought from traverse to traverse from 3 p.m. until p.m., when the joyful tidings were signalled to the fleet.

We stopped our fire and gave them three of the heartiest cheers I ever heard. It has been the most terrific struggle I ever saw, and very much hard labor. The troops have covered themselves with glory, and General Terry is my beau ideal of a soldier and a general. Our cooperation has been most harmonious, and I think the general will do the Navy the credit to say that this time, at least, “we substantially injured the fort as a defensive work.” General Terry had only a few more troops than we had on the last occasion when the enemy had only 150 men in the works. This time the works were fully manned and contained about 2800 men at the time of the assault. 1->

It is a matter of great regret to me to see my gallant officers and men so cut up, but I was unwilling to let the troops undertake the capture of the works without the Navy’s sharing with them the peril all were anxious to undergo, and we should have had the honor of meeting our brothers in arms in the works had the sailors been properly supported.

We have lost about 200 in killed and wounded, and amongst them some gallant officers. I regret to announce the death of Lieutenant S. W. Preston and Lieutenant B. H. Porter. They were captured together in the attack on Fort Sumter and died together in endeavoring to pull down the flag that has so long flaunted in our faces. Lieutenant R. H. Lamson was severely wounded. He was lately associated with Lieutenant Preston in his perilous adventure of the powder boat. Lieutenant George N. Bache and a number of others were wounded; the former not dangerously.

The assault only took place a few hours ago, and I am unable to inform you of our casualties. They are quite severe from the assault, but we had no casualties from the enemy’s cannon.

Knowing the impatience of the Department to receive news from Fort Fisher, I have written these few hurried lines. No one can conceive what the Army and Navy have gone through to achieve this victory which should have been ours on Christmas Day without the loss of a dozen men.

This has been a day of terrific struggle, and not surpassed by any events of the war. We are all worn out nearly, and you must excuse this brief and unsatisfactory account.

I will write fully by the Santiago de Cuba, which goes north to-morrow to carry the wounded.

Besides the men in Fort Fisher there were about 500 in the upper forts, and a relief of about 1,500 men brought down by steamers this morning. So far, I believe we have only captured the garrison of Fort Fisher.

I don’t suppose there ever was a work subjected to such a terrific bombardment, or where the appearance of a fort was more altered. There is not a spot of earth about the fort that has not been torn up by our shells.

I don’t know yet the number of killed and wounded by our fire, but one XV-inch shell alone pierced a bombproof, killing 16 and wounding severely 25.

I presume we are in possession of all the forts, as Fort Fisher commands them all.

It is so late now that I can learn nothing more until morning.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

David D. Porter, Rear-Admiral.

Hon. Gideon Welles,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.


Interesting from Mexico.

New York, Jan. 18.–Late Mexican advices state that Maximilian announces free toleration of religious opinion, but the State religion will be Roman Catholic.

One thousand Austrian soldiers had arrived at Vera Cruz. The Austrian Minister had also arrived.

It was stated in Mexico that the United States will recognize the Mexican Empire in March.

The government journals state that more of Juarez’s chiefs have given in [to] their adhesion to Maximilian.

20, 1865

Peace and Adjacent Matters.

The president is reported to have been closeted all day, Wednesday, denying himself to all comers, and giving audience to two peace envoys from Alabama.

The Richmond Whig of Tuesday says of Mr. Blair’s mission:

“The belief in well-informed circles is that this interview may lead to a conference between authorized agents or commissioners of the two governments. It is known that President Davis will permit no obstacle of form to stand in the way of sending or receiving commissioners. Mr. Blair was handsomely entertained during his sojourn in Richmond. We are assured that the report is true that President Davis has sent an autograph letter to Mr. Lincoln expressing his willingness to send or receive commissioners authorized to negotiate peace.”

It is to be recollected in connection with all such assurances, that Davis and the rest said to Mr. Blair, as they have always said, that they will have peace only as an independent nation; they will consider no propositions for a return to the Union.

Better indications looking towards peace than any that come, or will come, from the rebel leaders at Richmond, are found in the outburst against Davis in the southern newspapers, especially those of Georgia and South Carolina. In central Virginia too the Charlotte Chronicle is quite as fierce against Davis as are the Charleston papers, and cries out:

“If Mr. Davis and the court were only going to dash their own brains out, we might rally from the calamity; but they are dragging the whole secession fleet after them. Nearly all things have been done in a malign, perverted way; we have been breathing an impure air; we have been nourishing a vicious blood; we have seen with a refracted light; we have prophesied with stammering lips. Our leader is afflicted with proud-flesh; he sees with an oblique eye; his ear has no sense of harmony; he has no idea of proportions, no idea of relations; he is affected with color-blindness; he combines like the kaleidoscope; he sees with the vividness of the madman, but there is a villainous demon within that wrests things out of their places; like some fine instrument in its conception, a chord or string has been broken, and what should have discoursed eloquent music, utters harsh, discordant sounds.”

The Charleston Mercury, having denounced in detail the military blunders of Davis, declares his proposition to arm the slaves the worst blunder of all:

“Instead of aiming at radical changes in the causes of the effects under which we suffer and are endangered, men are found who propose the mad remedy of driving out quiet Negro producers into the war, and forcing them to fight. They are to understand that the Yankees are getting the upper hand of us, and that their time of immunity from war is over; they are to choose between fighting with us, the weaker party, or with the stronger party, our enemy. They are to fight for slavery (or for individual freedom) on our side, or on the side of our enemy for total and general emancipation of their families, race and people, allured by all the fancied luxuries of nothing to do. Independent of law, independent of principle, independent of our institutions, the proposition appears to us as desperate in its absurdity as it is the reckless of everything else. Can Congress find no remedy for the incompetency and mismanagement which is riding us down to ruin?” ->

The Raleigh (N. C.) Whig has come out openly for the reconstruction of the Union, as the only remedy for intestine troubles. It says the interior of North Carolina is filled with deserters and outlaws, and the state militia have thrown away their arms and gone home. Mr. Poole, the member of the North Carolina state senate who recently introduced peace resolutions in that body, has delivered a logical and fearless speech in their support. Affairs are evidently ripening for peace in the old North state.


An Appeal for the Contrabands.–Gen. Saxton and others connected with the freedmen on the South Carolina islands sends the following appeal:

“Good Men and Women of the North! We earnestly appeal to you on behalf of the thousands of suffering Negroes whom Gen. Sherman has just liberated by his triumphant march through Georgia.

“Wherever he has borne our flag, they have hastened to follow it with simple faith in the truth of the government and the charity of the nation. They have arrived on the coast after long marches and severe privations, weary, famished, sick and almost naked. Seven hundred of these wretched people arrived at Beaufort Christmas night, in a state of misery which would have moved to pity a heart of stone, and these are but the advance of a host no less destitute.

“The stores of the government, already overtaxed to supply a large army, are not available to relieve their wants, and unless the charity of the North comes speedily to the rescue, they must die by hundreds from exposure and disease.

“So extreme and entire I the destitution of this people, that nothing which you can afford to give will come amiss. Clothing is their most pressing need, especially for women and children, who cannot wear the cast-off garments of soldiers. Shoes and stockings, hats, suspenders, and under-garments of all kinds are hardly less necessary in this climate than in the North. Utensils, medicines, money–anything you have to spare–will find its use among this wretched people.

“The several freedmen’s aid societies at the North are proper and sufficient channels for your beneficence. We pray you, for the sake of suffering humanity, let them be speedily and abundantly filled.”

Beaufort, S. C., January 6, 1865.


Eighty bags of overland mail matter for California, which had once been sent as far as Julesburg, Colorado, 400 miles beyond Atchison, Kansas, and returned to New York in consequence of Indian troubles, was dispatched from New York Monday by the Isthmus route. The Indians now hold some 500 miles of the overland route and communication will not probably be resumed before May or June.

JANUARY 21, 1865


Blair’s Visit to Richmond.
Davis Ready for Peace on the Basis of State Rights.
[Correspondence of the World.]

Washington, Jan. 16.

Mr. Blair’s visit to Richmond continues to be the subject of numerous comments, and shares with our glorious deeds at Fort Fisher the honor of engrossing public attention. I heard so many stories concerning that visit, on which, by the way, Mr. Blair keeps perfectly silent, that I do not feel authorized to state anything positive on the subject. If I had an opinion to express, I would simply say that I do not believe him as satisfied on his return as he was on his departure, and that he has obviously failed in the mission he undertook at the instigation of Mr. Greeley, and of the abolition clique which sits in Washington. Mr. Lincoln, who was also perfectly aware of the character of the visit, and who has seen Mr. Blair since his return, looked gloomier after a conversation with him, and seemed, I am informed, to labor under heavy disappointment at the close of his interview with the Richmond traveler.

The only reliable news I have from Mr. Blair’s experiment in Richmond is based upon a conversation I had with a friend of Mr. Seward, who seemed to be acquainted with the whole affair. He say that, once in Richmond, Mr. Blair was refused an official reception by his former friends now in power, and all that was granted him was the permission to visit them in a private capacity, without reference to any mission he might or might not have been entrusted with by Mr. Lincoln.

Of course, Mr. Blair accepted. He expressed, as an individual, the hope that the Confederate Government would not decline the offer of peace if it was presented in a proper shape; to which the reply was that a peace based on the “State rights” doctrine, such as it existed under the first four Presidents, would certainly be accepted; and that if Mr. Lincoln was ready to offer it, the Confederate Government would have no objection to listen to such overtures, and to take the subject into consideration. This was said to Mr. Blair by Jeff Davis himself, and by several members of his cabinet.

The answer given to Mr. Blair by Mr. Benjamin was of a different character. The polished politician and orator told him that any propositions coming from Mr. Blair were entitled to consideration, and that he would not hesitate to look into it himself, were it not that the agreements made by the Confederate Government with European powers forbade any idea of a return of the South to the Union, and bound the former to persevere in the pursuit of its independence.

Such is what I heard from a very reliable source, and I have no doubt myself that such conversations were carried on between Mr. Blair and the Richmond authorities. But whether or not anything told him by Jeff Davis and Mr. Benjamin was true, is a thing which I have no means to ascertain. I understand, however, that the old gentleman is disposed to satisfy the curiosity of his friends by publishing a short account of his experience in rebeldom in one of the Washington papers.–François.


A Yankee Trick.

The Wilmington Journal explains how the Junior Reserves of North Carolina were captured before Fort Fisher:

It appears that a Yankee captain, with five men, met one hundred and fifty of the reserves, under Major Reese, commanded the Major to surrender, telling him there was no use resisting as he was surrounded. A lieutenant refused to surrender and walked off with twelve men; but the Major, the victim of a transparent sell, as the Journal says, surrendered with his one hundred and fifty men to six Yankees. These men were marched into our lines, carrying their own arms loaded and capped.

Our Navy in the English Point of View.

The London Times, in an elaborate review of the report of our Secretary of the Navy, says: “Mr. Gideon Welles, the Secretary of the Federal Navy, is undoubtedly entitled to claim credit for the exertions of his department during the great civil war; and if we look impartially at the work devolved suddenly upon the American admiralty four years ago, at the resources which then existed for its performance, and the manner in which it has been actually performed, we must admit that the tone of gratulation pervading the Secretary’s report is by no means without justification.”


General Lee declines the proposition of the Confederates to make him Generalissimo–in other words, to make him in effect the Dictator. He has too much sense to want such a position, and cares enough in his present one. He recommends the arming of slaves, and the abolition of slavery for all who are armed.


The Atlantic Telegraph.–A letter from Geo. Saward, Esq., Secretary and General Superintendent of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, to Cyrus W. Field, Esq., after alluding to the absolute electrical perfection of the cable now being manufactured, states the amount completed up to the 30th of December, at 750 miles. The cable now being manufactured at the rate of eighty miles per week, without hurry and without night work. It will be finished by the end of the first week of June. Two tanks on board the Great Eastern for the storage of the cable are constructed, and the third is rapidly progressing. There is no reason to doubt that the cable will all be on board, and the great ship nearly ready for sea with every appliance of the best kind and in the best order, by the month of June. Mr. Saward has no doubt that the cable will be successfully laid and worked.


Death of Edward Everett.

This unexpected event occurred at his residence in Boston about 4 o’clock Sunday morning. He had been in his usual health, with the exception of a severe cold, which did not excite alarm. He died from apoplexy. His age was seventy years and nine months. A dispatch from the Secretary of State announces that, “the several departments of the Government will cause appropriate honors to be rendered to the deceased, both at home and abroad.”

Mr. Everett was distinguished for his scholarship and great industry. In the positions he held at different times–Senator, Secretary of State, Minister to England, &c.–he acquired extensive information of the politics of his own and foreign countries. Everything that came from his hand was prepared with laborious care, and more remarkable for correctness of expression than breadth of view. R. Everett was naturally a conservative politician, but had not that firmness and devotion to principles which enables a man to stand up against popular reproach. He was undoubtedly honest, but his inclination to be on the popular side led him into inconsistencies. An instance is fresh in the mind. On the seizure of the Trent, and the arrest of Mason and Slidell, Mr. Everett commenced a series of articles in the New York Ledger, defending that transaction from an international point of view, but he had no sooner committed himself fully to that position, when the official correspondence came out in which Mr. Seward “cheerfully” surrendered the prisoners.

His life has been a long and useful one, and the spotless purity of his character, and his scholarly attainments, which made him known and respected throughout the civilized world, will cause his memory to be cherished by his countrymen.

1 A pan coupé is an angled cut or ramp between the parapets.

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