JANUARY 29, 1865

The Kearsarge Prize Money.

Will you be kind enough to mention in your paper, to correct erroneous views upon the prize money due the crew of the Kearsarge, the following memorandum? It will answer many of the letters sent to me on this subject, and oblige your very humble servant,–Jno. A. Winslow.

Prize Money Due the Kearsarge Crew.

The law regulating prize money, applicable to this case, is two hundred dollars a head for each person on board the Alabama. This will give the crew a little over thirty thousand dollars. Had the Alabama been brought into port and not sunk, the whole value of her, by the prize law, would have belonged to the crew, which, as she carried fifty-eight thousand pounds, would be nearly three hundred thousand dollars. It will be seen by this that it is rather a losing business to Jack to sink ships at sea, and when he learns the recent law made he will be reading it, that he must put his shot in above the water line, and never below.

We learn that the amount raised to be equally divided among the crew and officers of the Kearsarge, is something less than twenty-five thousand dollars in New York, and about eight thousand dollars in Boston.

The crew had a letter read to them when in the channel, from the Secretary of the Navy, that it was the intention of the President to ask Congress to appropriate a sum equal to the full value of the Alabama for distribution as prize money, as it was judged that the service rendered to the country fully warranted it.–New York Herald.


Annexation of Canada.–We find the following statement in a late number of the Pays, an influential Canadian journal, believed to be the organ of a large party:

The following question was discussed at L’Institute Canadien on Thursday night, “Would not annexation with the United States be preferable to Lower Canada in every respect to a legislative union disguised under the name of a Confederation of the British Provinces, such as adopted at the Quebec Conference?” The debaters, Messrs. Blanchet and Turgeon, spoke in the affirmative. The principal argument made by them was that in the confederation scheme of our Canadian Ministers, the influence of each province would be all but null, and the central government invested with the sovereign power; while, on the contrary, in a republican and democratic confederation, such as that of the United States, Lower Canada would enjoy sovereign power, would have nothing to fear from the central government, whose powers would be far more limited, its language, usages, laws and institutions being protected from all hostile powers. Mr. Blanchet cited as an authority Mr. Etienne Parent, Assistant Provincial Secretary, who is far from being suspected by the most faithful conservative of republican predilections, and who wrote in 1856 a similar opinion as to annexation. A vote was taken at the close of the debate, when the Institute unanimously pronounced in favor of the affirmative.”

Horrors of War.–A man, unless he happens to be a devil incarnate, very soon gets tired of killing those whom he can see. Even the surgeon who is dissecting a corpse covers up the eyes of his subject. These have sunk their fire into the abyss of death, but they are still human eyes. To mark the death-gaze of the slaughtered, the poor fellow who never did us harm to feel our feet slippery in his blood–to have his blood spurt on your hands, and his hot brains into our face–this kind of business very soon sickens and revolts the bravest soldier. When you have seen a few men slashed or shot to death, my Christian friend, my melodious poet, with your sing-song about the “tented field” and the “embattled strife”–my mellifluous pastor, with your high sounding eloquence about the “God of battles”–you will think as I do.

Mayhap you may come to acknowledge how comparatively tender and merciful are the men in shoulder-straps whose trade it is to kill, and how often the gorge of the soul rises at their dreadful calling. Turn to the Book of Maccabees, and read that one tremendous pregnant passage–that one lines: “And Nicanor lay dead in harness.” When you have seen him thus, lying stark and still, his brave clothes all dabbled in gore, his mouth wide open, grinning, awful, the bloody foam of his lips dried into a purple crust, and the camp followers creeping up to rifle his pockets and draw off his boots, and cut off his ring-finger, and smash his jaw for the sake of the gold setting to his false teeth, you make form some idea about the “romances of war” very different from those you have previously entertained.


Old Dr. Beecher once met a certain independent, though somewhat offensive little animal in one of his walks, and having no other missile at his command, threw a large book at him which he was carrying under his arm. Subsequently the old doctor was asked one day why he did not reply to some malignant scribbler who had assailed him in a newspaper, and his reply was as quaint as it was suggestive. Said he, “I once issued an entire volume to a skunk, but he got the better of me.”


At great expense, in constructing and beautifying the new wings of the Capitol edifice at Washington, the two private stairways leading from the basement committee rooms to the two halls of Congress were adorned with elaborate and unique brass banisters and railings, eliciting general attention and admiration. Recently, by aid of files and other appliances, portions of these railings have been wrenched from their place and carried away, doubtless to be sold to a junk dealer. How these depredations can be committed is a mystery, in view of the fact that every niche, corner, passage way and hall of the edifice is represented by a stationary guard, wearing their emblem of authority. It can only be accounted for on the hypothesis that many of them are too much absorbed in the newspapers which they peruse as a means of killing time.–New York Express Correspondence.

JANUARY 30, 1865

Appointment of Peace Commissioners.

It will be seen from our dispatches that President Davis has appointed Vice President Stephens, Senator Hunter of Virginia, and Judge Campbell of Alabama. Commissioners to proceed to Washington, for the purpose of conferring with the Lincoln Government on the subject of peace. We have none other than circumstantial evidence on which to base an opinion as to the origin of this move.

Of this, however, we have sufficient to warrant the belief, that the proposition came from the North, and was presented to our through Mr. Blair. Whatever the result may be, we know that as yet, it is the only real and tangible foreshadowing of peace and a suspension of hostilities between the two sections. Hitherto, every suggestion looking to negotiations of every character between the belligerents, aside from the subject of exchange, has been indignantly spurned by the Northern Government. May we not hope that this initiatory step, whatever its immediate results may be, will finally lead to peace and the independence of the Confederacy.


Change of Policy.

We learn from a very good source, says the Recorder, that a gentleman of prominence in Georgia some short time ago had a long talk with Mr. Lincoln, circumstances over which he had no control having carried him to Washington City. Mr. Lincoln confessed that he had begun the war wrong, and that the policy he had pursued had made more determined enemies of the South than he anticipated; his policy in future would be to conciliate the South by kind treatment, and thus divide us. We can account for Sherman’s kind treatment of the people of Savannah, and his reported dislike to enter South Carolina for fear he cannot control his soldiers. Lincoln is right in one respect, that is, his villainies to us have made him no friends, but most determined enemies, and repentance at the eleventh hour will not get him his penny, so much desired by him and his commercial and tariff thieves. He advised the Georgian to go home and speak to the people upon the subject of reconstruction. He was told that he would be hung if he attempted such a thing. Lincoln remarked, then talk to people privately, and if that won’t do, then pray for reconstruction.


Cool.–At the first bombardment of Fort Fisher, a shell whistled close by Gen. Whiting, exploded, and covered him all over with wet sand. He did not move even, did not take his pipe from his mouth, and only remarked coolly, “Well, it spattered me.”


Sherman.–The Raleigh Progress of the 21st says it learns from Savannah refugees that Sherman is in motion with an army of 80,000 effective men. Wonder if that refugee may not be an emissary sent in advance to try to spread alarm.


The Theater.–To-night (Monday) will be presented at the Theater “The Lady of the Lake” and “Scenes in India,” two of the most beautiful and thrilling plays ever produced upon the stage, and cannot fail to draw a crowded audience.

We advise all who intend going, to go early, if they would secure good seats. It is seldom two such rare pieces are presented on the same evening, and we doubt not that there will be a perfect jam.


Dispatches were received in Augusta on the 24th announcing that our troops had successfully repulsed the enemy in their advance upon Wilmington. The Yankees were, it is said, severely punished.

From Wilmington.

We received no papers direct from Wilmington this morning, but clip the following from the Raleigh Confederate of the 21st:

The Carolinian of the 19th, says Major Venable carried a flag of truce within the enemy’s lines on yesterday, returned last night. The details are meagre, as the officer in charge could obtain very little information from the enemy. We are happy to learn, however, that Gen. Whiting and Col. Lamb are doing well.

The slaughter in the fort was immense. The killed and wounded, we are informed, will reach five or six hundred.

A large number of letters was received, which will immediately be forwarded by our prompt and efficient Post Master, to their respective destinations. May God comfort the bereaved, who will never receive letters from loved and familiar hands.


More Recognition Rumors.

Verona, Jan. 27.–Maj. Gen. Forrest’s scouts from Orizaba report that great excitement prevails in Memphis on account of recognition rumors. It is reported that the English Premier has notified Lincoln that he would recognize him after the 4th of March as President only of the States which had voted for him. The English government, it is reported here, has ordered the seizure of all the American vessels at Nassau.


The true object of Blair’s visit, the Richmond Examiner believes, was beyond question to fail in a pretended overture for “peace and Union,” and thus to give a stimulus to the draft for three hundred thousand new thieves and murders, to be let loose upon us next spring. He could easily, in the confidence of private discourse, get from the President a fresh avowal that the South is really fighting for independence and nothing else; a statement which, though t has been repeated so often as to be almost monotonous, yet always seems fresh and surprising to the Northern mind. Every time they learn, on the authority of a Yankee who heard the thing actually said with his own two ears, it is a matter of new amazement and indignation to them; and they set about, with more zeal than ever, fitting out armadas and gathering fresh troops.

But this belief was expressed before the second visit of Blair, who, so far as we are informed, is still in Richmond. His prolonged stay would seem to give strength to the general hope that peace negotiations are really on foot. On the other hand, however, let us not forget that the preparations of the enemy for a vigorous prosecution of the war go on unceasingly, and must be met by corresponding vigor and determination on our part.


From Charleston–564th Day.–There has been no change of importance since last report. The only firing heard was two shots in the direction of Stono. Some considerable activity was observed among the small boats of the fleet. There was also a good deal of signaling in the fleet. No additional increase of vessels is reported.­–Courier, 24th.

31, 1865

Scarcity of Fuel and Light.

There is great scarcity of wood and coal at Washington. On Saturday the gas company had only 100 tons of coal, and the treasury department was notified that gas could not be furnished them after Monday. Secretary Stanton was visited by treasury officers and urged to encourage as much as possible the movement of coal over the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, representing that if the gas should be cut off in the treasury building, the supply of money and the printing of government securities would be cut off, as the light was indispensable in the printing bureau.


Recognition and Peace Rumors.–The Tribune of Monday has an emphatic, double-leaded leader, saying that it has found a clue to the reported recognition intrigue. It is that Jeff Davis sent Bishop Lynch of South Carolina abroad, some time ago, and the bishop has convinced the Catholic powers that the expansion and predominance of the church on this continent will be assured by the triumph of the confederates; whereupon said powers have formed  secret league, pledged to recognize the confederacy after the 4th of March. The story has this advantage: it can never be proved false; the league is secret, and after the 4th of March covers the whole indefinite future. The Tribune also declares it “nearly certain” that the rebels rejected Mr. Blair’s peace overtures because of this promise of Catholic intervention; also, that the rebels mean to burn Richmond, so as to show Christendom that they prefer extermination to subjugation. Another Tribune report is that two members of the House at Washington, who dined with Mr. Blair since his return from Richmond, say that Mr. Blair told them that “Jeff Davis entreated him to effect the passage of the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery; that he confessed that the war had uprooted and destroyed slavery; that it had induced disunion, and that the hope of being able to yet save slavery and re-enthrone it was the only obstacle to peace and the restoration of the Union.” Jeff Davis advocating the anti-slavery amendment–well, that is something worth telling, if true. The only additional marvel on this fruitful theme, in Monday’s New York papers, is one of the Herald’s coinage, to the effect that Jeff Davis and his associates admit that they will be obliged to submit, and that they are anxious to make terms, but none of them dare to take the responsibility. They had better combine and divide around it.

The Richmond Sentinel, Davis’s paper, gives a version of Mr. Blair’s peace negotiations more likely to be correct than anything printed in our own papers:

“After laying before our authorities, informally, of course, the wishes of the federal government, the interpretation of which is peace on a subjugation basis, and finding that these modest desires were not likely to be complied with, he came down pointedly to a proposition of reunion upon any terms, and desired to know upon what terms the South would agree to return to the sheltering ægis of the old flag. He suggested the Union as it was, the Negro as he is, and the South as it used to be. He suggested also that the North would foot the bill and taxes for all the Negroes stolen and property destroyed by the armies and emissaries of federal usurpation. ->

Of course he made all of these suggestions on his own responsibility; but, whether deemed authoritative or not, he received not the slightest encouragement to hope for reunion, and was made to understand that the South was fighting for independence, and independence only. He then inquired whether, if the independence of the South were recognized by the federal government, the South would make common cause with the North, and drive the French from Mexico. The response understood to have been given to this diplomatic feeler was: ‘Make the proposition formally and officially, and you will get a reply.’ ”

If Blair made the final suggestion mentioned, he may have done the country irreparable mischief. Notwithstanding all the avowals, it will be understood abroad that he went to Richmond charged with the views of our government, or at least fully informed of them. What is more likely to provoke the immediate recognition of the confederacy by France, and indeed active support to its cause, than an attempt to secure re-union on the basis of hostility to Napoleon’s Mexico scheme? We expected no good from Mr. Blair’s diplomacy; we trust he has committed no such dangerous blunder as the Sentinel reports.


Mr. Richard Montgomery, an engineer at New York, proposes to build a railroad upon pillars of corrugated iron to run along both sides of Broadway at the height of the second floors of the best class of stores. He claims that such a road would cost less than a million dollars, and could be completed in three months, without, during that time or afterwards, interfering with travel on the street. One feature would recommend this plan to New Yorkers, who pay such enormous rents. He suggests that the road shall be connected, at the street corners, with a walk or second-story pavement to be run along the entire front of Broadway by private enterprise; and thus there would be created a double tier of shops, where now only a single tier exists as a rule.


The New York Tribune states editorially that Gen. Sherman designed to organize the emancipated slaves, on his march through Georgia, for soldiers, but the war department refused to send with him an officer who has had experience in recruiting blacks; and although private individuals were ready to assume a part, if not the whole expense, the war department did not respond. Gen. Sherman is blamed for isolating the freed men in his department, as thereby giving implied sanction to the prejudice against color; but he is praised at Gen. Banks’ expense for giving land to the Negroes instead of establishing a paid labor system. The fact that the owners of the Louisiana lands still hold them and remain upon them, while the South Carolinians have abandoned theirs, is wholly ignored in order to make out a comparison unfavorable to Gen. Banks. There were no lands in Louisiana that Gen. Banks could parcel out among the Negroes.

1, 1865


One of the great evils of the day, and which has been since the fall of Adam, is the system of puffing up men and women, and presenting them to the community as great and worthy and of vast proportions. This system has led to difficulties and disasters both to the public and to the individual puffed. How often do we see in the newspapers this and that man set up as a model of patriotism, greatness, morality and virtue. Everything they say or do is duly chronicled and put before the world in large capitals as the greatest effort of the times, and worthy a niche in the temple of fame, higher and more exalted than any ever occupied by a Pitt, a Burke, or a Sheridan. All of their speeches are reported in full and they give the key-note to their friends and partisans. But in process of time these men change their opinions and become the advocates of doctrines directly opposed to those of which they were once the champions. Then comes the denunciation of their former friends and admirers–who are now changed from fawning satellites to vindictive enemies–and the the individual who was at one time little less than an angel is now a dirty beast, and of no account. How mortifying to take back all that has been said in his favor, and say to the people that the hero worshipped was an imposter and a cheat. Did the papers who have puffed the individual into notice know before this? If so, why this extravagant puffing? Is it not true that all men are more or less selfish and that public men are supremely ungrateful and negligent of friends? Do they not become intensely large in their own estimation and put on airs to an alarming degree? Do they not attribute their success in life to their own superior attainments, forgetting the friends who have sustained them and carried them upward in the line of promotion? Do they not then turn upon the publisher of the newspaper whose brains and whose pen have made them all they are, and become his worst enemy because the publisher refuses to go all lengths with the puffed individuals in their erratic course? Publishers of newspapers have a great duty to perform to the public. They should stop the wholesale puffing of party favorites and treat them as they deserve to be treated and no better. So long as public men are honest, say so. When they cease to be honest, let the public know. There is no other safe course to pursue if a newspaper desires to retain the confidence of the public.


Gen. Sherman’s Movement into South Carolina Delayed by Heavy Rains.–Since the date of my last letter announcing the departure of Gen. Sherman’s army from Savannah on its new campaign a heavy rain has set in, which in this country, and at this season of the year, is apt to render the roads useless for travel for several weeks.

Portions of the Twentieth and Fifteenth Corps having crossed the river and venture upon the ten mile corduroy road, which had been constructed over the swamps, were involved in the treacherous soil and forced to retrace their steps, leaving some of their transportation, for the water to subside. Some of the troops found progression or retreat alike impossible, and making a virtue of necessity, encamped themselves upon isolated patches of high ground to await the pleasure of the elements. ->

Officers, who had been ten miles in the interior of South Carolina, returned last night reporting the country covered with water and impassable for either men or wagons. The roads are submerged–their direction indicated only by the fringe of trees and bushes on either side.

It is rumored that Gen. Sherman, in view of these difficulties, will move such portions of the army as remain, by a road where the soil on the Carolina side is firmer and more elevated. The rain will unavoidably delay the movement a few days, if not a week.


Negro Soldiers Slaughtered by a Guerrilla Band.–A wholesale slaughter of Negro soldiers who were driving cattle near Simpsonville, Ky., is noticed by the Louisville Journal, as follows:

Not more than half a mile this side of the village a terrible scene was presented to view. The ground was stained with blood, and the dead bodies of Negro soldiers were stretched out along the road. It was evident that the guerrillas had dashed upon the party guarding the rear of the cattle and taken them completely by surprise. They could not have offered any serious resistance, as none of the outlaws were even wounded. It is presumed that the Negroes surrendered and were shot down in cold blood, as but two of the entire number escaped–one of them by secreting himself behind a wagon, the other by running, as he was met several miles from the scene of tragedy, wounded and nearly exhausted. Thirty-five dead bodies were counted lying in the road and vicinity. The outlaws were but fifteen in number–one of them a black scoundrel, who boasted on the return of the band to Simpsonville that he killed three of the soldiers.


Rebels Caught by a Yankee Trick.–A “mean Yankee trick” was played on the rebels a few days since in the front of our lines near Petersburg. With a view of relieving the tedium of their life in the mud and rain, some of the pickets of the 2d Corps procured a few fat cattle, as the most tempting baits which they could offer to Southern appetites, and, placing them upon the outer line, hid themselves in ambush and waited patiently the result. As was anticipated, no sooner were the beeves heard to low than the rebel pickets, crouching in the underbrush, stole cautiously towards them. They were getting along very successfully, they thought, and had almost reached the objects of their hopes, when, to their dismay, they heard a laugh and a “hurrah” in their rear, and turned to find themselves cut off from the main body of their army, and prisoners. About a hundred of these seekers after beef were thus made game of and captured by the adroit manœuvre.



War News.

The most noteworthy event of the past week is perhaps the attempt of the rebel iron-clads and gun-boats that have a long time been lying in the James river at Richmond, to pass down by our batteries, through the obstructions placed in the water, and to destroy our transports and immense government stores at City Point. This rebel fleet consisted of the following vessels: the Virginia, the Fredericksburg, and the Richmond, strong armored vessels of four guns each; the Drury, the Nansemond, and the Hampton, wooden gunboats of two guns each; the Buford, one gun; Torpedo, dispatch boat, and three torpedo boats. They left their moorings near Drury’s Bluff at about 6 o’clock, Monday evening, January 23d, and proceeded down the river. The night was dark and the river high, circumstances highly favorable to the enemy’s project. They proceeded quietly along till they neared our batteries, when they were discovered, and immediately our batteries opened on them, to which they replied. At about 12 o’clock they succeeded in cutting the chain in front of our obstructions beyond the lower end of Dutch Gap canal, where the Fredericksburg, under full head of steam passed thro’ the obstructions, completely demolishing one of the sunken canal boats. The Richmond, Virginia, and Drury, in attempting to follow, grounded, when the Fredericksburg had to go to their assistance. The Drury could not be gotten off and had to be abandoned, as it was then daylight and they were within range of battery Parsons.

As soon as it became light the battery opened on the Drury, one of the shells falling in her magazine, when she exploded, completely demolishing her. The remainder of the fleet quickly made their way back up the river. The only damage done to us was the dismounting of one gun on fort Brady. Deserters report that only one man was killed and two wounded by the explosion of the Drury.


Grant and Sherman Reinforced.

Gen. Schofield, it is reported, has been transferred with his corps from Tennessee to the Atlantic coast; also Gen. Meagher with his division from Chattanooga, so that 20,000 men are probably added to the forces closing up the campaign toward Richmond. With these fruits in view well may Lee, Davis and Co. at Richmond, look out for their safety, and no wonder the Richmond Sentinel, in a recent editorial, exclaims:

“January has almost run its sands and spring approaches. The war which farther south has shown no pause will soon wake again in Virginia. Grant is gathering his forces around us; his own army is entrenched near at hand. Sheridan is in the valley; Thomas is in Tennessee; Sherman is menacing our southern connections, with his face hitherward. All the signs indicate an early combined and vigorous movement up our great line of railway and upon the capita of our country. These months of winter are precious months of preparation. Two of them are gone; one of them remains. Has our work been accomplished? Have our plans been formed? Have our measures been taken? Has our policy been agreed upon? Has our army been reorganized? Has it been strengthened? Alas for the answers that truth requires. Alas that the time of preparation is ending before preparation is commenced. We entreat Congress to wake up.”

All the formidable chain of forts about Fort Fisher, including Fort Caswell, has fallen into our hands, having been blown up and abandoned by the rebels. Wilmington, therefore, although not captured at latest advices, is most thoroughly closed against rebel blockade running, and the last breathing hole of the confederacy stopped. Admiral Porter reports the whole number of guns taken to be 168. Admiral Porter also says: “in each fort I found an Armstrong gun with ‘Broad Arrow’ on it, and the name of Sir William Armstrong, marked in full on the trunnions. As the British government claims the exclusive right to use these guns, it would be interesting to know how they came into forts held by Southern rebels. I find that immense quantities of provisions, stores and clothing have come through this port into rebeldom. It is all English, and they have received the last cargo. No more will ever come this way. We picked up a telegram from Lee to his subordinate here, saying if Forts Fisher and Caswell were not held, he would have to evacuate Richmond.”

Dr. Gwin’s Dukedom in Mexico.
A Place of Refuge for Rebels.

The report that ex-Senator Gwin of California had been made governor of the northern states of Mexico was supposed to be a canard. It turns out to be a matter of fact. The Emperor Maximilian has conveyed to Napoleon, as security for the payment of French claims, the states of Sonora, Lower California, and the whole tier of states on the other side of our lines. Dr. Gwin has received the title of duke, and is made the governor general of this new French province. Dr. Gwin has full power to dispose of the public lands and monies, has framed a code of laws, and will at once set about procuring emigrants to his new realm from this country, and especially the rebel states. Napoleon guarantees full military protection, and liberal terms will be offered to settlers. Dr. Gwin has two agents at San Francisco, Major J. C. Ridges and Mr. Herly, to organize emigration to the new country, some parts of which are rich in undeveloped mineral resources.

That this scheme is in some way connected with the Davis rebellion is indicated by several facts. There have been repeated intimations that Kirby Smith, the rebel commander beyond the Mississippi, intends to go to Mexico with his army and join Maximilian, and that he has sent a great deal of cotton thither on his own private account. It is hinted that he has given Napoleon or Maximilian assurances that Texas shall eventually be re-annexed to Mexico. Late accounts from New Orleans mention that many old business men of secesh inclinations are emigrating to  Matamoras. This has a look in the same direction. And in harmony with this scheme of opening northern Mexico as a refuge for our defeated traitors, we have a report from Washington that one of the schemes of settlement suggested to Mr. Blair by a member of Davis’s cabinet on his first visit to Richmond was this:

“In the event of our (rebel) government deciding to treat for terms and give up the contest, will the United States government forego emancipation, confiscation, &c., and permit us to dispose of our cotton, then leave the country for Mexico, with the express understanding that no obstacle shall be placed in the way of private soldiers in the southern army  at least who may desire to follow the leaders into that country? If that will be consented to, they will bind themselves to drive the French under Maximilian out of Mexico, secure the full control of the government there, and, if necessary, pledge its ultimate annexation to the United States.”

This differs from the other account, which supposes alliance with Maximilian instead of war upon him. Union with Maximilian is the most probable intention, and the establishment of a government hostile to the United States. All this is conjectured, however, for the present. What is true is that the northern tier of Mexican states has been handed over to France, and that Dr. Gwin, a friend of the rebel leaders and the rebellion, is made governor of the new province. Nothing is more natural than that the rebel leaders should look to that country as a place of refuge after their final defeat here, and it is reasonable to suppose that the whole scheme was gotten up for that purpose. If Davis or the other leaders can take forty or fifty thousand soldiers with them into Mexico, they may hope to found a state there which they can rule, and this will be preferable to death or submission here.–Springfield Republican.


Three or four vessels have arrived at Savannah, heavily laden with provisions for the suffering poor, and the city authorities and the citizens express their gratitude warmly and unmistakenly to their Northern benefactors.

3, 1865

The Enemy at Bay.

The thrilling series of victories which have crowned our banners during the last month, and the splendid promise of the month to come, make the prospects of the Union cause altogether brighter at this moment than at any previous period in the history of the war. Neither after Fort Donelson and Roanoke Island in February, 1862, nor after Island No. 10 and New Orleans in April of the same year, nor after Gettysburg, Vicksburg and Port Hudson in July, 1863, nor after Chattanooga, nor yet after Atlanta, even, did the cause of the enemy appear so desperate as it does now. We express the conviction that, if our arms are managed in the future with the skill, vigor and prudence that have lately gained, under our three great generals, the three great victories of Nashville, Savannah and Fort Fisher, this year of grace 1865 will make the overthrow of the rebellion a certainty, and the difficult work of that overthrow will be substantially accomplished.

When the cause of the rebellion shall be the most desperate, we must look for its most desperate and unexpected struggles. The enemy may yet have unexpended shafts in his quiver. Suppose, for a single example, nerved by a consciousness that his cause was lost, he should sake all his fortunes on a final invasion of the North. We must suppose he would abandon Richmond and Petersburg, leaving only a strong picket line f a few thousand men around the latter city to blind his purposes. These he would sacrifice. Then suppose he should collect all available troops from North Carolina and Virginia, from the commands of Bragg and Beauregard, as well as from his own outposts. He would reduce and mobilize these to a  compact, formidable column. Then, stealing away from Richmond, he might get several days the start of our troops before his movement was discovered. In our present position, all the region immediately north and west of Richmond is known to him. He could march out from the “back door” of the city, so to speak, transport his troops to Lynchburg, or by the Virginia Central railroad to Gordonsville, and be in Northern Virginia before we had pierced his picket lines and found him vanished. Should he be able to penetrate the Shenandoah Valley, he would overwhelm our troops there as they have been more than once overwhelmed in similar circumstances. Then, Maryland and Pennsylvania, Baltimore and Washington, might feel the weight of his desperate stroke. Meanwhile, Grant would doubtless be summoned in hot haste to the capital, leaving behind perhaps only enough troops to take and hold Petersburg and Richmond. Or, suppose Lee should turn into the Kanawha Valley from Lynchburg. What would stop his course to Wheeling or Pittsburg? Columbus and Cincinnati could be reached by him, and Ohio and Kentucky might be devastated, his raiding columns forcing their way in different directions.

Napoleon said that 50,000 men, ably led, could push through any cordon. 50,000 men, ably led, need never be forced even to fight a great battle, if they choose only to move and to retreat in such a country as ours. Such an invasion of the North would not contemplate a great battle, except when veteran troops are opposed to emergency men, militia, or one hundred days’ men, who would be called to meet it. It would not be over-nice about the rules of civilized warfare, but would plunder and burn every-where, leaving desolation, and flaming towns and cities in its trail. ->

It would be forced to keep constantly in motion, to strike points where it could supply itself with provisions; and if driven to expend its ammunition in battle, it must aim also on points to where ammunition could be obtained. But its design would be a terrific swoop only, for the question of supplies of forage, food and ammunition would not permit a deliberate campaign.

If that theory of “dying in the last ditch” is not idle talk, however, the Waterloo of the war may yet, possibly, be fought on Northern soil. Perhaps a more plausible supposition may be that the rebel leaders, when all is over, will strive, rather than submitting to be hemmed in at Richmond, to make their way with faithful adherents to some quarter where, in a smaller region, and with such advantages of country as may be had, they may commence a long struggle before extirpation, striving, while their own lives last, at least, to play a stalemate upon us in this gigantic game of war.–Army and Navy Journal.


Slavery Abolished.
“Strike the Loud Timbrel!”

The amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting slavery in the United States forever, has passed both houses of Congress. The bill is to be signed by the President, and ratified by three-fourths of the Legislatures of the several States, and then it will be a part of our Constitution. Let the people shout and make a glad noise, for the redemption of our Country is at hand! The following article tells the whole story:

Article XIII.

Sec. 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as a punishment for a crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Sec. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The amendment passed by six more than the two-thirds required, several democratic members voting for it. All honor to them.


When the War Will End.

Advices from Savannah the 22d state that a great reaction was taking place in the minds of the people in the interior of Georgia. They now openly confess that the attempt to establish a Southern Confederacy is a failure. On the question of an immediate return to the Union, the people are undivided. Gen. Sherman finds that the people have a hearth hatred of the people of South Carolina. Gen. Sherman was to leave Savannah on the 22d to join his army. He says if the people of the North will provide men and money to carry on the war for four more years, it will not last four months longer, but if they fail to do so, there is no telling how long it will last.

FEBRUARY 4, 1865


Petroleum Companies.

They beat the world. They beat, says the Hartford Times, John Law’s scheme, and overtop the South Sea bubble. Since the oil business has become a reality and a value to the country, oil companies spring up in a night, and a hundred of them grow in a week. Once of them has a capital of five millions of dollars–others, more modest, range from two hundred thousand to a million.

The way it is often done is as follows: A tract of land is leased for twenty-five years, more or less, a royalty being paid to the owner for every barrel of oil procured from it. Wells are sunk, and if oil is not found, a few barrels are put in the holes in the ground. Sometimes indications of oil are struck. Then a company is formed–capital $250,000, and the shares are sold in the market. The parties taking a lease of the land may have expended $5,000–sometimes not over $500–and they pocket $250,000. In this way great fortunes are made, and they are too often made, for the public good. In a good number of cases, valuable oil wells have been found, and large quantities of oil are procured. This gives life to the bogus companies, and the business of creating petroleum companies is brisk. The capital of all the oil companies now in existence is not less than three hundred and fifty millions of dollars; whilst ten or twenty millions would be amply sufficient to work all the wells that are good for anything, and probably two millions would do it all. So it is evident that whilst a few may make great fortunes, a good many who invest will lose their money. Those who make the most money are those parties who lease lands, or purchase 100 acres at $5 an acre, and then form companies, each with a capital of $200,000 or more, and pocket the money.


Talk About Hard Tack.–“Hard tack,” or army biscuit, has risen, in ordinary American parlance, to the dignity of an institution–that is to say, it is talked about, and has been joke dover, to a degree which would fill many a volume like this, were all the Hard Tackiana collected. Perhaps the best unspoken pun–one devised by no human brain, but strangely molded by nature or chance–one presented itself to me under this popular name for military bread. On breaking open  specimen of the article, I found a large iron tack, which had been baked in by accident, and was, I need not say, several degrees harder even than the tack in which it was embedded.

The tack in question is always packed in square wooden boxes–generally bearing  date, as well as a brand of the make or baker; anent which the following is told:

One day a lot of boxes of peculiarly hard crackers arrived at the camp of the Fifth Excelsior. Several of the boys were wondering at the meaning of the brand upon the boxes, which was as follows: “B. C. 603.”

Various interpretations were given, but all were rejected, until one individual declared it was all plain enough. It couldn’t be misunderstood.

“Why, how so?” was the query.

“Oh!” he replied, “that is the date when the crackers were made–six hundred and three years before Christ–603 B. C.”–U. S. Service Mag. ->

The Recognition Intrigue.

We find the following significant article in the New York Tribune of to-day. We give it as we find it, and the reader must draw his own conclusions:

We have at length obtained a clue to the European complot wherefrom the Slave-holding rebels are comforting themselves with hopes of powerful and speedy aid to their sinking cause. Its outline is as follows:

At an early stage of our great struggle, Bishop Lynch (Roman Catholic) of Charleston, S. C., was dispatched by Jefferson Davis to Europe with a broad commission to search for sympathizers and allies, but with instructions to make Rome the focus of his operations. The Bishop has remained in Europe ever since, and has been zealously devoting himself to his important political duties. It was not difficult for him to convince the master-spirits of European Reaction and Absolutism that the Slaveholders’ Rebellion was identical in spirit and purpose with their own cause, and enlist their sympathies thereupon; but Bishop Lynch has gone further, and (whether with or without express warrant) assured the magnates of the Roman Catholic Church that its expansion and predominance, first in the Confederacy, ultimately throughout this hemisphere, will be assured by the triumph of the Confederacy.

In deference to these representations, a secret league of Roman Catholic Powers–France, Spain and Austria–under the guidance and with the express concurrence of the Pope, has, it is said, been formed, pledged to recognize the Confederacy on or immediately after the 4th of March next, under the pretext that the Union will thereafter consist of those States only which participated in the late Presidential election, and in the choice of members of the approaching Congress.

It is added that the league contemplates other than moral support to the slaveholding rebels, but not (we judge) at the outset. It is just possible that the withdrawal of Spain from her luckless adventure in San Domingo has some connection with this new undertaking.

We give this story as it reaches us, without assuming that it has other foundation than the sanguine hopes of the rebels and their European friends. That they expect some such interposition has incited them to repel the advances made to them through Mr. Blair, is nearly certain. We further learn that they are anticipating a fresh and earnest attempt to dispossess them of Richmond, and that in case of its success, they intend to burn the city to its foundations, so as to leave it a witness to Christendom of their resolution to be exterminated rather than subjugated. But the total destruction of a large city is more easily decreed than effected.

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