FEBRUARY 19, 1865

How the Rebel General Lee Stands.

Some of Gen. Lee’s old friends in Washington are inclined to think that it would not cost him a great sacrifice of personal feeling to come back into the old Union and under the legitimate Government.  Everybody knows that Lee went into the rebellion reluctantly, one might say that he was forced into it by his Virginia friends.  When he was ordered here from Texas in the spring of 1861 he was somewhat sore upon the subject, but when he stopped at New Orleans he met old Southern friends who urged him to join be rising South at once.  He indignantly refused, and meeting one of his comrades, an army officer who had joined a band of armed rebels, he administered a hot rebuke to him.  He returned to Washington, and went over to Arlington House, where he was in a sense neglected.  On the memorable Sunday after Sumter had fallen, when the president issued his call for 75,000 three month's volunteers, Mr. Bingham, then a member of Congress from Ohio, and a friend of Gen. Lee's, (he was colonel then, I believe,) went to the Secretary of War, Mr. Cameron, and asked him if any one had sounded Col. Lee respecting his opinions.

Mr. Cameron knew nothing of the matter and cared less, so Mr. Bingham went to see the President.  Mr. Lincoln had no knowledge upon the subject. “Then,” says Bingham, “it is time that some one could go and see Lee, for I tell you he is the ablest military officer in the service!” The President had no objection to Mr. Bingham's going on such an errand himself.  Secretary Cameron thought it would be a very good idea.  So on that bright April Sunday the Republican Congressmen set out for Arlington House, to seek an interview with Col. Lee, hoping to strengthen his patriotism and draw him to take sides with the Government.  Upon arriving at Arlington he found that Col. Lee had left to attend church at Alexandria.  So he followed him down to the dilapidated old town, and entering the church, saw him in it participating devoutly in its services.  A second thought induced him to postpone the whole subject till Monday, thinking that Lee might consider it improper to enter into a long conversation upon the exciting subject on the Sabbath.  It was a mistake, for that very day, while Lee was in the little Alexandria church, a telegram was brought to him from Richmond.  He took a special train that night to Richmond, and has never returned.

When surrounded by his old Virginia Associates, he could not resist the appeals to his State pride, and through the terrible struggle fell from his noble position of a loyal soldier of the Republic into rank treason. Lee was one of those southern men like Alexander Stephens of Georgia, who openly acknowledged that there was no cause for a rebellion.  He said so over and over again on his way home from Texas, and he repeated it in Washington in Arlington.  He has sinned against light and his own conscience, in his punishment should be severe.  Yet the North has little hatred for him.  He is admired for his soldierly qualities and for his total abstinence from that ignorant, beast-like ferocity that characterizes such men as Beauregard, Bragg and Hood.  It will be comparatively easy to pardon such man, but how is it possible to sit down again in peace with Davis, Benjamin, Beauregard and the Richmond editors?–Washington Correspondence of the Springfield (Mass) Republican.


Various Notes.

Great guns cost something. A ten-inch Parrott gun costs $4500; an eleven-inch Rodman gun costs $6500; a fifteen-inch Krupp gun costs $29,400; a twelve-inch Blakely gun costs $35,000. The two latter are made of steel. ->

It is stated that in the late memorable conflict at Fort Fisher, the agents of the United States Sanitary Commission effected a landing on the day of the battle, and were on the hospital ground with ample supplies several hours before the wounded arrived.

Car fare in Washington is the only cheap thing in the place.  You can ride from one end of the city to the other, and get a transfer to go across town, for five cents.

A very cunning case of smuggling on the Canadian border has recently been detected, for which the law provided no remedy.  It seems that the smuggler built his house immediately upon the boundary line, with an entrance from the north and another from the south.  He can thus bring British or American goods into his house without paying duties to either Government, and can without detection easily pass them over to the other side.

Formerly, Germany supplied France with children’s toys of every description. At present, France supplies Germany. St. Omer, likewise, supplies Germany with tobacco-pipes as well as with toys, such as soldiers of every arm, seamen, artillery, fortresses, tents, sentry boxes, trees, shrubs, represented with extraordinary accuracy and painted with fine ineffaceable paints. The new industry is a fortunate creation for the town of St. Omer, where it gives employment to a great number of hands.

A machine has been invented in Springfield, Massachusetts, which washes dishes.  It will wash all the dishes on the table for twelve persons in ten minutes.


Anecdote of Gen. Terry.–A gentleman who was present vouches for the following anecdote of the “Hero of Fort Fisher:”

Gen. Terry was a resident of a small town in Connecticut, where he formerly owned a foundry. One day, six or seven years ago, he was preparing to cast some large pieces of machinery. After the iron was melted and everything in readiness to begin the operation, the workmen (some twenty in number, headed by a big stout fellow,) “struck,” and declared they would not pour the metal. The moment was a critical one. No time was to be lost.

Terry instantly grabbed a stout wooden cudgel which lay near, and advancing to the leader, felled him with a blow. The next one shared his fate, and a third and a fourth also bit the dust. The rest immediately bolted for the open air, thinking, doubtless, that prudence counseled a retreat. By this time the leader regained his feet; Terry settled him again. Proceeding to the [next] one, he accosted him: “Now, will you help pour that iron? If not, down you go again.” The man concluded to go to work. The next two followed his example. By this time the first man had again recovered a perpendicular, and exclaimed, “T-T-Terry, you’ve hurt me.”1

Terry: “Well, sir, I meant to hurt you. Now, will you help pour that iron, or take another blow?”

“W-w-well, I guess I’ll p-p-pour.”

He immediately took his place in the ranks. Those who sought safety by flight returned, and the piece was finished in good time and shape. After it was done, he took them to a hotel and ordered a splendid supper, and at the same time saying he ought to have killed every one of them. This illustrates the manner in which he quelled a rebellion in a foundry.

FEBRUARY 20, 1865

Our Doom if Conquered.

The great and good Dr. Thornwell, since deceased, at the outset of this dreadful war, thus wrote as to what would be are doom, in case of our enemies should succeed:

The ravages of Louis the XIV in the beautiful valleys of the Rhine, about the close of the seventeenth century may be taken as a specimen of the appalling desolation which is likely to over-spread the Confederate States if the Northern army should succeed in its schemes of its subjugation and plunder.  Europe was then outraged by atrocities inflicted by Christians upon the Christians, more fears and more cruel and even Mahometans could have had the heart to perpetrate.  Private dwellings were raised to the ground, fields laid waste, cities burnt, churches demolished, and the fruits of industry wantonly and ruthlessly to destroyed.  But three days of grace were allowed to the wretched inhabitants to flee their country, and in a short time, the historian tells us, "the roads and fields, which then lay deep in snow, were blackened by innumerable multitudes of men, women, and children flying from their homes.  Many died of hunger and cold; but enough survived to fill the streets of all the cities of Europe with the mean and squalid beggars, who had once been thriving farmers and shop-keepers."

And what have we to expect if our enemies prevail?  Our homes, too are to be pillaged, our cities sacked and pillaged, our property confiscated, our true man hanged, and those who escape the gibbet to be driven as vagabonds and wanderers to foreign climates.  This beautiful country is to pass out of our hands.  The boundaries which mark our States are in some instances to be effaced, and the States that remain are to be converted into subject provinces, governed by Northern rulers and by Northern laws.  Our property is to be ruthlessly seized and turned over to mercenary strangers, in order to paying the enormous debt which our subjugation has cost.  Our wives and daughters are to become the prey of brutal lust.  The slave, too, will slowly pass away, as the red man did before him, under the protection of Northern philanthropy; and the whole country, now like the garden of Eden in beauty and fertility, will first be a blackened and smoking desert, and then the minister old Northern cupidity and avarice.  Our history will be worse than that of Poland and Hungary.  There is not a single redeeming feature in the picture of ruin which stares us in the face, if we permit ourselves to be conquered.  It is a night of thick darkness that will settle upon us.  Even sympathy, the last solace of the affected, will be denied us.  The civilized world will look coldly upon us, or even jeer us with the taunt that we have a deservedly lost our own freedom in seeking to perpetuate the slavery of others.  We shall perish under a cloud of reproach and unjust suspicions, sedulously propagated by our enemies, which will be harder to bare than the loss of home and of goods.  Such a fate never overtook any people before.


In the Kentucky Senate, on the 27th ult., resolutions in the abolition of slavery, and of the constitutional amendment for that purpose were introduced and discussed.  Finally a substitute for them was adopted by a seventeen to fifteen votes.  This declares it to be the duty of the legislature to pass such laws as will so dignify laborers as to induce free white laborers to settle in the state.


The New York Herald scouts the idea that, for the purpose of obtaining assistance of the Confederacy to drive the French out of Mexico, the United States would acknowledge Confederate independence. “No,” exclaims the Herald, “not to obtain Mexico, Canada and South America will we let her go!” This is evidently a very valuable country; not by any means the pauper establishment, dependent upon the bounty of the north, that it was the custom to it in former days.

“We will not that the people go,” quoth Pharaoh.  Well, we shall see.  George the Third was equally determined in his time, but he had to relax his grip notwithstanding.  If the people who have not become a degenerate race, the obstinacy of Yankee tyrants will prove equally unavailing.

As to uniting with the United States to drive France out of Mexico, it will be time enough for the Herald to scout the idea of such a proposition when it is made.  The Confederacy is pleased with its neighbor on the Rio Grande, and hopes to see him lengthen his cord and strengthen his stakes.


From the Front.

Our items of information, says the Columbia Guardian, from below meagre and unsatisfactory to-day.

After a pretty stubborn fight, the enemy took possession of the Orangeburg C. H.  last Sunday, at one o'clock p.m.  Persons who live near, report that a large fire was seen in that direction Sunday night.  We have not definitely heard whether the place has been burnt or not.

From Charleston we learn that the enemy were repulsed in an attack me on Battery Simpkins on James Island, Sunday.

We look for better results in our neighborhood in a day or two.  There has evidently been a great lack of judgment and foresight and the handling of the forces so far.  We have thrown away great advantages of position.  There is no more defensible country in the world than that which stretches between the Savannah River and Salkahatchie, across which the enemy's advance has been made.  Swamps, causeways and narrow defiles on every hand invite to vigorous defense and attack.  A Yankee officer, who was captured at River's Bridge over the Salkahatchie, has said that they did not intend anything serious at that point.  They designed merely to make a feint, but they were emboldened by their unexpected success and pushed on.

But we look now for better things.  General Hampton has been placed in command of Columbia and the vicinity as far south as the line of our forces extends.  We expect him to bring order out of chaos, and to teach the enemy some of those lessons which Sheridan learnt to his cost and Virginia.–Const., 17th.


21, 1865

The Evacuation of Charleston.

Prudence has again prevailed and the Confederate forces have evacuated Charleston, that nest of traitorous uncleanness. We did expect that after all which had been said, Gen. Beauregard would defend Charleston and its approaches. But no sooner than Sherman gets a lodgment in Columbia, one hundred and twenty-five miles distant, than the fiery South Carolinians, who call themselves brave on a duelling field, and in the use of canes upon unarmed men, are moved with an impulse to leave. Of course, it is prudence which directs the retrograde movement. Why, the Confederate armies have been full of prudence whenever Sherman has offered to cross their path. They are fulfilling the proverb of the wise man, which saith: “The prudent man seeth evil and hideth himself.”

From all that has come to us from the Dixie land, we had supposed that the “very last ditch” in which Sherman’s army would find the chivalrous sons of the South ready to defend with their lives the confederacy and their slaves, would be probably at Columbia, and certainly in or near Charleston. We shrink from battles with their losses of precious lives and entailed suffering upon our kind, but if there is any one spot on American soil which the citizens  of this Republic wish to see ploughed and furrowed up with a storm of merited iron hail, it is that same Charleston.

We would like to see Sherman’s bronzed veterans surround it; give all non-combatants full time to leave, going however as Lot and his family went from Sodom, taking nothing but their lives with them; then give all combatants an opportunity to surrender, and then shell the city until it should become one smoking ruin. It is not the lives of any of these miserable traitors that we crave, but we would put a black veil of carnage over the spot where the city stands, which should keep in eternal remembrance this awful crime, this bloody treason, fostered and brought to maturity in this foul nest, Charleston.

Now that through prudence they have evacuated, we suppose that the old game of New Orleans is to be re-enacted. The dainty Palmetto ladies will be glad enough to get the comforts of civilization and peace which will come in with Sherman’s army, but will practise the usual Southern method of insulting our brave men at every opportunity, seeking a cowardly protection therefor in their sex. That is a species of high-bred chivalry common among them. We suggest the appointment of Major Gen. Ben Butler as military Governor of South Carolina, with his headquarters in Charleston. Who seconds the motion?


Further from Charleston.
Official from General Gilmore.

Charleston, S. C., Feb. 18,
via New York, Feb. 21.

Major General Halleck, Chief of Staff:

General: The city of Charleston and all its defences came into our possession this morning, with about 200 pieces of good artillery and a supply of fine ammunition.

The enemy commenced evacuating all the works last night, and Major Macbeth surrendered the city to the troops of Gen. Schimmelpfennig at 9 o’clock this morning, at which time it was occupied by our forces. Our advance on Edisto, from Bull’s Bay, hastened his retreat.

The cotton warehouses, arsenals, quartermaster stores, railroad bridges, and two iron-clads were burned by the enemy.

Some vessels in the shipyards were also burned. Nearly all the inhabitants remaining behind belong to the poorer classes. Very respectfully,

Q. A. Gilmore, Major General Commanding.


Flour is now selling in Richmond at $700 a barrel, and sugar is worth $20 per pound. Many of the working men who get but $7.50 per day are unable to pay for boarding, and are compelled to rely upon the soup houses for something to eat.

The Evacuation of Charleston Confirmed.

New York, Feb. 21.

The steamship Fulton, Capt. Walton, from Port Royal and Charleston Bar on the 18th, at 6 p.m., arrived here this morning. Purser McManus furnishes us with the following memoranda:

Charleston was evacuated by the rebels on the night of the 17th, leaving the several fortifications uninjured, besides 200 guns, which they spiked.

The evacuation was first discovered at Fort Moultrie.

In the morning, at 10 o’clock, part of the troops stationed at James Island crossed over in boats and took possession of the city without occupation.

Previous to the enemy evacuating they fired the upper part of the city, by which 6,000 bales of cotton were burned, and it is supposed that before they could subdue the flames, two-thirds of the city will be destroyed.

A fearful explosion occurred in the Wilmington Depot, cause unknown, by which several hundred citizens lost their lives. The building was used for commissary purposes, and situated in the upper part of the city.

Admiral Dahlgren was the first to row up to the city, where he arrived at about 2 o’clock p.m. Gen. Q. A. Gilmore followed soon after in the steamer W. W. Coit, had an interview with Gen. Schimmelpfennig, he being the first officer in the city, and for the present in command.

The firs flag over Sumter was raised by Capt. Henry M. Bragg, aide de camp on Gen. Gilmore’s staff, having for a staff an oar and a boat hook lashed together.


Peace Rumor Exploded.–A special dispatch to the Boston Advertiser contains the following:

A rumor having been started, consequent on Sherman’s occupation of Columbia, that peace negotiations were about to be again opened with the rebel government, a Western member of the House called on the President last evening to protest against such proceedings, and received for an answer that nothing of the kind was in contemplation, and that no man would be passed through our lines whom the President supposed had such business on hand, until Gen. Grant receives assurances that they want to treat on the terms laid down at Hampton Roads.

The minister resident here of one of the smaller European powers sent dispatches to his government by Saturday’s steamer, in which he said that the armed power of the rebellion would probably be broken down by midsummer at the farthest. He is of the opinion, however, that a long guerrilla war will follow before a general peace can be restored. It is understood, also, that he represented the opinion of our authorities to be that Richmond will be evacuated by order of General Lee.


Suffering Among the Rebel Soldiers.

Cairo, Feb. 21.

The Memphis Bulletin learns from a gentleman who left Selma, Ala., on the 14th, and came through Meriden and Jackson, Miss., that Dick Taylor has a considerable force at Selma and also at Meriden. At Selma the rebels were manufacturing and turning out large quantities of munitions of war. The fortifications extend all around the place, but are not very formidable. Most of Hood’s army have been sent to operate against Sherman.

They were nearly all naked, and wholly dispirited, and had lost all hope of successful resistance to the federal troops. Large numbers were barefooted, and stated that ten thousand of Hood’s men had their feet frost-bitten during the retreat from Nashville, in which they suffered more than during the previous three years.

The slaveholders are greatly dissatisfied with the conscription of slaves and free Negroes for service in the army, but the work was actively going on.

Forrest was collecting a force at Jackson, Miss., for operations, it was said, against Vicksburg.

The Mississippi Legislature was to meet at Columbus to relieve destitute people.

22, 1865

Life in the Army.
Side Scenes in a Soldier’s Life.

Before Richmond, February 13, 1865.

How the Soldiers Live.

Yankees are Yankees the wide world over. They will have an eye to business and manage to trade a little wherever they find themselves. At first thought it would seem  as if the barriers to speculation here at the front in a time of active campaigning were insurmountable.  The army is in the field, baggage being restricted within the smallest limits.  The enemy's camps are in our full view, and his guns so command our position that if he had ammunition to spare he could throw shot and shell in among us at every hour of the day and night.  Our entire force is liable to an order for a move at any moment.  Cooked rations for a march are kept always on hand.  Moreover no civilian can enter the limits of this department without a special permit from those high in authority, and, while means of transportation are quite limited, the nearest depots of merchandise are separated from the front by long miles of Virginia roads, impassable at this season of the year to any but the irrepressible Yankee.  Yet there is the “right smart chance of business” done here, aside from fighting.  Although not technically and winter quarters, the army does not stand in line or columns, continually, the generals in advance–supported by the belligerent drummer boys of romance and poetry–and the surgeons and chaplains in the mythical “rear.” On the contrary, the soldiers make themselves quite at home in their temporary log huts which were built in a day and may be abandoned any hour, and when not on drill, or parade, or inspection, or review, or fatigue, or guard, or picket, occupy themselves much as other Yankees would in Springfield or Hartford or San Francisco or Cape Town or Constantinople, bartering or tinkering or teaching or ‘tending meetin’.

Army Institutions.

Within a rifle shot of my present quarters there are three daguerreotype saloons, the proprietors of which are prepared to take any position of the enemy they can get sight of.  Just down the hill, at the junction of the Varina and Newmarket roads, where a few weeks ago was only the unbroken forest, there are now within a stone's throw of each other a sutler's store, a fish market, a barber’s shop, a news room, a dentist’s office, an ambrotype gallery, a Christian commission station, a chapel, a provost marshal’s “bull pen,” a soldiers' graveyard, and a division general’s headquarters, all within easy shelling range of the enemy and liable to be started off pell mell at five seconds notice.  A little ways back in the woods, with the cavalry division, are a large clothing warehouse, a bakery, and a watchmakers establishment, in addition to the usual assortment of sutler's stores and daguerreotype type saloons.  Almost every regiment has its barbers, and tailors, and shoemaker’s, and watch repairers–men who do a full soldiers duty besides attending at odd times to their old trade, turning many an honest penny while they really a accommodate their fellows by doing what must otherwise remain unattended to until an opportunity was given of sending back a long distance to the rear.  ->

A private in one of the New England regiments says he has for a long time cleared from twenty to thirty dollars per week repairing watches.  Other men in their ranks have done as well as this at some other branch of business.  One man makes and engraves corps badges and breast pins; another carves wood and bone rings, and crosses and watch chains pendants. Many have card photographs of distinguished generals, or stationary, or cigars, sent to them by express to retail from their tents.  And thus in a hundred ways is money made by enlisted men.  Officers, of course, can have nothing to do with such bartering, however sorely pinched they may be on government pay, or however much of the trade loving Yankee there is in their natures.  Civilian peddlers abound, bringing the yellow covered furniture and a cheap jewelry, and trash in the general--although their commerce is chiefly with new recruits who brought money with them, pay being an almost forgotten item in an old soldier's experience.  Newspapers are cried nearly as regularly as in Broadway, and there is no “front” beyond the beat of some of the enterprising paper of vendors.  On the morning of the capture of Chapin's Bluff, while the fight is still raging fiercely--indeed just about the time when the black troops charge of the rebel works with such fearful loss--while Gen. Terry's division the halted for a brief season in an open field, a horseman with a huge pile of papers on a saddle pommel came trotting along the line calling with metropolitan twang, “New York ‘erald an’ Trybeun, Pheladelphy ‘quirer and Washin’ton Chrony-kil;” and more than one soldier who bought a paper of that venturesome newsman had never time to read it before he was still in death.

Business at the Rear.

All this is at the far front.  Down at Deep Bottom, or over at Bermuda Hundred, or across at the city point, business is done on a much larger scale, and many a prominent town in the prosperous north can show no such records of extensive sales as are made in there, outside of the purely military transactions.  The embalmers had been sent away.  They were busy and enterprising.  They had rival concerns which vied with each other in advertising.  They are handbills fixed on every supply wagon which past to or from the front, and thrust their gloomy captions in soldier's faces from sutler's tents, and the only tree trunks, and dilapidated buildings.  One firm ventured on the exhibition of their appreciative interest in the mission of their “subjects” by the seductive bill head “The Honored Dead! The Honored Dead!” In further proof of their surpassing patriotism, a partner in this concern “remarked that he should be glad to have the war end, although it would interfere greatly with his business.” He then added in grateful acknowledgement of the value of a much despise class, that “those hundred date regiments were first-rate customers.” The charge of the embalmers was regulated strictly by the brink of the subject.  Are we not a commercial people?


The Abolitionists and Slavery.

Some of the old abolitionists–men and women who were to the prevalent anti-slavery sentiment of the country what the apostles were to primitive Christianity–still enjoy sharp language when speaking of the action of the government on the question to which they have been so long and so unselfishly devoted. This may be regretted, and perhaps they ought to be satisfied with what is doing for the removal of slavery from the world. The only thing that is settled by the war is this, that slavery shall no longer have a place in the American Republic; and, once overthrown here, it cannot long survive elsewhere. With this, it is argued, the abolitionists ought to be satisfied–and perhaps those who thus argue are right. But there are two things to be considered that go far to justify the course of the abolitionists in maintaining a militant position. The first is that whatever has been done by the North adversely to slavery has been done grudgingly, and has been extorted from it, down to a recent date. Regard for the slave, and reverence for his rights as a God-made man, have had but little to do with our anti-slavery action. The war itself never would have been entered upon by us to obtain the deliverance of four millions of human beings from a bondage ten thousand times worse than that in which the Israelites were held by Pharaoh. The very quarrel which led to the resort to arms–that storm which broke in the red rain of war–was not a quarrel with slavery, but a quarrel with slaveholders. It was not so much the existence of slavery that annoyed us, but the rule of slaveholders; and even that rule we could have put up with, had it not been so offensive as to annoy even some of the warmest of the old democratic allies of the South. Had the dispute related solely to slavery, there would have been little difficulty in patching up a compromise that would have lasted for some years, and it was because the genuine secessionists saw that this was the case, and feared that a compromise might be made, that they pursued a course that made it impossible to avoid war,  unless we were prepared to join them in their work of dissolving the Union. War came, and after seventeen months of delay and abject pro-slavery policy, during which we begged the rebels to come back on almost any terms, we were kicked into the adoption of an anti-slavery course, still giving to the enemy a hundred days’ grace, in which they might have returned, and have fastened slavery upon the country forever. Every intelligent person knows, and knew at the time of its appearance, that the emancipation proclamation was resolved upon, not from any regard for a wronged race, but because government feared the acknowledgement of the Southern Confederacy by France and England; and it was determined to place them in the attitude of patronizing and aiding, and of welcoming to the Christian Commonwealth of nations, a new member, with a constitution based on the deliberate avowal that slavery is the proper condition of the hard-working portion of mankind, while at the same time and by the same act they should be committed against a nation that had committed itself to undying hostility to slavery. This was by far the greatest act of President Lincoln’s life, the one sole act, indeed, of his public career that entitles him to a high place in the short list of great statesmen. It was the completest shot between wind and water that any American statesman has fired since Andrew Jackson issued his proclamation against nullification; and it was a greater shot than Jackson fired, inasmuch as it affected all humanity, while what was done by Jackson concerned our country alone, or affected other nations but generally. ->

 It answered its purpose entirely, and historians will do Mr. Lincoln justice when they shall estimate its effect. He put the nation definitely on the abolition track, from which it could diverge only to be destroyed. But the proclamation was a measure of policy only, and we have always understood that it was adopted reluctantly, and from no special regard for justice. But it is one of the most beautiful provisions of the moral government of the world, that when men or nations do what is right, they soon become attached to the right for its own sake. They are proud of their conduct, and love the right because of its beauty. They strive to forget the motives on which they have acted, if they were not lofty, and finally convince themselves that they were from the first actuated solely by love of justice when they bore themselves justly. It has been so in this case. The President took the nation with him, as he would have taken it had he pursued the opposite course, and we have become abolitionized, most of us, in the two years that have passed since the proclamation went into operation. But we cannot blame the abolitionists, who are aware of its history, for not seeing any evidence of high-toned principle in our conduct, or expect that they should regard it with complacency. The second reason why there should be some abolitionists to hold a censorial attitude is to be found in the circumstance that they may fear a relapse on our part, should there be none to watch over us. Constantly to receive praise for only doing what is right is apt to render those who receive it extremely conceited, and conceited people are sure to conclude that any action of theirs must be proper. It is natural that abolitionists, who know how recent is our conversion, and its cause, should believe we require watchmen. They would keep us up to the line that we have opened, and they discharge their rather ungracious duty in a rather ungracious manner, plainly intimating that they have little faith in our sincerity, and that we would re-establish slavery if we could. They are wrong. We are abolitionists, and mean to give slavery no quarter, as it deserves none; and though we have been driven to our present position more by force of circumstance than force of principle, we are committed to it beyond all chance of retreat. We have no choice in the matter. We cannot fall back. We cannot surrender on any terms. It is our own liberty that we contend for, and not merely that of the Negro. We can, it ought to be admitted, be trusted to be faithful to ourselves, unless our ignorance should stand in the way of a proper understanding of what that interest is; and most assuredly the plea of ignorance is not permissible in the present case. Andrew Johnson lately said, that if Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were to combine their power to restore slavery, they could not effect its restoration–and thus saying, the wise Tennesseean gave the history of the vile institution’s condition an end.

24, 1865

Union Speech in a Rebel Legislature.

Newbern, N. C., Feb. 19.–The great speech of Mr. Haines, delivered in the House of Commons of North Carolina on the 20th ultimo, is attracting much attention. His argument favoring a restoration of the Union is as fearless as it is able. The irresponsible Representatives in the rebel Congress from Kentucky, Missouri and other States, who have no constituents, and who are assisting to bind the fetters upon North Carolina, are severely handled by him.

He holds that North Carolina has a perfect right to dissolve her allegiance with the Confederate government and enter into a separate negotiation with the United States for peace. He proves secession to be a failure, and says that Sherman is moving forward through South and North Carolina to co-operate with Grant in the reduction of Richmond and the capture of Lee’s army; that great as this undertaking may seem, it is not but so great as was that of his march from Dalton to Savannah.

The North, he said, being in the best possible spirits over their recent brilliant victories, will speedily furnish the 300,000 men called for by Mr. Lincoln, who will go to the field with the greatest alacrity a d soon become excellent soldiers, inspired as they are with the hope of speedy success.

He said–“Can we prevent the success of our enemies? Can we recover back the majority of the Confederate States which have been taken from us by the armies of the United States? Can we hold our remaining territory? Can we even prevent the fall of Richmond and the capture or destruction of our only remaining army, recruited to the  full extent of our white population? Sit, these questions have already been answered by the government itself in the negative by its lending organs the Richmond Sentinel and Richmond Enquirer, who have declared the conquest to been too unequal to be longer maintained unless we arm our slaves.”

He was opposed to arming the slaves. On the subject he said: “We have ten male slaves at home to one white man. Excite them to frenzy by passing a law to conscript them, and we have an immediate insurrection, which, to put down, would require the withdrawing of our armies, thus leaving the field to our enemies. If no insurrection took place they would either go over to the enemy in a body, or turn their guns against us, with bold conscripts for leaders.”

On the subject of reconciliation, he said: “There are those who think after so much strife and bloodshed that reconciliation is impossible. This is a mistake; all history refutes the idea. The case of England and Scotland, which was in some respects similar to ours, divided as they were into kingdoms and at war for centuries, effected a reconciliation, and Scotland started on a new career or prosperity and glory.

“Her people, from being one of the most turbulent, have become one of the most quiet and refined, as well as one of the most contented and happy in the world.

“This is because nature never intended that the Island of Great Britain should comprise more than one nation. I hold that this will prove to be our own case.”

Upon the subject of a divided country, he said, ->

“When we take a view of the country which composes the United States, it is difficult to resist the conviction that nature intended it to contain but one great nation. Nature never intended the mighty Mississippi to water and drain but one nation. Close this river to the Northwest by transferring its mouth to another nation, and they become the most land-blocked country in the world. Were they were to consent to this, they would sign their own death warrant. This country can never be divided so as to separate the Northwestern States from the Gulf States, without arousing an inexorable law of Nature. The only hope I have ever seen in this struggle, for success, was that the Northwestern States might be induced to join our Confederacy. The manner in which those States voted in the late Presidential election has dispelled that hope forever, and in my judgment, has sealed the fate of the Confederacy.”

Mr. Haines is a distinguished lawyer and the author of able letters, which appeared in the Raleigh (N. C.) Standard, over the signature of “Denison,” which attracted so much attention in the North in 1863.

Jeff Davis attempted to arrest him recently for making this remarkable speech, but was prevented from doing so by the Legislature of North Carolina, which has extended over him the protecting shield of the State.


A Blockade Runner in Petticoats.–Major Graves, Provost Marshal at Beaufort, N. C., recently arrested a high-toned Southern lady named Eveline Pigott, as she was about leaving town. A search of her person was made and the following stock in trade found concealed under clothes: One pair fine boots, two pairs pants, one short, one naval cap, one dozen linen collars, one dozen linen pocket handkerchiefs, fifty skeins sewing silk, a lot of spool cotton, needles, tooth brushes, hair combs, two pocket knives, dressing pins, several pairs of gloves, four or five pounds of assorted candy; also several letters addressed to rebels outside of our lines, denouncing the Federals, giving information about the supposed movements of Federal troops, etc. A very large and prominent store in Beaufort was closed, supposed to be in complicity with the above named blockade runner.


The Hero of Fort Sumter.–At a meeting of leading citizens of New York, Wednesday, a resolution was adopted requesting the President to send a national ship to Charleston harbor to convey thither Ge. Robert Anderson, that he may replace upon the flagstaff of Fort Sumter that national banner which, on the 13th of April, 1861, he was compelled to lower at the dictation of the traitors of South Carolina.


The Inauguration Ball.–This affair will come off on the evening of Monday, March 6th, in the grand hall of the Patent Office building. The supper has been contracted for at $5000, the music at $1300. Four thousand invitation tickets are to be printed, and will be distributed immediately. The tickets are to be $10 each, admitting a gentleman and two ladies. If any gentleman desires to take more than two ladies, the charge for each over two will be $2. Any surplus over the expenses is to go to the families of our soldiers in the field.

FEBRUARY 25, 1865


The agitation and commotion in various parts of the world have not yet subsided into an ordinary degree of quietude. The turning point in the affairs of men and nations, where a manifest recovery from their great aberration from truth and duty shall again be noticeable, is not supposed to have been yet reached. Different observers, however, have different means of ascertaining the tendencies of the times. The price of gold is the criterion to some, and of particular stocks the same to others. The prosperous advance of Federal arms, however, is likely to attract the most attention in this point of view. But without a simultaneous survey of the world, it is very difficult to form a correct estimate of all the causes in operation for good or for evil. The news this week shows Federal securities somewhat lower in England, while the Confederate loan was quoted at 55 to 67. Consols heavy amidst the various rumors from either continent.2 France is particularly a point of general observation. The London Times doubts that there is any foundation for the report of a Mexican cession–but believes that certain provinces are pledged as security for what becomes or has become due to France. Such however was the tenor of the report–and perhaps nothing more. The French journals are said somehow to agree that the story of a “cession” was invented in England to prejudice the United States against France and Maximilian. The Paris Moniteur says: All reports of a “cession” to France of Sonora and other provinces are absolute fabrications. The word “cession” appears to be necessary to this denial. But there may be less concern on that subject than on account of the “rebel rams” sold to Denmark and Prussia and said to be manœuvred into Confederate cruisers. Some rumors appear to confirm the first report, that those French built “rebel rams” were on the way to the United States. Napoleon is said to be exerting himself to prevent them from doing us any mischief, and at the same time assuring foreign ministers at his Court that he had no design of conquest in Mexico.


The Houston Telegraph published a correspondence between a rebel Col. Pierson at San Antonio and Gen. Lopez commanding Maximilian’s troops on the borders of the Rio Grande. The Colonel says, (in his address to the Emperor’s well know military adventurer,) that it is the desire of the “Confederate Government” to cherish amicable relations with the government of Maximilian; and at the same time thanks Gen. Lopez for protecting the interests of the “Confederacy.” To this the general is reported to have said that the sons of the “Confederacy” may rest assured that the representatives of the Empire freely offer their friendship; and also that no raid shall be permitted to organize on Mexican soil for the invasion of Southern territory. But, if this were all, it might perhaps be explained as acknowledging only the de facto existence of a neighboring power. It may be that the military of the new Empire is making common cause with the “Confederacy” on the line of the Rio Grande, and that too with authority from the Emperor. But this General is reported to have expressed his sympathies at least for “the noble cause of the Confederacy;” but that may have been only his personal sentiments. And perhaps it would be going too far to say of one in his position that he was, by that means and by preventing raids upon the “Confederates,” from the Mexican side of the line, in fact assisting the “Confederate” cause. There is, however, something more difficult to explain or to extenuate–it is the report that French men-of-war have recently and often before saluted the rebel flag in that quarter with distinguished honor, and at the same time manifested their contempt for the Flag of the Union. And it may be that our relations with the French and Mexican Empires area in an unsettled condition. The opinion appears to exist in well informed circles that these relations are at present of a delicate character.


The war news this week is such as to cheer every loyal heart. One after another of the rebel strongholds are falling into the possession of the rightful Government and our heroes on land and sea are becoming masters of the forts and territory too long in possession of traitors.

Gen. Sherman with his victorious army is marching on to victory and his near approach is the signal for evacuation and speedy retreat. He announced his presence in Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, and Beauregard hastened away, bidding his co-operators at Charleston to flee while there was yet a chance, and our flag once more floats over the ruins of Sumter and from the place where the first ordinance of secession was passed. Gen. Sherman does not stop in his march, but is now advancing towards Richmond. He will undoubtedly pursue the enemy so close that a battle cannot be avoided, but all recent fighting has proved that the spirit of the enemy is crushed and they no longer contend with the determination of former days, while the Union army dash forward determined to win victory at every blow.

The fall of Fort Anderson was announced on the 22d. It was a very strong work on the Cape Fear river and, had not the garrison evacuated it as they did, there would have been serious loss on our part in storming it. There remained but a line of breastworks between our army and Wilmington, and forward our army went, and fought desperately on the 21st, but on the 22d the rebels retreated and our troops took possession of Wilmington.

Rumors of other favorable movements are reported, but we must wait  a few days for the result, and in the meantime, Gen. Singleton is reported to have gone again to Richmond on a peace mission.


It is many years since the anniversary of Washington’s birth-day has been so generally celebrated throughout the States as upon the last, if we may judge from the accounts from different sections.

Here the day was suitably notice. The Artillery Company under command of Colonel J. H. Powell turned out fifty-six men and paraded from 10 o’clock a.m. until 1 o’clock, and in the afternoon spent an hour in drill and musketry firing. The appearance of the Company at this parade was all that its friends could wish, and shows that under its present commander there is no fear of losing its ancient prestige. The Band of the 15th U. S. regiment, J. N. Horne leader, furnished the music and received high encomiums for its splendid performance.

At 12 o’clock m., national salutes were fired by the Artillery Company on Touro Park, from Fort Adams, from the Naval ships and by the revenue cutter Miami. The vessels in the harbor were gaily dressed in bunting and the National Ensign floated from the several flagstaffs in the city and from the ships in the harbor.

The weather was spring-like, which gave a cheerful aspect to everything, and the day was generally observed as a holiday.


The whole number of deaths in the hospitals about Washington from August 1, 1861, to January 1, 1865, is 18,291: whites 13,262, blacks 5,029. There are four cemeteries for the internment of soldiers, but three of them are filled. The largest one is the “National Burying Ground” at Arlington, upon the estate formerly the property and residence of Gen. R. E. Lee, and this is used exclusively now. Rhode Island has 93 of her sons buried in those cemeteries.

1 “recovered a perpendicular” means he is standing upright–perpendicular to the ground.

2 Consols (short for “consolidated securities”) are “the funded government securities of Great Britain that originated in the consolidation in 1751 of various public securities, chiefly in the form of annuities, into a single debt issue without maturity.”

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