MAY 22, 1864
Cave Life in Vicksburg.
wife of a Confederate officer, who was confined within the “wall of
fire” which surrounded Vicksburg during the memorable days of last
April and June, has written an entertaining volume on the scenes and
incidents which there transpired. Like most of her companions she was
compelled to seek shelter from the deluge of iron hail in the caves so
often alluded to.
were the fashion–the rage–over besieged Vicksburg. Negroes, who
understood their business, hired themselves out to dig them, at from
thirty to fifty dollars, according to the size. Many persons,
considering different localities unsafe, would sell them to others, who
had been less fortunate, or less provident; and so great was the demand
for cave workmen, that a new branch of industry sprang up and became
popular–particularly as the personal safety of the workmen was
secured, and money withal.”
faithful servant, George, who always remained with her, came near being
killed at one time by the “Yankee shells.”
night I could scarcely sleep, the explosions were so loud and frequent.
Before we retired, George had been lying without the door. I had arisen
about 12 o’clock, and stood looking out at the different courses of
light marking the passage of the shells, when I noticed that George was
not in his usual place at the entrance. On looking out, I saw that he
was sleeping soundly some little distance off, and many fragments of
shells falling near him. I aroused him, telling him to come to the
entrance for safety. He had scarcely started when a huge piece of shell
came whizzing along, which, fortunately, George dodged in time, and it
fell in the very place where he had so lately slept.”
another occasion, a shell penetrated the cave to the great horror of the
was about four o’clock one Wednesday evening; the shelling during the
day had gone on as usual. I was reading in safety, I imagined, when the
unmistakable whizzing of Parrott shells told us that the battery we so
much feared had opened from the entrenchments. I ran to the entrance to
call the sergeants in, and, immediately after they entered, a shell
struck the earth a few feet from the entrance, burying itself without
exploding. I ran to the little dressing room and could hear them
striking around us on all sides. I crouched against the wall, for I did
not know at what moment one might strike with the cave. A man came in
very much frightened and asked to remain until the danger was over. His
servants stood in the little niche by the entrance and the man took
refuge in the little ell where I was stationed. ->
had been there but a short time, standing in front of me and near the
wall, when a Parrott shell came whirling in at the entrance, and fell in
the centre of the cave before us all, lying there smoking. Our eyes were
fastened upon it, while we expected every moment the terrific explosion
would ensue. I pressed my child closer to my heart and drew nearer the
wall. Our fate seemed almost certain. The poor man who had sought refuge
within was most exposed of all. With a sudden impulse, I seized a large
double blanket that lay near, and gave it to him for the purpose of
shielding hi from the fragments; and thus we remained for a moment, with
our eyes fixed in terror on the missile of death, when George, the
servant boy, rushed forward, seized the shell and threw it into the
street, running swiftly in the opposite direction. Fortunately the fuse
had become nearly extinguished, and the shell fell harmless–remaining
near the mouth of the cave as a trophy of the fearfulness of the servant
and our remarkable escape.”
the surrender of Vicksburg came, and the husband of the lady entered her
cave-retreat, and informed her of the fact.
all over! The white flag floats from our forts! Vicksburg has
surrendered! He put on his uniform coat, silently buckled on his sword,
and prepared to take out the men to deliver up their arms in front of
the fortifications. I felt a strange unrest, the quiet of the day was so
unnatural. I walked up and down the cave until M— returned. The day
was extremely warm, and he came with a violent headache. He told me that
the Federal troops had acted splendidly; that they were stationed
opposite the place where the troops marched up and stacked their arms;
and that they seemed to be sorry for the poor fellows who had defended
this place for so long a time. Far different from what he had
expected–not a jeer or taunt came from any of the Federal soldiers.
Occasionally a cheer would be heard, but the majority seemed to regard
the poor unsuccessful soldiers with a generous sympathy. After the
surrender, an old grey-haired soldier, in passing on the hill near the
cave, stopped, and touching his hat, said: ‘It’s a sad day, this,
madam; I thought we’d come to it, when we first stopped in the
entrenchments. I hope you’ll yet be happy, madam, after the trouble
you’ve seen.’ To which I mentally responded, ‘Amen.’ The poor
hunchback soldier, who had been sick, and who, at home in Southern
Missouri, is worth a million of dollars, I have been told, yet within
Vicksburg has been nearly starved, walked out to-day in the pleasant
air, for the first time in many days.”
MACON DAILY TELEGRAPH (GA)
is an old saying that children and fools speak the truth. Sherman, in
his politico-military pronunciamiento, which we reprinted yesterday,1
incautiously puts the war upon its proper foundation. It is, as he
declares it to be, a “war of races” and ideas. The Southern people
“obstinately adhering” to their institutions, opinions and
prejudices against the opinions of the North, refusing to acquiesce in
the “rightful authority” of the North to mould them according to her
will, must be punished till they submit, and exterminated if they will
not recant their errors. That is the whole casus belli in a nut-shell. He is willing to “bear in patience
that political nonsense of slave rights, State rights, freedom of
conscience, freedom of the press, and such other trash
as have deluded the Southern people into war, anarchy, bloodshed and the
foulest crimes,” but it must be no more than talk. Unqualified
submission to the government as the sole original owner of the soil and
master of the fate of the people in all their conditions, social,
political and religious, must be exact acted; and if it be refused by
any “petulant or persistent secessions, why (says he) death is mercy,
and the quicker he or she is disposed of the better. Satan and the
rebellious saints of heaven were allowed a continuance of existence in
hell, merely to swell their just punishment. To such as would rebel
against a government so just and mild as ours was in peace, a punishment
equal would not be unjust.” Finally, Sherman requests that his letter
be read to the people “so as to prepare them for my coming.”
the whole, Sherman’s letter is the liveliest and most truthful
exposition of Northern ideas of government to be maintained and
exercised by that section over the South which has yet appeared. He
states the case correctly. Precisely such was the government established
by the Lincoln party in 1861 and tendered to the Southerner for peaceful
acquiescence or forcible imposition. We have printed this letter in full
so as to “prepare the people” of Georgia “for his coming,” if he
comes at all. No Asiatic conqueror ever yet tendered to his victims more
abject terms, and no agent of despotism claimed more absolute and
unqualified powers for an autocrat. Such
a document from a “so-called” Republican General in the 19th
century will remain for a curiosity for future ages.
Situation in Our Front.
this writing there can be little doubt that our army is this side of the
Etowah River. This information was brought to Atlanta by passengers on
the afternoon train from above yesterday. We conversed with an
intelligent gentleman, a Lieutenant Colonel of Johnston’s army, who
stated that a large portion of the troops had crossed the river at
Etowah bridge, and it was his opinion that the remainder would be across
by this morning.
movement was occasioned by the crossing of a heavy column of the
Federals over the Etowah at Rome, and which was reported to be moving
down the Marietta road. General Johnston’s rear thus threatened, and
the enemy still declining the gage of battle in his front, the movement
was imperative. We also believe these developments of the enemy
transpired since the issue of Gen. Johnston’s war order, although we
have little doubt that he was fully prepared for such a demonstration. .
little excitement was occasioned by the reception of this intelligence,
notwithstanding the impression was general, from Gen. Johnston’s last
address to his troops, that we were on the eve of a pitched battle near
Cass Station. ->
accounts, from officers and privates, represent that the enemy does not
seem half so plucky as at the beginning of these operations, and their
Yankee troops came up to the scratch reluctantly. In the skirmishing
Thursday evening, the lines were so close a Yankee field officer was
heard to say: “Charge them, men, they are demoralized!” The Yankees
charged and were driven back in confusion, evidently satisfied that
there was not quite so much demoralization as might have been supposed.
are satisfied that the enemy will be anticipated in every effort to
outmanœuvre Johnston. In the meantime, the necessary steps have been
taken to meet either advance by whichever way they may come.–Atlanta
position and complicated appearance of this army is involved in so much
obscurity and so befogged by rumors that we find it impossible to place
before our readers a clear statement of what is actually occurring.2
have been so long a cheerful and buoyant soldier during this revolution,
and though it has been my misfortune to be on the retreat constantly
from the beginning of the war, yet we look on the bright side of the
future and intend to see nothing else so long as we possibly can help
presume there is no doubt that General Johnston is still falling back,
some derangement of the plan set forth in yesterday’s press reports
having unavoidably occurred. But there cannot surely be any great cause
for alarm. We trust that if there is really a formidable advance
threatened on Atlanta, it would be more advisable for every man who can
resist the onset to arm for the purpose, rather than exhaust themselves
with foolish exertions to save property by removal. Atlanta must not
fall. Do you hear it? It cannot, must not be.
Army in Status Quo.
to the belief which prevailed here among the knowing ones, no general
engagement took place yesterday at the front. The chances are that the
fight will not be delayed many days longer. The army of Tennessee, bold,
defiant and eager for the fray, still confronts the Abolition army on
the north bank of the Etowah, and if Sherman will but take up the gage
which Gen. Johnston has cast at his feet, the final struggle will take
train which came down last evening brought quite a number of croakers
from the front, who turned themselves loose in our midst and scattered a
much larger quantity of unhappiness through the community than there was
any necessity for. They told with eyes standing out like pot legs that
the army was falling back, and at the same time exhibiting every
indication of belief that Gen. Sherman and staff would take breakfast
this morning at one of the Atlanta hotels.
course, nobody associated with the true state of things at the front did
more than laugh at the croaking of these ravens. People who have been
for any length of time in the neighborhood of two large armies are not
to be frightened out of their propriety by the ridiculous stories of
“reliable gentlemen” who don’t know what they are talking about.
MAY 24, 1864
The Campaign in Georgia.
The Fight on Rocky Face
letter from Gen. Hooker’s headquarters gives the following vivid
description of the fight on Rocky Face Ridge during the recent advance
of Gen. Sherman’s army to Resaca:
half-past three Sunday afternoon (May 8th) Col. Candle’s brigade, the
Thirty-third New Jersey, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth New York, and
Twenty-ninth Ohio in the advance, moved up the slope of the mountain
under cover of a fire from Knapp’s Pennsylvania Battery. After a short
distance the direction of the march was changed, and the line formed
diagonally up the mountain, the right resting far up the height, facing
in conformity with the course of the road. It was the “sweeping
game” of Lookout over again.
enemy were steadily driven, though they showed a heavy force and kept up
a galling fire until Geary’s brave fellows nearly reached the crest of
the ridge. Though the difficulty of this march was terrible, up the
steep mountain side, over the loose stones, through the tangling
underbrush, the foliage offering but scanty protection from the boiling
sun, the men overcame it, and cheered lustily as they saw success before
them. But they were met at the top by an abrupt cliff or palisade,
varying in height from six to fifteen feet, with fissures at intervals,
practicable some of them for two men abreast, others barely wide enough
for one. Less brave men than Geary’s would have given up the attempt
in despair of ever attaining the crest over this breastwork in the face
of destructive fire.
five distinct charges were made by these heroes of the Fight above the
Clouds, and each time the crest was gained. Officers and men struggled
up one by one, and grappled with the enemy on the brink hand to hand,
and many of them were hurled over the cliff. Wounded men would topple
over the precipice, and wounded men would roll for yards down the hill,
displacing rocks, which, in turn, bruised other toilers up the steep
ascent. Yet they gained the plateau every time, and would have held it
but for an obstacle which at the commencement of the ascent they would
have counted as naught. It was a line of fortifications on a rise of
ground facing the cliff.
men could not form for a charge on these breastworks; so they jumped the
cliff, or got down as best they could, only to repeat the charge.
Sergeant Hamilton of the 33d New Jersey, with eleven men, remained on
the crest more than twenty minutes, fighting valorously, but finally was
forced to abandon his proud position. He escaped unhurt by jumping off
the cliff. A curve in the line of palisades enabled the enemy to pour in
a flank fire from the top, and they improved it. They used explosive
fuse bullets, and fought desperately, as they knew the importance of
holding the gap. They used no artillery.
after five desperate attempts to carry out the orders to “take the gap
if possible,” Gen. Geary withdrew his troops at half-past eight in the
evening, under cover of a heavy fire from Knapp’s battery. The enemy
did not pursue, but breathlessly commenced to throw up breastworks of
logs and stones along the face of the mountain below the palisades. The
“stars” of the Twentieth corps shone in the valley last night, where
they heard the rebels working like beavers; heard their encomiums on the
“damned Yankee mountaineers,” though they uttered them hardly above
Muscovite Friends.– The Russian steam frigate Peresvetz, Capt. Kopytoff, which arrived here yesterday, still lies
at the quarantine grounds, and none of her consorts had been sighted at
to-day. The frigate Vitiaz,
Lieut. Krsemer, and the corvette Osliaba,
Capt. Boutakoff, the latter having on board the Russian Admiral
Lessoffsky, are expected to arrive here either to-day or tomorrow.
Chance for Stragglers and Cowards.–Letters from the Army of
the Potomac state that stragglers and cowards are being taken in hand
and summarily shot. Several instances of deserting colors in the
presence of the enemy are yet to be acted upon. One execution occurred
Saturday. Skulkers will soon be taught that it is more dangerous to hide
in the rear than to face the foe in open fight. There is a quiet
determination among commanding officers to make such examples as will
deter straggling and desertion in future.
Army of the Potomac and Virginia Mud.–Col. Markland,
General Army Mail Agent attached to Gen. Grant’s staff, and who was
with him in the Southwestern campaigns, says he never saw an army in
better condition and finer spirits, and never in his life did he witness
such enthusiasm manifested towards a General as the Army of the Potomac
manifests towards Gen. Grant whenever and wherever he makes his
appearance. This enthusiasm has been manifested to such a degree as to
compel the commanders of corps to request the soldiers not to be quite
so demonstrative. This shows the confidence the army has in the
commanding General. Colonel Markland also speaks in the highest terms of
Gen. Meade, whose efforts to co-operate with Gen. Grant are unceasing.
Markland says that Virginia cannot be beat for mud. When he was with the
Western army he thought the cry “mud in Virginia” was more talk than
anything else, but he says he is satisfied to the contrary. He never saw
about Vicksburg during the muddiest times anything to surpass the mud of
Virginia at the present time.
“Stop Watch.”–Captain James F. McCunnigle, Ninth
Massachusetts regiment, called upon us to-day and exhibited the watch
which intercepted a rebel bullet aimed at his heart in the Wilderness
battle on the 12th instant. It is a gold hunting case watch, presented
to him by a friend in Boston about a year ago. The minié bullet struck
it fairly and projected nearly through it, but remains embedded in the
machinery of the horologe. The time piece saved its possessor from being
sent into eternity, and a severe contusion was his only injury on this
occasion. Captain McCunnigle bears in his breast near the collar bone a
rebel bullet received by him at the bloody battle of Gaines’ Mill on
the Peninsula. The first trophy he cannot,
and the last he will not part
MAY 25, 1864
HARTFORD DAILY COURANT (CT)
Information to the Enemy.
is right to learn from an enemy. There are many things in the policy of
the rebels that our people can study with advantage. They give no
information to our government through their newspapers. Something may be
learned through [the] agency of spies, something from deserters,
something from contrabands, but nothing if any value from the southern
press. It has been so from the commencement of the war. Had the entire
press of the rebel States been placed under the direct supervision of
the military at Richmond, it would have been difficult to secure more
effectually the practice of discretion and silence. Many of the
successes of the rebel arms are primarily attributable to the reticence
habitually observed by the southern people. Last fall the strongest and
most impetuous corps was detached from the rebel army of
Virginia, and sent southward to the re-enforcement of Bragg. The fact
was not known to the military authorities at Washington till General
Rosecrans advanced and met with defeat at Chickamauga. Several of the
most important movements of the enemy have
occurred without the slightest warning. Powerful columns have
been sent repeatedly from one end of the confederacy to the other so
quietly as to conceal the change from the federals till the fact was
disclosed on the battle field. Interior communications and superior
facilities for the speedy concentration of troops would have availed
comparatively little to the enemy but for the secrecy which has covered
their movements. Richmond papers tell us nothing of the strength or
disposition of the forces operating under Gen. Lee. They are equally
reticent about the garrison of the capital. If our authorities know who
commands the rebel forces in that vicinity, the fact is not learned
through any revelation of the press.
the North affairs have been managed very differently. Rival papers
endeavor to demonstrate their superior energy and facilities, by
communicating early and complete details of army movements to the
public. At one time they were accustomed to give the exact strength and
localities of different divisions. Of course all such information
reached Richmond a few hours after its publication in New York. The
rebels forewarned were forearmed. Knowing when and where to expect
attack, they prepared deliberately to meet it.
much has been done toward repressing the evil, it is not yet cured.
Correspondents with the army of the Potomac chronicle minutely the
position of the different corps and the changes that occur. Lee cannot
fail to derive great assistance from the knowledge thus acquired. The
country should be more patient, and the newspapers more discreet. It is
incomparatively better to wait awhile for details, rather than impart
information that will indirectly cause the needless sacrifice of life.
Lee’s position at Spotsylvania Court-house has been turned, and the
rebel General with his army compelled to fall back. Saturday night the
advance of Hancock’s corps was at Bowling Green, eighteen miles south
of Fredericksburg. The other corps necessarily took up the line of march
in the same direction.
army of the Potomac now covers its communications with Fredericksburg,
and has secured a highly advantageous position with reference to the
principal railroad from Richmond northward, on which Lee has depended
for the transportation of troops and supplies, is now in our possession.
As Gen. Grant advances, it will be repaired. The enemy are forced to
retreat on the circumference of a circle, of which Gen. Grant holds an
arc. Spotsylvania, with its battle-fields and graves, has been entirely
abandoned by both armies.
fighting is liable to be renewed at any moment. Till army movements are
consummated, we presume the public will have to remain satisfied with
the details communicated by Secretary Stanton, as increased caution is
enjoined with regard to the publication of army news.
of the Rebels.
annals of warfare do not show instances of more savage brutality than
have been exhibited by Southern rebels in the present war. Almost daily,
accounts are given of horrid butcheries perpetrated by guerrillas upon
non-combatants which thrill the heart with indignation. One of the
latest victims to the cold-blooded villainy of these inhuman wretches is
J. W. Cathcart, Esq., of St. Paul, Minn., a gentleman of prominence at
the west, and well known to the Asylum street merchants of this city.
The St. Paul Pioneer, of a recent date, furnishes the particulars of his murder.
In company with his partner, Charles H. Howland, he secured a plantation
of the government near Vicksburg, and placed upon it a quantity of
supplies and stock. His partner returned North to make purchases, and
during his absence a band of guerrillas visited the premises. Mr.
Cathcart was without weapons of any kind, as he had studiously avoided
having any upon the plantation, believing that in case the rebels should
appear and meet with no armed resistance, they would inflict no personal
injury. On the premises was located a government hospital, in charge of
Doct. Fahnesbach, an aged and inoffensive man, who was with Mr. C. when
the guerrillas made their appearance. The first intelligence that
Cathcart had that the villains were near was their pounding upon his
door, and using oaths too terrible to repeat. Presently they broke in
the door and asked, “Who are you?” He informed them. “What are you
doing, — — you?” “Planting.” “Who gave you the authority to
work this plantation?” He stated that he had a government lease. They
then said: “Well, come along with us, and we will show you Northern
men how to grow cotton, — — you.” He commenced to pack his carpet
bag, but they informed him, “You won’t have any need of clothing
long.” Several days after, the body of Doct. Fahnesbach was found
about eight miles from the plantation. His left ear had been cut off
before killing, and his person stripped of all clothing. He had been
shot in the head, the ball passing in at the eye. About a mile further
on, the body of Cathcart was discovered lying by a tree. He had been
stripped of everything save shirt and drawers. A ball had passed through
his head, going in at the temple. One of his fingers had been cut off to
obtain a ring, and there were other marks of brutality.
is villains such as these murderers that copperhead papers talk of
PITTSFIELD SUN (MA)
City of New York and other parts of the country were thrown into great
excitement on Wednesday last, caused by the publication of a Bogus
Proclamation, purporting to come from President Lincoln, proposing a
National Fast on the 26th of May, in view of our disasters at different
points; declaring Grant’s Virginia campaign is virtually ended, and
calling for 400,000 more men! The following explanation of how the hoax
was played on the press is from the N. Y. World:
World, in common with the Journal
of Commerce and all the city morning papers, was made the victim of
a malicious hoax by some scoundrel, who, imitating the manifold copy of
the Associated Press, sent around the extraordinary proclamation which
appeared in our columns this morning. Supposing it was all right, the
night editor in charge published it in good faith, and its falsity was
not discovered until the edition was nearly worked off. The Journal
of Commerce was deceived in the same way as the World,
and of course quite as innocently. The Herald,
we understand, printed the false proclamation in a large edition, but
fortunately for them, discovered it in time to suppress it in their
authorities at Washington, notwithstanding the disclaimers of the
Editors, and their efforts to discover the forger of the Bogus
Proclamation, ordered Gen. Dix to take military possession of the
offices of the World and Journal of Commerce,
and they were so held until Saturday morning, no paper being issued from
either office on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Monday both journals
were printed and contain a full history of the affair.
appears that the guilty individual, who was arrested and conveyed to
Fort Lafayette, is Mr. Joseph Howard, who was educated to the newspaper
business on the N. Y. Times,
and is familiarly known as “Howard of the Times.”
He was a thorough newspaper man, familiar with all the facts necessary
to accomplish his purpose. He was a favorite contributor to the Independent, president of the First Republican Association in
Brooklyn, long a member of the Rev. Mr. Beecher’s church, and a member
of the Republican Committee of King’s County. He is well known in
radical circles, and was the intimate associate of the most eminent of
The War News.
Rome General Sherman found a large quantity of provisions, and seven
fine iron works and machine shops. The cars were, at the latest advices,
arriving at Kingston with stores, and two days would be given to
replenish and fit out for a fresh start.
is announced that the dam on the Red River has been completed, and the
gunboats were being floated over the bar in the river. It was expected
that all the fleet would be brought over in safety. On the 14th General
Canby was at the mouth of the Red River, prepared to co-operate with
General Banks in his retrograde movement.
Butler announces, under date of the evening of the 20th, that he has
been fighting all day, the enemy endeavoring to close in on our lines.
The rebel General Walker, of the Texas troops, has been captured.
has been no fighting with General Meade’s army since Thursday. At the last
advices movements were in progress which would soon bring important results.
Crook’s forces are falling back in West Virginia, after thoroughly
accomplishing their objects. They have destroyed large amounts of supplies,
and damaged the railroad so that it will require three months to repair it.
The rebel Gen. Jenkins had died of his wounds.
pirate Florida sailed from Bermuda
about the 15th inst., to cruise in the track of American vessels between New
York and Liverpool.
navy on the Florida coast has been actively engaged recently in destroying
rebel salt works on the rivers of that State.
miles of the Danville Railroad were destroyed by General Krantz in his
recent raid; also, the dams and locks of the Lynchburg and Richmond Canal.
General Heckman has been captured by the rebels.
is understood, from semi-official sources, that the next draft will be for
300,000 men, and will take place early in July. Enrolling officers are now
preparing lists of all men between the ages of 20 and 45. Inasmuch as these
officers have no discretion in regard to the omission of aliens and men not
able bodied, it is evident that the lists will include many who ought to
properly to be exempt. Probably much more than half of the persons actually
enrolled will have some legal and proper cause of exemption.
quota of the different towns and sub-districts will be made on the basis of
the number appearing on the enrollment lists. It will be manifestly,
therefore, for the interest of every town to decrease the number of enrolled
men as much as possible.
is the intention of Capt. Morehouse, Provost Marshal of this District, to
allow towns before the 10th of June, the time the lists must be finally
completed, an opportunity to purge their rolls of all aliens and men
physically incompetent, and thus reduce their quota. Unless, therefore,
towns take this matter in hand and make arrangements to reduce in this way
the basis upon which their quota is to be calculated, they will be obliged,
under all the calls that may be made during the year, to furnish a much
larger number of men than they ought of right to furnish, and a larger
proportion than other parts of the District.
very strong and systematic effort will be made in Springfield, and in other
parts of Hampden County, to reduce their quotas in this way.
is therefore of the greatest consequence that the towns of Berkshire County
should immediately interest themselves in this matter and make arrangements
so that at the proper time they can send forward proper evidence relative to
aliens and other exempts who may be enrolled and have their names stricken
from the enrollment lists.
REPUBLICAN FARMER (CT)
Baltimore correspondent of the N. Y. World,
recently wrote a long description of the condition and defences of
Richmond. In concluding he gave the following particulars of a new
offensive agent to be employed in the defence of the Confederate
leaving the defences of Richmond I must mention a new and novel
invention by Captain Holden of the rebel army. It is nothing more or
less than a stink-ball designed to be fired into the works of besiegers
to stink them out. About the middle of April, I was one of several
civilians who, upon invitation, accompanied a party of officers to
Atlee’s, a station on the Central Railroad some ten miles from
Richmond to witness some experiments from this ball. The ball is an iron
shell containing combustible and destructive material, as well as
odiferous matter, and in appearance is similar to the stink ball in use
many years ago. It is designed to be thrown by mortars, but in the tests
on the occasion referred, the fuse was lighted and the shells allowed to
fulminate where they were placed. The stench which followed the
explosion was the most fetid and villainous that ever outraged the
olfactories of man. Coleridge said that he counted in Cologne
seventy-seven “well-defined and several stinks.” But if he had been
at Atlee’s on the day of the experiment alluded to, he would have
recognized them all, and seventy-seven thousand more. The concentrated
stink of all the skunks, pole-cats, pitch, sulphur, rasped horses and
horses hooves, burnt in fire, assafœtida, ferula, and bug-weeds in the
world could not equal the smell emitted by these balls. But not only is
the smell in itself intolerable, but it provokes sneezing and coughing,
and produces nausea, rendering it impossible for men to do duty within
reach of it. A single ball will impregnate the atmosphere for fifty
yards round, and the fetid compound, entering everything it touches,
emits the stench for a long time. The opinion of all who witnessed the
experiments was that the ball was a fair offset to Greek fire, and Gen.
Winder and several other officers of rank who were present, expressed
the belief that it would prove more effective for driving off besiegers
than anything ever invented. Be this as it may, if Richmond is ever
threatened by siege, the sneezers, as the inventor facetiously calls his
balls, will form a prominent feature in the defensive operations.”
it Means.–People who read the war news must be struck with
the expressions used by the writers giving accounts of conflicts. This
or the other battery is spoken of as having done “splendid service!”
Think of the splendor of ripping and tearing to pieces thousands of
human beings, and then you have an idea of “splendid service!”
“Cheering news” means that the enemy has been badly defeated,
leaving the field covered with horribly mutilated remains of men and
horses–men dying of thirst caused by wounds, and others crawling away
minus a leg or an arm! This is cheering news. Then we have “brilliant
affairs,” in which the slaughter is not quite so terrible, but it
still takes many victims to make up the “brilliance” out of it. And
so on through the entire war vocabulary.
Morris, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, thus sums up his ministerial
labors for the last fifty years: Sermons preached, 7,500; miles
travelled, 200,000; annual conferences presided at, 200; preachers
ordained, 5,000; preachers appointed to their work, 20,000.
was admitted in a recent debate in the House of Commons, that during the
last ten years Ireland has lost two and a half millions of its
population, and that the exodus is still going on at the rate of one
hundred and twenty thousand per annum.
number of bottles of champagne shipped from Paris to this country during
the six months ending Jan. 1st was 1,266,847, costing about two dollars
per bottle, and paid for in gold! That’s where the money goes.
great billiard match for the championship cue is arranged to come off on
Thursday, June 9, at the Hippotheatron, opposite the Academy of Music.
Goldthwaite and Kavanagh are the contestants.
is estimated that in the recent battles we have expended two million
rounds of infantry ammunition and about fifteen thousand rounds of
Saturday evening a severe shock of earthquake alarmed the people of San
Francisco, but no damage was done.
Statesman says three thousand
farms in Ohio are left without a man to attend them–thousands of
fields are left to wither for the want of hands to cultivate them.
of Foreign News.
thousand Russians are concentrated at the mouth of the Danube, and
twenty thousand more are expected. Austria has a force of twenty-five
thousand men on the Servian frontier, and the Turkish Porte has
determined that the army in the Romelia should be increased to one
hundred and fifty thousand men.
Maoris in New Zealand have been defeated and the English are in
possession of the rich territory abandoned by them.
whole force of the Danes is only twenty-four thousand, while the
Austrians and Prussians number eighty thousand. The allies have
compelled two thousand of the inhabitants to assist in the destruction
of the fortifications at Frederica.
the Danish naval engagement near Heligoland there were one hundred and
seventy killed and wounded on the German side; the Danes had one killed
and fifty wounded, and their ships were unimpaired.
British fleet has sailed from the North Sa to watch the Austrian fleet.
It is announced that the object is to save the Danes from being
over-powered at sea, and the movement is considered as having a tendency
MAY 28, 1864
NEWPORT MERCURY (RI)
Battle by Moonlight.–General Beauregard made a desperate
attack upon Gen. Butler’s centre, commanded by Gen. Gilmore, on
Saturday night by moonlight. Deep ravines protect the front of Gen.
Butler’s right and left; hence the attack was made exclusively upon
the centre. Beauregard led the assaulting column in person. His force
altogether numbered at least forty thousand men, and they were all
massed and thrown into this fight. The rebels yelled as they came up
like wild men. Gilmore kept his batteries silenced until the enemy,
massed, was within the best possible distance and range, when the word
was given, and the death-dealing cannon opened along the whole centre.
an instant the rebel shouting ceased; the defiant column advanced no
longer. Nothing but a skeleton was left of it to reel and stagger back.
Beauregard rallied new men to the breach, and again and again Gilmore
hurled the defiant traitors back. The battle lasted two hours, closing
the battle, the gunboats on the James and Appomattox rivers shelled the
enemy, doing great execution.
Butler was commanding in person during the entire battle, and at times
very much exposed.
position occupied by Gen. Butler’s forces, on a neck of land formed by
the course of the two rivers, is impregnable. It is sure death and
defeat to any force, however formidable, that may attempt to take it.
loss on Saturday night was comparatively slight, as we were fighting
behind works; but the enemy’s loss must have been very large, from the
fact that they concentrated upon the centre, in masses, and were not
fired upon until near enough to be mowed down with certainty.
Carolina.–Beauregard, when recalled from North Carolina to
aid Gen. Lee, was coming down on the Neuse and Kent roads, and Gen.
Corse (since killed) by Pollocksville on the left, with Hoke on the
right. As these three columns were to march
on to their positions, the rebel ram Albemarle
was to come out from Plymouth, round into and up the Neuse, and on its
joining the land forces, a
general and simultaneous attack was to be made. But the rebel ram on
coming into the Sound was beset by a fleet of gunboats, and made to go
back to Kingston, he could not come to time. Beauregard also didn’t
show his face upon the front, and thus the plan being frustrated, the
column upon the left suffered most severely. The withdrawal of the enemy
towards Petersburg and Richmond probably saved to us North Carolina.
on Our Government.–In England a Parliamentary return has
been published of all the claims made on our Government by British
subjects for seizures of property, imprisonment, or other violation of
rights said to have been committed from the commencement of the civil
war to the 1st of March, 1864. The total number of complaints made
during that period was 451, and the total number of dispatches and
letters to and from the Foreign Office relating to those complaints was
2,871. The claims includes two classes, viz: injury to person by
imprisonment or other means, and injury to property by the seizure of
ships or cargoes, chiefly on the ground of breaking the blockade.
Some of the Prize Vessels to Rhode Island.–A captured
vessel, laden with cotton, has just put into Newport Harbor, and then
sailed on to Boston. There she will be tried and condemned, and there
her cargo will be sold, and probably a considerable portion of the
cotton will be purchased by our manufacturers and brought back here for
use. Why will not the Navy Department order some of the prizes sent to
this district for trial? New York, Boston and Philadelphia have received
almost all the benefits connected with the trial of eh captured vessels,
and with the sale of the condemned cargoes. Newport is accessible at all
times of the year, and there can be no better market than Rhode Island.
We have vigilant, prompt and capable officers, and we are sure that the
prize cases would be settled more speedily and more economically here
than they have been at New York. Our Congressional delegation have made
efforts, we believe, to have prizes sent here, but thus far their
efforts have been in vain.–Prov.
Red River Expedition.–An escape is sometimes almost as
pleasurable as a victory. And we think our readers must have had a sense
of this when they learned that Admiral Porter had got his entire fleet
out of Red river, and that our army had started on its return route
overland. Thus ends the Red River expedition–an admitted failure. It
was the last great movement of the “scatteration” policy, ere
Halleck went out and Grant came in.
land force of the Red river expedition, we presume, will return to New
Orleans by way of the Opelousas country. The route is well understood,
there will be no difficulty about subsistence, and no danger, we think,
of any serious interruption, for the army is still a powerful one, and
would probably hail the chance of encountering al its foes in that
section in open fight. It may be harassed by the enemy, and if they can
find a strong position in the way, they may present a front of
resistance for a time, but all danger is substantially over. If it can
be done, we suppose that Gen. A. J. Smith will strike across to the
Mississippi river with his column of about 8,000 veteran troops. Should
he do so, he will become available at any point in the campaign where he
may be required. It is needless to say that he would be very welcome in
Virginia. We presume, also, that should the rest of the army get safely
back to New Orleans, the greater part of that, also, could be
transferred East for the remainder of the season. Concentration is the
word now, and everything must yield to its pressure.
Rappahannock is once more free for our transports to pass up to
Fredericksburg, thereby securing Gen. Grant’s army a new base of
supplies. True, there are guerrillas hovering along the banks of the
river–and we do not know but the infernal “Torpedo Corps” may be
there, too–but the success our gunboats have met thus far in removing
these infernal machines,
encourages the expectation that we have now but little to fear from
actually wrote the letter at the end of January 1864, but the contents
evidently did not become public and reach the South for several months.
is no segue or explanation to preface this section of the article. It
appears to be from either a soldier in the Army of Tennessee or an
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