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Robert E. Lee Portrait
Page) an eminent Republican who was supposed to be the choice of the
party for the succession; but the point was not pressed, and Mr. Thomas was
nominated as a thoroughly loyal Union man, but moderate and conservative—of
which qualifications the sufficient guarantee was the urgent support he received
from Mr. George Ticknor Curtis, a gentleman chiefly known in his State by his
conspicuous services in enforcing, as United States Commissioner, the
Fugitive Slave Law.
Mr. Thomas has been an eminent
leader of the moderate party in Congress, except in the
Trent affair, in which he took a strong
anti-English position, and not in the least conciliatory. But his learning, his
discretion, his candor, and his intellectual ability, have justly given great
weight to his words. On the 10th of April he spoke upon the Confiscation and
Emancipation bills, opposing both, but with clearness and good temper. Yet in
this speech, which has been regarded as so signal a triumph for the reaction,
Mr. Thomas plainly states the right and duty of the Government to require all
persons to arm in its defense. Those who loosely say that he favors slavery at
the expense of Union have not read his words. It is with him simply a question
of time, not of right or power.
Slaves in the military and naval service of the
rebels, he says, may be freed.
"The Government may refuse to
return a slave to a master who has been engaged in the rebellion, or suffered
the slave to be employed in it."
"It may require the services of
all persons subject to its jurisdiction by residing upon its territory, when the
exigency arises, to aid in executing the laws, in repressing insurrection, or
repelling invasion.... Nothing but the direst extremity would excuse the use of
a power fraught with so great perils to both races." And he thinks we shall
triumph without it.
"There is one other exigency in
which the relation of master and slave must give way to military exigency. If
the Commander of a military district shall find that the slaves within it, by
the strength they give to their rebellious masters—by bearing arms, or doing
other military service, or acting as the servants of those who do—obstruct his
efforts to subdue the rebellion, he may deprive the enemy of this force, and may
remove the obstruction by giving freedom to the slaves."
As the slaves build the
fortifications from which our friends are slaughtered by the rebels, as they are
the servants of the rebels every where, as their labor and presence immensely
obstruct our efforts to reduce the rebellion, it would seem that this exigency
mentioned by Mr. Thomas had very nearly arrived. One thing at least is clear,
the "great perils" to the white race resulting from employing black men to fight
for the Union could not possibly be more awful than those the white race already
suffers from rebels fighting against the Union. The barbarism of the slaves,
whatever it be, can not be worse than that of the mass of the poor whites who
compose the rebel army; and in this war, now lasting more than a year, Mr.
Thomas has yet to find a solitary instance of cruelty from a slave to his
master, even when every circumstance has favored. The history of the infamous
wrong of slavery in this country shows that it dehumanizes the master a
hundred-fold more than the subject race; nor has it ever been found that free
black soldiers, organized and disciplined, have been peculiarly ferocious.
Slaves rising in insurrection to save their lives and seize their liberty by
destroying their masters are a fearful foe; for their vengeance is proportioned
to their wrongs. But slaves freed and regularly drilled are among the best
soldiers, as Washington found in the Revolution when he enlisted a regiment of
slaves in Rhode Island, freed for the purpose, who were conspicuous for their
gallantry, bravery, and military skill at the battle upon Quaker Hill near
Newport. The black regiment "distinguished itself by deeds of desperate valor,"
says Arnold in his History of Rhode Island. Senator Ten Eyck, of New Jersey,
says that the Jersey boys would not fight by the side of soldiers of another
color. Let us hope that they deserve a higher praise than their Senator gives
them; and that Jerseymen do not disdain allies who were honest and brave enough
for Washington, and Greene, and Varnum, and the Rhode Island boys of '78.
Yet one thing may be freely
conceded to Mr. Thomas. It is impossible to act in a matter of this kind faster
than the great public opinion of the country approves, and in that perception is
the profound wisdom of
Mr. Lincoln. But that public opinion, on the
other hand, may ripen too slowly to save the country. When the nation is willing
to use every loyal hand it can command it may be too late. Therefore in this
emergency the duty of a legislator is twofold; he should endeavor to make the
country approve what he thinks ought to be done, and when he is sure of that
approval he should vote to do it. The impatient should remember that in this
country law merely, as the Fugitive Slave Law shows, will not control a settled
public sentiment. The penalty may be paid, but the law will be seldom executed.
A law to be just and valid must express a conviction, not an emotion.
WHEN Major-General Butler arrived
New Orleans the rebels caught a Tartar. He understands perfectly well that
the way to develop National sentiment in that city is to show that the nation is
supremely powerful. He knows that nothing is done until that is done. Genuine
patriotic sentiment is doubtless nearly extinct there, while, as a trading city,
it will willingly yield its allegiance to the force that proves its superiority.
If there be any decided Union feeling in that city it is certainly remarkably
modest. We do not deny that it may be there, and that it is awaiting results
before it shows itself. It may be that it does not feel the National grasp to be
so secure that it can dare to slip from the Confederate embrace. Let us be
perfectly willing to wait and see if this be so. But meanwhile
has to keep order,
and repossess and hold the
property of the United States, and he carries altogether too many guns for the
gentry who oppose him.
His brisk orders will not be
misunderstood. They clear "secesh" air like lightning. They say exactly what
they mean, and are utterly iconoclastic. "The Second Washington" who heads this
great and glorious war for the defense of the right of holding other people in
slavery is called by the peremptory Butler "one Jefferson Davis." The work
expended upon fortifications near the Mint by the Confederate authorities was
"idly and inanely wasted." The Mayor of the city complains of an order which he
says imperils the peace of the city, so that he will not answer for it; the
reply is another order suspending him from his functions and committing him to
Fort Jackson. He apologizes and withdraws the letter, and is continued at his
post. Then he returns with friends and insists upon withdrawing the apology. The
General says, "Very well, you may withdraw it; but we have been playing long
enough"—and sends him and friends to Fort Jackson.
This is the method which will
apprise the rebellious gentry of New Orleans and the rebel region that this
Government is fully in earnest; that the loss and suffering brought upon it by
this causeless and ferocious insurrection have put it into no mood to be trifled
with; that it has taken up arms to touch no person, no property, no right, which
ought not to be touched to secure the restoration of its supremacy, but that
when it does touch it will be as with lightning; and that it means to hold every
city it occupies with the military hand until its citizens give proof of their
willingness to be loyal. Meanwhile, of course, mere severity is not force—a fact
which General Butler shows that he fully understands.
"You will find," said an officer
Berdan's Sharp-shooters to the Lounger, "that this is not a fancy regiment."
The whole country now gratefully confesses it. For they are good men with good
weapons. Floyd did what he could to steal all our fire-arms—and he can do more
in that way than any other American. But not even Floyd could steal our wits.
The Yankee will make a gun if he hasn't one; and if he has one he will make a
better. He is kinsman of the doughty warrior of whom the song says,
"And when his legs were shot
He fought upon his stumps."
In fact, one of the great
collateral interests of the war has been its effect upon improvement in weapons,
projectiles, and defenses. The principle of fixed ammunition, or water-proof
cartridge, is now about as sure to supersede the old style as that iron-clad
ships will replace the old wooden walls of our navy. In like manner the whole
question of coast defenses is opened by the
Among the improvements in
weapons, experts agree that there is nothing better than Ballard's
breech-loading rifle. It is very simple and very sure. The usual difficulties of
construction and management in such arms have been thoughtfully avoided in this.
Most weapons of the kind, for instance, separate the barrel from the breech, of
course weakening the whole. Ballard's rifle has no such objection. It is,
moreover, light, made well, and of the best materials, and is in every respect
warranted. It is fitted, also, for the copper water-proof cartridge.
Soldier or sportsman looking for
a rifle will naturally remember Ballard's.
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
THE LAST FASHIONABLE
VICE.—Enameling is already on the spread. We suppose the Rachels of this
superficial accomplishment will soon copy the example of the photographers in
the cheap neighborhoods, and place touters at their doors, whose business it
will be to waylay ladies as they go by, and to tempt them with the insinuating
inquiry of, "Please, Mum, will you have your face enameled?"
The reward of villains is
various; some of them are hung, others cropped and branded—others elected to
A large, ferocious dog, finding
his way into a dry-goods store filled with lady customers, created considerable
alarm; when a raw-looking case remarked that if they'd give him what he wanted
likely the dog would leave. What could a dog want in a dry-goods store? Why, he
wanted mus'lin, of course.
A magistrate of Chicago proposes
to marry couples at one dollar a piece, if they will form clubs of twelve, and
all get "fixed" at the same time."
A man with a slight attack of
fever and ague is "no great shakes any how."
ON Tuesday, May 27, in the
Senate, a resolution was offered and adopted inquiring of the Secretary of War
how many officers and men of the army are now confined in the District of
Columbia Penitentiary, to what regiments they belong, and by what authority they
were committed. The Tax bill was taken up and several amendments adopted.
Without transacting any other business the Senate adjourned.—In the House, a
message was received from
President Lincoln, of which we give an analysis below.
Read and referred. The House then took up, in Committee of the Whole, the bill
for the establishment of a soldiers' hospital in the District of Columbia: the
Committee rose without taking a vote on the bill. A motion was made to
reconsider the vote by which the bill for the confiscation of the slaves of
rebels was defeated on the previous day. Pending the motion the House adjourned.
On Wednesday, May 28, in the
Senate, the Vice-President presented a message from the President, in reply to
the resolution of inquiry in reference to certain arrests in Kentucky, in which
the President states that it is not deemed compatible with the public interests
to give the information asked at present. The special message from the
President, sent into the House on the previous day, was ordered by the Senate to
be printed. The Tax bill was then taken up and considered for some time, when,
on motion, the Senate went into executive session. The executive session lasted
but for a short time, after which the consideration of the Tax bill was resumed,
and a long discussion on the question of taxing slaves as property took place,
pending a decision on which the Senate adjourned.
—In the House, the motion pending
at the adjournment
on the previous day, to
reconsider the vote by which the bill to give freedom to the slaves of rebels
was defeated, was, after considerable discussion, postponed. The House then went
into Committee on the Whole on the Senate bill to collect Taxes in the
insurrectionary districts, which was passed by a vote of 97 yeas to 17 nays. A
resolution was adopted calling on the Secretary of the Treasury for a statement
of the public debt, and the annual interest thereof. A bill was introduced, and
referred to the Military Committee, in reference to limiting the number of
volunteers to be mustered into the military service, and prohibiting the
enlistment of contrabands.
On Thursday, May 29, in the
Senate, Senator Willey called up the memorial of the loyal Legislature of
Virginia, asking for a division of the State, and spoke in favor of it. The
memorial was referred to the Territories' Committee. The Senate then continued
the consideration of the Tax bill, and the proposed amendment to lay no tax on
slaves in States which have adopted the President's system of gradual
emancipation was rejected. An amendment was offered to make the tax on slaves
two dollars each, instead of five, as proposed, which, after considerable
discussion, was adopted by 28 yeas to 10 nays. The amendment of Senator Simmons,
proposing to levy the tax on fewer articles, was then considered, and it was
rejected by 14 yeas to 22 nays. The Senate then held an executive session, at
the conclusion of which an adjournment took place.—In the House, the bill for
the more effectual suppression of the African slave-trade, reported from the
Judiciary Committee, was passed by a vote of 63 against 45.
On Friday, May 30, in the Senate,
resolutions were offered that the Secretary of War communicate to the Senate a
General Hooker's official report of the battle of Williamsburg; that the
Secretary of the Interior furnish a copy of the correspondence with the War
Department respecting the imprisonment of soldiers in the District penitentiary,
together with a copy of the District Attorney's opinion thereon. After some
discussion upon the Agricultural College bill, the Tax bill was taken up and
debated until the hour of adjournment.—There was no session of the House of
On Saturday, May 31, in the
Senate, Senator Wilson introduced a bill to enable slaves to establish their
right to freedom, under the act of August 6, 1861. A resolution for the
appointment of a select committee to inquire into the official conduct of
Adjutant-General Thomas was offered and laid over. The bill giving compensation
to the crew of the gun-boat Varuna was passed. The memorial for the admission of
Western Virginia as a separate State was considered, but no final action on it
was taken. The House bill to allow California three representatives was passed.
The bill to legalize all the President's acceptances of volunteers was taken up
and considered for some time, some amendments being proposed; but a vote on the
subject was not reached at the hour of one o'clock, the time for taking up the
Tax bill, when the consideration of that subject was resumed, which, without any
definite result, continued till the adjournment.—The House of Representatives
was not in session.
On Monday, June 2, in the Senate,
petitions were presented in favor of a sufficient enlargement of the canals of
this State to fit them for being navigated by gun-boats. A resolution was
offered calling on the Secretary of War for copies of the instructions furnished
to Governor Johnson, of Tennessee, and Governor Stanley, of North Carolina. The
bill providing for the collection of direct taxes in the rebellious States was
returned from the House with amendments, and all the amendments excepting one
were adopted. The discussion of the Tax bill was resumed. Different amendments
were acted on, when the bill was reported complete, and the Senate adjourned.—In
the House, a resolution similar to that offered in the Senate, calling for
copies of the instructions to the Provisional Governors of Tennessee and North
Carolina, was adopted. Bills were introduced for the organization of the
Territory of Lanawa; to prohibit the reduction of free persons to slavery; for
the emancipation of Robert Smalls and the other colored men who recently brought
the rebel steamer Planter out of Charleston harbor and delivered her to the
United States naval forces, and making additional appropriations for the postal
service, all of which were referred to the appropriate committees. The Senate
bill for the appointment of diplomatic agents to Hayti and Liberia was
introduced and discussed till the adjournment, without any decision on it being
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT.
The President sent an important
message to Congress on 27th, explaining the measures taken by the Government at
the commencement of the rebellion for the protection of the Union and the
Constitution. He recounts the history of the chartering of vessels and providing
transportation and supplies then adopted, and assumes to himself the
responsibility to answer for the honesty of the Administration and the agents
they employed. He states that he consulted his entire Cabinet in the emergency,
and met a hearty support from them. He says that he is not aware of a single
dollar of the public funds intrusted to unofficial persons having been either
lost or wasted, and he entirely exonerates Mr. Cameron from the censure implied
in the House resolution of the 30th ult. If censure be due, Mr. Lincoln thinks
that he himself, and all the heads of the departments should share it with the
late Secretary of War.
The following dispatch was
received at the War Department on 1st from
FIELD OF BATTLE, June 1—12
M. We have had a desperate battle, in which the corps of Generals Sumner,
Heintzleman, and Keyes have been engaged against greatly superior numbers.
Yesterday at one o'clock the
enemy, taking advantage of a terrible storm which had flooded the valley of the
Chickahominy, attacked our troops on the right flank. General Casey's division,
which was in the first line, gave way unaccountably and disunitedly. This caused
a temporary confusion, during which the guns and baggage were lost; but Generals
Kearney most gallantly brought up their troops, which checked
At the same time, however, we
succeeded, by great exertion, in bringing across Generals Sedgwick and
Richardson's divisions, who drove back the enemy at the point of the bayonet,
covering the ground with his dead.
This morning the enemy attempted
to renew the conflict, but was every where repulsed.
We have taken many prisoners,
among whom is General Pettigrew and Colonel Long.
Our loss is heavy, but that of
the enemy must be enormous.
With the exception of General
Casey's division, the men behaved splendidly.
Several fine bayonet charges have
been made. The Second Excelsior regiment made two today.
GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,
THE BATTLE AT HANOVER COURT
The official report of the
battle at Hanover Court House was received at
the War Department from General McClellan on 28th, from which it appears that it
was a pretty serious affair, resulting in a complete rout of the enemy. The
rebel loss in killed and wounded is set down at one thousand, and our loss at
three hundred and seventy-nine killed, wounded, and missing, of whom fifty-three
were killed. One hundred of the enemy's dead were buried on the field by our
men. Five hundred were taken prisoners, and more were coming in. The rebels in
this action were mostly from Georgia and North Carolina.
THE EVACUATION OF CORINTH.
The evacuation of Corinth by the
rebel army under
General Beauregard was announced officially by General Halleck,
in a dispatch received at the War Department on 30th ult. The Thirty-ninth Ohio
regiment, the advance-guard of General Pope's brigade, entered the city at a few
minutes before seven o'clock on 30th, and planted the Union flag on the dome of
the court-house. The enemy had abandoned the place previously. The last display
of resistance they made was in responding to the batteries of General Pope on
the morning of 29th.
WHAT GENERAL HALLECK SAYS.
Major-General Halleck telegraphs:
HEAD-QUARTERS, CAMP NEAR CORINTH,
May 31, 1862.
E. M. STANTON, Secretary of
The enemy's position and works in
front of Corinth were
exceedingly strong. He can not
occupy a stronger position in his flight. This morning he destroyed an immense
amount of public and private property, stores, provisions, wagons, tents, etc,
For miles out of the town the roads are filled with arms, haversacks, etc.,
thrown away by his fleeing troops. A large number of prisoners and deserters
have been captured, estimated by General Pope at 2000. General Beauregard
evidently distrusts his army, or he would have defended so strong a position.
His troops are generally much discouraged and demoralized. In all the
engagements for the last few days their resistance has been slight.
H. W. HALLECK,
A BRILLIANT AFFAIR IN THE
The following was received at the
War Department on 2d:
DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
CAMP NEAR CORINTH, June 1, 1862.
To Hon. Edwin M. Stanton,
Secretary of War.
The following dispatch has been
received from General Pope:
To H. W. Halleck, Major-General
It gives me pleasure to report
the brilliant success of the expedition sent out on the 28th of May, under
Colonel Elliott. With the Second Iowa cavalry, after forced marches, day and
night, through a very difficult country, and obstructed by the enemy, he finally
succeeded in reaching the Mobile and Ohio Railroad at Booneville at two o'clock
P.M. on the 30th.
He destroyed the track in many
places, both south and north of the town, blew up one culvert, destroyed the
switch and track, burned up the depot and locomotives, and a train of twenty-six
cars loaded with supplies of every kind, destroyed ten thousand stand of
small-arms, three pieces of artillery, and a great quantity of clothing and
ammunition, and paroled two thousand prisoners, which he could not keep with his
cavalry. The enemy had heard of his movements, and had a train of box cars and
flat cars, with flying artillery and five thousand infantry, running up and down
the road, to prevent him from reaching it. The whole road was lined with pickets
for several days. Colonel Elliott's command subsisted on meat alone, such as
they could find in the country.
For daring and dispatch this
expedition has been distinguished in the highest degree, and entitles Colonel
Elliott and his command to high distinction. Its results will be embarrassing to
the enemy, and contribute greatly to their loss and demoralization. He reports
the road full of small parties of the retreating enemy, scattering in all
JOHN POPE, Major-General.
RECAPTURE OF LITTLE ROCK.
Refugees who have just arrived at
Cairo state that
Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, is in possession of our
troops. The Governor and the members of the Legislature had fled to parts
FRONT ROYAL RETAKEN.
A brigade of our troops, with
four companies of the Rhode Island cavalry in advance, under Major Nelson,
entered Front Royal on Friday morning and drove the enemy, consisting of the
Eighth Louisiana, four companies of the Twelfth Georgia, and a body of cavalry,
out of the town, and now occupy it. Our advance was so rapid that the enemy was
surprised, and was therefore not enabled to burn the bridges across the
Shenandoah. A dispatch from General Banks himself states that the Fifth New York
cavalry, Colonel De Forest commanding, entered Martinsburg on 30th, and passed
several miles beyond, where they encountered the enemy's cavalry, captured
several prisoners, a wagon, several muskets, ammunition, and an
Thus it appears that a large portion of the ground lost by the recent attack of
the rebels upon the reduced forces of
General Banks has been recovered.
FREMONT IN THE FIELD.
The following dispatches are
NEAR STRASBURG, June 1, 1862.
General Fremont, with a strong column, left Franklin on Sunday, 25th ult., and
by rapid forced marches has crossed the Shenandoah mountain ranges, marching
nearly one hundred miles over difficult roads, with little means of
transportation, and no supplies in the country. This morning, five miles from
Strasburg, he overtook General Jackson in full retreat with his whole force, on
the road from
Winchester to Strasburg.
Colonel Cluserut, commanding the
advance brigade, came upon the enemy, strongly posted with artillery, which
opened as soon as the head of his column approached. General Fremont rapidly
brought his main column up, and formed in line of battle.
General Jackson declined to
fight, and, while holding Cluserut in check with a portion of his troops,
withdrew his main forces and continued his retreat.
In the skirmish five of the
Eighth Virginia and two of the Sixtieth Ohio regiments were wounded.
The enemy's loss is unknown.
Twenty-five prisoners were taken by our cavalry.
Lieutenant-Colonel Downey, of the
Third regiment Potomac Home Brigade, in a skirmish on Thursday morning, drove a
large party of Ashby's cavalry through Wardensville, killing two and wounding
GENERAL FREMONT'S HEAD-QUARTERS
STRASBURG, June 2, 1862.
General Fremont's advance brigade, under Colonel Cluserut, occupied Strasburg
last night without resistance.
Jackson is rapidly retreating
before our forces.
A midnight reconnoissance three
miles beyond Strasburg came upon a rope barricade and ambush of Jackson's
rear-guard, and retired successfully with the loss of only three wounded.
Colonel Figgelmencil, of General
Fremont's staff, with only fifteen men, brilliantly charged and put to flight a
body of cavalry, commanded by Ashby in person.
GENERAL HUNTER APPROACHING
The Charleston papers of the 21st inst. state that four of our
vessels had shelled three islands in the harbor on the day previous—namely,
Coles, Kiawah, and Goat Islands—and that the rebels had retired after burning
their quarters. Coles Island is situated at a distance of between twelve and
fifteen miles from the city of
GENERAL BUTLER AT NEW ORLEANS.
General Butler has suppressed the
New Orleans Delta
and the Bee for advocating the destruction of produce. He
has arrested several British subjects for giving aid to the
rebels. He has seized a large quantity of specie belonging
to the rebels from the office of the Consul for the Netherlands; has stopped
the circulation of "Confederate" paper money, and has distributed among the
suffering poor the provisions intended for the support of the rebel soldiers.
And more: he has taken the wife of General Beauregard—who was found to be in
Orleans—under his care and protection, just as General McClellan has done the
wife of the rebel
General Lee, in the neighborhood of Richmond.
GUERRILLAS IN TENNESSEE.
Trouble is breaking out in
Western Tennessee, and a considerable force of rebels is said to be at Trenton,
ready to march on Union City and Hickman. Union men from Weakly and Obion
counties were flecking to Hickman for protection. Four or five hundred rebel
cavalry are stationed near the mouth of Obion liver, awaiting the draining of
the swamp in that region to plant a battery to prevent the passage of our
transports on the Mississippi.
PRIZES TAKEN BY OUR CRUISERS.
The prize steamer Patras,
recently captured while attempting to run into Charleston harbor, has arrived
here. The vessel and her cargo are valued at $300,000. In addition to this, the
blockading squadron have already captured the following steamers: The Circassian
(British), Bermuda (British), Swan, Labuan (British, since restored), Magnolia,
Florida, Ella Warley, Stettin (British), Calhoun, Lewis, Wallace, Fox, and the
rebel gun-boat Planter, run out of Charleston by loyal contrabands, The
aggregate value of these vessels is over $5,000,000.
Major-General Dix left Baltimore
by steamer on 31st for Fortress Monroe to relieve General Wool from his command
at that post. General Wool, it is said, will take the place of General Dix at