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Robert E. Lee Portrait
Page) men in Congress and out sneered and gibed at his miraculous
faculty of staying in one place, he held his tongue triumphantly. For an
American in his place at this time silence was greatness. What other man of us
all, except Fremont, would not have written a letter, or made a speech, or
authorized some friend to speak for us?
The question is not, and never
has been, whether he were Napoleon, Hannibal, or Frederick the Great; whether if
Alexander had been in Washington he would not have moved in December, or whether
the Prince of Parma would not have cleared the Potomac. The question has always
been perfectly simple—when and how can he best go to Richmond? Of that
McClellan was the judge, and not a prejudiced
newspaper correspondent at
Willard's Hotel, nor a vehement partisan at the
Capitol. Moreover he has always necessarily
acted under this stringent condition, that he must not lose a battle. Other
Generals might be beaten for a while, but his defeat lost Washington. Other
Generals might move and retire, but McClellan could only march to assured
And he has marched; and for the
first time, in a private bulletin to his wife from his first victorious
battle-field, he alludes quietly to the long abuse and doubt that have followed
him, by saying that "the Quaker army" have done superbly. Events show that he
has not been mistaken; that his estimate of the numbers and the strength of the
enemy and their works has been correct. Every account declares that his coming
turned the lingering day of Williamsburg into a brilliant victory. He came, he
saw, he conquered—are almost the words of the reports. And at this moment the
public confidence in him is entire, because he has persuaded every honest man in
the country that he does not move until he is ready, and then moves resistlessly.
The week after the rebel flight
Yorktown reads like the
Rich Mountain week of last spring. It blazes
and rings with the light and the shouts of victory. And to complete his crown,
it is Owen Lovejoy—politically the representative of his bitterest detractors,
if not himself one—who rises in his place as a Representative and moves the
sincere thanks of this House to Major-General
George B. MClellan, for the display of those high military qualities
which secure important results with but little sacrifice of human life.
And all the people say Amen!
SINCE there are so many lively
and graphic correspondents at the various seats of war, it would be a good thing
if they could inform us exactly what we are to believe. It is curious, but it is
true, that you can always anticipate the tone in which the correspondents of the
different papers will treat facts. If General McClellan does something or
doesn't do any thing, there are papers which will express a sneer. If
General Fremont does or doesn't, others will do
the same. You are sure never to know quite the truth about one General in one
paper, or about another General in another. We are all as desperate military, as
we have been political, partisans.
This feeling inevitably colors
the statements of fact, so that the future historian of the war will have many a
sharp word over the clashing testimony of eye-witnesses. For instance, there was
the late retreat of the rebels from Yorktown. All the McClellan papers
celebrated the "bloodless victory." In
Albany they fired a hundred guns over his
"glorious success." He had driven the rebels, demoralized and disorganized, in a
panic rout. He had struck the coup de grace of the rebellion. The anti-McClellan
papers, on the other hand, "didn't see it." He had been outwitted again. The
rebels never meant to stand at Yorktown. They had no serious works. They mounted
Quaker cannon. "The balloon first informed General McClellan of the escape of
the foe, and of the disappointment of his preparations."
These are general statements, but
side by side with them are details of fact—so called. A McClellan journal,
recording that a party had returned from Yorktown, adds: "The stores abandoned
by the rebels, they say, were immense, and exhibit the most conclusive evidence
of demoralization and confusion in the retreat." "Competent judges, who went
carefully over the ground abandoned by the rebels near Yorktown," says an
anti-McClellan journal of the same morning, "say that there are no signs that
their retreat partook of the character of a rout. There were no signs of
demoralization whatever....The retrograde movement has all the appearance of
being well ordered, in obedience to a preconcerted plan."
The animus of such conflicting
statements is evident enough.
NOBODY will deny that in this war
the American Navy has sustained its old fame. When the rebel Commodore Barron,
who was taken at Hatteras, heard at Fort Warren, where he is imprisoned, of the
beautiful and brilliant victory at Port Royal, he jumped up, forgetting his
treason in hearty pride and admiration of the service which had given his family
name all its renown, and exclaimed: "I tell you nothing can stand against our
navy!" The rebel Captain spoke truly. It was prophecy as well as history.
Nothing has stood against it. Hatteras, Port Royal, Fort Henry, Roanoke,
Island No. 10, and
New Orleans are the witnesses.
But chief witness of all was the
Monitor in her first fight with the
Merrimac, for that marked an epoch in naval
science and history. The battle itself resulted in defeating the only really
formidable weapon the rebellion has brought against us. It saved more than can
be computed. It was the single service of the war which stands pre-eminent among
all the glorious successes, and it deserves—every loyal man feels it—the
heartiest and amplest national recognition.
General Grant took
Fort Donelson he was
properly made a Major-General;
Newbern he justly received the same honor; when
Curtis conquered at
Pea Ridge they earned the grade they won; when Mitchell
occupied Huntsville the President spoke for the grateful nation in nominating
him also a Major-General. These were instances of splendid service promptly and
honorably acknowledged and rewarded. Each sent a thrill of satisfaction to every
sympathizing and admiring spectator. Surely
not done less brilliantly or deserved less than their brothers of the army, and
we all wonder why they have not been distinguished with similar rewards.
The difficulty is not the
ingratitude of the people nor the reluctance of the President, but simply the
rule of the service. But whatever the impediment it should be removed at once.
New grades of rank to be conferred for signal service should be immediately
established. But meanwhile something can be done to show the sincerity of
Lieutenant Worden, the gallant
Captain of the
Monitor in her most famous and eventful moment, was sadly
wounded. The blow virtually destroyed his sight and shattered his system. In the
instant of his glorious victory he fell—happily not so fatally hurt as Nelson at
Trafalgar, but hopelessly and permanently. A generous instinct seeks to offer
him the homage of respect and gratitude which the law can not afford. Mr.
Everett and other noted gentlemen have suggested a subscription to a fund to be
presented to the hero upon whom so many hopes hung that day, and who did not
disappoint them. The sum already subscribed is considerable, and as the facts
are made known it will doubtless largely increase. Mr. W. H. Aspinwall is the
treasurer, and every man will see the peculiar propriety of this offering to an
officer injured for life in serving us, and whom our imperfect laws can not
honor by that superior rank with which his brother-soldiers are honored.
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
WHEN Sir John Scott (afterward
Lord Eldon) brought in a bill for restraining the liberty of the press, an Irish
member moved the insertion of a clause providing that all anonymous works should
have the names of the authors printed on the title-pages!
THE BITER BIT.—A lady having
accidentally broken her smelling-bottle, her husband, who was very petulant,
said to her, "I declare, my dear, every thing that belongs to you is more or
less broken." "True," replied the lady, "for even you are a little cracked!"
In a large party one evening the
conversation turned upon young men's allowance at college. Tom Sheridan lamented
the ill-judging parsimony of many parents in that respect. "I am sure, Tom,"
said the father, "you need not complain; I always allowed you three hundred a
year." "Yes, father, I must confess you allowed it, but then it was never paid."
A clever man, M—, who had run
counter to the general opinions, pronounced himself strongly against a popular
work. In all societies he was answered that the public had come to a very
different conclusion from his. "The public!" he rejoined; "how many fools must
you collect together to form a public?"
"What are those speckled birds?"
inquired Mrs. Skinflint of a poulterer. "Guinea fowls, ma'am." "Keep 'em, then,"
murmured the lady, as she walked away, disgusted at such imposition; "you don't
get my guineas for 'em, that's all!"
When Dean Goodenough preached
before the peers a wag wrote:
" 'Tis well enough that
Before the lords should preach;
For sure enough they're bad
He undertakes to teach."
It is said that printed
declarations, with blank forms, are to be used by young ladies who have lovers
too modest to propose. The ladies themselves fill out the blanks, and, of
course, no sensible man can refuse signing them.
A public writer thinks that much
might be gained if speakers would observe the miller's creed—always to shut the
gate when the grist is out.
This pleasant little word we
notice in the Darmstadt newspaper—"Civildienerwittwenininstitut," meaning
Institution for Widows of Civil Service Officers.
LETTING THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG.—A
little girl the daughter of a baker, being asked in her class at a Sunday-school
what bread was made of, answered at once, "Flour and alum, Sir!"
"Boy, why don't you go to
school?" '''Cause, Sir, daddy is afeard that if I larns every thing now, I
sha'n't have any thing to larn ven I comes to the 'cademy."
NEXT DOOR TO A FOOL.—"Mr. Brown,"
said a little boy to a gentleman who was calling on his father, "who is your
next-door neighbor?" "Mr. Jones, my dear," replied the visitor. "Isn't he a very
silly man, Sir?" asked the child. "No, my dear; Mr. Jones is a sensible man
enough." "Oh, I don't think he is," persisted the boy, "for I heard mamma say to
papa that you were next door to a fool!"
"I can bear," said a sufferer, "I
can bear the squealing of a pig, the roaring of thunder, or the squall of ten
thousand cats; but the voice of a dun is like the crack of doom; and when I hear
a dun, I am done out and out."
DISADVANTAGES OF IGNORANCE.—A
farmer recently received a very polite note from a neighbor, requesting the loan
of an ass for a few days. Being unable to decipher his friend's hieroglyphics,
and wishing to conceal his ignorance from the servant, the farmer hastily
returned for answer, "Very well; tell your master I will wait upon him myself
To CURE THE GOUT.—Accustom
yourself to virtue and well-water.
CATCHING A TARTAR.—"Remember,
Madam, that you are the weaker vessel," said an irate husband. "Exactly," said
the lady; "but do not you forget that the weaker vessel may have the stronger
spirit in it !"
"Sambo, whar you get dat watch
you wear to meetin' last Sunday?" "How you know I hab watch?" "Bekase I seed de
chain hang out de pocket in front." "Go 'way nigger! S'pose you see halter round
my neck, you tink dar is horse inside ob me?"
A drunken fellow, at a late hour
in the night, was sitting in the middle of the Place Vendome. A friend of his
happening to pass, recognized him, and said, "Well, and what do you do here? Why
don't you go home?" The drunkard replied, "My good fellow, 'tis just what I
want; but the place is all going round, and I'm waiting for my door to go by,"
ON Tuesday, May 6, in the Senate,
a resolution calling for all the official reports relative to the
Pittsburg Landing was laid over. The Homestead bill was taken up, and passed by
a vote of 33 to 7. The debate on the Confiscation bill was resumed, and finally
the subject was referred to a select committee. The Finance Committee reported
the Internal Tax bill, and it was ordered to be printed. After an executive
session the Senate adjourned.—In the House, a bill was reported appropriating
$2500 indemnity to the officers and crew of the Spanish bark Providencia,
illegally detained by the blockading squadron. A bill to punish frauds on the
Government by fine and imprisonment was referred to the Judiciary Committee. A
resolution directing the steps to be taken for the impeachment of West H.
Humphreys, Judge of the United States Courts for Tennessee, for high crimes and
misdemeanors, was adopted. The Pacific Railroad bill was passed by a vote of 79
to 49. Mr. Segar was admitted a Member from the First District of Virginia, and
took his seat. A resolution declaring F. W. Lowe not entitled to represent
California was adopted. The Nebraska contested election was discussed till the
On Wednesday, May 7, in the
Senate, the House hill appropriating $30,000,000 for the support of the army for
the year ending June 30, 1862, was reported by the Finance Committee, and after
a brief discussion as to the number of men in the army laid aside. The House
bill to provide increased revenue was passed. A resolution was adopted directing
inquiry as to what legislation is necessary with reference to the vessels seized
by the rebels at
New Orleans and other ports, and recaptured. Senator Sumner
offered a resolution for the expulsion of Senator Stark, of Oregon, who is
charged with disloyalty, which was laid over. A bill for the relief of Captain
Farragut, for advances made while in California, was passed. The House Committee
appointed to impeach Judge Humphreys, of Tennessee, charged with high crimes and
misdemeanors, appeared in the Senate and stated their business: but no action
was taken on the subject. A bill regarding the number of generals in the army
was debated; but no action taken. The select Committee on the Confiscation bill
was announced, as follows: Messrs. Clark of New Hampshire, Collamer of Vermont,
Harlan of Iowa, Cowan of Pennsylvania, Wilson of Massachusetts, Sherman of Ohio,
Henderson of Missouri, and Willey of Virginia. After an executive session the
Senate adjourned.—In the House, a bill making
Port Royal, South Carolina, a port
of entry was passed, and Mr. Daily was confirmed in his seat as delegate from
On Thursday, May 8, in the
Senate, the House bill appropriating $30,000,000 for the pay of the army for the
year ending June 30, 1862, was passed. The House bill making Port Royal, South
Carolina, a port of entry was also passed. Messrs, Foster, Doolittle, and Davis
were appointed a select committee to which was referred the House resolution
relative to the impeachment of Judge Humphreys, of Tennessee. The bill limiting
the number of major and brigadier generals was passed. It limits the number of
major-generals to 30, and of brigadiers to 200. Senator Sumner offered a
resolution, which lies over, declaring that it is inexpedient to inscribe on the
colors of regiments the victories won over our own citizens. The bill providing
for the collection of taxes on lands in insurrectionary districts was explained
by Senator Doolittle, and then laid aside. The bill relating to the selection of
jurors for the District of Columbia was passed. A bill to abolish the office of
Marshal of the District of Columbia and establish that of Sheriff was introduced
by Senator Hale. The bill providing for the education of colored children was
taken up, and an amendment adopted, repealing the black code of the District of
Columbia. The Senate then adjourned.—No business of general importance was
transacted by the House. Mr. Lovejoy called up his bill to secure freedom to all
persons within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Government, to the end
that freedom may remain forever the fundamental law of the land, and in all
places whatsoever, as far as it lies within the power or depends upon the action
of the Government of the United States to make it so. A motion to lay the bill
on the table was negatived by a vote of 50 against 65.
On Friday, May 9, in the Senate,
the resolution presented by Senator Sherman, calling for the reports of the
officers commanding in the two battles of Pittsburg Landing, was taken up, and
debated at considerable length. It was finally passed. The Select Committee on
the Humphrey's impeachment case reported assurance that they would proceed with
the case immediately. The bill for the education of colored children in the
District of Columbia was passed, 28 to 7. After an executive session the Senate
adjourned until Monday.—In the House, Mr. Lovejoy, of Illinois, offered
resolutions giving thanks to Almighty God for the recent successes of our arms
against the rebels—expressing special satisfaction at the great triumphs of the
Army of the Potomac, and tendering the sincere thanks of the House to
McClellan for the display of those high military qualities which secure
important results with but little sacrifice of human life. The resolutions were
unanimously adopted. Mr. Lovejoy offered a substitute modifying the bill
introduced by trim on Thursday, and acted upon, providing for freedom in the
Territories. A motion to lay it on the table was disagreed to, 65 to 50. Mr.
Lovejoy demanded the previous question, but the House refused to second the
demand. Mr. Lovejoy then moved to recommit the bill, and a long debate then
occurred on the merits of the negro question generally, in which a number of
members took part. The House finally adjourned until Monday without taking a
On Monday, May 12, in the Senate,
the bill providing for the collection of direct taxes in insurrectionary
districts was taken up, and pasted by a vote of 32 against 3. The House
resolution, that Congress adjourn on the 19th of May was then taken up, on
motion of Senator Davis, of Kentucky, who moved to amend by fixing the 2d day of
June as the time for the final adjournment; and in the course of his remarks
said Congress had passed unconstitutional, iniquitous, and unwise measures,
which he should counsel his people to resist by every mode of resistance they
can devise. Senator Wilson pronounced the remark treasonable. Senator Davis
explained that he meant nothing treasonable; and after some discussion the
subject was dropped, and the resolution laid on the table. After an executive
session the Senate adjourned.—In the House, the bill introduced by Mr. Lovejoy,
abolishing slavery wherever the Federal Government has jurisdiction, was passed
by a vote of eighty-five against fifty. The Senate bill empowering the Medical
Inspector-General to discharge from service men physically disabled for duty was
also passed. A Committee of conference on the Homestead bill was appointed. A
bill defining and punishing treason was introduced and referred. The bill
appropriating $6,000,000 for soldiers' bounties was passed. In case of the death
of a person entitled to bounty it is to accrue to the widow, children, father,
mother, brothers, or sisters of the deceased.
GENERAL McCLELLAN'S ARMY.
General McClellan has pursued the
enemy to a point within twenty-two miles of Richmond. The rebels were still in
sight on Saturday at three o'clock, but were rapidly falling back. It was
reported that they would make a stand at Bottom Bridge, on the
River, fifteen miles from Richmond.
GUN-BOATS ASCENDING THE JAMES
Galena, Aroostook, and Port Royal, started up the James River on
Thursday morning, at six o'clock, to cut off the river communication with the
rebels on the Chickahominy. They had passed Day's Point before seven o'clock,
and heavy firing was heard at that time.
PANIC IN VIRGINIA.
The advance of the iron-clad
gun-boat Galena up the James River has created the utmost consternation in
Petersburg. The fact that she had silenced the rebel batteries at Day's Point
and was approaching Petersburg caused a complete panic there.
SKIRMISH NEAR FREDERICKSBURG.
The rebels made a sortie upon
General McDowell's advance, near
Fredericksburg, on the
Bowling Green road, on Saturday afternoon (10th), driving
the pickets toward the city. General Patrick at once threw forward his brigade,
whereupon the enemy made no further demonstration.
The Harris Light Cavalry provoked
the attack from the rebels by making a dashing reconnoissance, in which they
captured a lieutenant and ten privates of the rebel force.
NAVAL FIGHT IN THE MISSISSIPPI.
A dispatch, dated
Cairo, May 11,
says: The desperation of the rebel cause in the Mississippi culminated yesterday
in an attack on the flotilla. Early on Saturday morning eight of their gun-boats
came round the point above the fort and boldly attacked our fleet. The
Cincinnati, which was stationed at the point where the rebels came up to on
Friday, did not attract them until the fleet had passed above her. As soon as
she was seen a simultaneous attack from the whole of their gun-boats was made
upon her, with but little effect, as the guns were poorly aimed. The Cincinnati
in the mean time had hauled into the stream, when an iron-clad ram supposed to
be the Mallory, advanced in the face of the continued broadsides from the former
until within forty yards, and, being a faster sailer, succeeded in mooring
between the Cincinnati and their right hand, when men appeared upon her decks,
preparing to board with grapnels thrown out, which design was frustrated by
throwing hot water front the steam batteries of the Cincinnati. In the mean time
the rest of our gun-boats had arrived on the scene of action and engaged the
fleet. The Mallory, undaunted by her failure, crowded on a full head of steam
and came toward the Cincinnati, evidently intending to run her down. Captain
Stembel, in command of the latter, waited until the rebel monster was within
twenty yards, when he sent a broadside into her from his Parrott guns, which did
fearful execution. The two boats were so close together by this time that it was
impossible for the gunners of the Cincinnati to swab out the guns, and it was
only by bringing the steam batteries to bear upon her again that the Mallory was
compelled to haul off. Captain Stembel shot her pilot with his revolver, and was
himself wounded by a pistol-shot fired by the pilot's mate of the Mallory. While
the engagement between the Mallory and the Cincinnati was in progress our shots
exploded the boilers of one of the rebel gun-boats and set fire to another,
burning her to the water's edge. The air was very heavy, and under cover of the
dense smoke which hung over the river the rebel fleet retired, but were pursued
until they gained shelter under the guns of Fort Wright. None of our boats were
injured except the Cincinnati. Tins damage to her is so slight that she can be
repaired in twenty-four hours. Four men were wounded on her, including the
master's mate. No other casualties are mentioned. When the smoke cleared away a
broadside from the flag-ship Benton was sent after the Mallory, and shortly
after she was seen to careen, and went down with all on board.
GENERAL HALLECK'S ARMY.
The national forces now in the
Southwest, and under the immediate command of Major-General Halleck, are divided
into three corps d'armee—the Army of the Ohio, the Army of the Tennessee, and
the Army of the Mississippi.
The Army of the Tennessee is
divided into two grand divisions, commanded by Major-Generals
McClernand, and into divisions commanded by Major-General Lew Wallace,
Brigadier-Generals Davis, T. W. Sherman, Hurlbut, McKean, and Crittenden.
The army of the Ohio is commanded
in person by Major-General Buell, and the divisions commanded by
Brigadier-Generals McCook, Nelson,
Mitchell, and Woods.
The army of the Mississippi is
commanded by General Pope in person, and its divisions commanded by Generals
Paine, Stanley, and Hamilton.
The order of succession is
arranged so that
General Grant is second in command, that General being without
any special command, his late army being distributed between Generals McClernand
General Buell's army has seized
the portion of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad between
Corinth and the Grand
Junction, cutting off all communication between the two points.
On Friday the rebel General
Bragg's division attacked General Paine's division, in position two miles beyond
Farmington. A sharp engagement followed, our men fighting bravely, and making
several bayonet charges on the enemy, who were repulsed with great slaughter.
Large reinforcements of rebels having arrived, our troops returned to
We lost nearly 200 in killed,
wounded, and missing. No particulars are received.
THE BRIGAND MORGAN.
The rebel brigand,
Morgan, with a
force of about one thousand cavalry, attacked a small body of Union troops at
Pulaski, Tennessee, on Friday last, and after a fight of two hours and a half,
during which the rebels lost six killed and two wounded, and our troops lost two
killed, three wounded, and one missing, the whole force was taken prisoners. The
prisoners were released on parole, and are now in
Nashville. The rebels
outnumbered our forces four to one.
On Monday morning General Dumont,
who had sent a strong body of cavalry in pursuit, found and attacked the united
rebel cavalry under Morgan and Wood, at Lebanon, and utterly routed them, after
killing a great number, capturing 150 prisoners and nearly all their horses and
arms. The fight lasted an hour and a half, and the rebels fled, closely pursued
by General. Dumont.
BRINGING THE REBELS TO THEIR
Governor Johnson, of Tennessee,
has issued a proclamation to the effect that, for every Union man captured or
ill-treated by the rebel bands of marauders, five prominent rebels shall be made
to suffer, and that ample remuneration shall be made to all loyalists who may be
despoiled of their property out of the property of such parties as have given
aid and comfort to the enemy.
THE COTTON BURNERS.
The rebel Secretary of State, J.
P. Benjamin, has addressed a letter in answer to an inquiry by a Southern firm
whether cotton purchased on foreign account would be treated as exempted from
the general law which declares that all cotton shall be destroyed when it is
about to fall into the hands of the enemy, in which he says: "I know no law
which prohibits the purchase of cotton on foreign account, but I am not aware of
any law or reason of policy which should induce this Government to extend to
property thus purchased greater protection than is extended to that of our own
citizens. It is the settled determination of the Government to allow no cotton
to fall into the hands of our enemies, as it is perfectly well known that they
would seize and appropriate to themselves all cotton they could find without
regard to ownership. If your correspondents buy cotton they must expect to share
the same risks as are incurred by our own citizens."
FIRE AT TROY.
On Saturday afternoon a mast
destructive fire commenced in the city of Troy, originating in the covered
wooden bridge across the Hudson. At the time the fire broke out the wind was
blowing a furious gale from the west, and fire-brands from the bridge were
carved over various parts of the city; and a large number of the most valuable
buildings of the city, including the Union Railway Depot, were destroyed. The
area over which the fire extended is said to cover about fifty acres. The loss
of property has further been attended with a serious loss of life.—[See
Illustration on page 334.]
THE RECAPTURE OF THE "EMILIE ST.
The recapture of the British ship Emilie St. Pierre from an American
prize crew by her English captain, and her arrival in Liverpool, with the
Federal seamen in irons, caused quite a sensation in the commercial world. The
St. Pierre was from Calcutta, and was taken by the Union steamer James Adger,
off Charleston. She was being navigated to Philadelphia by a prize crew, when
her commander—a Scotchman—although having only four men at his disposal,
disarmed, ironed, and confined in the hold sixteen of our men, took control of
the vessel, and ran her to Liverpool—completing a romantic incident of the war
in a fortunate manner both for himself and his employers.