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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 2, 1864

Harper's Weekly was published during the Civil War to keep the country informed on the critical events of the War. It contained fascinating first person reports of the battles and stunning illustrations drawn by eye-witnesses to the battles. Today, these newspapers serve as an incredible resource for those interested in this period of history.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)

 

Weekawkin

Weekawkin

McClellan's Presidential Prospects

McClellan's Presidential Prospects

Buford

Death of General Buford

Flying Machines

Flying Machines

Christmas Story

Christmas Story

Germania Ford

Germania Ford

Balloons

History of Flying Machines

Mine Run

Battle of Mine Run

Missionary Ridge

Battle of Missionary Ridge

Mine Run

Mine Run Battle

New Years

New Years Day

Fisk Hatch

Fisk & Hatch

 

 

 

JANUARY 2, 1864.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

3

prepared for every contingency, replied that he had already settled upon the Viscounty of Sackville and the Barony of Bolehrook. The King immediately sat down, wrote the titles, and sent them to the Chancellor to have the business perfected. After which the gentleman, who had conducted the war which lost Great Britain her fairest colonies, retired from the royal presence a peer of the realm, and presently took his seat as Lord Sackville.

If Lord George Germain was made a viscount for such services, why might not the Mayor of London be made a baronet for his politeness to the Princess Alexandra?

FROM A PRIVATE LETTER.

LET nobody be deterred from reading the following extract because it is long. It is from a private letter of one of the most conspicuous of our friends in England, who has maintained our cause with a courage, ability, and fidelity which will be forever honored in this country:

"I wish you to know that although the opinions of the Times are the opinions of a frightful number of our gentry and journalists, there are, nevertheless, many among us by whom the sentiments and tone of our press, and of what we call 'society,' touching your great struggle, are regarded not only with regret, but with wonder and with shame.

"That the news of a dissolution of partnership between the free and the slave States should have been received with satisfaction in England was intelligible and natural. It seemed to be like the removal of a diseased member—throwing away the worser part to live the purer with the other half. The free States, we thought, would thenceforth be free to become uncompromising antagonists of slavery, instead of accomplices; would still occupy a portion of the globe of extent enormous to our insular ideas, and certainly, both large enough and rich enough to employ all their energies for centuries to come; would be strengthened, not weakened, by compression; and in casting the slave Sates loose would cast off the burden of every one of the graver imputations which lay upon the national morals, manners, and policy. This view—and this I think was the view most generally taken at first—may have been short-sighted, but it was in conformity with all our English feelings, opinions, and habits of thought, and compatible with a sincere aspect for all those features in the character of the United States which belong properly to the North. Seen in this light, the policy of a war for the preservation of the Union was a question fairly debatable; and if there are not among yourselves many persons who took the same view, it must, I think, have been because the question involved elements known to you, and not known to us. But that, the war having broken out, and the two parties being actually in conflict, any Englishman, not commercially interested in the issue, should with the South to win, is a thing which I should have thought impossible beforehand, and which I can not now understand or explain. That having taken up a position so absurdly false, they should have endeavored to support it as they have done, is less surprising; though the amount of partiality, misrepresentation, arrogance, and ignorance which has been exhibited by these anonymous censors-general of the universe in treating of your affairs, must have been amusing to you—or would have been so, if the matters at issue had been late tragical. I have nothing to say in excuse, and my only hope is that the excess will carry the cure; and that instead of resenting, you will be content with despising them. So treated, it will be found, I think, that all this apparent animosity has no real mischief in it; it is only froth, and has no force for operation. It neither indicates nor tends to induce any national action, either administrative or popular.

"The Government means to stand neutral, and is put under no pressure by it. The laboring classes, who have suffered most, can not be persuaded that a war in which all the slave interest takes one side, and all the free interest the other, is not a war about slavery, nor yet that it is good for laborers to be slaves, and their sympathy has all along been with the North. So, I believe, is that of the middle class, in whose hands are the issue of elections; and if there should be a general election now, turning on the question, 'Federal or Confederate?' I am persuaded that the Federal cause would carry it by a great majority. Emigration seems to be flowing toward the Northern States almost as usual, scarcely checked or diverted. The Times thunders away, but nothing happens in consequence. False prophecies and unjust criticisms will be detected and exposed by the course of events, till the credit of the prophet is in danger. Then, as the Times never stands by a cause which is expected to lose the day, one or two leading articles will prepare its readers for a change of mind. A new special correspondent (or the old one with new instructions) will send home a new story. Every thing that has beau abused will be praised; every thing that has been praised will be abused, as a matter of course, and jntt as if it had always been so. For about a week some of its readers will wonder, some look grave, most laugh; but before a fortnight is over they will be following its lead just as credulously as they are doing now—judging as it judges, expecting what it foretells, believing what it reports. And then the state of feeling which is expressing itself at present in so many voices that it sounds to you like the voice of the nation, will pass away, and leave (on this side of the Atlantic) no trace at all; provided only that you, on your side, have pride or magnanimity enough to treat it with the contempt which it really deserves. The only result which, in my opinion, is to be seriously apprehended is this: that, being mistaken for an evidence of national hostility and ill-will, it may provoke some retaliatory act of hostility on your side, assailing our national sense of honor, an act which might certainly lead to a dangerous quarrel. For it moat not be forgotten that the classes which are most in sympathy with you in your present struggle are quite as touchy and obstinate on the point of national honor as the fashionable classes are; that they were never more loyal to the Croatia and all its belongings—never better friends with the aristocracy—never less disposed to let pass an affront to the nation, or ready to go farther in resisting or resenting it. Any quarrel taken up by the Government in vindication of the rights and dignities of England would at this moment be supported enthusiastically by people of all classes; and a miserable thing it will be if any such quarrel should again arise between you and us. That we should have parted, a cen,ury since, enemies instead of friends, is probably the greatest misfortune that has happened to the world in modern times, considering how much good would have c{erne to both through a more cordial intercourse with the other, and in how large a degree the future of humanity depends upon our several characters and principles of action. I had hoped that the remains of the hostile spirit was rapidly disappearing on both sides. I do trust that a mistaking of the sentiments of the Times for the sentiments of the English people may not lead to any revival of it."

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

CONGRESS.

SENATE.—December 16. By Mr. Wade, memorials from ladies for law emancipating all persons of African descent. —By Mr. Saulsbury, memorial from clergyman asking to be exempted from draft; the Senator said that clergymen who attend to their spiritual duties should be exempt, but that political parsons should be placed in the front ranks and made to fight till the war was over.—By Mr. Wilson, memorial from officers of colored regiments, asking for the same pay and bounty as given to other troops.—Mr. Wilson reported back joint resolution of thanks to General Grant and his army, recommending its adoption: adopted.—By Mr. Lane of Kansas, resolution of inquiry relative to treatment of our Kansas prisoners; he said that there had been seen seven Kansas prisoners in irons, among others

not ironed, and that it was averred they were to be put to death: adopted.—By Mr. Hale, bill amending enrollment act.—Mr. Wilson reported back, with amendments, bill respecting back pay and bounty.—By Mr. Sumner, bill to satisfy claims of American citizens by reason of French spoliations.—December 17. Mr. Hale rose to a question of order. It had been charged that he had been guilty of bribery in accepting fees for defending prisoners charged by the War Department with offenses. The Senator explained the transactions. He had acted as friend and counsel of Dr. Bliss, Superintendent of the Armory Square Hospital. The result of the trial was that the accused was acquitted, and recommended to be restored to his place. Subsequently he was requested to act as counsel for Mr. Hunt, with an offer of $2000 as a retaining fee; after consultation with his friends, among whom was Senator Johnson, of Maryland, Mr. Hale accepted the work, and received $1000. He asked for a Committee to inquire whether he had been guilty of conduct inconsistent with his duty as a Senator: agreed to.—By Mr. Wade, that the Secretary of the Navy furnish the dispatches connected with the various actions of our iron-clad vessels, and other matters pertaining thereto: agreed to.—A Message was received from the President, inclosing a letter from a Committee representing the Freedman's Aid Societies of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati. The President submitted the matter to Congress, with an urgent recommendation that it should receive the most careful attention.—December 18. Mr. Grimes wished to be excused from service on the Committee on Naval Affairs; he was on two other Committees. Mr. Hale, the Chairman of the Committee, said that the services of Mr. Grimes would be very important, and the matter was laid over.—Memorials were presented desiring the prohibition of slavery in the States and Territories. The Committee on Military Affairs reported back the Bounty law, with amendments; other amendments were proposed, which were ordered to be printed.—A resolution, offered by Mr. Sumner, that to the rules of the Senate should be added that every Senator should, before entering upon his duties, take in open Senate the oath prescribed by the Act of July 2, 1862, came up for consideration. Mr. Saulsbury, of Maryland, said that his colleague, Mr. Bayard, was the only Senator affected by the resolution; there was nothing in the oath itself which he or his colleague could not take, but the constitutionality of requiring it was doubtful. A long debate ensued, in the course of which Mr. Bayard said that he could not without a decision of the Senate voluntarily take the oath, though there was nothing in it to which he objected. His past life should he a guarantee against any suspicion of disloyalty; but the oath referred to civil officers, and Senators were not civil officers. Mr. Saulsbury moved that the question be referred to the Judiciary Committee: this motion was lost by a vote of 26 to 15.—The Senate went into a brief executive session, and then adjourned to Monday, December 21.—December 21. Various petitions were presented, among which were, that ministers of the Gospel should be considered non-combatants, that slavery should be wholly abolished; that tobacco rations should be furnished to the army.—Mr. Wilson gave notice of a bill making it illegal for members of Congress to serve as counsel in any case in which the United States is interested.—Mr. Morgan submitted resolution calling for names of officers and soldiers who have resigned or deserted: adopted.—Mr. Sumner's oath resolution was further discussed.—The bounty and pay bill then came up, and several amendments were proposed and rejected, the main point being as to the payment of large bounties. Mr. Fessenden opposed this, and said the true principle was that no man had a right to refuse his services when called for; the Government could enforce the demand, and should do so. Mr. Wilson was in favor of bounties and the commutation clause. Mr. Lane of Indiana said our armies could not be filled from conscripts alone; 3,000,000 were subject to draft, of whom, under this law, only 426,000 could be brought into the field, of whom 20,000 or 30,000 would be deserters.

HOUSE.—December 16. The Speaker announced Select Committees, of which the following are Chairmen: Pacific Railroad, Stevens; Emigration, Washburne of Illinois; Rebellious States, Davis of Maryland.—By Mr. Grinnell, resolution that Confederate prisoners have been treated with humane consideration, while our prisoners at Richmond are suffering unto death for food and clothing, and that the enemy had refused to continue to receive food and clothing forwarded to our prisoners; and that this conduct is at war with the sentiment of the age, and deserves execration: adopted.—By Mr. Wilson, that the Committee on Roads and Canals inquire into the expediency of constructing a canal around the rapids of the Mississippi, commencing at Keokuk, Iowa: adopted.—By Mr. Cole, that the Committee on Military Affairs inquire into the expediency of increasing the rank of provost marshals: adopted.—By Mr. Sloan, that the Committee on Roads and Canals inquire into the expediency of a through line of railway from New York to Washington: laid on the table.—By Mr. Cole, resolutions of California Legislature urging a reduction of the tax on wine.—By Mr. Spaulding, bill to construe the word volunteer in Enrollment Act to include sailors as well as soldiers: referred to committee.

By Mr. Kenney, delegate from Utah, that Government needs all its soldiers; that there are companies now in Utah, removed from usefulness; and that the Committee oil Military Affairs inquire into the reasons for stationing a standing army among that peaceful and loyal people: rejected.—By Mr. Rollins, resolution in favor of a hearty support of such measures for overcoming the rebellion as will not subvert the Constitution; that the present war has been forced upon the country; that Congress will banish all feelings of resentment, and recollect only its duty to the whole country; that the war is not waged for subjugation, or to interfere with the constitutions of the States, but to maintain the Constitution and the dignity and equality of the States; and that when these objects are attained the war should cease: the motion to lay this resolution on the table was negatived by 115 to 52; debate arising, it was laid over.—By Mr. Loan, resolution declaring that the act suspending the writ of habeas corpus does not apply to cases arising in consequence of the action of any State Government to compel military service: referred.—By Mr. Kasson, that the Committee on Military Affairs inquire into the treatment by the enemy of our dead, wounded, and prisoners: adopted.—By Mr. Longyear, that the Committee on Military Affairs inquire into the expediency of amending the Enrolling Act, as that the right of aged and infirm parents to select one son for enrollment shall rest on the fact that the parents are dependent for support on the labor of their sons.—By Mr. M'Clung, to provide for the deficiency in the pay of troops in the Western Department of Missouri.—By Mr. Kasson, resolution that the Committee on Claims inquire into the delays in the payment of disabled and deceased soldiers.—December 17. The Committee on Naval Affairs reported the joint resolution of thanks to Captain John Rodgers, Mr. Cox moving in vain an amendment of thanks to Admiral David D. Porter.—On motion of Mr. Wilson of Iowa the proper Committees were instructed to inquire into the legislation necessary to secure pensions to the widows and children of those who die in the service; and to enable those in the naval and military service to have the benefit of the Homestead Law.—By Mr. Price, resolution respecting the enlargement of the northern canals, so as to connect the navigation of the Hudson and the Mississippi with the Great Lakes.—Mr. Rogers gave notice of a bill to increase the pay of soldiers, and to refund to States and municipal corporations the sums paid to volunteers.—Mr. Harrington presented a series of resolutions censuring the course of the Administration in regard to its action in suspending the writ of habeas corpus, and instructing the Judiciary Committee to report a bill in accordance with these declarations: rejected by 89 to 67.—On motion of Mr. Morrill, the Secretary of the Treasury was required to furnish documents showing the operation of the Reciprocity Treaty.—Mr. Edgerton offered resolutions censuring the President's Proclamation of Amnesty, and denouncing the invasion or occupation of any State for the purpose of changing its laws or institutions: laid on the table by a vote of 90 to 66.—Mr. Smith of Kentucky offered a series of resolutions favoring a vigorous prosecution of the war, and opposing any armistice so long as there is a rebel in arms; ignoring all party lines, and recognizing only patriots and traitors. A motion to lay these resolutions on the table was negatived by 100 to 60, and they were passed by a vote of 93 to 64.—A vote then came up on resolutions previously offered by Mr. Smith, in the following words: "Resolved, That we hold it to be the duty of Congress to pass all necessary bills to supply

men and money, and the duty of the people to render every aid in their power to the constituted authorities of the government in crushing out the rebellion:" agreed to by 152 to 1; and "Resolved, That our thanks are tendered to our soldiers in the field for their gallantry in defending and upholding the flag of the Union, and defending the great principles dear to every American patriot:" agreed to by 160 to 1—Mr. Harris, of Maryland, being the only member voting against these two resolutions.—The House then adjourned to Monday, 21.—December 21. Letter from the President respecting Freedmen's Aid Society referred to Committee on Emancipation.—Message received from the President signing resolution offering thanks to General Grant and a gold medal, being the first completed act of the session, Mr. Blow, from Committee on Ways and Means, reported bill appropriating $700,000 for paying Missouri troops; Mr. Cox opposed the consideration of the bill at present; debate arising the matter was laid over till next day. Mr. Yeaman, of Kentucky, offered a series of resolutions to the effect that the Confederate conspiracy does not extinguish the rights of any States, but that their citizens can resume their civil government on the only condition that their government is republican, and that it is sufficient for these who are loyal and qualified by the election laws of the States to assume their State Government, and that this is sufficient evidence of Ioyalty; referred to Committee on Rebellious States.—Mr. Spaulding moved for Select Committee on a National Bankrupt act; motion to lay on the table lost by 69 to 86; resolution adopted.—After some minor business Mr. Miller offered a resolution requesting the President to instruct those having in charge the exchange of prisoners to exchange white man for white man, leaving the question of negro prisoners to be disposed of hereafter; a motion to lay this on the table was refused, 85 to 73; when Mr. Washburne offered as a substitute a resolution approving of the course of the Administration in the matter of the exchange of prisoners, and recommending that it be pursued, to secure a fair and just exchange of all our prisoners: the substitute was adopted, 85 to 63.—The bill appropriating $20,000,000 for bounties, etc., to volunteers came up, the House being in Committee of the Whole. After some debate the bill was reported. Mr. Harding offered an amendment that no part of the money should be expended in arming or paying negro soldiers: lost, 145 to 41; the bill was then passed without a dissenting vote.—After some unimportant business, Mr. Cox offered a resolution instructing the Committee on Military Affairs to inquire into the expediency of repealing the Enrolling Act of March 3, 1863, and in lieu of it to report a bill calling forth the militia to execute the laws and suppress insurrection, providing for the arming of the militia, and reserving to the States the appointment of officers and the authority for training; or, if that be not expedient, that the Committee inquire into the expediency of repealing the $300 exemption clause: debate arising on this resolution, it was laid over.

OUR ARMIES.

There are no reliable accounts of any important military operations during the week. In Virginia the rebel guerrillas have made several bold dashes, attended, however, with no important results. The siege of Charleston still goes on, and General Gilmore has on several days reopened fire upon the city. If Southern accounts are to be relied upon, little damage has been done. The storm during which the Weehawken went down was supposed also to have swept away most of the obstructions in the harbor, and to have left Charleston open to our fleet. Richmond papers of December 19 contain the following telegram from Charleston: "The Ironsides and three Monitors, while attempting to pass the obstructions, became entangled. The Ironsides will probably have to be abandoned. Two of the Monitors were also badly disabled." We must await our own accounts before we can judge of the accuracy of this statement.—The most reliable accounts from Tennessee represent the army lately commanded by Bragg, now by Hardee, to be in the neighborhood of Dalton, Georgia, greatly demoralized. The positions, movements, and designs of our army under General Grant are carefully concealed.—Of the Confederate army, under Longstreet, nothing definite is known after its retreat from Knoxville. Another week will probably bring us important intelligence from our forces in the West and Southwest.

THE CAPTURE OF THE "CHESAPEAKE."

The Chesapeake was captured on the 17th of December by the gun-boat Ella and Annie, Captain Clary, in Sambro Harbor, not far from Halifax, Nova Scotia. The vessel had dodged around in the British waters for some days. During this dodging she went into Lahave River, where a portion of the cargo was sold to the inhabitants, sugar bringing three cents a pound, and flour three dollars a barrel. The vessel was finally taken into Sambro Harbor by a British pilot. By this time the pursuing vessels had come up with the Chesapeake; the captain and nearly all of the crew escaped, and the vessel was taken. The capture having been made in British seaters, the vessel was transferred to the British authorities for adjudication. When the crew was landed at Halifax a great excitement arose. The prisoners, apparently in spite of the government officers, were rescued by the crowd and put on board a boat, which sailed down the bay. Thus the entire gang of murderers are at liberty. The conduct of the people and authorities of Halifax in this matter must receive close investigation from our Government.

CONFEDERATE FINANCES.

The report of Mr. Memminger, the Confederate Secretary of the Treasury, presents a gloomy picture of Southern finances. The leading figures, stated in round millions, are these: From January 1 to September 30 the expenditures were 519 millions, of which 378 millions were for the Was Department. The nominal receipts were 601 millions, of which taxes produced a little more than 4 millions, and customs a little less than 1 million. These 5 millions were all the real revenues of the Confederate Government, the remainder being paper, of one kind and another, issued by it. The entire public debt of the Confederacy, represented by its paper, is 800 millions, the amount of Confederate currency now in circulation, which Mr. Memminger considers to be five times the amount demanded by the wants of the South. The estimates for the present year bring this debt to 1427 millions. The consequence is that one dollar in Confederate currency is now worth from eight to ten cents. Mr. Memminger presents an elaborate scheme to remedy this evil; it is in effect simply a repudiation of the existing debt of the Confederacy, the holders of its notes being left to bear the loss. Unless something of this kind is done, he says, the Confederacy must succumb.

CONFEDERATE CONSCRIPTION.

The new conscription bill reported some days since, and probably now passed, provides that all white males between 16 and 55 shall be in the military service; that those between 16 and 18, and between 45 and 55, shall belong to the reserve; the remainder, that is, those between IS and 45, to be in the field; as soon as those below 18 reach that age they are to be transferred from the reserve to the army in the field; persons liable to duty in the reserve, and failing to report, to be conscribed to the field; no person to be relieved from the operations of this law by reason of having been discharged from the army, unless physically disabled, or by having furnished a substitute; all laws granting exemptions to be repealed; the only exemptions hereafter allowed being those physically unfit for military service, ministers of religion, superintendents of asylums for deaf, dumb, blind. and insane, one editor for each newspaper, the employes in newspaper establishments, and physicians and apothecaries. If this law can be carried into effect, it will be the nearest approach that has ever been made to an absolute levy en masse.

FOREIGN NEWS.

THE DANISH QUESTION.

THE question of the Danish succession—or rather, of the succession to certain territories for a long time connected with Denmark, has suddenly come up, and threatens to occasion a European war. The details are so complicated that the most astute diplomatists seem incapable

of understanding them. The essential points are, however, quite comprehensible. The Danish kingdom has for some generations comprised two portions, with a population distinct in race, language, and affinities. These are Denmark proper, and certain duchies on the German side of the Sound, chief among which are Schleswig and Holstein. These duchies also belong to the cumbrous organization known as the Germanic Confederation, and are represented in the Diet. The people of the duchies have long wished to be free from their connection with Denmark. Some fifteen years ago this desire seemed on the point of accomplishment. By the laws of Denmark proper the succession passes in the female as well as in the male line; by the Salic law, recognized in the duchies, it passes only in the male line. As it was morally and physically certain, about 1846, that the heir to the crown, who afterward became King Frederick VII., just deceased, would leave no heirs, upon his death the duchies would become separated from Denmark, just as Hanover was from Great Britain upon the death of Wiliam IV., Victoria, by English law, succeeding to the British crown, and her father's younger brother, by German law, to that of Hanover. Hoping to prevent this dismemberment of his dominions, the Danish king then reigning (Christian VIII., father of the late Frederick VII.), not long before his death issued an edict establishing a uniform law of succession in all his dominions. Frederick VII., not long after, upon the death of his father, succeeded by an unquestioned title to all of his dominions. This took place in 1848, the "revolutionary year." The new law of succession, which during the life of Frederick was practically inoperative, formed the pretext for an uprising in Holstein. The Germans supported their kinsmen of the duchies, moved partly by sympathy of race, but likely more by the desire to have possession of Kiel, the best port on the Baltic. Some sharp fighting took place, and at length England and Russia intervened, and undertook to settle the question of the Danish succession. The King failing of issue, the family next in succession was that of Augustenburg. They were of German stock, and nearly all of them had opposed the union of the duchies with Denmark. They were therefore unpopular in Denmark, while greatly in favor in Holstein. There was, however, a younger cousin, named Christian, whose poverty, and perhaps his inclinations, had kept him apart from politics. He and his heirs were pitched upon as successors to the Danish crown, the head of the family, the Duke of Augustenburg, formally resigning his claims in consideration of the payment of a couple of millions of dollars. This arrangement took the form of a treaty formally sanctioned by all the Great Powers of Europe, and at length confirmed by the Danish Parliament. It seems, however, that the duchies were not represented in this Parliament; that the German Confederation, as such, was not consulted, though Austria and Prussia, its principal members, guaranteed the treaty; and that there were some provisions made in favor of the duchies. Yet, notwithstanding these possible drawbacks, Prince Christian was generally recognized as heir-presumptive of the Danish crown, and though as yet only a quiet country gentleman of limited means and with a large household to support, he and his were adopted into the royal families. So when the Prince of Wales was willing to finish soaring his wild oats and take a wife, a daughter of Christian was considered quite eligible for the place; and when the Greeks, having expelled their Bavarian monarch, wanted a king, and having vainly tried to obtain one royal youngster after another, fixed upon a son of the heir-presumptive to the Danish crown, their choice was ratified by the monarchs of Europe. The Prince, moreover, had several other sons and daughters of marriageable age, who might, in case of need, become husbands or wives to European princes and princesses, whose choice was sadly limited, unless they dared follow the example of Louis Napoleon, and marry whom they pleased. This apparent blessing of a large and promising family proved a trouble to the Prince of Denmark when he became king upon the death of his predecessor, at the middle of last November. The people of the duchies saw that there was no reasonable prospect of a failure of the direct male line, which would set them free from Denmark. No sooner was Christian IX. proclaimed King of Denmark than Prince Frederick, the heir of the elder branch of the House of Augustenburg, put in his claims as Duke of Holstein, which the people at once acknowledged. Several of the minor German princes have recognized these claims. The new Danish king has been making preparations to enforce his authority in the duchies; they are preparing to resist, expecting to be supported by the German Confederation. There is no dispute as to the right of Christian IX. in Denmark proper. The question is as to the duchies. England has formally asserted that his right here is perfect. Austria declares that it depended upon certain conditions which have not been executed, the non-fulfillment of which may invalidate his claim. The Prussian Government remains, as usual, non-committal to the last possible moment. If, said the Prussian Minister, Denmark had carried out the provisions of the treaty, much as we may regret that we entered into it, we must have recognized the sovereignty of Christian IX. over Holstein: but as these provisions have not been carried out, the Government of Prussia is free to decide whether it shall consider itself absolved from the London Treaty. In the mean while the people of Prussia, as represented in the Chamber of Deputies, seem to have no doubt on the question. On the 18th of December, by a vote of 231 to 63 it wee declared that "the honor and interests of Germany demand that all the Germanic States should support the rights of the hereditary Prince Frederick to the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein." Next after the question of Russia and Poland that of Denmark and Holstein was the most important one proposed for discussion in the Congress to which the French Emperor invited the European Sovereigns.

ARMY AND NAVY ITEMS.

THE army has lost one of its most efficient and worthy officers in the death of Major-General BUFORD. General BUFORD was a graduate of West Point, and was appointed Brigadier-General of Volunteers on the 27th of July, 1862, when he received the command of a cavalry brigade under General POPE. Afterward he was assigned to the command of the regular cavalry brigade of the entire Army of the Potomac, which he held until the cavalry corps was organized in three separate divisions, when he was placed in command of the First Division. Through the past ten months, in all the severest campaigns, he has served with the most distinguished gallantry. Two or three days before his death he was ordered to the command of the cavalry in the Army of the Cumberland. He died at Washington of typoid fever, December 15, forty years of age. Just before his death he received from the President his commission as Major-General, which was dated from July 4, 1863. BUFORD was held to be the best field cavalry officer in the army, and the whole country will regret his loss.

For the past two weeks recruiting in this city has gone on quite rapidly, over one hundred per day having enlisted under the new call.

General ROUSSEAU has recently been appointed commander of a portion of the Army of the Cumberland.

A new command, it is said, is soon to be given to General CURTIS, the President having concluded that the charges against him in connection with the alleged cotton speculations, are utterly unfounded.

Commodore VAN BRUNT, of the United States Navy, died last Friday (December 18) at Dedham, Massachusetts.

The G. O. Bigelow, recently captured by the transport Fulton, and then dismissed, has been retaken and destroyed about thirty miles southward from Beaufort.

The probabilities are that the price exemption will be increased instead of being entirely withdrawn from the Bill of Enrollment.

The Morning Star, from New Orleans, brings a report of a piracy similar to that involved in the case of the Chesapeake. The schooner Joseph L. Gerety, bound from Matamoras, November 16, to New York, was captured the second day out by a party of persons, six in number, who shipped as passengers for New York from Matamoras. The officers and crew of the schooner were confined on board eight days, when they were put into a small boat, and after ten days' floating about they landed at Sisal, from whence the captain and supercargo got passage to Havana.


 

 

  

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