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Civil War Harper's Weekly, February 18, 1865

 

 

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FEBRUARY 18, 1865.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

99

(Previous Page) mates and companions now rebels. One box in six or ten may reach its destination. The rest will be seized by the thieves and hangers on. Meanwhile the prisoners are dying at the rate of thirteen per cent. a month, or are tortured by hunger and suffering into enlisting in the rebel army.

Mr. RICHARDSON proposes two remedies, either of which, he thinks, will be adequate. The first is an immediate general exchange, by which we shall recover all our prisoners within a month. The second is an immediate special retaliation, not upon the rebel soldiers, but the rebel officers in our custody, giving them, as nearly as possible, the same food, fuel, clothing, and shelter that our own men receive. This, he thinks, will bring the "eminent Confederates" to terms. The rebel leaders care nothing for their men in our hands ; but the officers are of the chiefs of the conspiracy ; they are of the blue blood of women whippers and baby sellers.

In proof of the virtue of this latter course Mr. RICHARDSON refers to the case of the Union Captains SAWYER and FLYNN, who were sentenced by the rebels to be hung. The Government ordered the Commandant at Fortress Monroe to execute LEE and WINDER the moment he should ascertain the threat against our men had been carried out. It never was. Again, when the rebels put our colored prisoners to work in the fortifications of Richmond under fire, General BUTLER informed the rebel authorities that he had placed an equal number of rebel officers on his works under fire. Before the sun set the colored soldiers were put back in Libey, and were never exposed again in the fortifications,

The statement and argument of Mr. RICHARDSON are very forcible, and no question deserves prompter consideration and more decisive action. Yet in suggesting a general exchange does he not forget that the rebels refuse to exchange our colored prisoners ? a point which at least embarrasses an easy settlement. General BUTLER proposed to exchange first the white prisoners man for man, and then he says we should still have held so many more of the rebels than they of our colored prisoners that we could have dictated terms. For some reason this plan was not adopted. Perhaps for this, among others, that it seemed rather absurd to allow an enemy who held fewer of our men than we of theirs to dictate distinctions among our soldiers ; and that it was rather a cruel desertion of those who had risked more in enlisting than their brethren in arms, to leave them in the hands of the tormentors, even if they were offset by a larger number of rebel captives. Besides, if we had retained some of the rebel officers as hostages, it might have been impossible to settle the cartel; while, if we had not, the larger number of rebel privates could not have certainly saved the colored Union soldiers.

As to the second suggestion, of retaliation in kind upon the officers, there are two obvious difficulties : The first is, to ascertain exactly what the rebel treatment is ; the next is, the impracticability of retaliation in kind when it is ascertained. That rebel officers should be shot to death upon clear proof of the atrocities alleged seems to us a proper retaliation. But that they should be starved to death, or frozen to death, or stung to death by mosquitoes, could no more be tolerated by a decent self respect than that they should be eaten alive if our soldiers had been so treated by other savages with whom we were at war.

That something should be done, and done at once, we are most cordially agreed. That the Government is of the same opinion, but finds the difficulties very perplexing, we are as fully convinced ; and that the testimony of Messrs. RICHARDSON and BROWNE will be a most valuable aid to a wiser and speedier decision we do not doubt.

HOW TO CHEER THE SOLDIERS.

WHOEVER wishes to help the invalid soldiers can do so at a very small expense of personal effort. The great engines like the Sanitary Commission are very apt to paralyze individual exertion by the obvious reflection that while every body is doing something no single body need do any thing. One very good plan of remedying this negligence is the monthly tax of a larger or smaller amount, self imposed, by many of the most active circles of co-workers of the Sanitary in towns and villages. But another is the sending of books that have been read in the family, with the old magazines and illustrated papers.

The value of these to the soldiers in the listless hours of hospital life is incalculable. Nor need any one refrain from sending because he may have so few to send. If one person in every village sent a dozen books if fifty papers go from a single neighborhood, the aggregate is one that can be readily computed.

A letter just received from the Ninth Corps Hospital at City Point says, speaking of the prompt receipt of a box of books and a package of pamphlets and Harper's Weeklies, etc. : "I need not say that they are a great addition to our humble library, and eagerly welcomed by the soldiers here. It is singular but true that of all my appeals to acquaintance and others for books none have been successful thus far except in your case. It is because they are ignorant

norant that the gospel of good books are a ministry to the spirits in a prison hospital."

Why will not every reader of these lines send a little addition to the means of amusement for the soldiers, either to the nearest depot of the Sanitary Commission, to some hospital known to him, or to Mr. J. SAVARY, Agent United States Sanitary Commission, Ninth Corps Hospital, City Point prepaying all the charges

DROWNED.

WE are wrecked and we are sinking,

We are lost, I heard them say, But of what could they be thinking?

'Tis not "lost" to pass away--

Gently, painlessly, together,

Thus to feel our souls flow out Into calmer, better weather, All secure from further rout.

I can see the boats yet, gaining

Very little on the wind,

O'er their sterns some forms are straining After dear ones left behind.

If 'twere thus with thee and me, love,

One had gone and one been left, Then the living could but die, love,

And the dying be bereft.

But thou wouldst not, couldst not leave me, Since there was but room for one,

And the billows would upheave me

Did I leave thee here alone.

I am happy, for thy fingers

Round my neck securely twine, Thou art happy while death lingers With thy heart at rest on mine.

I, the stronger, grew despairing

When this danger first seemed nigh, For I could not bear my darling Such a dreadful death should die.

We can feel the waters singing,

Cold and heavy, in our ears; And upon them, quick upspringing,

We can see our by gone years.

Cling closer to me, sweetest,

I will not let thee go,
Thou shalt not die till I do,

Though death come swift or slow

Even I can scarcely hold thee, But will, unto the last;

Mine arms shall firm enfold thee Till death be overpast.

Thy face grows strangely radiant,

Our last warm breath is o'er, Good-by, sweet, for an instant,

Then part we nevermore.

HUMORS OF THE DAY.

SHREWD SUGGESTION.—It often happens, when the husband fails to be home to dinner, that it is one of his fast days.

WOMAN'S AGE. It is a curious fact that in sacred history the age, death, and burial of only one woman Sarah, the wife of Abraham is distinctly noted. Woman's age ever since appears not to have been a subject for history or discussion.

A GENTLE HINT. The Pope has presented a hat of crimson velvet, lined with ermine, to the Emperor of Mexico. This is a very ancient Papal custom, and has always been considered highly symbolical. It was first used when the Papal treasury was, as it now is, very low, and originated in one of the many forms of collecting Peter's pence, called " Going round with the Hat."

ADVICE TO CAPTAINS IN THE ARMY.-In forming your companies on the banks of a deep and rapid river be careful how you order the men to " fall in."

LAUGH AND GROW FAT. Democritus, who was always laughing, lived one hundred and nine years ; Heraclitus, who never ceased crying, only sixty. Laughing, then, is best ; and to laugh at one another is perfectly justifiable, since we are told that the gods themselves, though they made us as they pleased, can not help laughing at us.

A VALENTINE.

The turtle-doves they bill and coo; The hen goes cluck-cluck-cluck! The cock cries "Urcarooraroo;" The drake quacks to the duck.

The gander cackles to his goose;

Compliance hisseth she;

The lark—the lark were Hymen's noose, Old Fright, for you and me.

A lady of an irascible temper asked George Selwyn why woman was made out of the rib of man. "Indeed, I can't say," was his reply, "except it be that the rib is the most crooked part of the body."

A solicitor who had a remarkably long and pointed nose, once told a lady that if she did not immediately settle a matter which he had in hand against her he would file a bill against her. " Indeed, Sir," said the lady, " you need not file your bill, for I am sure it is sharp enough already."

"There are three points in the case, may it please your Honor," said the counsel. "In the first place, we contend that the kettle in dispute was cracked when we borrowed it ; secondly, that it was whole when we returned it; and thirdly, that we never had it."

A gentleman called one day on a broker to get a bill discounted. The broker looked at the acceptance, and started some difficulties. "It has, you'll observe," said he, "a great many days to run." "That's very true," replied the applicant, " but I beg you to note that they are the shortest days in the year."

A gentleman dining with a friend, a large cheese, uncut, was brought to the table. " Where shall I cut it?" said the guest. "Any where you please," replied the host; upon which the guest handed it to the servant, bidding him carry it to his house, and he would cut it there.

"George, how does your new horse answer?" "I regret to say that I can not inform you, for I never asked him a question."

Why is a spider a good correspondent? Because he drops a line by every post.

EPIGRAM.

We asked a Frenchman once to point no out Wherein the rheumatism differed from the gout. He thus defined the two—" Suppose," said he,

" You put your finger in de vice." "'Tis done," said we. " You turn it," he continued, "till de pain So great is you can't bear to turn again. Dat is de rheumatism ; den, no doubt, If you give one turn more, dat is de gout."

AN IDIOT'S SHREWDNESS.—A clergyman in the north of Scotland, on coming into church one Sunday, found the pulpit occupied by the parish idiot. The authorities had been unable to remove hire. without more violence than was seemly, and therefore waited for the minister to dispossess Tam of the place he had assumed. " Come down, Sir, immediately," was the peremptory and indignant call; and on Tam being unmoved, it was repeated with still greater energy. Tam, however, very confidently replied, looking down from his elevation, "Na, na, minister! just ye come up wi' me. This is a perverse generation, and faith they need us baith."

Milton, when blind, married a shrewish wife. A friend, desirous of complimenting the poet on his choice, termed his spouse a rose. "I can't judge of colors," said Milton, "and it may be as you say, for I feel the thorns daily."

NOTE BY A GENTLEMAN WITH A BAD COLD.

" Who runs may read." If your eyes run, they can't, read.

A gentleman once rallying a physician on the inefficacy of his prescriptions, the doctor said he defied any of his patients to find fault with him. "That is exactly what Jack Ketch says," was the reply.

Our forefathers knew nothing of Jenner's great specific to prevent small-pox. We are wiser in our Jen-neration than they.

A school-boy undergoing an examination, being asked who was the wickedest man, replied, " Moses; because he broke all the commandments at once."

A person asking a wit if the tolling of a bell did not remind him of his latter end, was answered, " No; but the rope puts me in mind of yours."

A Yankee peddler in his cart, overtaking another of his class, was addressed, "Hallo, what do you carry ?" "Drugs and medicines" was the reply. "Go ahead," was the rejoinder, " I carry grave-stones."

WONDERFUL METAMORPHOSIS.-The moment you shoot a duck it becomes a duckshot.

An Irishman called at the post-office to inquire if there were any letters for him. He was asked for his name. " Oh," said he, "sure you will find it on the back of the letter!"

A comedian was once performing at one of the Dublin theatres in a dirty pair of white duck trowsers. A lad in the gallery, observing the state of the actor's nether garment, shouted out, "Och! mister, wouldn't your ducks be the better of a swim ?"

"Idleness covers a man with rags," says the proverb. An Irish schoolmaster, thinking to improve on this, wrote a copy for one of his boys with the proverb thus altered: " Idleness covers a man with nakedness."

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

THE SITUATION.

THE following nine States have, during the past week, ratified the Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery: Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. The Senate has at length passed the House resolution to exclude the States in rebellion from representation in the Electoral College. The most important measures which have passed the House are the bills providing for a ship canal around Niagara Falls, and for a canal connecting the Mississippi River with Lake Michigan. The Fortification and the Army Appropriation bills have also been passed.

The Canadian Parliament has passed an Alien bill, which will obviate all future difficulties similar to those growing out of the St. Albans raid.

The Peace Conference at Hampton Roads appears to have had no beneficial result. The Commissioners had no sooner returned to Richmond than General Grant made a movement on the left in the vicinity of Hatcher's Run. Two Corps the Second and Fifth were engaged in the movement. The latter, preceded by Gregg's cavalry, moved to Reams Station, and thence westward across Rowanty Creek. After crossing the creek the Fifth Corps overtook a rebel commissary train on the Boydton Plank Road, and captured it. In the mean time the Second Corps took the Vaughan Road to Hatcher's Run, which the main portion of the corps crossed, and, taking some of the enemy's rifle pits on the way, advanced about a mile west of the Run, when the rebels were found in force. The Second Division of the Corps, under General Smyth, before reaching the Run, turned off northwestwardly toward Armstrong's Mill, but soon found the enemy strongly intrenched in front. In the afternoon the rebels attacked this division, which had thrown up some intrenchments, and were severely repulsed, leaving many dead and wounded on the field. An attempt to turn Smyth's right flank met with no better success. Thus ended the action for the 5th. The Second and Fifth Corps had succeeded in establishing a connection.

General Sherman has taken rapid strides toward Branchville. Pocotaligo, which came into our possession January 19, has become an important base of operations. Broad River is accessible to transports, which ascend to within five miles of Pocotaligo. Since the capture of the latter place we have depended upon rebel journals for intelligence as to Sherman's movements, According to their reports he has advanced in three columns one directed against Charleston, and the other two against Augusta and Branchville. The movement against the latter place appeared to be the most definite. By the last of January Sherman's troops had moved up the Savannah River fifty miles to Robertsville. A dispatch from Braxton Bridge, between Pocotaligo and Branchville, February 1, states that the Federal force had reached the bridge. There still remained several tributaries of the Combahee, as well as the Edisto, to be crossed in the advance on Branchville. General Lee was appointed Generalissimo on the 1st of February; General Breckinridge at the same time was made Secretary of War. Lee still remains with the Army of Northern Virginia. According to the Richmond Sentinel Beauregard has arrived at Augusta, and taken charge of the military.

CONGRESS.

February 1:

In the Senate, the General Appropriation bill for 1866 was reported. A report adverse to the increase of the salaries of Congressmen was agreed to. The bill excluding rebellious States from representation in the Electoral College came up. An amendment was passed restricting its operation to States in rebellion November 8, 1864. Messrs. Stewart and Nye, Senators from Nevada, were sworn in, Mr. Nye drawing the shorter term.

In the House, the bill for the construction of a Ship Canal around Niagara Falls was passed, 95 to 51. The expense of such a work is estimated at between seven and eight millions.

February 2:

In the Senate, the entire session was consumed in the consideration of the bill to exclude rebellious States from representation in the Electoral College, without coming to any conclusion.

In the House, a bill was passed granting to the five surviving Revolutionary soldiers a yearly allowance of $300 in addition to the $100 already allowed. The Illinois and Michigan Ship Canal bill was passed, with an amendment.

providing for improvements on the Mississippi River. The canal is intended principally as a military work to facilitate the defense of the northern frontier, and enable gun boats and vessels of war to pass from the Mississippi to Lake Michigan. It will involve an outlay of ten millions.

February 3 :

In the Senate, the Exclusion bill was still under consideration.

In the House, the Navy Appropriation bill came up. An amendment to establish a Board of Admiralty was debated at length.

February 4:

In the Senate, the joint resolution excluding the rebellious States from representation in the Electoral College was passed 29 to 10.

In the House, the consideration of the Naval Appropriation bill was continued ; the amendment to establish a Board of Admiralty was rejected.

February 6:

In the Senate, a resolution of inquiry into the recent Peace Commission was passed. A bill was reported in relation to the Enrollment, the principal feature of which is, that it allows a substitute to be taken from those liable to draft. An amendment was passed to prevent recruiting in the rebel States by the agents of the loyal States.

In the House, a resolution was adopted instructing the Committee on the Conduct of the War to investigate General Rosecrans's military operations from the campaign in West Virginia to the recent one in Missouri. The Naval Appropriation bill was passed.

February 7:

In the Senate, Mr. Wilson's new edition of the Enrollment bill was passed, with an amendment providing for the punishment of substitute brokers, recruiting, or other persons who shall for pay or profit enlist insane or drunken persons ; also, with an amendment that the drafted man may furnish as a substitute a person liable to draft in the same town, city, or ward.

In the House, the Fortification bill and the Army Appropriation bill were passed. The former appropriates about five millions; the latter about five hundred millions.

THE FIRE IN SAVANNAH.

On the night of the 27th of January an extensive conflagration broke out in Savannah, in the western part of the city. The fire broke out in a stable, and is supposed to have been caused be rebel incendiaries. Owing to the inactivity of the Fire Department the flames spread rapidly, and at midnight had reached the Arsenal on Granite Hill. A large quantity of shells was stored in the buildings just as it had been left by the rebels. There was a series of explosions during the next two hours. Several squares were destroyed by the fire, and hundreds of unfortunate women and children were driven front their homes into the streets. Nearly all the houses consumed were private residences.

THE REBEL INCENDIARY PLOT.

Our Detective Police, to whom was committed the work of ferreting out the conspirators who plotted the burning of New York on the night of November 25, have met with marked success. They succeeded on Christmas night in capturing one M'Donald, the rebel agent in Canada. He was entrapped by Mr. Young, who got himself introduced to him as a friend of the hotel burners. It was ascertained that, besides him, Jacob Thompson and C. C. CIay had a part in the formation of the plot. Mr. Young discovered at length that not more than six persons were involved in the plot. He has secured nearly all of these, and other persons involved in rebel schemes against the North.

NEWS ITEMS.

The crew of the rebel steamer Florida, which was captured in the harbor of Bahia by the United States steamer Wachusett, have been liberated by order of the Government. They numbered about thirty. They were taken from Fort Warren in a tug, and placed on board the British steamer Canada, which sailed from Boston on the 1st for Halifax.

The famous "Sanitary" sack of flour belonging to Mr. Gridley, which was sold and retold at Nevada, California, till it realized $165,000, for the benfit of the Sanitary Commission, changed hands twenty times, at public auction, at the Merchant's Exchange, St. Louis, on the 3d, realizing $ 3775, in behalf of the soldiers' Orphan Home. The sack was soon to be taken to New York.

The following is a description given in the Albany Journal of Burley, the Lake Erie raider, who has been delivered up into our hands by the Canadian Government :

" He does not appear to be past twenty-five years of age; if any thing younger. Is stout, short, and compactly built, and weighs about one hundred and sixty. During his confinement in jail he has been studying Greek and French, and writing the adventures of his early life. At the age of fourteen he ran away from his parents in Glasgow, Scotland, and found his way to Italy. There he entered the ranks of Garibaldi's army. Getting tired of the Great Liberator, he deserted to the Austrians and fought against Italy, until an opportunity offered itself for him to desert the standard of Francis Joseph and embark for Spain. Landing there, he found nothing particularly for his uneasy spirit to do; so, after a brief sojourn in the land of the ' old Castilian,' he set sail on an American merchantman for South America. The vessel was wrecked, but the most of the passengers were picked up by a Spanish trader and landed in the port of Norfolk, Virginia. Burley was among the saved. He soon found his way to Richmond, and there he remained until the breaking out of the American rebellion. He was engaged as clerk in a book and publishing house up to the time of his entering the Confederate navy."

A melancholy occurrence happened at No. 228 Washington Street, Brooklyn, on the night of the 2d. A family, named Van Buren, comprising six persons, who had just moved into the house, temporarily occupied a single small room, and were overpowered by inhaling gas which had escaped from the burner and stove. An infant was suffocated to death. The father of the family is not likely to survive, but the others will probably recover.

A bounty jumper, named James Devlin, was executed February 3, at Governor's Island, in the presence of a large number of spectators. The accused had twice deserted from the army, and was convicted for both offenses. In approving the finding of the court-martial, General Dix signified his intention of checking the rapidly increasing and dangerous practice of desertion. The execution was conducted in an admirable manner by the authorities, and impressed all present with its solemnity. The entire command of the island, and a large number of new recruits, were assembled, to whom the spectacle was a terrible warning.

It is stated that a scheme was recently set on foot by several members of the North Carolina Senate to bring about a meeting of the different Governors of States at Raleigh. The matter had met the approval of the Governors, the purpose being understood to be to discuss the question of the crisis and reconstruction; but Governor Vance, by information to Jeff Davis, broke up the entire arrangement.

The Richmond Whig of the 3d has the following paragraph: The Army of Tennessee," says the Meridian Clarion, " will probably winter at Tupelo and Satillo. It needs rest and reorganization very much. It has marched and countermarched, fought and been shattered, from Rocky Race to Atlanta, thence back to Nashville, and now drops down to the spot where it quartered during the winter months of '62. Alas, how its columns have been thinned since that time !"

A letter from General Grant's Secretary to Dr. H. W. Bellows, states that active measures are being adopted to secure a general exchange of prisoners.

Hon. R. C. Winthrop, in his remarks before the Massachusetts Historical Society on the death of Mr. Everett, stated that at the time of his death Mr. E. was engaged in preparing a Life of James L. Pettigru, of South Carolina, and a volume of Washington's private letters.

Hon. Fernando Wood intends to leave for Europe soon after the adjournment of Congress, accompanied by his family. He proposes to travel through the Continent, and also to go to the Holy Land.

General Kelley telegraphs that on the 5th a scouting party of General Sheridan's Cavalry encountered the forces of Major Harry Gilmore, near Moorefield, West Virginia, whipped them handsomely, capturing upward of twenty officers and men. Among the officers captured was the noted guerrilla and robber, Harry Gilmore himself.


 

 

  

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