Semi-Weekly Dispatch: February 07, 1862Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 1 and 2; further incidents that occurred at the Battle of Mill Spring as related in the Cincinnati Commercial, column 5 and continued on page 2
The Federal Prisoners in Richmond
(Column 3)Summary: Relates the experiences of Corporal Merrill, a Union soldier, while he was held prisoner at Richmond.
Origin of Article: Rochester ExpressFull Text of Article:
How They Enjoy Themselves.
Corporal Merrill, a Union soldier, lately released from imprisonment in Richmond, writes his experience, while there, which is published in the Rochester Express. We quote the following, which will be found interesting:
Shortly after my arrival from the hospital to the prison, I was permitted, through the agency of Messrs. Ely and Huson, to visit the officers' quarters during the day, but at night was required to return to the second floor. This peculiar privilege was granted me till, at the request of the commissioned officers generally, my name was transferred to their own list, and I thenceforth became a permanent occupant of the lower room.
There were between sixty and seventy in this department of the prison, ranking from colonel to lieutenant--the only civilians being Messrs. Ely and Huson, of Rochester, Mr. Flagler, of Virginia, and Mr. Taylor, of Ohio.
During the first two or three months of their imprisonment, the officers enjoyed few conveniences superior to those of the privates; but after obtaining remittances from the North, a considerable improvement was effected in this regard. Tables were erected, cots and blankets procured, and knives and forks were added to the facilities for eating. They clubbed together in messes, and lived chiefly at their own expense. Privates were employed for the culinary work, and everything, with the exception of the meat (which was prepared in the yard), was cooked over the gas-burners. The prison was furnished with one cylinder coal stove, which answered only for heating purposes.
The standard bill of fare consisted of beefsteaks and bread, which were furnished by the Confederacy; coffee, adulterated with corn, at $1.25 per pound; sweet potatoes, $1.50 per bushel. Some of the messes obtained butter, which, if I remember correctly, cost seventy five cents per pound. Eggs were scarce at five cents apiece; nutmegs, for an occasional pudding, ten cents each; whisky, on physician's "prescription," fifty cents a pint; common molasses, twenty five cents per quart.
There was a great scarcity of provisions in Richmond and "Lincoln's Blockade" was denounced by the rebels in unmeasured terms. Salt sold from $18 to $26 per sack; boots, from $20 to $26 per pair; clothing was fabulously high, and very little to be obtained at any price. Ordinary note paper cost two cents per sheet, and buff envelopes ditto. In short, ruinous prices were demanded for everything but cotton, and for this there were no callers.
The Prison Association.
The origin of the Richmond Prison Association was a meeting of the officers to devise plans for their comfort. It resulted in the election of a president and secretary, and the organization of a society under the above title, whose regular meetings were held weekly. Hon. Alfred Ely was the presiding officer, and Mr. Edward Taylor the secretary. The first order of business was the election of candidates, who were formally introduced in a speech from the "page," (Lieut. Hart,) and were afterwards requested to respond, which they usually did by recounting the manner of their capture, &c. The "test question" was then put: "What did you come down here for?" and then the fun commenced in earnest.
The following song, composed by the "page," was sung in the prison every evening, to the tune of the "Poor Pilgrim:"
Come, fellow prisoners, let's join in a song;
Our stay in the prison, it won't be long;
CHORUS--Roll on, roll on, sweet moments, roll on,
And let the poor prisoner gos [sic] home, go home.
Our friends at home have made a demand
To have returned this patriot band.
The public press they are bound to obey.
For from the people they receive their pay.
Congressman Ely is first on the list,
He'll soon be there, our friends to assist
And give to his mind its wildest range.
To "spread himself" on the theme of exchange.
This is the way I long have sought.
And mourned because I found it not.
If you get there before I do,
Look out for me, for I'm coming too.
For now that the thing has got a start,
They have concluded to send old Hart.
The enchanting effect with which this eloquent and affecting production was rendered by the united voices of the association, usually attracted a large crowd of citizens to the prison windows; and it was the general conviction of the inmates that the nation had lost a brilliant poet in winning a gallant soldier.
The sessions of the society were highly entertaining. Mr. Ely, I understand, has in his possession a record of the proceedings taken by himself, including sketches of the speeches, &c.
Love at First Sight and Without Sight.
I have before stated that some of the private soldiers, from the upper rooms, were employed in the officers' quarters, a service which they gladly accepted as affording superior rations. Among these was Corporal M----n, of New York, a young man of wealthy parentage, of attractive manners, good intellectual endowments--and withal "handsome as Apollo."
At the request of some of the officers, he was occasionally permitted to visit the lower floor, and, upon one occasion, was permitted to leave the prison on parole, for the purpose of purchasing supplies. While thus passing through one of the main thoroughfares, M-----n was accosted by a little girl, who presented him with a bouquet, at the same time, pointing to a young lady, on the opposite side of the street, as the donor.--The corporal acknowledged the gift, by a polite bow, and proceeded upon his mission. The lady, apparently fascinated, followed him at a distance to the prison, and, as he entered it, she reciprocated his bow, and leisurely walked away.
For some inexplicable cause the corporal was not again permitted to go out, and a negro--I should have mentioned that quite a number of servants were in the prison--was despatched [sic] in his stead. The negro had not proceeded far when he was met by the young lady referred to, and the sequel to the interview was developed in a package with which he returned to the officers' quarters, and delivered to Corporal M----n. It was found to contain a new suit of clothes, and upon one garment was pinned a small card, neatly inscribed with the name of his benefactress:
"Only this, and nothing more."
Corporal M----n instantly addressed himself to the task of epistolary composition, in which he gracefully acknowledged the receipt of the gift, and expressed his heartfelt thanks. This was delivered by the negro on the day following, and he returned with a package containing a number of pocket-handkerchiefs, socks, and shirts!
As in the first instance, the only communication which accompanied the gift was the donor's card. The corporal again acknowledged his obligations by a polite note, which was duly delivered through the same medium.
Thenceforth the corporal was in daily receipt of the choicest dainties, and a regular epistolary correspondence was carried on until the day of his release, which occurred on the 3d of January. A matrimonial engagement had been made during the interval, with the understanding that the parties would meet in Baltimore on the 1st of March next.
I have omitted to state that the corporal had been sent back to his old quarters, but having ascertained that his fair inamorata daily promenaded within view of the officers' quarters, he obtained employment as a cook, and was thereafter unfailing at his post to reciprocate the loving smiles of his betrothed.
She had sent him her daguerreotype, which he frequently exhibited to me. It was a lovely image, and one that would have required no "collateral" inducement to carry captive the most frigid and lethargic fancy. I learned that she was of a wealthy family, and of as good blood as was to be found among the F. F. V.'s and her letters, I was assured, evinced that she was no less intelligent and refined.
When the glad news of our release came, the name of Corporal M-----n was found in the list. The intelligence was quickly conveyed to his yearning admirer. We saw nothing of her, however, as we marched through the streets of Richmond, though the corporal's longing vision was strained at every ultimate object.
But when a halt was ordered, a fine carriage, driven by a negro, suddenly made its appearance, and halted at a short distance from our ranks. A lady descended--there was a brief, but earnest colloquy among the Confederate officers of our guard, and the next moment the enraptured twain (Corporal M----n and his affianced) were face to face. A few words, the first they ever exchanged in person, were exchanged in subdued, yet melting tones; their faces were for a moment lighted, as with a flame--the engagement was sacredly renewed--there was a fervent, thrilling pressure of their hands, and they separated.
A circumstance is connected with the daguerreotype above referred to, which deserves a passing notice. Before it left the prison, the picture was taken from the case, and a small slip of paper, closely written, and addressed to Gen. M'Clellan, was deposited therein, and the daguerreotype then replaced. It was safely delivered to the commander-in-chief, a meeting of the Cabinet was called, and the day following there was a leak stopped--a mysterious leak, from high official circles, and which has inestimably benefitted [sic] the rebels for many months.
Description of Page: Continuation of incidents at the Battle of Mill Spring, column 1; official reports on the battle at Mill Springs, column 2; news from Missouri, column 2; news from Washington, Fortress Monroe, Europe, and Chicago, column 3; advertisements, columns 4 and 5
(Column 1)Summary: Prints the testimony of Democrats at the trial of Senator Bright of Indiana for treason and argues that the Democrats are admitting that they were aware of the "regular plan to bring about secession" from 1832 and forward.
Full Text of Article:Senator Bright Served Right
When the case of Senator Bright, of Indiana, was up for consideration, in the U. S. Senate, a few days ago, Mr. McDougall, (Democrat) of California, addressed the Senate at length on the question, and we find the following language in the report of the Congressional proceedings as the substance of his remarks on the occasion. He said:--
"We were at war, and had been at war, at least of opinion, since 1832. There had been a continual organized war against the principle of constitutional government. He contended there had been a regular plan to bring about Secession, which was well known to Democrats and to HIM, (Mr. McDougall,) and as a DEMOCRAT the Senator from Indiana must have known the fact!"
Here is a deliberate, premeditated, and candid admission of a Democratic Senator, that there had been a "regular plan to bring about Secession, WHICH WAS WELL KNOWN TO DEMOCRATS, and known to him, and, as A DEMOCRAT, the Senator from Indiana must have known of the fact!"
Senator Bright is now arraigned before the Senate on the charge of Treason. His offence consists of having written a letter to Jeff. Davis, introducing to his acquaintance a man named Lincoln, who had an improved fire-arm, which he, (Lincoln) wished to have Davis adopt in the army of the Rebel States, and in alluding to this letter, Mr. McDougall said:--
"The war, which had been so long planned, was actively inaugurated before the letter was written to Davis, and he, (Mr. McDougall) could consider that letter in no other light than an act of treason. A Senator of the U. States who, knowing all the facts, could write such a letter, was not fit to remain in the councils of the nation. Treason was the highest of all crimes and ought to receive severe punishment."
Mr. Bright, as a Democrat, we have no doubt knew all about the "regular plan" of the rebellion. Mr. McDougall honestly confesses that it "was well known to him," and that, so well informed were Democrats upon the subject, that Mr. McDougall exclaims with a great deal of earnestness, that, owing to the prominent position occupied by Senator Bright in the councils of his party, as a Democrat, he "MUST have known of the fact" also.
Let this extraordinary, candid, deliberate, premeditated and honest confession of a Democratic Senator be remembered.
We believe that Mr. Bright is guilty of treason, but is Mr. McDougall, as well as hundreds of other Democratic leaders, to whom this "regular plan of secession" was so "well known," altogether innocent in their conduct? Why did they not apprise the country of the fact long ago, and thus prevent the awful blood-shed and suffering that has resulted and will continue to flow from the rebellion while it lasts? Forewarned is to be forearmed. Why did not these Democratic leaders sound the alarm, like a fire-bell at midnight, and arouse the country from the lethargy into which it had fallen, an thus save it from the horrors of rebellion and civil strife? Mr. McDougall candidly confesses that the "plan" "was well known to Democrats, and known to him, and as a Democrat the Senator from Indiana MUST have known of the fact" also.
Well, it is said "a candid confession is good for the soul," and we trust the soul of Mr. McDougall will receive all the benefit that may result from his candor; but after this we do trust that we may be saved the necessity of defending the present Administration as being responsible for the war. All well-informed people know and believe what Mr. McDougall has said, to be true, and yet, the unprincipled, the reckless and the dishonest portion of the Democratic journals, as well as politicians, persist in denouncing the Republican party as having caused the war. They characterize it as "a Lincoln--Curtin War," "an Abolition War," and other equally silly assertions, for the purpose of prejudicing the ignorant, and, thereby, from among the wreck and ruin of a country, to try and save at least the fragments of a party!
(Column 2)Summary: Reports the expulsion of Senator Bright from the Senate on the charge of treason.The Kentucky Victory
(Column 2)Summary: Estimates that Southern losses at Mill Spring approached 400 killed, 1200 wounded, and 700 captured. Points out that this number is nearly one-fourth of Crittenden's and Zollicoffer's entire force.
Description of Page: advertisements, columns 3-5
(Column 1)Summary: Relates that Mr. Joseph Thomas, Second Lieutenant in Captain McKesson's Company of the 77th Pennsylvania, is in Chambersburg to recruit for the company. The 77th is now stationed in Kentucky.Death of an Aged Citizen
(Names in announcement: Mr. Joseph Thomas)
(Column 1)Summary: Reports that Mrs. Elizabeth Spangler, aged 98 years, died yesterday morning in Chambersburg at the home of her son-in-law, T. J. Early, Esq.Trouble
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Elizabeth Spangler)
(Column 1)Summary: Announces that Colonel Harlan, commander of the Eleventh Pennsylvania, has had his name forwarded for approval to be promoted to Brigadier-General. It is suspected that the promotion is, in part, compensation for the injury caused him by the attempts of Lieutenant-Colonel Spear and Major Stetzel to have him removed from his command. The Lieutenant-Colonel and the Major have been arrested under the 7th and 8th articles of war.
(Names in announcement: Colonel Harlan, Major Stetzel)Origin of Article: Philadelphia InquirerFlag Raising
(Column 2)Summary: Reports that the new flag is to be raised in the public square in Chambersburg on February 22. W. S. Everett, Esq., is to make an address, and the brass band will play. The money for the flag, which will replace the one destroyed by high winds, was collected by Mr. George W. Snider.A Pennsylvanian Speaks for Pennsylvania
(Names in announcement: W. S. EverettEsq., Mr. George W. Snider)
(Column 2)Summary: A Pennsylvanian with General Negley's forces in Kentucky refutes an article in the Cincinnati Gazette that impugns the bravery of the soldiers who make up the 77th and 79th Pennsylvania regiments.
Origin of Article: Louiville JournalFull Text of Article:
From the Louisville Journal.
Camp Wood, January 24, 1862.--A special correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette, writing from Munfordsville, Ky., in describing the conduct of certain regiments on the 17th instant, speaks thus of the Pennsylvanians:
"The 77th and 79th Pennsylvania remained in the entrenchments. Four companies of the 79th Pennsylvania were sent out to make a reconnoisance to Horse Cave. Arriving at that point, they heard firing, which seemed to come from their rear, when they suddenly conceived the idea that it was the enemy, and that they were likely to be cut off. This was enough. It is believed the Pennsylvanians became panic stricken. At Horse Cave, where the railroad and turnpike diverge part took the turnpike and part the railroad, coming together again at Rowlett's station. Which party it was that despatched the courier is not clear--most likely the party that returned by the pike. Judge of the mutual surprise when they met at Rowlett's. It was supposed that the firing was on the left, and played the will-o'-the-wisp caper which so frightened the Pennsylvanians. In the hurried retreat of the Pennsylvanians they scattered the report that the enemy was approaching to attack us."
These statements, from first to last, are infamously false. Pennsylvanians little desire that kind of bravery which only appears in newspapers; but when a mean and cowardly imputation is cast upon their courage and military demeanor, they are not willing to pass it unnoticed, unanswered, or unrebuked.
Now for the facts. On the morning of the 17th inst., a detachment of 180 men from the 79th Regiment, P. V., by request, started on a reconnoisance in the direction of Horse Cave. At one P. M. distant firing was heard--musketry, soon followed by artillery. Simultaneously with this, a bugle signal was detected to proceed from some point in front of our outlying picket.
This signal was thought by a bugler who was with the remaining companies of the 79th (on tour of duty at the outposts), to come from his bugle comrade, who accompanied the reconnoitering party. As the shrill tones reverberated from hill top to hill top, they were ascertained to be the "rally for skirmishers." Two citizens of Kentucky and a captain from the same State, came hurriedly in and informed Colonel H., commanding the 79th, that his scouts were attacked by a superior force, and also that the enemy were advancing in a large body. This same Kentucky captain carried the news to the interior, and not the Pennsylvanians, as asserted by the special correspondent of the Gazette.
Colonel H., of she [sic] 79th, feeling it a duty to move forward a short distance to the support of his own scouts, ordered a signal sounded for five companies to rally to the centre, also sent a messenger to Colonel S., of the 77th to ocupy [sic] temporarily the outposts thus rendered vacant.
Two companies of the 79th, one on the right and the other on the left, remained firm at their posts. Regiment after regiment filed over the pontoon bridge--some occupying positions within the entrenchments, others passed a few hundred yards beyond but aside from the pike. The approaches by which an enemy might have entered were guarded by unaided Pennsylvanians. The correspondent states "that the 77th and 79th Pennsylvania Volunteers remained in the entrenchments." This is false. Not a single member of the 79th was at any time during the excitement within or behind the breastworks. Three companies of the 77th were promptly placed under the command of Colonel H., of the 79th. The remaining companies were distributed at the outposts and held in reserve.
"It is believed the Pennsylvanians were panic stricken." Undoubtedly, by this correspondent, who seems to have been on the north side of the river--at least two miles from any danger. Let us see. The reconnoitering party proceeded to Horse Cave, and was welcomed there as the first detachment from the Federal Army.
The scouts returned in good order--in a body--were not alarmed; neither were they aware any alarm had been given. Those led by Colonel H. to aid his detachment, marched southward about two miles, when an official messenger ordered the forces to retreat.
Colonel H. directed no one to transmit intelligence to head-quarters, and was really astonished to learn, upon his return.
From the above, it is clear that the "will-o'-the-wisp caper" did not frighten the Pennsylvanians, and, as no retreat was made, the statement that "the report of the enemy's approach being scattered," merges into the common falsehood that distinguishes this correspondent's letter.
"They met at Rowlett's Station." No such thing--they met at the point of starting.--These are the facts. Your readers may decide the question of cowardice for themselves. It is to be regreted [sic] that any falsehoods, so grave in their tendency, should ever have emanated from military sources. Doubly so, when we reflect that, although from many States, we are one soldiery, enlisted under one banner, ready to bathe its glorious folds in the warmest blood of our bosoms, and as one people looking down to futurity for the benefits and blessings those who now fight our battles must secure.
Pennsylvanians have a profound contempt for unearned laurels; they do not covet plaudits undeserved, but their indignation at this wanton assault upon their courage and valor can be better imagined than described. They claim (and challenge dispute) to have gone, at this date, several miles further into the enemy's country than any other troops in the central division--never to have been caught in a trap--never to have had their pickets driven in surprised--never to have had buildings or wood fired with 200 yards of their line of pickets--never to have permitted the destruction of property in full view of their posts.
I have much to speak of the noble manner in which Ohio, Indiana and other Wester [sic] States responded to the call for succor from loyal Kentucky. I have much to speak of Kentucky herself--of all the Generals--but still more to say to your readers, that, under the leadership of the accomplished Generl [sic] Negley and three gallant Colonels, the Pennsylvanians propose to carve their fortunes by deeds, and to write the glad or the mournful tale of their military careere [sic] with their swords.
Trailer: A PennsylvanianMarriages
(Column 3)Summary: Mr. Geo. W. Coldsmith and Miss Margaret Laverty, both of the vicinity of Fayetteville, were married in Chambersburg on February 4.Marriages
(Names in announcement: Mr. Geo. W. Coldsmith, Miss Margaret Laverty)
(Column 3)Summary: Mr. Hiram E. Wertz of Quincy and Miss Lizzie Middower, of the vicinity of Waynesboro', were married on February 4 at the Franklin Hotel.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Hiram E. Wertz, Miss Lizzie Middower)
Description of Page: Proceedings of Congress, column 1; prices current, column 2; advertisements, columns 2-5