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1863 January 3: Summary of the Week’s War News

January 3, 2013

The following synopsis of the news of the week is from the January 3, 1863, issue of The Polk County Press.  The Prescott Journal did not publish an issue between Christmas and New Year’s’

The News.

The President [Abraham Lincoln] has issued a congratulatory order to the army of the Potomac.  The attempt of Burnside [Ambrose E. Burnside] he says, was not an error, not the failure other than an accident.  This gives the sanction of the commander-in-chief to what has been done.

Rebel papers from Richmond put the number of their killed and wounded in the late battle much higher than the official reports of Gen. Lee [Robert E. Lee].  The papers would not be likely to overstate the facts transpiring under their immediate attention.

No rebel forces have yet appeared on the north side of the Rappahannock, as it was feared they would in view of our late reverse.

Late St. Paul despatches inform us of the return of the rebels in large force in the vicinity of Columbus and Paducah, and with the probably intention of attacking the former stronghold.

There is also news of the capture of Holly Springs, of the loss of two hundred killed, and fifteen hundred taken prisoners, with a half million of public stores, and four thousand bales of cotton destroyed.

A rebel raid had been made on the suburbs of Memphis.

The Legislature of this territory of Dakota has been brought to a dead lock, through the secession of a portion of its members.

Union City, West Tenn. Has been captured by the rebels with two hundred Union troops.

Gen. Foster¹ in North Carolina after a series of brilliant victories succeeded in taking Goldsboro with not much loss.  The enemy having recieved [sic] reinforcement he fell back to Kingston.  His campaign entirely successful, he having captured seven hundred prisoners, eleven pieces of artillery, large quantities of stores, and destroying the rebels’ railroad and telegraphic communication between North Carolina and Virginia.

Gen. Burnside takes the responsibility of the late move on Fredericksburg, giving his reasons therefor, thereby relieving the President and Secretary Stanton [Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War] from all blame in the matter.

Thaddeus Stevens, from the Library of Congress (see footnote 1)

Thaddeus Stevens, from the Library of Congress (see footnote 1)

Secretary Chase [Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury] has sent to Representative Stevens² his financial project recommending a loan of $900,000,000 at rates of interest not exceeding those now authorized by law.

The Secretary does not suggest any augmentation of Treasury Notes.  The Committee on Ways and Means has not yet considered the subject.

Nothing reliable has come to hand in regard to Gen. Banks’ [Nathaniel P. Banks] expedition.  All that is known is that he has gone south and has not landed as reported by the despatches to the Associated Press.  His where abouts [sic] will soon be made known by his works.

Gen. McClelland [George B. McClellan] reported as having sailed from Memphis with a large expedition—destination, down the Mississippi.

Thirty nine of the Indian Prisoners were hung at Mankato, Minn. Friday the 26th ult.  No such wholesale hanging ever took place before in in [sic] this country, nor were greater villains ever suspended between heaven and earth.  Our only regret is that [. . .]³ Sioux nation, squaws pap- [. . .]  all were not served in a [. . .].

1.  John Gray Foster (1823-1874) was a graduate of West Point and a career military officer who served as an engineer in the Mexican War. When the Civil War began, Foster was in command of the garrison at Fort Moultrie. He immediately transferred his troops to Fort Sumter and became second-in-command to Major Robert Anderson. He was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers in October of 1861 and commanded a brigade in General Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition. Foster commanded the Department of North Carolina from 1862 to December 1863.
2.  Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868) was a Republican representative from Pennsylvania and one of the most powerful members of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the chairman of the House’s Ways and Means Committee and he wrote much of the financial legislation that paid for the Civil War.
The photograph of Stevens is from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
3.  A small portion of the lower left corner of the newspaper page is missing.

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