1865 April 18: Edwin Levings—The death of our beloved President saddens my heart and saddens all loyal hearts North or South
On April 10, 1865, Union General William T. Sherman resumed his Carolinas Campaign and as his troops advanced toward Raleigh, North Carolina. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army fell back and halted around Greensboro, where Johnston met with Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Meanwhile, the Union and Confederate commanders received word of Robert E. Lee’s surrender on April 9 to Ulysses S. Grant. This convinced Johnston that further resistance was futile. Sherman’s troops reached and occupied Raleigh on April 13, and four days later, Sherman and Johnston began negotiations for the Confederates to surrender. Their preliminary agreement, which included political issues as well as military, was rejected by President Andrew Johnson. That is why Edwin Levings thought Johnston had surrendered but then later in this letter says “I was a little too fast in stating Johnson [sic] had surrendered.” The two commanders met again on April 26 and agreed to terms. The surrender in North Carolina was the largest of the war with almost 90,000 Confederate troops in North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida involved. Johnston’s surrender was the virtual end for the Confederacy, although some smaller forces held out, particularly in the Trans-Mississippi region.
The original letter is in the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Raleigh N. C. April 18th, 1865.
My Dear Parents;
Your letter in answer to ours from Fayetteville was received yesterday. A week has passed since I wrote you, but sooner than expected, the privilege of writing to you is again mine and I hasten to use it.
You watch the Union armies now, no doubt, as you never did before, and while rejoicing over the late great victories in Virginia that destroyed Lee’s army [Robert E. Lee] and seemed to us Richmond, and Petersburg. You wait to hear what news from N. C., hoping for like success there; that there may be more victories to rejoice over, and that soon it can be said there is no longer a rebellion in the U. S. The news is soon told. Johnson’s [sic] army ], like Lee’s is no more. After several day’s consultation with Sherman he surrendered his army; more than that, his whole Dept. which I understand to include all east of the Mississippi. Billy [Sherman] would accept nothing less, so you see how thourough [sic] has been our work. I suppose if Johnson [sic] had refused, a terrible battle would have ensued, when the rebels would have been converted into mince meat, for our boys will not now be trifled with by their parleyings.¹ Johnson [sic] was completely hemmed in, and saw how foolish would be a further resistance. The army is in the best possible joyous mood over the downfall of the Confederacy and looks for a declaration of peace very shortly. When Mobile falls what will there be for fight, except guerrillas and assassins ? A portion of the troops may be discharged. Some will have to remain to occupy posts, quell disturbances, and open up the country to trade and enterprise. There will have to be an army in this country for a time, at least for among so many rough rebel characters as are now let loose, life would be endangered.
But there is one event that saddens my heart and saddens all loyal hearts North or South. It is the death of our beloved President which occurred in Washington City at the hands of an assassin. We rec’d the mournful intelligence night before last in silent indignation, for we saw our foe[,] despairing of success in an honorable warfare[,] resorting to the power of the assassin. We felt the battle spirit, and if then led against the enemy, Heaven only knows how terrible would have been their punishment. The news was official, yet it is hardly believed yet by many that he is dead. It seems we could better lose one of our best generals than the President who has carried us under Providence through the past four years terrible experience; but this calamity we must believe will result in the more complete overthrow of our adversaries, and their cause, Slavery.
8 P. M. It is now evening, and I will finish before bedtime. I have been on guard at Hd. Qrs. to-day. It seems that the Confederacy is utterly gone up—the rebel armies generally being surrendered. I heard a staff officer say that the Trans. Miss. Dept. and troops were included in the recent surrenders. Is it so ? Is it true that this carnage is over. I can not realize the fact. It seems more like a dream. Have we passed through this bloody ordeal of the Nation to the end, and yet safe ? Are the proud armies of Slavery that we have so long fought with such sacrifice destroyed ? Dear Parents I can not yet realize the fact. We may now breathe forth the words—The End; and let us thank God who has gone before like a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night in all this long conflict. We are beginning to talk now of coming home ere many months. If all things work favorably, we could not expect to go home in several months; but I must not multiply words on this subject, for they will not determine that happy hour. We may have to accompany these rebel soldiers to their respective State Capitals where they will lay aside all arms &c. & go home.
Our duties are guarding, foraging, pitching and striking Hd. Qr. tents where required, escorting General when on the march, &c. Homer, I think, is suited—I am certainly. There is no excitement now—won’t my letters be prosaic
now ? If you wish to know more fully about soldiering than I can write wait till I come home.
April 19th — A word more and I will not detain the letter longer. We are expecting to make a long march before many days,—rumor has it to Harpers Ferry. We are getting our horses ready in anticipation by yard feeding. Gen. Sherman tells us he hopes to have us on the homeward trip shortly. I was a little too fast in stating Johnson [sic] had surrendered. Arrangements have been made with him and other high rebel officials to surrender the entire Confederacy, and the proposition is now awaiting endorsement in Washington. No more foraging now. Raliegh [sic] is not a large place, but looks rather pretty. The young ladies of Raliegh [sic] ride about with our soldiers, and all the people receive us gladly, rejoicing that the war is over. I will stop—write soon as possible—direct as usual.
Edwin D. Levings
1. A discussion or conference, especially one between enemies over terms of a truce or other matters. Comes from the French word parlez, which means to speak or talk.
This accounting of military bounty money contributed and dispersed for Town of Osceola volunteers comes from The Polk County Press of April 15, 1865.
FRIEND SAM :—At the request of the subscribers who have paid towards raising a cash bounty for the six volunteers, who have been credited to the town of Osceola, we give a statement of the amount of money received, by whom paid, and how paid out :
|Samuel S. Fifield,||$ 30 00|
|Joel F. Nason,||40 00|
|S. H. Clough,||35 00|
|Stephen Rowcliffe,||25 00|
|O. F. Knapp,||25 00|
|H. H. Herrick,||35 00|
|William Wilson,||20 00|
|Rice Webb,||35 00|
|Dresser, Wilson & Co.,||85 00|
|C. S. Clark,||20 00|
|Hennis Johnson||22 00|
|Cyrus G. Bradley,||55 00|
|B. F. Wall,||25 00|
|The. M. Bradley,||30 00|
|Joseph Berg,||20 00|
|A. S. Thomson,||20 00|
|Mathew Young,||20 00|
|Wm. Young,||20 00|
|W. A. Talboys,||20 00|
|Jonas Peterson,||20 00|
|H. C. Goodwin,||20 00|
|A. Storer,||20 00|
|W. H. Bowron,||20 00|
|Nelson Doll,||20 00|
|John A. Whitney,||20 00|
|Frank W. Smith,||25 00|
|B. P. Pitman,||20 00|
|J. T. Kent,||20 00|
|M. M. Nason,||25 00|
|Terrance Dailey,||25 00|
|Hiram Bass,||25 00|
|John Kent,||25 00|
|John Irish,||20 00|
|Frederick Greenwold,||10 00|
|Isaac McLean,||10 00|
|Frank May,||20 00|
|L G. Clark,||10 00|
|John Morrisey,||10 00|
|Levi Nason,||25 00|
|Timothy Morrisey,||20 00|
|William Kent,||10 00|
|Fowler Hale,||10 00|
|Frank Lavercot,||10 00|
|H. H. Newbury,||5 00|
|C. H. Staples,||10 00|
|Wm. C. Guild,||10 00|
|Advanced to Mrs. Baker,
by Dresser, Wilson & Co.
|Total am’t received,||$1,047|
|AMOUNT PAID OUT.|
|Paid Mrs. A. Gillispie,||$150 00|
|Paid Mrs. J. Corey,||150 00|
|Paid Joseph Prentice,||150 00|
|Paid W. H. Kent,||150 00|
|Cash on hand for Mrs. Fee,||150 00|
|Paid Mrs. John Baker,||150 00|
|Transportation to La Crosse,||120 00|
|John Hale, team to St. Paul,||14 00|
|Paid T. Y. McCourt,||20 00|
|SUBSCRIBED AND UNPAID.|
|W. H. Barnes,||20 00|
|R. H. Hill,||20 00|
|$ 40 00|
|DRESSER, WILSON & Co.|
The following items of national news are from The Polk County Press of April 15, 1865.
Our army under Canby [Edward Canby], Steel [sic: Frederick Steele] and Granger [Gordon Granger] have commenced the attack on Mobile. The land forces have invested the main fortifications, while the navy is lending its aid and attacking from the bay front. In a few days we shall hear of its surrender to the gallant army of the Gulf.
WASHINGTON, April 5.
Secretary Seward [Secretary of State William H. Seward] met with a severe accident this afternoon. Soon after leaving the State Department for his customary ride, accompanied by Mr. Fred. Seward [Frederick W. Seward] and two ladies the door of the carriage became unfastened, and as the coachman descended to close it, the horses started at a rapid gait toward the stables.
Mr. Fred. Seward sprang from the carriage unharmed, but his father, attempting to do the same, fell heavily on his arm which was broken and shattered below the shoulder. His face was also considerably bruised and cut. The ladies, who remained in the carriage, were uninjured.
The Secretary, for an hour after the occurrence, was unconscious, which gave rise to a rumor that he had received serious internal injuries. At nine o’clock, however, he was in a comfortable condition, and the foreign ministers called on him this evening.
— In Connecticut the Republican candidate for Governor, Buckingham, was elected by over ten thousand majority. The Republicans elected all four members of Congress. The Congressional vote of New England is now solid Republican.
—A Washington correspondent says : “A gentleman just from Richmond states that the best informed there, believe that Davis [Jefferson Davis] has fled to Georgia, and will attempt a re-establishment of his government at Augusta, which possesses strong natural defences, and has been elaborately fortified.” Other reports indicate that he intends to make his headquarters at Danville for the present.
— Col. Wm. R. Marshall, 7th Minnesota Volunteers, was wounded in the neck in a skirmish on the 28th ult., in the vicinity of Mobile.
— The Secretary of war has ordered a salute of two hundred guns to be fired at the Headquarters of every army, Department Post and Arsenal in the United States, in commemoration of the surrender of Gen. R. E. Lee, and the Army of Northern Va.
— An editorial item in the “Superior Gazette,” dated April 1st, 1865, alludes to the late “Indian scare” in the neighborhood of Snake River, says that the Indians are “irritated by the presence of soldiers,” (whose presence on the Indian frontier, the “Gazette” has advocated,) and informs us that he, the editor of that paper, “will look with interest for the next issue of the ‘Polk County Press,’ as no doubt it will make a mountain out of this mole-hill.”
Fancy the editor of the “Gazette” on All Fool’s Day, looking with interest to see us make a mountain out of a mole-hill. Picture him again conning [combing?] that “next issue” carefully, and finding neither mountain nor mole-hill. What wicked imp, O sapient Gazetteer! put such a thought into your head on such a day?
But we are honored with double mention by the “Gazette” in the same paper. It is intimated that we may sometimes be busily employed in “running the affairs of the government.”
If by the term “affairs” the “Gazette” means “greenbacks,” it slanders us. Unfortunately we dont [sic] run them to any extent worth mentioning.
If the political business of the government is referred to, then know all men by these presents, that we claim to be about one thirty millionth part—be the same more or less—of this government, and in that fractional degree try to run its affairs. To what extent is the “Gazette” trying to run them? Or is it trying to embarass [sic] them? Or is it entirely indifferent in its relations thereto, in these rousing times? Which? We are curious to know.
Both of our local newspapers published editorials on April 15, 1865, looking hopefully to the end of the Civil War.
The Polk County Press:
The Clouds Disappear.
There is rejoicing in the land! God on his goodness and mercy has given us victory! The dark clouds have scattered and their silver linings gleam brightly as they float over the nation, leaving behind a clear sky, and a bright cheerful day.
The last prop and support of the rebellion,—the army of Gen. Lee,—has laid down its arms, and surrendered to Lieut. Gen. GRANT, the hero of the age. Those “mighty legions, whose splendid valor has almost made treason illustrious on a hundred fields, and who, a few days ago, stood behind the triple walls of Petersburg and Richmond, still 80,000 strong, and still hardly less proud, erect, defiant, than when less than a year and a half ago they carried the terror of their arms to the banks of the Susquehanna, have disappeared from the face of the earth forever.”
Thus the treason created “Confederacy,” deprived of its support, sinks into an everlasting grave. Well may the nation rejoice! Well may our hearts be gladdened by the glorious deeds of our heroes, for they have saved to us a country; and washed out the stains upon our banner. The insult to the “old flag” has been avenged, and to-day it floats proudly and defiantly over the stronghold of treason,–from the capitol demo of the bogus “Confederate States of America.”
War has taught us one and all to love and cherish out land of liberty, and the lesson written in the blood of our bravest and best, will not be soon forgotten. There will be no more rebellions, when the wings of peace spread over us re-united again.—There will be no more treason—no more “Confederacius”—no more civil wars. The nation has paid dearly for its lesson, and has learned it well. “Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory.”
The following editorial comes from the Hudson Times and was reprinted in The Prescott Journal:
The Triumph of our Army.
The Hudson Times thus eloquently discourses on the results of the recent triumphs of our arms.
These are triumps [sic] not of arms alone, but of principles dearer than life, and as sacred as Christianity. The triumphs of Right over Wrong, of Justice and Liberty over Tyranny and Oppression —the triumphs of Law and Order over Rebel lion and Anarchy, and of Christianity over Barbarism.
These were the glorious triumphs we met to celebrate—triumphs for which the Brave and Good have fought and prayed through four dark and weary years of bloody conflict. For these victories our gallant soldiers have endured the privation and hardships of camp and field, and periled limb and life amid the crash of battle. For the realization of the hope that these victories bring, a nation has offered its best blood of a willing sacrifice. For these crowning victories have our bravest warriors died, and our suffering soldiers in Southern prison pens, with lips thinned with famine, feebly prayed for the glory of these times, as disease and hunger eat out their lives.
These are not the victories of a day, but of centuries—battles fought not alone for the restoration of the blessings of the Union, and the vindication of its authority, but for Liberty and Humanity the world over and through all time. By these victories have the foundations of the American Republic been laid broader and deeper, and the right and power of the People to rule been established. These achievements not only give power and prestige to the Nation, and they add lustre to the American name— they illustrate the entire horizon of the Nineteenth Century, and light the world in its march toward Freedom and a better Civilixation [sic].
After attending an April 11, 1865, speech in which U.S. President Abraham Lincoln promoted voting rights for Blacks, Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth became incensed and determined to assassinate the President. Booth did not act alone, however; his assassination of Lincoln was part of a larger conspiracy. The well-known actor (and Confederate spy) shot Lincoln in the back of the head at about 10:15 p.m. on the evening of April 14, 1865, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The President was taken across the street to Petersen House, where he died the next morning at 7:22 a.m.
Once again we are posting about an important event on the day it happened rather than when it appeared in the local northwest Wisconsin newspapers. Both of our newspapers—The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal—had not yet heard about the assassination when their April 15, 1865, newspapers were being printed and distributed. Their coverage will appear in the next week’s issues (April 22).
For this post we are using an image from a facsimile¹ of The New York Herald of Saturday, April 15, 1865, which is in the special collections of the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The thick black lines were a typical Victorian-era sign of mourning. The dispatch from the Secretary of War announcing Lincoln’s death appears in the column under the picture that starts “EXTRA.”
THE PRESIDENT DEAD.
WAR DEPARTMENT, }
WASHINGTON, April 15—7:30 A. M. }
Major General Dix, New York :—
Abraham Lincoln died this morning at twenty-two minutes past 7 o’clock.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
. .Secretary of War.
1. On page 4 of this facsimile there is, in the bottom left, a small notice that reads, “Valuable Souvenir, To Our Friends North or South. The outside pages of this paper are a fac-simile of the New York Herald as it was printed and sent out April 15th, 1865, giving full particulars of the news of that date, and is a curiosity that you may not be able to again secure ; and is sent North, South, East and West. To our friends in the South we wish to say that we send it sincerely trusting that it will cause no hard feelings, and that they with the North are thankful for the Union of to-day, and that our children and our children’s children with all future generations, may remain united with the bond of love and be proud of our country.
“The inside pages contain facts regarding Dr. Archambault’s remedies. We can honestly recommend them, and as time goes by, adding to the IMMENSE VOLUME of unsolicited testimonials, feel that we are adding to the health and welfare of our fellow-men. We shall always be in business, so that if our medicines are not required to-day, you can write us, always knowing that your communication will receive a prompt answer and the best of care and attention.
“Be sure and read the inside pages. Yours kindly, THE DR. ARCHAMBAULT CO.”
1865 April 8: Men in the 30th Wisconsin Hurt When Capturing “Sue Mundy,” Local Quotas and the Draft, Osceola Celebrates the Fall of Richmond
Following are the smaller items—many of them local—from the April 8, 1865, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.
From The Prescott Journal:
EXCHANGED.—The following exchanged Wisconsin officers, arrived at Annapolis on the 7th : Lieut. Wm. A. Pope, 18th Wis., Lieut. C. Colwell, 1st Wis., Adjt. J. H. Jenkins, 21st Wis., Lieut. R. W. Jackson, 21st Wis.
— A detachment of the 30th Wis. about 50 in number, under command of Capt. Otis Marshall, have done a good thing in capturing the notorious guerrilla leader “Sue Mundy,” and two others, Capt. Magruder and Henry Medkiff.
Col. DILL [Daniel J. Dill] having got information as to their whereabouts, sent out the party, who went by boat to Brandenburg, and then into the country about 20 miles where they found the game, and after a short fight captured them. The following members of the party were wounded.
Everett Wadsworth, Co. A, leg.¹
Johnny White, Co F, breast.²
Serg’t Paddock, Co. K, slight.³
J. A. Robbins, K [sic], Severe in bowels.4
Jerome Clark [sic], alias “Sue Mundy” has been tried and hung ; the others are in confinement awaiting trial.
—WM. COOK,5 2nd Wis. Cavalry, who has been in rebel prisons for nearly a year, returned home this week. He fully corroberates [sic] the statements of the of the inhumane treatment of our prisoners by the rebels. We understand that he intends to re-enlist, and get revenge for the wrongs that he has suffered.
—THE DRAFT.—Dep. Pro. Mar. DALE has received instructions to report those towns in this County, which are not filling their quota, that they may be drafted immediately. [John L. Dale]
—GEORGE CLEMENTS6 has been commissioned Capt. of Co. B, 50th Reg. George has won his position by three years faithful service in the “Iron Brigade,” and we record his appointment with pleasure.
—THE QUOTA REDUCED.—Capt. Cooper [Benjamin F. Cooper], Provost Marshall for the Sixth, or Northwestern Wisconsin District has received official advices that a deduction of 633 men was [to] be made from the Quota as [as]signed to this Sixth District. This will release many towns from the draft—Now, if any towns or sub-districts are short of the quota, let a vigorous effort be made to fill the quota without a draft.—We have steadily maintained that justice would be done and we acknowledge it with pleasure. This reduction in in accordance with the corrected enrollment, and equal to about one-fourth off.—La Cross Republican.
WISCONSIN MARTYRS.—The following Wisconsin soldiers died in prison, at Danville, Va., from October 21st, 1864, to February 21st, 1865 :
D. Frisbourne, E, 38th, Oct. 23d.
F. Spect, D, 37th, Nov. 1st.
L. Olsien, F, 37th, Nov. 2d.
Corp. A. Westerbrook, D, 37th, Nov. 8th.
O. Mitcham, B, 38th, Nov. 25th.
H. Sprague, G, 27th, Nov. 30th.
John Conway, B, 38th, Dec. 29th.
B. F. Starkey, G, 5th, Jan. 3d.
A. C. Hickman, E, 37th, Jan. 18th.
— A DECISION BY FARRAGUT.—On a point of International law Vice Admiral [David G. Farragut] has been favoring Mr. Seward with a decision. Seward was enforcing the necessity of strictly observing the duty of neutrality within a marine league of the shore. “Well Mr. Seward,” said the Vice Admiral, “I learned my international law before you did, and in a rougher school. When I was a boy, the British took our crew—and me with the rest—prisoners on the coast of South America, with less than half a mile of the shore. British precedent is good enough for me ; and if I ever have an opportunity I’ll follow it.”
THE PRAYERS OF THE WICKED.—Friday was observed in the Confederacy as a day of thanksgiving and prayer. All business was suspended.
The Richmond Examiner is informed by a rebel officer from South Carolina that Sherman has completely devastated that portion of the State through which he passed. This officer says he has not spared a house in his trace. [William T. Sherman]
JOHN A. J. CRESSWELL has been elected to the U. S. Senate from Maryland, to fill the vacancy made by the death of Governor HICKS. He is a radical emancipationist. [Thomas H. Hicks]
From The Polk County Press:
WE ALL FELT GLAD.—Last Wednesday our citizens learned the glorious news of the fall of the traitor’s Capital—Richmond. Immediately there was a running to and fro of citizens. The Union Club flag was run up on the PRESS office, and the drum called the “long roll.” Citizens gathered from all parts of the village—the band got organized and discoursed sweet martial strains. A procession was formed, headed by the Democratic Club flag and “HANK’s” Martial Band, and marched to the “Armory.” Here the muskets were distributed and the line formed. Rev. WM. MCKINLEY took command, and then at the order of “forward” the company paraded through the streets, stopping at every corner to fire a volley of musketry.—Gladness was stamped upon every face. Lusty cheers were given for “Old Abe,” “Uncle Sam,” Grant, and the “Bully Boys in Blue.” In fact we all felt glorious—and had a “high old time” of it.
NOTICE.— The ladies of Osceola and vicinity contemplate sending a box of goods to the Sanitary Fair, which is to be held next May. All who feel interested in such a movement are requested to meet at Mrs. Hays’ next Monday afternoon, for the purpose of making necessary arrangements.
— The rebel heart has been so often “fired” that probably it will soon burst.
— Hereafter all our national coins are to have the motto, “In God we trust.”
— Gen. Grant’s medal contains $700 worth of gold, and cost, work and all, $7,000. [Ulysses S. Grant]
— A Correspondent, says a Boston paper, asks if it is possible to get the name of Gen. Schemmelfenning [Alexander Shimmelfenning], the commander of Charleston, into rhyme. Guess so :
“The gal’ant Dutchman Schimmelfenning,
Holds Charleston as he would a hen egg.
He grabs the traitors by the ear,
And brings them to their lager beer.
We wish we had a million such men
As this bold rebel hating Dutchman.”
NOT GOING.—T. Y. McCourt, who we announced last week as having enlisted for this town, is not going, it having been ascertained that our quota was full without him. This saves the citizens of this town about $450.
REDUCTION OF OUR QUOTA.—By an article in the La Crosse “Republican” we see that at last justice has been done the 6th District, at Washington. The quota of the District, has been reduced over six hundred. This will place many towns “in out of the Draft.”
THE DRAFT.—The draft commenced throughout the United States on the 3d inst., by order of Provost Marshal General FRY. [James B. Fry]
ABOUT THE DRAFT.—FRIEND SAM : I have just received an order from Capt. COOPER, the substance of which is as follows : “If the Towns in this County will furnish their present quota, ‘less one fourth’ that they will be exempt from draft under the present call for 300,000 men.
This will have to be done immediately.
. .WM. J. VINCENT,
. .Dep. Pro. Mar.
1. Everett Wadsworth, from Malone (in Saint Croix County). He was absent, sick, when the Company mustered out. He had been in the Post Hospital in Louisville since March 13, 1865.
2. John G. White, from River Falls. He was discharged June 16, 1865, on a surgeon’s certificate of disability.
3. William H. Paddock, from the Town of Troy. He was discharged August 28, 1865, on a surgeon’s certificate of disability.
4. John A. Robbins, Company H, was from Montrose (in Dane County). He mustered out with the Company on September 20, 1865.
5. William T. Cook, from Prescott, had been a bugler with the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry, and was taken prisoner March 10, 1864, at Big Black, Mississippi.
6. George Robinson Clements (1843-1917), from Prescott, was commissioned captain of Company G of the 50th Wisconsin Infantry on March 21, 1865. He had previously been in the Prescott Guards (Company B, 6th Wisconsin).
1865 April 8: A Warning Against Aiding Rebels, Inducements for Rebel Desertion, Plus, Mobile Will Soon Fall with Wisconsin Men Doing Their Share
The following smaller articles come from the April 8, 1865, issue of The Prescott Journal.
A Warning against Aiding Rebels.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, }
WASHINGTON, March 14. }
The President directs that all persons who are now, or hereafter shall be, found within the United States, who have been engaged in holding intercourse or trade with the insurgents by sea, if they are citizens of the United States or domiciled aliens, be arrested and held as prisoners of war, until the war shall close, subject nevertheless, to prosecution, trial and conviction, for every offence [sic] committed by them as spies, or otherwise against the laws of war.
The President further directs, that all non-residents, foreigners who now are, or hereafter shall be, found in the United States who have been engaged in violating the blockade of the insurgent ports, shall leave the United States within twelve days from the publication of this order, for from their subsequent trial in the United States, if on the Atlantic side, and forty days if on the Pacific side of the country ; and such persons shall not return to the United States during the continuance of the war.
Provost Marshals and Marshals of the United States will arrest and commit to military custody all such offenders as shall disregard this order, whether they have passports or not ; and they will be detained in such custody until the end of the war, or until discharged by subsequent order of the President.
WM. H. SEWARD,
.Secretary of State.
GEN. WASHBURNE [sic] AT MEMPHIS.—Dispatches state that a grand banquet was given Gen. WASHBURNE [sic] at Memphis, on the night of the 8th, at which he made a speech deprecating military law ; hoping for the speedy restoration of civil government in Tennessee ; expressing much charity for the Southern people and promising to receive them kindly when they come in a proper spirit. He told the Memphis merchants that the interests of the government, but he would be liberal in regard to legitimate, honest trade, but in anything else they would find him their inexorable foe. Gen. WASHBURNE [sic] has issued an order permitting steamboats to navigate the Hatchie river to bring out the products of the country, but will not allow them to take up supplies. [Cadwallader C. Washburn]
THE TENNESSEE ELECTION.—The Nashville Times of the 11th learns that “the vote for ratification received up to that time reaches over 35,000. But a small portion of East Tennessee has been heard from. The vote on the Gubernatorial and Legislative tickets is smaller than the vote for ratification, though but very few counties have been heard from in regard to the election of the 4th inst. As there was no opposition to the ticket, the people felt but little interest in the election, knowing that it could terminate only the one way. The Legislature will convene on the first Monday of April next, which falls on the 3d of the month.”
INDUCEMENTS FOR REBEL DESERTION.—By the direction of Lieut. Gen. GRANT, new provisions have recently been added to the order relating to rebel deserters, which set forth that deserters who bring arms, horses, mules or other property into our lines with them, will, on delivering the same to the Quartermaster’s department, receive in money the highest price that such arms, horses, mules and other property are worth. Railroad employees, telegraph operators, mechanics, and other civilians employed by the Confederate authorities, who desert from their present employment and come into the Federal lines, will be entitled to all benefits and immunities granted to rebel deserters. [Ulysses S. Grant]
SHERIDAN’S PRISONERS.— A Washington dispatch says, 60 officers and 1,400 privates captured by Sheridan in the valley passed over the Baltimore and Ohio railroad Saturday, and will be forwarded to fort Delaware. The officer in charge of them reports that there are about 700 more prisoners on their way down. The guard with the prisoners were several times attacked by guerrillas in passing through the valley of Va. The guerrilla parties consisted f from 100 to 150 men, and were in all cases driven back without doing any damage. [Philip H. Sheridan]
FROM MOBILE.—An “Old Soldier” in the 20th Wisconsin Regiment writes us, under date of Navy Cove, Alabama, the 19th ult., that there were about 12,000 men in Mobile Bay, about as many more at Barancas, and more coming from New Orleans. The troops had been ordered to put themselves in “light marching order,” that is, with a blanket and what ammunition and rations they could carry, and it was expected Mobile would soon fall, and Wisconsin men would do their share towards effecting it.
THE OPPOSITION TO SHERMAN.—The N. Y. Times Charleston correspondence says :—”The army which BEAUREGARD took from Columbia upon SHERMAN’s entrance into that place, numbered 8,000 men, which is the nucleus of the force JOE JOHNSTON has in SHERMAN’s front. Besides this, part of HARDEE’s army from Charleston may have gotten up with JOHNSTON.” The Times thinks that JOHNSTON’s force cannot be large enough to make any serious opposition to SHERMAN. [William T. Sherman, P.G.T. Beauregard, Joseph E. Johnston, William J. Hardee]
REBEL BARBARITIES.—A Wilmington correspondent says :
They had over 5,000 of our prisoners here, and when retreating from the place they drove them before them like a flock of sheep. Those who fell out from weakness and exhaustion, were kicked upon the side of the road and left. One such who was found by our had nothing on but a pair of drawers, and was in the most wretched condition the human mind can conceive.
I have been informed upon the most credible testimony, coming through a rebel prisoner who witnessed what he relates, or was afterwards made acquainted with the facts, that a number of our sick who were lying in a house, and unable to move with the retreating army, were burned to death in the house by the roadside. The house was set on fire, probably with the intention of driving them out, but being unable to save themselves, they fell victims to the flames. Their charred remains have been seen lying where they perished. The fact was given to me by the chaplain of a Connecticut regiment, and attested by an escaped prisoner.