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1865 July 1: A Variety of National News Items, Including the Conspiracy Trial

July 1, 2015

The following summary of the week’s news comes from The Prescott Journal of July 1, 1865.

General News.

— Charles Walsh, of Chicago, convicted of a conspiracy to release the rebel prisoners at Camp Douglas, has been pardoned by the President [Andrew Johnson].

— The eldest son of President Tyler was “Bobby,” the eldest son of President Lincoln is “Bob,” and the eldest son of President Johnson is “Bob,” too.  Three Prince Roberts in a quarter of a century.  [John Tyler, Abraham] Lincoln]

— A receipt has been found among the captured archives of the State of Tennessee, showing that Isham G. Harris deposited in London $43,000 in State bonds, to his individual credit.

— When Benjamin parted with Davis, he said, “We’re both going to the same place.”  “How is that?” asked Davis.  “Well,” said Benjamin, “I am going to Europe, and you’re going to your rope.”  [Judah P. Benjamin, Jefferson Davis]

— The rebel prisoners at Point Lookout, Md., erected a flagstaff, a few days since, and hoisted the United States flag greeting it with hearty cheers.

— General Butler says :

“I know from having seen the rolls of 100,000 of the rank and file of the Confederate army, prisoners, that only one in eight was able to sign his name.”
[Benjamin F. Butler]

— The official list of casualties in General Grant’s campaign, commencing with the crossing of the Rapidan in May, 1864, and ending with the final surrender of Lee’s army, has been received at the War Department.  The casualties foot up nearly ninety thousand.  [Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee]

— The suspension bridge at Nashville, destroyed at the time the Union army was preparing to occupy the city, is to be rebuilt immediately.  Sixty thousand dollars of the capital stock has already been subscribed, and the remaining $15,000 will soon be pledged.

— It is proposed to erect a magnificent bridge over the Potomac at Washington as a monument to the late President.  It will be called the “Lincoln Bridge,” and a colossal statue of Mr. Lincoln will be placed in the center or at one end of the structure.

— Jeff. Davis’ commission as a First Lieutenant of Dragoons, signed [by] Andrew Jackson, President, and Lewis Cass, Secretary of War, and dated April 10, 1834, to rank from March 4, 1843, has fallen into the hands of a member of Gov. Oglesby’s staff.  [Richard J. Oglesby, Illinois governor]

— The secretary of war directs that the orders for mustering out of service immediately all regiments whose term of service expires before the 1st of October, shall not be held to apply to the Veteran Reserve corps.  Thus men in that corps must serve out their full time, though the regiments in which they originally enlisted are to be mustered out immediately.

— The Boston Journal states that Hon. A. H. Stephens, late Vice-President of the rebel confederacy, now at Fort Warren is allowed to walk in the open air daily, from 9 to 10 o’clock in the forenoon, in company with an officer.  His health is very feeble, and it is feared that the imprisonment is fast undermining his weak constitution.  He is kept in a room by himself, guarded all the time by two soldiers.  Postmaster General Reagan [John H. Reagan], who is similarly guarded, is allowed a daily promenade between 6 and 7 o’clock P. M.

B Y   T E L E G R A P H.

NEW YORK, June 23.—The Commercial’s special says Gen. Grant’s health is somewhat impaired by arduous services and he will probably seek a few weeks repose.

Gen. Howard has received very favorable information from Kansas and Missouri respecting the condition of the freedmen.  In Missouri, only 226 colored people are supported by the government, against 4,462 whites.  [O. O. Howard]

The Post’s special says the attorneys are daily placing on file applications for pardon for their clients.

AUBURN, June 23.—The remains of the late Mrs. Wm. H. Seward¹ left Washington on Thursday morning, and were accompanied to this city by Secretary Seward, Gen. Wm. H. Seward¹ and Fanny Seward.¹  Maj. Gen. Hancock, Brig. Gen. Mitchell of Hancock’s staff, and Major Norris, Surgeon U. S. A., one of the surgeons who attended Secretary Seward’s family.  [Secretary of State William H. Seward, Sr., Winfield S. Hancock]

The funeral of the deceased will take place at St. Peter’s church, in this city to-day, (Saturday,) at three o’clock p. m.

Secretary Seward’s health does not seem to have been injured by the journey.  He bore the fatigue remarkably well.

LOUISVILLE, June 23.—The New Albany Ledger reports a terrible accident on the Ohio and Mississippi railroad, near Lafayette, Indiana, yesterday.  A freight train bound east and a soldiers rain bound west, collided, killing the engineer and firemen of both trains.  While an angry dispute arose between the conductors as to the blame, another freight train from the east ran into the soldiers’ train, killing fifteen men, and wounded 150 men, many fatally.  The soldiers belonged to Illinois and Missouri regiments and were homeward bound.

SAN FRANCISCO, June 20.—The city election at Portland, Oregon, resulted in the complete success of the Union ticket with scarcely any opposition.

FT. MONROE, June 22.—The steamer Ariel, of the Texas expedition, sailed to-day.

BOSTON, June 23.—A Washington special to the Boston Journal states that the South Carolina delegation very modestly asks that the government shall redeem confederate bonds paper, which amount, according to their calculation, to $200,000,000.  The delegation possess one million of worthless bonds, which is pronounced the secret of their anxiety on the subject.

CAIRO, June 22.—Over fifty gunboats and other vessels, lately composing a portion of the Mississippi Squadron, are to be sold at auction at Mound City, Illinois, Aug. 17th.

NEW YORK, June 22.—Work has ceased at the Portsmouth Navy Yard on all of the principal vessels in course of construction there—the Franklin [1864], Passaconaway [1863, never completed], Illinois [1864, never completed] and Contocook [1864].  Two of these are not yet launched.

The Army and Navy Official Gazette publishes the following despatch from General Grant to General Halleck [Henry W. Halleck], ordering the latter to disregard Sherman’s truce [William T. Sherman].  It should have accompanied Halleck’s letter :

FORTRESS MONROE, Saturday, April 22, ’65.—Major General Halleck, Richmond, Va.—The truce entered into by Sherman will be ended as soon as I can reach Raleigh.  Move Sheridan with his cavalry, towards Greensboro, N. C., as soon as possible.  I think it will be well to send one corps of infantry also, the whole under Sheridan.  The infantry need not go further than Danville, unless they receive orders hereafter to do so.

(Signed,)          U. S. GRANT, Lieut. Gen.

WASHINGTON, June 23.—Mrs. Surratt continues very sick.  [Mary Surratt]

Junius Brutus Booth² was unconditionally released this morning from Old Capitol prison.

Mr. Ewing³ made an argument against the jurisdiction of the court, and after examining the evidence in the case of Dr. Mudd,4 claimed that his client was entitled to an acquittal.

The court adjourned until Tuesday, when Ass’t Judge Advocate Bingham5 will commence the summing up for the government.

1.  Francis Adeline Miller Seward (1805-1865) married William Henry Seward on October 20, 1824. They had five children: Augustus Henry Seward (1826-1876), Frederick William Seward (1830-1915), Cornelia Seward (1836-1837), [Brigadier General] William Henry Seward, Jr. (1839-1920), and Frances Adeline “Fanny” Seward (1844-1866). On April 14, 1865, her husband and two of their sons, Frederick and Augustus, and Fanny, were injured in an assassination attempt on her husband in their house. The attack put Frances into a state of great anxiety about her family, and she thought that Frederick would die of his injuries (he survived). She died on June 21, 1865, of a heart attack.
2.  Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. (1821-1883) was a brother of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. He was a member of the famous Booth family of actors, and also a theatre manager. At the time of the assassination, he was fulfilling an acting engagement in Cincinnati, Ohio. Even so, he was arrested and hurried by train to the Old Capitol Prison, where he was interrogated and released.
3.  Thomas Ewing, Jr. (1829-1896), was the defense attorney for Dr. Mudd, and two Ford Theatre employees, Edman Spangler and Samuel Arnold. All three were convicted, but spared being hanged. Ewing also was successful in obtaining a pardon for Mudd at the end of Johnson’s term. Before the War, Ewing was the first chief justice of Kansas (1861) and a leading free state advocate. During the War, he recruited the 11th Kansas Infantry and was elected as its first colonel, and was promoted to brigadier general in 1863 for his leadership at the Battle of Prairie Grove. After the War, Ewing successfully lobbied the key vote against the impeachment of Andrew Johnson when he convinced an old friend to vote against impeachment. He was also a U.S. Representative from Ohio (1877-81), and narrowly lost the 1880 campaign for Ohio governor.
4.  Samuel Alexander Mudd (1833-1883) was charged with aiding John Wilkes Booth as he escaped by setting his broken leg and giving him shelter; as a consequence of these actions, he was also charged with conspiracy. The military commission found him guilty, but he escaped the death penalty by a single vote, and was pardoned in 1869.
5.  John Armor Bingham (1815-1900) was a U.S. Representative from Ohio (1855-63 and 1865-73), judge advocate in the Lincoln assassination trial, and a prosecutor in the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson. He was also the principal framer of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the 7th U.S. Ambassador to Japan (1873-85).

1865 June 24: News of Deaths of Several Local Soldiers, and Other News

June 30, 2015

Following are the smaller items from our two newspapers of June 24, 1865.

From The Polk County Press:

— Lieut. Chas D. Emory, 8th U. S. Col. Battery, formerly of St. Croix Falls, was recently drowned by falling overboard from a steamer, while on his way from Vicksburg to New Orleans.  We have not room for an obituary notice this week.

ST. CROIX.— At a meeting of the citizens of the Falls St. Croix, held on Thursday the 22d inst., for the purpose of taking into consideration the celebrating of the 4th of July, it was resolved that we join with the people of Taylor’s Falls in the celebration on the day.  On motion of H. D. BARRON a Committee was appointed to confer and make arrangements with the citizens of Osceola to join us at St. Croix Falls in procession to march to said Taylor’s Falls on that occasion.

WM. J. VINCENT, Secretary.

— The President issued on the 13th a proclamation removing all restrictions upon trade with the South, except articles contraband of war, and removing liabilities and disqualifications consequent upon the the [sic] rebellion in Tennessee.

The New York Tribune, in the course of an editorial upon President Johnson’s opinion concerning negro suffrage at the South, says :  “So far from thinking that colored people ought not to vote, we infer from a pretty full exposition of his views to which we very recently listened, that the President will exert whatever influence he believes himself fairly entitled to in the premises in favor of such suffrage.  The only ground that exists for imputing to him hostility, inheres in his conviction that loyal State Constitutions are not subject to change by Presidential edicts nor by orders from the War Department.”

From The Prescott Journal:

Finger002  A reliable account has at last been received of the death of Captain ROLLIN P. CONVERSE.  Frank Hare, of Oak Grove, member of Co. B., who has just returned, was wounded in the same battle in which Capt. Converse fell, was carried off the field in company with him, and was with him when he died.

Capt. Converse was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness, on the morning of May 5th and died the next day.  He received four wounds, one through the groin, being the immediate cause of his death.  The Capt. knew that his wounds were fatal, and was sensible to the last.  Mr. Hare saved some of his papers and effects, but they were taken from him by the rebels.

Mr. Hare has been an inmate of most of the Southern prisons and confirms all that has been said of the inhuman treatment of our soldiers received.  His own suffrage may be inferred from the fact, that his average weight is 176 lbs, and when released he was so emaciated by starvation that he weighted but 59 pounds.  His statement of the treatment our soldiers experienced at Andersonville is almost too horrible for belief.  Hare believes in having Jeff. Davis hung.

Finger002  The La Crosse Republican says that Pomeroy has sold out the Democrat, of that city, to a gentleman named Martin, who intends to make it a Republican paper.  Seymour thinks this a “sell” without a sale, and offers to give the new firm the “liveliest turn in the best shop.”  [M.M. “Brick” Pomeroy]

La RUE’S WAR SHOW.—La Rue exhibited a part of his War Show here on last Tuesday evening.  It was a “sell.”  He has a good show, but for some reason did not show it, though he had a full house.

THE MILWAUKEE FAIR.—The Soldiers’ Home Fair, at Milwaukee, opens on the 28th inst.  While in the city, a few days ago, we were shown over the building in which it is to be held.  It is a magnificent structure, situated on Main Street, just below the Newhall House, and is 300 long by 135 feet wide, with corresponding height.  The indications are that the Fair will prove a great success.

DROWNED.—Last Sunday morning, a soldier, named Gotleib Leach,¹ was lost off the Favorite, just below here.  He was drawing a pail of water, when, for some reason, he fell overboard.  The boat was promptly stopped, but he could not be seen.  He belonged to Co. B., 2d Minnesota.

1.  Gotlieb Lieck, born ca. 1841 in Germany, was living in Winsted (McLeod County), Minnesota, when he enlisted on September 27, 1864, in Company B of the 2nd Minnesota Infantry.  He may have actually survived this fall into the river as later sources list him dying in 1897.

1865 June 24: Gordon’s Special Squadron in Havana

June 29, 2015

Report on the U.S. Navy cleaning up after the Civil War comes from the June 24, 1865, issue of The Prescott Journal.  Commodore Gordon’s special squadron left Hampton Roads on May 17, 1865, headed for Cuba and remained one week, leaving Havana on June 6.

Visit of Our Special Fleet to Havana.

HAVANA, June 6, 1865.


The United States steamer Susquehanna, the formidable double-turreted Monitor Monadnock and the gun boats Monticello, Chippewa and Emma Henry, sailed from Hampton Roads on the morning of Wednesday, the 17th of May, reaching Charleston on the 20th and Port Royal the following morning.  Here the monitor Canonicus, the Fahkee and the Wando were added.  The squadron, having coaled, sailed on the morning of the 23rd in search of the Franco-Spanish rebel ram Olinde, better known as Stonewall,¹ the capture or destruction of which was the primary, and, indeed, the sole object of the expedition.

CSS Stonewall

Havana, being the last place at which she was heard from, was of course our immediate place of destination.

As rapidly as practicable, the Special moved southward the monitors especially the Monadnock, nobly ploughing the brine and steaming finely against the Gulf Stream.  The Monadnock is the best seagoing of our wooden vessels of the screw pattern.


At two p. m. of Sunday, the 28th, the Cuban coast was seen  a little to the westward of Matantas; and at sunset the entire squadron lay in the offing in full view of the city of oranges and cigars.  The picture from the sea was rich with grandeur.  The mountains in the background were mellow and majestic in the lambent light of the setting sun.  The Cabano, El Morrow and La Punta, representative of the home government frowned darkly and angrily upon us; while every window of the city looking seaward was radiant with golden glory, borrowed from the departing god of day as though to hail our coming. No vessels being permitted to enter or leave the harbor between sunset and sunrise, the “Special” must need drift about outside until the rising sun should bid us enter.


Early on the morning of Monday, the 26th we passed close under the walls of old Morro, and moved up the harbor in open order, the monitors following next after the flagship. The approach of an American fleet with monitors had been signaled from the tower of El Morro the previous day, and all Havana was on tiptoe to see these iron-clad monsters of the deep.  The quay and shipping, all along the city front, was one dense mass of human beings—of all ranks, colors and conditions—who had come in wild haste, hatless and coatless, from bank and bar and brokers’ boards, from parlor, counting room and store, crying out in wild excitement : “Look !  look !”  “There come the monitors !”  “How formidable they look !”  “Any one of them could whip the Stonewall in less than half an hour !”  “Truly theses Americans are devils !”  “Hurrah for the brave American nation !”

Scarcely had the Monitors anchored ere Dearborn covered boats, by the hundreds, flocked from the shore, on either side of the pent-up harbor, bearing all descriptions of human freight, and much that beggared description, and swarmed around the monitors.  The ferry-boats too (themselves the result of American enterprise, built in Philadelphia,) ran out of their course, that their officers and passengers might have a closer and clearer view of these “concentrated hells,” as one of their poets styled them, in effusion inspired by the occasion.


But these were far less a matter of curiosity to us than the Stonewall, which lay in an arm of the harbor, in full view from our anchorage, with little evidence of life about her, and without a flag to tell her nationality. And what flag could with propriety could cover her?—Not the rebel rag which has floated defiantly on land and sea for the past four years; for the flaming sword of justice and the roaring artillery of righteous retribution have consumed it.—Not the red, yellow and red bandera bearing the royal crown and escutcheon of Spain; for Spain claims not her ownership.  She is but an illegitimate offspring of sensual passion—a bastard child of a base ambition, without country, without home, without owner, and now without purpose.


The rebel Captain Page, who brought her across the Atlantic, finding the cause of his rebel master [Jefferson Davis] defunct, and that rebel leader himself a prisoner in petticoats, with charges of treason and assassination hanging over  his head, deemed “discretion the better part of valor,” and made an ineffectual attempt to sell her to the Spanish authorities at Havana.  Regarding her as a doubtful investment, these officials treated the proposition with merited disdain and stood aloof from her.  Finding this scheme unprofitable, Page succeeds it with a second, in which he proposes to deliver his vessel over to the Spanish authorities on deposit, in consideration of an advance of sixteen thousand dollars ($16,000), with which to pay off his officers and crew, and with the condition that said authorities should in no case deliver her over to the United States or any representative thereof.  This proposition was also rejected; but after being modified by the omission of the condition, and by the consent of Page to have the sum named paid directly to the officers and crew instead of himself, was agreed to, and the sum above named was advanced, the ram being received  thus on deposit until some proper authority should demand her.

The home government was immediately informed by the Captain General of the steps taken, and this information accompanied with the recommendation that the Stonewall be delivered over to the United States government on demand.

Such was the state of affairs upon the arrival of Adm’l Gordon.  Such has been, in substance, the course pursued both by Page and the Spanish officials at Havana.  Such is the present status of the Stonewall, with the addition of the Captain General’s pledge given to Admiral Gordon that she shall not be coaled, provisioned, or furnished with ammunition, nor allowed to proceed to sea until both Spanish and United States governments shall be further heard from concerning her.


Admiral Gordon and Captain Taylor visited Stonewall, in company with the Captain General of Cuba, and found her far less formidable than she had been represented.  They agreed in the opinion that the Susquehanna alone would have proved more than a match for her as she was officered and manned and that the Susquehanna and Monadnock would sink her in less than half an hour.  Nor can she be considered seaworthy.  Her officers, who are still vagabonds in Havana, declare that three times on her passage over, they collected together their personal effects and valuables, and had all the boats prepared for leaving her, she being almost momentarily expected to sink.  Other competent judges, who have visited her, declare her very far inferior, even in offensive power, to representations made of her, and that as a defensive battery, she is little less than a complete failure.


The impression produced by the visit of this squadron to Havana has been very marked.  The Captain General visited the flagship and monitors in company with his entire staff, a token of respect that neither he nor any of his predecessors had ever shown to any foreign man-of-war.  The fluency and elegance with which Admiral Gordon commands the Spanish language gave him a power and influence here that few could have exerted.  The tokens of respect—amounting even to marks of distinction—paid by the Spanish officials were public as well as private and general as well as individual.


On the evening of the 1st inst. the Admiral commanding the station gave a brilliant reception to the officers of the squadron, at which were gathered the beauty and ton of the Spanish society of the island.  Sweet music, tastefully discoursed gave its charms to the occasion, and refreshments in rich variety abounded.  This was followed on Friday evening, the 2nd, by a dinner at the palace of the Captain General, given to Admiral Gordon, his staff and the commanding officers of the vessels composing the squadron.  This was elaborate costly and sumptuous in the extreme. This occasion too, was enlivened by cheery notes of sweetest melody from the best band on the station.


Meanwhile the citizens were by no means idle.  Numerous individuals of American interests and sympathies dispensed their hospitality lavishly to such members of the squadron as could be secured by them at the convenient seasons to receive it.

Among these the reception of Wm. Fairchild, Esq., on the evening of Wednesday, May 30, deserves special mention.  Mr. Fairchild is an American citizen to whose energy and enterprise Havana owes much of her improvements and prosperity.  He has been chiefly instrumental in securing a beautifully constructed passenger railway, extending the entire length of the city, on which first class American cars are drawn by splendid American horses.  Indeed the very granite blocks that pave the streets he has brought from New York.

Every day during the stay of the “Special” at Havana the Dearborn covered boats continued to flock to and swarm around the monitors, the visitors strewing their decks with mangoes, limes, bananas, oranges, pine-apples and genuine Havana sugars.  “Jack” says “God bless the Cubans !” and we all respond “Amen !”


But the crowning feature that marked the good feeling toward us—rather towards the great United States which here, we were supposed to represent—was a magnificent ball given to the officers of the squadron by the Creole, or Cuban portion of the people, on Monday evening the 5th inst., at a beautiful romantic spot, eight miles in the country, called Glorietta Marianao.  This is said to have surpassed everything else of the kind ever seen of the island of Cuba.  The officers who could be spared from the squadron, some fifty in number, were met at the landing by the committee, with carriages and rolantes in which they were conveyed to the depot of the Matanzas Railroad—another American Institution. Tickets had already been furnished us to and fro over the road.  A few minutes’ home-like “riding on a rail” sufficed to bring us to the romantic spot, where were assembled beauty, grace and elegance of the entire city and vicinity, save that which belonged officially to the home government, and even embracing a part of that.  As we entered, the orchestra struck up “Yankee Doodle” with which to welcome us to our friends.  The ball-room was a spacious rectangular building, entirely open on three sides, thus avoiding narrow and dangerous draughts, and was roofed in studded cottage style.  It was brilliantly illuminated and the decoration was truly magnificent.  At the head or closed end of the room, the American and Spanish flags hung side by side, with a small American flag of silk between them—had it been Spanish it would have represented the island of Cuba.  Was it meant to be prophetic?  The studding was entwined, and the ties and braces were festooned with the Star Spangled Banner with small Spanish banderas modestly peeping out here and there at intervals.  Superbly massive boquets [sic] of beautiful flowers standing in large urns mounted on pedestals contributing largely to the ornamentation.  Groves of oranges and bananas surrounded the building, and the fresh air that bathed the beauty and brilliancy of that hall was bountifully laden with the fragrance of the trees and flowers which it had kissed on its way hither.  Refreshments here too superabounded, and were dealt out with a lavish hand.  Wit and mirth ran riot,

“And eyes looked love to eyes that spake again.”

The small hours stole on apace until the clock struck three, when exhausted nature began to assert her rights, and the guests to seek their houses. The orchestra again played “Yankee Doodle;” the Cubans gave three cheers for “The Special Squadron,” which was returned with three for “Havana Society;” and we returned to the cars, the volantes, the boats and the hammocks.

Eight days the “Special Squadron” has been in Havana; eight days devoted to securing the blessings of “peace on earth and good will towards men.”  The words of fraternal affection, the pledges of mutual friendship and the farewells have been given and received; and we are again homeward bound, a little the wiser and none the worse, we trust, for what we have seen and heard in Havanna [sic].

1.  Not to be confused with the 1862 CSS Stonewall Jackson, the 1865 CSS Stonewall was constructed at Bordeaux, France, in 1864, ostensibly for the Danish Government, but really for the Confederates. The image shows the Stonewall leaving Lisbon, Portugal, on March 28, 1865, en route across the Atlantic to America. The line engraving appeared in the May 13, 1865, issue of Harper’s Weekly. The University of Wisconsin-River Falls’ Chalmer Davee Library has microfilm copies of Harper’s Weekly for 1858-1865 (UWRF online catalog).

1865 June 24: General Grant’s Speechmaking, St. Croix Baptist Association’s Resolutions on the War, the Latest from Texas

June 28, 2015

Several shorter articles on a variety of topics from The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal of June 24, 1865.

From The Polk County Press:

Gen. Grant’s Speeches.

One of these days somebody or or [sic] other will be giving us “The Life and Speeches of Ulysses S. Grant.  And some of the orations of the little man of Granite will read as follows:


My friends I thank you for this reception.


Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen :—I rise only to say that I do not intend to say anything.  [Laughter.]  I thank you for your kind words and hearty welcome.  [Applause.]


Gentlemen of the Seventh Regiment, I thank you for this compliment.  Good night.


I never make speeches, and will, therefore, call on Senator Yates to express the thanks which I feel but cannot express.  [Richard Yates]

Thus it will be seen that the man of great deeds is a man of very few words.

THERE are various speculations concerning the effect of the disbandment of the army upon the country.  The precedents in other countries will scarcely apply to this.  Ours is a citizen army, impelled by a patriotic interest in the preservation of the country, to take up arms in its defense.  Many of its members left farms, workshops, and professions, to which they can return.  The action of our armies, both under Gen. Meade [George G. Meade] and Sherman [William T. Sherman], which do not bear a stain fo [sic] rapine or violence, shows that the vicious element in the army is small.—The great majority of those who on disbandment will not be able to resume at once former regular pursuits, will, we think, be desirous to obtain work, and we hope will be cordially assisted to consumate [sic] that desire.  We can already judge something of the disposition of the soldiers, on retirement from the army, by the fact that 100,000 men, who have served in the ranks for a greater or less time, are now absorbed in the community, and we imperceptible as a class.—We believe that a similar result will follow the complete disbandment of the army.  The returned soldiers will, of course have no inconsiderable effect upon the competition of labor and upon the general tone of thought of the community, but will soon melt into the general mass, and become absorbed in the duties of labor and the interests of citizenship.  The theory that a great era of crime is to succeed the disbandment of the army, is insulting to the brave men who have fought our battles.—What the soldier was as a citizen before he went to the war, he will soon be after his return from it.  He never looked upon his life in the army as anything more than an episode, and never surrendered his plan of business and pleasure which before enlistment he had devised for the future.

The London Standard says :

“President Davis [Jefferson Davis], we are happy to say, has not yet fallen into the hands of the sleuth hounds who have been set up on his track.  If the worse should be all him, and his escape be found impossible, it is supposed he will die fighting rather than fall into their hands.  Such a death of such a man would enlist the sympathy of Europe in the cause of a suffering people ;  but his life and leadership would be preferred by that people to his martyrdom.  The spectacle of the heroic leader at bay, with his two thousand followers, among the myriads of the North, disdaining while living to surrender the cause for which he has struggled during these terrible four years, is of such absorbing interest to the civilized world that all political topics pile into insignificance beside it, and the attention of the civilized world is facinated [sic] by it in a longdrawn agony of mingled hopes and fears.”

Realization :  Jeff Davis taken in a woman’s dress about the time the predictor was predicting.

RECEIPT for making trowsers last.—Make the coat and vest first.

From The Prescott Journal:


Passed by the St. Croix Baptist Asso-
ciation, June
14th and 15th, 1865.

RESOLVED, That we owe humble heart felt and profound gratitude to Almighty God, who has brought our country victoriously through the terrible struggle of four years of such civil war as the earth has seldom or never witnessed, leaving us still a proud and honored name and peace among the nations of the earth.

2d.  That in this war the hand of God is plainly visible, visiting and scourging us for all our national sins, and especially for the accursed system of American Slavery, of which both North and South have been guilty ;  and that we accept the favorable termination of the war as an unmistakable providential indication that God means to preserve us a nation, obliterating all traces of Slavery from the land, and fitting us to be more largely instrumental in evangelizing the nations of the earth.

3d.  That in the emancipation of 4,000,000 of bondmen by the fiery or deal through which we have passed, we see some compensation for the untold miseries and sacrifices of the war, culminating as they did in the sudden and violent death of our beloved leader, who stood higher in the hearts of the people than any other since the days of Washington.

4th.  That we execrate the foul crime by which the life of a great and good man was violently taken and the nation deprived of its honored and chosen President, and that we regard with unutterable detestation the vile miscreant, who, in the hands of the slaveholder’s rebellion, was the instrument of its accomplishment.

5th.  That as the ministers and churches of the South were largely guilty in inciting the crimes of Secession, they ought to show a penitent spirit for these heinous offences before we can cordially fellowship and fraternize with them.

6th.  That it is the christian duty of the hour to labor earnestly for the intellectual, moral and religious elevation of the Freedmen, so that they may be fitted for the enjoyment of all their rights, responsibilities and privileges as citizens of these United States, that of suffrage included, and also for the enlightenment and evangelization of the poor whites.

The Battle Flags.

FARNHAM, of the Sparta Eagle, has been visiting the Chicago Fair.  We extract the following eloquent passage from his description of Trophy Hall :

Suspended from the galleries above and floating over the marvelous array of objects that cover the floor of that hall can be seen the tattered banners carried upon almost every battle field of the rebellion.  As we stand within the circle of five hundred battle flags that sweep the hall of trophies, we are led to contemplate what terrible scenes that strange horizon of bloody tattered banners have witnessed; what thunder and clamor of war has rolled around them.  How have they shivered as passing souls went up; how they flared like torches in the face of the foe!  How did the wild aurgea [sic] drift them out to glory !—Amid what clouds and dyings [sic], what bursts of sun and gusts of ringing cheers have they shaken like the wings of an eagle !  And where are the hands that held them, and where are the hearts that loved and vindicated them before God and mankind !  The apostrophe of Morton to the bones of Warren comes to us like a fresh utterance, as we look at them :  “Illustrious relics !  What tidings from the grave !”¹  Uncover the brow and be still, for the dead are here !

NEW YORK, June 17.—The Herald’s correspondent, in the Gulf Department, furnishes interesting accounts of the incidents preceding, attending and following the occupation of Brownsville, Texas, on the 31st ult., by the National troops under Gen. Brown.  The rebel troops, previous to evacuating the place, mutinied, pillaged the town, and made prisoners of some of their officers, until their demands for the payment of their back dues were complied with.

The rebels left the day previous to Gen. Brown’s arrival, not waiting to be paroled, or to comply, in any manner, with the terms of Gen. Kirby Smith’s surrender.  Large numbers of them moved across the Rio Grande, into Mexico, taking with them their arms.—Their artillery they sold to the Mexican Imperialists at Matamoras.

It is said that the last of the rebels were driven from Brownsville by Mexican residents, who organized a home guard for the preservation of order.

Soon after the evacuation commenced, after taking possession of Brownsville, General Brown wrote a letter to General Mejia, the Imperialist commander at Matamoras, assuring him that neutrality would be observed by the American forces in regard to the contest in Mexico between the republicans and imperialists.

It is said that the rebel General Magruder [John B. Magruder], as well as Kirby Smith, has gone to Mexico.  The latter carried with him a considerable amount of money.

On the 2d inst., the rebel Generals Kirby Smith and Magruder were received on board the U. S. steamer Fort Jackson, Capt. Sands, off Galveston, when the articles of surrender of all the rebel trans-Mississippi forces were signed by Gen. Smith.  The next morning the rebel officers were conveyed back to Galveston, and on the 5th inst. Capt. Sands, and other officers, proceeded up to the town, landed, and received its surrender from the hands of the Mayor, and once more unfurled the National flag over the public building, in the presence of a large but undemonstrative and orderly assemblage of people.

1.  From Perez Morton’s (1751-1837) funeral oration for Revolutionary War General Joseph Warren (1741-1775), who had spent the night in the Morton home just before the Battle of Bunker Hill, where he died.

1865 June 24: New Missouri Constitution “declares Missouri a Free State forever”

June 27, 2015

Part reporting, part editorial, this article was printed in the June 24, 1865, issue of The Polk County Press.  For more details on the 1865 Missouri constitution see “Constitution of 1865 — The Drake Constitution” on the Civil War in Missouri website.  They begin with a little history:

  • In 1863, the Missouri General Assembly passed a gradual emancipation order. Over the next two years the order became increasingly unpopular.

  • In 1865, in response to criticism of gradual emancipation, the General Assembly voted for a convention to be held to consider changes to the Missouri Constitution of 1820.

  • The delegates would eventually write a completely new Constitution.

  • Because Charles D. Drake was a vocal and uncompromising Radical Republican and an experienced lawyer, the mostly inexperienced delegates relied on him greatly in the formation of the new Constitution, which became known as the Drake Constitution.

  • The convention lasted from January 6 to April 10, 1865.

The New Missouri Constitution.

There is now no doubt but what the new Missouri Constitution has been adopted by 5,000 majority.—We copy below some of the more important provisions of this instrument :

It declares Missouri a Free State forever.

It establishes the equality of all men before the law.

It prohibits legislation interfering with the personal rights of men on account of their color.

It declairs [sic] that Missouri shall ever remain a member of the American Union.

It excludes from the ballot box and from office, traitors, rebels, rebel sympathizers, guerilla [sic] marauders, bushwhackers, and their aiders and abettors.

It, in like manner excludes Knights of the Golden Circle, Sons of Liberty, and O. A. K.’s.

It, in like manner, excludes those who enrolled themselves as disloyal, or as Southern sympathizers, to avoid military duty.

It provides for an efficient registration of voters, thereby securing the exclusion of illegal voters.

It removes the rule requiring treason to be proved as any other crime.

It invites immigration from Europe, by extending the elective franchise to those persons of foreign birth, who have, more than one year before an election, declaired [sic] their intention according to law, to become citizens of the United States.

It forbids private, local and special legislation, which for thirty years has cursed that State, and brings the State under a uniform system of general laws.

It prohibits lotteries.

It forbids the legislature’s making compensation for emancipated slaves.

It stops the creation of corporations by special acts, with enormous powers, and requires all corporations to be formed under general laws.

It prohibits the creation, renewal, or extension of the charter of any bank of issue.

It protects the interests of the people, by imposing upon stockholders individual liability for the debts of corporations.

It secures an efficient system of common schools, for the free education of the children of the State.

It gives increased facilities for its own amendment, and allows the people a direct vote upon every amendment proposed.

Missouri under this constitution cannot fail to prosper, and will soon prove a formidable rival in commerce and internal improvement, among her Sister Free States.

1865 June 24: Freedmen’s Schools, Quantrill Dies, Applicants for Pardon, and Other News

June 26, 2015

The following news summaries comes from the June 24, 1865, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.

From The Prescott Journal:

General News.

— In England there are large numbers of ladies who have put on mourning for the American President.  [Abraham Lincoln]

— Ex-Secretary [of the Interior] Usher has returned to Indiana.  In the meantime, many of his contractors and appointees are suffering from a lack of recognition at Washington.  [John P. Usher]

— The Freedmen’s Schools of Richmond have been closed on account of the maltreatment and intimidation of the black children by the whites.

— General Halleck, in his reply to General Sherman’s criticism, puts the responsibility on the shoulders of General Grant.  [Henry W. Halleck, William T. Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant]

— Where soldiers have lost legs, feet or arms, in the war, the Government helps them to this extent in getting artificial ones :  $75 for legs ;  $50 for arms ;  $50 for feet.

— The notorious guerrilla, Quantrell [sic], died in the Louisville Military Hospital, on Wednesday, from the effects of a wound received on the 10th of May last.  [William Clarke Quantrill]

— It is said that Booth, Orsini and Charlotte Corday, all selected April 14th for their assassinations, completed or purposed.  [John Wilkes Booth]

— Vallandigham says that the Democratic party lived only eight days after the Chicago nominations, and then died of circumcision.  This is a very ill-temperered [sic] reference to Belmont,¹ and McClellan’s letter of acceptance.  [Clement C. Vallandigham, George B. McClellan]

— It is a fact that President Johnson has directed a suspention [sic] throughout the South of the sales of rebel landed property for non-payment of direct taxes, ordered by the Tax Commissioners in the several States.  It is not known whether such interposition implies a remittance of the penalty of confiscation, or merely a postponement of sale.  [Andrew Johnson]

— The Tribune publishes a formal statement of a Secesh plot, connected in Canada, to blow up the Croton Aqueduct.  The plotters said they would make a glass of water as dear in New York as a glass of whisky [sic] was in Richmond.

— Mrs. General Sherman has a special department in the Chicago Sanitary Fair.  A short time ago she sent an appeal to the pastors of Catholic churches in New York to aid the Fair, and in response collections were taken up by some of them last Sunday, and the amounts promptly sent to her.  General and Mrs. Sherman are Catholics.


NEW YORK, June 17.—Tribune’s special says President Johnson has expressed his regrets that the conspirators were not tried before a civil tribunal.

Orders for the arrest of Ben Wood were telegraphed from Washington.

Times’ special says :  Among the applications for pardon is that of Robert E. Lee and A. H. Stephens.  Mr. Stephens enters at length into apology or vindication, and among other reasons for his course, cites the fact that the Tribune advocated the rights of the southern people to independence, and that he was led to believe it would be accorded them without war.

Union meetings are being held in different parts of Alabama, and National Banks are to be immediately established in Mobile and Montgomery.  In Mobile, as well as the other southern cities, President Johnson’s amnesty proclamation excited much interest and discussion.

The President’s Amnesty Proclamation created much excitement in New Orleans.  The classes excepted from pardon were more numerous than had been expected.

Large numbers of paroled rebel officers, as well as soldiers, have recently arrived in New Orleans, and settled down to the quiet routine of private life.  General Beauregard [P.G.T. Beauregard] and Dick Taylor [Richard Taylor] have been, for some time, resid[ing] in the vicinity of the city, awaiting the proceedings of the Government in their cases.

From The Polk County Press:

[this column was reprinted in the July 1st issue]

— Most of the iron clads are to be laid up in Delaware River.

— Major General C. C. Washburn has returned to his home in La X [La Crosse].

— The rebel Secretary of State, Judah P. Benjamin, is reported to have arrived at Bermuda.

— The traitor Breckinridge is reported to have run the blockade from Florida, and to have reached Cuba.  [John C. Breckinridge]

— Passenger trains have commenced running on the Atlanta & Nashville Railroad from Atlanta to Chattanooga.

— It is stated by a Montreal paper that ten Southern rebels have ten millions of dollars deposited in banks in that city.

— A letter has been received at Madison, from the 11th Wisconsin, endorsing Gen. Lucius Fairchild, as the Union candidate for Governor next fall.

— C. L. Vallandigham has written a letter acknowledging his error in opposing the war for the Union, and expressing his satisfaction that slavery is dead.  Reason—the Canada rebels have suspended payment.  [Clement L. Vallandigham]

— Whenever a vacancy occurs in any of the departments at Washington the place is kept open until some worthy wounded officer or soldier is found to fill the position.

— Official returns at the War Department show that the number of deaths in our army during the war, aggregated three hundred and fifty thousand.  This is but an item in the terrible price paid for national union.  Should not the leading traitors be hung.

— The President issued on the 13th a proclamation removing all restrictions upon trade with the South, except articles contraband of war, and removing liabilities and disqualifications consequent upon the the [sic] rebellion in Tennessee.

— Free labor is getting popular in North Carolina, and even the startling proposition to permit negroes to vote is discussed in all seriousness, and not one of its advocates seems to be in peril of his life.  War makes wonderful changes.

—  The Nashville Dispatch says :

“The Mexican dollars, in which Jeff. Davis paid off his body guard, are jingling around the city to quite an extent.  They were sold on the streets at one dollar and fifty cents, with any number of purchasers.”

1.  August Belmont, Samuel Barlow, and newspaper editors Manton Marble and William Prime directed McClellan’s 1864 presidential campaign.
August Belmont (1813-1890) was a German-American politician, financier, foreign diplomat, and party chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 1850s. Belmont is attributed with single-handedly transforming the position of party chairman from a previously honorary office to one of great political and electoral importance, creating the modern American political party’s national organization. After the Civil War, Belmont became a horse-breeder and racehorse owner. He established the Belmont Park racecourse on Long Island, New York, and is the namesake of the Belmont Stakes, the third jewel of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown.

1865 June 24: Alphabetical Record of the Rebellion

June 25, 2015

The following—taken from an unnamed exchange newspaper—was published in The Prescott Journal of June 24, 1865.

Alphabethical [sic] Record of the Rebellion.

An exchange publishes the following :

A — Stands for Andersonville—the ghastly monument of the most revolting outrage of the century.

B — Stands for Booth—let his memory be swallowed up in oblivion.  [John Wilkes Booth]

C — Stands for Canada—the asylum of skedadlers [sic], and the nest in which foul traitors have hatched their eggs of treason.

D — Stands for Davis—the most eminent low comedian, in the female character, of the age.  [Jefferson Davis]

E — Stands for England—an enemy in our adversity ;  a sycophant in our prosperity — (Music by the band ;  air Yankee Doodle)

F — Stands for Freedom—the bulwark of the nation.

G — Stands for Grant—the undertaker who officiated at the burial of the rebellion.  [Ulysses S. Grant]

H — Stands for Hardee—his tactics couldn’t save him.  [William J. Hardee]

I — Stands for Infamy—the spirit of treason.

J — Stands for Justice—give it to the traitors.

K — Stands for Kearsarge—for further particulars see Winslow’s Soothing Syrup.  [USS Kearsarge]

L — Stands for Lincoln—we mourn his loss.  [Abraham Lincoln]

M — Stands for Mason—(more music by the band ;  air, “There came to the beach a poor exile,”¹ etc., etc.)

N — Stand for nowhere the present location of the C. S. A.

O — Stands for “O dear, what can the matter be?”  For answer to this question, apply to Kirby Smith.

P — Stands for peace—nobly won by the gallant soldiers of the Union.

Q — Stands for Quantell [sic]—one of the gorrillas [sic] in the rebel menagerie.  [William Clarke Quantrill]

R — Stands for Rebellion—which is no longer able to stand for itself.

S — Stands for Sherman—he has a friend and vindicator in Grant.  [William T. Sherman]

T — Stands for Treason—with a halter around its neck.

U — Stands for Union—“Now and forever, one and inseperable [sic].”

V — Stands for Victory—Further explanation is unnecessary.

W — Stands for Washington—The nation is true to his memory.

X — Stands for Xtradition—English papers please copy.

Y — Stands for Young America—who stands by the Union.

Z — Stands for Zodiac—the stars are all there.  (Music by the band —

“The Star Spangled Banner, o long may it wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home  of the brave.”

1.  The first line of a poem by Thomas Campbell entitled The Exile of Erin. The full line is, “There came to the beach a poor Exile of Erin.”


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