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1863 January 21: The Latest War News from the Prescott Journal

January 24, 2013

This week’s war news consists of a series of small news notes.  They are from the January 21, 1863, issue of The Prescott Journal.


— General Halleck [Henry W. Halleck] has issued an important order, that rebel officers shall not be released on parole.

— There is nothing satisfactory from the army of the Potomac; but from all the indications, we think that a great battle will be fought in the vicinity of Fredericksburg before many days.

— A Washington dispatch to New York says that the President [Abraham Lincoln] is preparing a special message to Congress against the issue of any more legal tender notes.

— The currency question and the subject of arbitrary arrest continue to occupy the attention of Congress.

— All United States officers captured after the 20th of January are to be handed over to Governors of Southern States, to be dealt with according to their respective laws against negro insurrections, or enticing slaves from their masters, which crimes in most instances are punishable with death.

— We have a report that the Army of the Potomac is in motion, and has crossed the Rappahannock, and that a battle is expected.

— Gen. McClernand’s dispatch [John A. McClernand] shows that the capture of Arkansas Post was quite a brilliant affair.  He has from seven to ten thousand prisoners, and a large amount of military stores.


— Longstreet [James Longstreet] supersedes Bragg [Braxton Bragg], and with an additional force of thirteen brigades fresh from the battle field of Fredricksburg, is preparing to measure strength with Rosecrans [William S. Rosecrans].

— Ben Wade has been nominated by the Union Caucus at Columbus, for United States Senator of Ohio.

— The Charleston Mercury publishes a table in which it concedes the death, on the battle field, in hospital, &[c.] of one hundred thousand men, since the war commenced.

Tom Thumb's "Fairy Wedding," February 10, 1863 (see footnote 1)

Tom Thumb’s “Fairy Wedding” (cropped), from the Smithsonian (see footnote 1)

— Gen. Tom Thumb, and Miss Lavinia Warren were married at Trinity Church, New York on the 14th.  The audience was very large and the  scene very imposing.¹

— Gen. Butler [Benjamin F. Butler] met with a very narrow escape from death, on Saturday morning. The [railroad] car in which he was riding from New York to Boston was smashed and every seat in it broken, but he was unhurt.

— The vote in the Illinois Legislature for U. S. Senator stood 13 in the Senate and 53 in the House for W. A. RICHARDSON to 10 in the Senate and 57 in the House for Gov. YATES [Richard Yates].

— Gen. Rosecrans has established his headquarters in Murfressboro, in the very house in which the guerilla [sic] chief Morgan [John Hunt Morgan] was recently married by Bishop Gen. Polk [Leonidas Polk], in the presence of Jeff Davis.

— Those persons, no matter what party they may claim to belong to, who are trying to prepare the public mind for a reconstruction of the Union, leaving out New England, are no better than other rebels.—Louisville Journal

— An Ohio editor publishes a table of marriage statistics in that State.  That’s the Ohio multiplication table.—Prentice.

— There are thirty-two regiments of two years volunteers from New York.  Their term of service will expire in April and May.  The nine months men of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania will be at liberty in the spring.

— Major Slemmer [Adam J. Slemmer], who was dangerously wounded at Murfreesboro, is the same officer that saved Fort Pickens to the Union.  His exploits were of even more service then the retention of Fort Sumpter [sic] by Major Anderson, yet in the distribution of Brigadier Generalships Major Slemmer has been strangely overlooked.

— Gov. Tod,² of Ohio, in his annual message recomends [sic] the passage of a law enabling soldiers who have enlisted from that state and are citizens to vote.

— Richard Yeadon of Charleston, S. C. who distinguished himself some years age by a highfalutin address of welcome to Edward Everett, offers a reward of $50,000 to any man who will capture Gen. Butler dead or alive.

— The Greene ( New York) American says that on Friday last, as the scholars of a school two miles south of Lanesboro, Pennsylvania, were on a mill pond, the ice gave way and 31 out of 89 were drowned.

— Rev. Herman Beecher, father of Henry Ward Beecher, died on Saturday night last. His son announced the decease at the conclusion of Sunday morning discourse.

Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania has introduces a bill in Congress to organize a military force of 130,000 negroes to serve against rebels, their pay to be $10 for non-commissioned officers and $5 for privates.  Commissioned officers to be white men with usual pay.

— The speech of Gov. Morton [Oliver P. Morton] at the Union Meeting in Indianapolis, displays his true Jackson spirit” and every loyal man will if neccessary, rally under the stars and stripes, to crush the traitors whether North or South, who rise up at the life of the nation.

The Republican must live, even though Slavery dies.

1.  Charles Sherwood Stratton (1838-1883), known as General Tom Thumb, was a performer for P.T. Barnum. In 1863 he wed another Barnum employee, Lavinia Warren (1841-1919). The actual wedding took place on February 10 (not January 14), 1863, at Grace Episcopal Church (not Trinity Church) in New York City. The wedding captured the public’s imagination and provided a much-needed diversion for a nation weary of the War.
This photograph was taken in Mathew Brady’s studio where a painted backdrop was used to simulate the church. The photo is from the Smithsonian Institution and is available online at CivilWar@Smithsonian.
2.  David Tod (1805-1868) was the 25th governor of Ohio. He was a Democrat who supported the war effort and gained the nickname “the soldier’s friend.”

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