1863 January 24: “Movement of the Army of the Potomac is predicted within a few days”
The following comes from the January 24, 1863, issue of The Polk County Press.
Our forces have achieved a splendid victory in Arkansas, by capturing a place called Arkansas Post, killing and wounding 500 rebels and taking from 5,000 to 7,000 prisoners. Arkansas Post is situated on the left bank of the Arkansas river, about 30 miles from its mouth, and 117 south-east of Little Rock.
A movement of the Army of the Potomac is confidently predicted within a few days.
The disaster at Galveston caused much depression at New Orleans. Admiral FARRAGUT [David G. Farragut] has sent a fleet to recapture the Harriet Lane,¹ and destroy the rebel vessels. The Harriet Lane is probably at sea before this, endeavoring to emulate the exploits of the Alabama.
A general system of practice under the confiscation act has been devised, and will soon be put in operation.
The legislature of Indiana, by resolution, calls for a National convention, demands an Armistice, and refuses to pay taxes to liberate slaves. The ultraism² of Congress and the Abolition legislatures of some of the States, find in Indiana very fair imitators of their impolitic measures in another direction.
The opposition to negro immigration into Illinois has induced the passage of a bill to punish by imprisonment such “loyal Africans” as may come into the State, and for their sale afterwards.
Four more steamers have been burned on the Cumberland River, near Fort Donelson, and no steamers can ascend the river unless protected by gunboats.
The Governor of Illinois [Richard Yates] made an effort in his late message to tell all that he knew. He managed to fill a bout fifteen columns of the hapless Chicago newspapers. The proof readers and the Clerks of the Illinois Assembly have the advantage of the rest of mankind in reading the whole thing.
Gov. ANDREW³ has received the proffer of a full cavalry battalion, to consist of four companies from California. The question of their acceptance is now pondering at Washington.
Capt. FOOTE, commanding about a hundred men, attacked a camp of three hundred men, attacked a camp of three hundred rebels at Huntoon’s Mills, thirty-five miles east of Fort Pillow, on the morning of the 8th. The rebels were completely surprised, sixteen of them killed, forty-six taken prisoners, and fifty horses, and a lot of small arms captured. Two federals were wounded. The 4th battalion was absent from the fort only twenty-seven hours.4
Advices received from reliable parties in New Orleans state that three regiments of negro soldiers was being organized to garrison Forts Jackson and St. Phillip, on the Mississippi, between the Balize [sic] and the city, and Fort Pike, on Lake Ponchatrain [sic].
Admiral FARRAGUT was busy arranging an expedition against the town of Hudson, near Vicksburg, which the rebels have fortified in a formidable manner. It was thought that BANKS [Nathaniel P. Banks] would land forces and co-operate with the fleet by a land attack.
Senator CHANDLER has been re-elected United States Senator for the term of six years, from Michigan.5
Hon. W. A. RICHARDSON has been elected to the United States Senate from Illinois.6
1. The Harriet Lane was a revenue cutter, named for the niece of President James Buchanan.
2. Extremism, especially in politics or government.
3. John Albion Andrew (1818-1867) was the 25th governor of Massachusetts between 1861 and 1866. He had strong opinions on emancipation and was receptive to the idea of using ex-slaves and freemen as soldiers. Of interest, he was a distant cousin of President Abraham Lincoln, and was preceded in office by General Nathaniel P. Banks.
4. The New York Times of January 12, 1863, identified this as Captain Moore. Probably Franklin Moore, who was involved in actions around Fort Pillow in 1863.
5. Zachariah Chandler (1813-1879) was mayor of Detroit (1851-52), a four-term U.S. Senator from Michigan (1857-1875, 1879), and Secretary of the Interior (1875-1877) under U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. During the Civil War and Reconstruction, Senator Chandler was a leading Radical Republican, advocating strong prosecution of the Union War effort, the end of slavery, and civil rights for African Americans.
6. William Alexander Richardson (1811-1875) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois (1847-1856), first elected to the 30th Congress to fill Stephen A. Douglas’ seat; Territorial governor of Nebraska in 1858; elected again to Congress (served 1861-1863); and finally elected to the U.S. Senate, again filling Stephen Douglas’ old seat, serving from January 12, 1863 to 1865.