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1864 January 16: Little War News in the Dead of Winter

January 16, 2014

The following article is from the January 16, 1864, issue of The Polk County Press.

The News.

— The rebels are to be brought to terms for refusing to recognize Gen. Butler [Benjamin F. Butler] as an officer, in exchange negotiations.  All the rebel prisoners are to be placed under his charge, and no one else will be authorized to make exchanges.

— Rebel movements in the Shenandoah Valley are exciting some apprehensions, though the reports are said to be exaggerated.  The enemy have six or seven thousand men near Woodstock, but it is thought Generals Sulivan [sic: Jeremiah C. Sullivan] and Averill [sic: William W. Averell] will be able to take care of them.

— A captured letter written at Charleston, intimates pretty broadly that the city is mined, so that in case it should fall into our possession it could be destroyed with its conquerors.  The letter shows how terrible a penalty the doomed city is paying.

— Among the Christmas gifts mentioned in the Hartford papers are coffins!  Cheerful, very.

— The impression at Washington is, that the Democratic National Convention will not be held until July, and that Chicago will be the place.

— Gen. Burnside [Ambrose E. Burnside] has been induced to withdraw his resignation, and it is thought he will be reappointed to the command of the Department of Ohio.

— The Ohio Legislature organized on Monday, and Governor Tod [David Tod] sent in his message.  We learn by it that Ohio has furnished 200,671 soldiers since the war commenced.

— It is a noticeable circumstance that of all the five ships sent in pursuit of the stolen ship Chesapeake, the Ella and Annie, a vessel lately added to our Navy by capture, is the successful one.

— Mr. Niles, C. S. A., has introduced a bill into the rebel Congress, providing for retaining in the Confederate armies all the soldiers now in the service until the close of the war.  This looks very much like a grab game.

— Not a single steamer under the American flag now sails between the United States and Europe.  There are about fifty under foreign flags.—English “neutrality,” alias Confederate piracy, has its perfect work.  So says an Eastern paper.

— According to the Washington correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger, the reclamations claimed by the French Government from that of the United States, for damages sustained by French citizens during the war—mainly at New Orleans—amount to the modest sum of $66,000,000.—Don’t they wish they may get it.

— Adj. Gen. Thomas [Lorenzo Thomas], it is stated, has put in the field on the lower Mississippi, 26,000 drilled slaves.  These are in due proportions of artillery, infantry and cavalry.  The latter are mounted on mules.  It would be worth while to see one of these mule mounted African squadrons on dress parade!  The gleam of ivory and show of cars must have a stunning effect.  General Banks [Nathaniel P. Banks] has 17,000 of these negro troops in his Department.  It is expected he will greatly increase this force in Texas.

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