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1864 January 30: A Summary of the War News from the Polk County Press

January 30, 2014

The following summary of the past week’s news comes from the January 30, 1864, issue of The Polk County Press.

The News.

Richmond has been evacuated, by telegraph once more, but this time the antidote comes with the poison.  Gen. BUTLER [Benjamin F. Butler] received a dispatch while in Washington from Fort Warren, saying that the Confederacy had taken its archives and departed to South Carolina.  An investigation proved the reports false, though it is alleged this movement is contemplated.

Nothing of importance has been transacted in either branch of Congress.  The whiskey tax is still the prominent feature of the House proceedings.

The Senate has passed the Conscription Act with important amendments.  It now provides that a drafted man who pays $300, is exempted till every other man in the district is drafted, when he is again liable.—Both the classes are consolidated, and exemptions of an only son of a widow, father of motherless children, &c., are stricken out.  The bill is now acceptable to the House and Military Committee.

CHARLES A. DANA has been appointed Assistant Secretary of War.

Fourteen rebel officers, including Capt. J. S. LEE, nephew of Gen. LEE, have been sent from the Old Capitol to Fort McHenry for confinement.

Hon. JOHN KERR,¹ of Maryland, has been nominated by the President, to the Senate, for confirmation as Deputy Solicitor of the U. S. Court of Claims, in place of RICHARD BATES, resigned.

The wholesale rebel conscription law is creating great consternation and excitement in the western portion of the Sate of North Carolina.  Preparations are being made to resist it.  Meetings are being held at which the Southern Confederacy is openly repudiated, and return to the Union favored.

LEE’S army in Virginia [Robert E. Lee], with LONGSTREET’S forces [James Longstreet], is estimated at 60,000.

The number of troops west of the Mississippi, is estimated at 30,000—Gen. S. D. LEE [Stephen D. Lee] commands the cavalry in Mississippi, and has 17,000 troops, 5,000 under FURGERSON at Oklahoma, 5,000 at Oxford.  Two regiments of the Port Hudson prisoners have been declared exchanged and supplied with arms.

Gold is worth 58 cents in New York.

1.  John Bozeman Kerr (1809-1878) was a lawyer from Baltimore who served Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1849 to 1851; was appointed by President Millard Fillmore Chargé d’Affaires to Nicaragua and served from 1851 to 1853; and was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as one of the solicitors in the Court of Claims in Washington, D.C., serving  from February 1864 to June 1868.

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