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1864 January 30: News Items from the Southern Press

February 1, 2014

Lacking much Union war news, The Prescott Journal published on January 30, 1864, a column of news items taken from Southern newspapers.

Items from Rebel Journals

The following items are from the latest files of Richmond papers received at Washington, which come down to the 15th inst.

— The Army correspondent of the Atlanta Intelligener, says:

“On Dec. 28th, two corps of the enemy left Chattanooga en route to Virginia, to reinforce Meade.”  [George G. Meade]

“A division of infantry has gone towards Nashville, so be distributed to guard the railroad.

“The Federal brigade at Stephenson is in winter quarters, and there is a large force at Bridgeport, where the enemy is accumulating large supplies.

“There is a Federal regiment at Trenton, Tenn., and 150 cavalry near the State line of Georgia and Tennessee, twelve miles from Trenton, who are scouting day and night on Sand Mountain, from opposite Bellefonte to Bridgeport.”

— Seven thousand copper pennies were sold in Chesterfiele, Va., on the 13th inst., at $47 per hundred.

— A dispatch from Abingdon, Southwest Virgina, reports the capture of “400 of the Yankees infesting that country.”

— The Ashville (N. C.) News reports an engagement with 300 “tories” in Cook county, Tenn.

— The fruits of Lee’s and Ross’¹ recent raid towards the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad are claimed to be 500 cattle, 300 horses, 30 wagons, 320 mules, and about 100 Yankees.

— The Raleigh Journal says that “Lincoln gold is being freely used in North Carolina to betray the Southern people into the hands of the Yankees,” and suspects that prominent persons and newspapers are engaged.

— The Atlanta Appeal of the 8th says: “In the late cavalry fight near Charlestown, Tennessee, our troops were stampeded.  A large portion of our loss was occasioned by the stampede, our men and horses running over, killing and wounding each other in their fright.  Our loss is variously estimated as from 65 to 200 men, and the same number of horses.

— A bill passed the Rebel Congress on the 20th, making appropriations “for the support of the government of the Confederate States of America, ” for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1864, as follows :  For compensation and mileage of the members of the Senate and House, $297,00 ;  President, 12,500 ;  Treasury Department, $476, 000 ;  interest on the public debt, $20,000,000 ;  engraving Treasury notes and bonds, $80,000 ;  rent of President’s house, $15,000 ;  for expenses of keeping and transporting coin belong to New Orleans $509 ;  War Department, $240,000 ;  Commissioner of Indian Affairs, $2,125 ;  Quartermaster’s Department, for pay of army, &c., $313,745 ;  support of prisoners of war, $1,000,000 ;  Commissary Department, $5, 798,800 ;  Ordinance Department, $1,000,000 ;  Medical, $16,820,000 ;  Navy, $112,495 for construction for cruisers, of the class of the Alabama and Florida, in the Confederate States, $2, 000,000.  Appropriations in keeping with the shore are also made for the Departments of State, Justice, Postoffice [sic] and Indian Affairs.

— The Petersburg (Va.) Express of the 14th, says: “The Yankees are concentrating a large force at Portsmouth.  There are now there about 1,000 negroes, infantry, besides a battalion of mounted men.  It is supposed that a raid is contemplated towards the Blackwater.  No Yankees have recently visited Suffolk, but pickets are still at Jericho Run, two miles below the town, and a camp of cavalry is kept at Bernard’s Mills.”

— In reference to the exchange of prisoners, the Richmond Enquirer of the 15th says: “Butler [Benjamin F. Butler] is an outcast, and never can be recognized as entitled to the privileges accorded to a foe taken in lawful warfare; yet it may become a question whether our government should not consult the feelings of the Confederate soldiers now lingering in Northern dungeons, and take the earliest practicable opportunity of releasing them.  Treating with Butler should not release the pitiful wretch from the ban of outlawry pronounced against him ;  but catching is before hanging.  He could, however, be executed, and doubtless will be by the Confederate officer in whose hands he may chance to fall.”

— The Enquirer, speaking of the announcement of the re-enlistments of so many Federal troops for the war, says: “The action of the enemy in this matter is important to us.  The preservation of their organization shows that they intend to move forward at the earliest practicable moment in the spring.  If they will not sacrifice an organization which has stood the ordeal of two years campaigning, can we afford to hazard the experiment of opening the spring campaign under officers recently organized, with companies unaccustomed to association, and men strangers to each other?  We shall need every energy of national defense for the spring campaign.  Richmond will, in all probability, be approached from the Rappahannock, as well as from the Blackwater.  In Northern Georgia the fate of Atlanta, and in South Carolina that of Charleston and Savannah, and in North Carolina that of Wilmington, all must be decided in the spring.”

— The Atlanta Confederacy of the 5th, says:  “Gen. Armstrong’s² and Martin’s³ divisions of Gen. Wheeler’s [Joseph Wheeler] corps are at Bean’s Station, East Tennessee, where they are continually having heavy skirmishes with the enemy.  Four or five days ago, a squad of our men captured a lot of Yankee clothing, and were in the act of draping themselves in the captured property, when they were recaptured by the Yankees, who, finding them in Yankee clothing, contrary to their published orders, led them out for the purpose of shooting them.  Just at this time the 4th and 7th Alabama regiments of cavalry arrived upon the spot, and charged them, but not in time to save our men, who were shot down in cold blood.  The ruthless villains escaped.  A few days afterward the regiments above alluded to caught fifteen or twenty Yankees, and shot them in retaliation.”

1.  Lawrence Sullivan Ross (1838-1898) was a Texas Ranger before the Civil War and in 1860 led troops in the Battle of Pease River. When Texas seceded, he joined the Confederate State Army and became one of the youngest Confederate generals. He participated in 135 battles and skirmishes. After the War, he participated in the 1875 Texas Constitutional Convention, was a state senator, and in 1887 became the 19th Texas governor (1887-1891). After leaving office he became president of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (Texas A&M).
2.  Frank Crawford Armstrong (1835-1909) was a captain in the regular army by the time the Civil War began and he led a company of Union cavalry at the First Battle of Bull Run. He then resigned his commission and joined the Confederate Army. In 1863 Armstrong was elected colonel of the 3rd Louisiana Infantry Regiment; was given command of General Sterling Price’s cavalry; and was promoted to brigadier general. He commanded a cavalry division under General Nathan B. Forrest at the Battle of Chickamauga. In February 1864, Armstrong transferred to the command of General Stephen D. Lee and he was assigned command of a brigade of Mississippi cavalry.  Armstrong and his men served in the Atlanta Campaign, before participating in General John B. Hood’s disastrous campaign. He saw action during the campaign against Murfreesboro, and led much of Forrest’s rear guard after the Hood’s defeat at the Battle of Nashville. In March, Armstrong was assigned to the defenses of Selma, Alabama, one of the Confederacy’s last remaining industrial centers, and on April 2, 1865, his troops participated in efforts to defend the town against a much larger Union force under General James H. Wilson. Armstrong was captured later that day. After the Civil War, because of his frontier and military experience, he served as United States Indian Inspector (1885-1889), and was the Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1893 to 1895).
3.  William Thompson Martin (1823-1910) was a lawyer in Mississippi before the Civil War. He opposed secession, but still raised a cavalry troops for the Confederacy. He quickly rose to colonel and then brigadier general, serving in the Western Theater. He was cavalry commander under James Longstreet at Knoxville and after Longstreet’s return to the east, Martin was promoted to major general. He led a division under Joseph Wheeler at Atlanta and rose to command of the military district of Northwest Mississippi by the time the war ended. After the War he returned to his law practice, served in the Mississippi state senate, and was the president of the Natchez, Jackson, and Columbus railroad.

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