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1864 April 9: If General Grant “achieves brilliant and decisive victories” during the Summer Campaigns, Lincoln Will Win Re-Election, Plus Other News

April 9, 2014

From the April 9, 1864, issue of The Polk County Press.

(We condense the weekly telegraphic despatches, as they appear in the St. Paul Pioneer and Press, giving a summary of each day’s report, commencing each weekly summary where we left off the week before, and thus giving our readers a continuous chain of the most important news.)


From the Pioneer, March 31st.

— Richmond papers of the 25th say a large federal force under Burnside [Ambrose E. Burnside] has landed at Washington, North Carolina.  Burnside was in Chicago on the 18th, and could not have been in North Carolina on the 25th, but it is quite likely that a portion of his Corps (the Ninth,) which was ordered to rendezvous at Annapolis, may have arrived, and is destined for important work in connection with Grant’s operation [Ulysses S. Grant].

— The statement is again made of exertions in Washington to postpone the meeting of the Republican National Convention from June to September, and from Baltimore to Philadelphia.  This movement is instigated by members of Congress opposed to Mr. Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln].  They argue, and with some plausibility, that if the result of the summer campaign is unfavorable, that Mr. Lincoln’s chances of election will be very slim, and that if Gen. Grant achieves brilliant and decisive victories, he will be borne into the Presidential chair by irrepressible popular enthusiasm, despite all the previous arrangements of political wire-pullers.

— Forrest, on the 20th, was reported eight miles back of Columbus.— His captures at Union City numbered only 250 men.  [Nathan B. Forrest]

— An express train which left Louisville on Monday, guarded by seventeen soldiers, was captured by ten guerrillas, and two passenger cars burned.  The cowardly seventeen surrendered to ten without firing a gun.  Kentucky is now under command of General Burbridge [Stephen G. Burbridge], and if half of what we have heard of this officer is true, we may expect that the whole state will be overrun before long.

— Gen. Grant has reviewed a portion of the Army of the Potomac, and was enthusiastically received.

— There is a story (for the marines) about an encampment of Unionists in central Florida, and engagements they have had with the rebels, &c.— Gen. Seymour had a taste of Florida.  Unionism a few weeks ago, and we are inclined to the opinion that this encampment is composed of the same material.  [Truman Seymour]

— Gen. Banks has degraded from his rank, and confined at Dry Tortugas, an officer of the regular army, attached to the Corps d’ Afrique, for an attempted violation of powerless women.  Gen. Banks well observes that the country does not wish in its service men who disgrace the uniform they wear.  [Nathaniel P. Banks]

Friday, April 1st.

— There has been a serious affray at Charleston, Cole County, Illinois between the “Copperheads” and Union citizens and soldiers.  Several persons have been killed and wounded.  The commencement of the affair seems to have been accidental, but later reports say the “Copperheads” are entrenching at various places.— This, however, is a favorable indication, that their ability to do mischief is not very great.  The section where the affair occurred is largely settled by Kentuckians, Virginians, North Carolinians, and their descendents, and there are many among them who are rebels at heart.  Thousands of troops have been sent to the scene of action, and the rebels will soon be attended to as they deserve.

— A bill has been introduced into the U. S. Senate to pap the costs of the Minnesota Indian War.

— General Florida-blundre-Seymour has returned to Hilton Head, having been relieved of his command by Gen. Hatch.  [John P. Hatch]

—The great Copperhead riot is not quite as serious as first reported.

— Gen. GRANT and “BALDY” SMITH  have gone down to Fortress Monroe.  [William F. Smith]

— Gens. Buell, Negely, McCook, Crittenden, Newton,¹ Sykes, and ten Brigadiers, have been ordered to report to Gen. Sherman.  General Buell relieves Gen. Schofield in East Tennessee.

— There is a rumor that Gilmore is about heading in person another movement in Florida.  [sic: Quincy A. Gillmore]

—The World predicts offensive movements on the part of the rebels this spring.  An invasion is to be made in two columns, one against Cincinnati, and another into Pennsylvania.

— Natchitoches, La., has been captured, and a sufficient amount of cotton to cause a decline in the price of that article in New Orleans.

1.  John Newton (1822-1895) was a graduate of West Point and a career military officer with the Corps of Engineers. He taught engineering at the Military Academy (1843-1846) and constructed fortifications along the Atlantic coast and Great Lakes (1846-1852).  Newton helped construct Washington defenses and participated in the Peninsula Campaign, and the battles of South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and the Chancesllorsville Campaign, where he was wounded. At the Battle of Gettysburg, he replaced the slain General John F. Reynolds in command of the I Corps and led it through the defense of Pickett’s Charge. He retained command of I Corps until the Army of the Potomac was reorganized in 1864, when he was sent to the Army of the Cumberland. In the Atlanta Campaign he served under Sherman, who regarded him highly. At the Battle of Peachtree Creek (July 20, 1864), he prevented a dangerous Confederate movement against Sherman and his rapidly constructed works allowed him to turn back the Confederate thrust. After the capture of Atlanta, Newton left active field duty and commanded the District of Key West and the Tortugas of the Department of the Gulf from 1864 to 1866. His last campaign resulted in a defeat at the Battle of Natural Bridge (March 6, 1865) in Florida. After the War he returned to the Corps of Engineers and in 1884 was appointed Chief Engineer.

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