1864 April 30: Small Fights All Around, and Other War-Related News Items
The following “News Items” column is from the April 30, 1864, Prescott Journal.
Quarantine will be rigidly enforced below New Orleans after May 1st.
An Alexandria letter of the 9th says the rebels are burning all the cotton on the Red and Ouchita [sic] rivers.
An unsuccessful attempt was made by the rebels on the 17th to decoy and capture the steamer Luminary, 35 miles below Memphis.
The Senate military committee reported against the House bill giving $25 bounty to 9 months’ men.
A letter states that the Confederate Minister, Gen. Preston,¹ will leave Havana for Vera Cruz about the 22d inst., and there await the arrival of Maximillian [sic].
The Inquirer has a letter from Norfolk, giving particulars of a rebel attack on Plymouth and an assault on Fort Gray. The rebels were repulsed with fearful slaughter.
Ten more wounded at Fort Pillow, picked up a few days since from a hiding place where they had been suffering since the battle, have been brought up to the Mound City hospital.
A force of 400 Texas cavalry attempted to surprise a camp of 24 Federals at Cassville, on the Arkansas river but were repulsed with a loss of 12 killed and a large number wounded. Our loss was 8 killed.
Gen. Sherman [William T. Sherman] has directed Gen. Hurlbut [Stephen A. Hurlbut] to report at Cairo. This probably indicates some change in the 16th army corps. It is probable that Gen. Buckland² will be again left in command at Memphis and the vicinity.
The naval investigating committee have nearly concluded their labors. The report of the majority will doubtless exonerate the Department, while Senator Hale will probably make a minority report on corruption in making contracts.
On the 14th Corporal Phelps, of gunboat No. 28, captured a rebel mail carrier near Crocket’s bluff, Arkansas, with 500 letters from Richmond and other parts, and 60,000 percussion caps for Price’s army [Sterling Price]. The letters contained official communications for Shreveport and considerable federal money.
The Inquirer says that rebel deserters who arrived in Washington, state that Lee’s force [Robert E. Lee] on the Rapidan is 60,000. Longstreet [James Longstreet] was at Charlotteville [sic] marching toward Staunton for the purpose of advancing down the Shenandoah valley. Lee’s army had received seven days rations for a forward movement.
The Times’ Washington special says : It is reported that Gen. Gilmore [sic: Quincy A. Gillmore] is recalled from Charleston and ordered on service elsewhere. It is not unlikely, notwithstanding this change, that our ironclads will be alongside the Charleston wharf before summer is gone. Gen Hatch has been mentioned as the successor of Gilmore.
Rev. Colin FAIRBANKS, who was implicated with Delia Webster in enticing slaves from Kentucky several years since, and who had served 18 years of the sentence of 15 years in the Frankfort penitentiary, was pardoned by Lieut. Gov. Jacobs, while performing executive duties during Gov. Bramlette’s absence from the state [Thomas E. Bramlette].
The 5th and 19th Miss., 2d and 18th Mo., 2d Tenn., and a regiment of Texan rangers are known to have contributed a part of the rebel force engaged in the Fort Pillow massacre. The rebels acknowledged a loss of 10 killed and 50 wounded, but there are evidences of its having been much greater.
A Norfolk letter of the World says the late mission of the rebel commissioner Ould [Robert Ould] to Fortress Monroe was to ask Butler [Benjamin F. Butler] to send up for the very sick prisoners at Richmond who are too far gone to be removed South. 586 have since arrived at Old Point, of whom Ould said he would consider it almost a miricle [sic] if our government succeeded in saving half.
According to the Raleigh Progress the people of Western North Carolina have recently hung several confederate officers and soldiers for attempting to enforce the conscription act. The Raleigh, N. C. Confederate says the election in that state depends on the success of the rebel armies. If defeated Holden³ will be elected by a large majority.
The steamer Fulton from Port Royal arrived at Fort Monroe Saturday. The Alliance was captured by the South Carolina. Her crew, 80 in number, were all found asleep. Her passengers, six in number, escaped in a boat. She had an assorted cargo valued at $17,000, vessel about 700 tons and worth $125,500.
The Richmond papers report a riot in Gen. Wolford’s [sic]4 (Ga.) brigade at Bristol, Tenn., recently. Some 200 members being dissatisfied with the quality and quantity of their rations, the store of the commissary was plundered. The Provost General fired upon them, killing one and wounding 5 or 6. The rest escaped with their plunder. A number had since been arrested and would be sharply punished. The men were armed with only stones.
The guerrillas made a raid recently upon a cotton plantation at Tensas, La., 40 miles from Vicksburg, capturing a large number of mules and wagons, and carried off W. R. Allison, Mattoon, Ill. After getting to a safe distance they compelled him to dig his grave and then shot him, and made the negroes bury him. This may be relied on. Guerrillas along the river are determined that the abandoned plantations shall not be worked by Northern men.
The Herald’s Portsmouth (Va.) correspondent reports a recent expedition for the purpose of capturing the rebel torpedo boat, which tried to destroy the Minnesota, supposed to be up in the Nansemond. It was not found, but several sharp conflicts were had with the rebels. Fifty contrabands and a large number of horses were brought in. Two of our men were killed and 4 or 8 wounded. One of the killed was Lieut. E. P. Wilder, executive officer of the Minnesota, who was in command of the gunboat Stepping Stone and several naval launches. The rebel Colonel Whitson has been captured in a fight between the 20th New York cavalry and his command, the 8th North Carolina cavalry. The rebels were driven some distance.
1. William Preston (1816-1887), brother-in-law of Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston, was a Kentucky lawyer, lieutenant colonel of the 4th Kentucky Volunteers in the Mexican War, member of the Kentucky House of Representatives and State Senate, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1852-1855). In 1858, President James Buchanan appointed him Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Spain, which he resigned in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War. Although Kentucky did not secede from the Union, Preston followed his brother-in-law into the Confederate Army, attaining the rank of brigadier general in 1862. In 1864, CSA President Jefferson Davis appointed him Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico.
2. Ralph Pomeroy Buckland (1812-1892) was an Ohio lawyer and politician before the Civil War. With the outbreak of the War, Buckland was commissioned colonel of the 72nd Ohio Infantry in January 1862. At the Battle of Shiloh, he commanded the 4th Brigade in William T. Sherman’s 5th Division of the Army of the Tennessee. He was commissioned a brigadier general of Volunteers on November 29, 1862. During the Siege of Vicksburg, Buckland commanded a brigade in Sherman’s XV Corps. In the 1864 elections, Buckland was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and resigned from the army in early January 1865 (served 1865-1869). In the omnibus promotions of 1865, he was brevetted a major general dating from March 13, 1865.
3. William Woods Holden (1818-1892) was the 38th (1865) and 40th (1868-1870) governor of North Carolina. As the Civil War progressed, Holden became an outspoken critic of the Confederate government and a leader of the North Carolina peace movement. In 1864, he was the unsuccessful “peace candidate” against incumbent Governor Zebulon B. Vance, who won overwhelmingly. After the Civil War, Holden was appointed governor by President Andrew Johnson, but was defeated in a special election in 1865. He was elected as a Republican in 1868. Holden’s efforts to suppress the Ku Klux Klan exceeded those of other Southern governors. The result was a political backlash, accompanied by violence to suppress the black vote, and the Republicans lost the legislative election. With the Democratic Party in control of both both houses of the state legislature, Governor Holden became only the second governor in American history to be impeached, and the first to be removed from office; he is the only North Carolina governor to be impeached.
4. William Tatum Wofford (1824-1884) served in the Mexican War, worked as a planter, served as a state legislator, became a lawyer, and edited the Cassville (Ga.) Standard newspaper before the Civil War. In the War, he was in the Georgia State Militia, then the 18th Georgia Infantry, and served in North Carolina and Virginia before being assigned to General John Bell Hood’s Texas Brigade. He saw action at Yorktown, Eltham’s Landing, and Seven Pines during the Peninsula Campaign. Wofford and the 18th also fought at Second Bull Run and Antietam, where he commanded the Texas Brigade. In November 1862, Wofford and the 18th Georgia were transferred to Thomas R. R. Cobb’s Georgia Brigade and fought at the Battle of Fredericksburg, defending the stone wall at the base of Marye’s Heights. Cobb was mortally wounded in the battle, and Wofford assumed command of his brigade, which then became known as Wofford’s Brigade. In January 1863, he was promoted to brigadier general and led the brigade at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Wofford fought at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House, and was wounded in both battles. He surrendered in Kingston, Georgia, and was paroled at Resaca on May 2, 1865, and pardoned on July 24. Wofford commanded the last significant group of Confederate soldiers east of the Mississippi to surrender to Union troops.