1864 November 12: Capture of Two Confederate Ships, Slaves Freed in Baltimore, Samuel Medary Dead, Election Results, and Other News
The following summary of the week’s news appeared in The Polk County Press of November 12, 1864.
On the 1st inst., all the slaves in Baltimore were set free in pursuance of the order of the new constitution of Maryland.
— The U.S. Steamer Eolus¹ captured a blockade runner, off Wilmington, on the 28th ult., called the Lady Sterling. She had 980 bales of cotton which with the prize is valued at $800,000.
— From the 9th of May to the middle of October, 13,000 men were received for the naval service.
— The rebel Gen. Marmaduke and Brig. Gen. Cabal [sic], and several rebel colonels, captured by Pleasanton [sic] at the battle of the Osage have been sent to Johnson’s Island prison.²
— A serious accident happened on the Eric R. Road on the 7th inst.—Ten killed, forty wounded.
— Col. Sam. Medary³ died at Columbus, Ohio, on the 7th inst.
— Plymouth, N.C., at the head of Albermarle sound was captured on the 3d inst., by our fleet. Two forts and a number of guns are the trophies.
— The pirate Florida was captured by the U. S. Sloop-of-war, Wachusett,4 in Bohia [sic] Bay, San Salvador, on the 7th ult. Twelve officers and fifty eight of her crew were taken.
— Stillwater [Minn.] gave the Union Ticket 40 majority vote. The first Union victory in the place.
— Marine [Minn.] gave Lincoln 84 majority. Bully !
— “Beast” Butler had immediate command of New York during the election. He was the right man in the right place. [Benjamin F. Butler]
— Gen. Sherman is making another advance in Georgia. [William T. Sherman]
— No late army movements are reported, owing to the wires be prostrated by a heavy snow East.
— Franconia [Minn.], gave Lincoln and Johnson 50 majority. Well done, neighbor.
1. During October 1864, the USS Eolus captured the blockade runner Hope and assisted in the capture of the Lady Sterling [misspelled in the title of the image as Stirling]. Later in 1864 and in mid-January 1865, the Eolus will take part in the attacks that will capture Fort Fisher.
2. The Battle of Mine Creek, also known as the Battle of the Osage, where Confederate generals John S. Marmaduke and William L. Cabell were captured by Union General Alfred Pleasonton, took place on Octotober 25, 1864.
3. Samuel Medary (1801-1864), from Ohio, was a lifelong Democrat, a newspaperman, and politician, serving as both a territorial governor of Minnesota (1857-1858) and of Kansas (1859-1860). In the 1830s he established and edited The Ohio Statesman newspaper (1838-1857) and soon became Ohio’s most powerful Democratic voice. After leaving Kansas in 1860, he returned to Ohio to found the Crisis, a Peace/Copperhead paper in which he was very critical of the Civil War and President Lincoln’s policies. A staunch Peace Democrat he consistently called for an immediate end to the war. His views were unpopular in the North and in 1863 a mob burned down his printing office. The next year, he was charged with conspiracy against the United States government. He died before the case went to trial.
4. In February 1864, the USS Wachusett sailed for the coast of Brazil to protect American commerce from the Confederacy’s “pirate” cruisers, particularly the Alabama and the Florida. Many months passed tracking down fruitless leads as to the whereabouts of the two vessels. Finally, on October 4, the crew of the Wachusett spotted the Florida entering Bahia Harbor. In the early morning of October 7th, the Wachusett steamed past the Brazilian gunboat anchored between his ship and the Florida, rammed the raider, and after a brief exchange of cannon fire the Florida surrendered. The Wachusett, towing the Florida, arrived in Hampton Roads, Virginia, on November 11.