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1864 December 3: News Paragraphs on Gillem and Breckinridge, Sheridan and Early, the 5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry, Exchanging Prisoners, and Other News

December 4, 2014

The following news items come from the December 3, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.

News Paragraphs.

The town of Lincoln, in Vermont, gave Lincoln 209 votes ;  McClellan, none.  [Abraham Lincoln, George B. McClellan]

The rebel arsenal at Charleston was burned the 2d inst.

Many Union prisoners have been sent to Camp Lawton, near Savannah.

The Postoffice [sic] Department has re-established the Post office at Helena, Ark.

Perley Vallandigham, a nephew of the “martyr,” [Clement L. Vallandigham] has been sentenced to the State Prison in Iowa, for voting illegally.

New Hampshire has just voted to hold a Constitutional Convention.  No day is yet specified.

The Charleston Mercury of the 14th says since the last report 250 shells have been thrown at Sumter and 102 at the city.

The Richmond Dispatch of Friday says the exchange of prisoners, inaugurated at Savannah, will be transferred to City Point.

A dispatch dated Savannah the 15th says that so far 3,100 rebel prisoners have been received.  The delivery of Yankees commenced Thursday.

A Washington special says that a commission is to be appointed, soon after Congress meets, to investigate the operations of the Sanitary Commission.

Gen. Gillem’s loss in the late encounter with Breckinridge is estimated at 400 killed, wounded and missing.  Gillem is safe at Knoxville.  [Alvan C. Gillem, John C. Breckinridge]

Admiral Farragut communicates to the Navy Department intelligence of the capture of a Prussian schooner, by the U.S. steamer Sciota, while in the act of attempting to run into Velasco, Texas, with an assorted cargo.  [David G. Farragut]

Rebel sympathizers at Nashville are gloomy and disconsolate in consequence of the anticipated results of Sherman’s movements.—Accessions to the army are daily arriving from the North.  [William T. Sherman]

Nine hundred rebel prisoners arrived at Nashville Saturday morning from Atlanta.—Thinking the latter place evacuated, they rushed in to pillage and plunder, and were captured.

Information has been received from the west gulf blockading squadron of the capture, on the 4th inst., of the schooner Joanna, by the steamer Fort Morgan, laden with medicine, iron, &c.

Gen. Breckinridge in East Tennessee is endeavoring to win the people in that district to allegiance to Jeff. Davis, and had declared an amnesty to all who would lay down their arms and cease bushwhacking his troops.  [Jefferson Davis]

In the rebel House of Representatives, on the 18th inst., and Senate on the 19th, resolutions were offered by Messrs. Henry¹ and Foote of Tennessee, that the war was to be carried on until the independence of the South was acknowledged.  [Henry S. Foote]

It is proposed, since slavery is a blessing to the negro, according to the approved Confederate creed, that the free blacks be enrolled in the rebel armies, and as a reward sold into slavery on the expiration of their term of service !

The Bristol (East Tenn.) Register says the rebels captured and destroyed a train of cars loaded with commissary stores at Morristown on the 14th ;  also a wagon train consisting of military wagons, killing 13 and capturing a number of Yankees.

The Governor of California² has issued a proclamation calling for another regiment of California volunteers, in accordance with a requisition from the War Department, to be used to garrison the harbor defences.  Recruiting in San Francisco to fill up old regiments goes on briskly.

In the rebel Senate a resolution was offered requesting Jeff. Davis to inform the Senate if any one of the United States had expressed a willingness to go into convention with the Confederate States to negotiate a peace or consulting on the best method of effecting a cessation of hostilities.

The Richmond Sentinel says in Virginia new movements are on foot, and in Georgia and Tennessee vast campaigns, singularly complicated, are in process of development.  Both the Sentinel and Dispatch insist that Sheridan has sent part of his army to Grant, and says Early has advanced to New Harper’s Ferry.  They are also in expectation of a grand movement against Richmond by Grant.  [Philip H. Sheridan, Ulysses S. Grant, Jubal A. Early]

The 5th Massachusetts (colored) regiment, many of whose men are from the West, received its full pay on the 29th of October.  It will be recollected that this regiment, which has fought gallantly in South Carolina for a year or two past, refused to receive the $10 a month offered it, demanding a full soldier’s stipend, which it has at length received.  [5th Regiment Massachusetts Colored Volunteer Cavalry]

A pretty young woman at Jackson, Michigan, has been carrying on the recruiting business in a novel manner.  She marries a man on condition that he will enlist and give her his bounty.  She being strikingly handsome, the man consents.  After he is gone she marries another.  Four men has she married and sent to the army.  On the fourth occasion she was detected.

A private letter from the fleet off Charleston says that recently the Pontiac, sighting a blockade runner, slipped her cable and gave chase without effect.  Returning subsequently to get her anchor the rebels opened fire on her, either from Fort Marshall or Beach Inlet, to which she paid no attention until a 10-inch shell struck her on the fore castle,³ killing and wounding a number of men, seven of whom died on the instant.

Though Gen. Early’s main force has been withdrawn far up the Shenandoah Valley, he  has left some small outhanging detachments of cavalry lower down, apparently for the purpose of concealing his design, and reconnoitering in front of Sheridan’s force.  Some of Gen. Powell’s cavalry encountered one of these parties of the enemy in Luray Valley, on Thursday, and drove them through Front Royal.  On the same day a reconnoissance [sic] in the vicinity of Berryville resulted in meeting a small body of rebels, and making prisoners of some of them.  [William H. Powell]

The Herald prints a lengthy report of the experience of a Northern merchant in Georgia, for the past three years, and who has lately escaped from the South.  He gives an interesting statement regarding the difficulties of trade in the South, consequent on the stringency of the blockade, the worthlessness of the rebel currency, the dissatisfaction  of the people with the administration of Jeff. Davis, the importance of Augusta, Columbus, Wilmington, and Macon, and the condition of the country through which Sherman is now marching.

The Times’ Washington special says it is not contraband now to say that Sherman will touch at Macon.  He has the 14th, 20th, 15th, 16th, and 17 corps, making over 50,000 men, beside 9,000 picked cavalry under Kilpatrick, with rations for 30 days for man and beast.  His scout system and courier line is complete.  After arriving at Macon, probably he will go to Milledgeville, where he will divide his army, sending part to Savannah and part to Augusta, which he will fortify and receive supplies up Savannah river, so as to move on Columbia or Charleston.  This programme will destroy the railroad system of Geargia [sic], and also all the manufactories for shot and shell, fixed ammunition, &c., &c.  [Judson Kilpatrick]

The ports of Norfolk, Va., and Fernandina and Pensacola, Fla., having for some time past been in military possession of the United State, it is deemed advisable that they should be opened to domestic and foreign commerce, and therefore the President of the United States has issued a proclamation making known that pursuant to the authority vested in him by the act of Congress of June, 1861, the blockade of those ports shall so far cease and determine from and after the first day of December next, that commercial intercourse with them, except as to persons and things and information contraband of war, may from that time be carried on, subject to the laws of the United States and to the limitations and in pursuance of, the regulations which may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury, and to such military and naval regulations as are now in force or may hereafter be found necessary.

1.  Gustavus Adolphus Henry (1804-1880) was a prominent antebellum planter and lawyer, a law school classmate of Jefferson Davis. He served in the Confederate States Senate from 1862–1865 and was widely known as the “Eagle Orator of Tennessee.” Through his personal friendship with President Davis he was able to exert influence in the Confederate government, and as a senator he was a powerful member of the finance and military committees. Early in the Civil War, the state of Tennessee commissioned the construction of a pair of forts to protect the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, and the fort on the Tennessee River was named “Fort Henry” in the Senator’s honor.
2.  Frederick Ferdinand Low (1828-1894) moved to California from Maine in 1849. He was in the shipping business and then became a banker. Low served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1862-1863). He served as the 9th governor of California (1863-1867). As governor, Low established Yosemite National Park and University of California, and after the Civil War served as U.S. Minister to China (1869-1874).
3.  Usually spelled as a single word—forecastle—it is the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast.

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