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1864 December 24: Christmas Dinner for Sherman’s Army, Correcting the Enrollment in Wisconsin, and More News

December 30, 2014

Following are the smaller items from the December 24, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.

CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR SHERMAN’S ARMY.

A New York dispatch says a movement has been started to send a Christmas dinner of turkeys and other luxuries to SHERMAN’s army as soon as it reaches the coast.  An invitation will probably be given for the western states and cities to join in the movement.  If this is done Wisconsin, which has so many brave boys with that army, should join heartily in the effort to provide them with Christmas cheer.  [William T. Sherman]

THE ENROLLMENT.—The Board of Enrollment will be here the tenth and eleventh of February, to correct the Enrollment for this county.  Town Board[s] are requested to make a thorough enrollment of the various towns, and be ready to meet the Board here.

NO PAPER.—No paper except an advertising sheet will be issued from this office next week.  [The December 31, 1864, issue was one page, front and back.  The front page reprinted the Governor’s enrollment proclamation and had advertisements; the back page was tax lists.]

SOUND.—A few days ago Secretary [of War] STANTON [Edwin M. Stanton] dismissed twenty clerks from the Quartermaster’s Department, some on a charge of disloyalty, and some for intense real in opposition to Mr. LINCOLN’S re-election [Abraham Lincoln].  One of them came directly to Mr. STANTON and asked him if he considered a man disloyal because he favored the election of General McCLELLAN [George B. McClellan].  “By no means,” was the reply, “but when a young man receives his salary from an Administration, and spends his evenings in denouncing it in the most offensive language, he cannot complain if that Administration chooses one of his friends to take his place!  This is what I have done in your case.”

Finger002  Congress is seeking to weed out the useless lay figure Generals in the service who do nothing but draw their pay, and to provide rewards for the meritorious men in the service.

The House Military Committee recommend that the Major and Brigadier Generals who on February first shall not be performing duties corresponding to their rank, and who shall not have been doing so for the three months next proceeding that day, shall be dropped from the rolls with loss of pay and emoluments, and the vacancies thus created shall be filled by the promotion of soldiers with whom fighting is professional and drawing of pay incidental.

President Lincoln’s Sagacity Vindicated by the Rebel Vice-President. 

Mr. ALEX STEVENS [sic: Alexander H. Stephens], the so-called Vice-President of the Southern Confederacy, in a recent letter, speaks of the statesmanship embodied in the President’s Emancipation Proclamation in the following complimentary terms :

Lincoln had either to witness our recognition abroad, the moral power of which alone he saw would break down the war, or to make it an emancipation war.  He chose the latter alternative, and the more readily, because it chimed in so accordantly with the feelings and views of his own party.  This, in my opinion, is the plain English of the whole matter ;  and just as sure as McClellan should renew the war with a view to restore the Union, the old Constitution with slavery, &c., would England, France, and other European powers throw all the the moral power and influence of their recognition on our side.  I am not certain that they would not go farther, rather than see the Union thus restored, if it should become necessary.  But it would not become necessary.  The other causes alluded to would completely effect our deliverance without any material aid from them.

This explains why the rebels desired the election of McCLELLAN.

Finger002  The Richmond Enquirer advises every rebel officer and soldier to take one month’s pay in gold (if they can get it) and give a receipt for all pay to the end of the war, as a single month’s pay in gold will do more to support them than a year’s pay in confederate currency.  It would seem from this, that the Enquirer expects the rebellion to succumb within a year.

THE NEW FIRST CORPS.—A Washington dispatch says enlistments in the new 1st corps, which is to be under command of Maj. Gen. HANCOCK, are being made in fair numbers, but, judging from letters received every day, when the veterans are fully informed, there will be a rush.  The State of New Hampshire is offering extra bounties so veterans re-enlisting in this corps.  [Winfield S. Hancock]

GEN. DANA’S DEPARTMENT.—Cairo has been attached to Gen. DANA’s command, which now embraces the Mississippi from that point to New Orleans, with headquarters at Memphis.  [Napoleon J.T. Dana]

Finger002  The railroad form Manassas to Gordonsville has been torn up by the rebels, who have removed the iron southwards.

Capt. Semmes’ arrival at Matamoras, enroute to Richmond, is confirmed by a letter from a correspondent of a New Orleans paper, which says he has a crippled left hand, from the engagement with the Kearearge.  He goes to Richmond to stand trial and investigation in the matter of the capture of the Alabama.  [Raphael Semmes]

The Sanitary Commission—A Mistake Corrected.

A statement has recently been the rounds of the press to the effect that from September, 1861, to December, 1864, it cost the western department of Sanitary Commission $200,000 to get little of $90,000 in value to the soldiers.  J .S. NEWSBERRY, the Secretary of the western department, at Louisville, has issued a circular contradicting this statement.  He says that the United States Sanitary Commission had expended July 1st, 1864, through the hands of its western Secretary, in cash $321,065.42 and had distributed at the same date, in the armies of the west, hospital stores valued at $2,790,811.01.  Of the cash expended in the supply department of this, $98,592.56 had been expended for the purchase of supplies the balance, $97,331.86, constituted the expense account for the supply department, and had paid for the distribution of stores values as above, at $2,790,811.01, being about three per cent, upon that valuation.  So that all contributions made by the western States to the Sanitary Commission to July 1st, 1864, had been distributed at a cost of three per cent upon their value ;  and that 3 per cent., it may be said, had all been paid by contributions from California and the eastern States.

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