1865 March 4: Grant Will “use up the rebel armies in three months” If He Gets 100,000 Men
The following summary of the week’s war news comes from The Polk County Press of March 4, 1865.
Owing to the roads being blockaded by snow drifts, our mail failed to connect, and we are obliged to go to press without the latest news.
Since our last issue another blow has been struck, and Wilmington is in Union hands. It is said that this gives Sherman the advantage of a new base from which to draw supplies for his army. [William T. Sherman]
— Grant’s army is under marching orders. Some great movement is on the tapis.¹ [Ulysses S. Grant]
— Schofield has joined Sherman with the 23d corps. [John M. Schofield]
Late News Items.
— The bill for arming the negroes which passed the House in the rebel Congress on the 20th ult., has been killed in the Senate.
— There are rumors that the rebel Longstreet is again invading East Tennessee. [James Longstreet]
— The Kentucky House of Representatives has rejected the amendment to the Federal Constitution by 28 majority.
— The Philadelphia Press predicts that in a hundred days one half of the present petroleum companies will disappear.
— The Charleston Mercury has changed its base. It evacuated the city in advance of the rebel troops, and will be published hereafter semi-occasionally at such points as may afford temporary stay for the sole of the “unblest feet.”
— The petition is in circulation in New York city asking the President to place Gen. Butler in command of Charleston. As but a small number of the “fire eating” citizens remain in that city it would be better to wait a short time and place him in command of Richmond. By all means let him have control of the rebel capital, from whence the order offering $10,000 for his head emanated. [Benjamin F. Butler]
— A staff officer of the 9th corps writes that as the Rebel Peace Commissioners were being escorted out of our lines, one of them turned to General Grant and said : “General, I am anxious to have peace, and I would be willing to leave the settlement to you and General Lee.”[Robert E. Lee]—”Well,” said Grant, I propose to settle it with Lee this summer.” [This also appeared in The Prescott Journal, on March 11, 1865]
— The capitals of all the rebel states have now been captured by Union troops, excepting those of Alabama (Montgomery,) Florida (Talahasse), North Carolina (Raleigh), and Virginia (Richmond), and before the first of April they will also have succumbed.
— Gen. Grant is known to have stated that with reinforcements of 100,000 men he would use up the rebel armies in three months. These he is likely to have. Recruiting is quite active. Since the banishment of substitute swindlers, and the action of the Government, which has terrified dishonest Provost Marshals, men are being put into the army instead of paper credits. By the first of April it is likely 200,000 soldiers will have been furnished under the last call, even if the draft should not be enforced. This will make the end of the rebellion visible to the naked eye.
— The Internal Revenue for the month of January just passed amounted to the enormous sum of $31,076,902,89—over a million dollars a day, including Sunday ! And yet confessedly the machinery for collecting this branch of the national income is imperfect and undergoing change. Vast as is that sum of internal revenue, daily and monthly, how light a burden is it to the business of this rich and vigorous nation !
The Latest News.
MR. OLIVER CAMPBELL, who left St. Paul yesterday, gives the following as the summary of Friday’s telegrams to the St. Paul dailies.
While Sherman’s troops were passing through Columbia, the capital of S. C., they were fired upon by the citizens, and in retaliation the soldiers burned the city to ashes by order of Gen. Sherman.
— A portion of Sherman’s army, probably Slocum’s Corps, has captured Augusta, Ga. [Henry W. Slocum]
— Davis refuses to evacuate Richmond, and in a speech gives as his reason, that before the rebel army could reach the Mississippi river, there would not be a body guard left.
1. “On the tapis” means under consideration or discussion.