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1865 March 4: Mobile ‘Register’ Says, “Our strength is not sapped, but our courage is oozing out at our fingers’ ends”

March 6, 2015

The following “items” column come from The Prescott Journal of March 4, 1865.

Items.

The Augusta Chronicle advises the citizens to resist the burning of cotton there.  The paper is denounced as a Yankee concern.

The Mobile Register says the Southern people are not whipped, but cowed.  Their souls, and not their hands, are disarmed.  Our strength is not sapped, but our courage is oozing out at our fingers’ ends.

The Lynchburg Republican says the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad, it is thought, will be opened for travel to Bristol by the 1st of March.  Repairs are being pushed onward with unusual energy.  Some idea of the magnitude of the work to be done may be formed from the statement that all the bridges, 50 or 60 in number, for a distance of 85 miles, have to be rebuilt, and much of the track relaid, beside other repairs to be made of minor consequence.

During a recent debate in the rebel Senate, the food question came up, when it transpired that the vast yield of the valley of Virginia, which had in former years been always secured, last year fell into our hands, that this was the result of calling into the armies the details for gathering it ;  that thousands of soldiers families had not tasted meat the last six months and were living on a short supply of bread alone ;  that the soldiers themselves had also been without meat for a long time.

The Herald’s Shenandoah correspondence says an expedition consisting of 305 picked men from the Michigan cavalry, after march of 40 miles, meeting no opposition, reached the Charlotte Iron Furnace or Water Lick Creek, which the rebels had in full blast preparing iron for shot and shell.  The establishment, with all its machinery and material, was destroyed.  The force then returned with trifling annoyance from guerrillas.  The main portion of the rebel army is said to be near Staunton.

The Herald’s correspondence says the exchange of prisoners, under the new arrangements perfected between Gen. Grant [Ulysses S. Grant] and Commissioner Ould [Robert Ould], is progressing rapidly, and three steamers are now busily employed in carrying released Union soldiers to Annapolis, Md., and carrying in return leads of rebels.  Our men, both in words and appearance, add mountains of evidence to confirm all that has previously been told of the barbarity and rapacity practiced by the rebels on their unfortunate captives.  Under an agreement lately entered into, all Union prisoners now held in the trans Mississippi Department are to be exchanged.

The Richmond Whig’s East Tennessee correspondent says many rebel soldiers are falling into the hands of the enemy’s scouts.  There were 67 North Carolina home guards recently captured near Taylorsville.  No resistance was made.  The rebel reserves along the mountains, the correspondent says, do not seem to amount to much, as they are continually gobbled up.  Much dissatisfaction exists among the grain growing slave holders, at the order conscripting so many of their negroes for the service, and it seems cruel to demand the few slaves left out of the vast number they held two years since.  Since the demand was made, at least thee quarters of the negroes have gone over to the enemy.  Farmers are ow without means of cultivating their farms.  The enforcement of the conscription act in East Tennessee, placed 60,000 fighting men in the ranks of the Federal army who would otherwise have been at home, good citizens.  Probably 2,000 men were dragged into the Confederate service, who have generally proved a nuisance to the Government.  Those daily running away, will come back in a short time armed and in the enemy’s ranks.  This is the policy of our weak and silly Congress.  To have armed the negro should have been the policy of Government two years since.

The rebel General Forrest [Nathan B. Forrest], whose headquarters at latest accounts were established in Jackson, Miss., and who was engaged in conscripting guerrillas and sending them to Richmond to be mustered into the rebel army, in an order dated “Headquarters Cavalry Department of Alabama, Mississippi, East Louisiana and West Tennessee, Vernon, Miss., January 24, 1865,” says :  “The rights and property of citizens must be respected and protected, and the illegal organizations of cavalry prowling through the country under various authorities, not recognized as legitimate, or which have been by the proper authorities revolted, must be placed regularly and properly in the service, or driven from the country.  They are in many instances nothing more nor less than roving bands of deserters, stragglers, horse thieves and robbers, who consume the substance and appropriate the property of citizens without remuneration, and whose acts of lawlessness and crime demand a remedy, which I shall not hesitate to apply, even to extermination.”

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