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1865 April 8: “Death to all foragers” and Other News from the Rebels

April 10, 2015

The following summary of the week’s war-related news comes from the April 8, 1865, issue of The Prescott Journal.

 News Items.

A New Orleans letter of the 27th ult. announces the arrival there of 1200 exchanged prisoners from Texas, including a number of naval officers.

It is understood Secretary McCulloch [Hugh McCulloch] contemplates the issue of a new series of 7-30’s¹ under the auspices of Jay Cook & Co.

The Post’s Washington special says Secretary McCulloch expresses the opinion that large quantities of cotton will reach the North during the next three months.

A dispatch from Newbern [sic] dated the 11th, says prisoners taken by the rebels in front of Kinston, have been recaptured, and General Terry has formed a junction with our forces there.  [Alfred H. Terry]

The Post’s Washington special says General Schofield has placed Gen. Hawley² in command at Wilmington.  He is a native of North Carolina, but resided in the North for many years.  He left the Hartford Press to enter the war.  [John M. Schofield]

Richmond journals of last Friday, announced that the removal of the gold belonging to the banks of that city had already been commenced.  In strongest language the Legislature and people are called upon to put a stop to the removal of this precious metal, on the ground that if removed it will nearly all get into the hands of the Yankees, and upon its retention depends the very safety of the rebel Capital itself.

Richmond editors are very angry over the recent seizures at Fredericksburg Va. by the structural capture of some 200,000 pounds of tobacco, which had been sent thither from Petersburg.  They say there was understood to be an agreement on both sides that the tobacco should go safely through their lines, and that they should receive bacon in return for it, and consider its capture a Yankee trick, with which Gen. Singleton of Illinois,³ who has been in Richmond for some time past, is suspected of having had something to do.

An expedition of 50 men of the 30th Wisconsin, sent from Louisville Saturday, surrounded a barn, Sunday morning, in Webster, Mend county, capturing Sue Monday, alias Jerome Clark [sic], Magruder and Henry Metcalf, after some resistance in which three of four men were slightly and a fourth mortally wounded.  The prisoners were brought here by the steamer Morning Star, Monday morning, lodged in the military prison.  Magruder is suffering from a recent wound and not likely to recover.4

The Herald prints a letter from Gen. Sherman [William T. Sherman] to Wade Hampton, dated February 24th, stating that in consequence of foraging parties having been murdered by the rebels after being captured, and labels attached to their bodies of “death to all foragers,” that he has ordered a similar number of prisoners in our hands to be disposed of in a like manner ;  that he holds 1,000 rebel prisoners, and can stand it as long as Hampton. The rebel General responds that he knows nothing of such  murders, and that for every soldier executed by Sherman he will execute two Federals, picking out officers as the first victims.  He makes a long story about barbarities alleged to be practiced by Sherman’s army, and concludes by saying he shall hold 56 prisoners as hostages for those ordered to be executed by Sherman.

Gov. Andrew [Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew] publishes a special appeal to deserters, in which he says :  “I avail myself of the earliest opportunity, after the President’s proclamation, in this public manner, to advise all persona liable to the charge of derision to accept at once the President’s offer of pardon, to report themselves immediately to the nearest Provost Marshal, to return to duty and obedience, to retrieve their reputation, protect themselves against punishment hereafter, and save from certain forfeiture their precious rights as American citizens.  I appeal to the neighbors and friends of all such deserters, especially to the mothers and wives, who have here to force invoked so often my advice and interposition, earnestly counseling them, both as magistrate and as a man, to enforce and persuade the absent to return and seek shelter, pardon, honor and happiness which now await them under the union flag.”

Rebel papers chronicle the passage of the negro enlistment act, saying it is a measure of necessity, not of choice.  Senator Wigfall [Louis T. Wigfall], during a debate, denounced the Legislature of Virginia, and demanded the resignation of Jeff. Davis [Jefferson Davis].  The Speech of Senator Hunter in the rebel Senate, is printed [R.M.T. Hunter].  He voted for the bill to arm and emancipate negroes under instructions from the Virginia Legislature, but entered his protest against it, as in conflict with his views, with public policy and with the interests of the Confederacy.—That it is an abandonment of the cause for which they made war, an abandonment of all the hopes of the Confederacy.  There is no point of dispute now between them and the Yankees, and the result will be abolition and equality.  He also showed from statistics that no considerable body of negro troops could be raised in the States over which  the Government had control without stripping the country of the labor absolutely necessary to produce food, and stated that the commandant of conscripts, with authority to impress 20,000 slaves, had since last September been able to get but 4,000 of whom 3,300 were from Virginia and North Carolina and the balance from Alabama.  Hunter also argued that the negroes would not volunteer, and those we did get would desert to the enemy, who can offer them a better price.

1.  7-30 notes were 3-year notes issued by the federal government to help raise money for the Union war effort.
2.  Joseph Roswell Hawley (1826-1905) was a lawyer from Connecticut, and newspaper editor of Republican newspapers in the state before the Civil War. In April 1861, Hawley helped recruit and organize the 1st Connecticut Infantry, Company A, and became its captain, seeing combat at the First Battle of Bull Run. Mustering out after 3 months, he helped then-Colonel Alfred H. Terry in raising the 7th Connecticut Infantry and became its lieutenant colonel, fighting in the Port Royal Expedition and the capture of Fort Pulaski. When Terry was promoted, Hawley succeeded him as colonel of the 10th Connecticut Infantry. He was in Brannan’s expedition to Florida in January 1863, and commanded the post at Ferandina, near Jacksonville. In April, he participated in an unsuccessful expedition to capture Charleston, South Carolina. In the summer, he commanded a brigade on Morris Island during the siege of Charleston, and was involved in the attacks on Fort Wagner in September. The following year, Hawley commanded a brigade in the Battle of Olustee. He and his men were reassigned to the front lines in Virginia as a part of Terry’s Division, X Corps, Army of the James. He was in the battles of Drewry’s Bluff, Deep Run, Derbytown Road, and other actions near Bermuda Hundred and Deep Bottom. Hawley commanded a division during the Siege of Petersburg and was promoted in September 1864 to brigadier general of Volunteers. Concerned over keeping the peace during the November elections, Hawley commanded a hand-picked brigade in New York City to safeguard the election process. In January 1865, Hawley succeeded his mentor Alfred Terry as divisional commander later joined him in North Carolina as Chief of Staff for the X Corps. After the capture of Wilmington, North Carolina, Hawley took over command of the forces in southeastern North Carolina. In June, following the surrender of the Confederate armies, Hawley rejoined Terry and served as Chief of Staff for the Department of Virginia, serving until October when he returned home to Connecticut. After the war, Hawley served as the 42nd governor of Connecticut for one year (1866-67), member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1872-75 and 1879-81), and U.S. senator from Connecticut (1881-1905), being one of the key Republican leaders both in the House and the Senate.
3.  Probably James Washington Singleton (1811-1892) who had been a brigadier general of Illinois militia in 1844 and took a conspicuous part in the Mormon War. He served as member of the Illinois House of Representatives (1850-54 and 1861-62), and was appointed by Governor Yates in 1862 as a member of a commission to confer with British and Canadian authorities. He constructed the Quincy and Toledo and the Quincy, Alton and St. Louis railroads and served as president of both companies. Singleton also served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1879-83).
4.  Marcellus Jerome Clarke (1844–March 15, 1865) was a Confederate captain who in 1864 became one of Kentucky’s most famous guerrillas. In 1861, at the age of 17, he joined the 4th Kentucky Infantry (CSA) and saw action at Fort Donelson and Chickamauga. He was then reassigned to John Hunt Morgan’s unit. After Morgan’s death (September 4, 1864,), Clarke formed his own guerrilla band and continued raiding throughout Kentucky. Clarke—rumored to be “Sue Mundy”*—and his guerrillas joined with Quantrill’s Raiders, making them even more dangerous. On March 12, 1865, fifty Union soldiers from the 30th Wisconsin Infantry, under the command of Major Cyrus Wilson, surrounded a tobacco barn and captured Clarke and two of his gang. At his trial, Clarke said that he was a regular Confederate soldier and that he had not committed the crimes he was being charged with, or that they had been committed by Quantrill. Clarke was convicted of being a guerrilla and hanged; several thousand people were estimated to have attended Clarke’s execution, attracted by rumors that he was “Sue Mundy.”
*”Sue Mundy” was a fictional guerrilla character created by George D. Prentice, editor of the Louisville Journal, who opposed the heavy-handed military rule of General Stephen G. Burbridge in Kentucky. Prentice created the “Sue Mundy” persona to portray Burbridge as an incompetent commander, unable to protect Kentucky citizens. Marcellus Jerome Clarke was by this time 20-years-old, wore his hair long, and had smooth-faced features, so many thought that he was Sue Mundy. Henry C. Magruder, another guerrilla soldier who was captured with Clarke, confessed to being Sue Mundy in his memoir, written after Clarke’s death.

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