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1865 June 10: News Items Showing the Country Coping with Post-War Life

June 15, 2015

Another summary of the week’s news, also from The Prescott Journal of June 10, 1865, plus one small article from The Polk County Press of the same date.

News Items—Original and Selected.

— We see by the St. Paul Press, that the people on the Minnesota frontiers are about to procure bloodhounds to hunt the Indian murderers.  This is what reformers call a “move in the right direction.”  The idea of humanizing these red devils by sending them polyglot bibles and ivory toothpicks is played out.

— Jeff. Davis [Jefferson Davis] will be tried at a special term of the United States District Court, before a full bench of Judges.

— Judge Catron [John Catron], Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, died at Nashville, Tennessee, on the evening of the 30th ult.

— The President [Andrew Johnson] is about to issue a proclamation announcing the restoration of peace, and will also shortly abolish all military tribunals.

— President Johnson has advised the negroes of the District of Columbia to petition Congress for the right of suffrage.

— President Johnson has finally decided to allow the soldiers to retain their arms, as honorable heir-looms of their services.

— The cemetery at Richmond, Va., is said to contain more than 60,000 new graves.  And this is but one of the spots where the plowshare of war has turned up the sod to hide its victims.

— Gen. Grant [Ulysses S. Grant] has presented to the Northwestern Sanitary and Soldiers’ Home Fair at Chicago his old clay bank war horse “Jack.”  This horse he rode when he first entered the service as Col. of the 21st Illinois Volunteers, and which he continued to use until appointed Lieutenant-General.  Gen. Grant, accompanied by Mrs. Grant, will probably attend the Fair before its close.

— A member of the English Parliament has offered Gen. Lee [Robert E. Lee] a residence in London, with a sum of money the interest of which would support himself and family for life.  Whether Gen. Lee will accept the gift of the English secesh sympathizer, will depend upon circumstances over which our Government has as yet some control.

— A gentleman who called on Gen. Scott [Winfield Scott] in New York the other day found him in excellent health and much rejoiced at the successful termination of the war.  The conversation turning on Jeff. Davis, the old General very pointedly and emphatically remarked, “I hope he will be hung by the neck, sir ;  I hope he will hang by the neck.”

— It is known that President Johnson counselled [sic] a committee of negroes, who recently called on him, to petition the next congress to grant them the right of franchise in their district.  It is believed that while he leaves to States the decision of the question within their limits, he will give his whole moral influence to the extension of the right of franchise to colored people.

— Gen. Butler [Benjamin F. Butler] has declined to orate at Falls River, Mass, on the Fourth of July, because of other engagements.

— Gen. Scott was walking about the streets of New York on Wednesday in civilian’s dress, and in good health and spirits.

— As Washington is the Father of his Country, so will Jeff. Davis be known henceforth as the Mother of the South.

— A correspondent writing from the Mississippi valley, says that by reason of his cotton operations, Kirby Smith is undoubtedly the richest man in America.

— Gen. Beauregard [P. G. T. Beauregard], of whom we have heard very little for the past two months was in New Orleans on the 22d, and registered his name at Gen. Banks’ headquarters as a paroled officer [Nathaniel P. Banks].

— Over one hundred repentant rebels a day are reporting themselves at the Provost Marshal’s office in St. Louis, to take the oath and get permission to go home.

Thomas S. Bocock, of Virginia, Speaker of the Rebel House, the “fortunate” individual, upon whom, in the absence of Davis and Stephens [Alexander H. Stephens], devolves the Presidency of the Southern Confederacy, if any of it is left, has not yet reported, and probably will not.

— A returned soldier purchased a pair of boots in Buffalo and left his old ones.  A while after, he called for them, when they were brought to him, he ripped open the lining and took from beneath $1,550 in greenbacks, in denomination of $50 and $500, which he had placed there and forgotten.

Leutze portrait of Lincoln

Leutze portrait of Lincoln

— A portrait of Mr. Lincoln by Leutze¹ is on exhibition in New York.  It represents the President in the act of delivering an address while a group of soldiers and ladies forms the background.  It is considered one of the best pictures of the great man ever painted.

— A “Conservative” made a speech at Frankfort, Ky., on Saturday last, in which he stated that the Constitutional amendment would never  be ratified by Kentucky.  About a hundred negroes immediately secured their freedom by enlisting in the army.

— The Presbyterian General Assembly now in session in Brooklyn, decided, on Tuesday, after a long and spirited discussion, to place for the present, in a state of probation, ministers of the church from the South who have supported the rebellion.  A revolution authorizing the Assembly to send ten ministers to East Tennessee was adopted.

— There are now seventy-four prisoners confined in Castle Thunder,² fifteen of whom are negroes.  The rest are soldiers, principally deserters.  A portion of the prisoners are sentenced to the chain-gang for thirty-six and ninety days.  These are furnished by Captain O’Brien, the commander of the prison, to Lieut. Leahe, the Chief of Police, whenever he needs their services for the cleansing of the streets and alleys of the city.

— In the State of Ohio the last ditch has been found by no less an ardent sympathizer with treason than Clement L. Vallandigham.  He has written a letter owning that he was wrong about the war for the Union.  He rejoices that slavery is destroyed and the Union saved ;  sees at present no reason why the democracy should not give a cordial support to President Johnson, in his effort to restore the prosperity of the country under the Constitution ;  and declares that without slavery the Southern States, with perhaps two or three exceptions, “will become more populous, prosperous and powerful than any section.”

Booth’s Body Again.—A correspondent of the New York News, who, by way of illustration, spoke of the disfigurement of Booth’s lifeless remains, as rumor told the tale, now says :

“For the honor of the country I am glad to say there is no truth in the shocking tale. Booth’s body was buried without disfigurement.  It was buried in secret and in the night, and no stone marks, or ever will mark the spot ;  but this was the choice of his family. The body was given to them.  They had it carried far away to the North, away beyond New York, and there interred, and there to remain until the last day, when the quick and the dead are to be judged.”

From The Polk County Press:

Indictment of Jeff. Davis.

The indictment y the Grand Jury of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia against Jefferson Davis recites that Jefferson Davis late of the county of Henrico, in the State of Virginia, being an inhabitant of and resident within and owing allegiance and fidelity to the United States, wickedly devising and intending to disturb the peace and to subvert the Government of the said United States, to stir, move and excite rebellion, insurrection and war against the United States, on the 1st day of June, 1864, at the county of Henrico aforesaid, unlawfully, falsely, maliciously and traitorously, did compass, levy and cary [sic] on war and rebellion against the United States, for the subversion of the Government, in the District of Columbia aforesaid, and being leagued in conspiracy with a conspiracy with a large number of insurgents, and being the leader and commander-in-chief of said inurgents [sic], did march and proceed to invade the said county of Washington, and then and there, on the 12th day of July, 1864, did make war upon a certain fort called Fort Stevens, did kill and wound a large number of said troops of the United States, contrary to the duty of said allegiance and fidelity to the United States.

The above is the substance of the indictment, omitting the verbiage, wich [sic] extends it to a great length.

1.  Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze—pronounced Loyt-za—(1816-1868) was a German-American painter best known for his painting of George Washington Crossing the Delaware.
2.  Castle Thunder was a former tobacco warehouse in Richmond, Virginia, that was converted to a prison to house civilian prisoners, including captured Union spies, political prisoners and those charged with treason. After Union forces captured Richmond, they used the prison for similar purposes.

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