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1865 June 10: W. W. Holden and John Mitchel, Jefferson Davis and Various Confederate Ex-Governors, News of the Sewards

June 16, 2015

Following are more national news items from The Polk County Press of June 10, 1865.

— Ex-Governor Latcher [sic], of Va., has been captured.  [John Letcher]

— Gov. McGrath [sic], of South Carolina, has run away from Columbia.  [Andrew G. Magrath]

— Gen. Logan retires to civil life, refusing a brigadiership in the regular army.  [John A. Logan]

— Gen. Thomas is to command the Department of Virginia, headquarters at Richmond.  [George H. Thomas]

— Davis has arrived in Washington and is confined in the Old Capitol prison.  It is not true that he has been ironed.

— Over three million dollars has been disbursed in Chicago by the government, for mules and horses during the past year.

— W. W. Holden,¹ editor of the Raleigh Standard, has been appointed Military Governor of North Carolina.  He will at once proceed to re-organize the State government.

— The Commercial’s special says that President Johnson has fully decided in favor of permitting our soldiers to retain their arms used in battle, as honorable reminiscences and heirlooms of the services.  [Andrew Johnson]

— The Secretary of War has ordered that the returned prisoners enlisted, and who have endured the hardships of Andersonville, and other rebel prisons, be mustered out as soon as possible, and that they be allowed three months extra pay.

— The Post’s Washington special says the trial of Jeff. Davis in the U. S. Court, in this city,  will take place before a full bench consisting of Carter of the District of Columbia, Judge Olin of New York and Judge Wylie of Virginia.

— Secretary Seward [William H. Seward] has fully resumed official duties at the State department.  He was, last week, enabled to take his arm out of the sling and write his signature to the Amnesty proclamation.  Fred. Seward is slowly but surely improving [Frederick Seward].

— Col. Pritchard [Benjamin D. Pritchard], who captured Jeff. Davis, explains the female attire.  It consisted of Mrs. Davis’ water-proof cloak, and shawl so as as [sic] much as possible, to conceal the masculine features of Davis’ face.—Under the cloak the rebel commander-in-chief wore a suit of drab, with trowsers [sic] tucked into a pair of cavalry boots.

— The Tribune’s special dispatch from New Orleans, dated the 26th ult., says the ordinance department and magazine at Mobile exploded at 2 o’clock.  The shock was fearful. The city shook to its very foundation—eight squares of buildings were destroyed and 500 persons buried in the ruins.  The loss is estimated at eight million dollars.  The origin of the explosion has not yet been ascertained.

— Among the many rumors flying about to-day in regard to the confinement of Jeff. Davis, is one to the effect that yesterday afternoon he was manacled, in order to prevent, no doubt, any injury to his guard, should he, as Mrs. Davis remarked, become provoked by the strict surveillance held over him.  The strictest regulations respecting persons visited the fortress, are still rigidly enforced by Gen. Miles, the commander of the post.  No person, either officer of civilian, is allowed to enter the fortress unless duty provided with the requisite passes.

—A Washington special says Gen. Rosecrans has been granted a six month leave of absence, and proposes to visit the Pacific coast.  At the end of that time he will probably resign.  [William S. Rosecrans]

— It is understood that the President has decided to appoint James F. Smith of Selma, Alabama, U. S. District Attorney for that State.  Mr. Smith was arrested for his devotion to the Union cause, but made his escape and has resided for the past two years in Nashville.

— Ex-Governor Aiken² affirms that not til after the Union forces had occupied Charleston did he see a copy of President Lincoln’s first inaugural.  A spurious paper was published, pretending to be a copy, but was in no respect the original.

— A French paper at New Orleans believes that a war between France and the United States inevitable.

— Gen. Banks [Nathaniel P. Banks] has been ordered to report at Waltham, Mass., his place of residence.  His case is under investigation by the war department.

— About this time of his capture, Jeff. Davis had abandoned war, and was getting ready to raise cotton!

Howell Cobb was recently paroled that he might visit his family.

— Gov. Brown of Ga. has been released from prison on parole.  [Joseph E. Brown]

— Gen. Sherman is reported to be poor, not having made any money out of the war.  [William T. Sherman]

— The Boston Herald states that the cloak Davis wore when captured was made in Boston.

— President Johnson is said to be preparing an official announcement of peace.  [Andrew Johnson]

— Judge Caton, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, died at Nashville on the 29th ult.

— Gen. Sherman, in his farewell order to his troops, advised them to beware of the Mexican emigration scheme.

— It is thought that Kentucky will rescind her vote against the Constitutional amendment.

— It is stated, on good authority that General Hancock veteran corps will be immediately increased to 40,000 men.  [Winfield S. Hancock]

— Secretary Seward has fully resumed official duties at the State department.  He was, last week, enabled to take his arm out of the sling and write his signature to the Amnesty proclamation.  Fred. Seward is slowly but surely improving.

— Apprehensions are felt for the safety of the boys from this village who are in the Wisconsin Special Scouts.  The recent explosion of the magazine at Mobile destroyed the steamer on which they were quartered, when the last-tidings from them was received by their parents and friends.  We trust that fortune has favored them as heretofore.

— The Tribune’s special dispatch from New Orleans, dated the 26th ult., says the ordinance department and magazine at Mobile exploded at 2 o’clock.  the shock was fearful.—The city shook to its very foundation—eight squares of buildings were destroyed and 500 persons buried in the ruins.  the loss is estimated at eight million dollars.  The origin of the explosion has yet been ascertained.

— It is stated by a Washington correspondent of the Rochester Democrat that a man who has been with Jeff. Davis’ official family for the past four years, has testified in the secret session of the court now trying the assassins of President Lincoln, that he has seen a letter from Jefferson Davis to George N. Sanders, advising as a last resort the assassination of President Lincoln and his whole Cabinet.  Gen. Grant [Ulysses S. Grant], the correspondent adds, was in the room at the time the testimony was given, and vouched fro the credibility of the witness.

A Fit Change.—The notorious John Mitchel,³ who poured out his pro-slavery ribaldry through the columns of the Richmond Enquirer till the concern went up with the rebellion, has now transferred his services to the New York Daily News, the ultra Democratic organ.  The change was natural, for Mitchel was under no necessity of leaving behind any of his Richmond principles.  But it seems a little curious that a man who is cut off from the ventilation of his rebel malice at Richmond, can go right to New York, the metropolis of the loyal country, and resume operations.—St. Paul Press.

1.  William Woods Holden (1818-1892) was the 38th (1865, May-December) and 40th (1868-71) governor of North Carolina. Holden was the first governor in America to be impeached, convicted, and removed from office. The main charges against he related to the rough treatment and arrests of North Carolina citizens by state militia during the enforcement of Reconstruction civil rights legislation.
2.  William Aiken, Jr. (1806-1887) was the 61st governor of South Carolina, serving from 1844-46. He also served in the South Carolina state legislature (1838-44) and the U. S. House of Representatives (1851-57). He lost the election of Speaker of the House in 1855 to Nathaniel P. Banks, future Union Civil War general. He was a successful businessman and planter who lived in Charleston, South Carolina.
3.  John Mitchel (1815-1875) was an activist for Irish nationalism, author,and political journalist. As a journalist, Mitchel was controversial before the Civil War for his defense of slavery, claiming that slaves in the southern United States were better cared for and fed than Irish cottiers, or English industrial workers. His views were explicitly racist and claimed that slavery was inherently moral. He founded a new paper, the Southern Citizen, in 1857 in Knoxville, Tennessee, to promote “the value and virtue of slavery, both for negroes and white men.” He moved the paper to Washington in 1859, and in 1861 moved to Richmond to edit the Richmond Enquirer. Although a spokesman for the Southern cause, Mitchel fell out with Jefferson Davis, whom he regarded as too moderate. In 1865, he moved to New York City to edit the Daily News. Slavery was dead and Mitchel returned his focus to the issue of Ireland. Mitchel returned to Ireland where in 1875 he was elected in a by-election to be an MP in the Houses of Parliament.

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