1865 June 17: New Governments in Confederate States, Assassination Conspiracy News, Government Helping Soldiers Get Artificial Limbs, and More
Following are the smaller items from the June 17, 1865, newspapers, The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.
From The Polk County Press:
— A Letter from Edwin Booth, in reply to a “fraternal and consoling letter” from a committee of Masons in New York, has been published. Mr. Booth says :
“It has pleased God to afflict my family as none other was ever afflicted.
“The nature, manner and extent of the crime, which has been laid at our door have crushed me to the very earth. My detestation and abhorence [sic] of the act, in all its attributes, are inexpressable [sic] ; my grief is unnterable [sic], and were it not for the sympathy of friends such as you, would be intolerable.”
THE LAST KICK EXTINGUISHED.—The last spad of earth has fallen on the coffin of the “Southern Confederacy.” The redoubtable Wade Hampton, the South Carolina Cavalry chief who continued in the saddle long after Johnson’s surrender [sic: Joseph E. Johnston], has issued an address to the people of that State, telling them the war is over, and that is their duty to recognize the fact and submit to the authority of the Federal Government.
FREE STATE CONSTITUTION RATIFIED IN MISSOURI.—We are rejoiced to learn that, contrary to the general impression based on the unfavorable result in St. Louis, the new constitution in Missouri has been ratified by a decided majority.
We are not conversant with the details of the new constitution, but from the fact that it was framed by loyal men, and was bitterly opposed by the secessionists, we may safely infer that it is based upon sound principles. For one thing it declares immediate emancipation; it also bases the right of suffrage upon intelligence and not color. It also taxes all church property.
OLD SHELL.—The Petersburg (Va.) Express says : “For years to come old iron will be plentiful enough in this section to supply several large foundries. No one will be able to stick a spade in the ground east or south of the city without striking against a piece, and the plough, in nearly every furrow, will turn up a “lamp post,” or a mortar, or some kind of missle [sic]. Now and then we shall probaly [sic] hear of man, horse, and plough flying towards the clouds. When they explode, these shells are no respecters of flesh. They strike a man harder than Heenan or Sayers.²
— Kirby Smith is said to have made fifteen million dollars during the war.
— A Provincial Government will be shortly adopted for Alabama.
— Gov. McGarth [sic: Andrew G. Magrath] of S. C. is a prisoner at Washington.
— A Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home has recently been established in St. Louis.
— Fifty thousand discharged troops have left Washington for their homes.
— The New Yorkers are rejoicing over nice new potatoes received from New Orleans.
— The Provost Marshal system is to be retained in all the States except Rhode Island, for the present.
— It is rumored in Macon that Breckenridge [sic: John C. Breckinridge] has escaped in a vessel from the coast of Florida.
— Ex. Gov. Brown, of Georgia, goes home on parole to try to organize and bring back the State to its first love. [Joseph E. Brown]
— Gov. Watts, of Alabama, was arrested in Montgomery a few days ago, but has been discharged from custody without being brought north. [Thomas H. Watts]
— The new trade regulations for Savannah are working most satisfactorily. Silver is plenty in Augusta for change, and greenbacks are at par.
— Where soldiers have lost legs, feet or arms in the war, the Government helps them to this extent in getting artificial ones: $75 for legs, $50 for arms and $50 for feet.
— The citizens of Northern Georgia are reported to be strongly Union. They defeated a gang of guerrillas a few days since and hung ten of them.
— Gen. Grant avows his purpose of retaining his residence at Galena and of voting there at the next election. He says he wants to be Mayor of that city, so he can fix the side-walks. [Ulysses S. Grant]
— The party in Kentucky which favors the anti-slavery amendment to the Constitution is daily gaining ground. Ex-Gov. McGoffen [sic: Beriah Magoffin] is out for the amendment.
— Beverly Tucker¹ announces that if God spares his life, Pres. Johnson shall go down to a dishonored grave. Such an announcement was hardly needed to prove the infamous wretch capable of attempting secret murder. [Andrew Johnson]
From The Prescott Journal:
— Says the Louisville Journal: “We understand that the negro population of Louisville and vicinity propose to celebrate the approaching Fourth of July in grand style. The celebrated colored orator, Fred. Douglas [sic], has been invited, and will be present to address the assembled multitude.
COMING TO IT.—The New Orleans Delta relates that a social party was given in Mobile, a few evenings since, to which were invited a number of both Union and Confederate officers. In the early part of the evening, an evident restraint hung over the assemblage, and anything but a pleasant time was in prospect. At last the brave rebel Colonel—of the—Alabama, proposed a song, and upon being pressed to start one, he broke forth in that stirring national air, “The Star Spangled Banner.” After a few moments of blank astonishment, the whole party, Union and rebel, joined in, and the utmost good feeling and jovialty [sic] prevailed from that time forth until the breaking day warned the merry company to disperse to their separate abodes. The good fruits that may spring from the little incident are incalculable.
During the conspiracy trial, an intelligent witness, a genial son of the Emerald Isle, was called on to the stand, and asked if he knew anything about the assassinations. He replied that he knew all about it and accordingly the court-room was cleared. The following testimony as it appears of record: “What do you know about the tragedy!” “I know all about it, yer honor.” “Where did you sit in the theatre!” “Right under the President’s box.” “Well, what did you see of the murder!” “I saw a might fine dressed man jump from the stage of the President’s box; then I heard a shot, and saw the same man jump back on the stage and bow before the American flag, and shout out : ‘He’s sick ; send for McManuies.’ ” (Sic semper tyrannis.³)
— VALLANDIGHAM [Clement L. Vallandigham] says in his late letter, that the Chicago platform is no longer binding upon the party, as it (the platform) “survived but eight days—dying of circumcision.” This is rather an unkind fling at George B. McClellan’s letter accepting the Chicago nomination and repudiating the platform.
— It is said that the only joke General Sherman ever perpetrated was upon eutering [sic] the capital of North Carolina. Turning to a regiment of veterans who were marching by the State House he called out: “Don’t you think this is a good place to sing “Raleigh” round the flag boys!” [This item also appeared in this week’s Polk County Press.]
— Gen. 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. [P.G.T. Beauregard, Nathaniel P. Banks]
1. Beverly Tucker was a former circuit court judge in Virginia, a member of the so-called “Confederate Canadian Cabinet,”* and quite possibly complicit with the Lincoln assassination conspiracy.
* The inner circle of Canadian-based Confederates, which, besides Tucker, included at least Jacob Thompson, George N. Sanders, and Clement C. Clay. These four, along with Confederate agents William C. Cleary, George Harper, and George Young, were indicted and tried as part of the plot to kill Lincoln.
2. American boxer John C. Heenan fought English boxer Tom Sayers in the first international boxing championship in 1860.
3. A Latin phrase meaning “thus always to tyrants.”