1865 July 1: A Variety of National News Items, Including the Conspiracy Trial
The following summary of the week’s news comes from The Prescott Journal of July 1, 1865.
— Charles Walsh, of Chicago, convicted of a conspiracy to release the rebel prisoners at Camp Douglas, has been pardoned by the President [Andrew Johnson].
— The eldest son of President Tyler was “Bobby,” the eldest son of President Lincoln is “Bob,” and the eldest son of President Johnson is “Bob,” too. Three Prince Roberts in a quarter of a century. [John Tyler, Abraham] Lincoln]
— A receipt has been found among the captured archives of the State of Tennessee, showing that Isham G. Harris deposited in London $43,000 in State bonds, to his individual credit.
— When Benjamin parted with Davis, he said, “We’re both going to the same place.” “How is that?” asked Davis. “Well,” said Benjamin, “I am going to Europe, and you’re going to your rope.” [Judah P. Benjamin, Jefferson Davis]
— The rebel prisoners at Point Lookout, Md., erected a flagstaff, a few days since, and hoisted the United States flag greeting it with hearty cheers.
— General Butler says :
“I know from having seen the rolls of 100,000 of the rank and file of the Confederate army, prisoners, that only one in eight was able to sign his name.”
[Benjamin F. Butler]
— The official list of casualties in General Grant’s campaign, commencing with the crossing of the Rapidan in May, 1864, and ending with the final surrender of Lee’s army, has been received at the War Department. The casualties foot up nearly ninety thousand. [Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee]
— The suspension bridge at Nashville, destroyed at the time the Union army was preparing to occupy the city, is to be rebuilt immediately. Sixty thousand dollars of the capital stock has already been subscribed, and the remaining $15,000 will soon be pledged.
— It is proposed to erect a magnificent bridge over the Potomac at Washington as a monument to the late President. It will be called the “Lincoln Bridge,” and a colossal statue of Mr. Lincoln will be placed in the center or at one end of the structure.
— Jeff. Davis’ commission as a First Lieutenant of Dragoons, signed [by] Andrew Jackson, President, and Lewis Cass, Secretary of War, and dated April 10, 1834, to rank from March 4, 1843, has fallen into the hands of a member of Gov. Oglesby’s staff. [Richard J. Oglesby, Illinois governor]
— The secretary of war directs that the orders for mustering out of service immediately all regiments whose term of service expires before the 1st of October, shall not be held to apply to the Veteran Reserve corps. Thus men in that corps must serve out their full time, though the regiments in which they originally enlisted are to be mustered out immediately.
— The Boston Journal states that Hon. A. H. Stephens, late Vice-President of the rebel confederacy, now at Fort Warren is allowed to walk in the open air daily, from 9 to 10 o’clock in the forenoon, in company with an officer. His health is very feeble, and it is feared that the imprisonment is fast undermining his weak constitution. He is kept in a room by himself, guarded all the time by two soldiers. Postmaster General Reagan [John H. Reagan], who is similarly guarded, is allowed a daily promenade between 6 and 7 o’clock P. M.
B Y T E L E G R A P H.
NEW YORK, June 23.—The Commercial’s special says Gen. Grant’s health is somewhat impaired by arduous services and he will probably seek a few weeks repose.
Gen. Howard has received very favorable information from Kansas and Missouri respecting the condition of the freedmen. In Missouri, only 226 colored people are supported by the government, against 4,462 whites. [O. O. Howard]
The Post’s special says the attorneys are daily placing on file applications for pardon for their clients.
AUBURN, June 23.—The remains of the late Mrs. Wm. H. Seward¹ left Washington on Thursday morning, and were accompanied to this city by Secretary Seward, Gen. Wm. H. Seward¹ and Fanny Seward.¹ Maj. Gen. Hancock, Brig. Gen. Mitchell of Hancock’s staff, and Major Norris, Surgeon U. S. A., one of the surgeons who attended Secretary Seward’s family. [Secretary of State William H. Seward, Sr., Winfield S. Hancock]
The funeral of the deceased will take place at St. Peter’s church, in this city to-day, (Saturday,) at three o’clock p. m.
Secretary Seward’s health does not seem to have been injured by the journey. He bore the fatigue remarkably well.
LOUISVILLE, June 23.—The New Albany Ledger reports a terrible accident on the Ohio and Mississippi railroad, near Lafayette, Indiana, yesterday. A freight train bound east and a soldiers rain bound west, collided, killing the engineer and firemen of both trains. While an angry dispute arose between the conductors as to the blame, another freight train from the east ran into the soldiers’ train, killing fifteen men, and wounded 150 men, many fatally. The soldiers belonged to Illinois and Missouri regiments and were homeward bound.
SAN FRANCISCO, June 20.—The city election at Portland, Oregon, resulted in the complete success of the Union ticket with scarcely any opposition.
FT. MONROE, June 22.—The steamer Ariel, of the Texas expedition, sailed to-day.
BOSTON, June 23.—A Washington special to the Boston Journal states that the South Carolina delegation very modestly asks that the government shall redeem confederate bonds paper, which amount, according to their calculation, to $200,000,000. The delegation possess one million of worthless bonds, which is pronounced the secret of their anxiety on the subject.
CAIRO, June 22.—Over fifty gunboats and other vessels, lately composing a portion of the Mississippi Squadron, are to be sold at auction at Mound City, Illinois, Aug. 17th.
NEW YORK, June 22.—Work has ceased at the Portsmouth Navy Yard on all of the principal vessels in course of construction there—the Franklin , Passaconaway [1863, never completed], Illinois [1864, never completed] and Contocook . Two of these are not yet launched.
The Army and Navy Official Gazette publishes the following despatch from General Grant to General Halleck [Henry W. Halleck], ordering the latter to disregard Sherman’s truce [William T. Sherman]. It should have accompanied Halleck’s letter :
FORTRESS MONROE, Saturday, April 22, ’65.—Major General Halleck, Richmond, Va.—The truce entered into by Sherman will be ended as soon as I can reach Raleigh. Move Sheridan with his cavalry, towards Greensboro, N. C., as soon as possible. I think it will be well to send one corps of infantry also, the whole under Sheridan. The infantry need not go further than Danville, unless they receive orders hereafter to do so.
(Signed,) U. S. GRANT, Lieut. Gen.
WASHINGTON, June 23.—Mrs. Surratt continues very sick. [Mary Surratt]
Junius Brutus Booth² was unconditionally released this morning from Old Capitol prison.
Mr. Ewing³ made an argument against the jurisdiction of the court, and after examining the evidence in the case of Dr. Mudd,4 claimed that his client was entitled to an acquittal.
The court adjourned until Tuesday, when Ass’t Judge Advocate Bingham5 will commence the summing up for the government.
1. Francis Adeline Miller Seward (1805-1865) married William Henry Seward on October 20, 1824. They had five children: Augustus Henry Seward (1826-1876), Frederick William Seward (1830-1915), Cornelia Seward (1836-1837), [Brigadier General] William Henry Seward, Jr. (1839-1920), and Frances Adeline “Fanny” Seward (1844-1866). On April 14, 1865, her husband and two of their sons, Frederick and Augustus, and Fanny, were injured in an assassination attempt on her husband in their house. The attack put Frances into a state of great anxiety about her family, and she thought that Frederick would die of his injuries (he survived). She died on June 21, 1865, of a heart attack.
2. Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. (1821-1883) was a brother of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. He was a member of the famous Booth family of actors, and also a theatre manager. At the time of the assassination, he was fulfilling an acting engagement in Cincinnati, Ohio. Even so, he was arrested and hurried by train to the Old Capitol Prison, where he was interrogated and released.
3. Thomas Ewing, Jr. (1829-1896), was the defense attorney for Dr. Mudd, and two Ford Theatre employees, Edman Spangler and Samuel Arnold. All three were convicted, but spared being hanged. Ewing also was successful in obtaining a pardon for Mudd at the end of Johnson’s term. Before the War, Ewing was the first chief justice of Kansas (1861) and a leading free state advocate. During the War, he recruited the 11th Kansas Infantry and was elected as its first colonel, and was promoted to brigadier general in 1863 for his leadership at the Battle of Prairie Grove. After the War, Ewing successfully lobbied the key vote against the impeachment of Andrew Johnson when he convinced an old friend to vote against impeachment. He was also a U.S. Representative from Ohio (1877-81), and narrowly lost the 1880 campaign for Ohio governor.
4. Samuel Alexander Mudd (1833-1883) was charged with aiding John Wilkes Booth as he escaped by setting his broken leg and giving him shelter; as a consequence of these actions, he was also charged with conspiracy. The military commission found him guilty, but he escaped the death penalty by a single vote, and was pardoned in 1869.
5. John Armor Bingham (1815-1900) was a U.S. Representative from Ohio (1855-63 and 1865-73), judge advocate in the Lincoln assassination trial, and a prosecutor in the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson. He was also the principal framer of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the 7th U.S. Ambassador to Japan (1873-85).