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1865 July 8: A.H. Stephens Considers “the rebellion as a dice legitimately thrown, and, having lost, the Southern people are entitled to gracefully retire and submit”

July 8, 2015

This week’s summary of the news comes from the July 8, 1865, issue of The Prescott Journal.  There is not a July 8th issue of The Polk County Press on the microfilm.

General News.

— A file of the Richmound Examiner since the beginning of the war, has been sold to a Boston library society for five hundred dollars, as a literary curiosity.

— Mr. Sherman of New York , the manager of the fund collecting for Mrs. Lincoln [Mary Todd Lincoln], announces that about $10,000 has already been subscribed, and says the plan will not be abandoned until $100,000 has been secured.

—Gen. Andrews [Christopher C. Andrews], in command of Mobile, has issued an order that in all courts and judicial proceedings in the district the testimony of freed or colored people will be received and admitted according to the same rules of evidence that apply to white persons.

— The Washington Star says that President Johnson [Andrew Johnson] granted the application of the colored people for permission to celebrate the Fourth of July on the White House grounds, and they are making arrangements to do so.  This fact will spoil some enthusiastic en ogiums [sic: eulogiums¹] from the Democratic press.

— Eight thousand applications for pensions from disabled soldiers and the families of deceased men, are now on file at the Pension Bureau, and are attended to in order of application, as rapidly as possible, by Secretary Harlan [James Harlan], who has crowded an extra clerical force in the business of overlhauling and examining them.   

— The New York Tribune says:  A party who has patiently read the 46 pages of Alexander Stephens’ labored plea for pardon, assures us that he insists upon the righteousness and necessity of Slavery as persistently as in any of his former letters or speeches.  He shows little or no contrition, and seems to consider the rebellion as a dice legitimately thrown, and, having lost, the Southern people are entitled to gracefully retire and submit.


NEW YORK, Juuly [sic] 1.—The Herald’s correspondent from the departments of Generals Canby [Edward Canby] and Sheridan [Philip H. Sheridan], says :—Up to the 21st of June, 10,000 men of Kirby Smith’s rebel army had been paroled, and 20,000 stand of arms had been surrendered.

Of the General officers of Smith’s army, sixteen or eighteen had been paroled, including Buckner and old Sterling Price, of Mo.  [Simon B. Buckner]

Generals Shelby and Magruder have taken refuge in Mexico, with their leader, Kirby Smith.  [Joseph O. Shelby, John B. Magruder]

The Mexican Imperialists of Matamoras, have recently been very much excited over the report that there shortly will be 70,000 U. S. troops along the Rio Grande.

One of the Texas transports carrying the 4th army corps destined for the Rio Grande, passed New Orleans on the 22d ult.

The captured correspondence between the rebel General Slaughter² and the Imperialist General Meja [Tomas Meja], shows clearly that the trade in cotton by the rebel government was recognized by Maximillian and his authorities, and that about $2,000,000 worth of cotton was carried across the Rio Grande to Mexico through the contrivance of the Mexican authorities subsequent to the surrender of the rebel General Kirby Smith.  If official inquiry proves the correctness of this report, our Government will, no doubt, demand its restoration.

Additional particulars of the firing upon of Gen. Meja’s officers by our soldiers, near Brownsville, Texas, shows that, previous to the firing on the imperalists were challenged, but deigned no reply.

They reported the case to a French officer, who sent the following insulting note to Gen. Brown.

MATAMORAS, June 11, 1865.

GENERAL:— One of your soldiers, stationed above Brownsville, fired on two of my officers when coming from Santa Cruz.  You have no diplomatic character; no letter of credentials.  Now, I therefore write to you simply as a private individual, in order to express my utter contempt for the wanton offense committed by one of the men for whom you are responsible.

     [Signed.]                                   BARON DE BRUYAN
Commander of the Detachment of the Lyon.

After waiting in vain for a rifle, this officer, feeling his dignity wounded, published a silly communication in one of the Matamoras papers.

The Tribune’s Washngton [sic] special says:  A private letter received to-day from an old inhabitant of Prince George county, Va., states that the people are in a great state of destitution and are generally unable to properly cultivate their plantations, owing to a lack of draft animals.

The friends of the United States in Lyons, France, have opened a subscription list, for the purpose of raising money for the manufacture of a beautiful and costly flag of honor, to be presented to this country in memory of President Lincoln.  The subscriptions have been fixed at two cents each.

The Herald’s special says:  The President’s health is somewhat improved to day, but he is not yet well enough to attend to cabinet meetings, consequently none have been held this week.  He partially resumed attention to business to-day, and signed a few of the large number of of [sic]  papers requiring his signature, which have been accumulating during his illness.

The principal cause of his sickness is his close and incessant attention to business.  He not having as is understood, been out of the Executive mansion but twice since taking up his residence here.

It has been his habit to devote all his time from 8 o’clock in the morning till 10 o’clock at night to the onerous duties of his office.  His family and friends have been urging him to remove to the Soldiers’ Home, for the summer months, but thus far have not been able to induce him to do so, unless he can be persuaded to alter his present arrangements.  It is feared that his illness many become protracted and serious.

CINCINNATI, June 1.— Gen. Sherman [William T. Sherman] arrived here last night, and met with an enthusiastic reception.  He goes to Louisville on Monday, after which he will return to this city for a few days, before visiting St. Louis.

1.  Another term for eulogy.
2.  James Edwin Slaughter (1827-1901) was a great-nephew of U.S. President James Madison. He attended the Virginia Military Institute for a year when he resigned to accept a commission in the U.S. Army to fight in the Mexican War with Winfield Scott. After the Mexican War, he served in the 1st U.S. Artillery until the Civil War, when he accepted a commission as 1st lieutenant in the CSA Corps of Artillery. Due to his valuable service under fie at Pensacola, he was promoted in November 1861 to major. General P.G.T. Beauregard recommended Slaughter’s promotion to brigadier general, which he received in early March 1862. Slaughter became assistant inspector general at the Battle of Shiloh, and in May 1862 was appointed chief of the inspector general’s Department of the Army of the Mississippi. He continued this duty through the Kentucky Campaign, and was then assigned to the charge of the troops of Mobile, Alabama. In April 1863, Slaughter was sent to Galveston, Texas, as chief of artillery for General John B. Magruder. Later in the year he was given charge of the eastern sub-district of Texas, and command of the Second Division. During the remainder of the War he played an important part in Confederate affairs in Texas. When Lee surrendered, Slaughter made his way to Mexico, where he stayed for several years working as a civil engineer. He eventually returned to Mobile and then made his home in New Orleans.

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