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1865 August 12: The Rebellion Finds Good Friends in New York, Another Andersonville Horror Story, and More

August 12, 2015

The following news comes from the August 12, 1865, issue of The Prescott Journal.

General News. 

— The citizens of Galena have built General Grant a new house, furnished it from top to bottom, and laid a side walk in front.  Now they want him to come back home.  The Philadelphians have given him a splendid mansion; and want him to stay there.  He will have trouble to decide.  How happy he could be with either, were it the other dear charmer away.  [Ulysses S. Grant]

B Y   T E L E G R A P H 

The Rebel Meeting in New York

What was Said and Done. 

NEW YORK, Aug. 5.—It is reported that 24 officers, recently discharged from our army have proffered their services to the Mexican minister here, and propose to join the Mexican Army.

Mr. R. Brown¹ who was present at the Jeff. Davis meeting here, the other day, makes an affidavit to the following facts.  [Jefferson Davis]

The meeting was first composed of citizens of New York, when, at the suggestion of some one, several Southern gents outside, were invited inside, when the doors were closed.

There were then ten men present.  The object of the meeting being to raise funds to pay the expenses of defending Davis, a committee was appointed for that purpose, consisting of Mayor Gunther,² who was not present, Carlos Butterfield, Messrs. Douglass and Clancy.

A general conversation ensued, and they all agreed that the Davis trial was the most important one in the world’s history.

Mr. Cutler³ quoted from the Declaration of Independence to show that the southern States had a right to secede.  Other New Yorkers took the same ground, citing the actions and opinions of citizens of New York and Massachusetts, when the Constitution was framed.  Mr. Livingston4 of Alabama, read from several free State Constitutions the expressed right to secede.  It was said that the effect of the trail of Davis would be a resolution of sentiment everywhere in favor of the South.  It would be proved on trial that the secession cause was right and entitled to sympathies of the world.

Mr. Livingston declared that in twenty-five years, the man that now accuses the south of having committed treason, will be looked upon as a madman and a fool.  One New Yorker denounced the execution of Mrs. Surratt [Mary Surratt], as a cool and deliberate murder.  Mr. Martin [sic]5 said the court had no legal jurisdiction, and that the execution was a deliberate murder.  Mr. Livingston said several Englishmen had told him that this cruel murder would send a thrill of horror through Europe, and the howl that would be sent back, would so strike terror to the American Government, that it will be afraid to bring Davis to trail.  He asserted that the intention was to keep him lingering in prison.

NEW YORK, August 5th.—The Times’ Washington special has the following :  The internal revenue receipts since our last report foot up $280,316,286, viz: yesterday’s receipts 108,641,715, and today’s receipts, 171,675,671.  It has been announced in some of the papers that the President [Andrew Johnson] would leave here to-day for Cape May.  We understand the President had no such intentions.  His health is improving.  The Seamens’ Societies in this city are preparing an entertainment for the benefit of the Lincoln National Monument, to be erected here.  The Baltimore Firemens’ Societies propose to take action to the same end.  The monument associations already have a handsome sum on hand.

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 5.—By the recent completion of the line between Pine Bluffs and Camden, Ark., telegraphic communication is opened to Galveston, via Shreveport.  The Marshall and Houston lines, in course of construction in western Texas, will soon give the Washington authorities connection with San Antonia, Brownsville, and other points on the frontier.

WASHINGTON, Aug, 5.—The Postmaster General [William Dennison] has been ordered to renew the mail service on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, from Mobile, Ala., to Columbus, Ky., including Macon, and other important points.

Capt. H. Dryden, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, died last night.—He had been sick only two days.  He participated with Admiral Dupont [sic: Samuel F. Du Pont] in the taking of Port Royal, and other important places.

NEW YORK, Aug. 4.— The Post publishes the following affidavit, made by Peter J. Smith :

“I was a corporal in Co. I, 6th Conn. Vols., and was captured in front of Petersburg, July 18th, 1863, and taken to Libby Prison, thence to Belle Island, and to Andersonville, Sept. 5th, 1863.  While there, the rations were served out by Maj. Allen of the 2d Va. Rebel cavalry.  Allen would sometimes go to the U. S. men and ask them if they would take the oath to the confederacy, and upon their declining would say, “Don’t give them a d—d mouthful to eat to-day.”  At one time he took eight of us, (myself among that number,) all non-commissioned officers, and upon our refusing to take the oath and persuade the privates to do so, tied each of us by our hands and arms, to our sides, and our feet together, so we could not use them, and then laying us upon our sides, took a pistol and resting it on our ears, fired it, causing the greatest agony, and the blood to flow from our ears.

He caused the pistol to be fired on my ear twelve times, saying he would make me so I could not hear the order of another Yankee general.  The hearing of my right ear has been destroyed in consequence of this treatment.  Upon my return through from my imprisonment I saw Major Allen in Richmond, Va., serving out provisions furnished by the United States government, to the poor of Richmond.  There is now in Richmond a Mr. Wm. Schaffer who was baker for the military prison, who can substantiate this.”

1.  Robert Brown.
2.  Charles Godfrey Gunther (1822-1885) was the Democratic mayor of New York City from 1864-66. Gunther was actively involved with the Tammany Hall political machine.
3.  Peter Y. Cutler was a New York City lawyer.
4.  Robert M. Livingston, of Mobile, Alabama.
5.  Theodore Martine (1806-1877)

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