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1865 October 14: Telegraph Summary

October 14, 2015

Once again The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press of October 14, 1865, both have inside pages from a Milwaukee paper.  The following news summary appeared in both of our local newspapers.


Jefferson Davis was removed Monday from the casement in which he has been confined to quarters in Carroll Hall.

The State Convention of Georgia unanimously adopted an ordinance declaring the act of Secession null and void.

The veteran reserve corps will be disbanded in a few days, the regular army having been recruited sufficiently to supply its place.

General Conner [sic], commanding the expedition against the Sioux, Cheyennes, and Arraphoes, has returned to Fort Laramie.  He has fought four pitched battles with the Indians, suffering a loss of only 27, while the savages had 400 or 600 killed and a large number of wounded.  [Patrick E. Connor]

Proposals are out for a government loan of $50,000,000,—5-30’s—payment to be made in compound interest notes, treasury notes, and certificates of indebtedness.

At Paducah, recently, white soldiers attacked negro troops and killed five or six of them.

The provisional governor of Mississippi has issued a proclamation accepting a proposition from the freedmen’s bureau to transfer all negro cases to the civil courts of the State, on condition that the freedmen shall be accorded all the rights and privileges extended to whites.  Orders have been issued from the freedman’s bureau in Louisiana to a similar effect.

Chaplain Callahan,¹ of the Freedman’s [sic] Bureau in Louisiana, has been arrested by General Canby [Edward Canby], on account, among other things, of his recent arrest and trial of Judge Weems.²

The United States district court, at St. Louis, Tuesday announced that the oath prescribed by the act of Congress of January 24th, 1865, was a rule of the court ;  whereupon several attorneys who had refused to take the state constitutional oath subscribed to the federal obligation.

The President [Andrew Johnson] is said to be strongly disposed to set aside the Louisiana constitution, of 1864, and to appoint a provisional governor ;  but Gov. Wells [James M. Wells] does not meet with favor in his eyes.

The democratic State convention of Louisiana have nominated J. M. Wells for governor.

It has been decided gradually to muster out the colored troops stationed in the Northern States, including Kentucky.

Accounts from Mexico continue to be of a most contradictory character.  According to one statement, the imperialists are sweeping everything before them ;  while other statements give tidings of uninterrupted republican success.

It is believed that a large portion of the military forces congregated on the north-western frontier, will soon be withdrawn.

Major Generals Casey and Heintzelman, of the volunteer service, have been ordered to rejoin their regiments in the regular army.  The former is colonel of the 4th regiment of infantry and the latter of the 17th.  [Silas Casey, Samuel P. Heintzelman]

Dr. Gwin, and ex-Governor Clark of Missouri have been arrested and committed to Fort Jackson.³

Dr. Gwin and ex-Governor Clark, of Missouri, are on their way to Washington from New Orleans, under arrest.

An Augusta paper states that a dispatch has been received at Atlanta announcing that Alexander H. Stephens has been pardoned, and will return to his home.

A Philadelphia dispatch asserts that Gen. Grant, a few days ago, declared that our government would vindicate the Monroe doctrine ;  that Maximilian must leave Mexico ;  and that President Johnson would take open ground in the matter on the meeting of Congress.  [Ulysses S. Grant]

Gen. Slocum’s resignation has been accepted by the President.  [Henry W. Slocum]

About 1,600 additional French troops have lately arrived in Mexico.  Some negro troops are expected there from Egypt ;  apprehensions are felt that they will bring cholera with them.

A Louisiana delegation, in an interview with the President on Wednesday, sustained Governor Wells, praised Gen. Sheridan, and blamed General Canby for the disorder and dissatisfaction prevalent in that State, alleging that his interference with civil matters had been the cause of all the difficulties.  [Philip H. Sheridan]

Little Six4 and Medicine Bottle,5 the Sioux chiefs, are to be hung on Wednesday of next week.

Ex-Governor Clarke [sic: Charles Clark], of Mississippi, who has for some months past been imprisoned at Fort Pulaski, has been set at liberty by order of the President.

Dick Turner, the keeper of the Libby prison, who is to be tried on the charge of maltreatment of Union prisoners, has engaged Marmaduke Johnson as his counsel ;  and strong hopes are expressed by that gentleman of a disapproval of the charges against his client.  [Richard “Dick” Turner]

Judge Caton6 denies the truth of the statement made “on the authority of William H. Smith,”7 that General Grant, in a conversation with him (Judge C.) declared that the Monroe Doctrine would be enforced by our government, and that Maximilian must leave Mexico.  The General, who arrived in Washington Friday morning is said to be “much annoyed at the publication of expressions erroneously attributed to him.”

A meeting of 60,000 freedmen was held at  Edgefield, Tennessee, on Thursday Brig. General Fisk made an address.  “He wanted to put the black man in the jury box and on the witness stand.”  It is expected that, within a few weeks, there will be a general cleaning out of the negroes at Nashville, arrangements having been perfected to procure work for them in various localities.

Dr. Mudd recently made an attempt to escape from Dry Tortugas, by secreting himself in the coal bunker of the steamer Thomas A. Scott.  He was detected and put to work wheeling sand.  [Samuel Mudd]

General Carl Schurz is at St. Louis, and intends, it is reported, to establish a radical (English) newspaper at that point.

General Conner [sic] has issued a circular announcing “war to the knife” against the Indians, and advising officers in command of expeditions never leave a trail until the savages are overtaken and punished.

The 3rd Illinois cavalry, after a march of 1,500 miles, have reached Fort Snelling, whence they will leave for home in about a week, to be mustered out of service.

Count Joannes8 has volunteered to act as consul for General Lee in case of the trial of the latter ;  and the general has accepted his offer.  [Robert E. Lee]

The total number of pardons thus far granted by the President is 2,658.  Among the parties who have recently been recipients of executive clemency is L. Pope Walker, the first rebel secretary of war.  [L. P. Walker]

The work of re-establishing lighthouses along the southern coast is in course of vigorous prosecution.

1.  Thomas Callahan, assistant superintendent of the Freedmen’s Bureau in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was chaplain for the 48th U.S. Colored Infantry.
2.  Judge James J. Weems (1796-1872) was arrested on September 8, 1865.
3.  William M. Gwin, ex-senator of California, and ex-Governor Clark of Texas, were involved in a scheme to settle colonists from the Confederacy in Mexico. The colonists would be protected by veteran Confederate soldiers. The scheme fell apart.
William McKendree Gwin (1805-1885) was well known in California, Washington, DC, and in the South as a determined southern sympathizer. He served as a U.S. Representative from Mississippi (1841-43), and was one of California’s first two U.S. senators—John C. Fremont being the other, serving from 1850-61. After the the colonization scheme failed and the war ended, Gwin returned to the United States, and, after being arrested briefly, he retired from public life..
Edward Clark (1815-1880) was the 8th governor of Texas, serving from March to November 1861. He had previously been the lieutenant governor under Sam Houston (1859-61) and secretary of state under Elisha M. Pease. Clark became governor when Sam Houston refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. After losing the governor’s race by 124 votes to Francis Lubbock, Clark joined the 14th Texas Infantry as colonel. He was promoted to brigadier general after being wounded in battle. Clark fled to Mexico at the end of the War, staying only briefly.
4.  Medicine Bottle (1831-1865) was a Mdewakanton Dakota warrior, who played a part in the Dakota Conflict of 1862. His Dakota name was “Wa-Kan’-O-Zan-Zan” or Wakanozanzan, and he was also known as Rustling Wind Walker. In 1863 Medicine Bottle fled to Canada, and during the winter of 1864 he was captured there and brought to Fort Snelling (Minnesota). There he was tried and convicted by a military commission for his participation in the Dakota Conflict and sentenced to death. President Andrew Johnson confirmed the sentence. A crude gallows for two was built and, on November 11, 1865. Medicine Bottle was hanged at Fort Snelling, alongside his friend, Chief Shakopee (III).
5.  Little Six (1811-1865), also known as Chief Shakoppe (Shakopeela), was the third Mdewakanton Dakota chief of that name. He was a leader in the Dakota Conflict of 1862, during which he said he killed 13 women and children. Like Medicine Bottle, he fled to Canada in 1863 and was captured in 1864, returned to Minnesota, tried and convicted, and hanged on November 11, 1865.
6.  John Dean Caton (1812-1895) was lawyer in Illinois. Governor Thomas Carlin appointed Caton as an associate justice of the Illinois Supreme Court in August of 1842. He became chief justice when Samuel H. Treat resigned from the post in 1855. Caton himself resigned from the bench in 1864.
7.  Possibly William Henry Smith (1833-1896), a newspaper editor and Republican politician who was the 16th Ohio secretary of state (1865-68), or William Hugh Smith (1826-1899) who will become the 21st governor of Alabama (1868-70).
8.  George, Count Joannes (born George Jones, 1810-1879) was an English-American actor, author, journalist, and litigator best known for his eccentric behavior later in life. The Count’s many letters and other interactions with the famous became fodder for the newspapers, particularly after his return to America in 1859. He filed lawsuits against Horace Greeley, Edward Sothern, Massachusetts Governor John Albion Andrew, writer Francis Henry Underwood, The New York Times, and others. His correspondence with General Robert E. Lee offering to defend him against charges of treason was reported in the newspapers, as we see here.

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