June 23, 1862, The New York Herald

It has puzzled many a wise head to account for the apparantly deep and bitter enmity of the Southern mind in general against the people inhabiting the regions north of Mason and Dixon’s line. The bad feeling alluded to dates back in its origin to the time of the famous John Randolph, of Roanoke, as he delighted to be called. He was a man who, if not a good lover, was certainly a great hater — extending his passion for hating almost to the whole race of mankind, including even friends as well as foes, if he can be said to have had many, if any, of the former, except his devoted Juba. Randolph was a man of singular and extraordinary genius, exercising no little power over the minds of the men of his age, more, it is to be believed, by the fear which his great powers of sarcasm and repartee inspired than from any of those great and commanding qualities of heart and mind which produce respect and admiration. He was a man who, if not like Shakespeare’s Yorick, capable of setting a table in a roar, was possessed of such infinite powers of reproach and sarcasm that he was well able to inspire contempt and excite ridicule against any section or people whom he chose to attack. Educated as an aristocrat, proud of his ancient and royal descent — claiming a princess, no less than the celebrated Pocahontas, as one of his progenitors — he looked down with infinite contempt upon all whom he considered his inferiors in birth and station. Born, as it were, a feudal lord, accustomed from early life to command and dictate, he could not brook association with those whose claims to distinction rested upon the foundation of individual merit, and who, even if their fortunes were equal with his own, owed them to individual or commercial talents rather than to aristocratic birth and rank. All these his antecedents, made him — we may almost say naturally — an enemy to Northern men; and he possessed powers of wit, reproach and bitter invective capable of communicating his own feelings to the classes and people among whom he associated, and in whose eyes he was a being of superior order. He it was who first set in motion the practice of inveighing against the commercial North: in fact he despised us as much as an English nobleman despises the peasant that works upon his estate, and as much as the French noblesse of the ancient regime despised the ignoble tradesman or merchant.

It is said of him that, having been appointed chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, through the influence of President Jefferson, the ignorance which he betrayed in that high position, of all financial and commercial subjects, was such as, if not to disgust all the other members of the committee, at least to disgust him with his fellow committeemen. So great indeed was his vanity and self-conceit that we may well imagine that, by himself, his own ignorance was viewed as a superiority, and their superior knowledge and ability in everything relating to finance and commerce was looked upon by him as something low, degrading and inferior. At all events, his connection with the business men of the North had no tendency to beget in him an admiration for business or a love for those whose pride and glory consisted in business talents. From the influence of such a man as Randolph it is easy to conceive how his neighborhood, and even his State, was easily led to suppose that vituperation of the North was an essential constituent of patriotism, and that a supreme contempt of the greater portion of a great people constituted absolute superiority.

This great but erratic genius, having first sown the seeds, did not live long enough to witness the rapid growth of the crops and its baneful harvest. John C. Calhoun followed closely in the wake which John Randolph had opened in the masses of the South. With a deliberate purpose of separation and secession, he availed himself of the most powerful means of dividing a people which unquestionably are the industrious dissemination of hatred by the indulgence of incessant vituperation, crimination and reproach. The tariff was at first the great machine employed to give imaginary substance to the numerous grievances which the South was represented as suffering from the North. Mr. McDuffie, a violent man and an unscrupulous generalizer, joining hand in with Mr. Calhoun actually succeeded in persuading the people that they were robbed by the North of a whole bale of cotton in every four bales, by the action of the tariff. Thus the evil spirit of malignant hatred began to spread and take root, until it became a mater of faith among the leading men of the South that they were robbed, plundered, abused and shamefully ill-treated by the North. When once the mind of any public is brought to such a pitch, and worked up by such delusions to jealousy and hatred, a people may be said to be like a magazine of powder, which only wants the torch and the firebrand to be thrown into it to produce a universal explosion.

Abolitionism finally presented and industriously applied this firebrand, and at once kindled into a flame these inflammable materials. The hot fanaticism with which the emissaries of abolition preached against the South succeeded in giving, as it were, substance and reality to causes of dislike and jealousy purely imaginary and political. We say political, for there can be no doubt that the system of inflaming the Southern mind against the Northern section of the country was in a great measure adopted by the popular leaders as a political means of riding into power. We need not expatiate upon this subject: how the torch of abolitionism kindled the South into a flame, how that flame spread far and wide, how it made two people of those who had been one, are known to everybody and can be disputed by none.

So great, however, was the exasperation of the Southern mind produced by this latter cause, operating as it did upon excitable minds already roused to fear, jealousy and hatred by interested politicians, that, even if this war had not come on when it did, it must have come on at some time or other. It was but a question of time. Let us hope that its results will open the eyes of the South, and convince the […..], not only that we are not so contemptible as they were taught to believe, but that they also are not so immensely superior as they were led to imagine. Let us hope that the delusions and divisions between brethren of the same nation, color and blood will be dissipated by this war, and that the people of the South, seeing to what a condition their flatterers and deceivers have reduced them, will henceforth lay hold of the hand of friendship which the North has ever extended, and put down forever among them the proud and insolent fire-eaters and factious demagogues, who, for their own advancement and political exaltation, have not scrupled to plunge their country into all the horrors and miseries of a civil and fratricidal war.


June 23, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

Since our last issue all has been quiet along our lines on James’ Island. The situation of affairs there, however, is such that another conflict may happen at any moment.

About three o’clock on Saturday afternoon one of the enemy’s gunboats, composing the blockading squadron off this port, crossed the bar at or near the Ship Channel, and steamed up along the beach of Morris Island, keeping up a rapid fire of shell towards the ridge of sand hills on which our batteries were planted during the siege of Fort Sumter. After firing about twenty rounds, the gunboat turned about and went to sea. Taken in connection with the frequently reiterated threats of an early demonstration against Charleston, this gunboat reconnoissance of Morris Island is significant.


June 23, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

Before daylight, on Friday, the 20th inst., two Yankee barges, containing about thirty men, went up the Santee river to the Steam Pounding Mill, and captured the schooner Louisa and crew, with a cargo of 147 bales cotton; the steam tug Treaty (a small propeller boat used for towing on the Santee river), and two lighters, belonging to the mill, partly loaded with rough rice. There was one negro man in the steam tug. They then took their prizes out to the blockading fleet, leaving the Steam Mill unharmed. The Captain of the Louisa escaped by being at the residence of Mr. TILTON, about 600 yards from the mill.


June 23, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

The Richmond papers state that reliable information has been received from Washington, that Gen. HALLECK has moved from Corinth to Maryland, and that arrangements have been made for the transfer of his army to him within two weeks. It is a very important movement. The object evidently is, by a rapid transportation of troops, to overwhelm JACKSON first, and to take Richmond afterwards.

But if JACKSON has, as asserted, an army of seventy-five thousand men, and if Richmond is secure against McCLELLAN’S army, as it is said, then we do not see why Gen. BEAUREGARD should not make an attempt on Cincinnati in the West, like that of JACKSON on Baltimore or Philadelphia in the East.

HALLECK, with transportation and command down the Tennessee river, and with railroad connection from St. Louis to Wheeling and Harrisburg and Baltimore, can doubtless move a large portion of his army in a short space of time. BEAUREGARD, having lost the connection with Virginia via the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, could hardly confront HALLECK in season by transferring his immense force via Mobile and Montgomery. But such a movement on the part of HALLECK exposes whatever forces are left in Tennessee and Kentucky to destruction by BEAUREGARD’S army, with the redemption to the Confederate States of an immense territory, comprising two of their best fighting States. It exposes Cincinnati to capture, if the Confederate General only exhibits as much boldness and activity as HALLECK does. The army is already mobilised for rapid movement and ready fighting. It is stript for action. It should, with generalship, be able either to occupy HALLECK’S forces and retain them in the West, or to retake Tennessee and Kentucky, if they are conveyed away to Maryland. Oh, for another JACKSON in the West, to march miles by the hundred and win victories day after day in rapid succession! BONAPARTE in four days marched his army sixty miles and fought three pitched battles, gaining them all. Let him be an example for imitation. The South has now great need of military genius. We cannot expect to get from the North terms and positions where our Generals are certain of victory. Generals need never expect to have everything ready as desired. Our prospects in fighting do not improve usually by declining to accept those offered us.

We often lose proportionally by delay. Enterprise on the part of the Generals, and confidence in the spirit of the troops, must make up the odds of gunboats, artillery, &c.

Much now depends upon the decision and movements of the grand army under Gen. BEAUREGARD. JACKSON cannot fight and whip everybody, while Gen. LEE’S army, in a stage of siege, observes McCLELLAN, and Gen. BEAUREGARD’S army effects nothing observable. We hope for something astonishing soon. All our troops want is a fair chance in their management.


June. — There was great excitement in prayer meeting last night, it seemed to Abbie Clark, Mary Field and me on the back seat where we always sit. Several people have asked us why we sit away back there by old Mrs Kinney, but we tell them that she sits on the other side of the stove from us and we like the seat, because we have occupied it so long. I presume we would see less and hear more if we sat in front. To-night just after Mr Walter Hubbell had made one of his most beautiful prayers and Mr Cyrus Dixon was praying, a big June bug came zipping into the room and snapped against the wall and the lights and barely escaped several bald heads. Anna kept dodging around in a most startling manner and I expected every moment to see her walk out and take Emma Wheeler with her, for if she is afraid of anything more than dogs it is June bugs. At this crisis the bug flew out and a cat stealthily walked in. We knew that dear Mrs Taylor was always unpleasantly affected by the sight of cats and we didn’t know what would happen if the cat should go near her. The cat very innocently ascended the steps to the desk and as Judge and Mrs Taylor always sit on the front seat, she couldn’t help observing the ambitious animal as it started to assist Dr Dagget in conducting the meeting. The result was that Mrs Taylor just managed to reach the outside door before fainting away. We were glad when the benediction was pronounced.


Headquarters 5th Prov. Army Corps,
Camp near New Bridge, June 22, 1862.

Dear Father, — Why don’t they send us reinforcements? From present appearances, we shall stay here all summer sweltering under this powerful sun, our ranks daily .decreasing from sickness and exposure, all from want of reinforcements. Unless we are attacked by the enemy, or unless General McClellan gets some very favorable chance to attack them, there will be no fighting for some time, and in case of a battle the result, to say the least, is extremely doubtful. They greatly outnumber us, and are daily throwing up trenches and batteries right opposite our army. In the face of all these facts, and notwithstanding McClellan’s frequent and earnest appeals for more troops, the Government at Washington refuses us any reinforcements. The Abolitionists in Congress have a great deal to do with this, and are purposely protracting the war in order to render emancipation necessary, and are so endangering our existence as a nation united and whole. It is decidedly disagreeable to sit down here and see things go on so, and feel that we are liable to be whipped at any time, when victory could be made certain for us. McDowell holds hack as long as he can, and would be glad to see McClellan defeated. If he were anything of a general he could defend Washington or the Rappahannock, with 20,000 men and let the rest come here. At the end of the war, I think that a history of these facts will come out, which will fully vindicate McClellan, and show up Stanton and Co. in their true light. By the way, I heard of a remark he made when coming into office. “McClellan organizing the army? It is the Democratic party he is organizing I’ll clip his comb for him.” Now General McC. would not accept of the Presidency if it were offered him, according to the most positive assertions of his friends. He has a complete copy of all telegrams, etc., received from Stanton, which his friends will let out at the proper time. All this, of course, is to be kept for yourself and no one else.

I called on Colonel Barnes the other day and had a very kind reception from him. I also saw my captain. I don’t think there will be any chance for my promotion unless it comes in the regular order from vacancies arising in my regiment which will push me along.

I have got some things which I am going to send home. One is a club which I got from Sayres’s house where Mrs. General Lee was imprisoned. The family have all left, leaving the place in charge of negroes. One of the women, who let me in the house, said the club was one which belonged to John Brown, and which was taken from him at Harper’s Ferry. Then I have some fossils, etc., which I took from a pretty collection there called the Marlborne collection. Also a book which I found in the house, everything except the cabinet being taken away. Also a shell which the rebels fired at us a day or two ago from the other side of the Chickahominy. . . .


June 22 — We had preaching in camp to-day again, and we are getting in a goodly supply of heavenly ammunition from the arsenal of truth — in double doses, preaching in the morning and prayer meeting at night. The ammunition is fixed and ready to fire at all times and under all circumstances, and I hope that we may all pack at least some of it away in the cartridge box of fortitude for immediate and constant use, and not act like the great majority of the world, both saints and sinners, who use it all up in empty ceremonials on Sunday, having not enough left on Monday morning to make a decent skirmish against the inroads of wrongdoing, hypocrisy, and rascality.

This evening at dusk our chaplain held a prayer meeting in camp. It was in a beautiful part of the woods where his tent stood, and the quartermaster pro tern, of Heaven was standing in the door of his tent and issued with lavish supply the rations of holy manna from the Sacred Receptacle that was stocked by Moses, David, and Christ in the dim ages of long ago. Two little tallow candles stuck against the black bark of a rough oak tree, with vacillating and flickering gleam, was the grand chandelier that furnished the light. Mother Earth strewn and carpeted with last autumn’s brown leaves provided vast and ample seating accommodations for the sun-tanned warriors that rode and fought with Ashby through storms of shot and shell, but now had sheathed their trusty blades, and in reverence received their holy rations of moral rectitude in perfect silence and with good behavior, without the least murmur or complaint of who was to have first choice.

Bright stars that flashed their silvery light from the silent dome of the temple here and there peeped through the little interstices in the thick foliage of the overarching forest trees. A solitary cricket not far away chirped its vesper hymn in measured cadences in the same tone and strain that its kindred chanted in the crevices of the old brick fireplace around the hearthstone at home when I was a child. Oh, how nimbly and vividly thought plays on the harp of memory when its sleeping strings are touched by the fingers of the past!


22nd. Sunday. Major Purington started at 5 for Ohio on 30 days furlough. Carried lots of money for the boys. We boys sent to Wilson Dodge, former Q. M,, to get the Major a ring worth $10. Got our pay. Commissary and Q. M. received alike this time.

Issued some rations and drew enough from Brigade Com’y for ten days.


“Wilson Small,” June 22.

Dear Mother, — Yesterday was a hard day, and not a very useful one. The result is that I am a little befogged this morning,—deaf, drowsy, and dull. Five hundred men came down last night, — the clearings-out of the regimental hospitals on the right. Our gentlemen were up all night. I was safe in my berth; but Georgy was in the tent till 3 A. M., though she had been up all the night before.

The Great Mogul, the Medical Inspector, Colonel Vollum, for whom Mr. Olmsted has been begging, has arrived. He is staying on board the “Small.” He ranks every other medical officer; therefore on him our hopes depend. The run to Yorktown on “special business” was made to give the Chief and the Inspector a chance of quietly discussing the whole matter. Mr. Olmsted has just been, full of brightness, to tell me that everything is arranged satisfactorily, and to read me the signed agreement. The Commission is to take: 1. All badly wounded men, all amputations and compound fractures of the lower extremities, and all other cases which ought not to travel at first (say five hundred, — a large estimate), and keep them, on board the “Knickerbocker” and the “St. Mark,” in the river until they can be moved. It engages to spend a sum not exceeding ten thousand dollars on the means of carrying out this first item. 2. It agrees to receive at Fortress Monroe three thousand other bad cases able to bear transportation, whenever a battle occurs; and four thousand five hundred more within twelve days of it, and transport them to New York, Washington, or elsewhere.

Thus, you see, the Commission gains the certainty that the worst cases and the greatest suffering shall be under its own eye and care. The rest — the slightly wounded, or those so wounded as to be able to help themselves — are the ones that are left to the Government. The country may feel assured that when the great battle occurs, provision is made for those who shall suffer most; and the Commission feels that the country will provide that it shall not fall short in its engagement. This enables us to contemplate a great battle with less of a nightmare feeling than we have had while there was nothing to expect but a repetition of past scenes. We feel that something is impending; the clearing out of the hospitals, the arrangements thus decisively made for the wounded, all seem to point to a coming emergency. Oh! can we help dreading it?

General Van Vliet has just been here,—a jolly old gentleman, with his shock of yellow-white hair, and his nice, old-fashioned politesse for “the ladies.” We fire a volley of questions at him. First, and before all else, “How is the General?” (meaning, of course, General McClellan.) “Ho! he’s well; quite got over that fever of yours,—what do you call it, typhoid?” Then we try to get out of him some information about the state of affairs. He said he dined at General Porter’s headquarters with several of the corps commanders yesterday, and it was universally agreed that General Porter’s position was not tenable any longer; that our line was far too long (I told you that our right was stretched out to touch McDowell). “Well,” says the General, “Porter is in what you may call a deadlock, — can’t get across the river; there’s a battery” (making a lunge at our best chair). “What they’ll do will be to try and turn our flank. Perhaps they’ll do it; perhaps not.” “And we?” we cried. “Oh, you!” he said, with his jolly laugh, “you’ll have to cut and run as best you can, and we’ll go into Richmond.” “Shall we go up the James River?” “How are you going into Richmond?” “Has Burnside got Fort Darling?” Here the General became impenetrable, but looked so profoundly wise that if he did not tell his secret, he at least told that he had one.

Captain Sawtelle sent me a present of mint to-day (his orderly could not restrain a smile as he gave it to me), and the Captain came just now with an eye, I fear, to that improper thing called a “mint-julep.” You may think it very vulgar, but let me tell you it is very good; and you would think so too if you had been up all night, with the thermometer at 90°. Georgy is flitting about, putting things to rights (or wrongs) with as much energy as if she had not been up two nights. She has hunted me into the smallest corner of the cabin, while she dusts and decorates the rest. Her activity is a never-ending marvel to me. I saw her today spring from the ground to the floor of a freight-car, with a can of beef-tea in one hand, her flask in the other, and a row of tin cups tied round her waist. Our precious flasks! They do us good service at every turn. We wear them slung over our shoulders by a bit of ribbon or an end of rope. If, in the “long hereafter of song,” some poet should undertake to immortalize us, he’ll do it thus, if he’s an honest man and sticks to truth: —


A lady with a flask shall stand,
Beef-tea and punch in either hand, —
Heroic mass of mud
And dirt and stains and blood!


This matter of dirt and stains is becoming very serious. My dresses are in such a state that I loathe them, and myself in them. From chin to belt they are yellow with lemon-juice, sticky with sugar, greasy with beef-tea, and pasted with milk-porridge. Farther down, I dare not inquire into them. Somebody said, the other day (a propos of what, I forget), that he wished to kiss the hem of my garment. I thought of the condition of that article, and shuddered. This state of “things” has reached its climax. “Georgy,” I said the other day, “what am I to do? I can’t put on that dress again, and the other is a great deal worse.” “I know what I shall do,” says Georgy, who is never at a loss, and suggests the wildest things in the calmest way: “Dr. Agnew has some flannel shirts; he is going back to New York, and can’t want them. I shall get him to give me one.” Accordingly, Santa Georgeanna has appeared in an easy and graceful costume, looking especially feminine. I took the hint, and have followed suit in a flannel shirt from the hospital supplies; and now, having tasted the sweets of that easy garment, we shall dread civilization if we have to part with what we call our “Agnews.”

Just as I was writing the last words, Dr. Coolidge came on board. I was delighted to see him. He has a sad story from his place of action,—as sad as ours; as sad as all that come from honest hearts and capable heads wherever they are. But let us hope for better things to come, — especially to-day.

Good-by! I have so many letters to write that sometimes I feel as if I could not write another word. I have twelve lying by me now, ready to go off, — soldiers’ letters, and answers to the friends of the dead. We receive such pathetic, noble letters from the parents and friends of those who have died in our care, and to whom it is a part of our duty to write. They will never cease to be a sad and tender memory to us. The mothers’ are the most noble and unselfish; the wives’ the most pathetic,—so painfully full of personal feeling.

[The letters of the following week are missing. The mails were stopped on account of the preparations for the “change of base,” and probably the letters were lost in them. The above is the last letter mailed from White House which came to hand; the next was brought down on the “Small,” and mailed from Fortress Monroe.]


June 22d. Sunday morning. Splendid weather; were routed out twice during the night, but nothing more than the ordinary firing occurred. Had a fine bath in the half barrel; dressed in full uniform and took breakfast at nine o’clock with the colonel and the lieutenant-colonel; at ten o’clock held regimental inspection, and the remainder of the day remained quietly in camp. In the evening, McKim, Broom, and I rode over to the camp of the Lincoln cavalry and renewed our acquaintance with Quartermaster Bailey, from whom I bought the gray. The cavalry officers tell us they have had glorious sport, scouting, raiding, and exploring the country on our right flank. They passed to the rear of the enemy the other day and created quite an alarm. They think the rebels are up to something and will soon make a move. It seems certain they will not otherwise hear from us, so that the rumor may be true. If we can’t fight now, we never can, as it would be impossible to have troops in better condition.


Eliza Howland to Joe, Howland, her husband.

Wilson Small, June —.

This morning I have your Sunday note with the charming little poem. Who wrote it? Be sure and tell me. It is a poem, and though entirely undeserved, I value it very much indeed.


[Poem by a Lieutenant of the 16th N. Y., dedicated to Eliza Woolsey Howland]

To Mrs. Joseph Howland.


From old Saint Paul till now,

Of honorable women not a few

Have quit their golden ease, in love to do

The saintly works that Christ-like hearts pursue.


Such an one art thou, God’s fair apostle,

Bearing His love in war’s horrific train;

Thy blessed feet follow its ghastly pain

And misery and death, without disdain.


To one borne from the sullen battle’s roar,

Dearer the greeting of thy gentle eyes,

When he aweary, torn and bleeding lies,

Than all the glory that the victors prize.


When peace shall come, and homes shall smile again,

Ten thousand soldier hearts, in Northern climes,

Shall tell their little children, with their rhymes,

Of the sweet saint who blessed the old war times.


Civil War envelope showing Columbia with shield and American flag and White House

Civil War envelope showing Columbia with shield and American flag and White House

Addressed to Mr. James G. Blauvelt, Nanuett Post Office, Rockland County, New York; postmarked; bears 3 cent stamp.

Collection: Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs (Library of Congress)

Date Created/Published: N.Y. : C. Magnus, 12 Frankfort St. ; 1862 June 22.

This envelope and additional information may be found here at the Library of Congress


June 22.—Yesterday thirty Sisters of Charity arrived at Fortress Monroe, and to-day left for White-House Point, Va., for the purpose of ministering to the sick and wounded soldiers of the army of the Potomac.

—A detachment of the Sixth Illinois cavalry made a descent on a squadron of rebel cavalry guarding a train near Coldwater station, on the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad, and captured twenty-five prisoners and about twenty thousand pounds of bacon which was on the train. They then destroyed the bridges on the road, rendering it impassable.

A party of the Eighth Vermont regiment, stationed at Algiers, near New-Orleans, La., took an engine and a car and went out a short distance on the Opelousas Railroad on a reconnoissance. They had proceeded but a few miles when they were fired upon by a party of guerrillas, and had three men killed and eight wounded.


June 22, 1862, The New York Herald

Nothing of importance occurred yesterday in front of Richmond, beyond the ordinary skirmishing which takes place every day, notwithstanding the rumors of an engagement which were circulated throughout the city. General McClellan telegraphs to the War Department that things were very quiet; that there was not do much shelling going on from the rebel batteries as usual, although the enemy opened with his heavy guns on Friday, but did no damage to our troops. The General represents that his own preparations are progressing well. Affairs around Richmond are unquestionably going on favorably for our arms, under the wise and discreet management of the Commanding General, and although we may hear of a desperate encounter before long — it may now be only a few days or hours — the intelligence which announces a battle will also proclaim a victory. Our correspondence from White House will give some insight into the prospects before the Army of the Potomac, and contains a succinct account of the state of affairs in the peninsula.

Our special correspondence from Newbern, North Carolina, will be found highly interesting, as well as the extracts from the newspaper of that city, the Progress. From the latter we learn that the significant fact that six regiments in the rebel army from North Carolina have been disbanded at Richmond for their loyalty to the Union, and are at present under guard as traitors to the Jeff. Davis bogus government. Before being disbanded it appears that they hung the brigadier general who commanded them. This is but another indication of the feeling which exists in the Old North State in favor of the Union.

In our news from Tennessee today we give the details and official account of the late expedition of our gunboats up the White river. A body of our troops, under command of Col. Fitch, comprising the Forty-sixth Indiana regiment, were landed and advanced to the rebel fort, which they stormed in the most gallant manner, and carried at the point of the bayonet, driving the enemy out. The object of the expedition was to remove the obstructions placed in the river by the rebels eighty-five miles above its mouth, at the town of St. Charles. While the troops were landing, the gunboats Lexington, St. Louis, Conestoga and Mound City, kept up a brisk cannonade upon the rebel battery, which lasted for an hour and a half. Unfortunately, during the engagement a ball entered the boiler of the Mound City, causing an explosion which resulted in killing and wounding one hundred and twenty-five of her crew out of one hundred and seventy-five.

The latest reports from the vicinity of Corinth state that General Beauregard’s army was at Okolona, 80,000 strong. Twenty thousand men, under General Kirby Smith, are at Chattanooga. Fifteen thousand men, under General Price, are at Fulton, and General Van Dorn, with a small force of cavalry, is at Grenada. Such is the disposition of the rebel army, as far as can be credibly ascertained. The Union sentiment in Tennessee is said to be on the increase, and is every day making itself manifest.


June 22, 1862, The New York Herald

Our Special Army Correspondence.


The day has been clear and hot, and the drying atmosphere has done much to repair the damage of the soil, occasioned by the late succession of deluges. The only operation on the right wing recently was a shelling match on the 12th, between the rebel Small Moon earthwork, just completed, opposite Mechanicsville, and the First Massachusetts battery, light artillery. A road through this little village crosses the Chickahominy, in a southwesterly direction, straight toward Richmond, and this road is flanked upon the right by a field battery and upon the left by an earthwork, situated upon the crest of the hill over which the road passes. The distance between these batteries and our camp in Mechanicsville is about three thousand yards. At six o’clock this afternoon the rebels opened fire from the redoubt with two rifled twenty-four pounders, and sent some well directed shells across, which burst in the tree tops of the grove in the rear of the old tavern, and half a mile beyond. One of their shells exploded near a regiment of our infantry; but no damage was done. The fire was soon returned by the Massachusetts battery — ten-pounder Parrott guns — and as soon as the range was obtained they landed several shells in and about the earthwork, which was silenced for the day. A few shells were also sent beyond the rebel battery some distance in the woods, where a body of cavalry was stationed.

Colonel Torbet, of the First New Jersey regiment, who accompanied the wife of General Lee across the Chickahominy, was met by Col. Mallory, of the Fifty-fifth Virginia regiment, and held quite a lively conversation with that gentleman. They had known each other at West Point. After the usual compliments, Colonel Mallory remarked that he concluded, from the reports of the battle at Fair Oaks, that we did not gain much of a victory on that occasion. Colonel Torbet did not see the matter in that light, and explained some points of the mistake in the same vein of sarcasm. “Why didn’t you come over and see us on Sunday, while we were fighting?” asked Colonel Torbet. Colonel Mallory protested against the delay of General McClellan in advancing. “Why don’t you come across and settle the matter at once?” he asked. Colonel Torbet replied that they were waiting for the troops to come up. Colonel Malory asked in astonishment if they were to bring more troops against Richmond. “Oh, yes, certainly; only our advance guard has arrived,” said Colonel Torbet. He added that, when the Union forces cross the creek they will occupy Richmond the same evening. To this […..] Mallory demurred. He was certain the rebels would keep them two or three days upon the road […..] was politely requested to order the […..] Richmond to be left in good order for the Union officers when they arrived, but answered that he doubted our ability to get to those hotels, and was confident that if we did not much would be found in them. Colonel Mallory expressed a wish that the war might be brought speedily to a close, and offered to fight his regiment against the First New Jersey if the whole matter could be decided by such arbitrament. Refreshments were supplied liberally during the interview, and the parties separated with mutual expressions of good will, to take the effect after the war.

One of our secession neighbors was served a Yankee trick last night by a regiment on picket duty around his plantation. The rascals pulled up all his onions, for which he had been exacting half a dollar a dozen; cut off the bulbs and transplanted the tops neatly in the same places. This morning the old gent went into his onion patch to supply a customer, and the first pull extorted from him the exclamation, “That’s a Yankee trick.”

The officers and soldiers are amusing themselves by relating the incidents of the campaign, and making straw hats from material gathered in secession wheatfields. One regiment came out with straw hats last evening, and others are blooming to-day.

One good story is told of Second Lieutenant Kerin, an Irishman, lately promoted from the ranks in the Fifth cavalry, now Acting Assistant Adjutant General on General Emory’s staff. At the battle of Hanover Court House, in which the cavalry took an important part, Lieutenant Kerin, while in command of a detachment of about twenty, took prisoners two companies of rebel infantry who had been cut off completely by our troops. Kerin marched the prisoners straight to the General. Leaving his own men with their company some distance in the rear, he marched boldly at their head to the General’s quarters with their muskets at shoulder and their cartridge boxes filled with ammunition.

General Emory saw him approaching with his battalion, and, supposing that he had got some infantry for a certain movement, which the General had suggested some time previously, went out and remonstrated with him. “You are too late with your infantry, Lieutenant,” said the General; […..] whole thing is over.” The Lieutenant touched his cap and replied, “These are not our men, General; they are the enemy — prisoners of war.” Smiling at the Lieutenant’s coolness, the General ordered that the prisoners should stack arms and march to a neighboring brook and empty their cartridge boxes.

On another occasion General Emory sent for Kerin and told him he would like to have a squad of men destroy a small bridge in the neighborhood that night. “I want your orders, General,” was the reply. “It is a kind of duty we do not like to order any one to perform,” said the General: […..] is a hazardous service, and it is not customary to give positive orders on the subject; but I would be very glad to have you volunteer to do it,” said General Emory. Still the Lieutenant only replied, “I await your orders, General.” The order was finally given, and Lieutenant Kerin and his men started off in the darkness to fulfill it. About two o’clock in the morning, long before he expected the party to return the General was awakened by a rap. “Who’s there?” he asked. “It is Lieutenant Kerin, General. I have to report that the act is accomplished.”

Quite an excitement was created in this division of the army yesterday towards evening, by the report that a rebel force had made a dash upon our right flank and rear, near Old Church, and captured a train of cavalry wagons on a foraging expedition. The men were ordered under arms (this getting under arms at short notice, under such circumstances, has been christened a […..] in the army), and an hour or so was passed in waiting for orders to march; but nothing came of it. This morning there are many rumors in camp of a large force on our right, most of which are greatly exaggerated. It is probable that this flank movement of the enemy was occasioned by information of the disposition of our troops communicated to them by Mrs. Gen. Lee, who was sent to Richmond some three days since, with a flag of truce. The result has been a slight change of programme on our part, which will prevent any further incursions upon our right.

WHITE HOUSE, June 20, 1862.

The recent bold and dashing raid of the rebels in the rear and along the entire lines of our army, has at last awakened our military authorities to a relaizing sense that we are encountering no common enemy. This movement evinces the desperate spirit with which the rebels are inspired, and should teach us to abandon that overweening confidence which has too often prevailed, that our superiority in discipline will counteract the numerical superiority of the enemy. It is just such bold dashes as I have referred to that inspires the great body of the rebel army, as it affords practical lessons for their emulation in greater masses. I can only express my gratification that the result of the rebel raid has not been attended by more serious disaster, as it might have been. Such an event will not occur again in this department. The enemy have gratuitously pointed out our weak points; we have improved the lesson.

The country for miles around here is being scoured by large bodies of troops, and all the male inhabitants, most of whom, no doubt, have been furnishing the enemy with information from within our lines, are being sent here for safe keeping. All the loose arms in the farm houses are being confiscated, and removed from the possession of those who would use them on our straggling troops should the opportunity offer. Some of the prisoners are loud in the profession of Union sentiments; others are stolid and indifferent, while others look vengeance. There is no use of prating about Union sentiment among the natives of Virginia. There is not the first evidence of any such thing, as I can detect, and I flatter myself to say may faculties of observation are as healthy and generous as the generality of mankind.

A balloon reconnoissance was made from the lines of our army in front to-day, when the discovery was made that the rebels were moving a large body, several thousand troops, from their left (our right) to their right (our left). Whether this is with a view and preparatory to an attack on our left is not of course known. It may possibly be a feint of the rebels, as such movements are generally conducted under cover of darkness, or by circuitous routes. That a great battle is not far off is apparent, from the fact that the rebel army is now on short allowance of food. They have been unusually insolent all along the lines for the past few days, forcing our pickets and committing all sorts of petty and unsoldierly annoyances. It is only by the forbearance of our commanders that these things are tolerated. Of course, what our army is doing I am not at liberty, to say. One thing is certain, our little General will choose his own time and ground for the next battle; he will not be decoyed, forced or smoked into an engagement with the enemy. If they attack him, it will be at the cost of a great number of lives, and attended by sure defeat to them. Mark what I now state.

The enemy have been disappointed in their hopes that the swamps of the Chickahominy would cause a great mortality in our camps. At first it seemed as though the rebels having their expectations realized by the large bills of sickness reported daily at headquarters; but the cause of this was soon discovered, namely, that the antidote we used to repel climatic diseases, (the whiskey and quinine ration to the soldier,) became the bane. This discovered, the whiskey ration was at once dispensed with. The good results of this prompt measure are now apparent in the signs of returning good health of our troops. The most prevalent diseases here are typhoid, bilious and intermittent fevers, and some few cases of fever and ague. The former disease comprises about two-thirds of the whole. In some typhoid cases the disease has proved fatal in one week after the attack. The sickness is caused by the warm days and cold nights and constant exposure.

To-day a flag of truce came to this point from the east side of the Pamunkey river. The flag covered two ladies, who came here to see their husbands, who had been captured by our troops on suspicion of treason. The ladies used all the influence, persuasion and art of which their sex is so talented, to obtain the liberation of their halfs; but Lieutenant Colonel Ingalls, our able chief here, although he listened to the lamentable stories of the ladies, was not moved by their eloquence or their smiles. He assured them that their husbands would neither be hanged, bayonetted nor their throats cut, a la secesh, but would be well watched and well cared for, and positively be kept out of the path of secesh inclinations. The creatures left here with tears in their eyes, after taking an affectionate kiss from their caged dears. What a pity!

The post roads in this locality are in good condition, the weather distressingly warm, and the nights made hideous by the screaming of owls, bats and the croaking of bullfrogs on the banks of the Pamunkey.


JUNE 21ST.—Gen. Beauregard is doubly doomed. A few weeks ago, when the blackness of midnight brooded over our cause, there were some intimations, I know not whether they were well founded, that certain high functionaries were making arrangements for a flight to France; and Gen. Beauregard getting intimation of an order to move certain sums in bullion in the custody of an Assistant Treasurer in his military department, forbid its departure until he could be certain that it was not destined to leave the Confederacy. I have not learned its ultimate destination; but the victory of the Seven Pines intervening, Gem Beauregard has been relieved of his command, “on sick leave.” But I know his army is to be commanded permanently by Gen. Bragg. There are charges against Beauregard. It is said the Yankee army might have been annihilated at Shiloh, if Beauregard had fought a little longer.


On the 8th of June, the Flag Officer having received the proper authority, once more turned the Hartford towards Vicksburg, followed by the Richmond—the Brooklyn being detained, but soon followed. We anchored near sunset, alongside the U. S. steam transport Tennessee, which had got aground. During the night the Brooklyn arrived, in company with several river steamers with troops. On the following morning two steamers fastened to the Tennessee, to tow her off, while we passed on, and arrived without accident at Baton Rouge on the 10th, where we found everything going off quietly. We lay here nearly ten days, during which time the mortar schooners of Capt. Porter’s fleet had passed by us, and having left one, we on the 19th took it in tow and started for Vicksburg. We proceeded with moderate speed and success until the 21st, in the evening, when we unexpectedly ran hard aground. Our attendant steamers immediately came up to our assistance, and after laboring the entire night, succeeded in getting afloat the following morning at eleven o’clock. Continuing on we passed some high bluffs, on which we looked for rebel batteries and accordingly kept prepared for them, but we were not molested. We observe that the river is rapidly falling, having thus far receded some six feet.


Camp Jones, Flat Top, June 21, 1862.—. . . Rather agreeable social evenings with the officers at my quarters, the band enlivening us with its good music.

Dr. McCurdy having been appointed inspector of hospitals for this division, we had a Dr. Hudson, of Medina, a new state surgeon, assigned to us as assistant surgeon in Dr. McCurdy’s place. Dr. Hudson turns out to be a thin-skinned, nervous, whimsical, whining Yankee. He has just heard of the death of a favorite daughter. His grief loses all respectability, coupled as it is with his weaknesses and follies. We agreed today with Dr. Holmes (the medical head man) to swap our Dr. Hudson “unsight, unseen” for any spare doctor he could turn out. We find we caught a Dr. Barrett, lately of Wooster, a young man of good repute. We take him, pleased well with the bargain.


June 21—We reached Petersburg, Va., this morning at half-past two, and had barely laid down with a brick wall for my pillow when breakfast was announced in the shape of Mack Sample, who told us where we could get it. I ran the blockade with Katz, and went to see Mike Etlinger. He was not at home. Afterward we met Wortheim, and we all went again and got something good to eat. We then returned to our regiment, which is the 53d North Carolina Regiment, infantry, Col. William Owens, commander. We are enlisted for three years, or the war. We fell in line and marched to our camp, which is on Dunn’s Hill, just outside of the city.


June 21st. Weather broiling hot, and water as poor as can be; the sick list growing longer all the time, whole regiments of men going to the hospitals. At 4 P. M. fell in for a brigade drill, the first drill we have had this side of the Chickahominy; made a good appearance and performed promptly and correctly several complicated movements; we all enjoyed the excitement and display. Drill dismissed at 6:30 p. M. In the evening rode from one end to the other of the corps line; turned in early.

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