Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin. Portions of this article not pertaining to the Siege of Petersburg have been omitted.
ADDITIONAL FROM THE NORTH.
We continue our summary of news extracted from the latest Northern papers received here.
STANTON’S OFFICIAL GAZETTES.
Mr. Stanton, Secretary of War at Washington, continues his “official gazettes.” He tries to allay the anxiety concerning Petersburg (after his story of its capture) by reporting “MOVEMENTS ARE IN PROGRESS WHICH ARE NOT NOW PROPER FOR PUBLICATION.” Hunter’s reverse at Lynchburg he smooths over by saying that it was “nothing more than a RECONNAISSANCE, and that, having ascertained the place to be strongly defended, General Hunter withdrew, and is operating upon the enemy’s communications at other points.” He must have some good news—for he cannot write his official gazette without reporting a “victory,” so he gets it off by reporting of the army in Georgia that “General Sherman states that it has rained almost incessantly, in spite of which our lines have been pressed forward steadily, and an important position gained by General Howard. The enemy made a desperate attempt to retake this position last night, making seven distinct assaults. The assault was followed by heavy fire of artillery, under which the position was fortified and is now safe.”
THE SITUATION AT PETERSBURG.
The sum and substance of the news from Petersburg in the Yankee papers, is that “there appears nothing more going on between the opposing armies than desultory skirmishing, the results of which may be summed up as amounting to little or nothing, loss or gain.” But the HERALD says of this skirmishing:
It appears that, under cover of this busy skirmishing, our army has been steadily working nearer and nearer the enemy’s lines, until, less than a mile distant, our most advanced batteries command the little city, and have commenced throwing their missiles into the heart of it. This simply means that if the rebels persist in holding and fighting for the town it will be knocked to pieces about their ears, and made the scene of a conflagration which will compel them to evacuate the premises. While, therefore, we may hear at any moment that Petersburg, a compact and combustible city, has been reduced to a heap of ashes, (such is war,) and vacated in consequence by the enemy, we do not suppose that General Grant has been idle, meantime; in reference to other and grander designs. On the other hand, we guess that his late conferences with Admiral Lee means something; and that, while apparently consenting to the alternative of a regular siege of Petersburg, he is perfecting some other movement which will bring his adversary to an open field fight, or drive him back over the river behind the defences of Richmond, and thence for the nearest available road for North Carolina. This may all be done within a few days; but it may be the work yet of several weeks.
The HERALD counsels its readers to bear with this delay, and comforts them by citing the anxieties concerning Vicksburg, and argues that Vicksburg succumbed at last, and so will Richmond.
A correspondent writes from the army before Petersburg:
No change of position has been made by either party during the past two days. The enemy are busy throwing up works at different points, and although our lines reach within three-quarters of a mile of the city, they seem determined to defend it to the last.
WHAT THE WAR HAS TAUGHT—THE UTTER FUTILITY OF THE CONQUEST OF THE SOUTH—NOTHING GAINED BY THREE YEARS OF WAR.
The North is at last seeing the utter hopelessness of ever subjugating the South. The conservative press now admit it. In illustration of it, the Milwaukee NEWS points to the condition of the Mississippi valley, and presents the following striking array of facts, showing that the North has virtually gained NOTHING by three years of war:
Two years ago we drove the rebels out of the entire country surrounding Paducah. That section is now all occupied by the rebel General Forrest. Immediately after, General Grant advanced into West Tennessee, and during the summer of 1862, conquered the whole of that region; it is now almost entirely in rebel hands. The same summer desperate battles were fought at Corinth, Iuka and Hatchie, and in every struggle victory crowned our arms; but every one of these points is in undisputed possession of the enemy. In the fall of that year, General Grant occupied La Grange in Tennessee, Holly Springs and Oxford in Mississippi; and the crossings of the Yockney river, some twelve miles south of Oxford, while his cavalry were thrown forward nearly to Graneda; the whole of this territory is now abandoned. At the same time our forces held possession of all the country eastward of the line of the Mobile and Ohio railroad, which is also, Of COURSE, in undisputed possession of the enemy.
A year ago this winter and spring our army took possession of the country back of Lake Providence, also of nearly all the region between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers; afterwards occupied by Jackson and Canton, Mississippi; and in the summer we arranged for the permanent occupation of the territory east of Vicksburg and between the Big Black and Yazoo rivers; about the same time our troops were pushed westward from Vicksburg into Louisiana, routing the enemy from the entire vicinity, a distance of from seventy to one hundred miles.—Every square foot of the territory described is now surrendered. In short, from Cairo to New Orleans, in the Mississippi Valley proper, the Federal flag, as we are informed, does not float over a single inch of territory out of range of gunboats on the river, and no loyal man is known to live in any portion of the territory mentioned as conquered, but now surrendered.
No Union man, it adds, can ride five miles out of Memphis without being killed or captured, and the same is true of most stations on the Mississippi.—That even as far up as Shawneetown, it says, one hundred and fifty shots were fired from the Kentucky shore into one of our steamers on Sunday last.
Add to this summary the accounts from the Red river, from which our army has just been driven, and the reports that the occupation of Texas is to be abandoned. So much for the West. How is it elsewhere? Florida has returned to the possession of the rebels, as has the greater part of North Carolina. We have made no impression on South Carolina; and the siege of Charleston is virtually abandoned, while that of Mobile has not been commenced. Mere force, directed at States and at populations, instead of being wielded at the Confederate armies, has been unavailing for good.
Military power must disperse the rebel armies in the field, but it cannot subjugate a people like those of the Southern States, or hold in subjugation so vast and divided a territory.
To restore the empire of the Union over these people, we must, in the language of Governour Seymour, “superadd to force the policy of conciliation.”
“STARVING OUT THE SOUTH.”
The NEW ERA, the Fremont organ at Washington, thinks it is folly which speaks of hemming in so vast an empire as the South, and of starving its people by cutting off their supplies. The ERA says:
On the face of it, it would seem to be a folly too transparent to impose upon anybody, that the rebels, occupying almost a boundless extent of fertile territory, and always nearly exclusively agricultural in their pursuits, could possibly be in danger of starvation. Capacity to produce food is precisely that which they possess in a degree which cannot be exaggerated, and if their agriculture has not in some quarters taken that direction heretofore, it is because cotton, tobacco, rice and sugar have been more profitable, or have been thought so. The coasts and rivers of the South abound with fish, and the domestic animals for food and labour multiply without care or cost in almost every part of it. There is no rebel State which is not naturally an Egypt in abundance, and remarkably enough; if there is an exception, it is Texas, the isolation of which has been said to threaten the Confederacy with starvation. That great State is favourable to stock raising, but the frequency of droughts render the raising of cereals precarious. The geographers who imagined the South to be dependent upon Texas for food have only piled one absurdity upon another.
HORRIBLE MURDER BY COLOURED SOLDIERS.
(Vicksburg Correspondence Cincinnati Republican)
An occurrence recently took place, about which a censorious judgment may be passed. John Bobb, a peaceable, unoffending citizen, was most brutally murdered by negro soldiers. Mr. Bobb and a man by the name of Mattingly, on going to Bobb’s house for dinner, found a lot of negro soldiers picking flowers on Bobb’s premises. Bobb asked why they were on his premises. Negroes said they didn’t know whose house they occupied. Angry words passed, and they applied to him very coarse and insulting language, when Bobb, being enraged, knocked down a negro sergeant with a stone. The negro vowed to be revenged on him, and burn his house.
Mr. Bobb immediately came to see General Slocum, not anticipating anything but his arrest.—General Slocum promised to protect his property and person against anything unlawful. As Bobb went to his house, fifteen or twenty negro soldiers, led by a sergeant, arrested him and Mattingly.—When leading them off, Bobb asked, “Where is your lieutenant? Where are your officers?” The negro replied, “D___n the officers! We can fix you without officers!” Bobb supposed he was to be taken before the colonel of the regiment for examination. He was, however, taken through a machine shop, and after getting one hundred and fifty rods down a bayou, one negro fired a gun, the ball passing through Bobb’s back and coming out of his abdomen. He fell, and another shot struck him through the cheek. Mattingly ran and escaped the blacks stopping over Bobb’s body. They followed him, however, until pursuit was useless to their purposes, as he met Dr. Churchill, who protected him. One ball was shot through his coat. Mrs. Bobb and Mr. Raum came to General Slocum’s headquarters, and he sent down a reliable officer—Major Gwinden, of his staff—to ascertain the true position of affairs. When he got to the ground Bobb was dead, and the disconsolate and senseless wife over his body, with seventy-five or one hundred black soldiers standing about the body and along the bayou, shouting most vociferously, “We’ve got them;” “We’re taking them now.” The Major immediately ordered the arrest of all the parties, but up to this writing the sergeant alone has been arrested.
_____________________THE “KEY TO RICHMOND.”
Folks have been wondering why Butler did not enter Richmond long ago, as he informed them that he had “the key” to that much coveted city. The reason is explained by the following, which appears in a western paper:
KEY LOST—$0,000 REWARD!—Lost, near Fort Darling, the “key to Richmond,” which, as was announced by the Republican papers, was entrusted to the keeping of the subscriber. It is supposed to have been taken by a fellow named Beauregard, who violently assaulted, battered, and thrashed the subscriber, causing him to skedaddle in such haste that he dropped the key. The above reward will be paid in Lincoln skins to any one who will restore it. BEN. BUTLER.
Ex-President Millard Fillmore was in New York on the 21st instant.
In the Yankee Senate there has been reported still another bill “to secure to persons in the military and naval service of the United States homesteads on forfeited estates in the insurrectionary districts.”
A correspondent writes from the Yankee army before Petersburg: “Here, as everywhere else that my observation has extended, the women of the South are our most uncompromising foes.—The intensity of their hatred is really appalling.”
A correspondent with Grant’s army says the Fourth Michigan regiment left to day for home, its three years term of enlistment having expired. It has lost three colonels and a large proportion of its field and staff officers in battles. Only about one hundred of the original regiment go home.
Let Grant take Richmond and he will be a whole legion of honour on a single pair of legs.—Prentice.
Mr. Stanton is not yet done with his outrages. He is perpetrating what he calls an official history of the war in sixty volumes.—HARTFORD TIMES.
Prentice says Fremont and Cochrane are for “free press, free speech,” and free nigger, and pretty much anything else they can make free with.
The Louisville JOURNAL learns that General Butler has been mortally wounded—in his military reputation.
The reported capture of the naval tugboat Columbine, with thirty coloured soldiers on board, up the St. John’s river, Florida, is confirmed.1
- “Additional from the North.” Richmond Examiner. June 29, 1864, p. 3 col. 3-6 ↩
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