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THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE: WASHINGTON, D. O., NOVEMBER 12, 1881.
The National Tribune
PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY.
TO CARE FOR HIM WHO HAS BORNE THE BATTLE, AND FOR HI8
widow and orphans." Abraham Lincoln.
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he jlHHaml jrihtmq.
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authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of
pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrec
tion OR REBELLION, 6HALL NOT BE QUESTIONED. " SEC. 4, ART.
XIV, Constitution of the United States.
Znttrti tX tie 'Wuhicgtoa Citj Poft-O&N u Mad-cUsf itUr.
WASHINGTON, D. C, NOVEMBER 12, ld61.
Desiring to extend the usefulness of our paper
to the widest possible extent, and in order that
no ex-soldier or other person interested in matters
growing out of the war of the rebellion may have
reasonable excuse for not taking it, we have
concluded to fix the subscription price, until
January 1, at one dollar per annum.
Those who have heretofore sent one dollar and
fifty cents for a single subscription, by sending
half a dollar more with an additional name and
address, will be granted an additional copy, thus
bringing their individual subscriptions down to
one dollar for fifty-two numbers. Those wishing
to become subscribers, should, in view of the
above offer, send on their one dollar at once, and
those who have already sent one dollar and fifty
cents, should, without delay, remit the remaining
half dollar with another subscriber before the
new year commences.
Commissioner Dudley must be an exceedingly
kind-hearted and charitable man he even has
some words of praise for the late John A. Bentley.
Perhaps, however, he is only carrying out the
Christian injunction "Speak well of the dead or
not at all." He was obliged to refer to his pre
decessor, and, taking the above view of the mat
ter, is to be congratulated for the kindly, forbear
ing spirit in which he mentions him.
Less than a month remains before the meet
ing of Congress. Those who desire to keep fully
posted regarding legislation affecting pensions,
bounties, and the like also the news of the
day, especially as it relates to the Capital city
should subscribe to The National Tribune
The Detroit Free Press is a funny paper. " M
Quad " is its humorous writer. He has excelled
himself in his fancy sketch of "Sixteen Years
After," published in this number of The Na
Commissioner Dudley estimates that $120,
000,000, including a deficiency of $20,000,000, will
be required to pay pensioners during the next
Now look ont for the charges of "fraud in the
Pension Office' "fraudulent claims," &c, &c,
which are started whenever an appropriation to
pay the ex-soldiers, or their heirs, is called for.
Each subscriber to The National Tribune
who has paid $1.50, by getting us one new sub
scription at one dollar, and retaining of that
amount fifty cents, remitting us the balance with
name and address of such new subscriber, can get
his or her copy of the paper at the reduced rate,
viz : One Dollar er annum.
Congress having donated $100,000 toward the
Yorktown monument to be erected over a photo
graph of rebel flags and 300 in the bogus money
of the defunct confederacy, we propose that it
now appropriate an equal amount toward a mon
ument, in the Capital of the Nation, in memory
of the more than three hundred thousand loyal
men who laid down their lives that the Govern
inent might live.
i - - -
An equalization of bounties upon a just basis
will give to every ex-soldier eight and one-third
dollars per month for all the time served, pre
vious payments to be deducted.
A national Reunion of the surviving Union
soldiern and sailors who served during the Avar
of the rebellion, to be held in this city, would be
a grand affair.
"Why not have one here next year, say May 30 ?
The Peninsular Campaign.
McClellan's Peninsular Campaign in the spring
and early summer of 1862 has furnished food for
military critics for nearly twenty years, and yet
the subject is far from being exhausted. It is
true that each subsequent writer follows in the
track marked out by some one or more of his
predecessors, developing nothing new except, it
may be, his own individual recollections and
opinions ; but inasmuch as different individuals
were differently situated during the periods of
which they speak, each additional contribution
to the literature of the war possesses sufficient
interest to warrant its being read.
It is getting time, however, for those who as
sume to record the history of events to examine
into the matters of which they speak more care
fully than has been the custom, that nothing but
facts may be stated. It is not safe any longer to
rely upon the histories written immediately after
the close of the war, nor upon the newspaper re
ports published during its continuance. Nor can
the testimony taken by the Committee on the
Conduct of the War, so far as it relates to the
numbers of troops at any given time, be consider
ed as giving those numbers accurately, unless
based upon personal knowledge or an examina
tion of the official record. The truth of all this
is, we think, clearly demonstrated in a recent
publication by the Military Historical Society of
Massachusetts, entitled "The Peninsular Cam
paign of 1862."
The volume contains several papers, but at
present we have the time to refer to but one, and
that only for a moment, written by Brevet Brigadier-General
Francis W. Palfrey, covering the
period from the fall of Yorktown to the com
mencement of the Seven Days' Fight, in which
(pages 147-8) he says: " McCall arrived on the
12th or 13th" (?. e., of June) "with 9,514 men for
duty. About the same time some 11,000 men
(11,514 for duty) came from Baltimore and Fort
ress Monroe, of which Heintzelman got about
5,000, including the Sixteenth Massachusetts In
fantry. With these additions the Army of the
Potomac had for duty, June 26th, 1862, 115,102
men, with" sixty batteries and 343 guns."
Again : On page 150 of the same volume Gen
eral Palfrey, in speaking of the commencement
of the Seven Days' Battle, which began June 26,
says: "McClellan's force at this date was what
has already been stated,'0 (i. &, 115,102 men see
above,) "with the addition of about 5.000 men
from Shields's command, which joined him about
the end of June."
He thus makes the Army of the Potomac ag
gregate in effective force on June 26, 120,102 men,
and much greater than the official records warrant
him in doing. And in this connection he falls
into a grave error as to the date of the arrival
of Shields's men, who did not reach the Army
of the Potomac until July 2, when it lay at Har
So far as General Palfrey's assertion as to the
numbers drawn from Baltimore and Fortress
Monroe is concerned, we observe, at this time,
that it would have been materially strengthened
had he designated the organizations comprising
the force to which he alludes. A hurried investi
gation on our part has failed to discover any such
accessions to McClellan's army.
There were several regiments from Fortress
Monroe and vicinity that joined the army at
about the time indicated, including the First
Michigan, assigned to the writer's brigade, and
probably the Tenth New York to the brigade of
Warren, of the Second division of the Fifth
Corps, and possibly two or three others assigned
elsewhere, but we seriously doubt if all of those
actually joining would aggregate much over
2,000 effective men, even if that number was
It is a matter of small moment, however,
whether the 11,000 joined or not, so far as the
facts of the main question are concerned, and we
do not, therefore, pretend to examine critically
into that branch of the subject or to speak au
thoritatively regarding it.
If General Palfrey is correct as to the alleged
reinforcements, even then the effective strength
of the army was in our opinion 30,000 less than
he states it to have been at the time indicated.
In support of this assertion we submit the
following, based upon personal knowledge and
figures to be found in the records of the War
Department and various official publications.
On the 20th of June, 1862, the Union army
upon the Chickahomiuy consisted of five Corps,
each of two divisions (except the Fifth, which
had three, and also the artillery reserve of the
whole army), and possessed an effective strength
of but little more than 90,000 men, viz :
Second Corps, Sumner's 17,200
Third Corps, Heintzelman's 18,400
Fourth Corps, Keyes's ....... 14,600
Fifth Corps, Porter's 20,500
Sixth Corps, Franklin's 19,400
Classifying the troops according to arms, and
we have, in round numbers :
Corp. Infantry. Artillery. Cavalry.
Second 10,200 900 100
Third 16,900 800 700
Fourth 13,300 700 COO
Fifth 17,300 2,500 700
Sixth 17,600 850 950
81,300 5,800 3,000
We do not claim the foregoing estimates to le
absolutely correct, either as regards the strength
of each Corps or of the various arms of the
service represented, but believe the figures to be J
so nearly accurate that they will not vary to
any appreciable extent from the official state
ment when it shall have been published. We
assert, therefore, that at the commencement of
the "Seven Days'" battle McClellan's army, in
stead of being 120,000 strong, only numbered
about 90,000 effectives; there having been no
material accessions to it that we are aware of
between June 20, the date upon which our esti
mate is fixed, and June 26, the day when the
In fact, it is doubtful if it had as many men
as we concede; for two of the strongest regi
ments in the Fifth Corps (the Eighteenth Mas
sachusetts and Seventeenth New York) were
detached on service with Stoneman the last
week in June, and did not rejoin their com
mand until after it had reached Harrison's Land
ing in July.
It is true that McClellan in his report shows
an apparent strength on June 20 of 105,825
officers and men present for duty; but it
must be remembered that he included in the
returns sent in by him all the forces which
had been directly or constructively placed under
his command. The forces at Fortress Monroe,
wThich never joina him, were thus accounted
for ; besides whichwere the troops at Yorktown,
West Point, and other localities, and Stoneman's
command, engaged in guarding supply depots, &c,
and which were not available for offensive opera
tions. At least 14,000 men must be deducted from
the number of troops given in the returns ren
dered to get the actual effective strength on the
Chickahominy June 26, 1862.
This deduction made, it will appear that the
Army of the Potomac had, at the time indicated,
an effective numerical strength of but little if
anything more than we have stated, and, hence,
General Palfrey has made a most grievous mis
take in his own estimates, or else erred in adopt
ing other figures than his own without first care
fully examining to ascertain whether they were
correct or not.
There are other inaccuracies in the work which
might be pointed out, but enough has been said,
for the present at least, to show that the initial
volume of the publications to be made under the
auspices of the Military Historical Society of Mas
sachusetts ought not to be taken as authority
without at least carefnl investigation and compar
ison with the official records.
Since last week s Issue The National Tki
bune has added over one thousand (1,000) paid
subscriptions to its list, which goes to show that j
our efforts to make a live soldier's paper are be-
ing appreciated. And yet we are not satisfied.
We want at least 100,000 names upon our books
before January 1.
A NationalSoldiers Monument.
Monuments in memory of our dead soldiers and
sailors are being erected all over the country
in every loyal State and almost in every city and
town. Why not form a National Monumental
Association for the purpose of erecting a fitting
memorial in Washington, to commemorate the
heroic achievements and sacrifices of all the gal
lant men who died in defense of the Union?
Why not raise, at the seat of Government, a
structure, upon the marble sides of which shall
be engraved the number of troops furnished by
the States respectively to aid in putting down
the rebellion, and the numbers of those who
went down before the tempest of war ?
Why not perpetuate the principles for wliich
we fought while yet occasion offers?
We believe such an undertaking practicable.
The Grand Army of the Republic could success-
fully carry out the great work if it would but
decide to do so. What say our soldier friends?
Shall such a monument be erected?
A Just Killing.
Last week we referred to the subject of in
creased pensions for total disability, and pub
lished an extract from a letter written by the
Commissioner of Pensions, showing a ruling not
in accordance with our ideas of justice.
Since then we have seen Colonel Dudley and
called his attention to the matter, and ha in
forms us that although the ruling, made by his
predecessor, has not been as yet formally re
pealed, he nevertheless has, in two similar cases
brought to his attention, decided that where a
certificate for increase was issued after June 16,
1880, the increase to $50 per month to begin
before, that date, the pensioner is to be con
sidered as constructively on the rolls on the
above date when the law was passed, and there
fore entitled to the 72 per mouth provided by
the act from that time on.
Our reduction of rates to One Dollar per year
until January 1st is an experiment; but if our
expectations of increased subscriptions are real
ized we hope to be able to make such arrange
ments as will enable us to offer The National
Tkibune at the same price from that time on.
It looks a little as if the Half-Breeds had car
ried New York for the Democrats; and that
the Democrats had carried Virginia for the Half
Breeds. Follow a cry of fraud upon the Pension Office
to its source, and in nine cases out of ten you
will find that it originated from a copperhead,
or some individual whose interests lie altogether
with the money power and monopolists of the
The inan-afraid-of-hw-offico McVeagh doesn't
come back any more.
About a Letter.
During the last year or two of the war of the
rebellion it was customary in many localities,
especially among the gentler sex, to write letters
for random distribution among our soldiers at
the front. This was not done from any jesting
spirit, but in real earnest, the writers thinking
that words of cheer and comfort, even from stran
gers, would help those to whom they were ad
dressed to bear up bravely until the end should
come. Such letters, to some of the men who had
left no one at home to remember them, were as
gleams of sunshine breaking through a dark
cloud; and we know of at least two instances
where, after the war was over, the acquaintance
ship thus begun culminated after the old, old
fashion, and, as the story goes, " they lived hap
pily together until the end of their lives." Chil
dren as well as grown people often indulged
themselves in writing to the soldiers, and a letter
from one of them has found its way into our
sanctum, and we give it space upon the third
page of this issue of The National Tribune.
It is not a long letter, but what a history it
The simplicity and artlessness of childhood
run through every line ; and, as it tells the sim
ple story of so many years ago, one cannot help
but think, as he reads, of the thousands of others
who, in those stormy days, dreamed of dear ones,
but awoke from pleasant slumbers to find them
gone forever more.
We publisfi the leading features of Colonel
Dudley's report showing the condition of the
business of his office during the past year, and
ask for it a careful reading. Mr. Dudley shows
that he comprehends the needs of his Department
to make its work more effective, and we have no
doubt but that if his wishes are carried out its
efficiency will be largely increased.
Some of the matters to which he refers require
a more extended notice than we can give them
at this time, and will be considered separately
We wish 100,000 subscribers on or before Jan
uary 1st next. If each one who now reads The
National Tkibune will interest him or herself
to the extent of getting even one new subscrip
tion there will be no room to doubt that the de
sired number will be reached.
It would be a matter of considerable interest
to know the number of criminal prosecutions
instituted by the late Mr. Bentley during his
four years of office-holding against persons
charged with endeavoring to defraud the Pension
Office; also, the number of convictions. We
think such a showing would effectually squelch
the cry of Fraud ! Fraud ! or else esfablish the
fact that the late Commissioner failed to do his
duty in the premises. t
Do not wait until the 1st of January before
sending in your subscriptions to The National
Tribune or getting your friends to do so. We
want new subscribers in order that we may make
proper arrangements for the future.
One of the most common frauds practiced, or
attempted to be practiced upon the Pension Of
fice, is false personation of a soldier or soldier's
widow. Very few of these prove successful for 1
any length of time, if at all ; and it seems to us
that all danger might be removed if the pen
sioner were to be identified personally, at least j
on first payment, by the postmaster where he or
she receives mail, or, if in large cities, by some
prominent United States officer.
Such identification should be under oath, and
there should be a law to punish the guilty party
in the event of false swearing.
The official report of General McClellan shows
the total number of Union killed in the two
days' battle at Antietam or Sharpsburg, Septem
ber 16th and 17th, 16G2, to have been 2,010. !
Hooker lost in killed, 348: Sumner, 860; Burn
side, 432. So much for " M Quad's " historical
accuracy: but yet, his sketch is smoothly written
for a novice.
If you want a paper for the home circle, the
office, the workshop, the farm, the camp-fire, or
army reunion, subscribe to The National Tri
bune. District Attorney Corkhill places the blame
for not indicting the Star-Route men where it
properly belongs, on the would-be ex-Attorney-General.
Congress meets early next month, and import
ant legislation affecting pensioners and claimants
for pension is anticipated. All parties who are
interested aud desire to keep fully informed
should subscribe to The National Tribune
We commend to our readers for careful con
sideration the synopsis of the report of the
Commissioner of Pensions, which appears in
We request that our friends who get extra
copies of The National Tribune will take
pains to place them where they will do the most
Fifteen thousand corpses,' with "Bloody
Hands Uplifted," is good. See " M Quad's " article
Until January 1st the subscription price of
The National Tribune for one year is One
THANKSGIVING DAY, 1881,
The following proclamation has been issued
by President Arthur :
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF
It has long been the pious custom of our
people, with the closing of the year, to look
back upon the blessings brought to them in the
changing course of the seasons, and to return
solemn thanks to the All-giving Service from
Whom they flow. And although at this period,
when the falling leaf admonishes us that the
time of our sacred duty is at hand, our Nation
still lies in the shadow of a great bereavement,
and the mourning which has filled our hearts
still finds its sorrowful expression toward the
God before whom we but lately bowed in grief
and supplication, yet the countless benefits
which have showered upon us during the past
twelvemonth call for our fervent gratitude and
make it fitting that we should rejoice with
thankfulness that the Lord, in his infinite
mercy, has most signally favored our conntry
and our people. Peace without and prosperity
within have been vouchsafed to us, no pesti
lence has visited our shores, the abundant
privileges of freedom which our fathers left us
in their wisdom are still our increasing heritage;
and if, in parts of our vast domain, sore affliction
has visited our brethren in their forest homes,
yet even this calamity has been tempered4 and
in a manner sanctified by the generous com
passion for the sufferers which has been called
forth throughout our land. For all these things
it is well that the voice of the Nation should
go up to God in devout homage.
Wherefore I, Chester A. Arthur, President of
the United States, do recommend that all the
people observe Thursday, the 24th day of No
vember instant, as a day of national thanks
giving and prayer by ceasing so far as may be
from their secular labors, and meeting in their
several places of worship, thee to join in ascrib
ing honor and praise to Almighty God, whose
goodness has been so manifest in our history
and in our lives, and offering earnest prayers
that His bounties may continue to us and to
In witness I have hereunto set my hand and
caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this fourth
day of November, in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and
l. s. eighty-one, and of the independence of
the United States the one hundred and
sixth. Chester A. Arthur.
By the President of the United States:
James G. Blaine,
Secretary of State.
THE UNITED STATES ARMY,
General Sherman has submitted his annual
report to the Secretary of War, enclosing the re
ports of Generals Drum and Sackett, and the
reports of the commanding generals of the divis
ions and departments. General Sherman says,
referring to the reports of the latter, that they all
show that our companies are too small for effi
cient discipline and for economical service. When
the National Treasury was poor and loaded with
debt, the army endeavored to gracefully submit
to over-work, but now, says General Sherman,
they appeal for relief, and it is recommended thai
Congress repeal that clause of the existing law
which limits the enlisted force of the army at
25,000 men. Considerable space is devoted to a
discussion of the subject of officers' servants, Gen
eral Sherman maintaining that no soldier should
ever be compelled to do menial labor without
compensation or without his own consent, and
he recommends that the existing law be repealed
or modified so as to secure this end. Referring
to West Point, he says it has been and must con
tinue to be the fountain source of military edu
cation in time of peace. In his judgment the
military academy at West Point fulfills its uses,
and can safely be entrusted to prepare boys to
become soldiers of the future.
WHAT SECRETARY BLAINE SAYS.
The published report that the United States
Government had directed General Hurlbut to
continue to recognize the government of Presi
dent Calderon as the legitimate government of
Peru was shown to Secretary Blaine yesterday,
and in reply to the question if it were true he
said: " There is nothing in the affairs of Peru
about which the Department cares to speak."
DEATH OF DR. BACHE.
Benjamin Franklin Bache, Medical Director in
the U. S. Navy, and a great-grandson of Ben
jamin Franklin, died at his home, in Brooklyn,
on Wednesday. He was born in Monticello, Va,
on February 7, 1801, and was appointed assistant
surgeon in the Navy in 1S24. His grandfather,
Richard Bache, was Postmaster-General of the
United States from 1776 to 1782, and his grand
mother Tendered1 great service during the Ameri
can Revolution by supervising the labors of 2,200
women in providing clothing and other hhxs
saries for the army.
TRADE WITH CUBA.
Many Madrid papers comment favorably on the
speech of Minister Hamlin in Boston and express
the hope that the reform policy of the Madrid
government both in peninsular and Cuban taoritS?
will induce the American Government to facilitate
trade between Cuba and the United States by some
counter reduction in the flag and tariff duties of
America. Senor Sagtuta and his finance and col
onial ministers are very well disposed to meet
America half way.
WHAT COLONEL GRUBB SAYS.
The Colonel of the Ninth Massachusetts regi
ment has received a letter from E. B. Grubn,
colonel of the New Jersey battalion, denying
that reports detrimental to the Massachusetts
regiment were originated or circulated by him or
members of his battalion. He says, that as field
officer of the day he had nothing to report of the
Ninth Massachusetts except their excellent drill,
and states that the injurious reports emanated
from editorial columns of Richmond journals.
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