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THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE: WASHINGTON, 'D. C, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 1882.
FARM AND FIRESIDE.
Sonic Practical Suggestions for Our
We haTe read many interesting facta under
the heading "Curiosities of Vegetation," but
we do not remember of ever seeing any special
notice of wlmt lias always seemed to us one of
tlte most curious, and that is the ability of
plants to manufacture, as it were, so many dif
ferent articles from the same general chaiactcr
af soil, each plant finding in it the material it
requires. Take any miscellaneous collection of
plants and pot them in soil twken from the
same heap, aud ono will produce quinine, an
other theinc, and others oxalic acid, perfumes
of the. most varied kinds, virulent poisons,
sweet, acid, hitter, or Astringent fruits, oils
bland and acid, and so on, until wc might enu
merate every vegetable production.
Chemistry endeavors to supplement facilities
for the increase of special productions, and
while much has been done in this direction,
much still remains to be done, and chemists
are sanguine as to their ability to point out the
methods for the increase of special principles in
crops to a greater degree than has yet been ac
complished. Formerly great pains were taken in preparing
soil for potting plants. In old gardening works
we read about the comjwst heap. This was
merely the receptacle for all vegetable refuse,
snch as cabbage stalks, carrot top?,pca straw,
lervcs, weeds, and such-like refuse, which
would ultimately becomo rotted after many
years and frequent turnings over. This was a
favorite ingredient as a mixture in soils for
greenhouse plants, and formed a really good
source of plant food.
Then each species of plant was supposed to
require certain proportions of this compost,
mixed with measured quantities of rotted
manure from the baru-yaTd, rotted leaves from
the woods, sand, clay, &c, all of which was
merely empirical, and not based upon any rule
except individual fancy.
Modern florists content themselves with a
soil produced by rotted sods. The best is that
which is taken from an old pasture field or
any spot where the common blue grass has
formed a tough, libry sod. These sods are
placed in a. heap to rot, so as to destroy all
vegetative power in the roots of the grasses and
plants of which it is composed. "When in its
best condition it is full of fibry matter, which
constitutes its chief value. The organic matter
gradually decomposes aud furnishes food for
the plants potted in it, and what is equally im
portant, the fibry nature of the material in
sures good drainage, and allows the air free
access to all parts of the soil. All kinds of
plnnts seem to grow well in rotted sods, al
though something depends upon the soil from
whence they are taken ; if from a heavy or clay
soil a mixture of sand, manure rotted to a
mould, or leaves well decayed, will assist in
maintaining suitable porosity even after the
fibry roots have disappeared ; charcoal dust is
also of great value as a corrective in heavy
HARDY WHITE GRAPE?.
The introduction of a first class white native
grape has long been a desideratum. For the
past twenty-five years grape lists have con
tained white varieties, but of indifferent value.
About that time we had the Cassidy, the Re
becca, the Cuyahoga, and the'Maxatawny, none
of which have maintained themselves as stand
ard kinds. The Martha was next introduced.
a good, hardy variety, but rather foxy flavored
for most tastes. Then the Lady was brought
into notice as a grape that everybody should
possess; this is a very sweet kind and has
given general satisfaction, "but it is a small
hunched variety, although quite productive.
Now wc have a number which, in penological
parlance, are " vry promising.''' Among these
are the Niagara, not yet on the market for gen
eral purchasers, but is being tested by its own
ers in different Status, in order to establish its
value in a variety of situations and climates;
the general impression is that it possesses great
Then the varieties, the Prentiss, Lady Wash
ington, Dutchess, Pocklington, and Noah are
on trial. The Pocklington is a large, showy
variety, the vine robust of growth, and, like
the Concord, may prove better in Southern lo
cations than it is in the North. The Dutchess
is a choice sweet grape, and is an acquisition.
The Lady Washington is a variety of great
beauty and of fine quality; it has suffered
much the present season from rot in the ber
ries. The liural New Yorker mentions great
success with this variety by bagging the bunches,
thus preventing rot. The Prentiss is a large
bunched, prolific variety, but has tender foli
age, and will only le satisfactory where the
Isabella or the Iona do well. The Noah is a
Missouri production, and promises abundant
crops of fairly good fruit.
Grape culture has made rapid strides during
the past twenty years. The demand for the
fruit in all the large cities increases yearly,
but the supply is well kept up and prices are
not cxtravgaut, although sufficiently remuner
ative to the grower when near a market. Large
growers always have the alternative to turn
them into wine if market prices for the fruit
arc not satisfactory, but the best wine grapes
are not those which command the best prices
for table use.
VAEIED USES OP INDIAN" COKN.
It is stated that a bushel of Indian corn con
tains more nutriment than a bushel of wheat.
There is no grain which can be used in so
many different ways as corn. First conies
green corn, which can bo obtained for three
months in the cur, and for the entire year in
the shape of Ginned corn, which, if not so good
as when in the ear, is still good enough for any
one to cat. Then comes hominy made from
the mature grain, which is also a healthful
dish. Hut corn can be made into many kinds
of attractive dishes when ground into meal.
The simplest form is the corn-cake made of
meal and water, with a littlo salt, made into
dough, and baked on a griddle. Next conies
the pone, a favorite food when properly made.
Of the many other uses, such as mush, boiled
and fried, corn-meal pudding, &c, every house
keeper can bear testimony, although it is not
everyone that has the tact of cooking palatable
dishes from this wholesome article, which is
the cheapest and most nutritious of vegetable
rOTASH IN SOILS.
From some experiments made in Saxony
with potash as influencing the production of
sugar in beets it was found that chloride of po
tassium exercises no essential action in wet
seasons, while in dry years 1 cwt. per acre
Eccurcs an increase of three tons per acre; and
that the salt of potash acts less by furnishing
that clement to vegetation, than by its absorb
ing and retaining humidity for the plant.
This is of much importance in raising root
crops in dry climates, the lack of sufficient
moisture in the soil being one of the greatest
drawbacks in the profitable production of beet
sugar in many, or rather in most, parts of this
We recently published some remarks about
planting trees in the fall. We are well con
vinced that this is the best time to plant decid
uous -trees over a largo portion of the United
States. Thirty years ago, whon wo first advo
cated fall planting, it met with considerable
opposition, but the fall sales of trees in all our
nurseries show that nearly as many are planted
in the fall as in tho spring. Even with trees
for spring planting it is advisable to procure
them in the fall and place them in trenches,
covering them well np the stems, so that they
will be on hand ready for setting out when the
planting season arrives, thus avoiding delays
which frequently interfere with tho prompt
performance of spring work, and perhaps losing
the best opportunity.
NOTES AND EXTRACTS.
A Digest of Information Collected From Tarlons
There arc two difficulties in tho way of mak
ing sugar from sorghum ; tho first is in produc
ing a cane in which the gum and glucose, or
grape sugar, have passed on to the condition of
true sugar at the time of ripening of the seed.
This depends almost exclusively on tho inten
sity of light and heat at the period of ripening.
Before the head appears, tho juice contains
gum, with a littlo glucose; as the bloom ap
pears the gum is rapidly transformed into glu
cose, and as this fades the glucoso begins to pass
into the condition of true sugar; but if tho
light and heat fail at this point, the transfor
mation becomes slow, or is entirely suspended.
A fair sirup, with half the sweetness of sugar,
may be made from this juice, but the presence
of gum and glucoso prevents the crystalization
of the sugar that has been fjbrnicd.
TOADS AND BEES.
The Canadian Farmer says : Those who keep
bees need to look out sharply for toads. Go
among the hives in the "gloamin'," and ten to
one you will see a solemn toad beside each of
them, with faco upturned heavenward :is
though praying. So he is, phonetically speak
ing ; but phonography, with all its advantages,
fails here, for you must spell that word with
an "e."' He is preying on your bees, and if
you watch him closely you will sco him every
now and then dart out his long, slimy tongue
and gather them in with a celerity and gusto
I perfectlv marvelous. Toads aro valuable in a
garden, but destructive in an apiary.
Deficiency of food is not less injurious to the
animal health than an excess of it. If continued
for many days it leads to wasting of the body,
weakness of the muscles, great depression and
fever. Animals insufficiently nourished prove
susceptible of contjgious disorders, which they
quickly contract when Exposed to infection.
Moreover they become moro readily tho victims
of parasitic affections. Lice and the peculiar
minute plant or fungus to which ringworm is
due aro both found to flourish and propagate
vigorously under the influence of poverty and
The Rural New Yorker states the result of bag
ging tomatoes, which procured fruit of a bril
liant color, and when cooked were le6S :icid
than usual, aud the fruit ripened and colored
round the stem the same as elsewhere. Bag
ging gave no protection against rot. The same
is said of grapes. It has been frequently as
serted that covering grapes in a paper or in a
thin muslin bag, would prevent them from
rotting, but the assertion docs not seem to be
realized by those who have tried it. The grape
rot has not yet been met by a sure preventive.
A good guide for a safe quantity of grain per
day to maturing cattlo is one pound to each
hundred of their weight; thus, an animal
weighing ono thousand pounds may receive
ten pounds of grain.
In using roots, it is one guide to givo just so
much, in association with other things, so that
the animal may not take any water.
Never check the fattening process, for as soon
as an animal begins to fret for food, it imme
diately begins to lose flesh.
SUGAK FUOJI BEETS.
Experiments made in the United States De
partment of Agriculture in 3872, reveal the
important fact that the quantity of sugar in
the beet diminishes as the summer tempera
ture increases. In no climate that shows a
mean temperature of 70 for the three summer
months can sugar bo profitably made from
The price of sugar will not permit the manu
facturer to pay more than five dollars for a ton
of beets, and a ton of hay can be put on the
market with less labor.
Sugar beets have been tested aud results show
them to bo most nourishing, and yielding a
milk without foreign flavor, and rendering tho
milk without a yellow hue so common when
carrots aro fed. In France and Belgium hun
dreds of farms grow them exclusively to feed
cattle upon. In feeding beets caution must bo
taken to supply the cattlo with an amile
amount of hay to avoid any bad results.
The average rainfall of tho United States is
twenty-nine inches, or 23,000 barrels to the
acre. Over 4G,000,000 of our population have
more than tho average of rain, 22,000,000 hav
ing between forty and fifty inches. In the
regions having this large average rainfall tho
average population to the square mile is largest,
while but few live where the average annual
rainfall is less than twenty inches.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
Our Asrlcnltnral Editor's Weekly Chat IVIth Ills
A correspondent, writing from Texas, de
sires to be informed where he can purchase
the true California grape. Ans. : Tho grapes
which make up the bulk of those grown on the
Pacific slope aro foreign varieties, which can
bo supplied by most nurserymen; they are
not, therefore, in a botanical sense, California
grapes, although they may be Baid to have
been grown in that State.
Mrs. S. E. Itadnor will find that the simplest
and most efficient protection to her roses is to
bend tho shoots down so that they may be
fastened with wire to pegs driven in the
ground, then cover them over with straw,
leaves, or common soil; a slight covering will
suffice when the shoots arc laid on the ground.
"I have seen it stated that tho barberry
plant makes a good hedge. I wish to know if
this is correct; and, if so, how is it propa
gated?" Subscriber, Hamilton, Ohio. Ans.:
Tho barberry forms a very ornamental hedgo,
and when well grown, a good fenco against
cattle or stock of any kind. It is easily raised
"How can I keep hickory nuts and walnuts
until planting time next spring?" J. S.,
Pittsburg, Pa. Ans.: Plant them at onco he
fore they become dry and hard ; if this cannot
be done, keep them in moist soil or sand in
any corner outdoors; freezing will not injuro
them when thus covered.
"What two varieties of cherries would you
recommend for this part of Virginia?" J. It.,
Berkeley co. Ans. : Tho black Tartarian and
Knight's Early Black. Theso aro both fine
growing trees, produce tho best kind of fruit,
and are quite productive, especially the latter
variety. Tho Tartarian forma a fino shade
"Will the cork tree grow in this part of Vir
ginia?" W. C, Fredericksburg, Va. Ans.:
The cork oak is an evergreen tree, a native of
Southern Europe. We think that it would
stand tho winters as far north as you date
from. A zero frost will not materially in
HOME, SWEET HOME.
Something About Woman's Work Above
and Below Stairs.
The Woman's Institute of Technical Design
opened September 27th, at No. 12 i Fifth
avenue, New York. Instruction is given in
practical design in a great many industries,
among them carpets, mosaics, tiles, wall paper,
prints, wood-carving, embroidery, &c. A lim
ited number of free scholarships havo been
provided for applicants of moral worth who
show evidences of adaptation to artistic design
ing and are in need of benefit. The circular
of tho institution sets forth : "Tho demand in
every branch of industry is greater than the
supply, not because tho supply is not offered,
but because it is bad. What is needed is good
work ; and good work, work that has a practi
cal value, can only result from acquired
knowledge and training. If women will recog
nize this truth, we shall hear littlo more of the
difficulty of obtaining work, for the correspond
ing difficulty of obtaining good work will no
longer exist. Now designs, original concep
tions technically conveyed, and perfectly
adapted to thetpurposo for which they were
intended, are always welcomed by manufac
turers, and the demand for them never dies
out, because one design is no sooner upon tho
market until another is called for."
Mrs. General Lew Wallace has been permit
ted to see tho greatest beauty of Prince Fera
.morz's harem in Turkey. Two wonderfully
ugly black eunuchs met the visitor at the iron
gate of a beautiful garden and conducted her
to a large room, rather harreu of furniture, but
hung with fine Eastern draperies. Here she
found the Princo's latest acquisition, whom
she thus describes in the Independent : "Among
the billowy cushions and vaporous veilings
rose tho young faco. Oh ! what a revelation of
beauty! uplifted in a curious, questioning way
to see what manner of women these are who
come from the ends of tho earth with unveiled
faces, and go about the world alono, and have
to think for themselves poor tilings! Tho
expression was that of a lovely child waking
from summer slumber in tho happiest humor,
ready for play. A sensitive, exquisite face,
fair as the first of women while the angel was
yet unfallcn. A perfect oval, the lips a scarlet
thread, and oh ! those wonderful Asiatic eyes!
lustrous, coal-black, long rather than round,
beaming nndor joined eyebrows."
A house in the country without trees is hap
pily a very rare sight. Few people, where tho
opportunity exists for treo planting, will, at
tho present time, livo in a houso not orna
mented in some manner with trees and shrubs.
Tho mistake, however, is too often made of
planting largc-growiug trees too near tho
dwelling, so that in a fevr years the building is
overshadowed, tho sanitary influence of sun
and wind are excluded, the walls become damp,
and a general gloomy aspect prevails, all hav
ing a tendency to endnng-cr health. No large-
growing tree should bo planted nearer than
sixty feot to a country dwelling. Tho best
aspect for a house is to front in a southeasterly
direction, and no largo trees placed directly in
front. A group of evergreens, or rather de
tached groups, may be placed at proper dis
tances from northeast to northwest, and groups
of decidnous trees similarly disposed towards
the south and west. A background of ever
greens gives a cheerful appearanco to a house
during tho winter, and has tho effect of modi
fying the wintry storms. No largo evergreen
tree should be planted near the front of dwell
ings, for if planted in masses their influence
will be felt although a hundred feet from the
There is moro to bo learned about pour
ing out tea and coffee than most ladies are
willing to believe. If these decoctions are
made at the table which is by far the best
way they require oxperience, judgment, and
exactness; if they are brought on the tabic
ready made it still requires judgment so to
apportion them that they shall prove sufficient
in quantity for the family party, and that the
elder members shall havo tho stronger cups.
Often persons pour out tea, who, not being at
all aware that the first cup is tho weakest, and
that the tea grows stronger as you proceed, be
stow tho poorest cup upon tho greatest stranger
and give the strongest to a very young mem
ber of the family, who would have been better
without any. Where several cups of equal
strength aro wanted, you should pour a little
into each, and then the strength will bo appor
At the recent beauty show at Buda Pcsth tho
first trophy was carried off by a local nonpareil.
The second prizo fell to a paragon from the
United States. Tho two noxt in merit wcro a
fair Spaniard from Castile and a German belle
from Dresden. Two of tho English profes
sional beauties presented themselves as claim
ants for prizes, but one was marked eleven,
with a certificate, and the other was not placed.
Thi3 Avas so mortifying that she created a
scene, and in her rago sho struck tho mayor of
Buda, who was one of the judges.
The London Truth says that an American girl
wears a gown with a flight of embroidered
swallows, beginning on her left shoulder and
ending at her right foot. Moro swallows fly
about her parasol.
Among tho premiums offered at a fair in
Texas are a pair of smoothing-irons to the
ugliest woman present. They will, indeed, bo
sad irons to the winner.
Adelaido Phillips, the American contralto,
died at Carlsbad, Germany, October 3.
Annie Fields and Sara Jowett are at Inter
lakcn. Emma Abbott's mother refuses to tell hor
Although the best winter-flowering plants
are not obtained by lifting and potting the
plants which havo furnished tho flower-beds
all tho summer, yet for coming in later, during
the early weeks of spring, plants taken up
beforo freezing Aveather injures them, and
properly cared for will bo a great addition to
the blooms in the parlor window or house con
servatory. Foremost of theso may ho placed
tho varieties of double geraniums, of which
there aro numerous colors, from puro whito to
deep scarlet; theso are even more perfect in
the house than when out in the heat and
droughts of summer. Tea roses are also not
difficult to manage and flower well after they
recover from the check of removal. Helio
tropes, abutillons, Chinese hibiscus, rose and
other fragrant-leaved geraniums, and now that
they aro popular, tho varieties of Chrysanthe
mum frutescens, or Marguerites of the French,
can bo removed and potted with moro or less
of success, the last-named easiest of all.
But some timely attention is rcquisito to
ensure satisfactory results. If the soil is dry
the earth will not adhere to tho roots, and
most of tho small root fibres will be sacrificed,
thus necessitating a sevcro pruning of tho
shoots. In tho case of heliotropes and gerani
ums of all kinds which havo grown to a largo
size this pruning must needs be so radical as to
leave littlo olso but stumps of tho shoots or
branches. Roses also will require close prun
ing, otherwise the whole plant will shrivel and
die before new root growth commences. But
all depends upon the position tho plants occupy
Sot six or eight weeka after being potted. They
should be protected from sun and winds and
watered only by sprinkling water over them;
the soil in the pots should be soaked with water
immediately after potting, but it should not be
kept too wet while as yet thcro are no active
roots nor active foliago to make use of water
in the soil.
No effort should be mado towards forcing
the growth of shoots until root growth is some
what advanced ; many people fail because tho
plants are at once placed in warm rooms where
the tops are encouraged to make a feeble
growth, which soon dies off because tho roots
are not sufficiently active to continue the
The new cloaks arc very long.
Phosphorus color is the latest thing out.
Green is the favorite color of the season.
Woven jer3eys are introduced for small
Fur bands will be a favorite cloak tiimming
Old silver ornaments aro worn on pale blue
Velvet ornaments for dresses and cloaks aro
much in vogue.
Claret color and pink combine beautifully in
Plaid materials are again in high favor, but
not in bright colors.
Jackets almost covered with braiding will be
worn by young ladies this season.
Scarlet huzzar jackets, embroidered with gold
soutache, are fashionable in Paris.
The sale of plain black velvet this autnmn is
greater than it has been for several years.
Pictures, consoles, and mirrors of 'every kind
hroughout the house are now frequently framed
Paris ladies obtain ulsters and riding habits
from London, and will now send there for
Many of the new small bonnets have soft cap
crowns of velvet, some of which are beauti
Ono of the newest color combinations is an
amber shade, with Russian green checks and
light blue threads to form the plaid.
Gipsy kerchiefs aro the newest fichu for
street wear. Orange, deep cardinal, myrtlo
green, and gold, and dark blue and silver are
the colors chosen for these.
Letters from abroad say that furs havo al
ready appeared in Paris. Sealskin is not to
havo exclusive sway this winter, but is to share
the honors with ermine, which is the most ele
gant of all furs. Large ottoman velvet pelisses
are lined with ermine and bordered with fox.
Something still more elegant is tho pelisse lined
with kid or "mouton de Chine." Thi3 is a
very peculiar fur, with long, wavy hair. It is
close and deep like swan's down.
To mako a Nice Delicato Pudding Take
three tablespoonfuls of corn starch dissolved
in a little cold water. Have one pint of
water boiling on the stove; in this stir the
corn starch and tho well-beaten whites of
three eggs; let it boil up once; pour it into
an cart hern pudding dish which will hold
three pints; steam the pudding for ten min
utes. For tho sauce use tho yolk of the
three eggs, one cupful of sweet milk, and a
small piece of butter; boil for a few minutes;
when cool, flavor with lemon or vanilla. The
pudding also is to be eaten cold.
To make Mock Champagne Jelly Take one
quart of fine cider, mix this with one pound of
loaf sugar or sugar to taste, the juice of four
lemons, the grated rind of one, and some pieces
of stick cinnamon, the whites of two eggs well
beaten, one box of gelatine, soak the gelatine
in a pint of cold water one hour, then add a
pint of boiling water, the cider and other in
gredients, stir the mixture until the gelatine
is well dissolved; then put it on the fire and
boil fivo minutes, strain through a jelly-bag
into molds, set in a cool place or on ice to
To make Tomato Catsup First, havo nice
ripotomatoes, wash them clean in cold water,
cut out the cores, and then put the tomatoes into
tho kettle and boil till cooked soft, then mash
through a fino wire sieve. To two gallons of
the juice, add two tablespoonfuls of ground
cinnamon, two of ground allspice, two of celery
seed, one-half teacup of fino salt, one teacup
of sugar, two tablefpoonfuls of best mustard,
one nutmeg, a tablespoon even-full of Cayenne
pepper, two tablespoonfuls of ground black
pepper, and one quart best cider vinegar, mix
well together and boil till very thick taking
care to prevent scorching. Bottlo while hot
and seal, and it will keep for years.
To Roast Wild Duck Tho birds should bo
carefully plucked, wiped with a damp towel,
and drawn without breaking the entrails.
Wild ducks should bo cooked raro without any
stuffing; roast them in a hot oven not longer
than thirty minutes, or until the breasts are
plump and full ; basto them at first with salted
hot water, and when nearly cooked with melted
butter and flour to froth and brown them ; send
to the table very hot on a dish of watcrcresses
dressed with a plain French salad dressing; the
dressing is made with ono tablespoonful of
lemon juice, three of olive oil, a sal tapoon ful of
salt, a littlo cayenne, a tcaspoonful of vinegar.
To make Applo Bread Scald with boiling
milk ono quart of Indian meal tho yellow
granulated meal is much tho best. "When cool,
add a tcaspoonful of salt aud stir in oue pint
of ripe sweet apples chopped very fine, two
well-beaten eggs and a tcaspoonful of butter.
The butter may bo beaten into the meal while
it is still warm enough to mix thoroughly.
Add a half tcaspoonful of dissolved soda. Mix
into a stiff dough, adding as much sweet milk
as is needed for that purpose. Bake or steam.
If steamed let it cook threo hours. Another
method of utilizing sweet apples: Stew tlieiu
in a porcelain kcttlo with just enough molasses,
syrup and water to prevent their burning on
to the kettle until cooked through, and then
transfer them to the oven with all tho liquid
residuum to dry and brown. This gives a baked
apple, half jellied, delicions in flavor and moist
ure. Sweet pickled by somo considered su
perior to tho old-fashioned apple-sauce aro
made by partly baking sweet apples and then
saturating them in a picklo of vinegar, sugar,
WILL SOME LADY TLEASK ANSWER TmS?
Dear sisters of the household : A3 tho Editor
has so kindly given us a "Homo" in his paper
arc wo all going to stand back and mako him
do all the talking? That would hardly be fair,
would it? Now I want to know a great many
things common things, too but I don't know
them, and perhaps some of you could tell mo
just as well as not; and porhaps somo of you
would liko to know things that I could tell
you. But how arc wc to know what each other
wants to know if wo don't ask?
Now I propose, with tho editor's permission,
of course, that wo all write and ask questions
of each other, and givo all tho information in
our power, and so both learn and teach at tho
What I wish to know just now, most of all, is
how to can sweet corn in glass cans, such as wo
can fruit in. al never havo any trouble with
my fruit, but so far I have failed to keep sweet
corn, and should very much like to learn how.
Will some one be so good as to tell me ? I will
not ask too much this time, as tho editor may
refuse to admit mo ; but if he docs not, I shall
come again, aud will give any information in
my power, "Selbe,
SOUTHERN PRISON LIFE.
"Free Lance" Continues the Dole
ful Story of His Experiences.
Dec. 9lh. I have celebrated my twentieth
birthday by stealing a cordwood stick, and de
vouring my usual rations of gruel. Sylvanus
Fisher and four other boys of our regiment
were brought into the stockade to-day. They
wero all captured on the road to Savannah,
whither Sherman w3 moving. Eleven of
them were sent out on tho flank of the army to
collect some forage, and reaching a fine resi
dence, they halted and ordered the slaves to
cook them some dinner. Very carelessly, they
hung their muskets and cartridge-boxes on tho
boughs of some trees, and were lounging about
in very unsoldierly fashion, when a conipany
of rebel cavalry dashed in upon them and shot
six of their number dead and captured the
other five. Tho rebel soldiers were eager to
kill the whole party, and only were restrained
from doing so by their commanding officer
with the greatest difficulty. Fisher says that
Sherman is "knocking the stuffing out of the
confederacy," and that the war will be over by
spring. On the 22d of last July, when our
brigade was fighting pretty much the whole of
Cleburne's division, a private soldier of tho
Fifteenth Iowa, by the name of Reuben Meek,
captured eighty-five rebels without anybody's
assistance. A heavy charge had been m.tdc on
the Fifteenth, and after it had been repulsed,
Meek started down to the ravine in front of
the position to fill his canteen with water, sup
posing that all the rebels had fled. Much to
his surprise, he came upon a large party of
them lying in concealment. They sprang up
and began cocking their muskets, when, in a
furious tone, he ordered them to "ground
arms" instantly, or ho would order tho skir
mishers to kill tho last man of them. Pre
suming that a large force of Yankees were at.
hand, they threw down their muskets, and
Meek marched them up to tho regiment and
delivered them to his colonel.
KED nEAD'S BRUTALITY.
Dee. 10th. A Presidential election was held
in this prison on November Sth, the same as at
Millen, and Lincoln beat McCIellan three to
one. Surrounding this stockade aro two line3
of earthworks. When the prisoners were first
brought hero from Charleston, 1,500 of them
broke through the guard lines one night, while
still detained on the outside, and, in spite of
the musketry, most of them made their escape.
They were all recaptured, however, within a
few days, and many of them were murdered in
the woods by their captors. Packs of blood
hounds are kept here for the pursuit of prison
ers, who are barbarously treated if recaptured.
"Red Head's" favorite amusement is to tako
such men, tie their wrists together hehind
them, and then suspend them in tho air by a
ropo fastoned to their wrists. The bravest
and strongest man cannot undergo this ordeal
withoat finally screaming aud shrieking with
pain. A rebel guard fainted one day at merely
witnessing tho agony of a Union soldier tor
tured in this way. "Bed Head," however,
dances about such a brutal scene in tho height
of physical and intellectual enjoyment. An
other custom of his is to suddenly appear with
an armful of heavy clubs and hurl them, one
by one, into clusters of unsuspecting prisoners.
He has dangerously injured quite a number of
men in this way. Ho would not dare to enter
the stockade alone if it were not for the fact
that we would be held responsible, collectively,
for any injury dono him. He generally has
guards with him, howover. The First Georgia
infantry, composed of soldiers who have seen
fighting, is well spoken of by tho prisoners.
Dec. 11th. A soldier belonging to the Sixth
West Virginia cavalry informs me that he was
ono of a gang of 700 Union prisoners who were
temporarily confined in a tobacco warehouse
at Lynchburg, Va., last July. It was a one
story structure on tho outskirts of the town.
The rations consisted of ham and corn dodgers.
Tho rebel sergeant commanding was a sailor
who was in the South when tho war broke out,
aud was conscripted in spite of his Union senti
ments. The guards were convalescent veterans,
and treated tho prisoners well. In tho cellar
of the warehouse was a largo quantity of tin,
which tho prisoners stole to mako cooking
utensils out of. When the owner of it found
out what had occurred, he applied to the au
thorities for permission to put powder in the
cellar and blow the prisoners up. Tho matter
was adjusted by a rebel colonel, who shut off
the ratious of the prisoners until the sale of the
same indemnified the patriot who owned tho tin.
Dec. 12th. One of the paroled men mentioned
a fact to mo to-day which he heard on the out
side. Several years " befo' the wah " some South
ern gentlemen conceived tho idea that they
might not only mako money out of cotton, but
also feed thoir slaves on flour manufactured
from cotton seed. They accordingly had a
quantity of cotton seed ground up into flour,
aud had a loaf of bread baked from the com
modity produced. A negro was then compelled
to mako a repast from this bread, but died in
consequence. The symptoms wcro those of
poison. Strange that wo have never been fed
on cotton -seed flour.
Dec. loth. To-day I saw a prisoner shot dead
for asking a sentry to throw him a chow of
tobacco. The guards aro oven more blood
thirsty here than they were at Andersonville.
Dec. lith. Last night a poor, sick, emaciated
fellow got bewildered in the swamp, in the
darkness, and although ho was only a short dis
tance from tho causeway, ho fell into a water
hole aud was drowned. His body was found
this morning. A good many men heard his
cries, but no one went to his assistance.
Dec. 15'7i. To-day wo were notified that the
guards have instructions to shoot all prisoners
who speak to them. Such instructions were
issued several days ago without our knowledge,
and many prisoners havo been killed in conse
quence. Tho object is no doubt to prevent us
from learning anything concerning tho move
ments of Sherman's army. For some days past
the rebels have been takiug prisoners out of the
stockado for exchange, endeavoring to select
only thoso who aro maimed, certain to die, or
whoso terms of service have expired. Among
tho lucky ones taken out to-day was Spurgeon,
of our mud hut, and of my own regiment.
"Spurgo" is very thin from long starvation,
and got himself up for the occasion. "Hump
ing his back," hobbling with a stick, and put
ting on a fearfully miscrablo visage, he suc
ceeded in imposing on the credulity of a rebel
surgeon. I tried "the hundred days' dodge,"
assuring the surgeon that I belonged to a hun
dred days' regimont, tho timo of which had
long ago expired. " Will you ever go back to
tho army?" ho asked, scanning mo sharply.
"Never!" I fervently declared. "I think you
would," ho answered dryly, and passed 011.
FROZEN TO DEATH.
Dec. lGth. As I went to tho brook this morn
ing for water I saw a mere boy sitting in the
ruins of a mud hnt, half of which had fallen
down. Ho was sick, destitute, covered with
vermin, and too weak to help himself. By tho
timo I returned he had frozen to death. This
is said to bo the coldest winter known in tho
South for many years. Ice freezes a quarter of
an inch thick almost every night. A large pro
portion of the prisoners aro without any kind
of shelter, and have no fires, and innumerable
deaths occur from the cold. There are many
Dec. 11th. More prisoners were taken ont to
day for exchange. A large squad who failed to
bo selected for exchange went ont and galvan
ized. The suffering hero i3 simply terrible.
This is a worse place than Andersonville, and
Barrett is a more brutal wretch, if possible,
Dec. ISth. To-day I learned the probable fate
of Ware, one of the two men who owned tho
ground I and my chums first occupied at An
dersonville. Ho was last seen at Millen, and
was black and blue in the face from scurvy, and
by this time is no doubt dead. He was a Maine
man, of excellent principles, and often spoke to
me with great feeling concerning the family he
left at home. A brain fevor is making great
havoc in our ranks. The rate of mortality is
sufficient to alarm the boldest.
Dec. 19'"'. Fisher visited our hovel last even
ing. He had his pockets filled with excellent
tobacco, and loading up our pipes we had a very
pleasant evening, crouched before our blazing
little hearth. When our regiment, on tho 22d
of last July, capitulated, it was to Govan's brig
ade. Fisher states that that brigade and two
batteries were captured just a week afterwards
by a direct charge on breastworks mado by the
troops of Gen. Davis. Fisher has not been a
prisoner long enough to lose his affability.
M:rny of us have concluded to bother no longer
about exchange, but have settled down to the
grim determination to live till tho confederacy
collapses. It is said that most of the Anderson
ville raider3 aro now in the rebel army. They
came from the slums of New York city.
Dec. 20'ft. Among the various barbarities of
"Red Head" should bo mentioned h3 habit of
knocking down aud kicking sick prisoners, who
are prevented by debility from obeying hi3 per
emptory orders with sufficient promptness.
Lung diseases arc very prevalent here, origin
ating from exposure to the severe cold weather.
A FRIGHTFUL DEATH-RATE.
Dec. 21s'. Nine-tenths of us are without
shoes, and must tread bare-footed on gronnd
that is frozen and full of ice much of tho time.
A cut is liable to result in dry gangrene, in
which case away goes a limb or life. Wo aro
utterly destitute. Ono man dies out of about
every three who are brought in here.
Dec. 22d. Very few new prisoners arrive, but
when they do, many of them give the thing up
in despair, at the start, and speedily die. (About
five thousand men perished at Florence.)
Dec. 23. The police force of this prison is
not very popular. Some of its "big chiefs" aro
on very good terms with the rebels. The task
of governing nine or ten thousand skeletons is
not an arduous one.
Dec. 2ith. In order to encourage enlistments
in a "galvanized" company "Red Head" is
trying to raise, rations have been reduced
smaller than ever. We suffer for want of salt
especially. Gruel without salt is wretched
stuff. Tho " galvanized " soon fatten up when,
they get regular confederate rations.
Dec. 25tk. Christmas and two-thirds of a pint
of corn meal ! I saw a prisoner shot dead to
day by a guard for walking near the dead-line
to hang his ragged blanket on a pole.
Dec. 26tk. Some of the "shebangs" here are
built of mud bricks, and do very well under
the circumstances. A good shelter greatly as
sists in prolonging life. Since Spurgeon got
exchanged, Wright and Jones and I aro not so
crowded. We still " flank " wood.
Dec. 27th. It is reported that the prisoners
at Raleigh, N. C, are treated like human be
ings, having barracks to shelter them, and very
good rations. We arc hoping that our next
move will he in that direction.
Dec. 2Sth. The "galvanized " say that a great
many Southerners in the rebel army are serv
ing from compulsion and against their desires.
The confederate government is a mere military
despotism. Our salt ration has diminished to
half a tcaspoonful per day.
Dec. 29 'A. Cold nights, meagre rations, dis
ease, destitution, starvation, despair and death.
Dec. 30th. The air is full of exciting rumors
concerning Sherman's army. It is difficult to
form an opinion regarding the military situa
tion, beyond the fact that our side has the best
of it. A man can hear almost anything here,
and haidly knows what to believe.
Dec. 31s". A year could scarcely be wound
up in a worse manner than by starving in
Florence. A year hence none of us will be in
rebel prisons. We will either be in the Union
lines or in our graves.
SARCASJI OF THE SEASON.
January 1st, 1SG5. Tho boys, with mnch sar
casm, are wishing ono another "a happy New
Jan. 2d. Yesterday Winder dropped dead in
his tracks, while entering tho quarters of the
Post Sutler to cat a New Year's dinner. There
is no doubt whatever concerning the direction
his spirit took.
Jan. 'oi. Several weeks ago the ladies of
Florence decided to make a large confederate
flag and present it to tho prison garrison on
New Year's day. In anticipation of the event,
Ivcrson had a very tall flag-pole erected on the
commons in front of his headquarters. It was
cut in the woods, handsomely dressed, and
erected in position by paroled Union soldiers.
In putting up the pole an accident occurred,
and ono or two of the paroled men were killed.
That Union soldiers should perform such a
service for tho rebels, under any circumstances,
created tho greatest indignation in tho prison,
and it was universally determined that wo
would hoot the rebel flag vehemently whon it
should bo raised. Iverson heard of this, and
as the ladies of Florence were to be present at
the flag-raising, wo wero warned by the rebel
roll sergeants to mako no demonstration on
pain of losing our rations for twenty-four hours.
Wo then concluded not to "demonstrate."
When tho rebel Hag went up, however, and its
nefarious folds danced in tho air, a loud, pro
longed yell of derision burst from the stockade.
Then, for ten minutes or more, the air was
rent with cries of "Hurrah for tho Union!"
"Hurrah for Lincoln!" "D n tho Confed
eracy," etc. Tho ladies of Florence were
shocked, and we lost our rations. Florence 13
a wretched littlo town, 120 miles from Charles
ton, and about as far from Wilmington.
Jim. 4"ft. There is a camp of slaves on tho
north side of tho stockado. Tho rebels never
requiro them to work on Sunday. They are
well fed. Salt is not issued to us half the time,
and we suffer extremely for want of it.
Jan. 5th. Nearly every man in this prison
whom I havo any acquaintance with is sick.
A particular frieud of mine named Vale, of the
Eighth Iowa cavalry, died to-day. Starvation,
exposure, aud crowded, filthy quarters originate
nearly all tho diseases wo have.
Jan. 6th. It is an evont for a prisoner to se
curo any kind of reading matter. To-day,
through the kindness of a friend, I am revel
ing in Bulwer's " Pelham."
Jan. 7th. On several occasions the prisoners
at Richmond were without food for 4S hours.
Jan. Sth. Incarceration in a rebel bull pen
means gradual starvation. The intention is to
kill us in a maimer that will escape the con
demnation of the world. Our death will bo
attributed to excusable causes.
Jan. 9th. I think almost as much suffering
exists hero from cold as from hunger. Starv
ing men cannot withstand exposure and sovere
weather. A depleted physical system invites
all manner of disease. A sick dog in tho North
would bo cared for better than sick prisoners
are cared for here.
To be continued.
Entered according to act of Congress in the year
1883 by The National Tribune in the office of ths
librarian of Conjeas at Washington.