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Weekly national intelligencer. (Washington [D.C.]) 1841-1869, June 11, 1863, Image 1

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WASHINGTON: T11UK8IUY, JUNE XI, 1863.
Weekly Natlenul lutelltfeucrr
Br QALES 6c SEATON.
JAMBS 0. WML LING, ASSOCIATE EDITOR.
The subscription priee of this paper for a year ia Two
Dollars, payable in advance.
A reduction of 20 per oent. (one-fifth of ike full charge!
will be made to any one who ahall order and pay for, at one
time, ten copiea of the Weekly paper; and a reduetion of
25 per oent. (or one-fourth of the full charge) to any one
who will order and pay for, at oue time, twenty or more
copiea.
No aeeounti being kept for thia paper, it will not be aent
to any one iinleaa paid for in advance, nor any longer than
the time for which it is paid.
THE BETALIATOKY CODE.
We published a tew days ago the joint resolu
tions passed by the Congress of the Insurgent
States, and approved by Gen. Jeffmon Davis,
affirming that the proclamations of the President
of the United States, dated reapeotivaiy September
22d, 1862, and January 1st, 1863, and 4he other
measures of the Government of the United States
and of its authorities, commanders, and forces de
signed or tending to emancipate slaves in the Con
federate States, or to abduct suoh slaves, or to in
oite them to insurrection, or to employ negroes in
the war against the Confederate States, or to over
throw the institution of African slavery and bring
on a servile war in those States, " are inconsistent
with the spirit of those usages which in modern
warfare prevail among civilized nations, and may
therefore be properly and lawfully repressed by
retaliation." It was accordingly resolved that?
" Every white peraon, being a commissioned officer,
or acting aa aueh, who, during the preaent war, ahall
commaud negroes or mulattoes in arma against the
Confederate States, or who shall arm, tram, organize, or
prepare negroes or mulattoes for military service agaimt
the Confederate States, or who shall voluntarily aid ue
gro?s or mulattoes in auy military enterprise, attack, or
conflict in tuch service, shall be deemed as inciting servile
inourrectioD, and shall, if captured, be put to death, or be
otherwise punished at the discretion of the court."
All persons charged with any offence punishable
under these regulations are to be tried before the
military court attached to the army or oorps by the
troops of whioh they shall have been captured, or
by such other military court as " the President
may direct, and in suoh manner and under such
regulations as the President shall prescribe, and,
after conviction, the Prerident may commute the
punithment in suoh manner and on such terms as
he may deem proper."
Under the same prescriptions it is declared
that?
"All negroes and mulattoes who sball be engaged in
war or be taken id arms sgainst the Confederate States,
or shall give aid or comfort to the enemies of the Confede
rate State*, shsll, when captured in the Confederate States,
be delivered to the authorities of the State or States in
which they shall be captured, to be dealt with according
to the present or future laws of such State or States."
As our Government hai recently plaoed several
regiments of negroes in the field, commanded by
white offioers, it is obvious that these menaced
severities of the insurgent authorities must impose
on it the necessity of protecting from outrage all
men who have taken the military oath in the ser
vice of the United States, for all such, without re
gard to color, are equally entitled to the protection
of the Government they serve and under whose
flag they fight. This is a principle of law which
will be oonoeded equally by those who affirm and
those who question the expediency of employing
negro troops as regular soldiers in the present war.
Nor has tho responsibility thns incurred by the
employment of negro troops in the Federal service
been overlooked by the President. On the 24th
of April last be caused certain " instructions for
the government of the armies of the United States
in the held," prepared by Francis Lieber, LL.D.,
and revised by a board of offioers, to be published
for the information of all conoerned. Among these
" instructions" are the following:
" 57. So aoon a* a man ia armed by a aovrreign Govern
ment, and takea the aolditr'a oath of fidelity, be ia a belli
gerent; hia killing, wounding, or other warlike acta are no
individual Crimea or oflencea. No belligerent baa a right
to deolare that enemiea of a certain elaaa, color, or condi
tion, when properly organised aa aoldiera, will not be
treated by hiui aa public eneuiiea.
" 58. The law of nationa knowa of no distinc'ioo of color,
and if an enemy of the United Btatea abould enalave and
aell any captured peraona of their army, it would be a caae
fir the aevereat retnliation, if not redreaaed upon com
plaint. The United Statea cannot retaliate by enalave
uipnt; therefore, death muat be the retaliation for thia
crime againat the law of nationa."
It will thus be seen that the President, by ap
proving these declarations, has already met the
issue threatened to be made by the insurgent au
thority s, should these latter unfortunately proceed
to the extremities indicated. Whatever may be
their natural irritation at the species of warfare
thus brought against them by the Government,
we are persuaded that they will not earry into
effect so muoh of their resolved policy as denouoces
the penalty of death in punishment of all white
offioers, taken prisoners of war, who are found in
' oommand of negro troops. And we think we see
in the provision that " the President may commute
tho punishment in suoh manner and on such terms
as he may deem proper," an intimation of the pru
dential considerations, to uy nothing more, whioh
are likely to preserve the Confederate authorities
from suoh military wrong and injustioe under the
laws of nations. When they assumo to deolare
the employment of negro troops a violation of the
law of nations they arraign not only the Govern
ment of the United States, but Powers like Great
Britain and France, which aTe supposed to under
stand somewhat of the rights and duties pertaining
to the international oode. The Bmperor of tho
French this moment has Nubian troops in Mexico,
waging war by the side of French soldiers. The
wisdom of employing negro troops in the present
war is one thing; the duty of giving them the
protection of the Government after they have been
regularly enlisted in the service is quite anothef;
and those who, for many reasons, may still enter
tain grave doubts on the former point oan have no
doubt as to tho latter.
Humanity, indeed, muat shudder at the proa
peot before us if either party in thia sad war shall
have reoourse to the dread sanotions of the retalia
tory code for the repression of oonceived offences
against the rules of lawful war. If the waters of
this Marah are onoe unsealed they may spread
into a sea of blood. Hence the caution with
which such awful remedies should be threat
ened or invoked on the one aide or the other in
this fratrioidal contest, which is already unnatural
and oruel enough to need no addition to its hor
rors. The usages of war cannot, indeed, wholly dis
pense with the lex talionh; yet all civilized na
tions acknowledge its sanctions to be the sternest
weapons in the whole arsenal of warfare; and as
such they are never called forth except on com
pulsion, and then under tho direst necessity, to
guard against the repetition of barbarous outrages
whioh oan be prevented in no other way. The
denunciation of this punishment, after the man
ner of Qen. Hunter, in oommand at Hilton
Head, who threatens to exeouto every rebel officer
and slaveholder in his possession unless Gon. Jef
ferson Davis's order of " outlawry" against those
employing negro troops is revoked, cannot be treat
; ed as any thing better than a compound of the
horrible and the ludiorous, in which the latter pre
dominates, notwithstanding the keenness and the
weight of the two-edged sword with whioh the
writer plays. Such idle fulminations discredit the
military profession, and bring disgrace on the
Government, whioh is reduoed to the necessity of
disavowing the written orders of men placed in
high oommand. It is generally to be observed
that the officers most prolific in such evidences of
the cacoethes scribendi are men whose names rarely
shine in connexion with brilliant deeds or acts of
noble daring. And it is in view of this fact, we
suppose, that the Boston Daily Advertiser ventures
to express its belief "that the Government has at
its disposal no lack of officers who could administer
tbe Department of the South with at least as much
success 8s Gen. Hunter, and who would be able to
oompress into their orderB, if not more truth, at
least more wiadom."
AN IMPARTIAL DRAFT.
The New York Evening Post complains that the
War Department, in making its preliminary ar
rangements for the enrollment of all persons who
are liablo to be drafted into the military service,
has not acted with the impartiality which the case
demands. It says:
" The oonacription fulls upon all alike; the principle
which underlie! it is that all citizens have an interest in
the welfare of the State, and all alike owe it service in
arms against the enemy. If all are needed, all must go;
when on'y a part are required the selection of thine who
shall first take their turn under arms is made by drawing
lots; but all ty-e liable to draft.
" Now, it seems to us the Administration has forgotten
to apply this principle with that impartiality which the
ease demands. We bear of provost marshals and enroll
ment lists io the Northern aud Border States, but we do
not bear of any preparations made to enforce tbe draft in
tbe Cotton States. Why are not-provost inarshsls appointed
for them ? Why 1 la it not understood that th#ir inhabi
tant* are subject to tbe same laws a* those of other Statesf
How is it tbat in Western Virginia a draft is likely to
be ordered for tbe Union army, hut in Eastern Virginia
none T
" The theory of the Administration is Ibat no State can
secede from tbe Union, and tbat no State sacrifices it*
rights by a rebellion among its inhabitants; but, if it claims
its rights, it must also be held to its proper duties. Fur
that reason we expeet the enrollment and the draft to be
applied alike to all tbe states.
" If it be said that a part of tbe people of the rebel States
is already in arms, but against the Union, we reply tbat
another part of them is not. It may be tbnt the white
men have been forced into Davis's armies; but the black
men Davia keepaat bome to cultivate tbe land and to raise
food lor bis troops. In lucb a matter tbe Government can
tiike no account of color or social position. All tbat it can
ask is whether a man be able bodied and fitted for the duties
required of the aoldiers. If he is, be is a proper person to
be called into saraice. Tbe law does not impose a greater
burden upon one State than upon another, or upon one
clam than upon another. The draft, therefore, must be
applied to all, but must take those it finds?and it
happena, fortunately, in tbe Southern Statea that tho?o
who remain at home belong to a cUas which ia loyal to the
Union and oppoaed to the rebellion. Besides, the alave
claas is one which is to be peculiarly benefited by the re
sults of tbe war, and ought, 011 tbat acoount, to be required
to contribute to its prosecution and success."
It is quite true, we believe, that no provost mar
shals have been appointed throughout the Cotton
States, or even throughout Virginia, North Caro
lina, or Tennessee. And if surprised at this faot,
the Post, we are sure, will be more surprised when
it learns that there are no applicants for these im
portant and lucrative offices in the gift of the Govern
ment. We ought to have a provost marshal residing
at the oapitals of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama,
and other Southern States, with their appropriate
subordinates, whose duty it should be to enroll all
the loyal blacks preparatory to the enforcement of
the draft at the South as well ait at the North. As
our oontemporary says, the Government in such a
matter can take no account of color or social posi
tion. The draft should be equal and impartial.
But whether it be that the views of the Post on
this point are singular, or that there is a sudden
aed alarming dearth of patriots at the North who
are willing to hold offioo under the Administration
where there is the promise of doing, our contcm
pory thinks, so much good, certain it is that Mr.
Stanton should not be very severely criticised be
cause he has not yet appointed provost marshals
for all the Cotton States. If the Pott has any can
didates whom it can recommend for these offices
we venture to express the opinion that their olaims
will be treated with due consideration by the Ad
ministration, which, we take it, is as anxious as
our oontemporary can be to make the draft fall on
all alike. As that ardent friend of the Govern
ment, Mr. Wendell Phillips, has recently said that
he will never rest satisfied until he sees five hun
dred thousand negro soldiers enlisted in the ser
vioo of the Union, perhaps he could be induced to
accept an appointmont for South Carolina or Ala
bama.
NOMINATION FOR CONGRESS.
Bai.timohk, J it nr. G.?The Union Convention to night
nominated Hon. Henry Winter Davis for Representative
in Congies* from tbe Third Congressional District. He
was afterward serenaded, and made a speech, in which he
said he should if elected support the entire policy of the
Administration. There ahonld, be said, be no aide issues.
It was time for Maryland to speak oat boldly. He sup
ported emancipation, and was for the vigorous prosecution
of the war and conquering a peaee.
AN UNGENEROUS ATTACK.
The New York Tribune, in notioing a late de
spatch to that city from Washington stating that
the President, in speaking of the military opera
tions on the Mississippi, had said " he expected
the best results, but was nrepared for the worst,"
expresses the Lope that, it the worst comes, " he
will be prepared to satisfy the oountry that evary
thing that could have been done to avert it has
been done."
Our New York contemporary notes this state
ment, and refers to it in advanoe of the result
at Yicksburg, and in these terms, " in order that
the Government may be apprized that this country,
if called upon to bear the reverse that is thus ap
parently half foreshadowed, will require much in
formation that it does not now possess to eonvinoe
it that the disaster oould not have been avoided."
The Tribune, after recalling that the first battle
of Hull Iiun was lost and the rebellion set firmly
upon its legs, " while there were Union soldiers
enough to crush the traitors twice over reposing
idly on their arms within hearing of the din of
that battle," prooeeds to upbraid the President as
follows:
" We shall believe, bo long an we can, that the Govern
ment will m t again be chargeable with such fatal mimnan
Bgement. But it is well that it should bear in mind that
there is a limit to all human endurance, even when the
suffering is inflicted by one's moat trusted friends. If
Qrant and his brave army shall be left to be overwhelmed,
aud the nation be again agonized with the spectacle of
hecatombs of its children slain to no purpose, the loyal
millions will not quail nor abate one jot of their spirit even
in the presence of so great a calamity; but they may feel
that it wou d be no longer a duty to tolerate the men in
whom they had confided, and u>ho only day after day hare
givtn proof upon proof that they cm neither comprehend
nor grapple successfully with the magnitude und the demands
of the task bejore them.
" We feel it our duty to tell the President these things.
The people believe In the perpetuity of the Republic, but
they cannot believe in etern I weakness. They believe in
the ultimate tiiumph of the national cause, but iliey cannot
forever endure a chronic apathy and in-providence that no
experience, however sharp, and no adversity, however ap
palling, can stimulate or instruct. They demand at least
the same foresight and vigor in promoting their cause that
its enemies exhibit in assailing it. The time is past for
quieting the country under luexcusnble disaster with as
surance* that tedious and long wars and incompetency in
waging them are as did as the world itself. W th unlimit
ed mean*, and with powers, civil and military, that are
literally despotic, placed in the hand* of th? President,
there ought at tbi? day to be no failures We trust that
the issue at Vicksburg will prove that there will be none,
and that there is an eod of tbe system or no system which,
if longer continued, must waste away and consume, not
the enemies of the Republic, but tbe Republic itself."
As the Tribune is pre-eminently a "loyal pa
per" we suppose it is entirely right and proper
for it to Bay to the President what it would be
highly treasonable for any body else to say. Cer
tain it is that we have never found ooeasion to
hold this tone of mingled contempt and menace
towards the constituted authorities while exercis
ing our right to animadvert on their conceived
shortcomings. And we think there are many con
siderations which should impose on the Tribune a
peculiar modesty in any arraignment of the Presi
dent and his advisers before the American people
as men " who, day after day, have only given proof
upon proof that tbey can neither comprehend nor
grapple successfully with the magnitude and the
demands of the task before them."
Not to say that the Tribune, by its wide and
potential influence, contributed largely to the ele
vation of these men to the power which it now
says they have proved themselves incompetent to
wield, we beg to submit to the candid considera
tion of our contemporary that more than any other
journal in the country it has aided to " press" upon
the President the adoption of the peculiar policy
and the peculiar measures which constitute the most
hopeless features of our present political and mili
tary condition. Whatever of obloquy or criticism
the 1'resident may enoounter from other quarters
he should be sacred from the Tribune's assaults
It will be remembered by our readers that in his
fmt interview had with the Representatives and
Senators from tho Border Slaveholding States, in
order to explain to them the design of his policy
of compensated emancipation, Mr. Lincoln stated,
| in reply to a suggestion made by Mr. Noell, of
Missouri, respecting the position of our New York
contemporary on this question, that " he must not
be expected to quarrel with the New York Tribune
before the right time came ; he hoped never to
have to do it, and be would not antioipato events."
And in response to an inquiry made by Mr. Cris
field, of Maryland, the President, after again in
timating as he had before done, that a " quarrel "
with the "Greeley faction" was impending, said
" he did not wish to encounter it before the proper
time, nor at all if it could be avoided."
Thus far the President has "avoided" this
"quarrel" by doing voluntarily or under "pres
sure" pretty much every thing that th? Tribune
has desired ; and, under such oiroutustances, we
again submit that he has a right to look for a great
er degree of forbearance, not to say justioe, at the
hands of its eonduotor. If the latter will but re
cur to the " prayer" which he addressed to the
Prcnident in the name of " twenty millions" some
time in the month of August la?t, (and to which
the President replied through our oolumns,) he
will find that Mr. Lincoln has subsequently far
exoeeded the desires whose gratification Mr. Oree*
ley then thought would ensure the speedy salvation
of the Republic beyond a peradventure, as tbey
would certainly complete the happiness of his im
portunate petitioner. It now turns out that Mr.
Groolcy was mistaken in both of these respcots, for
noither is he happy nor is tho oountry saved. On
the contrary, ho is, if possible, more miserable than
ever, sn woll he may bo, if, a* he says, tho Repub
lio is "wasting away" under the "system or no
system" which obtains in the oonduot of tho
war. We do not question the sincerity of the
apprehensions expressed, for they are shared
by all thoughtful and patriotic citizens, but
having dono so much to enhance the magnitude
and enlarge the demands of the task set before the
President, the Tribune should not be swift to re
proach him with " ohronie apathy and improvi
dence" because he staggers under the mountain of
difficulties which it has helped to pile on his back.
BATTLE AT PORT HUDSON.
By the arrival at New Yoik of tbe steamer Morning
Star we have advices from New Orleans to the2*Jth ultimo,
being tbe name date an already received, but containing
some highly important intelligence that failed to reach
New Orleai.it in season for tbe last steamer.
Tbe attack upon Port Hudsou, which seemed imminent
at the close of our last accounts, took place on tbe 27th
of May, after a continuoua bombardment by Com. Farra
gut's fleet, from the previous Wednesday. Tbe poaitioo
had beenclos-ly invested ; our right resting on Tbompaon'a
bayou, above the torts, and our left on Springfield landing,
below them. The extreme right was commanded by Gen.
Weitzel, tbe right centre by Qen. Grover, tbe left centre
by Qen Augur, and the extreme left by Gen. J. W. Sher
man?tbe artillery being under Geu. Arnold. Previous
reeounoiaaances revealed that tbe defences on the laud aide
were very strong, consisting of several lines of entrench
ments and rifle pit**, with abattis of heavy trees felled in
every direction.
Tbe plans of Gen. Hanks having been perfected, a
general attack by laud and water was ordered for Wed
nesday, aud began about seven o'clock, almost simultane
ously aioDg the eutire line, the aim being to capture the
heavy batteries, respectively,on the enemy's left and right.
Tbe first tack was committed to Gen. Weitzel, and after
a desperate fight, in which his troops suffered severely,
was crowned with partial success by the capture of the
' celebrated six-gun battery commanding the river aud
which proved so destructive to the frigate Mississippi on
tbe night when she was destroyed. This is considered a
most important point gained, as it turns the left of the
euemy aiid enabled our troops to ute it with advantage
against the other fortifications, a* was done with great
success.
Tbe attack upon tbe enemy's right by Gen. Sherman wag
equally brilliant but lea* successful. With desperate valor
two of our regiment# carried tbe enemy's works at the
point of tbe bayonet, under a uiurderoua fire of shot, shell,
grape,'canister, and musketry, but were at length com
pelled to give way before tbe overwhelming numbers that
were massed against them. Considerable ground was
gamed and held, howfever, though tbe principal object of
the attack, that of getting inside the main works and cap
turing tbe batteries on the enemy's right, was not accom
plished. In this attark Gen. Sherman fell severely wound
ed in the leg and was taken to New Orleans the next day.
1 here was also a heavy lost of other officers, among them
being Gen. Neal Dow wounded, and Cols. Clarke and
Cowles killed. All tfce regiments suffered severely, the
Sixth Michigan and One Hundred aud Twenty-eighth New
York losing about half their effective men, and the 8econd
Louisiana Native Guards, who led the advance with con
spicuous bravery, came out with a loss of over six hun
dred men and nearly all their officers.
Meanwhile the attack on the centre had been made by
Gens. Augur and Grover. It was conducted with tbe most
impetuous valor and met by tbe most desperate resistance
The enemy were driven font by foot out of the rifle pits
and entrenchments behiud their main works, and our
troops held every inch of ground that they bad gained.
There is somt discrepancy in the accounts as to tbe con
tinuance of the action : one version stating positively that
at five o'clock in the afternoon a general order was dis
patched along the whole line to retreat to the original po
sition occupied at the commencement of the action.
Another account asserts with equal positiveness that at
sever, o'clock in the evening the battle was raging along
the entire line with great fury; and that at four o'clock of
the following day despatches had been received at New
Orleans that our position was still improving, with every
prospect of success.
The details of the second day's fight (on Thursday, the
'28th) had not been received, but it was believed to have
been at severe as that of tbe day before. The impression
prevailed in New Orleans that tbe news was kept back
till tbe field wa* finally lost or won; but a? Gen. Banks
had been reinforced so as to cover all hit losses and was
believed to have sufficient force to complete the reduc
tion of the position, and as he is said to have expressed
the determination to carry it by storm even if be should lose
ten thousind men in doing so, it la confidently expected
that his efforts will be crowned with success, and that the
next despatches will convey tbe important tidings of the
capture of Poit Hudson and all its defenders.
Our loss in the battle of Wednecday is set down at be
tween two and three thousind, and tbat of the enemy it
also said to have been frightful, but less in proportion
than our own, as they were in a great degree covered by
their foitifications.
The foregoing is condensed from New Orleans letters
by the Newark Daily Advertiser. We add an extract of a
letter which speaks more particularly of the operations of
Admiral Farragut's fleet:
" It must not be supposed that while the army was do
ing all this desperate fishting on shore the navy was idle ?
on the contrary, the gallant Admiral was at work with ibe
entire squadron both above and below. The ' bummers'
moved their position much nearer the works and kept up
a continuous fire of thirteen-incb shell. Tbe Hartford and
Albatross engaged the upper batteriei. and wh-a Oener-1
Weittel captured the tix-gun battery before referred to,
they mnvd further down and supported him by attacking
the next below; Admiral Farragut, in the MonongaheU,
followed by the Richmond, Genesee, and Ks.ex, engaged
the lower works, aud in a most effective manner.'
" The fire of the enemy upon tbe ships was compara
tively light ; I hey directed it principally at the Monongahe
la, but tailed to bit her 1 be Kichmond was equally for
tunate, and there was not a casualty to record in the fleet
up to six o'clock last evening. The fleet was engaged in
the morning and agnin in the afternoon, and succeeded in
dismounting five of the enemy's heaviest guus. Tne firing
was. for accuracy, never excelled. Admiral Farragut with
his squsdion will render Gen. Ranks important assistance
in tbe wink yet to he done; be will continue to rain shot
and shell upon the enemy in such a manner as must dis
tract hm in a great measure from tbe land attack, and
compel hiui to abandon one line or the other. They can
not stand for many hours the assault they are now sub
jected to; it is more than human natnre can endure, this
constant wear and tear of both body and mind."
OFFICIAL REPORT OF GEN HANKS.
Headquarters Department or tub qui.r,
Amrinnlh Army Corps, btforr Port Hudson,
May 30, 1863.
Major General HallbcK, General-in-Chief, Washington:
General: Leaving Semmesport, on the Atchafalaya,
where my command was at the date of my last despatch,
I lan.ied at Hayou Sara at two o'clock on the morning of
the'JIit. A portion of the infantry were transported in
steamers, and the residue of the infantry, artillery, cav
alry, and wagon train moved down on the west bank of
the river, and from this to Bayou Sara.
On the 23d a junction was tffected with the advanre of
Major General Augur and Brigadier General Sherman,
our line occupying the Bayou Sara road at a distance of
live miles from Port Hudson. Major Oeneral Augur bad
an encounter with a portion of the enemy on the Bayou
Mara road. In the direction of Baton Kouge, which resulted
in the repulse of the enemy with heavy luss.
On the 'J.ith the enemy wa? compelled to abandon his
first line of works. General Weitxel's brigade, which had
covered our rear in th* march from Alexandria, joined us
on tlieljtith, and on the morning of the 27th a general as
sanlt was made upon the fortifications. The artillery open
ed fire between five anil six o'olock, which was continued
with animation during the day.
At t n "'clock Weittel's brigade, with tbe division of
Gen. Grover, reduced to about two brigades, and the divi
sion of Geo. Emory, temporarily reduced by detachments
to about a brigade, under command of Col. Paine, with two
regiments of colored troops, made an assault upon the right
of the enemy's works, crossing Handy creek, and driving
them through the woods into his fortifications. The fight
lasted on this line until four o'clock, and waa very severely
contested.
On the left the infantry did not come up until later in
tbe day ; but at two o'clock an assault wan opened ou the
work* ou the centre and left of ceutre by the divisions un
der Major Geu. Augur aud Brig. Gen. Sherman. The eue
u>y wns driven iuto bis worka, aud our troops moved up
to tbe fortification*, holding the opposite aide* of the para
pet with the enemy.
Oq the right our troopa atill hold this position. Ou the
ielt, afier dark, the main body being exposed to a flank tire,
withdrew to a belt of woods, the skirmishers remaining
close upon the fortifications.
In tbe assault of tbe 27th, the behavior of tbe officera
and men was most gillaut, and left notbiug to be desired.
Our limited acquaintance witb the ground, aud the charac
ter of tbe works, which were almost bidden from our ob
servation until the moment of approach, alone prevented
the capture of the post.
Ou the extreme right of our liue I posted the first and
third regiments of negro troops. Toe first regiment 01
Louisiana Engineers, composed exclu-ively of colored men,
exoepting tbe officers, was also engaged in the'operationx
of the day. Tbe position occupied by these troops was one
of importance, and called (or the utmost steadiness and
bravery in those to whom it was confided It gives me
pleasure to report that tbey answered every expectation,
in many respects their couduct was heroic. No troopa
could be more determined or more daring. They made
during the day three charges upon tbe batteries of the en
emy, suti'eiing very heavy losses, aud holding their position
at uightfall with the otber troops on the right of our line.
| The highest commendation is bestowed upon tbem by all
the officers in command ou tbe right. Whatever doubt
may have existed heretofore as to the efficieucy of organi
zations of this character, the history of this day proves
conclusively to those who were in condition to observe (he
couduct of theae regiments that the Government will find
in this class of troops effective supporters aud defenders
The revere test to which they were subjected, and the de
termined manner in which tbey encountered tjie enemy,
leaves upon my mind no doubt of their ultimate success.
They require only good officers, commands of limited uum
bers, and careful discipline, to make them excellent sol
diers.
Our losses from the 23d to this date, in killed, wounded,
and missing, are nearly one thousand, including, I deeply
regret to say, some of the ablest officers of the corps. I
am unable as yet to repeat tbem in detail.
I bave the honor to be, with much respect, your obe
dient servant, N. P. BANK8,
Major Geberal Commanding.
SHIP-CANAL CONVENTION.
Chicago, Juke 3,18G3.
To the Edilors of the National Intelligencer.
This city of the Lakes yesterday and to-day, at the open
ing of the Ship-Canal Convention, presented a scene of which
every loyal American might justly feel proud, be be a citi
zen of the Atlantic State*, of the great Valley of the Mis
sissippi, or of the noble St. Lawrence valley, the waters of
which here almost commingle, and no doubt are destined
to be ueddied, and to fl jw in unison from the cold waters
of the Qulf of St. Lawrence to the warm waters of the
Qulf of Mexico, carrying on their tide the'rich products ol
toe tropics, the cere-ils of the temperate zone, and the tim
ber and other valuable commodities of the coMer region of
the American continent.
Chicago, when fairly understood, in a commercial, cli
matic, and favored point of view, as regards water and laud
communication, has probably no equal on the face of the
glube. Standing near the southern border of one of the
five great Lakes of America, affording four or five thou
sand miles of inland ship navigation, and, by means of the
Erie canal of New York, favored by no outport on the At
lantic ocean, it only now wants a Ship Canal to the Mis
sissippi river to give it au outport on the Qulf of Mexico.
As to railroad facilities, no adequate idea can be con
veyed. The trow hars already extend to Montreal, Quebec,
and Portland on the northeast; to Boston,New York, Phil
adelphia, &.c. on the east; to Charleston and Savannah ou
the southeast, and to Mobile and New Orleans on the
boutb?being, ere long, no doubt destined to have railroad
facilities with other cities to the gold regions and the Pa
cific ocean on the west; while northward a railroad line is
fin^hed to Qreen B*y, Wisconsin, and auother line nearly
completed to St Paul, Minnesota
Look at a map of the United States and Canada, and see
ber favored po?iiion near the centre of the temperate cone ;
whle east and west she lies centrally between the At lantic and
eastern si >pe of the Rocky Mountain*. By nature she claims
pre-eminence as a great lulnud c ty. Give her the boon she
asks at this time, and the whule Republic will bn b-ne
fited, inasmuch as it Mi l afford facilities to the far West
and the eastern portions of our wide-exteuded country.
Like the Erie canal, it will even tend to lessen the price
of provisions in foreigu markets, and at the same time
strengthen and enricb our own people, North and South,
notwithstanding the latter are now in opeu rebellion.
A late writer remarks, " Chicago is m <st emphatically
the city of the West; for when any town can ju?tly claim
to be the greatest market for gram, beef, pork, and lumber
iu the world, then we may confidently believe thit all else
that enters into the composition of a great city will gather
there to build up, if not the greatest, one of the most im
portant cities ol the continent."
You will see the interesting proceedings of the Ship
Canal Convention in the public prints. The meeting is
large aud most respectably attended, while good feeling
and harmouy sretn to prevail.
Yours, respectfully,
J. Distijrnei.l.
East TENNESSEE.
Qov. Andrew Johnson arrived at Nashville on bis return
from Washington on the 30th of May. He was met at the
depot by a military escort, and a large concourse of
soldiers and cit zous welcomed him at his residence on
Capitol Hill. 'Gov. Jobnsou briefly addressed theui, ex
pressing his belief that the day was not far distant when
Tennessee would be redeemed from rebel .thraldom, and
declaring that there was but one path to peace by submis
sion to the laws, and not by armistice or compromise. The
Nashville Union states that Gov. Johnson has been closely
engaged at Washington for some weeks past with the War
Department in the promotion of plans which he believed
would be for the interest of the national cause, and urgent
business connected with the equipment of tn ops for East
Tennessee detained bim some time at Louisville. His
scheme, it is also stated, his met a warm reception at the
North, snd the Governors of several States, New York in
cluded, have offered regiments and brigades to raise the
twenty five thousand soldiers desired, looking specially to
the deliverance of East Tennessee.
FRENCH REINFORCEMENTS FOR MEXICO.
The latest accounts from Cherbourg state that large re
inforcements are leaving that port for the French army in
Mexico. The transport frigate Entreprenante was under
orders to sail f.>r Vera Cruz on the 23d ultimo, with fifteen
officers and four hundred and five rank and file, together
with several naval officers and a large quautity of ammu
nition. Qen. Courtois Koussel d'Hurbal, of the artillery,
is to go to Mexico to replace the late Gen. Veruhet de
Lsumiere, killed in the trenches before PueWfi. The sec
ond battery of the third regiment <>f artillery, forming part
of the garri?on of Viucennes, left Pa is on the 17th ultimo
by railway for Cherbourg, to be embarked there on the
first i pporfunity for Mexico.
Adiuirnl Footk, who has been ordered to relieve Admi
ral Dt'l'ONT from the command of the Houth Atlantic
Blockading Squadron, is now at his home in New Haven,
(Conn.) but ia expected to sail from New York in a day or
two to assume the command which has been aasigned to
bim. The livening Post states that Admiral Dupont pre
ferred a request s<>me time ago to be assigned to some
other command, and the present action of the Government
is simply in compliance with this request. Admiral Du
pont ha* been in uninterrupted service on the Atlantic
coast for nearly two years, and is greatly in heed of a brief
re*t fri in labors which have proved moat exhausting.
ACCIDENT TO A BANKER.
Philadelphia, Ji'ne 6?Franc s M. Drexel, senior
partner of the firm of Drexel &. Co., bankers, was injured
i this afternoon by jumping from the Reading care. His in
juries are thought to be fatal, as be was caught under the
wheels and had both leg? crushed severely ; oue wastaken
entirely off. His extreme age precludes the hope of his
recovery.
INCIDENTS AT VICKSBURG.
Letter* to the Western paper* froui Vicksbarg relate
many perilous incidents in the aasaults upon the enemy's
*imK- at thai pUiw. One of Uieui it)i:
" Ou the right Gen. Sbermtu ha* push d Steele's di vision
qiarely to the font ?f the parapet. Our men lie in
ditches on the slope of the parapet ou tin aide of one of
'ie principal forU. Unable to lake it by alarm, they are
etermiued not to retire. The Federal and rebel aoldiera
ire net twenty tive fen apart Both are powerless to
flict much harm. E?oh watchea the other, and a dozen
iu?ke'H are tired whenever a soldier expose* himself
bove the wrki ? u either sile. Nenly the anme condi
mn of thi'ifc* exists in McPheraou'a front. Hia sharp
?mooters prevent the working of the enemy's pieces in one
?r two lorta. Fancy yourself lying thua ou the alope of a
pirapet, cliuging by your handa and knees, ouly twenty
five feet from a fellow with aharp eyea and a true aim,
who would think it sport to knock you over, aud you have
a good idea of the perils of the soldier's life !"
A letter to the Chioago Journal, dated " Rear of Vicks
burg, May 2d," says 01 the second assault on the rebel
works on the 22i ultimo:
"Storming parlies of volunteer', and forlorn hopes,
were advauced under cover ol field batteries and sharp
shooters, and supported by brigades The men moved
bravely aud well into the field aud up to the works, but
in vain. We could not take the works The men dug
steps iu the earthworks with tbeir ba>onets, and placed
their colors on the rebel parapets, whence neither party
could remove them, every man who thowed himself tailing
from the ahot of a rifleman.
"Col. Humphrey*, of the Ninety-fifch Illinois, was in
Gen. Ransom's brigade. Iu the second assault his reai
ment was heritatiug: Gen. Rausom called to lum to move
forward. Dropping his sword iu a tulute to the General,
.he ordered, 'Forward Ninety-fifth,'aud fell dead. The
color-bearer was ahot, and fell at the same instant. The
regiment wavered. Gen. Ransom seized the colors aud
advanced in front of the line; three line officers left their
places, came to the General and took the colors. The
line advanced and those colors were planted on the rebel
parapet.
'* During the same day the colots of the Ninth Iowa
were planted ou a rebel parapet, the color-gu<rd jigging
steps with tbeir bayonets. The colors remained iu that
position seven hours. Every man of the Ninth that at
tempted to get uear them was shot by the rebels. Every
rebel that essayed to touch them was winged by oue of
our sharp-shooters. The Ninth brought away the flagstaff
aud about two thirds of the colors; the rebels have, per
haps, one-third. When colors are advanced to such a po
sition that every band that essays to feel the staff is
winged, you can well understand that there is sharp
shooting."
The tame correspondent gives the following sutnmaiy
of the army's exploits and of the strength of the rebtl
fortifications:
"This is the total of our arm>'s work : In sixteen days
it has marched one hundred and sixty miles, lought five
battles, taken the capital of Mississippi, destroyed all
communication with the rebel army nt 1 ullihoma, cap
tured seven thousand prisoners, ninety-two pieces of artil
lery, eight thousand stand of small arms, seven miles t-f
heavy fortifications on the rebel ri?bt, completely invested
the city in the rear, and opeued for us a n- w and perfect
line of supplies. During thece sixteen days the army bad
but four days' ratious from the depot of supplies.
"Vwksburg is defended in the rear by works fifteen
feet iu height, with ditches ten feet deep?trie woiks stand
ing on steep hillsides, every approach protected by rifle
pita and covered by artillery. It cannot be taken by as
sault, but will be taken. It ia a doomed city. This fhorn
ing a mine unleriineof the forts iu front of Sherman's
corps waa blown up, and the site is now in our possession.
Our Ins*, mi far. is ab.iiit five thousaud killed aud wound
ed, perhaps leu."
Near Vicksburg, May 30, 1863.
A Sabbath-like stillneaa has pervaded the camp moat of
the time for several di>ys. On one or two occ&aiona vigor
ous cannonading has been kept up for five or teu minutes,
at points where real or fancied movements of the enemy's
forces were being made ; then all would subside again.
Even the sharpshooters would lie idle. Spades are once
more trumps. We are erecting earth-works to protect
our men, aud mining to blow the lace out of oue or two
prominent forts that are nearly unapproachable otherwise.
I'be idea of carrying the place by storm seems to be aban
doned, and the safer aud surer plan of starving Gen. Pern
berton into submission now finds lavur every where.
This morning the heaviest cannonading of the siege was
kept up without intermission nearly three hours. New
batcries have been placed in po.-ition, aud one hundred
and fifty guns were playing ou the city at daylight. The
tiring was rapid beyond belief, a id reports along the whole
line averaged one per second for minutes together Toe
roar of heavy siege-gnus was awful, and the earth waa
rhakeu by the concuaaion. At present, 6 A. M., there ia
a lull.
The latest official advices from Vicksburg are to the
evening of Weduesday, the 3d lustaut, at whigh time the
siege continued.
Walnut Hills, June 2, 1863.
Blair's expedition has returned w.thout the loss of a
tnau Fifty-six miles of country, from the Big Black to
the Yiizoo, was scoured by our troops. Several bridges,
grist mills, aud cotton gins used to grind corn were de
stroyed ; alto a large quantity of cott >n marked C. S. A.
The country towards Yazoo City is teemiug with ag
ricultural riches; cattle, sheep, aud hogs abound. Flour
ishing cropa of corn, oats, wheat, and rye are seen on every
aide Hundreds of negroes stampeded at the approach of
our troops, and followed them into the lines.
Joe Johnston has not yet been heard from definitely.
It is supposed be cannot raise a sufficient force to attack
Graut.
The annexed private letters from officers of Com. Por
ter's fleet are published :
In Front of Vickbburg, Jure 1, 1863.
I was io a rifle-pit yeaterday, twenty yards from the
enemy's lines, O'l Sherman's front. The poor devils have
had all their gun* silenced, and can't fire a sbot They
throw hand grenade* 011 our men who are working away
uiideineath their forts, and who throw them back attain.
You may talk of ?<evaitopol and Malahofl', hut it waa baby
w rk to this Nothing ever yet equalled the work <>f our
a ddiera in getting up to lhe<e work*. You would have to
aee it to believe it. All the Richmond* would be nothing
to th? oiif-twentieth of the nine inilea of work* these
devil* have thrown up in front, and the obatructiona they
htive l?*ft bell nd our nrtuy for six wile a. If we can ever
get a reporter to tell the truth, he will write a tale of more
intereat than any that baa be?n published for a century.
Now and then we aink a veaa?M, or get one sunk, but we
will pump the water out of tbem aa aonn as the town falla,
which will certainly be in ten days.
Near Vicksburg, Ji-ne 1, 1863.
There is nothing new to communicate, except the re
turn of a second expedition up thx Yazoo. They returned
perfectly successful, having deatroyed eight transport* and
a largo amount of cotton and other valuablea, and captured
aome priamera and provisions. The condition and posi
tion of our army in the rear ol Vicksburg i? still good,and
Hen. Grant is confident of success. I never aaw auch a
lin* of defences aa aro in front of Gen. Sbermau'a lines.
At aome places our parallela are within fifty yards of the
e it iny'a work*, and our men lie down directly under the
guna of the rebels. If an assault is made with ten thou
sand men they cannot help taking the city. The enemy
cannot have over nine thousand in their works, and Grant
says he can whip any reinfoicements they can bring up.
Our mortar* are still b mbarding Vickshurg, and doing
a great deal of good. We have killed a great number of
b ef cattle and done a great deal of damage. Our guo
b"a'B below come up every night ami fte slowly during
the uight
An officer has just come up from Bank*, and reports
h.111 in the raiue position that we are here. He hta closely
uiveated Port Hilda n, and says he is certain of "going
in." lbey are, however, strougly fortified, and may hold
out there aome time.
REBEL NEWS FROM SOtTTH CAROLINA.
Charleston, Jine 4.?An official deapatch from
General W. 8. Walker, at Pocotaligo, report* that the
enemy fired the town of Bluffiou to-day. Our foreea en
gaged them aud prevented a further advance. A later
despatch from Lieut. Col. Johusou to Gen. Walker saya:
"Weaie now in BlufTton, which place is in flames.
The enemy have retired. No one hurt on our side. In
the raid 011 the Combahee the enemy carried away about
trn th< usand negroe*, and destroyed nearly a million dol
lars' worth of property "
Immigration.?The immigration to New York con
tinues a* lar^e aa ever The number of arrivala laat week
was 5,150, which makes the grand t*>tal aince January
\ 140,082, againat 20.6H8 in the aame perii>d of laat year.

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