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Weekly national intelligencer. (Washington [D.C.]) 1841-1869, June 11, 1863, Image 3

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THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 1863.
We have already spread before our readers at
full length the Report made by the Joint Com
mittee of Congress on the Conduot of the War.
This report, whioh was given to the oountry in ad
vance of the testimony on which it purports to be
based, has been widely disseminated, having been
furnished for this purpoae to the politioal pi ess. It
has, moreover, been printed in pamphlet form,
and industriously circulated by a class of persons
who, in performing this labor of love, (or hate,)
doubtless suppose themselves to be doing the
State some service, when to others they appear ra
ther in the guise of gratifying their own peculiar
The factitious importance thus given to this
document may perhaps deserve to prooure for it a
more respectful treatment than its origin or con
tents would alone command, and as the grand Army
of the Potomac, under its present energetic leader,
has for some weeks suspended its active opera
tions and gone, with the approval of the entire
oountry, into spring and summer quarter?, we have
had ample leisure for reviewing what this brave
but unfortunate army did under the lead of Gen.
McClellan, who, it seems, early lost the oonfidenee
of the War Committee by retaining his untried
troops inactive during the winter of 186l-'62.
If we could have foreseen the recent long inactivity
of this army during the season most favorable for
military movements, we might have made our re
view of its past operations at an earlier day; but,
supposing as we did that all our available space
would be taken up, after the mud of winter had
dried, with the chroniole of its marohes, battles,
and conquests under its present gallant and " fight
ing " leader, we did not immediately address our
selves to the retrospect invited by the committee.
During the last three or four weeks, however, we
have devoted a portion of our time to the perusal
of the evidence on which the committee profes*
to base their report, and, while the Army of the
Potomac is lying idle under the summer bowers
with which we are pleased to learn the troops have
embellished their familiar camps at Falmouth, we
suppose we cannot do better than entertain our
renders with the narrative of what it accomplished
under a less active and energetic leader. If our
narrative should at any time be interrupted by a
renewal of hostilities between Gen. Hooker and
Gen. Lee, it will be easy for us to resume it again,
and to pursue our investigations of Gen. MoClel
lan's conduct under the additional advantage of
comparing it with that of Gen. Hooker as evidenced
by still other achievements than those whioh sig
nalized the oampaign of Chancellorsville.
In referring to the very voluminous testimony
compiled by the committee, we deem it neoessary to
make a few preliminary observations by way of in
troduction, that the reader may properly estimate
the value of the report oondensed from it.
In the first place, it is to be remarked that the
committee put forth their publication without hav
ing before them moie than a single ofl&oial report
of the operations on which they pronounce judg
ment. That was the report of Gen. Barnard.
In the seond place, while clothed with pjwer
io send for papers as well as persons, and while
aware, from the Annual Report of the Seoretary of
War in the month of December, 1862, that " the
communications between the Department and the
respective commander, were prepared under a re
solution of the 8enate at the last session" for trans
mission to Congress, they never called for th. se
most important doouments, and waited to be bluntly
reminded by Gen. Ilalleok of their duty and pri
vileges under thii head. When he was summoned
before them as late as Maroh 7, 1863?the com
mittee was appointed early in December, 1861?
the General-in-Chief, in reply to a question about
the operations of the Army of the Potomao, sug
gested the way in which they could prooure au
thentic information on the topic of their inquiry.
He said?we quote from the printed testimony,
page 451:
-I would make this suRftostion: either the 8fn*te
or the House of Representative*?perhaps both?made
a call upon the Department for all instructions tele
urnms, orders, &c. in relation to the Army of the Potomac.
Th^y w'H turnish the most satisfactory evidence upon these
-The Chairman, [Mr Wsde ] Those papers were not
received by CoDgreas before the clo?e of its last session,
and cannot now be obtained by Congrtas unleas another
call is m&de. '
?? The witi.ess. 1 know that copies of them all have
been made and it w?s the intention to send them to Con
oregi I do not know the reason why they were oot svnt
7hi, c mmilltt, hutring powtr from Congrutf .end for
paper,, a, v*// a? per,o??, ran call upon the Executive for
thott copie,."
When thus left without excuse for a persever
ance in their total neglect of this source of infor
mation? which one might suppose would have
been the first applied to ? what did the oom
rnittee do ? Send for the papers all prepared and
ready at their oall ? By no means. The ohair
man of the committee, Mr. Wade, having stated
that he had seen " the large paokage of papers re
ferred to in the testimony of Gen. Halleck, and
judging that many of the papers there oopied were
of no tpecial importance," he added that " he had
requested Gen. Halleck to select suoh an he deemed
important relating to the points to whioh his atten
tion had been callcd by the committee, and to lay
thtm. beforo the committee." Instead, therefore,
of having in this report the papers as they were
prepared by the War Department, for transmission
to Congress and the country, we have the seleo
tions made from them by Gen. Halleok.
In the third place, if the reader has a right to
be surprised at some of the persons who are called
to bear testimony before this committee on- mili
tary operations, he haa equally a right to be sur
prised at the omission of the committee to call
othera who, more than almost any body else, were
cognizant of the facts under examination. As an
illustration of thii peculiarity we may cite the
eurious circumstance that twelve psges of this
volume are devoted to a reproduction of the testi
mony of one Uriah H. Painter, a newspaper cor
respondent, who abundantly proves himaelf to be
% swift witness but no expert in military affairs,
while Brigadier General 8eth Williams, who, as |
the Adjutant General of the Army of the Poto
mac, was familiar with every step taken by Geo.
MoClellan from the date qf its first organization,
whs never called to render his testimony before
this committee.
In the fourth place, this testimony, suoh as it is,
is not published aa it was taken. It is marked by
suppressions in more plaoes than one. Having
given so muoh of the official correspondence be
tween the War Department and Gen. McClellan
as Gen. Halleck thought important for a portion
of the investigation, the oommittee end by giv
ing the testimony where they think proper and
suppressing it where they thick proper. Of oourse
a dooument thus compiled has no olaim to either
genuineness or authenticity, exoept so far as the
truth may be eviscerated from the volume by a
careful comparison of the testimony in its present
shape, and by a oollation and reduction of the con
flicting opinions it oontains.
There is one point upon whioh no obscurity
rests?we mean the provinoe assigned to them
selves by the oommittee in the performance
of their duties. On this head the members say in
their report: ,
" Your committee concluded that tbey would best per- I
form tbeir duty by endeavoring to obtain such informa
tion in respect to the conduct of the war as would belt I
enable them to advise whit mistakes had been made in the 1
pott and the proper courte to be pursued in the future / to 1
obtain ?ucb information aa the many aud laborious duties I
of the Presideut and h\a Cabinet prevented them from ac
quiring, and to lay it before them with such recommenda
tions and suggestions as seemed to be most imperatively I
demanded; aud the journal of the proceeding* of your
committee ?how that, for a long tims, they urre in constant
communication with the President and his Cabinet, and
neglected no opportunity of at once laying before them the I
information acquired by them in the course of their inves
The committee oonoeivod themselves, it will be
seen, to be associated with the President and the
Cabinet, in the active direction of the war.
The way in whioh the oommittee performed their
duties may be gathered from such ityimations as
the following, contained in the journal of their
Washington, January 21, 1862.
1 he committee met pursuant to adjournment; all the
members present.
The chairman was instructed by the committee to ad I
dress the lollowing to the Secretary of War< j
"Committee Room, &c
" Washington, January 21, 1662. I
"S>R: I am instructed by the Joint Committee on the
Conduct of the Present War to inquire of you whether
there is such an office as commander-in-chief of the army I
of the United States, or any grade above that of major ge
neral t If to, by what authority is it created 1 Does it
exist by virtue of any law of Congress, or any usage of the
Government? Please give us the information asked for
at your convenience. I
" I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
" B. F. Waue, Chairman, Ac. I
" Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War." j
Washington, February 11,1862. I
The committee met pursuant to adjournment; Mr. John
son absent.
The chairman informed tbe committee that, pursuant to I
their instructions of yesterday, he and Mr. Chandler wait- I
*d upon the Secretary of State with the testimony relating
to Gen. Charles P. Stone. The Secretary of State con
ducted them to the Presidents, and in his presence such
portions of the testimony as waa called for, and there was
time to read, w*a read by the stenographer of the com
By direction of the committee an interview was
had by a portion of their number, (consisting of
the ohainnan [Mr. Wade] and Mr. Johnson, of
Tennessee,) with the Secretary of War and Gen.
MoClellan on the 19th of February, 1862, relative
to " the importance and neoessity of at once wiping
out that disgrace to the nation?the blockade of
the Potomac and the siege of the capital." On
behalf of this sub-oommittee, Mr. Johnson, of
Tennessee, made the following report, see p. 85 :
" Gen. MoClellan stated that the subject had been con
sidered by him, that be ba4 just then been seeing what
could be d<>ne, and in a abort lime expected to be able to
inform ua what steps oould be taken. When asked how
aeon aomething would be done, he replied that it was not I
a question of weeks but of days, and proceeded to state
what had been done. The inference from what he said
was, tbat some stepa were now being token, and the delay I
simp'y depended upon procuring the necessary means. He
said he could not give his conaent to take meu over on the
other side of the river without having their rear protect
ed, and having all precautions tak.-n to secure their re
treat, if uecessary ; that be designed first throwing a tem
porary bridge across the Potomac over which to cross his
troop*, and immediately proceeding to erect a permanent
??To which the chairman [ Mr. Wade] promptly replied
that with 150,000 of the moat effective troops in the world
upon the other side of the Potomac there was no need of
a bridge; they could beat any f ree the enemy could
bring against them, and, if any of them came buck, let
tbem oome back in their coffius. To which Gen McClel
lan made no reply.
"Mr. Johnson stated tbat the interview with the Secre
tary had been a very satisfactory one; that the Secretary
listened attentively to all tbat tbe chairman said, and al
though the chairman sometimes made his statement to
Gen McClellan in pretty strong and emphatic language,
the Secretary endorsed every sentiment he uttered. The
Secretary feels as strongly upon this subject as this com
mittee doea."
The subject of the division of the Army of the
Potomao into corps engaged the attention and di
reotion of the committee as follows:
Washington, March 3,1862.
The committee met pursuant to adjournment; Mr. Odell
On motiou of Mr. Chandler, the chairman whs instruct
ed, unanimously, to notify the President that tbia commit
tee detire an Interview with him and his Cabinet to-mor
row evening at 7 o'clock, at which time this c<>mirittee
will again urge upon their consideration the absolute ne
cessity of dividing the Army of the Potomac into army
Adjourned to 11 A. M. to-morrow
These extracts will suffice to show the wide ju
risdiction assumed by the Committee on the Con
duct of the War. In our next number we shall
have something to say on the use which the com
mittee made of the evidence they took and of the
amotions under which it was taken. Our succes
sive numbers under this head will appear from
time to time aooording to our convenience, and in
the absenoe of more interesting and important to
pics of remark.
NRW York, Jiinr 10?Advices from New Orleana per
the Cahawla state that reinforcements from Braahear
City and other pointa, to the number of aix thousand,
reached Gen. Banka on the 30tb and 31at of May, and our
troops thus outnumber the rebela four to one. The rebels
are entirely hemmed in, and no aucoor can reach them.
Their force is varioualy atated at from six to ten tbouasnd.
They are well supplied with cornmeal, but have few other
provision*, tnd only a amall supply of ammunition. Itwaa
believed impotaible for them to hold out much longer.
CnNNKLLSRURtt, (Pa ) JtrHE 10.?The enrollment
meets with great reaiatance among the ayinpatbitera with
rebellion in Fulton eounty. Some of the enrolling < tflcera
have been pelted with egga Threata are freely made
against their livea. In aoine instances tbey have txen
abot at by partiei concealed in the woods, and attemp's
have been made to deter the officers froin the execution
of their duties. The barn of Win. H. Powell, enrolling
officer for Thompaon township, was flred by a gang last
night. It was entirely consumed, together with all the
stock, farming nteoaila, Ac.
Much debate bM recently arisen with regard
to the right of free discussion and tho nature and
degree of the limitations, if any, of that right during
a time of war. It seems to be the opinion of mili
tary legists like Geo. Burnside and Geu. Hascall
that all civil rights, including the right of free
discussion, are doomed to suffer a partial eclipse in
the Loyal States because of the dark shadow which
rests on the States in rebellion and whioh are the
theatre of contending armies.
If harsh oomments on the civil authorities are
not admissible in the camp thty are equally inad
missible, says General Burnside, on the tribune,
where their promulgation may reach the ears of
our soldiers and induce apathy or disaffection,
if not aotual mutiny. And, starting from this
premise, he immediately jumps to the conclusion
that if it be lawful for a military commander to
arrest and try before a oourt-martial the soldur
who holds language that tends to produce insubor
dination, it is equally lawful to arreBt and try be
fore the same tribunal the oivilian who commits an
offence whioh is similar in its nature and similar
in its effect.
Gen. Burnside seems unable to conceive that,
alike under the constitutional and statute law of
the land, there is a distinction between the civil
and the military code, or between civil oourts and
oourts-martial. Or, if he has a reminiscence of
some suoh distinction as belonging to a time of
peace, he seems to imagine that all such discrimi
nations are merged by the fact of war.
If any object to this simplification of Uwb it is
naturally held by Gen. Burnside that all such per
sons are exceedingly unreasonable, if not " disloyal
at heart." They should willingly give up their
rights for a season, he urges, that they may after
wards eDjoy them forever.
We have no doubt that Gen. Burnside is entire
Iv sincere in this view of hi9 duty and prerogatives,
but his sincerity does not atone for the grievous
error into which he haB fallen. He should learn
that those who protest against his proceedings are
equally sincere with himself, and that all their
protests procced from the solemn conviction that
he has confounded acts which reason, right, and
law combine to keep eternally separate, wherever
the processes of the civil courts are undisturbed
by the actual shock of arms.
Those who object to his proceedings on the ground
of their illegality do not desire to procure any im
munity for treason or any lenity for traitors. They
demand only that Gen. Burnside, in vindicating the
laws violated by others, shall not break them him
self. When the last Congress passed enactments
designed to cover precisely such cases as those of
Mr. Vallandigham or those of the Chicago Times
they insist that these caaes shall be tried by the
law made and provided for them, and not by the
will of the commander, for it was expressly in
order to exclude all necessity for the arbitrary re
sorts of the latter that Congress passed the statutes
of July 17, 1862, and Maroh 3, 1863.
Loyal men who themselves respect the laws have
a right to complain that violators of these statutes
are not tried under them. Neither the President
nor Gen. Burnside haa any " dispensing power"
which enables them to unbind the sanctions of
these laws, whether as applicable to them or to
others. Their duty is to enforce the laws, not to
suspend or supersede them. 1'hat it should be
necessary for us to re-state such familiar axioms
only shows the strange dislocation of idtas pro
duced by the wrench and strain of martial violence
The true doctrine was propounded on this subject
by Mr. Senator Trumbull, when, a few days ago,
he was called to consider the question raised by
General Buruside's meditated suppression of the
Chicago Times. He then said :
??The Constitution protect* u? all in time of war as well
ft! pence. Tie Constitution expreafly givea ibe power to
auppreas insurrection aud put down rebellion, lbere ii
uo question but that a General has authority! but it is a
quraiion how far that authority extendi. There ia no war
in Illinois. Have not the people and tb? papers in th;a
city a right to discuss aud ciitieise the measures of this
war? It ia a right which you claim?every one of y?u.
There ia nut a m?u of you but baa diaouaaed and criticised
tbe acta of the Administration. Tbeie is not a man who
has not blamed this Government for certain acta, and if
you deny newspapers the rgbt to express their opinions,
then jou are aubjecta of military authority. There ia civil
law in operation here. A newspai er baa been auppresred
in your cily> and it is claimed thai that paper haa attemp -
rd to discourage our soldi. ra, oppoaed tbe acts of the Ad
ministration, and eucouraged reaiatance ?o the draft. Now,
if that paper ia guilty of aucb acta its editora could be ar
reated and thrown into prison. The law should be en
He then proceeded to read f >r the information of
those whom he wu addressing the statute of the
last Congress fixing the manner of proceeding and
the peualty in the case of ill who should oppose
the Government or sympathize with the enemy in
time of war. It is the same statute and section as
were cited by the Intelligenoer in giving the "law
of the case" as regards Mr. Vallandigham.
And in view of the remedy thus made and pro
vided, Mr. Trumbull asked that instead of news
papers being suppressed by military ediot their
proprietors and editors should be tried under the
laws, and oondemned by the laws, if they give aid
and comfort to the enemy. This is the right
course. It is only strange that any thing so sim
ple and primary ahould require authority to com
mend it at thin stage of development in the politi
cal world.
As to the limitations which should be plaoed on
the right of free discussion in a time of war, so far
as they may be imposed by moral rather than legal
oont-iderations, no general rule can be prescribed,
fcr on this, as on all other topios of moral duty,
men will differ according to their education and
tastes, as well as according to their relative probity
of intentions. In regard to the essence of the ques
tion raised under this head, every thing must de
pend on the tone and object of tho criticism. As
is well said by an Administration contemporary, if
the critioism " be unfriendly, harsh, malignant, in
" tended to mislead the public mind aud not to
" enlighten it; less designed to correct the errors
" of our official agents than to further the ends of
" parties and factions, it has unquestionably a bad
" effect, and takes away frjui the publio servant
" one of his main incentives to earnestness and ao
" tivity, the just appreciation of his efforts by the
" people. But if that criticism be sincere and
" honest, and of a nature to expose the mistakes
" of the men in power, or to show in what way
" they are departing from tho convictions and in
" stinoti of the people, or the acknowledged prin
" oiples of law, the tendenoy of it mutt be bene
" ficial."
It ii to be observed that many of those who are
moat Loarsc in their denunciations of others be
cause of au assumed right to express dissent from
the measures of the Administration are themselves
very free in pouring out upon the head of the Pre
sident the vialsof their wrath whenever he happens
not toaet in unison with their views or in deference
to their passions. This was amusingly turned by
Mr. Senator Trumbull to the confusion of the
Chicago meeting which was oalled to suitain tho
suppression of tho Chicago Times beoause of its
alleged opposition to the Administration. Mr.
Trumbull said :
" The Constitution is broad. It grant* all powers ue
ceaaary, even for tbe auppiession ol treason iu the North.
[Applauae ] Yea, gentlemen, it ia just aa legal and bind
ing upon tLe General iu the field and the civil officers of
the nation a* it ia upon tbe humblest citizen in the laud,
lias it come to this, that you will deny iu the free city of
Chicago tbe right of a citizen to discu a the acta of tbe
Pre?ideut? [Cries of ' We won't all ?w it,' and 'None
but copperheads do that, and we will atop thein.'] Ia
there a mao in this audience who his not expressed to
day his di satisfaction wuh some act of the Prerideut T
[Cries of ' Yes,' ' Yea,'' We have none of ua ex pressed any
dissatisfaction.'J Ah ! do all of you, then, think the Presi
dent's revocation of Gen Buruside's order suppressing the
Chioago Times waa right? [Cites of 'No!' 'No!'
'It was wrong" ' He ought to have enforced the or
der."] Then you all deserve to be taken in hand by the
military power and gent beyond the lines."
If we would see how muoh of principle there is
in the condemnation which some journals visit on
harsh criticism when it comes from anti-Adminis
tration prints, we need but mark the tone of
their comments when they have oocasion to ex
prees dissatisfaction with any act of the President.
For instance, among the journals which were fore
most in deprecating the harsh and intemperate
language of the Chicago Times was its contempo
rary, the Chicago Tribune; which latter held that
the former deserved to be suppressed for the liber
ties it took in speaking evil of dignities. After
the President had annulled the order of General
Burnside suppressing the Times he had a right to
count on the support of the Tribune, or at least
on immunity from hostile and insulting criticism.
This is what he received. We quote from the
Chicago Tribune of Saturday last:
" As President Lincoln, by unconditionally revoking the
order of Gen. Bumaide to ruppress the organ of J- ff-raon
Duvis has given it and alt other traitorous shee s full license
to b urt ih'ir treason in the face of the loyal massts of the
nation, be surely cannot b ame ua for nairaing a few his
torical facta, and indicating for ourselves and tie true lib
erty-losing and law-abiding people of the Union what
course we deem it our duty in the future to pursue. If
treason goes unrestrained and unpunished, loyalty u ay
apeak freely.
" The loyal massea of the Union nominated and elected
Mr. Linco u because they believed him honeat and pairiotic,
and especially beciuse he waa tbe best man we could elect.
The other prominent Republican candidates were Mr.
Seward, supported by tbe ultra radical section of the par
ty; and Mr. Bates, the repieseutative of tbe conservatives.
Nearly all far-aeeing patriotic meu were convinced that
neither of theae candida'ea could by any posaibility be
elected. Aa a compromise they urged tbe uaine of Mr.
Lincoln, aud the reault haa proved the wisdom of their
choice. * * "
" Bu' the time for mtre compromise candidates has pass
ed. Aeguhrr. qualities will not insure the election of any
mun to the highest office in the nation during the lifetime of
the present gincratwn. The people will have a man of
strong executive will, as well as personal purity aud un
flinching hon? aty of purpoae. ? ? ?
" If any 01 e is humiliated and disheartened at the events
of the lust two and a half years, let him take courage.
Have faith in G< d and tbe patnotiam and the purity of tbe
people. Tbe doubt and anxiety will in a few more mouths
give place to energy aud hope. That which loyal men
have moat deplored, in tbe dispenaations of a'i all-*i?e
Providence, may have been necessary to the total extinc
tion of (livery and the biinging back of the nation to tbe
recognition aud the practice of thoae vital princtplea of go
vernment on which our fathers acted. God governa tbe
affaira of men, aud to Ilia discipline let us cheerfully sub
mit for tbe present, and, acting well our own part, trust to
His wisdom and direction for the future aalety and the
glory of tbe nation."
Now, how much better is this contemptuous
persiflage than the acrid criticism of tbe ultra
Democratic press f Why will not the Chicago
Tribune take a lesson from its own book ?
A passenger boat ia to leave Annapolis, Maryland, on
the first day of July next, by which women aud children
will be allowed to go to the South, provided th?-y comply
with the annexed regulation*:
All applicatons for passes to go Sooth muit be made in
writing and verified by oath, addressed to " Major L. C.
Tl'KNEK, Judge Advocate, Washington," as follows :
"I A B., applicant for a pas? to go to City Point, Va ,
and now residing nt ??, do solemnly swear that, if said
pass be granted, I will not lako any property excepting my
wearing pparel, h d that all the ur icles to te taken with
me nre contained in the irauk or paokage delivered, or to t>?
delivered, to the qetrtermaster on the transport Ktenin?r on
which 1 hui to go to City Point. That I h*ve not been in any
insurgent Mate, nor beyond the military lines o' the Ooite 1
SiHtes witbia thirty day* last oust. That I will not re'urn
within the military linea of the United Stat** daring the pie
seift war; i nd that I have not iu my trunk, nor on my j>er
eon, any pa) era or writings whatsoever, nor any contraband
No person will be allowed to take more than one trunk
or package or female wearing appar l, weighing not ov?r
Me huidred pound', and subject to inspectiou; and if any
thing contraband be found in th? trunk or on the person
the property wi 1 b* forfaited and t ie pats revoked The
baggage of each applicant must b- delivered to the quar
termaster on the passenger boat at Annapolis, for inspec
tion. at least twenty-four hours previous to the day ot de
Children will be allowed to aocompany their mothers
and relatives, and tike their usual wearing apparel, but
t'<? name and age of each child must be giveu in the ap
Ladies and ch Idren desiring to come North will be re
ceived on the boat at City Poiut and taken to Annapolis,
and every adul'. person coming North will be required to
take and subscribe the oath of allegiance to the O ivern
rnent of the United States before the boat leaves Fortress
M on toe.
The conscription bill divides citliens liable to draft into
two cla>s?s One comprises all able-bodied men between
the ages of twenty and thirty-five, married or unmarried'
and all unmarried men between the ages of thirty-five and
forty-five. The second class includes all married men be
tween the laat named sg>-s. It turns out, according to the
enrollment in New York city, that the proportion of the
firat clss< to tb? second is nearly as four to one. There is
do reason why the same ratio should not hold good through
out the count y generally. Ia the extreme tier of West
ern States, the Territories, and California, the proportion
of the tirst claas to the second will undoubtedly be larger.
As the second class is not to b>< drawn upon until the first
class ia put into service, it appears that the Benedicts be
tween thirty-five and forty-five stmd but little obar ce of
the draft; in fact may be considered as practically exempt
from it unless the war becomes one of extermination on
both sides.
A meeting wss held at New Orleans on the 40th ultimo,
by delegates from that city and Jefferson parish, to pre
pare a plan for holding a Stat* Convention in Louisiana
for tbn purpose of framing a new constitution. (Jen.
Shepley, Military Oovetnor of the State, was communi
cated with upon the subject, and replied by letter in which
he statxl although the et-Ject of the Convention desired to
be called met his hearty concurrence, still be thought that
what the basis of representation to the Convention should
be was a question more properly to be decided by the peo
ple themselves than by any military authority, and that no
shadow of suspicion of military dictation should darken
the future page of the brilliant record of returning loyslty
and renewed devotion to the Union and the Constitution in
that Hate. He informed the committee that he wonld '
immediately order a register to be mad* of tboee voters !
w jo might voluntarily come forward to register themselves
On Tuesday morning two brigade of Geu. Pleasautou's
oavalry, under command of Gen. Bufo d made au impor*
taut reconuoiasauce to Culpeper. I'Uo force was Com
posed of Gen. Buford's brigade, aud another cavalry bri
gade under couimau 1 ol Col. B. F. Davis, supported by
two batteriea of artillery aud two regiments uf infantry
aa a reaerve.
At half-past twelve o'elock on Mouday night tbe cavalry
bivouacked near Beverly Ford, Rappabauuock river. At
three o'clock next morniug tbe men were ctiled, tbe
horses ted aud saddled, and at four o'clock tbey crossed
tbe ford. Beyond tbe fold waa a semi-circular belt of
woods, with a range of rifle-pita near tbe edge of tbe tim
ber, and a line of pickets guarded the ford aud the aoutbr id
bauk of tbe river.
Tbe Eighth New York Regiment (cavalry) crossed firtt,
and diove the picket* back to the rifl* pit*. Tbe cavalry
tbeu charged directly through tbe rifle-pit*, and, after a
desperate combat, cleared tbe wooda, tbe enemy tailing
back upon their artil'ery aud maintaining their position
until twelve o'clock, wbeu our artilleiy came up aud they
were driven to Cu'peper Court houae.
Nearly all the fighting was done by the cavalry, and it
waa oi tbe bloodiest character, mostly baud to hand, with
?abre and pistol. Xu tbe wooda tbe heavy timber wan not
verydenae, ao that homes could advauce through ir, but
tbe undergrowth was tbiok, aud wbeu a trooper dropped
he was effectually concealed. Our lota was considerable,
aud the slaughter of tbe rebels waa tearful. The proxi
mate numbers of tbe caaualtiea on both aides are not yet
reported. The enemy outuumbered our men, but thry
could not withstand the impetuosity of our troops.
Among tbe casualties are: Colouel B. F. Davio, killed ;
Cnpt Benj F. Foote, killed; Lieut. Cutler, killed; Lieut.
Reaves, mortally wounded; Lieut. Vane, severely wound
ed. Tbe above were all of tbe Sth New York cavalry.
Capt. Canfield, regular cavalry, killed.
The whole Union force engaged is stated to have
amounted to five or six thouaaud meu. After tbe action
commenced Gen. Pleasauton took command of our foroes,
and Geu. Stuart took command of the Confederates about
ten o'clock, coming up from Culpeper Court-bouse aa
soon as he learned that a heavy fight was begun. It ap
peara that be had made preparations to oross and attack
us, but our forces took the initiative. Their success is
said to have frustrated the plans of Stuart and prevented
the raid within our lines for which he had gathered hia
force at that point.
Our troops recrosted the Rappahannock at four o'clock
on Tuesday afternoon, and during the night a few compli
ments were exchanged between our artillery aud that of
tbe rebela.
No < fflcial news in relation to this conflict has beru
made pnblio, and we gather the foregoing particulars fr<>m
the Republicau of last evening, which gives them on the
authority of perst ns who took part in tbe battle.
New York, Junk 9.?A Hilton Head letter gives Col.
Montgomery's report of bis late expedition into the inte
rior. Tbe report is to the effect that his forces destroyed
a vast amount of cottoo, rice, and other property, sad
brought off seven hundred aad twenty five slaves. A letter
puts the value of the property destroyed at one million
Co). Hawley, of the Seventh Connecticut, in an expedi*
tion to St. Augustine, captured a hundred and twenty five
head of beef cattle.
Tbe towu of Bluffron was burned and immense stores
destroyed on the 3J instant, by an expedition under Col.
St. Louih, Ju'nk 9?By special authority of Adjutant
General Thomas, Gen. Prentiss has detai ed Col Pride of
tbe Tuirty-tt ird Missouri Regiment, to superintend the
organiznt on of co'ored regimeuts in this department. The
order has b en fully endoisrd by Gen. ScbofleM, who has
directed all the officers of the department to afford til the
proper facilities for the discbarge ot this duty. Colonel
Piide has al-o obtained permission from Governor Gnmble
to enroll and remove from the State all negroes desiring to
enlist, except those belouging to loyal owners.
Gen. Hascall has been relieved Irom the command of
tbe military department of Indiana by an order of Gen
Burnside dated at Lexingtou (Ey ) on the 6th inetaut
By this order it appears that the States ol Indiana ai d
Micb gan have been farmed int > a district, which is placed
in command of Gen. O. B Wilcox In retiring fivm his
command Gen. Hascall issued an order, dated <>n th- 6th
inatant, in which be reacmds General Order No 9, issued
by him on the 25th of Apr.l lait. He does this, he says,
without instructions from any source, in order to leave b^s
turoestor free to adopt such course as in hia judgment
will best subserve tbe publio interest. The order tbua
rescinded is the one which imposed obnoxious restrictions
upon the conductors of newspapera.
Tbe U. 8. steamer 8unflower, Acting Master Edward
Van Sice, on tbe 31st ultimo, iu the Quit of Mexico, cap
tured the schooner Echo, with one hundred aud eight)-five
bales of cotton. She was cent to Key West.
The U. 8. steamer Qu Koto, Capt. W. M. Walker, on
the 24th ul'imo, captured the schooners Gen. Prim and
Rapid and tbe sloops J me Adelie and Bright, all loaded
with cotton and bound to Havana. Tbe same vessel has
aUo captured the schooner Mississippi, with one bundrrd
and eighty-?even bales of cotton, wbirh, wi:h those pre
viously rep >rted, makes seven prices within a few days.
The same ve?srl, on the 14th ultimo, captured tbe scho?
ner b? a Bird, of Havana, without log-book, papers incom
plete, dc c
The U. 8 ateimer Kanawha, Lieut. Com. W. K Mayo,
captured < n the 18th ultimo, wh le running the ol'-ckvle
at Mobile, bound to Havana, tbe sohooner R pple, with
one hundred aud ten bales of cotton. Oa the previous day
the fame ves?el captured the schooner Hunter, from Mo.
bile, bound to Havana, with forty three balea of o ut n.
In a left r of tbe 33th May, to the Navy D^paitment,
dated at Key West, Acting Rear Admiral BaiikY says:
" Hnce I took command, December 9tb, 1"62, forty
three vessels have been captured by the vessels of this
squadron and declared g kkI prists; others have been re
leased by the court, and others still destroyed at Ir.diau
river and other j,lac. s along the coast. Many prixea have
been sent in by tocWeat India and West Quit squadron,
making tbe number that have come in for adjudication since
January 1, ltJ63, to be seventy."
Mr. John Jotliffe, who was eouusel with Mr. John
Dean in resisting the surrender of tbe fugitive slave An
drew Hall to his mister, George W Duvall, of Prince
George's county, (Md ) were indicted by the Grand Jury
? >me days ago for obstructing the execution of the fufi
tive slave law in the D.strict of Columbia. Mr Jolliffo
appeared in court on Thursday last, and Mr. Dean yester
day, and gave 1 ail in one thousand dollars each to answer
to the indictment. The case will not be tried till the next
term of tbe court.
The Thirty seventh and Tbirty-eighth New Yoik Volun
teer*, lately counected with the Aimy of the Potomac, but
whose time has expired, bad an Imposing reception in New
York city on Monday last. A 1 t?f the militia regiments
took part in the proceedings, and the greatest enthusiasm
prevailed. Tbe soldier* were reviewed by Gen. McClellan
from the balconyof the Fifth Avenue Hotel. He wascheered
most heartily by the soldiers. Cheers followed cheers in
quick succession, presenting, according to the representa
tions of the newspapers, a scene of tbe wildest and most en
thusiastic excitement. It was expected that he would ad
dresa tbe soldiers, bu'. be did not do so. Gen Sickles bri- fly
addietaed them iu front of tbe Metropolitan Hotel. In the
evening the soldiers of tbe Thirty-aeventh aud Tbiriy-eightb
were entertained in a most sumptuous manner at a ban
quet given in their honor at tbe City Assembly Rooms
Mayor Opdyke presided, and welcomed the soldieis b uie
to tbe city of Now York. 8peechen were also made by
Col. Haytnan, of the Thirty-seventh, Col Strong, (wbo
was on ciutcbes,)of the Thirty-eighth, Judge McCunn.
G -n. Sickles, and others
We learu that a terrific expl.iaiou occurred at Fort
Lyon, distant about two miles from Alexandria, ou lueaday
afternoon, by which ibe fort wu nearly demolished and
some twenty or thirty u?u lost thrir lives. The explosion
was accidental. At about two o'clock some meu were
examining artillery ammunition at the noitheru entrance
to tbe fort, wlieu, from ? >uie unknown cause, oae of the
shells exploded, igniting several others which also ?xp ode J,
aud immediate^ afterwarda the magazine blew up, caus
ing a tremendous coucuaaiuu aud reduciug the fort aluioat
to a w.eck. Aa before "tati d, betweeu tweuty aud thirty
uieu were killed, about aa ujauy more were slightly
wou ided, aud a few others severely wounded. Tnese
were all taken to Aloxandiia for treatment. We have not
been able to learu any further particulars. It is said that
tbe f?rt was occupied by one of the German companies
A laboring force haa already commenced repairing it.
The Union of laat evening gives aouie further particulars
of tbe ? xploaiou at' Fort Lyon, mentioned in yesterday'?
Intelligencer. We copy the fol'owiug:
Tbe accident occui red at about hfieeu minutes past two
??'clock, resulting iu the iutint killing o' nil tbo*e iu and
about ihe magazine, some twenty-two in number, and
woundiug eeveuieeu more in tbe fort.
Tbe accident occurred in tlie f ?rt proper. It appears
tbat Lieut Col. Scbimer, wbo h the commmdant of tbe
fort, had ordered tbe auimuuit!On, wuicto be thought in bad
condition, to be taken out luto the air At the tune of the
explosion he wa< at Washington, leaving the fort in cmiu
mand of Capt Scfoauuiberg This latter gentleman was
at dinner at the time of the accident.
Tbe force of tbe explos on dismounted several guns,
demolishing nil tbe line officer*' quarters, and making a
eoiiip eie wreck of the whol* exterior. Tbe b >dies of tbe
killed were dreadfully loutilited and torn. Shell of all
Mizes and weights were thiown in all directions?many of
thein for miles?and a great many exploding wubout
doing grea7 damage. Glass was broken in the house of
Gen. 8lough, at bin reside ice in Alexandra. Partition
Wilis were thrown down iu that city in several dwellings
aud stores.
In tbe fort, offi -era and m?n were bl >wn over tbe para
pet nearly one hundred feet by tbe concussion, with little
or no injury. The sentiuel had Lu musket torn from bis
side by a shell, and himsrlf throwu into a ditch forty feet
distant, witn sliubt injury.
The killed am >unted to twen'y-two, vit: One lieuten
ant, two sergeant*, and twenty men The wounded
seventeen. Four of these are lieutenants, who are but
slightly wounded.
Immediately after the accident a guard of seventy-five
men waa detail-d from Fort Ellsworth by order of Col.
W?as> lis, who were immediate'y placed in charge.
All the guus tbat bad been dismounted were immediately
reuiouuied, and the fort placed iu a proper condition for
I he wounded were all conveyed to the Alexandria hos
pital* and th ? convalercent camp CifBis were pr ocured
lor the dead, aud tbe remains have been decently interred
with the u?ual honors of war
Alt tbe killed are stated 10 be Germans
Foit Lyon in eituat d on B ?llenger'a Hill, on the oppo
site aide of Hunting Creek, about a mile and a half from
Alexandria The explo?i< n shook tbe house* in m-tuy
pa<ts ol Alexandria, breaking the window g ass and jarring
down the plas ering, but doing no otb-r d?m>'ge.
Mukfkeeshmko, June 9 ?-Col.Ltwreuce William Or
on, foimerly Liwrence Williams, of the Second U. 8.
Cavalry, one time m Gen. fcott'a st- ff, and late Geo.
Brxgi^'a chief of artill-ry, and Lieut. Duul.p, of th* rebel
army, were arr. st> d and hung as spiea, laat mgbt, at Frank -
lid. under tbe following c rcumatances : Tbey made their
appearance at Franklin iu full Federal uniform, horae, and
equipments of Ocl >nel and major, and presenting them
selves as Inspectors of the Uuited States army, having or
ers iroin Aa-ista .t Adjutant General E. D. Townaend,
and countersigned by G?n. Rosecrans, to inspect the forti*
filiations of this Department. Col. Walkins grew suspicious
of tbem, and Oommujicated his duubta to Col. Baird, wbo
telegraphed to Kuseciausif any such persons held positions
in the army. Qen Rosecrans repl ed in the negative. On
finding themselves detect* d the rebels confessed. Docu
ments oi a treasonable nature and cuutr&San 1 information
were found on them. Uen. R'>?rcran* ordered a court
martial, and this m<>rniug they were hanged. Col. Baird
trlegrapbed tbat tbey were spi^a of no ordinary character,
who o >ufea*ed tbat tbey thought Ibeir f?te was just and
died like brave soldiers. Ortou wai a Cousin to Uen Ro
oert E. Lee, and was a br..tber of Wi liamj, late ou Me
Clellan a staff.
[A despatch is said to have teen r- cem-d in this city
froui (ieu. Koseciana confirming the above in all particu
lar. ]
Halifax, Jink 9 ?The steamship Africa, from Liver*
pool on tbe 30.h of Muy, baa arrived.
1 ho pirate Alabama baa capturtd the ahipa Dorcaa,
Prince, Union J nek, Sealaik, and Nye. The Nye ia a
whaler. The Dorcaa, Prinoe, and Union Jack were bound
from New York for Shanghai, and the He-dark from Boa
ton for San Francisco.
The dipt mat c relation* between EngUnd and Brazil
have been broken.
Mr. Roebuck baa given not ce that be will move in Par*
I nm-ni ih >t England open negotiations with other Powera
for tbe recog' itiou of the Southern Confederacy. Lord
Montague will move an amendment.
The Liverpool Pout gives prominence to tbe following,
on the receipt of the Australian'* news:
" Vicktburg ha* fallen. The Mississippi ia opeo from
t*a moutb to its source Tbe Fedmal oatiae tu triumphed.
There can now be no doubl of the fact that Oen. Grant
baa aeix d the key of peace that i< hung up in the fortreaa
at Vickaburg. Now i? the time f >r mediation. Jn*te*d of
mdiilg n* the idea of aympathy or in vain hopes of tbe war
continuing, every body win wi*b<a well to England and
to tne win 11 at larg? ?h ul 1 promptly un te in an appeal
to Lord Paluieratou reque-ting him not to lo*e a moment
in propoi-ing terms not tnjuri< u< to the South, yet accept
able to tbe Nurth '1 hi* luiportnnt news having only sr
r vrd wbm we were go n^ ti? pre?s, we have only time to
eipre?a tbe hope and payer that at las we are ou tbe sve
? f peace betwe- n the No tb and South "
C tt' n had advance 1 from id. to i I. Sales of tbe week
04 000 bales, and on Friday 5,000 Breadstuff* dull, but
atead) and uncbar g-d. Provisions flit Consols 934 a 93|.
San i Ktscisco, Junk". ? the steamship Constitution
baa arrived fr< m Pan.tma, bringing, via Aeapulco, Puebla
d ttea to tbe 19th of May sod city of Mexico advicea to tbe
ssme date.
O.i tbe 15th and 16th of May the French were repulsed
before Fortress Carmen garrison and the inhabitants of
Puebla were reduced to a state of starvation. and their
ammunition eo'.irely given out before they would consent
to surrender. Q?n. Ortega was greatly disappointed ia
Gen Couiontmt not cutting hie way through with supplies.
Un the 17ih Gen. Forey sent a fl<g of truce to Oen. Or
tega offering to allow the Mexican offlivrs and soldiers to
match out, the officers witi their an), -arms, provided tbfjr
wou d givi? t'er parole not to serve agvnst the French
again Tfi? waa refused by General Oitega, who in the
meanwhile *p fced hia cai n-n, hurut bis oarrmgea, i-nd de
coyed tbe arms of his mtnn ry. and then sur endered as
priaoners < f war. O n K? gula and bis aid?, and other
>iMn<nce ' (H era, preferring doith to b ing prisoner*, cum
in 'ted au cide b) ntiootn g tiiem elve* dead
T??e advance of itin t reucb army l* at Uboluls, six miles
be>ond Puebla, on the way t. t e capital.
The M xica s ?re much embittered agi'nat the French.
All Frenehm n in the ci y ol viexicohave been ordered to
leave wi bin eight days. The VI- xtran* are d-termi ed to
defend ti e approaches t? the cpiial to tne last aud drive
he inva?!eis of their oountry back Great enthusiasm pre
vail* aiuoi'g them to eig-<ge in ih* coming Strugs e, not
withstanding the d aaater which befell the heroic garrison
of f'uehla.
Tte foregoing news is fr 'm M-xi "'in aources. In Sao
Frmci'co tlie houses of M? xo*ana are drap-'d iu mourning,
while tiie French ha*e the tri o -lor every wh?.? flying.
A lommuolcation fr.rn Admiral Lee, enolosmg a report
of Lieut. Com. Oillis , reoetvrd at the Navy D p irtment.
1 stat. a that a joint exp-diuon of army and naval forces"
w. ut up the Mattapouy r ver on the 4tti in* tan t to a point
some ten mi!es above Walkortou, where they destroyed a
foundry, with al. ita maouiaery, which was manufacturing
for th-' ri.euiy. The lanl forces also dea royed grain ?t
other plac.-s, aid captured hors< s. mul s, and cattle. Too
river below wsa hept clear, aud the rebels, attempting
demonstrations at several points on the bank*, were die*
pcti?d by tbe |unbo?t. The pa*y bad no casualties.

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