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oners.

TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT.

returned to our lines on parole, to await ex- unprepared for the cold of a Northern winter, change. Instead of executing a duty imposed have been conveyed, for imprisonment, during by the plainest dictates of justice and good faith, the rigors of the present season, to the most pretexts were instantly sought for holding them northern and exposed situation that could be in permanent captivity. General orders rapidly selected by the enemy. There, beyond the reach succeeded each other from the bureau at Wash- of comforts, and often even of news from home ington, placing new constructions on an agree- and family, exposed to the piercing cold of northment which had given rise to no dispute while ern lakes, they are held by men who cannot be we retained the advantage in the number of pris- ignorant of, even if they do not design, the pro

With a disregard of honorable obliga- bable result. How many of our unfortunate tions, almost unexampled, the enemy did not friends and comrades, who have passed unscathed hesitate, in addition to retaining the prisoners through numerous battles, will perish on Johncaptured by them, to declare null the paroles son's Island, under the cruel trial to which they given by the prisoners captured by us the same are subjected, none but the Omniscient can foreseries of engagements, and liberated on condition tell. That they will endure this barbarous treatof not again serving until exchanged. They ment with the same stern fortitude that they have since openly insisted on treating the paroles have ever evinced in their country's service, we given by their own soldiers as invalid, and those cannot doubt. But who can be found to believe of our soldiers, given under precisely similar cir- the assertion that it is our refusal to execute the cumstances, as binding. A succession of similar cartel, and not the malignity of the foe, which unjust pretensions has been set up in a corre- has caused the infliction of such intolerable cruspondence tediously prolonged, and every device elty on our own loved and honored defenders ? employed to cover the disregard of an obligation which, between belligerent nations, is only to be enforced by a sense of honor.

Regular and punctual communication with the No farther comment is needed on this subject; Trans-Mississippi is so obstructed as to render but it may be permitted to direct your special difficult a compliance with much of the legislaattention to the close of the correspondence sub- tion vesting authority in the executive branch of mitted to you, from which you will perceive that the government. To supply vacancies in offices; the final proposal made by the enemy, in settle to exercise discretion on certain matters connectment of all disputes under the cartel, is, that we ed with the military organizations; to control should liberate all prisoners held by us, without the distribution of the funds collected from taxathe offer to release from captivity any of those tion or remitted from the Treasury ; to carry on held by them.

the operations of the Post-Office department, In the mean time a systematic and concerted and other like duties, require, under the Constieffort has been made to quiet the complaints in tution and existing laws, the action of the Presithe United States of those relatives and friends dent and heads of departments. The necessities of of the prisoners in our hands who are unable to the military service frequently forbid delay, and understand why the cartel is not executed in some legislation is required, providing for the extheir favor, by the groundless assertion that we ercise of temporary authority, until regular action are the parties who refuse compliance. Attempts can be had at the seat of government. I would are also made to shield themselves from the exe- suggest, especially in the Post-Office department, cration excited by their own odious treatment of that an assistant be provided in the States beour officers and soldiers now captive in their yond the Mississippi, with authority in the head hands, by misstatements, such as that the pris- of that department to vest in his assistant all oners held by us are deprived of food. To this such powers now exercised by the Postmasterlast accusation the conclusive answer has been General as may be requisite for provisional con. made that, in accordance with our law and the trol of the funds of the department of these general orders of the department, the rations of States, and their application to the payment of the prisoners are precisely the same, in quantity mail contractors, for superintendence of the local and quality, as those served out to our own gal- post-offices, and the contracts for carrying the lant soldiers in the field, and which have been mail; for the temporary employment of proper found sufficient to support them in their arduous persons to fulfil the duties of postmasters and campaigns, while it is not pretended by the ene-contractors in urgent cases, until appointments my that they treat prisoners by the same gener- can be made, and for other like purposes. Withous rule. By an indulgence, perhaps unprece- out some legislative provision on the subject, dented, we have even allowed the prisoners in there is serious risk of the destruction of the our hands to be supplied by their friends at home mail service by reason of the delays and hardwith comforts not enjoyed by the men who cap- ships suffered by contractors under the present tured them in battle. In contrast to this treat- system, which requires constant reference to ment, the most revolting inhumanity has char- Richmond on their accounts, as well as the re. acterized the conduct of the United States to- turns of the local paymasters, before they can ward prisoners held by them. One prominent receive payment for services rendered. Like fact, which admits no denial or palliation, must provision is also necessary in the Treasury de. suffice as a test. The officers of our army, na- ent; while, for military affairs, it would tives of Southern and semi-tropical climates, and seem to be sufficient to authorize the President

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THE

NAVY

CONDUCT OF THE ENEMY.

and Secretary of War to delegate to the com- now imposed on him by law. The accounts of manding general so much of the discretionary the departments of State, of the Treasury, of power vested in them by law as the exigencies the Navy, and of Justice, are all supervised by of the service shall require.

that officer, and more than suffice to occupy his whole time. The necessity for a Third Auditor,

to examine and settle the accounts of a departThe report of the Secretary of the Navy gives ment so extensive as that of the Post Office, apin detail the operations of that department since pears urgent, and his recommendation on that January last, embracing information of the dis- subject meets my concurrence. position and employment of the vessels, officers, and men, and the construction of vessels at Richmond, Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Mo

I cannot close this message without again adbile, Selma, and on the rivers Roanoke, Neuse, verting to the savage ferocity which still marks Pedee, Chattahoochee, and Tombigbee; the ac- the conduct of the enemy in the prosecution of cumulation of ship-timber and supplies; and the the war. After their repulse from the defences manufacture of ordnance, ordnance stores, and before Charleston, they first sought revenge by equipments. The foundries and workshops have an abortive attempt to destroy the city with an been greatly improved, and their capacity to incendiary composition, thrown by improved supply all demands for heavy ordnance for coast artillery from a distance of four miles. Failing and harbor defences is only limited by our defi- in this, they changed their missiles, but fortuciency in the requisite skilled labor. The want nately have thus far succeeded only in killing of such labor and of seamen seriously affects the two women in the city. Their commanders, operations of the department.

Butler, McNeil, and Turchin, whose horrible The skill, courage, and activity of our cruisers barbarities have made their names widely notoat sea cannot be too highly commended. They rious and everywhere execrable, are still honored have inflicted heavy losses on the enemy, with- and cherished by the authorities at Washington. out suffering a single disaster, and have seriously The first-named, after having been withdrawn damaged the shipping interests of the United from the scenes of his cruelties against women States by compelling their foreign commerce to and prisoners of war, (in reluctant concession to seek the protection of neutral flags.

the demands of outraged humanity in Europe,) Your attention is invited to the suggestions of has just been put in a new command at Norfolk, the report on the subject of supplying seamen where helpless women and children are again for the service, and of the provisions of the law placed at his mercy. in relation to the volunteer navy.

Nor has less unrelenting warfare been waged by these pretended friends of human rights and liberties against the unfortunate negroes.

WherThe Postmaster-General reports the receipts ever the enemy have been able to gain access, of that department for the fiscal year ending the they have forced into the ranks of their army thirtieth June last, to have been three million every able-bodied man that they could seize, three hundred and thirty-seven thousand eight and have either left the aged, the women, and hundred and fifty-three dollars and one cent, the children to perish by starvation, or have and the expenditures for the same period two gathered them into camps, where they have million six hundred and sixty-two thousand been wasted by a frightful mortality. Without eight hundred and four dollars and sixty-seven clothing or shelter, often without food, incapable, cents. The statement thus exhibits an excess without supervision, of taking the most ordinary of receipts amounting to six hundred and seven- precaution against disease, these helpless dety-five thousand forty-eight dollars and forty-four pendents, accustomed to have their wants supcents, instead of a deficiency of more than a mil-plied by the foresight of their masters, are being lion of dollars, as was the case in the preceding rapidly exterminated wherever brought in confiscal year. It is gratifying to perceive that the tact with the invaders. By the Northern man, department has thus been made self-sustaining, on whose deep-rooted prejudices no kindly rein accordance with sound principle, and with the straining influence is exercised, they are treated express requirements of the Constitution, that with aversion and neglect. There is little hazard its expenses should be paid out of its own reve- in predicting that, in all localities where the ennues after the first March, 1863.

emy have gained a temporary foothold, the neThe report gives a full and satisfactory account groes, who under our care increased six fold in of the operations of the Post-Office department number since their importation into the colonies for the last year, and explains the measures of Great Britain, will have been reduced by moradopted for giving more certainty and regularity tality during the war to not more than one half to the service in the States beyond the Missis- their previous number. sippi, and on which reliance is placed for obviat- Information on this subject is derived not only ing the difficulties heretofore encountered in that from our own observation and from the reports service.

of the negroes who succeeded in escaping from The settlement of the accounts of the depart. the enemy, but full confirmation is afforded by ment is greatly delayed by reason of the inabili- statements published in the Northern journals, ty of the First Auditor to perform all the duties! by humane persons engaged in making appeals

THE

POST-OFFICE.

to the charitable for aid in preventing the rav- served right to modify their own government in ages of disease, exposure, and starvation among such manner as would best secure their own the negro women and children who are crowded happiness. But these considerations have been into encampments.

powerless to allay the unchristian hate of those The frontier of our country bears witness to who, accustomed to draw large profits from a the alacrity and efficiency with which the gen- union with us, cannot control the rage excited by eral orders of the enemy have been executed in the conviction that they have, by their own folly, the devastation of the farms, the destruction of destroyed the richest source of their prosperity. the agricultural implements, the burning of the They refuse even to listen to proposals for the houses, and the plunder of every thing movable. only peace possible between us—a peace which, Its whole aspect is a comment on the ethics of recognizing the impassable, and which divides us, the general order issued by the United States on may leave the two people separately to recover the twenty-fourth of April, 1863, comprising from the injuries inflicted on both by the cause“instructions for the government of armies of less war now waged against us. Having begun the United States in the field,” and of which the the war in direct violation of their Constitution, following is an example:

which forbade the attempt to coërce a State, they “Military necessity admits of all direct destruc- have been hardened by crime, until they no tion of life or limb of armed enemies, and of longer attempt to veil their purpose to destroy other persons whose destruction is incidentally the institutions and subvert the sovereignty and unavoidable in the armed contests of the war; it independence of these States. We now know allows of the capturing of every armed enemy, that the only hope for peace is in the vigor of our and of every enemy of importance to the hostile resistance, as the cessation of their hostility is government, or of peculiar danger to the captor; only to be expected from the pressure of their it allows of all destruction of property and ob- necessities. structions of the ways and channels of traffic, The patriotism of the people has proved equal travel, or communication, and of all withholding to every sacrifice demanded by their country's of sustenance or means of life from the enemy; need. We have been united as a people never of the appropriation of whatever an enemy's were united under like circumstances before. country affords necessary for the subsistence and God has blessed us with success disproportionate safety of the army, and of such deception as does to our means, and, under his divine favor, our not involve the breaking of good faith, either pos- labors must at last be crowned with the reward itively pledged regarding agreements entered into due to men who have given all they possess to during the war, or supposed by the modern law the righteous defence of their inalienable rights, of war to exist. Men who take up arms against their homes, and their altars. one another in public war do not cease on this

JEFFERSON DAVIS. account to be moral beings, responsible to one RICHMOND, December 7, 1863. another and to God.” The striking contrast to these teachings and

Doc. 22. practices, presented by our army when invading Pennsylvania, illustrates the moral character of NEGRO TROOPS AT FORT WAGNER. our people. Though their forbearance may have been unmerited and unappreciated by the enemy,

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTI, it was imposed by their own self-respect, which ENGINEER'S OFFICE, FOLLY ISLAND, S. C., Dec, 10, 1863.

} forbade their degenerating from Christian war- GENERAL: In accordance with your instrucriors into plundering ruffians, assailing the prop- tions, I have the honor to submit the following erty, lives, and honor of helpless non-combat- statement, relating to the amount and nature of ants. If their conduct, when thus contrasted the fatigue-duty performed by the colored troops with the inhuman practices of our foe, fail to of this command, as compared with the white, in command the respect and sympathy of civilized those portions of our recent operations against nations in our day, it cannot fail to be recognized the defences of Charleston harbor, which were by their less deceived posterity.

under my direction, namely, the defensive line The hope last year entertained of an early ter- across Morris Island, the approaches against Fort mination of the war has not been realized. Wagner, and part of the breaching batteries Could carnage have satisfied the appetite of our against Fort Sumter. enemy for the destruction of human life, or grief In the engineering operations, thirty-three have appeased their wanton desire to inflict hu- thousand five hundred days' work, of seven man suffering, there has been bloodshed enough hours each, were expended, of which five thouon both sides, and two lands have been suffi- sand five hundred were by engineer troops, and ciently darkened by the weeds of mourning to six thousand by infantry; nine thousand five induce a disposition for peace.

hundred days' work, being more than half of If unanimity in a people could dispel delusion, that performed by the infantry, and two fifths of it has been displayed too unmistakably not to the whole, were by blacks, all being volunteer have silenced the pretence that the Southern troops. States were merely disturbed by a factious in- The whole of this work was done under a fire surrection, and it must long since have been ad- of artillery or sharp-shooters, or both, and the mitted that they were but exercising their re- Igreater part of it in the night.

REP

RT OF MAJOR T. B. BROOKS.

My own observation, confirmed by the testi- twenty-seven buildings, twenty-two boilers, and mony of all the engineer officers who had the some two hundred kettles, averaging two hunimmediate superintendence of the work, proves dred gallons each, all of which were destroyed, that the blacks, as a rule, did a greater amount together with five thousand bushels of salt and of work than the same number of whites; but some storehouses containing some three months' the whites were more skilful, and had to be em- provisions--the whole estimated at half a million ployed on the more difficult part of the work, of dollars. From this point the expedition procomprising about one fifth of the whole.

ceeded down the bay, destroying private saltWe found the black soldier more timorous works, which lined each side for a distance of than the white, but in a corresponding degree seven miles, to the number of one hundred and more docile and obedient, doing just what he was ninety-eight different establishments, averaging told to the best of his ability, but seldom with two boilers and two kettles each, together with a enthusiasm.

large quantity of salt; five hundred and seven Very respectfully, your obedient servant, kettles were dug up and rendered useless, and

T. B. BROOKS, over two hundred buildings were destroyed, to

Major, A. D. C., and Assistant Engineer.gether with twenty-seven wagons and five large Major-General Q. A. GILLMORE,

flat-boats. Commanding Department of the South, The entire damage to the enemy is estimated

by Acting Master Browne at three million dol

lars. Doc. 23.

Thirty-one contrabands employed at those

works gladly availed themselves of this opporNAVAL OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA.

tunity to escape, and were of great service in REAR-ADMIRAL BAILEY'S REPORTS.

pointing out the places where the kettles were UNITED STATES FLAG-SUP SAN JACINTO,

buried for concealment. In the mean time, while KEY WEST, December 29, 1863. these operations were going on, Acting Master Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Nary: Browne got under way in the bark Restless, and

Sir: I have the gratification of reporting a ran up to within one hundred yards of the town very important service performed by the block- of St. Andrew's, which had been reported by deading force at St. Andrew's Sound, under com- serters to him as being occupied by a military mand of Acting Master William R. Browne, in force for the last ten months, and commenced destroying a very extensive and valuable quality shelling the place and some soldiers, who made a of salt-works, both at Lake Ocala and in St. An- speedy retreat to the woods. drew's Bay. The circumstances are as follows: Selecting the weathermost houses for a target,

On the second of December, a boat was des- the town was fired by the third shell, and thirtypatched from the bark Restless, then lying at two houses were soon reduced to ashes. No reSt. Andrew's, bound to Lake Ocala, some twenty sistance was offered to our people throughout the miles to the westward, where Acting Ensign affair. Acting Master Browne speaks in high James J. Russell landed with his men, and terms of Acting Ensigns James J. Russell and marched some five miles inland to Kent's Salt- Charles N. Hicks, and the forty-eight men from Works, consisting of three different establish- the Restless, as also of Acting Ensign Edwin ments, and utterly destroyed them. There were Cressy and the six men belonging to the Bloomsix steamboat boilers at this place, cut in half er, for the prompt manner in which they carried lengthwise, and seven kettles made expressly for out his orders. Respectfully, the purpose, each holding two hundred gallons.

THEODORUS BAILEY, They were in the practice of burning out one

Acting Rear-Admiral Commanding E. G. B. Squadron. hundred and thirty gallons of salt daily. Beside

U.S. FLAG-SHIP SAN JANCINTO, destroying these boilers, a large quantity of salt

KEY WEST, Dec. 25, 1563. was thrown into the lake. Two large flat-boats Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Nary: and six ox-carts were demolished, and seventeen Sır: It gives me great pleasure to call the atprisoners were taken, who were paroled and re- tention of the department to a very important leased, as the boat was too small to bring them service performed by the schooner Fox, a tender away.

of the San Jacinto, under the command of ActOn the first of December, Acting Ensign Edwin ing Master George Ashbury. The circumstances Cressy arrived at St. Andrew's Sound, from the are as follows: East Pass of Santa Rosa Sound, with the stern- On the twentieth of December, a steamer was wheel steamer Bloomer, and her tender, the sloop discovered in the mouth of the Suwanee River, Carolina, having heard of the expedition to Lake apparently at anchor or aground. The Fox imOcala, and placed his command at the disposal mediately beat up toward her until, when within of Acting Master Browne for more extensive about three quarters of a mile of the steamer, she operations near St. Andrew's; and accordingly grounded in eight and a half feet of water, and three officers and forty-eight men were sent from opened upon her with the howitzer, at the same the Restless to the Bloomer, and she proceeded time sending an armed boat in to capture the to West Bay, where the rebel government's salt- steamer. An attempt was made to intimidate works were first destroyed, which produced four our people by mounting a piece of stove-pipe on hundred bushels daily. At this place there were a chair, to represent a forecastle gun, and a log of

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wood on a camp-stool for a stern gun, but this de- II. If such commander is satisfied that the device of the enemy failed in its object; and Acting serters desire to quit the confederate service, he Ensign Marcellus Jackson boarded the steamer, may permit them to go to their homes, if within from which every body had made their escape to our lines, on taking the following oath : the shore. She proved to be a side-wheel steamer, painted lead-color, with black smoke-stack, two masts, and a walking-beam engine. Neither “I do solemnly swear in the presence of Al. cargo, personal effects, papers, nor any thing to mighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully indicate her name was found on board, but from support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the description, she is supposed to have been the the United States and the Union of States thereLittle Lila, formerly the Nau Nau, and before under, and that I will, in like manner, abide by that the Flushing. The water was found running and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed rapidly into the engine-room. None of our peo- during the existing rebellion with reference to ple were competent to stop the leak or work the slaves, so long and so far as not yet repealed, engine. The channel was exceedingly intricate modified, or held void by Congress or by decision and narrow, and night was rapidly coming on. of the Supreme Court, and that I will, in like Under these circumstances, Acting Ensign Jack- manner, abide by and faithfully support all procson set fire to the vessel, agreeably to orders lamations of the President made during the exfrom Acting Master Ashbury, and in returning isting rebellion having reference to slaves, so long to the Fox, pulled up all the stakes by which and so far as not modified or declared void by dethe channel was marked out, for about a mile and cision of the Supreme Court; so help me God. a half.

" Sworn and subscribed to before me, Again, on December twenty-fourth, a vessel this day of

186 ." was discovered by the Fox standing in for the

III. Deserters from the enemy will at once be Suwanee River, and after a chase of two hours, disarmed, and their arms turned over to the and the firing of several shells, she hove to. Be- nearest ordnance officer, who will account for ing ordered by Mr. Ashbury to send a boat on

them. board, the stranger put his helm up with the in- IV. Passes and rations may be given to deserttention of running the Fox down, and came down ers to carry them to their homes, and free passes upon the starboard quarter, carrying away the over military railroads and on steamboats in govboat-davits, but doing little damage, as the Fox ernment employ. was immediately kept away.

V. Employment at fair wages will, when pracWhile his vessel was passing off, Mr. Ashbury ticable, be given to deserters by officers of the directed a rifle-shot to be fired for the purpose of quartermaster and engineer departments. intimidation; but a heavy sea was running at

VI. To avoid the danger of recapture of such the time, and the bullet took effect upon the cap- deserters by the enemy, they will be exempt from tain of the strange vessel, who was at the wheel, the military service in the armies of the United passing through his leg, but without touching an States. artery. The vessel was then boarded and found By order of Major-General U. S. GRANT. to be the British schooner Edwin from Havana, T. S. BOWERS, A.A.G. bound to the Suwanee River, with a cargo of lead and salt, and was accordingly seized as a prize. In addition to these achievements, I would re

Doc. 25. mind the department that the Fox was one of

GENERAL AVERILL'S EXPEDITION. the three tenders that assisted the Honduras in the capture of the British steamer Mail. Respectfully, THEODORUS BAILEY, Acting Rear-Admiral Commanding E. G. B. Squadron.

EDRAY, POCAHONTAS Co., W. VA., Dec. 21,

ria BEVERLEY, Dec. 22, 1803. To Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief:

I HAVE the honor to report that I cut the VirDoc. 24.

ginia and Tennessee Railroad at Salem on the GEN. GRANT AND REBEL DESERTERS. point with my command, consisting of the Sec

sixteenth instant, and have arrived safely at this THE OATH HE PRESCRIBED FOR THEIR ACCEPTANCE. ond, Third, and Eighth Virginia mounted infant

ry, Fourteenth Pennsylvania, Dobson's battalion HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, IN THE FIELD,

of cavalry, and Ewing's battery, at Salem. CHATTANOOGA, TENN., Dec. 12, 1863. Three dépôts were destroyed, containing two GENERAL ORDERS, No. 10.

thousand barrels of flour, ten thousand bushels To obtain uniformity in the disposition of de- of wheat, one hundred thousand bushels shelled serters from the confederate armies coming with corn, fifty thousand bushels oats, two thousand in this military division, the following order is barrels meat, several cords of leather, one thoupublished:

sand sacks of salt, thirty-one boxes clothing, I. All deserters from the enemy coming within twenty bales of cotton, a large amount of harour lines will be conducted to the commander of ness, shoes, and saddles, equipments, tools, oil, division or detached brigade who shall be near- tar, and various other stores, and one hundred est the place of surrender.

wagons.

OFFICIAL REPORT.

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