Page images
PDF
EPUB

Well, before this time you 1 have been relieved. Admiral Farragut has demonstrated the national strength and energy at Mobile. Sherman has consummated his campaign, and established the power of the Union, if not its authority, in Georgia. The political intrigues at Niagara have exploded at Chicago, to the undoubted edification of the whole people of the United States. The reinforcement of the armies is all that is desired. Peace is certainly three years and three months nearer than it was when the war began, and political movements on both sides of the line indicate a rational conviction that peace must come soon as a fruit of the sacrifices already made, and that when it shall have come it will be attended by the firm reëstablishment of the Union.

September 19, 1864. — Your despatch of the 1st of September has been received. At the time it was written there was apparent reason for apprehending that our country was becoming willing, if · not to forego, at least to hazard the vital interest of national integrity in its impatience for an end of the civil war. The public mind here was at that time very despondent. A complex campaign, which had been expected to be easy as well as short, sharp, and decisive, had proved to be laborious, long, and sanguinary, without assurance of favorable result.

A presidential canvass was bringing apparently into one compact and efficient organization not only all that portion of the people which, although loyal in its desires and purposes, opposes the administration upon questions of administrative policy, but also all the disaffected and disloyal citizens, who, from any perverseness of judgment, of conscience, or of sympathy, are willing, directly or indirectly, to lend aid to the insurgents. The inevitable conflict between radicalism and conservatism broadly revealed itself in the popular mass, upon which the executive government necessarily depends for political support, and personal ambitions, preferences, and prejudices coöperated, threatening ruinous disorganization. This unfortunate condition of things culminated in the last days of August. The ocean no longer breaks either the current of human intercourse or that of human sympathy. To European eyes our affairs wore at that time exactly the same gloomy and portentous aspect that they presented to our own.

1 Mr. Sanford. 2 The Atlantic cable telegraph was completed.

[graphic]

But I have the pleasure to inform is really unnecessary to do so, that the things which I have thus described has su the American people now appear to be as re as on the 29th of August they seemed vacillat,

The capture of Fort Morgan, by combined lan came as a cheerful relief, proving that the War was not only with perseverence, but with prospect of suco sition convention at Chicago placed their candidate Clellan and Mr. Pendleton, before the people di ground that the military defence of the Union had fao. been found hopeless, and that there must be a cessation ties, with a future reference to an ultimate and probably ticable convention. This extraordinary proceeding was follo a sudden and effective revelation that the platform thus adopte the convention at Chicago had been previously framed in an unl. ful intrigue at Niagara, between avoved official agents of the rebe. and some of their partisan sympathizers who reside within our own military lines, and that British enemies of the United States were initiated into the intrigue, and active in carrying it into effect.

In the same conjuncture it happily appeared that volunteers were coming in to reinforce the army as fast as was needful, practically to lighten if not altogether avert the necessity for a draft. Finally, General Sherman surprised equally the enemy and the whole country by a felicitous strategetical stroke with which he captured Atlanta, and thus achieved the great object of that part of the campaign which had been wisely assigned to him.

Nor ought I to omit that the public credit, so long cramped and straitened by a combination of timid hoarders and sordid speculators in gold, broke loose, and adequate subscriptions were freely made for the government loans.

These events have reinspired the public mind in the loyal states, and we have more evidences than it would seem wise to communicate that the insurrectionary states are beginning to consider with seriousness the question of submission to the authority of the Union.

At the moment of closing the mail a gratifying despatch comes to my hands announcing a brilliant victory of our troops at Winchester

September 20, 1864. — Your despatch of the 18th of August has

[graphic]

panied by a copy of a note of Earl a new regulation in admiralty, forbidding ng of belligerent vessels in British ports. ve due consideration. In the mean time we action that the Georgia has been captured by As arrived as a prize at Hampton Roads, whence Boston.

1864. – The expectation of a return of peace, scribe as prevailing in England, is equally manifest

marked difference in the speculations which are

On your side of the ocean it seems to be believed Union is to be dissevered. On this side it is believed even nfidently than heretofore that the Union will be effectually red. It is, however, only just to acknowledge that this inle of public confidence has in some measure been produced by late successes of the national arms and by the developments of ne political canvass. It will be interesting to know how far they modify public opinion when they become known there. On the 224 instant Major-General Sheridan delivered a short but decisive attack against Early at Flint Hill, in the Shenandoah valley. We have not yet received full details ; but it is reported with manifest probability that the result leaves Early's large force quite powerless.

September 26, 1864. — Further and signal successes have been achieved by the army in the Shenandoah valley under General Sheridan. Following up his victory at Opequan Creek and Winchester by a vigorous pursuit of the enemy he again attacked them on the 22d at Fishier's Hill, and drove them from the position where they had intrenched themselves for a stand. This second victory was as complete in its results as the preceding one. lost heavily in killed and wounded. Sixteen guns and several thousand prisoners were taken. At the latest advices from General Sheridan he was still pursuing the insurgents, whose retreat is reported to be attended with disorder and demoralization.

These victories relieve northern Virginia from the presence of the insurgent army, and Maryland and Pennsylvania from apprehensions of invasion. They may also be expected to have no small influence in determining the progress of military events in the vicinity of Petersburg and Richmond.

The enemy

The increase of public confidence is illustrated by the heavy de-. cline in the price of gold, which, during the past week, has fallen nearly thirty per cent.

October 4, 1864. — The plot which was formed by evil-disposed refugees in Canada to seize the United States steamer Michigan, and with that means to release the prisoners of Johnson's Island, failed in its execution. No serious dangers in that quarter are apprehended. The Canadian authorities seem to have acted in a friendly and honorable manner.

General Sherman perseveres in establishing a large and strong camp at Atlanta. The insurgent Forrest is engaged in an attempt to break the General's communications, but he is believed to have taken effective means for their protection. Some free intercourse has been had between him and citizens of Georgia residing within the extended lines of our army. This is the only foundation there is for many reports of negotiations between this government and the state or the people of Georgia. The change of relations they have suffered by the fall of Atlanta is yet too recent to have worked a lasting influence upon their sentiments. No new military operations have occurred in that state. Jefferson Davis has repaired to Macon. He is credibly reported to be very censorious upon Governor Brown, of Georgia, who has furloughed the Georgia militia. The militia of that state is understood, like the reserved force in other insurgent states, to consist of boys under the age of sixteen, and of men over the age of fifty years, which are the terms of the so-called Confederate conscription.

Gold is now reported as having no market sales in the insurgent states. The last quotation is 3,000 per centum. A refugee just arrived from Texas tells us he paid $70 of Confederate currency for one of gold.

There are insurrectionary or guerilla movements in Missouri, but the details are vague and unreliable. On the 29th of September, General Sheridan reported that he had pursued Early's retreating forces through Staunton to Port Republic, and he now reports that he has further pursued the fugitive force through Waynesborough. That once imposing force seems to have been effectually routed and dispersed. General Sheridan thinks that the destruction of stores at Staunton and of railway communication in that vicinity will prove very injurious to the enemy at Richmond.

Under direction of Major-General Butler, Major-General Ord, on the 29th of September, has advanced across the James River at Chapin's Bluff, carried a strong line of fortifications, and taken sixteen guns and many prisoners. Simultaneously, Major-General Birney, by direction of Major-General Butler, advanced from Deep Bottom, on the north side of the James, and scattering the insurgent forces before him, made a lodgment in rebel fortifications six miles from Richmond.

On the 30th, Major-General Warren, under direction of MajorGeneral Meade, attacked the enemy's extreme right south of the Weldon road, while at the same time Major-General Meade made an advance from the centre of his line in front of Petersburg, and carried the enemy's works at Poplar Grove, near to Petersburg. While these assaults were going on, the enemy twice assaulted Major-General Butler at Bermuda Hundred, and was effectually repulsed. It is believed that these movements have considerable strategical significance, and it is at least certain that they tend to increase the embarrassments of the enemy at Richmond and to prevent his sending reinforcements to Early in the valley and to Hood in Georgia.

October 10, 1864. — The enemy, on the 7th instant, attacked our cavalry on the right, in its advanced position on the northern side of the James, dislodged them, and captured two batteries of artillery. Major-General Birney, coming up with an adequate force, repelled the assaults with severe loss, and recovered the position which he still holds, within four miles of Richmond. No change has occurred on the left of our line fronting Petersburg.

In Georgia, the enemy, under command of Hood, have marched northward, intending to flank the army of the Cumberland. Forrest coöperates with Hood. Thus far the enemy have gained no advantages, and Major-General Sherman writes without apprehension of danger.

The enemy's forces, which repulsed General Banks on the Red River, have advanced, under Price, into Missouri. Major-General Mower has gone up the Mississippi from Memphis to reinforce Major-General Rosecrans. Major-General Steele is reported to be moving up behind the enemy's column. But the plans of the belligerents are not yet developed.

October 18, 1864. — The defeat of the insurgents in Georgia,

« PreviousContinue »