At a public meeting held at Shreveport on the receipt of news of President Lincoln's assassination, there were military men found base or mad enough to exult over that atrocity. Their countrymen of all parties will gladly forget their names. The last actual collision1 of forces in our struggle occurred2 on the Rio Grande. Col. Barrett had set forth3 from Brazos Santiago to surprise a Rebel camp at Palmetto Ranche, some 15 miles above, and had succeeded in taking and burning the camp; but, lingering to secure horses, he was overtaken on his return by Gen. J. E. Slaughter, with 3 guns and a considerable force, and hunted back to Brazos with a loss of 80, mainly captured. Slaughter's loss was trifling. Gen. Sheridan had been sent to New Orleans, and was there fitting out a formidable expedition for the recovery
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1 Though the war on land ceased, and the Confederate flag utterly disappeared from this continent with the collapse and dispersion of Kirby Smith's command; it was yet displayed at sea by two of the British-built, British-armed, and (mainly) British manned cruisers engaged in the spoliation of our commerce; whereof the powerful iron-clad Stonewall, after having been for some time watched by the Niagara and the Sacramento in the Spanish port of Ferrol. finally ran across to Havana, where she arrived after the fall of the Confederacy, and was taken in charge by the Spanish authorities, who promptly handed her over, May 28, 1865, to Rear-Admiral Godon, who, with a formidable fleet, had been sent, May 16, to cruise among the West Indies in quest of her. Admiral Godon brought her into Hampton Roads June 12, and turned her over to the Navy Department.There still remained afloat the swift steamer Shenandoah, Capt. Waddell, built at Glasgow in 1863, and which, as “the Sea King,” put to sea from London, Oct. 8, 1864, in spite of the protests of our functionaries; having cleared for Bombay: but which was met at a barren islet off Madeira, Oct. 17, by the British steamer Laurel, from Liverpool, with officers and men, nearly all British, who, with guns and munitions, were promptly transferred to the henceforth Rebel corsair Shenandoah, which at once engaged in the capture, plunder, and destruction of our merchantmen; in due time, turning up at Melbourne, Australia, where she received a hearty and munificent welcome. Having left that port, Feb. 8, 1865, she was next heard of in the North Pacific, the Sea of Ochotsk, and northward nearly to Behring's straits, where she raided at will among our defenseless whalers, of which she burned 25 and bonded 4--many of them after she had received the news of Lee's and Johnston's surrender and Davis's capture. Finally, having been assured by a British sea-captain that the Confederacy was no more, she desisted, four months after the collapse, from her work of destruction, and made her way directly to her native country; anchoring Nov. 6, 1865, in the Mersey; whence Waddell addressed a letter to the British Minister, surrendering her in due form to the British Government; by which she was in turn tendered to ours, and most unwisely accepted. As she had never attempted to enter a Confederate port, nor (so far as is known) any other than British, and as she had never been manned by any other than a (substantially) British crew, and as she still stood, up to a very late day, on the official registry of British shipping as the British steamship Sea King, she ought to have been left on the hands of her legitimate owners.
2 May 13.
3 May 11.
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