Later from the North.the siege of Vicksburg abandoned — death of Ex-President Van-Buren — from McClellan's army — a dangerous lady, &c.
We have received New York and Philadelphia papers to the 25th inst. The siege of Vicksburg is announced in Washington dispatches to have been given up, and the reason alleged is, that the army in the West could not ‘"spare the troops to make the attack by land."’ Senator Jim Lane, of Kansas, is engaged in that State raising white and black regiments. Ex- President Van Buren died at Kinderhook on the 24th inst. There are only three ex-Presidents of the United States now alive. They are Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan.
The army of the Potomac.There is little from McClellan's army. The only thing approaching news is the following paragraph from a letter dated Harrison's Landing, July 22d: This morning early assembled for review the able, efficient, brave, and hard-working corps, commanded by that truly brave, gallant, talented, but plain and unassuming General, Edwin V. Sumner. The ‘"boys"’ looked as neat and tidy as though just coming out of a band box. Their arms and accoutrements were bright and shining as new dollars, and the masterly manner in which they performed the varied field manœuvres proved every man to be in the highest degree a true and worthy soldier. We saw on the field as lookers on during the review Gens. McClellan. Sedgwick, Kearney, and a whole host of lesser lights, all of whom seemed delighted with the appearance and bearing of the men. To show the amount of hard service this corps has seen, we will take two regiments from it as an example. The 31st Pennsylvania volunteers and the 61st New York each came on the Peninsula with near nine hundred men. This morning the first named, now under command of the Major, paraded one hundred and sixty men, while the latter, under Colonel Barlow, could not muster but one hundred and twenty.
Returning the Federal wounded.A letter from Westover, July 23d, gives a Yankee view of the proceeding attendant on the transfer of wounded prisoners from Richmond to their boats there. It says: ‘ Upon the arrival of the boats at the landing, a corporal, with his guard, was seen wending their ways down from the bluff, and making for the wharf. They stopped at an old frame building, and after stacking their arms, came down to the wharf, and were stationed as sentries, to keep our folks from leaving the wharf. These rebel troops were well dressed, and presented a very neat appearance. Their uniform was a fac simile of the Gray Reserves in Philadelphia. On their caps was B. R. (Border Rifles.) They came from Norfolk and vicinity, and belonged to the one hundred and sixty-first Virginia, and, as yet, have not been in action, or have not seen much duty, hence their neat appearance. The first rebel commissioned officer that approached was Lieut. Green, a very gentlemanly and polite young man. The corporal of the guard amused our party very much by his garrulity. His name is Wilkins, and was formerly a clerk in Norfolk. He stated that the Confederate army would be in Philadelphia, at the furthest, by Christmas. Washington would fall to them very shortly, and Baltimore was to be freed immediately after the occupation of Washington. He was fighting for Southern rights, but what these Southern rights consisted of, he was not quite prepared to say; but one thing he did know, we were stealing all their negroes, and this was unpardonable. The wharves and surroundings at City Point are all destroyed. This was done some three weeks ago by our gunboats, in retaliation for the act of a Georgia regiment firing into a flag of truce boat landing here. Many of the dwellings on the hill show the effect of shot and shell. The inhabitants (some 400 in number) fled to Petersburg when the firing commenced. A railroad track yet remains, running along the shore in front of the village.--The remnants of a car, which has been burned, is on the end of the track. The dwellings are all built on a bluff above the railroad, some 30 feet high. The houses seen from the boats are old frames, much dilapidated. The guards would not allow us to cross the track, we being circumscribed to the river side of said track. The sentry, a good-hearted conscript, but very ignorant, formerly an overseer near Norfolk, said that a large hotel stood on the bank, but was burned by our folks. This sentry, like most of the Virginia soldiers, could not read. Soon other Confederate troops began to toiler down, many of them in their dirty gray uniforms, and many in citizens' clothes. Two young dandies, from Petersburg, sported black coats and pants, white vests and the coarse gray military caps. In fact, none of the troops on this side have seen service.--A number of them belonged to the rebel signal corps service, who had ‘"S. C."’ on their caps. I first took them for South Carolinians. About half an hour after our arrival, the locomotive whistle was heard approaching. It was not long before a long train of burthen cars was seen approaching, with a large locomotive in the lead, and a small old fashioned machine behind. Our troops were in ecstasies to get once more under the folds of the old flag. They were in a most miserable plight, filthy and dirty in the extreme. They stated that the Confederates had done the best they could for them, but they had not much to give them. They got a ration of bread and soup every day. Many complained it was not enough. The poor fellows were gotten on board the Spaulding and Knickerbocker at once, many of them taking a bath on board as soon as getting there. Old clothes and blankets, in numbers, were thrown overboard as they received clean clothing. Many had to be carried on board. Some had not had their broken limbs set. The rebels have so many wounded of their own they could not attend to all. Richmond is full to overflowing with them. Many have been sent down to Petersburg. The wounded wanted new clothes at once, those who had their limbs amputated still wore their blood-stained clothes; some, again, had no clothes at all, but a poncho thrown around them. On one litter carried on board the Spaulding was a boy not over fourteen years old, badly wounded. Tea sells in Richmond at $28 per pound, coffee $5. Necessaries are getting very, very scarce, hence our troops do not complain. The old and solid men I met at the Point seemed very bitter at our Government. Nigger was their only cry. I suppose they have lost slaves. They boast loudly of making us leave the swamps before Richmond. They all intend to die in the last ditch, and then the women will continue the fight. Such braggadocio is sickening. I never saw or heard so much brag from troops. But these fellows are excusable; they are green. Troops who have been in action do not brag. The enemy have a wholesome dread of our gunboats. They say they can not stand the fire of such heavy pieces. ’
Views of an escaped Yankee.The Boston Traveller, of the 23d, contains the story of a Massachusetts Yankee, who, after ‘"performing the duties of his profession for several months"’ in Richmond, escaped from here on the 10th inst., in company with other Northern men.--They went to Charlottesville and walked from there to the Valley: The whole of the negro population look forward to the coming of a Northern army with the hope and expectation that it will prove a day of deliverance to them. The slave girls have become more independent than usual, and frequently tell their mistresses that they will soon change conditions with them, and play upon pianos, and be ladies, while their mistresses will be compelled to cook and scrub. The people of Richmond profess to believe that ‘"cotton will be king yet."’ They think England must soon interfere in their behalf, in order to obtain cotton. France they believe to be more friendly to the Confederacy than England. The gentleman knows nothing definitely of the number of the rebel army at Richmond when the attack was made on McClellan's lines, but it was his opinion, formed from conversation with well informed men, that the force consisted of from one hundred and fifty thousand to two hundred thousand men. He thinks none of Beauregard's army, from Corinth, was there. The army had been in creased by conscripts, and reinforcements continued to come in during the six days that the contest was going on. He knew nothing of the rebel loss in the battles, except that it was large. At the time of the battle of Fair Oaks, or Seven Pines, as the rebels call it, their numerous hospitals were all filled with wounded, and many were taken to private houses. The mortality among the wounded was large. Those who were able to be removed were sent to their homes, and many of the sick had also been sent off. New hospitals were provided in anticipation of the late battles, and all were filled. Many well known and influential citizens of Richmond were killed. Purcell's battery, composed of men of the first-families, had but one man left unhurt. Major Walker, who was killed, was a leading citizen. No Generals of note were killed or wounded. He heard a rebel General say, that in Tuesday's battle there was a perfect road of their army, the cavalry in their retreat riding over the infantry, and killing and wounding many of their own men. The people of Richmond were quite confident that McClellan's army could not reach that city. --Early in the spring some of the wealthiest citizens removed their families, but when the Federal army moved toward the city after the battle of Williamsburg, no alarm was manifested, and nobody ranaway. There are no very extensive works near the city for its defence. On the side toward Fair Oaks there are some batteries, but the most powerful fortifications are at Manchester, on the south side of the river, commanding the approach to the city from that direction. He has not seen the new iron-clad vessel being built at Richmond, but judging from the statements of those who have worked upon her, the steamer must be a formidable affair. She is a new vessel, and it was said that she would be completed within a few weeks. He had never heard any talk of a scarcity of ammunition for the rebel armies. They were constantly receiving powder from Europe, and they had several powder mills in operation. He had heard that the powder made at these mills was of an inferior character. He knows nothing about the amount of commissary stores at Richmond, but thinks it is not large. In the spring considerable quantities of pork were removed to Danville, but it was brought back to feed the army after reinforcements arrived. Supplies came mostly from the Shenandoah Valley by railroad. Formerly the canal was used for this purpose to a considerable extent, but a break occurred at the time of the great freshet, and it had been of little use since. There are no vessels in James river above the city. Large quantities of tobacco are stored in the city, most of last year's crop being still on hand. Some time since experiments were made to ascertain what way it could be quickest destroyed in case of a successful attack upon the city. Both burning and immersion in the water were tried. The first method proved a failure, and the other promises but little better. It seems to be the last resort, however, and slides have been made from the warehouses to the river, by means of which they intend to dump it into the stream, if necessary, to save it from seizure. The citizens of Richmond still retain their character as a generous, kind-hearted and refined people. The private schools for the children of the wealthier classes were kept open as usual last winter. Two or three did not close till recently, when the usual summer vacation commenced.
Experience of Father Hagan.A letter in the New York Herald, dated Harrison's Landing, July 23, gives the following experience of a Chaplain in the notorious Sickles brigade: Father Hagan, Chaplain of the 4th Excelsior regiment, Sickles's brigade, who was taken prisoner' has returned, and makes an interesting statement. When he was carried to Richmond he was taken before the Military Governor, General Winder. The General asked him what regiment he belonged to, assailed him bitterly, saying he had disgraced his cloth by ministering to New York thieves, who had come to kill and plunder an innocent community, who were defending their rights and their soil.--Father Hagan simply replied that he was a noncombatant, and he thought Winder took an unmanly advantage of his condition as a prisoner to assail him. He was sent to the prison, where he received a piece of bread and meat, and was kept until next day. Sober second thought prompted General Winder to send for Father Hagan, and apologize to him for his rude treatment on the previous day. The good father's horse was restored to him, and he was allowed to lodge with the Archbishop, and to perambulate the city at pleasure.--He visited the hospitals, and found our wounded men receiving the same attention as their own. All the sick in Richmond — our prisoners with the others — are suffering from a scarcity of medicines, and the Confederates complain bitterly of the action of our Government in declaring medicines contraband of war. Quinine is worth sixty dollars an ounce in Richmond; in New York, five dollars or less. The Confederates admit freely that their lessees were tremendous in the late battles. No attempt to conceal this fact from the people is made. They also acknowledge that the recent change made in the position of the Federal army was executed in a masterly manner, and was essential for its salvation. They were in no hurry to drive us from Fair Oaks, as they, knew that another enemy was insidiously weakening our force day by day. The popular impression in Richmond was, that McClellan's army would certainly be bagged whenever their Generals should make the attempt; and when the battle of Gaines's Mill took place, the people confidently expected to see our army marched in there as prisoners. Great was their disappointment on learning that McClellan had escaped them and gained a position much better than he occupied before. The city of Richmond and its environs are one great camp. Father Hagan learned much about the spirit that animates the army, and enjoyed opportunities for judging of its extent. He says that merit is the only avenue to promotion. There are men in the ranks worth large fortunes serving under officers who have not a dollar. Money and political interference are of no advantage, but military knowledge and skill everything. Father Hagan, who has travelled in the South and formed some acquaintances there, found one of them serving as a private who is quite wealthy. A private in the same company was shot in one of the late battles near Richmond, leaving a destitute family, and his wealthy neighbor and comrade drew his check for five hundred dollars on a Richmond bank and presented it to the family. The camps about Richmond are kept scrupulously clean, as well as the streets of the city, an epidemic or pestilence being feared in consequence of massing so many men there. The most rigid discipline is maintained, and the reverend gentleman says that a sight of the troops in and around Richmond would give the Northern people a different idea of the magnitude of the job they have undertaken from that entertained by them at present. They would also see the necessity of going into the contest with the same united and self-sacrificing spirit that animates the South, who feel that they are struggling, as they believe, for their very existence.
What Happened to Charles Denny.Charles Denny, a member of the Sickles brigade, who was paroled at Richmond, has arrived at New York, and gives a very highly-colored ‘"experience:"’ As he approached Richmond, the prisoner witnessed many of the rebel fortifications. He compared them in appearance to the rebel fortifications at Yorktown — works erected on high eminences, mounted with numerous heavy guns, and supplied with all the natural and artificial auxiliaries of modern warfare. Colonel Brewster, of his regiment; Father Hagan, the chaplain of his regiment; Captain Burn and Michael Burns, of company A, of the same regiment, were his fellow-prisoners. Colonel Brewster was taken to private quarters. Denny remained three days in confinement, and was summoned by an order from Lieut. Thomas P. Turner, C. S. Army, commander of the Libby Hospital, to come to that institution as a nurse, on the recommendation of Dr. Barrum, a Union Surgeon and a prisoner, who was in charge of the post hospital for prisoners. While here the rebel commander administered a parole to Denny in those words: ‘ "Charles P. Denny, you are now paroled, not to take up arms against the Confederate States, nor perform any of the business of a soldier, until regularly exchanged. You are hereby released"’ While in Richmond Denny was permitted to go out into the city. He says it wears a mournful aspect; stores are closed after an early hour in the afternoon; every house is a hospital, and the people go about the streets wearing very elongated and downcast faces. The main body of the rebel army is encamped outside the city. A few regiments only of the conscripts, performing Provost Guard duty, are kept within the city limits. This portion of the rebel troops are represented as a motley looking mass of Falstaff fellows, many of them possessing very unintelligent countenances, which betoken their subserviency to the rebel taskmasters. Denny had an opportunity to converse with many Irishmen in Richmond, who, sub rose, declare their loyalty to the Union and entire willingness to help her cause when the opportunity presents itself. They style the rebel government the ‘ "biggest despotism in the world."’--Father Hagan, (before mentioned,) of the Second Excelsior regiment, thinking that, as he was a non-combatant, he was entitled to a little more leniency than other prisoners, went to General Winder's quarters and made the request that he might be allowed to retain his horse. Winder replied, ‘"D — you and your horse; you damned ministers come down here to raise hell. I would give a common soldier more privileges than you."’ Winder finally modified his tone and granted the request of the reverend gentleman prisoner. Father Hagan was permitted to enjoy the hospitalities of Bishop Magill, Roman Catholic Bishop of Richmond; as also Father Tissot, another Union chaplain. The latter gentleman was captured, with one hundred and fifty others, on the day of the last battle. Denney says there is a young man, a Union prisoner, who was captured about eight months ago, and has been in custody ever since.--His name is Isaac Slater, a citizen of Washington, D. C., where his parents reside. His father holds a position in one of the Governmental burnsus. This young man is detailed at one of the hospitals to take account of the number and disposal of the Union prisoners. Denny speaks in terms of the highest praise of Gen. McClellan, and hopes that his (Denny's) exchange may soon be consummated, that he may once more join his regiment end serve under that General. He represents this feeling as general among the Union prisoners at Richmond.
A dangerous lady.Letters to Northern papers from the Valley contain very little of importance. One thus describes a very ‘"dangerous"’ lady: Mrs. Charles J. Faulkner is the wildest and most experienced diplomat in the Valley of Virginia.--She is more dangerous than Belle Boyd, because she is more adroit, and has larger social influence and greater means of accomplishing her purposes. She is even now almost nightly inviting calories of our young officers to her house. She and her two daughters lavish their most courtly blandishments upon them, and, are they know it, are they have perceived their purpose, all the intelligence they desire is extracted. As a matter of course, our plans, our movements, the number of our troops, and the direction of their march, or the number in garrison, are duly transmitted to Richmond by the by-way post-routes which the rebels have all through this Valley. Ought not these dangerous women, with their precious freight of intelligence, skill and Secession proclivities, be sent, under honorable escort, through our lines as far as Gordonsville, and be kindly permitted to join their relatives at Richmond. Many a valuable item of information which now finds its way to ‘"Stonewall"’ Jackson would never be sent in else they were quietly forwarded, per express, to those with whom they so deeply sympathize.
A negro regiment raising in Kansas.The following advertisement appears in the Leavenworth (Kansas) Conservative: One Thousand Colored Men Wanted--To form the First regiment of Kansas Zouaves d'afrique, and join General Blunt's Southern expedition. All able-bodied colored young men who wish to enlist, will leave their names with W. D. Mathews. Waverly House, Leavenworth. As soon as instructions are received from the War Department, (application having been made for them,) the regiment will be regularly enlisted, mustered into service, and received the advance bounty and clothing. Companies forming in other towns in this State will notify the undersigned. Ethan Harle, First regiment Kansas Zouaves. Leavenworth, July 18.
Negroes as witnesses in courts.A great deal of astonishment and indignation is expressed in Washington on the discovery that a section was smuggled into the act supplementary to the act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia, which places the negro upon an equality with a white man in the courts of justice there. The section alluded to provides that, in all judicial proceedings in the District of Columbia, there shall be no exclusion of any witness on account of color. Even in Ohio, where there are few negroes, in conferring upon them the right to testify in the courts it was decreed that their testimony should go to the jury for only what it was worth.
Withholding the news at the North.The Boston Herald (says the Baltimore News Sheet) takes the Government to task for oppressing such intelligence in regard to the access the Herald assumes ought to be frankly and promptly made public, whether the news be disastrous or otherwise. ‘"The Government,"’ says the Herald, ‘"seems to be getting decidedly into the Bagstock way"tough, sir, tough and devilish sly."’ Not content with flinging this sarcasm at the heads of Departments at Washington, the Herald actually has the audacity to compare the perfect knowledge of the movements of the army which the Confederates acquire, with the entire ignorance of the Northern public in regard to what is so well known at the South. The Herald charges that nothing was own of the weakening of Banks army until Stonewall Jackson imparted that interesting piece of information; that no one ‘"had the faintest idea what part of the Peninsula was to be spaded up until the Confederates appeared at York town,"’ that McClellan's projected change of base did not enter the Northern thought until Stonewall Jackson hurried up the movement, and that ‘"it is almost impossible now to learn whether our brothers and sons and neighbors remain alive in the army of the Potomac,"’ although it is presumed that the Confederates know how many men there are in that army. ‘"If,"’ continues the Herald, ‘"the President wants to be supported by an intelligent people, let him treat them as they deserve. Let him remove the Censorship of the Press, which has produced no good result. Let him dare to tell the truth."’ ‘"We are not disposed to volunteer to go it blind."’ Such sentiments as these, emanating as they do from the ‘"hub of the universe,"’ as Boston has been styled by Holmes, indicate a recalcitrant disposition which may yet require the services of the Provost Marshal to effectually subdue. Concerning McClellan's army — which correspondents from headquarters assert to be in excellent condition and eager for another advance upon Richmond — the Herald states, on the authority of a gentleman just arrived from Harrison's Landing, ‘"and probably the only independent observer who has visited that corps for some weeks,"’ that the force is ‘"in a deplorable condition;"’ that there are ‘"twice as many civilians on James river as there are soldiers,"’ and that no hope seems to be entertained, either by officers or men, of reaching Richmond in that direction before spring even if reinforced by one hundred thousand men.
From New Orleans — Butler Recognizes the British Consul.On the morning of the 5th, Commander Hewett, of her Britannic Majesty's sloop-of-war Rinaldo, called upon General Butler, and stated that he had been instructed by Lord Lyons to recognize Mr. George Coppell as Acting British Consul, and expressed the wish that General Butler would now withdraw his objections to recognizing him as such. The General replied that he had new, since Mr. Coppell's recognition by the agent of Lord Lyons, but one objection to official communication with him, and that was, that at present there is a letter in existence from Mr. Coppell to him, dated June 14, in which there are expressions offensive and insulting. This letter, which has been printed in the Herald, concludes with the following remarks: ‘"Objections have also been very generally urged against the oath prescribed to duly registers on the ground that it imposes upon them (in words, at least) the office of a spy, and forces them to acts inconsistent with the ordinary obligations of probity, honor and neutrality."’ Gen. Butler contended that while there might be differences of opinion on questions of neutrality or courtesy, (such for instance as the difference between himself and Lord Palmerston on Order No. 28, relative to women,) on questions of probity and honor there could be but one opinion between gentlemen; and Mr. Coppell's remarks on those subjects implied that he (Gen. Butler) required acts of British subjects inconsistent with the honor of a gentleman, and thereby placed himself on a par with those guilty of such acts. Capt. Hewett said that Mr. Coppell had told him that he had no intention of conveying insult or offence, and he thought Mr. Coppell would be willing to withdraw the expressions. Capt. Hewett was very anxious that the matter should be amicably settled, as there were a great many British residents who wish to get passes to Havana, New York and Europe. He then went to see Mr. Coppell, and a few hours later the General received the following letter from that gentleman:
Your most obd't serv't,
Geo. Coppell, H. B. M., Acting Consul,
Major-Gen. B. F. Batler, Com. Dept. of the Gulf.
Headquarters Departm't of the Gulf, New Orleans, La., July 7, 1862.
Gen. Coppell, Esq., Her Britannic Majesty's Acting Consul.