Archive for the ‘Newspapers’ Category

Relief for Confederate Sufferers at New Bern

We are glad to learn that Gen Baker is performing a most humane act in sending relief to the Confederate suffers, by Yellow Fever, at Newbern or vicinity. Having learned that many of our people, within the Yankee lines, were suffering from this fell disease and that they were without medical attention or care of any sort, Gen. Baker asked and obtained permission, from the Secretary of War, to send down such medical aid and other means of relief and succor as he could obtain, and as the enemy would allow him to furnish.

Under this arrangement we learn that Dr OA White of the Medical Examining Board, at this post has volunteered his services for the arduous but humane duty, and will be send down to Newbern, perhaps with others, under flag of truce as soon as arrangements to that end can be completed.

Goldsboro Journal

We learn from a subsequent number of the Journal that the yankee authorities at Newbern refused permission to send aid.

Source: Western Democrat, October 18, 1864 as found on www.digitalnc.org

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A brush with Yankee Gunboats

On last Thursday, quite a spirited little brush came off between a small detatchment of our troops, and some yankee gunboats which attempted to go up the Scuppernong river, in which the Yankees came out second best. On attempting to ascend the river, two boats were attacked and forced back by Lt. Sharpe, commanding Capt. Pitt’s company of cavalry, assisted by two pieces of artillery under Lt. Williams, of Lee’s Light Battery, and by Lt. McWatson of the 50th NC with thirty infantry.

One of the boats got aground about 700 yards from the shore, at the mouth of the river, where she was well peppered, for some time, by both our artillery and sharpshooters, one shot striking her near the waterline. So hot was the fire upon this craft, that the Yankees were all driven from their guns. Three more gunboats at length came up to their relief and opened fiercely on our little party, who courageously held their ground and fought them till the approach of night and scarcity of ammunition admonished them to retire beyond the range of the enemy’s guns.

We had three men slightly wounded and our howitzer was somewhat damaged by a shell. The enemy’s loss has not been ascertained but it must have been considerable, as their wooden gunboat was aground and under the fire of our artillery for some three hours, and it was well ascertained that every man had to seek shelter below from the deadly aim of our sharpshooters.


Source: Fayetteville Observer, October 10, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org.

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Gen. Baker, commanding the 2d District of the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia, gives notice that hereafter no permissions will be granted to pass our lines by flag of truce to Newbern under any circumstances.


Source: Fayetteville Observer, September 29. 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org.

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American Indians

The officers of the Indian Affairs Office in Washington City give an enumeration of the Indian tribes within the bounds of the Confederate and United States with the population of each. They state the aggregate number at 238,079. The largest tribes are the Creeks 25,000, the Cherokees 17,350, the Choctaws 16,000, the Navajoes 15,000, the Sioux 14,636. The Comanches, of whom we have heard so much, are stated at only 1,800; the Apaches 7,300.

Source: Fayetteville Observer, September 29. 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org.


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Confederate Sugar

A correspondent of the Macon Telegraph gives the following process for making “Confederate sugar.” As there is likely to be a great quantity of syrup made from the Chinese sugar cane this year the mode of converting it into sugar is worthy of being known:

The process is simple and easy, and plain. In the first place, the cane must not only be ripe for fully ripe – the best test of its ripeness is the hardness and brittleness of its seed, never being governed by its general appearance. It is my opinion that the prime cause of thin dark, sour syrup is owing to the greenness of the cane from which it was made.

The cane being fully ripe, it is ground and the juice boiled in the usual way. After it is put on to boil some alkali should be added, either lye, soda, or lime water, yet I know no special quantity to be added. It makes very well to add a half pint of lime water occasionally for three or four times for a kettle of sixty or eighty gallons, until the scum ceases to rise on the top, which should be removed with a strainer as fast as it rises. All the alkali of whatever kind, can be added at once if you choose to do so. The fire should never be too hot for the first half hour to enable you to skim well. After that it can be boiled rapidly if you choose until it is ready to take off, which should not be too soon, as thick syrup is much to be preferred, provided you wish to make sugar of it. When it has reached the stage of thick syrup, very little more boiling will convert it into sugar, which will granulate as soon as it cools. By boiling a little at once or twice and experimenting for sugar, you will always know at what stage to move it from the kettle better than I can tell you, though I did not make a single failure. After removing it from the kettle place it in some vessel a short while until some its heat has left it, and then pour it into your barrels with the hoops a little loose, in order that the molasses may drip from it, of which there will not be as much as many might suppose. Do not stir it after removing it from the kettle, as is the custom, or the grains will be small and fine.


Source: Greensborough Patriot, September 22, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org.

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The Ammunition Explosion at City Point

Fifty eight Yankees were killed and one hundred and twenty-six wounded by the ammunition explosion at City Point on the 9th instant. A correspondent of the New York Tribune, who witnessed it, says:

“Every frame house in the town was jarred by the concussion alone to the extent of having its inside plastering knocked off, beside other damages by missiles, & c. Against the houses and other obstructions near the wharf, and even upon the hill, hundreds, and perhaps thousands of broken twisted and splintered muskets, and such debris, lay in drifts, like straw drifted by the wind; and all over the ground for at least a quarter of a mile from the scene of the explosion, shell, solid shot, grape, canister, musket and Minnie balls, pieces of shells, nails, screws, bolts and bolt heads, and fragments of almost everything – wooden, iron and leaded – you can think of, are strewn and drifted like hail and chunk of ice immediately after a dreadful hail storm.

“Everywhere are seen the rents, dents, deep abrasions and scarred furrows of the iron and leaden storm. The thousandth part cannot be told.

“My first thought was that an ammunition car had exploded just ahead of the one I was on, and that it would be a little use to try to escape the storm that had gone up and would come down – that one was about as safe in one place as another; and oh! how it did rain and hail all the terrible instruments of war.

“It was not a railroad car, but the ammunition barge J.E. Kendrick, that had exploded from the careless handling of percussion shells or some other kind of ammunition, it is supposed. No one that was aboard of the boats remains to tell the tale of her destruction. The splinters that strew the river may be here, or they may be not. The section of the twisted ribs of a keel that lie in the most frequented part of the town, on the hill, two hundred yards distant, may be here, or they may belong to one of her disappeared consorts.

“you have read of eruptions of Vesuvius, such as buried Herculaneum and Pompeii. You have seen illustrations of them in the books. This must have been such an explosion as one of these, except that, instead of lava and dust and ashes, it rained over the circle of a mile, in whole packages and by piece-meal, everything you can imagine at a military depot. Entire boxes of fixed ammunition came down among the tents in the town, a quarter of a mile distant, and scarcely a tent, or home, or boat, can be found within the circle of a mile that is not riddled by shell, solid shot, or small ammunition.

“How many were blown in atoms into the river from the Kendrick, never to be heard of, is not known. The captain of the Kendrick is safe, having been absent at the time of the explosion on another boat. The other boats entirely destroyed and struck were the Gen Meade and the J.C. Campbell.

“The massive pine wharf in front of where these  boats lay, which was bolted down upon piles and sleepers of pine trees, is brushed aside for about a third of its length, as it had been made of the paper I write on, while the substantial plank warehouse, with massive beams, built for at least a quarter of a century, has been crushed nearly its entire length, as if it had been a lady’s band-box. The freight train that was just ready to start when the explosion happened, it shattered in nearly every car, though not past repair, and I have the uninteresting satisfaction of seeing where my remains would probably have lain on the heads of the whiskey barrels, if I had remained in the car I first occupied.

“The pine-board row, in where were the post office, Adams’ Express office, and a quartermaster’s office, were also crushed by the concussion and the heavier forces brought against it, like a band-box, but fortunately, or rather miraculously, none of its occupants were seriously injured.

“Various theories are afloat as to the cause of the explosion. Some say the careless handling of ammunitions; others, an old-time torpedo; some surmise a rebel spy in the matter; while others attribute the disaster to a rebel shell or shot from across the river.”

Source:  Fayetteville Observer, August 22, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org.

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The statistics of the various blockade running steam vessels, and their fate and fortunes, if fully set forth, would exhibit some curious facts. Some of those facts, of which we have been informed, shall now be mentioned; they will, to most readers, bring with them their own explanation. Seven or eight new steamers have been built at English dockyards, expressly to run the blockade; they were ordered, and afterwards equipped and manned, and the officers found for them, by and English firm styled Alexander Collie & Co.  On arriving at Bermuda they were transferred to a respectable Confederate firm, acting on behalf of the Confederate government: so that on arrival at Wilmington – if they had ever arrived there – they were to have been under the Confederate flag, and owned by Confederate owners; and were destined thereafter as regular blockade runners, half on government account and half on account of the Confederate firm. These vessels have all been lost; they were all, save one, lost on their very first voyage between Bermuda and Wilmington; and our readers may remember their ill fated names, the Venus, the Ceres, the Vesta, the Juno &c.  One of these, the Hebe, was lost, not on her first voyage, but on her second.

Now, at the very same time, there was running a most lucky and prosperous line of blockade breaking ships, belonging to that English firm of Collie & Co. The very house which was employed to order and equip vessels to run the blockade on account of our government, was also most extensively engaged in running the blockade on its own account. In other words, our government expected Mr. Alexander Collie to furnish them faithfully and bona fide with the means of competing with himself and driving him out of the most lucrative trade he ever had in his life. Accordingly their ships were all driven ashore, a total loss. But of Mr. Collie’s own vessels, the Hansa has made nine round voyages, paying for herself twenty times over; the Edith  and the Annie have made each three round voyages, and are now prosperously running; the Falcon has made tow round voyages; and the Flamingo has just come in successful in her first trip. One of Collie’s however, was lost; she is the Don; had made six prosperous round voyages, and then was run down at sea by the Yankees, and is now one of the blockading squadron herself.

The contrast thus presented is striking enough, but this is not all; the captains and officers found by Collie & Col for the Confederate vessels were all most particularly capable and experienced me; they always ran their ships safely through the blockading squadron – for if they had lost them to the Yankees they never could have got command of a vessel again; it was always on the coast, or in the very mouth of Cape Fear river, that those ships were run aground, and then usually burned up, both ship and cargo. Suspicions could not but arise after a while, even in the most simple hearts; and when the Vesta, about seven months ago, after successfully making her way through a blockading fleet in pursuit, and after she was safe out of their range and out of their sight, was wantonly run aground on the North Carolina and instantly burned by her captain, together with her cargo and the very baggage of passengers, enquiry was instigated before a court at Wilmington, and it was determined to examine the captain and first officer; but it was found that they, apprehending such enquiry, had left secretly and by night, and got about the Hansa (one of Collie’s ships), them weighing anchor for England. This captain was afterwards appointed captain of one of Collie’s own vessels. The first officer, also of the Vesta, had been, before that, an officer on board the Hebe¸ one of our unlucky Confederate blockade runners; and is now first officer of the Annie, one of Collie’s ­– The captain of the Hebe, when she was lost, is now commander of the more fortunate Hansa.

We learn further that Dudgen, of London, an extensive shipbuilder, constructed to the order Collie & Col. seven double screw vessels, all just alike; of these five were transferred to the Confederate firm (or Government) – all five lost; two were retained by Collie & Co – both still running.

The agent of the house of Collie at Wilmington has bee, during all these transactions, one Andrew, a Hebrew.

There are two other vessels, the Fanny and the Alice, not furnished and manned, as we were informed, by Collie & Co, which have the good luck to be commanded by Confederate Captains; they have each made seven round voyages. The State of North Carolina, also, in providing herself with vessels to run the blockade upon State accounts, made her own arrangements and employed her own officers; which is probably the reason of her good fortune in that business.

There is no other conceivable way of accounting for the facts above mentioned, than by suppositions that the judicious Collie & Co. employed captains and paid them, expressly to run ashore and destroy those vessels which were to enter into competitions with his own; and that as a further reward for that service, the officers who have lost Confederate ships are put on board Collie’s to carry them through safely. Many persons have speculated in vain upon the astonishing ill luck of the Confederate vessels, and have suggested that the Yankees had agents in Nassau and Bermuda to bribe captains and officers, so as to ensure the loss of certain ships. – That there was villainy somewhere was very apparent; and as usual the misfortunes of the Confederates may be traced this time also to that guileless simplicity with which they have entrusted their interests to those having another interest directly opposite to theirs. Many is the bale of precious cotton that has gone to England to pay for those ships and cargoes; the Coquette, the very last ship our Government had, is at last sold; and a pawky Scotchman has almost a monopoly of the foreign trade of the Confederate States. Collie & Co is at present one of the richest firms in England and it sees no good reason why this war should ever end.

Richmond Examiner.


Source: Semi-Weekly Standard (Raleigh), August 19, 1864 as found on www.chroniclingamerica.loc.gov

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