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NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO

March and April of 1862

Tragedy struck the White House on February 20, 1862, when 11-year-old Willie Lincoln, one of the President’s sons, died of typhoid fever. This report of the funeral ran on March 1.

From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, March 1, 1862.

The Funeral of Willie Lincoln.

[Washington cor. Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 24th]

The Departments were all closed to-day, in consequence of the arrangements for the funeral of William Wallace, second son of President Lincoln. His remains were placed in the Green Room at the Executive mansion, where this morning a great many friends of the family called to take a last look at the little favorite who had endeared himself to all the guests of the family.

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Reports continued to trickle in about the late February capture of Fort Donelson in Tennessee.

From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, March 1, 1862.

From Fort Donelson.

INTERESTING PARTICULARS OF THE BATTLE.

[Special Correspondence of the Missouri Democrat.]

FORT DONELSON, TENN.,
Monday, Feb. 24, 1862.

So lengthy and so severe an engagement as the one before Donelson, must always result in at greater or less disorganization of the troops engaged in it. It is therefore hardly to be expected, after having undergone so many hardships, and participated in three days of almost continual fighting, that our army—well disciplined and so well perfected in its organization as it is—should have been immediately prepared to again take the field.

But at length a considerable degree of order has been worked out of the universal chaos which during the past week has reigned almost supreme, and it can be safely said that the army machinery is again in fair working condition.

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As the DEMOCRAT had predicted in February, the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson collapsed the main line of Confederate defenses in western Tennessee. This article reports on the Confederate abandonment of Columbus, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennessee.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, March 3, 1862.

THE LATEST NEWS

BY TELEGRAPH.

Sunday Night Dispatches

FROM CAIRO.

COLUMBUS SUPPOSED TO BE BURNT UP.

LATER FROM NASHVILLE.

Southern News by the Memphis Papers.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS.

[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

CAIRO, March 2d.—A great light could be seen last night in the vicinity of Columbus. It is generally believed here that the rebels there have burned everything of an inflammable nature.

The dispatch sent from this place to the Chicago Tribune, stating that the rebels who abandoned Nashville were preparing to make a stand at Fort Zollicoffer, is a mistake. This fort, seven miles this side of Nashville, on the Cumberland, was found deserted on last Tuesday by Gen. Nelson, on his way to Nashville.

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In southwestern Missouri, U.S. General Samuel Curtis was leading a Union force towards the Arkansas border seeking to engage Confederate forces.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, March 3, 1862.

FROM ARKANSAS.

THE RETREAT AND PURSUIT OF PRICE.

INTERESTING DETAILS.

[Special Correspondence of the Missouri Democrat.]

“CROSS HOLLOWS,” ARK.
Feb. 25, 1862.

I left Springfield at 1 P. M., Friday last and reached here Sunday at 4 P. M., having traveled 90 miles in that time. Everywhere on our route was seen the devastation caused by the march of armies. From the battle-field of Wilson’s Creek to Cassville, I should judge that one-half of the dwellings and barns were burned by Price and McCulloch when Fremont was supposed to be in pursuit.

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The industry of the North had ramped up production of war materiel during the first year of the war. The DEMOCRAT dutifully reported the numbers.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, March 4, 1862.

MANUFACTURE OF CANNON AT THE NORTH.

The Pittsburg Dispatch says that at the Fort Pitt Works in that city, at the West Point Foundry, and at Algers Foundry, South Boston, there were made in 1861, on 12-inch rifled, eleven 11-inch, ten 10-inch, seventy-two 9-inch, sixty-seven 8-inch, and one 7-inch, rifled guns; two hundred and nineteen 10-pounders, two hundred and thirty 12-pdrs, twenty-four 17-pdrs, one hundred and fifty-three 20-pdrs, one hundred and forty-one 30 pdrs, thirty-six 50-pdrs, nineteen 80-pdrs, five 100-pdrs, of different models; fifty-four heavy 13-inch, sixty-one 10-inch, and twenty-six 8-inch mortars; and ten 8-inch howitzers, twenty-four and a half-inch rifled siege gus, and twenty-eight guns of caliber from 6-pdrs to 18-pdrs.

Of shells there were made six thousand 13-inch, two thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine 11-inch, two thousand and fifty 10-inch, seven thousand four hundred and twenty 9-inch, and three thousand two hundred 8-inch; with 151,727 shot and shell of small caliber, spherical case shot, etc., in all 173,230.

There were made at three works one thousand two hundred and eighty-two pieces of ordnance of all calibers.

 

Shortly after Confederate forces abandoned Columbus, Kentucky, Union forces moved in to occupy the position, opening the next stretch of the Mississippi to Federal control.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, March 5, 1862.

THE GIBRALTAR OF THE WEST FALLEN!

COLUMBUS IS OURS.

The Rebels Obliged to Evacuate or Surrender.

Last night Gen. Halleck transmitted the following dispatch to headquarters at Washington:

SAINT LOUIS, March 4, 1862.

Major General McClellan:

Our cavalry from Paducah marched into Columbus yesterday at 6 P. M., driving before them the enemy’s rear guard. The flag of the Union is flying over the boasted “Gibraltar of the West.” Finding himself completely turned on both sides of the Mississippi, the enemy was obliged to evacuate or surrender. Large quantities of artillery and stores were captured.

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Meanwhile, in Tennessee, Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant moved south from Fort Donelson into the middle of the state.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, March 5, 1862.

FROM NASHVILLE.

No Fight at Murfreesboro---Decatur, Ala., the Probably Battle Ground---Thorough Demoralization of the Rebels---The Panic and Flight---Appearance of Nashville---Good Behavior of Our Troops---The Post Office to be Opened---Forty Applications for Clerkships.

[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 27, VIA CAIRO, March 4—General Grant and Staff arrived here from Fort Donelson this morning, for the purpose of consulting with General Buell. He returns this afternoon.

The rebels have gone beyond Murfreesboro, and it is now thought will not make a stand this side of the southern borders of the State.

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On March 8, 1862, the Confederate ironclad C.S.S. Virginia, built upon the hull of the former U.S.S. Merrimack, struck the blockading Union fleet at Hampton Roads, Virginia, destroying two wooden Union frigates. When the Virginia returned the next day to attack a third frigate, the newly-arrived Union ironclad U.S.S. Monitor steamed to meet it.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, March 10, 1862.

THE LATEST NEWS

BY TELEGRAPH.

Sunday Night Dispatches

NAVAL ENGAGEMENT ON JAMES RIVER.

REBEL STEAMERS MERRIMAC, JAMESTOWN AND YORKTOWN ATTACK THE U. S. FRIGATES.

THE LAND BATTERIES OPEN FIRE.

THE ERICSSON STEAMER MONITOR “TAKES A HAND.”

THE MERRIMAC IN A SINKING CONDITION.

INTERESTING FROM THE UPPER POTOMAC.

&C., &C., &C.

Engagement between the Rebel Steamer Merrimac and U. S. Vessels.

WASHINGTON, March 9.—Government has received information from Fortress Monroe that yesterday the iron clad steamer Merrimac and the gunboats Jamestown and Yorktown attacked our fleet and sunk the Cumberland and took the Congress.

The Minnesota was aground. When the Fortress Monroe boat left the stars and stripes waved over Cockpit Point. About 2 P. M. to-day the rebels commenced to fire their tents and other property difficult of removal. They also burned the steamer Page, and all other craft in the creek. Our gunboats opened fire on the Cockpit Point battery about three o’clock P. M., and at half past four landed and ran up the glorious old flag.

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In St. Louis, the Western Sanitary Commission responded to the need to care for increasing numbers of sick and wounded from the battlegrounds to the south.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, March 12, 1862.

Appeal.

The “Western Sanitary Commission” are in need of a large supply of stores, of almost every kind, for the following uses:

1. To fit up and furnish “Floating Hospital” for relief of the sick and wounded on the lower rivers. The steamer “John H. Dickey” has been purchased by order of Gen. Halleck for this purpose, and has been instructed by the Medical Director to the “Commission” for all the requisite arrangements.

They wish to make the complete outfit including hospital stores and supplies of all kinds, bedding, &c., &c., as a free will offering of the loyal and humane people of St. Louis to the sick and wounded.

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In support of these efforts, the Ladies’ Union Aid Society of St. Louis continued their fundraising program.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, March 10, 1862.

ANOTHER GRAND UNION BALL.—The Ladies’ Union Aid Society, of St. Louis, intend giving another entertainment for the benefit of the sick and wounded soldiers, and destitute families of soldiers in our city, on Tuesday evening, March 18th. From the arrangements the managers are making we are led to believe that this will be the finest affair of the season, and as our military hospitals are now crowded with the sick and wounded solders from Fort Donelson and elsewhere, we are sure the object of the entertainment will meet the approbation of every loyal person in the city. The great benefits this society have dispensed to the unfortunate soldiers and their families have depleted their treasury, and it is to be hoped that this benefit will so replenish it as to allow them to go on with their good work unchecked. We hope every patriot will buy a ticket to help them along.

 

March and April of 1862 were encouraging times for supporters of the Union cause as Federal armies in the West triumphed in three different engagements with significant results. During March 6-8, Gen. Samuel Curtis’s Army of the Southwest defeated a Confederate army under Earl Van Dorn at Pea Ridge, Arkansas.

From The Missouri Democrat, March 17, 1862.

BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE.

Further Particulars of the Action.

TERRIBLE FIGHTING AND SEVERE LOSSES.

Rout and Pursuit of the Enemy.

The Chivalry Whipped at Great Odds.

BARBAROUS TREATMENT OF THE DEAD.

Federal Soldiers Tomahawked and Scalped.

McCULLOCH & McINTOSH KILLED.

Price Among the Wounded.

The Poet Pike Commands the Indians.

WOUNDED FEDERAL OFFICERS.

ETC. ETC. ETC.

During the past three days we have had some terrible fighting against fearful odds.

On Wednesday, General Curtis, Commander-in-Chief, whose headquarters was at Camp Halleck, received reliable information that the rebels, under Van Dorn, McIntosh, McCulloch, Price and Pike, were marching on us with a large force of confederate rebels and confederate Indians. All prisoners taken give the rebel force at from 35,000 to 40,000.

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After abandoning its stronghold at Columbus, Kentucky, Confederate forces had falled back down the Mississippi River to fortify Island No. 10, near New Madrid, Missouri. U.S. Gen. John Pope and his Army of the Mississippi, with gunboat support from the river fleet of Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote, laid siege to Island No. 10 beginning on February 28. The Confederates finally surrendered on April 8.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, April 9, 1862.

GLORIOUS NEWS!

REBEL THERMOPYLAE TAKEN.

Island No. 10 Captured.

SIX THOUSAND PRISONERS.

More Than 100 Cannon.

Immense Quantities of Small Arms, Horses and Provisions.

THE VICTORY COMPLETE.

The Rebels Repulsed at Pittsburg.

FIRST DISPATCH.

HEADQUARTERS DEP’T OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
ST. LOUIS, MO., April 8th, 1862.

Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, Washington:

General Pope crossed the Mississippi river yesterday, captured the enemy’s floating battery, carrying fourteen guns, and occupied Tiptonville.

The enemy were driven from all their works below New Madrid, leaving behind their artillery, baggage, supplies and sick. A land battery of twelve guns was taken.

General Pope will attack Island No. 10 to-day, and hopes to get in rear of the enemy’s upper batteries before night.

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After his successes at Forts Henry and Donelson in February, U.S. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of West Tennessee moved south towards the important rail junction at Corinth, Mississippi. Camped at Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River and awaiting the arrival of Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio, Grant was struck by Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston’s Army of Mississippi at daybreak of April 6. After a near-disastrous first day, Grant counterattacked on the second day, driving the rebels back towards Corinth.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, April 10, 1862.

THE LATEST NEWS.

BY TELEGRAPH.

Battle at Pittsburg.

FULL PARTICULARS.

Two days hard fighting

Tremendous Slaughter.

A. S. Johnston Killed.

GEN. BEAUREGARD WOUNDED.

The Rebels Fight Obstinately.

General Buell Arrives with Reinforcements.

PRINCIPAL FIGHTING BY ARTILLERY

THE TYLOR AND LEXINGTON "TAKE A HAND."

GEN. GRANT LEADS THE CHARGE.

INCIDENT OF GALLANTRY.

Complete Rout of the Enemy.

THEY RETREAT TO CORINTH.

THE FEDERAL CAVALRY IN PURSUIT.

PARTIAL LIST OF KILLED AND WOUNDED.

[Special Dispatch to the N. Y. Herald.]

PITTSBURG, TENN., via Fort Henry, April 9 3:00 A. M.—One of the greatest and bloodiest battles of modern days has just closed, resulting in the complete rout of the enemy, who attacked us at daylight on Sunday. The battle lasted without intermission during the entire day, and was again renewed on Monday morning and continued until 4 o’clock P. M., when the enemy commenced their retreat, and are still flying towards Corinth, pursued by a large force of our cavalry.

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Shiloh was the bloodiest battle so far in the war. The DEMOCRAT reflected on the human cost of the war and the reason they believed sacrifice was required in this editorial.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, April 10, 1862.

THE GREAT BATTLE ON THE TENNESSEE.

Nobody cares for history to-day. The event of the battle is the first question, and the next—WHO FELL? Ten thousand hearts throb with painful anxiety to know the fate of loved ones in that terrible conflict. Brother, son, husband, father-all were there. Ten thousand of our side slain! Let us hope it is exaggerated. Enough, God knows, to carry wailing to more than twenty thousand hearts and hearth-stones. To-day, to-morrow, and the day after, how the news columns will be scanned throughout the whole Northwest, by eyes weak with watching, to see if the name of the loved one is in the frightful list.

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Faced with unprecedented casualties from the battle at Shiloh, the Western Sanitary Commission responded vigorously to provide the relief needed.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, April 10, 1862.

RELIEF FOR THE WOUNDED.

The Western Sanitary Commission are in want of RAGS, BANDAGES and LINT, in large quantities, for the outfit of two additional Floating Hospitals, ordered yesterday by Major General Halleck. As the boats will leave during to-day, contributions are desired this morning—the earlier the better. Shirts, sheets, &c., &c., are also needed.

We trust this call of the Sanitary Commission will not pass unheeded this morning. Our sick and wounded are in great suffering on the Tennessee river where the terrible battle was fought on Sunday and Monday last. The Commission have asked for instant aid from all the Eastern cities, ordering shipments by express at their own expense. The D. A. January, a hospital boat, left here on Sunday night, the Louisiana yesterday at 12 o’clock, and we learned last night that the Nebraska and Empress had been chartered to go to-day.

The Commission are moving earnestly in this matter of so much consequence to us and our suffering soldiers. Let them be promptly and generously seconded by the men and women of our city.

 

The DEMOCRAT, like all newspapers of the period, reprinted extensively from other publications, as well as reviewing their contents for subjects for their own commentary. This editorial addresses a British assessment of the causes of civil war in America.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, April 10, 1862.

NOT A WAR OF RACES.

One of the English Reviews professes to discover among the cumulative causes of the civil war in this country, that it is a difference of races; the North, by the hypothesis, being “round head” or puritans, and the South partly cavalier, and part French and African.

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While serious news filled most of the columns of the DEMOCRAT, humor, especially political humor, occasionally made its appearance. The letters of "Orpheus C. Kerr" (Office Seeker), written by Robert Henry Newell, the literary editor of the New York Sunday Mercury, were very popular during the war.

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, March 7, 1862.

ANOTHER LETTER FROM ORPHEUS C. KERR.

[From the N. Y. Sunday Mercury.]

EDITOR T. T.—The Grand Army of the Potomac, my boy, is still requiescat in pace and mud; and at the request of the superintendent of a celebrated lunatic asylum, Secretary Stanton has forbidden the press to publish any news whatever. A Friend of Justice represented to the Secretary that the order would affect but few newspapers in the country, as it is a well known fact that a majority of the journals of the United States of America never attempt give any news; but the Secretary said that he never read any paper but the Weehawken Patriot, and had addressed a letter to that sheet, showing that his sole object in issuing the order was—not to fetter the press, but to give General McClellan proper credit before the country.

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From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, March 13, 1862.

Letter from Orpheus C. Kerr.

EDITOR T.T.: Sunshine has at least resumed specie payment, my boy, and every man that chooses can walk under golden beams once more. The sacred soil is drying up as rapidly as an old maid after forty-two, and boot-blacks begin to quote at high figures. The General of the Mackerel brigade is so blissful at having a polish on his boots once more, that he puts them on the mantel piece every time he enters a room, and treads on all the toes he can find in the street. This latter operation, my boy, has produced much profanity, especially among the chaplains.

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Humor in the columns of the DEMOCRAT not only took the form of prose, but also of poetry.

From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, March 1, 1862.

        THE REBEL GAME.

In Dixie’s land the rebels stand
And bet their pile on Dixie,
They hold their hand in Dixie’s land
And bet their pile on Dixie.

A pair they show at Sumter’s throw-
Still bet their pile on Dixie;
They play a full at Run of Bull
And think they’ve won in Dixie.

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