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from which city Webb and nearly all of his gang of pirates hailed. In the possession of Wobb was found his commission as master in the rebel navy, together with a letter of instructions from Secretary Mallory, ordering him to proceed to the rivers and creeks of Eastern Virginia, organize his party, and annoy commerce as extensively as possible.
The One Hundred and Forty-eighth returned to Yorktown to-day with their prisoners, who were sent to Fort Norfolk.
November 20.—The Solicitor of the War Department, Mr. William Whiting, in a letter to a gentleman in Boston, wrote as follows:
"There are several serious difficulties in the way of continuing an exchange of prisoners. One is the bad faith of the enemy in putting into active service many thousands of paroled prisoners, captured at Vicksburgh and elsewhere, without releasing any of our soldiers held by them. But another difficulty of still graver importance is the peremptory refusal by the enemy to exchange colored soldiers and their white officers upon any terms whatever. It is well known that they have threatened to sell colored captured soldiers into slavery, and to hang their white officers.
"The Government demands that all officers and soldiers should be fairly exchanged, otherwise no more prisoners of war will be given up. The faith of the Government is pledged to these officers and troops that they shall be protected, and it cannot and will not abandon to the savage cruelty of slave-masters a single officer or soldier who has been called on to defend the flag of his country, and thus exposed to the hazards of war.
"It has been suggested that exchanges might go on until all except the colored troops and their white officers have been given up. But if this were allowed, the rebels would not only be relieved of the burden of maintaining our troops, but they would get back their own men, retaining their power over the very persons whom we are solemnly bound to rescue, and upon whom they could then, without fear of retaliation, carry into execution the inhuman cruelties they have so basely threatened.
"The President has ordered that the stern law of retaliation shall, without hesitation, be enforced, to avenge the death of the first Union soldier, of whatever color, whom the enemy shall in cold blood destroy or sell into slavery. All other questions between us may be postponed for fu
ture settlement, but the fair exchange of colored soldiers and of their white officers will be insisted on by the Government before another rebel soldier or officer will be exchanged."
November 21.—The steamer Welcomo was attacked this morning at Waterproof, La., by guerrillas, with cannon planted on the levee, and twelve balls and shells fired through and into the cabin and other parts of the boat, besides nearly three hundred Minie balls from the sharpshooters along the banks of the river.—Acting Master J. F. D. Robinson, commander of the Satellite, and Acting Ensign Henry Walters, who was in command of the Reliance, were dismissed from the Navy of the United States, for gross dereliction in the case of the capture of their vessels on the twenty-third of August, 1863. The Department of the Navy regretted "the necessity of this action in the case of Acting Ensign Walters, inasmuch as the Court report that 'during the attack he acted with bravery and to the best of his ability, and which, in some measure, relieves his want of precaution against surprise from its otherwise inexcusable character, and shows that his failure to take them proceeded more from inexperience than negligence.' "—General Order* No. 24.
—At Little Rock, Ark., a large Union meeting was held, at which tho "restoration of State rights under the old Government" was advocated, and a great number of persons took the oath of allegiance and enrolled themselves for home defence.—English Kebel blockade-runner steamer Banshee, was captured by the United States steamers Delaware and Fulton, off Wilmington, North-Carolina.
—The steamer Black Hawk, when about half a mile below Red River Landing, on the Mississippi River, was fired into from the east bank of the river by a battery of ten or twelve guns, and about fifteen round shot and shell struck the boat. One shell exploded in the Texas, setting fire to and burning that part of the boat and pilot-house. As soon as tho captain and officers found the boat on fire, they ran her on a sandbar on the west side of the river, and immediately put all the passengers on shore, after which the fire was extinguished. While the boat lay aground on the sand-bar, the sharp-shooters were pouring in their murderous Minie balls, of which some three hundred struck the boat in different parts of her cabin and hull. It was the guerrillas' intention to follow the boat, but the gunboat stationed at the mouth of Red River followed them so close, pouring in shell among them, that she drove them back, after which the gunboat took the Black Hawk in tow, and carried her back to Red River, where she repaired sufficiently to proceed on her way. The casualties on board the boat were very severe. Mr. Samuel Fulton, a brother of the captain, was shot in the leg by a cannon-ball. His leg was afterward amputated below the knee. A colored man, by the name of Alfred Thomas, had his head blown off while lying flat down on the cable-deck. James Keller, of Louisville, belonging to the Twenty-second Kentucky volunteers, received a wound in the arm from a fragment of a shell. His arm was afterward amputated, and he soon after died. A passenger was slightly wounded in the arm.
November 22.—A scouting-party of fifty men, belonging to Colonel Higginson's regiment, First South-Carolina colored troops, was sent, under the command of Captain Bryant, Eighth Maine volunteers, and Captain Whitney, First SouthCarolina colored volunteers, to release twentyeight colored people held in pretended slavery by a man named Hay ward, near Pocotaligo, S.C. The expedition was successful. The captives were released and their freedom restored to them. Two rebel horse-soldiers, stationed as pickets, were regularly captured as prisoners of war. These men were members of the First South-Carolina cavalry. Their comrades, seventy-five in number, under command of a major, pursued the raiding party toward the ferry at Barnwell's Island. The negroes received them in ambush, and fired on them at twenty paces, emptying several saddles, and putting them to flight. Obtaining reinforcements and artillery, they tracked the retreating colored men with bloodhounds. The dogs dashed into the party in advance of their comrades, the rebels. One hound was shot, and left with broken legs upon the field. Five others were impaled upon the bayonets of the Union troops, and brought as trophies into their camp. The gallantry of the negroes on this occasion was manifested not merely by their brilliant bravery, but by the willingness with which they gave up the ferry-boats (in which they had crossed to the mainland) to their wounded and 'to the non-combatants on their return. In fording the river, two of their number were drowned. Another man, a corporal, was lost. Six of the party were wounded.
November 23. — The battle of Chattanooga, Tenn., commenced this day. At half-past twelve o'clock, Generals Granger's and Palmer's corps, supported by General Howard's, were advanced directly in front of the Union fortifications, drove in the enemy's pickets, and carried his first line of rifle-pits between Chattanooga and Carter's Creek. The Nationals captured nine commissioned officers and about one hundred enlisted men. Their loss was about one hundred and eleven men.
November 24.—A court of inquiry convened by order of the rebel war department to examine and report facts and circumstances attending the capture of the city of New-Orleans, in April, 18C2, and the defence of the city by the rebel troops under the command of General Mansfield Lovell, gave as their opinion that General Lovell's "conduct was marked by all the coolness and self-possession due to the circumstances and his position; and that he evinced a high capacity for his command, and the clearest foresight in many of his measures for the defence of New-Orleans." — General Orders, No. 152.
—Herschel V. Johnson, in a speech at Milledgeville, Georgia, used the following language: "There is no step backward. All is now involved in the struggle that is dear to man—home, society, liberty, honor, every thing — with the certainty of the most degraded fate that ever oppressed a people, if we fail. It is not recorded in history that eight millions of united people, resolved to be free, have failed. We cannot yield if we would. Yield to the Federal authorities—to vassalage and subjugation! The bleaching of the bones of one hundred thousand gallant soldiers slain in battle would be clothed in tongues of fire to curse to everlasting infamy the man who whispers yield. God is with us, because He is always with the right." He closed in counselling a firm reliance on Providence, and the cultivation of a spirit of reliance and devotion.
—Inn Richmond Examiner of this date contained the following: "Five balls advertised, and flour one hundred and twenty-five dollars per barrel! Who prates of famine and want? Who is suffering for the necessaries of life? Docs not all go 'merry as a marriage bell?' If the skeleton come in, put a ball-ticket at five dollars into its bony fingers, a masquerade ball costume upon its back of bony links, and send the grim guest into the ball-room to the sound of cotillion music."
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Another man, a corporal, was lost party were wounded.