Carolina, comprising the military department of
the South, having deliberately declared them
selves no longer under the protection of the
United States of America, and having taken up
arms against the said United States, it becomes
a military necessity to declare them under mar
tial law. This was accordingly done on the
twenty-fifth day of April, 1802. Slavery and
martial law, in a free country, are altogether in
compatible. The persons in these three States
Georgia, Florida and South-Carolina heretofore
held as slaves, are therefore declared forever free,
ED. TV. SMITH,
REBELLION RECORD, 1862.
THE DESTITUTION OF NEW-ORLEANS.
GENERAL BUTLER S PROCLAMATION.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GCLF. )
NEW-ORLEANS, May 9, 1862. J
GENERAL ORDERS, No. 25.
The deplorable state of destitution and hunger
of the mechanics and working classes in this
city has been brought to the knowledge of the
He has yielded to every suggestion made by
the city government, and ordered every method
of furnishing food to the people of New-Orleans
that that government desired. No relief by
those officials has yet been afforded. This hun
ger does not pinch the wealthy and influential,
the leaders of the rebellion, who have gotten up
this war, and are now endeavoring to prosecute
it, without regard to the starving poor, the
working man, his wife and child. Unmindful
of their suffering fellow-citizens at home, they
have caused or suffered provisions to be carried
out of the city for the confederate service since
the occupation by the United States forces.
Lafayette square, their home of affluence, was
made the depot of stores and munitions of war
for the rebel armies, and not of provisions for
their poor neighbors. Striking hands with the
vile, the gambler, the idler and the ruffian, they
have destroyed the sugar and cotton which might
have been exchanged for food for the industrious
and good, and regrated the price of that which
is left, by discrediting the very currency they
had furnished while they eloped with the specie,
as well that stolen from the United States as
the banks, the property of the good people of
New-Orleans, thus leaving them to ruin and
Fugitives from justice many of them, and
others, their associates, staying because too
puerile and insignificant to be objects of punish
ment by the clement government of the United
They have betrayed their country.
They have been false to every trust.
They have shown themselves incapable of de
fending the State they have seized upon, al
though they have forced every poor man s child
into their service as soldiers for that purpose,
while they made their sons and nephews officers.
They cannot protect those whom they have
ruined, but have left them to the mercies and
assassinations of a chronic mob.
They will not feed those whom they are
Mostly without property themselves, they have
plundered, stolen and destroyed the means of
those who had property, leaving children penni
less and old age hopeless.
Men of Louisiana, workingmen, property-
holders, merchants and citizens of the United
States, of whatever nation you may have had
birth, how long will you uphold those flagrant
wrongs, and by inaction suiter yourselves to be
made the serfs of the.se leaders ?
The United States has sent land and naval
forces here to fight and subdue rebellious armies
in array against her authority. We find, sub
stantially, only fugitive masses, runaway proper
ty-owners, a whisky-drinking mob and starving
citizens with their wives and children. It is our
duty to call back the first, to punish the second,
root out the third, feed and protect the last.
Ready only for what we had not prepared our
selves, to feed the hungry and relieve the dis
tressed with provisions. But to the extent pos
sible within the power of the Commanding Gen
eral it shall be done.
He has captured a quantity of beef and sugar
intended for the rebels in the field. A thousand
barrels of those stores will be distributed among
the deserving poor of this city from whom the
rebels had plundered it ; even although some of
the food will go to supply the craving wants of
the wives and children of those now herding at
Camp Moore and elsewhere, in arms against "the
Captain John Clark, Acting Chief Commissary
of Subsistence, will be charged with the execu
tion of this order, and will give public notice of
the place and manner of distribution, which will
be arranged as far as possible so that the un
worthy and dissolute will not share its benefits.
By command of Major-Gcneral BUTLER,
GEO. C. STRONG,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Chief of Staff.
NAVAL FIGHT AT FORT PILLOW.
OFFICIAL REPORT OF CAPTAIN DAVIS.
U. S. FLAG-STEAMER BENTON, OFF FORT PILLOW, May 11.
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy :
SIR : I have the honor to inform the Depart
ment that yesterday morning, a little after seven
o clock, the rebel squadron, consisting of eight
iron-clad steamers four of them, I believe, fitted
as rams came round the point at the bend
above Fort Pillow, and steamed gallantly up the
river, fully prepared for a regular engagement.
The vessels of this squadron were lying at the
time tied up to the bank of the river three on
the eastern and four on the western side and
(as they were transferred to me by Flag-Officer
Foote) ready for action. Most of the vessels
were prompt in obeying the signal to follow the
motions of the commander-in chief.
The leading vessels of the rebel squadron made
directly for mortar-boat No. Sixteen, which was
for a moment unprotected. Acting-Master Greg
ory and his crew behaved with great spirit dur-
ng the action ; he fired his mortar eleven times
at the enemy, reducing the charge and diminishi
ng the elevation.
Commander Stembel, in the gunboat Cincin
nati, which was the leading vessel in the line on
that side of the river, followed immediately by
ommander Kilty, in the Mound City, hastened
;o the support of the mortar-boats, and were re-
peatedly struck by the enemy s rams, at the
same time that they disabled the enemy and
drove him away. The two leading vessels of the
enemy s line were successively encountered by
this ship. The boilers or steam-chest of one of
them was exploded by our shot, and both of
them were disabled. They, as well as the first
vessel encountered by the Cincinnati, drifted
down the river.
Commander Walke informs me that he fired
a fifty-pound rifle-shot through the boilers of the
third of the enemy s gunboats, of the western
line, and rendered her for the time being helpless.
The action lasted during the better part of an
hour, and took place at the closest quarters.
The enemy finally retreated with haste below the
guns of Fort Pillow.
I have to call the especial attention of the De
partment to the gallantry and good conduct ex
hibited by Commanders Stembel and Kilty, and
Lieut. Commanding S. L. Phelps. I regret to
say that Commander Stembel, Fourth Master
Reynolds, and one of the seamen of the Cincin
nati and one of the Mound City were severely
wounded. The other accidents of the day were
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient servant,
C. H. DAVIS,
Captain Commanding Mississippi Flotilla, pro tcm.
COMMANDER PENNOCK S DESPATCH.
CAIRO, May 13, 1S62.
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy :
News from the fleet is just received. The
Mound City was injured on the starboard bow
by a ram, and is now on her way to Cairo for
The Cincinnati was injured on her starboard
bow and sunk in twelve feet of water. She will
be raised and sent here for repairs, which will
be done with all possible despatch. Commander
Stembel is here at the Naval Depot, doing well.
Fourth Master Reynolds of the Cincinnati was
mortally wounded. Two of the Cincinnati s
crew were slightly wounded. There were no
other casualties. Commander Stembel fought
his ship gallantly.
(Signed) A. "W. PENNOCK,
Commanding and Fleet Captain.
CHICAGO "TIMES" REPORT.
OFF FORT PILLOW, May 10.
At last the monotony is broken. We have
had a fight and a glorious one too, purely naval,
with nearly an equal number of boats on each
side, and have sent the rebels back down the
river badly crippled. They attacked us this
morning at six o clock, and before eight they
were so badly whipped that they will never again
attempt such a job.
Yesterday morning they sent a boat up with a
flag of truce, ostensibly to arrange an exchange
of two surgeons, captured at the battle of Bel-
moni, but, as now appears, simply to ascertain
definitely the position of our fleet.
Early this morning, as usual, our mortar-boats
were towed down to their position for firing, it
being a point on the Arkansas shore about one
mile from the end of Craigshead Point. The
gunboat Cincinnati ran down as a convoy.
Scarcely had the mortars been moored in their
position, when the rebel ram Louisiana appeared
coming around the point, accompanied by four
other gunboats. The ram immediately opened
fire on the Cincinnati, to which the latter replied
with interest. The rebel boats were all held in
check by the Cincinnati alone, when the rest of
the Federal fleet got under way and came to her
In the mean time the rebel ram, finding her
guns ineffectual against the iron armor of the
Cincinnati, approached her with the evident in
tention of running her down. Capt. Stembel, of
the latter, prepared to meet the assault of the
ram by opening his steam batteries and putting
them in readiness for use.
As the rebel craft approached within close
range, the Cincinnati turned her head about,
causing the ram to run along close beside her,
when Capt. Stembel drew his pistol and very
coolly shot the pilot, killing him instantly ; but a
second afterwards, a musket-ball struck the gal
lant Captain in his left shoulder, inflicting a
painful though not serious wound.
At this time the contest between the two boats
was most intensely exciting. The crews of each
were armed with carbines, cutlasses and board
ing-pikes, and were discharging volley after vol
ley in quick succession at each other ; while the
ram was also endeavoring to get her head about
so as to run into, and, if possible, sink her an
Just then the steam batteries of the Cincinnati
were opened with terrific effect, throwing heavy
volumes of steam and scalding water into the
midst of the rebel crew, placing all who appeared
on deck Tiors du combat instantly, and causing
the craft to withdraw with all haste.
In the mean time the rebel fleet had been reen-
forced by three other vessels, and among them
the new iron-clad gunboat Mallory, lately built at
Memphis. These three ran immediately up to
the Cincinnati and engaged her at once. She
withstood the assault most nobly, the shot of the
enemy glancing off from her iron plating without
causing the slightest damage, while her own guns
were raining shot and shell with fearful effect
upon the enemy.
Capt. Stembel, though badly wounded, remain
ed at his post and directed every movement with
the coolness and deliberation for which he is
During the engagement the Mallory approach
ed the Cincinnati with the design of accomplish
ing that which the ram had failed in doing. As
she came in close proximity, the Federal boat St.
Louis bore down upon her, and coming- with a
full head of steam on, struck her amidships, cut
ting her nearly in two, and causing her to sink
in a very few minutes. Numbers of ner crew
escaped by clinging to the St. Louis and others
REBELLION RECORD, 1862.
were picked up by the Cincinnati ; but the larger
proportion went down with the boat.
While this work was in progress the other
boats of our fleet had engaged the remainder of
the rebel fleet, and a most terrific battle was rag
ing, the like of which the usually peaceful waters
of the Mississippi have never before witnessed.
Report followed upon report, like the con
tinuous rattle of musketry. The rebels fought
bravely and with determination, but they were
met by greater bravery, skill and metal, and
were being badly worsted.
Capt. Davis, on the flag-ship Benton, directed
every movement of our fleet with the sagacity
and style of a veteran in naval warfare. lie
made no mistakes. Not a boat was moved but
with fearful effect upon the enemy. Did the
Carondolet put her bows up-stream, it was to let
fiy her stern guns ; did the Cairo turn about, it
was that a broadside might give its destruction
to the foe.
The Mound City, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and
the old war-horse Benton were each and all dili
gent and effective, while the Conestoga (wooden)
lay off at a safe distance and made good use of
her long-range guns.
The cannonading was fearful and its rever
berations most grand and terrible. The noise
was almost like one continuous report, while the
broad river was covered with a dense volume of
smoke that for a time completely enveloped both
fleets and hid them from view. It was at this
time that a report, louder and more distant than
that of a gun, attracted the general attention, and
when the smoke lifted a little, it was found that
one of the enemy s boats was blown to atoms.
I have no means of knowing the loss of life by
this terrible casualty, but it must have been very
great. A few lucky fellows were seen floating
about on fragments of the wreck, and were
picked up by the rebel boats, but the majority
of the rebel crew perished miserably.
Scarcely had the excitement caused by this
fearful and unlooked-for event passed away,
when a second report startled all ears, and an
other rebel boat with its crew had disappeared.
Both vessels were blown up by the explosion of
shells from our guns in their magazines. All
this time our boats continued to pour their dead
ly rounds into the enemy, crippling such of their
craft as were not wholly destroyed, and carrying
death to hundreds of their crews. While them
selves unhurt, they proudly defied the heaviest
missiles of the rebel guns, their invulnerable ar
mor, sloping sides, repelling both shot and shell
with perfect success. No enemy could stand
against such extreme and destructive fire as our
boats continued to give, while their own guns
were impotent for mischief, much less in their
crippled condition, with three of their boats de
stroyed, could the rebels maintain their ground.
At twenty minutes past seven they withdrew
to the shelter of their batteries.
The casualties on our side \vere scarcely worth
mentioning. Capt. Stembel was slightly wound
ed, in his left shoulder, and two seamen were
injured, though to what extent has not been
Our gunboats behaved most admirably, and
all of them came out of the action without any
The Cincinnati was in the thickest of the fight
throughout, and bore the brunt of the attack,
but was not injured enough to prevent her from
immediately going into action again. The report
that she was badly disabled or sunk is errone
ous. The St. Louis, which run down the rebel
Mallory, was but slightly damaged herself, and
is ready again for duty.
When the engagement closed the gunboats re
turned to their several positions, and their crews
prepared their breakfasts as though nothing un
usual had happened.
To do justice in the way of credit to our offi
cers engaged in this affair, would require the
mention of all, but I cannot forbear speaking of
the efficiency and signal abilities of Capt. Davis,
the Acting Flag-Officer, nor of the coolness and
determined bravery of Capt. Stembel.
BEBEL OFFICIAL REPORT.
REPORT OF CAPTAIN MONTGOMERY.
FLAG-BOAT " LITTLE REBEL," |
FORT PILLOW, May 1 1 2. j
I have the honor to report an engagement with
the Federal gunboats at Plum Point Bend, four
miles above Fort Pillow, May tenth, 18G2.
Having previously arranged with my officers
the order of attack, our boats left their moorings
at six o clock A.M., and proceeding up the river,
passed round a sharp point, which brought us in
full view of the enemy s fleet, numbering eight
gunboats and twelve mortar-boats. The Federal
boat Carondelet was lying nearest us, guarding
a mortar-boat that was shelling the Fort. The
General Bragg, Capt. W. II. II. Leonard, dashed
at her; the Carondelet, firing her heavy guns,
retreated toward a bar, where the depth of watei
would not be sufficient for our boats to follow.
The Bragg continued boldly on under fire
of nearly their whole fleet, and struck her a vio
lent blow that stopped her further flight, then
rounded down the river under a broadside fire,
and drifted until her tiller-rope that had got out
of order, could be readjusted. A few moments
after the Bragg struck her blow, the General
Sterling Price ran into the same boat aft, a little
starboard of her midships, carrying away her
rudder, stern-post, and a large piece of her stern.
This threw the Carondelet s stern to the Sumter,
who struck her running at the utmost speed of
The General Earl Van Dorn, Capt. Fulkerson,
running according to orders in the rear of the
Price and Sumter, directed his attention to the
Mound City, at the time pouring broadsides into
the Price and Sumter. As the Van Dorn pro
ceeded, the Mound City sheered, and the Van
Dorn struck her a glancing blow, making a hole
four feet deep in her starboard forward quarter,
evidenced by splinters left on the iron bow of
the Van Dorn.
As our remaining boats, the General M. Jeflt
Thompson, the Colonel Lovell and the General
Beauregard, were entering boldly into the con
test in their prescribed order, I perceived from
the flag-boat that the enemy s boats were taking
positions where the water was too shallow for
our boats to get at them, and as our cannon were
far inferior to theirs, both in number and size, I
signalled our boats to fall back, which was ac
complished with a coolness that deserves the
I am happy to inform you, while exposed at
close quarters to a most terrific fire for thirty
minutes, our boats, although struck repeatedly,
sustained no serious injuries.
(Signed) J. E. MONTGOMERY,
Senior Captain Commanding River Defence Fleet.
N. B. Our casualties were two killed and one
Bounded, (arm broken.)
SLAVERY IN VIRGINIA.
MESSAGE OP GOVERNOR PIERPOINT.
EXECUTIVE CHAMBER, May 10, 1862.
To the Senate and House of Delegates of Vir
GENTLEMEN : It becomes my duty to commu
nicate to you the fact that two slaves have been
condemned during the present year one to be
hung, the other to be transported ; one in Ka-
nawha County, the other in Accomac. The one
in Kanawha County was to have been hung on
the eighteenth of April last. I have postponed
the day of his execution until the twentieth of
The law, as it stands, gives the executive of
the State power only to commute the punishment
from death to transportation beyond the limits of
the United States, requiring the sheriff to sell the
convict to the highest bidder, who shall give bond
and security that the convict shall not return to
the State. I intend to commute his sentence to
The one condemned in Accomac County fixes
his sentence to transportation. The court, in
each case, finds the present value of the slaves to
be six hundred dollars, which it is made the duty
of the court to certify to the executive of the
State, and the auditor to pay out of the public
Perhaps I should not have called these facts to
the attention of the Legislature but for the fact
that the Legislature has not made any provision
for paying claims of this character.
But, gentlemen, as this case now comes up, I
deem it my duty to submit you my views on this
subject, as it is not a novel one to me.
AVhy should the owner of a slave who commits
a crime deemed of sufficient gravity, by the law,
to subject the slave to transportation or death,
be paid the value of the slave out of the public
treasury of the State ?
I have examined the Jewish, the Grecian and
Koman laws on the subject of capital crimes com
mitted by slaves ; also, the laws of all the States
of the United States in which slavery exists, and
I find no similar provisions made for their pay
ment as those made by the laws of Virginia. I
have looked into the common law, and I find
where a vicious animal, which is recognized as
property, does an injury, the animal doing the in
jury is liable to be destroyed without compensa
tion to the owner, but the owner is also liable foi
damages for knowingly permitting the vicious
property to run at large. I have asked men,
learned in the law, who owned slaves, to assign
me a good reason, according to the principles of
the common law, Scripture, moral science or com
mon policy, why masters or their representatives,
owning slaves who were adjudged guilty of crimes
by the law worthy of death or transportation
should be paid for them. No answer has ever
been given me, except that if the master was not
paid he had strong temptation to screen the slave
from the punishment due his crime by sending
him to another State and selling him, rather than
lose him by death or transportation.
This reason does great injustice to the master,
for it is claimed that the existence of slavery pro
duces a higher civilization, a more exalted state
of society, where the employee and employer are
identical in interest, feeling and affection, instead
of the antagonism existing between such parties,
by contract, where money to make and save is
the object; and, furthermore, is inhuman and
barbarous and against every principle of justice.
The master owns his slave. He is dictator, guar
dian and absolute director over him, and requires
submission, allegiance and obedience to his com
mands. The brains and ability that justifies sucb
ownership of ignorance and creates such depend
ence, should defend, protect and shield it when
prosecuted for a capital offence, precisely as a pa
rent should defend his minor son, who has the
same legal right to his service that the master has
to the service of his slave. Yet, who ever claimed
the right or advanced the idea that a parent should
be indemnified for such loss, when his son s life
is forfeited for crime ? The inequality of social
position between the son and the slave does not
lessen the force of the argument, because the
lower the degree of intelligence, social position
and ability to procure the aids necessary to a fair
trial, the more imperative is the demand for that
interest and aid from another.
The justice of this law of paying the master for
a slave condemned for crime to death or trans
portation, is totally and perfectly indefensible.
The master has the physical, moral, intellectual
and religious training of the slaves. All laws are
made to give him the largest power over him, and
if he fail to make him a good, and obedient, and
law-abiding creature of him, it is the misfortune
of the master. If, by his neglect, the slave grows
up vicious and commits crimes, it is no reason
why tens of thousands of poor laboring men in
the State should contribute of their hard earnings
to pay a rich master for his slave thafrby his own
neglect in moral training has become vicious, and
committed a crime worthy of death or transpor
I i i i I I ! I ; MI !. (Hilt!.
Ill tlm ;i -. H! llu i-liivr, In KailMWlia County (hit
IliHNler In li I | llio mail killed inaVOH i .. i ...
ily. I - wifn ini 1 children aru Inff ,i i,...,i HU|>
port, dnprive.d of it ly IhnMlavn; ynt, M...M i, i In;
manler in rich, liy luw Im in to Im pnid nix linn
IM .1 dollai N i " liU I , whiln llm liiiiilly, iln
jH ive.d id nil M|,|, ,,i in left, unm ovidi d lor.
Tliirt rann in, i i. -|. (.ho i,, i ., of n,.,, ol
rjiHxtt that him* .M . . .1 in Hut Ktalii. Tim wholn
Hyhtcm ol pitying for convict H|IIV<H (MIX hecn rn
vollni|? lo my inlnil ev i widen I Jiml JiiilfMiii .ul In
In ii. iii tWOTlty yi Ml H llmrc havn hecn nhovo
Mi* lnin.li. I Hi , u ..ml 1 1 III III I H II ppl Kpl i l| I Cl| hy (lilt
LuglMlfituro to pay for nonviot Mliwm, From fhir
ly id. .M .ii,.i |o I orly fhoiiHand ilollni H hnvn hcen
annunlly nppropi intnd. I il.ml If U limn M..
v !.-! II. .n WIIH Hlnppnd, (Hid WOlllll M ..mi,,. ...I
(hut you not, only do nol, miiknany Mpprnpriiilion
to pay (or iln. Hi. 1 1 in. Mlrnady condemned, hut
licit you repciil I In-, law which allowrt coinpe.iiHa