The Memphis bulletin gives the following sketch of a speech delivered by Gen. Sherman, last Monday evening, to the citizens of that place. Though a mere outline, it is indicative of a policy and purpose which meet the approval of all conservatives. In response to a hearty call, Gen. Sherman addressed the meeting:
He expressed his belief that no part of the country was more interested in the present struggle. He supposed the South did not think it could subjugate the North, and he solemnly declared the North did not want to subjugate the South. They supposed that equality should exist as always, and the ballot-box be the ultimate court of appeal. He thought Legislatures had been too apt to listen to the desires of mere political sections, and thus, to some extent, lost sight of the wise measures of our fathers. If the slave interest, the railway interest, or any other special interest governed the country, it would be tyranny. The North were determined that the slave interest should not govern them, and he doubted not the South was determined that neither that, nor any other special interest should govern them. He regretted that the slave questions should not be approached calmly, that the people lost their discretion and good sense when this subject came into discussion; for his part he only protested against a special interest being made the basis of Legislative policy, whether it was the bank interest or the slave interest had made this country one, and intended her people to be one, and the people should set their foot on all sectional legislation. They should put a stop to any attempt to prevent the people of one State or city trading or travelling in another. The Mississippi belongs not to Louisiana nor to Illinois, but to the North American continent, and it must be opened to all. So the Atlantic belongs to no special people. God’s wind blows North and South, without favor, and has no favor for the people of any particular nation. So, the harbor of Charleston is not the property of the people of that city; they did not make a drop of water in it, nor shape its configuration; it belongs to the wide commerce of the whole country.
Each State and city had its prejudices and peculiar notions; the North did not want to interfere with them; but when any State, country or city wants to force its prejudices and notions on others, then the North, ad all who have a man’s spirit in their bosom, will oppose the effort; they will refuse to submit to tyranny.
In attempting to destroy the Government of the United States, the people of the South are destroying their own rights. Their right to property, to local government, to the wide liberties they enjoy, depend upon the supremacy of that flag, call it gridiron or what you will. While it waves on every sea, and protects commerce in every port, the rights you enjoy are safe; destroy that supremacy, and where do you stand among the nations of the earth?
Many seem to think because the rebels have met with some success in Kentucky that the North will be subdued. Vain thought! It will only wake up the Northern spirit and prolong the contest. The North will not be conquered. She has been slow to see the vastness of the struggle in which the nation is engaged; it hates to leave the pursuits of commerce and quit the plow and the harvest field, but let it only know that such an abandonment is necessary, and its millions will come swarming from the plow, the shop, and the counting-room, until victory is theirs, and the old flag once more waves over the broad lands that rightly belong to its empire.
What does this war mean? mere independence to the South? That is not all; the leaders mean power for them, predominance to the slave power, and injury to the liberty of the masses. It is an attempt to give one interest—slavery—the predominance over all others. If the intention is to simply govern the new republic on the principles of the old one, why not use their power at the ballot-box to improve or change what they desire? But they want a power for a class the old system would not permit them to possess; they want a strong government, therefore they fight against it. It is an oligarchy they want, and the North cannot permit such a kind of Government to exist side by side with her free republic. If an agreement for separation was made and such a Government well established beside their free one, the very signers of that agreement would seize arms to put an end to such a Government before the ink was dry with which the agreement was signed. It is useless to dream of peace which would cut this country in two—such a thing cannot be done.
No dictation is wanted, no subjugation. The South must not dictate to the North, nor the North tyrannize over the South—the East must not domineer over the West, nor the West lord it over the East; we must have one harmonious Congress, legislating with unprejudiced fairness for the whole people.
Value of the United States Census.
Major-Gen. Sherman, commanding the military division of the Mississippi, has recently addressed a letter to Mr. Jos. C. G. Kennedy, long and until recently connected with the Census, which is as remarkable for magnanimity as it is interesting for its statements and generous acknowledgement of the great public services rendered by one of the civil officers of the Government in bringing the late Rebellion to a close. It appears that, early in the war, Gen. Sherman called upon Mr. Kennedy to ascertain what representations were at command whereby he could soonest be informed regarding the resources of the Southern States, where he had been assigned to an important service. To the great delight of the General, he ascertained that Mr. Kennedy had commenced the very work his own mind had pictured as essential to the efficient prosecution of the war, but which was at the time temporarily laid aside, because the Secretary of War, to whom it had been exhibited, did not seem to appreciate its importance. The work consisted of maps of a portion of the Southern country, describing the railways, roads, mountains, streams, population, live stock in kind, grains, grasses, sugar, cotton, &c., &c., all clearly developed by counties. The clear military perceptions of Gen. Sherman impressed him with the importance of having these maps completed at the earliest possible moment, and his demands found a prompt response in Mr. Kennedy, who immediately placed a large force upon the work, and had the maps in readiness almost at the moment the General was prepared to take command of his splendid army. And now, when the smoke of war clears away, the victorious General, magnanimous as brave, acknowledges the services which aided in the accomplishment of success, and, while honoring Mr. Kennedy, insensibly honors himself more in the estimation of mankind. In his letter, of which we have the original, dated Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 15, 1865, after expressing in feeling terms his regret that the country is likely to be deprived of statistical services so usefully rendered, because of the failure of appropriation, he writes:
“I now avail myself of the opportunity to give you credit for what I have often mentioned to others—the knowledge of the internal resources of the country wherein our armies have operated, which enables those armies to trace their routes of supply, which otherwise would have been subjected to blind chance, and it may be to utter failure.” The General then refers to his preconceived appreciation of the necessity of maps such as we have described, in order “to operate on long lines beyond the possibility of supply from the rear;” of his application therefor, and the prompt response with which “such a map” and “statistical tables, arranged with great convenience and completeness,” were supplied, and continues as follows: “By means of these I could easily know where the fertile and cultivated lands lay, with their products in animals, grain, &c., so that the moment I was prepared to eat loose as it were from a base of supply, I knew exactly where to look for food. The closing scenes of our recent war demonstrated the value of these statistical tables and facts, for there is a reasonable probability that, without them, I would not have undertaken what was done and what seemed a puzzle to the wisest and most experienced soldiers of the world. Even apart from the vast importance of knowing at any and all times the wealth and resources of the country, this war consideration, now reduced to a result, will more than compensate for all the expense incurred in the collection of these statistics. To you personally I freely confess my great sense of obligation, for, knowing the trustworthiness of those statistical tables, I was enabled to act with a confidence that insured success; and therefore I beg to do you all honor. Hoping that Congress may soon remove present obstacles, and that you may live long to continue in the sphere of usefulness thus begun, I subscribe myself,“Your friend and servant,W. T. Sherman, Major Gen.“Jos. C. G. Kennedy, esq., Census Bureau, Washington, D. C.”
In view of such a testimonial, and of that we gave the other day from Dr. Farr of London, and the numerous appeals from distinguished men, Boards of Trade, and manufacturing associations, throughout the country, it seems singular that, for the want of funds sufficient to pay the salary of the Superintendent of the Census, a work which thus far has been so successfully prosecuted should be assigned to the charge of a Bureau with sufficient duties to occupy its attention; and this at a moment when it appears so easy to find the means, with or without law, to organize Bureaus and incur expenditures never contemplated by Congress.
Foreign and Colonial Intelligence.
Our latest news from New York, by the Nova Scotian, is to the morning of the 5th inst.
In President Lincoln’s Inaugural Address, which we give in another column, there is, it will be seen, no indication of any change of policy.
The great blockade-running city of Wilmington, as stated in a considerable portion of our Impression last week, passed into Federal occupation on the 22nd ult., Washington’s birthday. From Admiral Porter’s official despatches we learn that General Schofield, now in command of the Federal military in that quarter, advanced, on the 17th ult., from Smithville, four vessels of the fleet simultaneously attacking and enfilading the works. The wind and tide prevented more vessels from participating in the engagement. Fort Anderson answered pretty briskly, but quieted down by sunset. During the night the Confederates sent 200 floating torpedoes down the river, but Porter sunk them by musketry. One torpedo entered and blew up the wheel-house of the Osceola, and knocked down the bulkheads. No damage, however, was done to the hull. Porter spread fishing-nets across the river. Next morning Porter advanced with a greater part of the fleet. A heavy fire was maintained silencing the Confederate batteries by three p.m. Porter, however, continued the fire until dark, and also through the night, and in the mean time Schofield was working in the rear. “While the fleet maintained a heavy fire upon the fort,” Schofield says,”I pressed the enemy on both sides of the river, and sent Cox sixteen miles round the swamp to the enemy’s right. Cox proceeded along the narrow defile between the two swamps, and completely turned the enemy’s position. The enemy, discovering the movement, abandoned the works and retreated to Wilmington. The guns captured are uninjured. Fifty prisoners were taken. The loss was small on each side.” It is stated that the Confederate shot made no impression on the Federal monitors, although but a third of a mile from the fort. The southern face of the fort, however, was “badly disfigured.” The Federals sent a sham monitor, constructed of canvas, up the river with the tide to explode torpedoes. It floated past the fort, and is supposed to have hastened its evacuation, the Confederates believing water communication gone. Immediately upon the evacuation of Fort Anderson, Schofield directed Cox, one of his subordinates, to follow the garrison towards Wilmington. The Confederates made a stand behind Town Creek; but on the 20th Cox crossed the river below them on flat boats, attacked the rear, and routed them, taking two guns and 300 prisoners. On the 21st Cox pushed on to Brunswick River, opposite Wilmington, where the ridges were on fire on his arrival. The Southerners had begun burning cotton and resin in the city, and left it that night. Citizens state that 1000 bales of cotton and 15,000 barrels of resin were burned. Northern accounts say that “Union feeling showed itself strongly in the city.”
Sherman has burnt Columbia—in retaliation, it is said, for his troops having been fired upon after they entered the city. The Southern papers charge the Federal General with having bombarded the town without giving warning of his intention to do so. Such accounts as we have of General Sherman’s movements are obscure and contradictory. On the one hand, it appears to have been reported in New York that General Sherman had marched in an easterly direction, and had effected a junction with General Schofield, on the 27th ult., at some place not named. On the other hand, it seems to have been stated by the Richmond newspapers that General Sherman was moving against Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, and had left the Confederate army, under its new Commander-in-Chief, General Joseph Johnston (who has superseded Beauregard), in his rear, at Charlotte. There are rumors by the last mail of a battle, and of Sherman and Schofield having been checked.
Southern papers continue to speak confidently of the safety of Richmond and of Lee’s ability to withstand any movement made by Grant. On the other hand, there are statements that preparations for the evacuation of the place have begun. It is said that Grant was preparing for a new movement, but that the weather interfered with his plans. General Grant states that since May last 17,000 deserters have come over to him from the Confederate army. According to the Richmond papers Grant’s troops north of the James River have been moved to the left and massed with the rest of his army in the vicinity of Hatcher’s Run.
The proposition to arm 200,000 negroes passed the Confederate House of Representatives on the 20th ult.; but it was indefinitely postponed by the Senate on the following day by a majority of one. The Richmond Dispatch thinks the bill will be reconsidered and passed. Opinion at the South seems evenly balanced on the subject. General Lee has expressed his opinion that the employment of slaves in the army is both expedient and necessary, on the ground that the white population alone cannot supply the necessities of a long war; and recommends that a call for those who will volunteer upon the condition of their freedom be immediately authorised by the Southern Congress. The message of the Governor of Georgia opposes the arming of the slaves. They do not wish to enter the army. They will desert by thousands. The Governor, it is said, denounces violently the military and civil policy of President Davis, which, if persisted in, he says, must terminate in reconstruction, with or without subjugation.
A bill has passed the Confederate House of Representatives, in secret Session, authorising the arming of negroes tendered by owners, and also authorising the President to call upon each State, whenever expedient, for a quota of 300,000 troops, irrespective of colour, in addition to those subject to military service under existing laws. The relations of slaves and masters remain unchanged, except by consent of the owners in States where slaves reside.
The Confederate Congress have expelled Senator Foote.
The Virginia Senate has authorised the Governor to call for volunteers among the slaves and free negroes of the State for the defence of Richmond and other points threatened. They are to be organised into infantry companies for the year’s service, under white officers, and to be placed at the disposal of the General-in-Chief.
Governor Vance, in a proclamation to the people of North Carolina, declares that the only dangers that threaten the cause of Southern independence are the depression consequent upon recent reverses and the risk of internal dissension. The muster-rolls of the Confederacy show the record of 400,000 soldiers, but thousands upon thousands of them are absent without leave. To entreat, to put to shame, or to drive these men back to the defence of their country’s standard is the business of the hour.
President Lincoln has approved the Fortifications Bill, the appropriations for which have been reduced to half their original amount.
The House of Representatives has passed the 600,000,000 dols. Loan Bill.
The Senate has adopted the amendment increasing the duty on tobacco, snuff, cigars, and cheroots. It has also passed the House Bill taxing sales ½ per cent.
New Jersey had refused to ratify the constitutional amendment.
British North America.
We have news from Quebec to Feb. 24.
The resumption of the trial of the St. Albans raiders took place in Montreal on Monday, Feb. 20, when the court was thronged with spectators. Mr. Kerr opened the argument for the defence, and was followed by Mr. Laflamme on the same side. On Tuesday the latter counsel was to continue his arguments against the extradition of the prisoners, but, owing to the indisposition of Judge Smith, the Court did not sit on that day. The investigation is creating vast excitement. Mr. Kerr submitted to the Court a series of printed propositions, seventeen in number, with authorities sustaining them.
Mr. F. W. Torrance, barrister, of Montreal, has opened his commission if inquiry into the conduct of Judge Coursol in dismissing the St. Albans raiders. Mr. Henry Stuart, Q.C., applied to be admitted to watch the case for his client, which the Commissioner declined to allow. The Hon. Mr. Letellier brought the matter before the notice of the Upper Chamber by inquiring of the Government whether it was by their instructions that the Commissioner was proceeding ex parte and with closed doors. In reply, Sir E. P. Taché stated that Mr. Torrance was only acting in virtue of his commission, that he had received no instructions, and was carrying on the inquiry according to law.