From the Charleston Mercury, 7/8/1861
RICHMOND, July 4.
If the rumors and anticipation of the people here have any
foundation, we may have occasion to remember the Fourth of July for other events
than that of the Declaration of Independence by the Colonies. News was brought
last evening which has the stamp of reliability, that Generals CADWALLADER and
PATTERSON had crossed the Potomac and were in Virginia, with an army of thirty
thousand men. Their columns pointed in the direction of Winchester, in the
neighborhood of which place General JOHNSTON was encamped with about fifteen
thousand Confederate troops. All the movements of the enemy indicated the
purpose to give battle to our force. General JOHNSTON was preparing to meet the
invaders. A battle was expected immediately. These statements have been
communicated to the Government. Beyond this all is rumor, and this even is not
verified. Last night and this morning there were rumors flying about of an
engagement between the advance posts of the two armies, and that our men had
killed, wounded and captured many of the enemy, and driven back the others. Then
again, it was reported that a general engagement had taken place. The telegraph
was set to work communicating the above reports to all pasts of the country.
General LEE left Richmond yesterday for the alleged seat of war, and that
circumstance seemed to strengthen the reports.
An officer in the army at Manassas Junction, who is a
friend of General BEAUREGARD, and near him constantly, arrived in Richmond
yesterday and reports that the General does not anticipate a battle on his line
for two or three weeks.
There is not much appearance of a Fourth of July
celebration in Richmond. The Confederate Departments are all in working harness
as usual. There has been a holiday parade of some of the city troops. A fine
body of two or three hundred men, well clothed in grey uniform, and well armed
belonging to the Tredegar Iron Works, were reviewed in the Capitol grounds.
HENRY MAY, the well know lawyer and orator of Baltimore,
and a member of the Federal Congress, arrived here last evening, for the
purpose, it is said of consulting with President DAVIS upon existing affairs and
the situation of his State in the present crisis. He speaks in bold terms of
denunciation of the LINCOLN Government. He has the ability and courage, and
appears to have the disposition to take a prominent position in Congress in
opposition to the sanguinary tyrants who hold the reins of government. A few
such men as MAY and VALLANDIGHAM, if they nerve themselves for the contest, may
strike the fanatical tyrants till they tremble. They may immortalize themselves,
like the great CHATHAM, who boldly advocated in the Imperial Parliament the
cause of the American colonies. It is an opportunity that a public man of great
and liberal mind ought not to lose. MAY has always been a Democrat. The crushing
despotism of the Federal authorities in Maryland appears to have aroused the
patriotic indignation of this orator. It is to be hoped he will make the halls
of Congress ring with his denunciations, and that they may resound throughout
the North. From present appearances, there will be true men enough in Congress
who will have the boldness to beard the monster in his den, and will do so if
the Administration party have not the power and are not base enough to stifle
debate. They may attempt to do this, for the supporters of a government so
despotic are capable of anything. A party who will use its power to make
unauthorized war to suspend the civil rights of its own people, to establish a
military dictatorship in defiance of law, and to trample upon the decisions of
the Chief Justice of the United States will stop short of nothing in their
career of despotism to accomplish their ends. Congress meets today, and will
soon organize, for there is no party strong enough to resist the caucus
nominations of the Republicans. In the course of a few days the policy of the
Administration and its adherents will be developed.
Col. THOMAS who was so conspicuous in the capture of the
St. Nicholas and the three vessels at the mouth of the Potomac, the other day,
now turns up as Col. RICHARD THOMAS ZARVONA, Potomac Zouaves, Army of Virginia.
He has been commissioned by the State as a Colonel, and is proceeding to form a
regiment with the above title. He and what men he has leave today for
Fredericksburg and the line of the Lower Potomac for some other daring exploits.
The arrest of the Police Commissioners of Baltimore by the
Federal General, LANES, has created the greatest indignation in Maryland. The
papers of Baltimore are very bold. One says: “Our situation at this moment every
man can understand, and we leave each and every citizen to reflect upon the
nature of the despotism that was finally established here yesterday and to
determine whether a BRUTUS or a WASHINGTON is needed for our deliverance.”
It appears that a large military force marched into the
city of Baltimore at night, and occupied the public places in strong detachments
and with cannon. Col. MOREHEAD, with his regiment of six hundred strong,
proceeded, about two o’clock in the morning, to the residence of JOHN W. DAVIS,
one of the Commissioners, woke him up, and informed him he must dress himself,
and come down, for they had come to arrest him. – They then followed the same
course with CHAS. D. HINKS. Mr. HINKS was in delicate health, and had sickness
in his family. Mrs. HINKS remonstrated from the window with the ruffians, who
were very violent, but neither the voice of this lady, or the condition of their
family, had any effect in allaying their violence. Col. JONES, with several
hundred Massachusetts soldiers, went to CHARLES HOWARD’s house and arrested him.
- Another party of five hundred men went to the house where Mr. GATCHELL was
residing, turned him out of bed, and arrested him. As Mr. GATCHELL made his
appearance, several revolvers were drawn by the military. This old gentleman
remarked quietly when he entered, that it was certainly a great array for the
capture of an old man of sixty two years of age.
They were all taken to Fort McHenry, and put in the same
room with Marshal KANE and Mr. MERRYMAN. No attention was paid to their comfort.
They were not provided with nor asked if they desired, bed, bedding or food.
Thus has the Federal tyrant, under whose benign rule the poor people of Maryland
live, put his columns of military in motion in the darkness of night and take
citizens and city officials - men of the highest character and standing in the
community - from their beds, and immured them in the walls of a fortress without
warrant or process of law, or even without pretence of any authority of law. How
long can the people of Maryland allow themselves to be ridden over rough shod in
this manner? If I mistake not the people, a day of reckoning will come, and then
it will be woe to the miserable wretches, calling themselves Marylanders, who
have been conspicuous in forging these chains for a free people.
It is said by the gentlemen who were permitted to visit the
Commissioners in their imprisonment, that there is every appearance of great
uneasiness at Fort McHenry. Cheveaux de frize were being thrown up, and active
preparations were being made to protect the fort from assault. Such is the
natural alarm of weak and cruel tyrants.
To say anything derogatory to the Administration is
sufficient ground for arrest. Mr. SLICER, the Sub treasurer of the Custom house
at Baltimore, was arrested at his desk on Monday and taken to the police
station, on the charge of speaking derogatory of the Administration, and on no
The fate of Maryland would have been the fate of Virginia,
had she not seceded; and the Old Dominion was well nigh being placed in such a
situation through her submissionists and the Yankee population which has become
mixed in with the old chivalrous race.
There is a good deal of the Yankee element in this city,
and it has not failed to exhibit itself in its unmistakable characteristic
quality of gouging the stranger. These sharp traders have raised the price of
everything of ordinary consumption enormously. The poor volunteers and other
strangers and the Government are well fleeced; while the articles of prime
necessity in the way of eating and drinking, are much deteriorated.