THE WAR IN AMERICA
Cork Examiner 7th October 1862
The following letter, written by a lady resident in Cincinnati to her family here, gives some interesting details of late events in America. It commences with a description of the causes of the war. After alluding to the continual struggles of the Whigs, Democrats, and Republicans at Presidential elections, the writer goes on to say:–
“The Democrats were always successful in their candidate, with the exception of two or three times, when the Whigs elected their man. At the last election, which took place here two years ago, the Republicans were successful for the first time. The people of the Slave States immediately rebelled against the government, especially the most southern states, and declared themselves out of the Union one after the other. The Border States were kept in the Union by the force of Federal bayonets. These Border States have lost more than the extreme south, for it is in them that all the great battles have taken place, with the exception of those places on the seacoast which the Federal gunboats have taken, such as New Orleans and others of less importance. By a late act of Congress the property of all rebels is confiscated. That includes the slaves. They are property, and according as the Federal army marches forward the negroes follow it, and then they are free. Therefore, the rebels suffer severely wherever the Union army passes. The negroes are not allowed to take arms and fight when they are set at liberty, although willing to do it. They are set digging intrenchments, driving army waggons and such other things. The President dare not give them arms, although several of the generals favoured it, as the mass of the Northern soldiers are opposed to fighting side by side with blacks. No person is aware of the number of loves lost in this war. The Irish are very numerous on each side. It is supposed that there are a hundred and fifty thousand Irish in the Northern army, and not less than one hundred thousand in the Southern army. There are instances where the Americans have shown no such bravery as the Irish in many a battle-field in this country. In some instance in this war it is father against the son, and brother against brother. They often meet face to face. There has been no time since the commencement that they seem so strong as at present. A few weeks ago the President of the United States called for six hundred thousand men, and if the men did not volunteer he was to draft them. This was the day the drafting was to take place, but the President has given two weeks longer. To the last call it seems three hundred thousand have responded and it is hoped the remainder will go without drafting. The Rebels know that the reinforcements are coming, and they are trying every means to drive Northern troops back. They always acted on the defensive until lately. About six weeks ago our troops were within 4 miles of the Rebel capital, when a great battle took place lasting for several days. The Rebel outnumbered the Union troops, and so they drove them back about twenty miles, with about thirty thousand killed and wounded on both sides. A few days ago another battle took place. The loss on the Union side was eight thousand, and on Rebel side sixteen thousand. Every day there is more or less fighting in different parts of the country. By telegraph dispatches this evening we learn that the Rebels are marching on the Union capital, Washington city, with a prospect to take it, although the Union forces are in their front and rear. This city is under martial law for the last few days; the Ohio river separates it from the State of Kentucky; the Rebels are marching in great force to capture this city. Every man has to take arms. This day was a day of terror in this city, pressing men and dragging them along the streets. My husband will have to leave to-morrow. It is dreadful. All business is suspended. We lived in the South when this rebellion broke out. My husband drilled several companies for the Rebels, and the President of the Confederate States offered him a commission as captain, but I would not allow him to accept of it; I persuaded him to come here; everything was quiet here then. We lost everything we had by leaving; we were settled here when we are upset again. There are thirty thousand raw recruits to leave here tomorrow to meet an equal number of well disciplined Rebels. My husband says that they will be all slaughtered. These are eventful times.
Since I wrote the above, ten thousand Union troops have arrived, well drilled and equipped.