Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

January 21.—Governor Vance of North-Carolina, sent a message to the General Assembly of that State, then in session, informing them that since their adjournment the invaders of their State had concentrated a large force upon the coast, and were threatening their remaining seaports and lines of communication; that every preparation possible had been made to resist the invaders, and, he hoped, not without success. But still, that much remained to be done to strengthen their army and add to its efficiency; he, therefore, offered a few suggestions to them on that subject (Doc. 108.)

—The National ship of war Morning Light, together with the schooner Velocity, which were blockading the Sabine Pass, Texas, were surprised and captured by the rebel steamers Josiah Bell and Uncle Ben.—Colonel J. B. Douglass, commanding the Sixty-first regiment of Missouri volunteers, from his headquarters at Columbia, Mo., sent the following to General Curtis: “Late this evening, a body of troops under my command, whilst on a scout and some nine miles from my headquarters, found a confederate camp, with tent and all the necessary appurtenances thereto, containing eight confederate captains. The camp was situated in a very brushy country; consequently they escaped from their tent, my men following, and eventually succeeding in capturing four of them, after a brief resistance. We got all their arms, camp equipage, etc. The lateness of the attack prevented us from capturing the whole of them. My men camped on the ground. We also succeeded in capturing two of Porter’s men in addition.

“I regret to say that two of my bravest troops got seriously wounded in the fight before we captured the four rebel captains. They never surrendered until they had exhausted all their shots, they being armed with double-barrelled shot-guns, in addition to navy revolvers.

“You can now see why I object to this indiscriminate release of bad men from prison, and why you should not permit banished men to return here.”

—Colonel S. H. Mix, Third New-York cavalry, with eight companies of his regiment, returned to Newbern, after a successful scouting expedition into Onslow, Trent, and Jones counties, N. C. He obtained much valuable information, had several skirmishes with the rebels, routing them on every occasion, captured a number of prisoners, arms, mules, etc.—(Doc. 109.)

—The schooner Ettiwan, while attempting to run the blockade out of Swash channel, Charleston harbor, was captured by the gunboat Ottawa, under the command of Lieutenant William D. Whiting.—The rebel Lieutenant-Colonel Hutchinson, with one hundred men of Morgan’s cavalry, made a descent upon Murfreesboro, Tenn., and captured a large party of National troops and carried off thirty wagons.— (Bragg’s Despatch.)

—Galveston, Texas, being occupied by rebel troops who were engaged in erecting defences in and around that city, Commodore H. H. Bell, commanding the blockading fleet off that port, issued an order warning the foreign consuls and foreign subjects and all other persons concerned, that the city of Galveston and its defences were liable to be attacked at any day by the forces of the United States under his command, and gave twenty-four hours for “innocent and helpless persons” to withdraw.—Fitz-John Porter was cashiered and dismissed the service of the United States.

— At Ashton, England, Milner Gibson, M.P., President of the British Board of Trade, delivered an address to his constituents reviewing the position of England toward the United States. He alleged that slavery was the main cause of the war by inducing even secession for its defence. He urged England to adhere to her neutral course in the strictest manner, and denied the wisdom of foreign mediation, intervention, or a “hasty recognition” of the “so-called confederates.” In this connection Mr. Gibson recited statistics setting forth the largely increased imports of breadstuffs and provisions from the United States to England during the year just ended, and warned his hearers that if the Executive involved their country in a war with the United States their first act should be to blockade the American ports, and thus cut off this immense and vital supply from the starving operatives of Lancashire.

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