“Pontiac”, the New York Times‘ Louisville correspondent, reports on the state of affairs in Kentucky. Simon Bolivar Buckner went south when Kentucky went for the Union, and he was in command at Fort Donelson when Grant ordered its “immediate and unconditional surrender”. The proposal to include him in a prisoner exchange met with some resistance from unionist Kentuckians, he reports — Buckner was almost as bad as “J.C.B.” — former VP John Cabell Breckinridge.
I had to look up the Catilines, though I had a vague idea they were traitors in ancient Rome. Working on this blog I’m constantly reminded that all the publications of the late 19th century were intended for people educated in the classical tradition. My high school dropped Latin the year I got there, to my disappointment. It’s tempting to conclude that the state of education in America has gone down precipitously in the last 150 years, but the truth is more complicated. The illiteracy rate in 1870 in the US was 20 percent; in 1979 it was less than 1 percent. While the depth of education may not be what it was in the late 19th century, the breadth is far greater.
Pontiac also reports that refugees from Tennessee are flowing in, and that they report the burning of great quantities of cotton in advance of the Yankee invasion.
FROM KENTUCKY.; Protest Against Exchange of Buckner Destruction of Cotton Trade Matters Distributions to the Army, &c.
Most loyal Kentuckians protest against the release of BUCKNER on any terms. They desire the War Department to hold him till the close of the war, and then hand him over to Kentucky for his deserts. They call him and J.C.B. the Catilines of the Kentucky conspirators.
WM. KAGLE, confined for shooting A. HUNT at the prison window, was Court-martialed and discharged by BOYLE’s order, the proof showing that he did the act while as sentinel enforcing orders which the prisoner resisted. Four prisoners were yesterday released on giving bonds amounting to $26,000.
All steamers will be supplied with cannon and gun squads. Two passenger boats are advertised to leave for Memphis to-day. The Green River is again navigable. Cars cross the Cumberland at Nashville on and after to-day. Refugees are coming here to settle. This is a haven for them. They bring considerable gold, which for a twelvemonth they secreted about their persons. They say vast quantities of cotton have already been burnt, despite the expostulations and remonstrances of the planters. The latter feel that their rallons and all their creature necessities and comforts must be greatly curtailed from the loss of all the cotton they toiled so to raise, pick and bale. I am told that not a few cotton gins, too, have been consumed. Three hundred and fifty bales of cotton, (a very small item by the side of receipts two years ago,) and 625 hogsheads tobacco were received here on the 9th. The other day a hogshead from Hart brought $27 per hundred pounds; another from McCracken, $22 50. Twenty-four premiums are awarded at the annual Tobacco Exhition held here to-day, ranging from $20 to $125, and larger in the aggregate by 50 per cent, than ever before. All contraband trade in powder between Cincinnati and rebeldom is being stopped. Provost-Marshals have been posted at Covington and Newport.
Major KILBURN, of Cincinnati, has, in the half year ending May 1, distributed to the army in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee, 6,962 bbls. pork, 2,394,508 lbs. bacon, 39,077 lbs. fresh beef, 21,102 bbls. flour, 5,035,158 lbs. bread, 10,100 bush. beans, 353,575 lbs. rice, 169,215 lbs. hominy, 596,129 lbs. Rio coffee, 15,741 lbs. tea, 1,234,694 lbs. sugar, 31,644 gallons vinegar, 117,260 lbs. candles, 192,847 lbs. soap, 12,841 gallons molasses. 57,991 lbs. potatoes, &c.