From the Charleston Mercury, 7/8/1861
Our Richmond Correspondence.
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 other charge.
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.