May 6, 1865

Macomb Eagle


The Disaster on the Steamer Sul-
tana – Fifteen Hundred Lives
Lost – Incidents of the Catastrophe.

Cairo, April 29.

            It is now ascertained that 2,300 people were on the ill fated Sultana, and 736 have been found alive. A soldier of the 228th Indiana brought a woman and child ashore, although he had a leg badly scalded and was otherwise badly injured.

Many different rumors are afloat as to the cause of the accident. There were too many people on board; but her officers were careful, competent men, and her engines had but recently passed inspection.

The hospitals, military and citizens of Memphis deserve great praise for their great exertions in behalf of the rescured.

A Chicago banker, name not given, is reported to have lost a trunk containing several thousand dollars.

Several persons were taken out of the water as much as twenty miles below Memphis, late on the day of the accident.

[Fold] appointed a committee to fully investigate the entire affair. They are now takink testimony.

Mrs. Hoage was found dead, late in the day, holding fast to a limb of a tree.

About two-thirds of the entire soldiers were from Ohio and Indiana.

One soldier made a noble attempt to save two little children. He got them on a plank, and floated down, opposite Memphis, when a rope was thrown to him from a boat, and, attempting to grab the rope his exhausted arms let his precious cargo fall into the river. He plunged from the plank, and, at the peril of his life, attempted to rescue them. The brave young man was picked up when nearly drowned.

Mrs. Hardin, whose husband is a member of the firm of Cushman, Hardin & Co., Chicago, who was returning from a wedding tour, was lost. Mr. Hardin was saved. He was formerly adjutant in the 53d Illinois.

A woman was rescued opposite Memphis, clinging to a plank, with a child in her arms. The child was dead when taken out.

An officer on a gunboat, his wife, two children, and sister, were on the boat. The wife only was saved. The officers of the gunboat Essex made up a purse of $1,000 for her.

There was no baggage saved.

The greatest portion of those rescued were more or less wounded or scalded. On some the cuticle was taken entirely from their bodies by the hot steam.

The steamer Bostona merits great praise for her exertions to save the drowning. As soon as Capt. John L. Watson, of the Bostona, discovered the burning wreck, he put on all steam, and, by lowering boats, rescued all that could be reached in time, and also threw over bales of hay, planks, staging, or anything else on which the sufferers could float. In some cases three or four persons would cling to a single bale of hay, and be rescued. In many case the unfortunates were found dead, floating on planks or doors. Three dead men were taken from trees to which they had swam and climbed up. Those found dead and floating are supposed to have been so weakened by their long imprisonment that they chilled to death.

The steamer Bostona saved about 200 lives.

The body of a cabin passenger was picked up at Memphis. He wore two fine shirts, on which was marked “J. D. Fontaine, Dallas City, Ill.” A little girl was seen in a skiff, struggling in the water. She had on a life-preserver, but it was so low down that it forced her head under the water. The men in the skiff tried to save her, but the swift current carried her by.


An Interview with the Rebel
General Lee.

New York, April 29.

            A Richmond correspondent recounts an interview he has had with General Lee. He called on him to obtain his political views and lay them before the public. On informing Gen. Lee of his object, the latter said, “I am a paroled prisoner; I have never been a politician, and know but little of political leaders. I am a soldier.” He further said he was ready to make any sacrifice, or perform any honorable act, that would lead to the restoration of peace and tranquility and peace to the country. He said, that as a believer in state rights, he had considered his allegiance due, primarily, to his native state. He had opposed secession; but, when his state went out, he considered it his duty to go with it. When he accepted a command under the rebel government, he considered that he was serving his state. He regarded his surrender of military, not political significance; that it was not a surrender of the doctrine of state rights. When the south was wholly subdued, then only would the doctrine of state rights be surrendered. The surrender of a single army was only a military necessity. When the south surrenders all her forces and returns to the union, then only will [fold] of secession. That principle will then be settled by military power. On this question of state sovereignty, he contends that there exists a legitimate casus belli. The question was left unsettled in the convention forming the organic law, and the war is destined to settle it. Therefore the war raised on this issue cannot be called treason. If the south is compelled to submit, it of course can only be looked upon as the triumph of the federal power over state rights, and the forced annihilation of the latter. The south have not been, and are not yet prepared to beg for terms, but are ready to accept fair and honorable terms, their own political views to be considered. As to slavery, they consider it dead, and the best men have long been anxious to do away with it. He expressed the opinion that, should arbitrary, or vindictive, or vengeful policies be attempted, the end was not yet. He remarked that the assassination of the president was a crime beyond execration. It could not be approved by any good man, from any conceivable motive. As to the terms of peace, to the suggestion that the political leaders only be held to a strict accountability, he asked, “Would that be just? What has Mr. Davis done more than any other southerner that he should be punished? It is true that he has occupied a prominent position as the agent of the whole people, but that has made him no more or less a rebel than the rest. His acts were the acts of the people were his acts. He is not accountable for the commencement of the war. On the contrary, he was one of the last to give in his adherence to the secession movement, having strenuously opposed it from the outset, and portrayed its ruinous consequences by speeches and by writings.”


Mr. Lincoln’s Death in a Theatre.

            Rev. D. W. Huntington, of Rochester, N. Y., delivered a funeral sermon in that city on the 19th ult., in which, after speaking in warmest terms of Lincoln as an apostle of anti-slavery, he went on to speak in great harshness of his last appearance in life. We quote:

‘True, there is one item in this history over which we wish a veil of secrecy could have been drawn. Our lamented chief magistrate was shot in a theatre. It is inexpressibly to be regretted that he was at a theatre. A theatre is a place in which no one would wish to die. He might have been murdered that night if he had not been at a theatre, but if he had not saved his life by being elsewhere, he would have saved the Christian public the double shock of not only knowing that their president was dead, but that he fell where they would wept to have seen their sons alive. He was the head of the nation; the eyes of the civilized world were upon him; thousands of our youths were looking upon him as their exemplar, and he should not have gone to the theatre. We know that custom allowed him to be there; we allow that the education of his courtly surroundings taught [fold] –mit that he may never have raised the question of duty in his mind upon that point, we know that, wise and experienced as he was, he was a ‘young convert’ in religion, and we have no disposition to arraign his conscience I the matter. But we should be unjust to truth if we did not say that our chief magistrate had no possible business in a theatre. He was the ‘minister of God.’ What a place is a theatre for God’s ministers! That he went there conscienciously sinning we do not believe, and no man has a right to say but that his presence there was a lamentable infraction of the properties, and a perversion of the influence of his high position, we judge to be quite certain.

If proof was needed that it is intimated in the fact that his murderer was a vagabond tragedian, whose preparation for the crime had been his education in a theatre. There were many villainous men in the country who had hated the president and wished him dead, but when the agent was found who could plan and execute the deed of blood, to express the guilt of which no language will ever furnish a phraseology, the volunteer was a theatrical performer. It took J. Wilkes Booth to murder President Abraham Lincoln. Common rebels and rowdies and guerrillas stood back and paled at the thought, but a miscreant stage-player was found equal to this infernal task. An imagination educated to tragedy can put its scenes in practice with but a short step in advance. All crimes are first committed in thought, and he whose thoughts are continually fed with criminal scenes belies himself if he does not commit the deeds. Towards this every lesson in the contemptible hypocricies of stage-playing tends, and the crime of Booth, by which he outranks the most infamous regicide of history, is but the fruits of his theatrical life.


            → Elder A. H. Rice will preach at the Christian church on Saturday evening at 7 o’clock; also, on Sunday, at 10 1-2 o’clock a. m.


            → If you want to buy some durable new style of spring goods, remember that Mr. Wetherhold, on the east side of the square, has just received a new stock of goods, which were bought before the recent advance in prices, which he is offering at this house. Those in want of spring goods would study their interest by giving this stock a thorough examination.


            → Dr. A. E. Stewart left last Tuesday morning for the east. The Dr. expects to be gone about five or six weeks. We trust that he may have a pleasant trip, and return soon to take charge of the afflicted in our midst.


            → The city election, in this city, passed off quietly on Monday last. There was ot much interest taken, and Dr. Jordan, therefore, received almost a unanimous vote.


            Groceries and Queensware. – If you want to get the worth of your money in that which is substantial, and wholesome, &c., go to Watkins & Co. If you want to exchange all kinds of produce to the best advantage, and for the highest market price, for either greenbacks, groceries, or queensware, give them a call at their store on the southeast corner of the square.


            → We were told before the city election, that the city council intended to fence up Lafayette street, but we did not believe it until last Tuesday morning.


            → Lee has surrendered, his grand army has succumbed to the generalship of the immortal Grant! This fact thrills all loyal hearts, but there is another fact of very great significance in the photographic world and that is this:

All the artists around these parts must surrender the palm to Hawkins & Philpot, for taking the best photographs, giving the truest expression, finest and most exquisite finish. Go and see specimens at their splendidly furnished rooms over Watkins & Co.


            → There are a few young men in this city that make it a business to hang around whisky shops and play one cent pokey, that are continually poking their noses where they are not wanted. Strangers would have thought, last Monday, that the whole city government rested upon their shoulders.


            → A number of our citizens started for Springfield, last Wednesday, to attend the funeral of ex President Lincoln.


            → Will the editor of the Journal please inform its readers where John D. Hall buries his dead.


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