The New Era, Fort Smith, Arkansas

November 14, 1863

Crawford County nominated four Delegates to the Convention, apprehending (as many of the southern counties might not be represented) that two delegates from each county would not be sufficient. Sebastian County coincided with the movement, and nominated two additional candidates.

It is much to be regretted that no regular communication with Little Rock has as yet been established. Where is the difficulty?

The Telegraph is down between Fayetteville and Keitsville. The crime of interrupting telegraphic communication out to be made a capital offense; for the consequences involved in times like these, are so great that the life or lives of the offenders are nothing compared with the interest involved to the army and the country at large.

The salute fired yesterday was in honor of the arrival of Major General Blunt.

STRENGTH AND WHEREABOUTS OF COOPERíS ARMY

Several citizens who had been taken prisoners by the rebs, in their retreat, found their way back here again, to the great relief of their families. They report Cooper, Bankhead and Steele at Boggy Depot, and say that their whole force amounts to 3,000, according to the statement of the rebels themselves. They believe this number, however, to be above the mark. The rebels held still a number of citizens, soldiers, and negro prisoners, when our informants left them.

ARRIVAL OF GENERAL BLUNT

Major General James G Blunt and staff returned to us again yesterday, after an absence of nine weeks. The rebels among us, who would have it by all means that he had been killed in the attack made by Quantrile upon him and his escort last month, will take notice and find to their chagrin that they are sadly mistaken.

Lieutenant Colonel E J Serle, 1st Arkansas Infantry who had been our efficient Provost Marshal since the Federal occupation of this town, left in the early part of the week, to organize the 3rd Arkansas Cavalry at Dardanelle, and clean out the rebs in that part of our State.

Captain w H Newman, 1st Arkansas Infantry is his successor in the Provost Office, and all communications for the Provost Marshal at Fort Smith, should be addressed to him.

We would respectfully solicit the patronage of our friends in the army, Arkansians as well, as those from other States; for, though our columns will necessarily contain a great deal of local matter, we will endeavor to always give the latest news from abroad, in which we will be aided by the telegraph, now extending to this place. Besides, it cannot help to be of interest to them to witness the development of Union sentiment in a portion of our country, which, until lately, had no means to make known her real feelings on the subject.

applications for rations than now, and the suffering among the people must necessarily be great. The only remedy is, to clean out the bush-whackers, and give them no mercy wherever and whenever found; and then, and not until then, may we look for a revival of prosperity.

The immense supply train from Fort Scott arrived yesterday in safety at this post. It consisted of some 600 wagons, including the Government supply and Paymasterís trains, a large amount of Indian goods, and the sutlers. It was escorted by the 2nd Kansas Colored Regiment under Colonel Crawford, and a detachment of cavalry.

General Blunt accompanied the train. His health is excellent, and his was cordially welcomed by all. He had a splendid reception at Van Buren on Thursday night. His stay will be brief. General McNeil cordially concurs in his measures for administrating affairs, and the best understanding exists between them.

Accompanying the escort were Major T J Anderson A A G.; Captain Tholen, A A G; Lieutenant Tappan, A D C; Majors Sleeper and Adams, Paymasters, Major Calkins, 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, Major Hopkins, 2nd Kansas, and a number of the officers of the Army of the Frontier.

We had the great pleasure of shaking hands yesterday, with our old friend, J C Atkinson, who had been absent from this his home, nearly two and a half years. He could not stand Secession, and seeing no help for it then, left for more congenial parts until he could return to safety.

THE SITUATION OF ARKANSAS

The People of this State never gave their consent to Secession. The politicians thrust the State out of the National Union in opposition to the known will of the People. What the Secesh Convention enacted on this point is therefore null and void, until that action can be and is sustained by Secesh arms. Such sustentation, however, seems utterly at fault; it cannot be expected. The rebel chieftain, General Cooper, was recently heard to say, in the midst of his officers, that they would be compelled to give up Arkansas and abandon it to the Feds, because his Confederate force was incapable of driving the Federal Army away from the Arkansas River.

Arkansas, therefore, reverts to the same condition it occupied previous to the treachery of Secession; it is a State of the glorious old Federal Nationality. Being such, it is entitled to representation in the Congress of the United States. For this purpose, the Mass Meetings recently held in Western Arkansas, and representing not less than twenty Counties, have nominated a candidate, in the person of Colonel J M Johnson.

During the greater part of the year 1862, Colonel Johnson was an exile and a refugee from his home in Arkansas, on account of his earnest attachment to the Federal Union. In this respect he has been a sufferer in the same way that many hundreds of Arkansians have suffered. Robbed of his goods, and driven from his home, he early embraced an opportunity to enter the Federal Army under General Curtiss, and was admitted to a place in the staff of that distinguished officer. He accompanied the General on the march from Missouri to Helena in the summer of 1862. Immediately after the Battle of Prairie Grove, Colonel Johnson returned to his home in Madison County, and engaged in the patriotic enterprise of rallying to the cause of his country the noble regiment which he now commands.

All who know him, entertain the highest opinion of his integrity, prudence and ability; and there is not reason to doubt that he is eminently worthy of our confidence. At Washington, he will be a faithful and reliable representative of those who sent him.

The frequent burning of steamboats of late, having excited the suspicions of our authorities, it was discovered by intercepted letters, that a conspiracy was afoot to burn every steamer on the Western waters. Two men have been arrested at the Burnett House, Cincinnati, by the Provost Marshal, as accomplices. Eighteen of the gang of incendiaries were stationed at St. Louis, ten at Louisville, and eight at Cincinnati. The work was to be done between the 1st and the 15th of October.- The plot was fully exposed, and every accomplice will be arrested.

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