SUPERVISING A REBEL JOURNAL.
The Press of Memphis.—Flight of The Appeal.—A False Prediction.—The Argus becomes Loyal.—Order from General Wallace.—Installed in Office.—Lecturing the Rebels.—“Trade follows the Flag.”—Abuses of Traffic.—Supplying the Rebels.—A Perilous Adventure.—Passing the Rebel Lines.—Eluding Watchful Eyes.
On the morning of the 6th of June, the newspaper publishers, like most other gentlemen of Memphis, were greatly alarmed. The Avalanche and The Argus announced that it was impossible for the Yankee fleet to cope successfully with the Rebels, and that victory was certain to perch upon the banners of the latter. The sheets were not dry before the Rebel fleet was a thing of the past. The Appeal had not been as hopeful as its contemporaries, and thought it the wisest course to abandon the city. It moved to Grenada, Mississippi, a hundred miles distant, and resumed publication. It became a migratory sheet, and was at last captured by General Wilson at Columbus, Georgia. In ability it ranked among the best of the Rebel journals.
The Avalanche and The Argus continued publication, with a strong leaning to the Rebel side. The former was interfered with by our authorities; and, under the name of The Bulletin, with new editorial management, was allowed to reappear. The Argus maintained its Rebel ground, though with moderation, until the military hand fell upon it. Memphis, in the early days of our occupation, changed its commander nearly every week. One of these changes brought Major-General Wallace into the city. This officer thought it proper to issue the following order:—
HEAD-QUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, RESERVED CORPS,
ARMY OF TENNESSEE, MEMPHIS, June 17,1862.
EDITORS DAILY ARGUS:—As the closing of your office might be injurious to you pecuniarily, I send two gentlemen—Messrs. A.D. Richardson and Thos. W. Knox, both of ample experience—to take charge of the editorial department of your paper. The business management of your office will be left to you.
General Third Division, Reserved Corps.
The publishers of The Argus printed this order at the head of their columns. Below it they announced that they were not responsible for any thing which should appear editorially, as long as the order was in force. The business management and the general miscellaneous and news matter were not interfered with.
Mr. Richardson and myself entered upon our new duties immediately. We had crossed the Plains together, had published a paper in the Rocky Mountains, had been through many adventures and perils side by side; but we had never before managed a newspaper in an insurrectionary district. The publishers of The Argus greeted us cordially, and our whole intercourse with them was harmonious. They did not relish the intrusion of Northern men into their office, to compel the insertion of Union editorials, but they bore the inconvenience with an excellent grace. The foreman of the establishment displayed more mortification at the change, than any other person whom we met.