Mr. Judd to Mr. Seward.

No. 59.]

Sir:The initiative in the spring campaign taken in the southwest has tended to confirm European belief in the rapid overthrow of the rebellion. General Sherman’s movement of his army corps is exciting the admiration of military men here. We have telegraphic news this morning that he has reached Selma. Johnson would seem to be in a position to be “ground out” very soon between the upper and nether millstone.

German diplomacy has been busier than their arms since my last despatch. The conference proposed by England for the consideration of the Danish question was acceded to by Prussia and Austria, but the consent carried with it an equivalent to a negative in the condition attached, requiring Denmark to surrender so much of Schleswig as it still possessed, viz: the fortifications of Düppel and the island of Alsen.

Denmark has not yet replied to the proposition, and if the reply of that government should follow the will of the people, as exhibited in the late elections, that reply would be a refusal until the allies had evacuated Schleswig.

The invasion of the Danish province of Jutland was suspended for some days at the point first seized; during that time the diplomats have been busy. The result is that the allies are again advancing, and, with some fighting, have reached Frederica.

This movement is said not to have in view a permanent occupation of that province, being only strategical, to compel the Danes to abandon the fortifications of Düppel and the island of Alsen, by outflanking their position. A direct attack from the front is regarded as doubtful in its result, and even if successful, [Page 208] would be accompanied by such a loss of life that the allies prefer the political complications growing out of the further occupation to the sacrifice of their men.

Denmark has declared that from and after the 15th instant the following Prussian ports will be blockaded, viz: Comin, Schwinemunde, Wolgart, Greifswalde, Stralsund and Barth.

Danish cruisers have already seized a considerable amount of shipping belonging to the different German states.

Prussia and Austria have not yet abandoned their attempt to control, on behalf of Germany, this entire Schleswig-Holstein question. For the bold movement of crowding out of Holstein the troops of the Bund, they have substituted diplomacy in the Diet where their proposition to assume the whole control is still undecided. I am prepared to see it adopted, as I have a present conviction that nothing hostile to the views and wishes of the allies will be undertaken by that body.

The German people in the beginning had some confidence that the Diet would protect the German nationality in the duchies, even to the extent of quarrelling with Prussia and Austria. They have been undeceived on that point. The last effort of the Diet to rescue itself from the powerless and insignificant state into which the action of the great powers has thrown it, is a proposition to declare war against Denmark, based upon the seizure of ships, blockade, &c.

Such a declaration would only be a statement of the actual condition of things, and if it sent into the field the troops of the Bund they will be under the dictation and control of the allies. Every day makes more and more clear the political “rope of sand” that binds Germany together. In this respect the cause of German union has lost one of its crowned champions in the sudden and unexpected death of the King of Bavaria, Maximilian II, who died on the 10th instant, after one day’s illness; he was greatly beloved by his people. He was believed to be sincerely attached to the cause of constitutional government and German unity. Bavaria being, next to Austria and Prussia, the largest of the German states, it was to King Maximilian to whom the friends of the independence of the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein chiefly looked for help. His death is a serious blow to the waning hopes and prospects of the Prince of Augustenburg.

King Maximilian is followed by King Ludwig II, his son, a youth not yet nineteen years of age. The demise of the aged King of Wirtemberg is also daily looked for.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.