Little Doubt That Lincoln Will Be Elected~October 1864~22nd to 24th

Little Doubt That Lincoln Will Be Elected ~ Fredrick C. Winkler

Lincoln extends his thanks to General Sheridan while there is an increasingly strong sentiment that Lincoln will prevail in the upcoming election. Many people– soldiers and civilians– hope for the speedy conclusion of the war yet veterans on both sides still have plenty of fight left in them. A drunken shout-out for Jeff Davis can land a man in a Northern jail. George Whitman, now a prisoner, writes to reassure his mother. A Southern soldier requests his wife to send him warm clothes. The governors of six Southern states inform the Confederate government what they will, and by implication will not, do for the cause.

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October 22– Saturday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “Yesterday an old chap named James Kelley was released from the Atheneum by order of Gen. Crook, upon taking the oath of allegiance. Kelley resides in Fulton. About four or five weeks ago he got drunk and yelled for Jeff Davis, when he was arrested by the Provost Guard and put in the military prison.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

October 22– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “With great pleasure I tender to you and your brave army the thanks of the nation, and my own personal admiration and gratitude, for the month’s operations in the Shenandoah Valley; and especially for the splendid work of October 19, 1864.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to Union General Phil Sheridan.

General Sheridan's ride at Cedar Creek

General Sheridan’s ride at Cedar Creek

October 22– Saturday– Richmond, Virginia– “Wanton Murder. Yesterday evening, a child eight years old named James Duke, was shot and killed by William Bohannon, a soldier at Seabrook’s Hospital. It seems that Bohannon was sitting in the hospital yard with his musket beside him. The child climbed on a fence and looked into the hospital yard. Bohannon fired at the child, the bullet tearing off the top of his skull and killing him instantly. Bohannon ran, but was pursued and captured by officer Granger.” ~ Richmond Daily Whig.

October 22– Saturday– Wilmington, North Carolina– The Federal navy strengthens its blockade of the harbor.

October 22– Saturday– Independence, Missouri; Mockabee Farm, Missouri; Byram’s Ford, Missouri; State Line, Missouri; near St Charles, Arkansas; Brashear City, Louisiana– Skirmishes, raids, probing and maneuvering.

October 23– Sunday– New York City– “In July, 1861, a Northern mob and a Souther mob came into collision at Bull Run, and the North was routed. In 1864, Northern veterans are meeting Southern veterans in Georgia and on the Shenandoah, and the case is altered.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

October 23– Sunday– Winchester, Virginia– “All is quiet, and we are doing routine duty. Today I attended (for a change) the Lutheran church which has just opened. The minister prayed for peace and unity then preached a rebellious sermon. There is not much difference in the ministers of this town. The Rebel citizens do not feel as happy they did last Wednesday when they thought General Early’s Army was coming. . . . Well, a few more victories like the two we have had in the Valley and the war will be over. No one will rejoice more than myself, for I am tired of bloodshed. But God has been good to me, and I hope I shall live to see the end as I saw the beginning of the Rebellion.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

October 23– Sunday– Petersburg, Virginia– “I want you to make me some drawers anyhow, for the government drawers are pretty sorry sure and soon rip up. In making soldiers’ clothing, all of you should recollect that we have some neighbors here called lice and be sure to fell (I believe that is what they call it) all the seams. Or in other words, sew it down tight everywhere so they will have no hiding place. I am always so glad to hear that [my son] Henry is well and hearty. I suppose he can control his puppy pretty well now. I would be so glad to see them frolicking together. Write me if Henry can go to his Grand Ma’s by himself now, and all about him.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

trench warfare

trench warfare

October 23– Sunday– Danville Virginia– “I wrote you a line from Libby Prison a few days after I was taken prisoner, but think it doubtful if you received it. I was taken, (along with almost our entire Regiment, both Officers and men) on the 30th day of September, near the Weldon Rail Road, but am proud to think that we stood and fought until we were entirely surrounded, Major Wright, Lieutenants Pooley, Sims, and 9 other Officers of our Regimentt, are here, Captain Walton and Lieutenant Butler was wounded, but I don’t know how badly, I am very well indeed, and in tip top spirits, am tough as a mule, and about as ugly, and can eat any amount of corn bread, so you see, dear Mother that I am all right, and my greatest trouble is that you will worry about me, but I beg of you not to fret, as I get along first rate. Please write to Lieutenant Babcock, Company F of our Regiment. and tell him to send my things home by Express. Much love to all.” ~ Letter from Union soldier George Whitman to his mother Louisa.

George Whitman

George Whitman

October 23– Dublin, Virginia– “I have only time this cold Sunday morning to write you a line. Indeed I have nothing of interest here to write you. I come out safely after taking a very active part in late fight at Saltville. General Burbridge U.S.A. was punished very severely for bringing his mixed white & Blacks in the vicinity of Saltville where we Reserves could strike them a blow. Let it be said ‘never more’ that the silvery haired men & the beardless & downy cheeked youths of old Virginia will not fight. They have of late made their own record & the faithful Historian, & future generations will give them a high place in the annals of their country. The fighting for the Season in this country is over . . . . I am in fine health, hoping when these few lines come to hand they’ll find you enjoying the same God’s Blessing. I have just read a letter from Brother Gabriel & Daughter Mollie giving account of depredations &c of the Yankees. They now know & feel what I knew & was made feel near four years ago– only they have never been made suffer from the vandals as I have suffered. They have not felt & known what it was to mourn over the loss of a darling child– the victim of a wicked relentless foe. But enough. God is just & merciful– & the day of Retribution for the wicked ones who have stricken so many hearts & laid waste our beautiful & once happy country is not a far distant. Let it come– I repeat it let it come– God speed it.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Andrew R. Barber to Mary Anna Silbert.

October 23– Sunday– near Atlanta, Georgia– “Trains are to go through from Chattanooga to-morrow, and then we shall have our regular mails again. . . We are over whelmed with a flood of political prints and pamphlets; they are all on the Republican side. I don’t know how my regiment will vote; it used to be strongly democratic, still I think the officers are, save one or two, for Lincoln. I never talk to them on political subjects. I am going to vote the Republican ticket straight through, but beyond that will not meddle with politics. Mr. Lincoln is personally no abler or stronger than Mc Clellan, but the influences which surround him, both of political and military-men, are such as to Support and strengthen him. I have little doubt that Lincoln will be elected, but the greater his majority, the more emphatic will be the blow to the enemies of the country. I am going on a foraging expedition tomorrow; besides my own regiment, I am going to have one hundred men from each of four others, and will probably be gone three or four days. . . . Our nearest neighbor, Colonel Case, of the 129th Illinois, has a Chicago paper nearly a month old, containing an account of General Sheridan’s battle of the 19th of September. Our terrific losses in consequence of that surprise are sad to contemplate, but the skill and daring of General Sheridan certainly challenges the highest admiration. Almost any other general would have made his men work like beavers to secure themselves against further disaster by strengthening their position, when his bold spirit reorganized his broken and defeated battalions and led them against his victorious and exultant foe. It is the first time in this war that such a thing has been done or even been thought of. Sheridan has shown himself to be the greatest leader of battle that has yet appeared on the American field on either side.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

military signal station

military signal station

October 23– Sunday– Atlantic Ocean– For the second of three consecutive days, a hurricane with winds up to maximum of 80 miles per hour rages but no loss of lives or property is known.

October 23– Sunday– Westport, Missouri– A force of 8500 Confederate soldiers tangle with 22,000 Federal troops. The Confederate troops retreat after a day’s hard fighting. Total casualties– killed, wounded, missing– are approximately 1500 for each side.

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October 24– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– “A meeting of the Governors of the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, was held in Augusta, Georgia, on Monday, the 17th instant. Governor William Smith, of Virginia, presided. After a full, free, and harmonious consultation and interchange of council, the following, among other views, were expressed: Resolved, That there is nothing in the present aspect of public affairs to cause any abatement of our zeal in the prosecution of the war to the accomplishment of a peace based on the independence of the Confederate States. . . . Resolved, That the interests of each of our States are identical in the present struggle for self-government, and wisdom and true patriotism dictate that the military forces of each should aid the others against invasion and subjugation, and for this purpose we will recommend to our several legislatures to repeal all such laws as prohibit the executives from sending their forces beyond their respective limits, in order that they may render temporary service wherever most urgently required. Resolved. That whilst it is our purpose to use every exertion to increase the strength and efficiency of our State and Confederate forces, we respectfully and earnestly request that the Confederate authorities will send to the field every able-bodied man, without exception, in any of its various departments, whose place can be filled by either disabled officers and soldiers, senior reserves or Negroes, and dispense with the use of all provost and post guard, except in important cities, or localities where the presence of large bodies of troops make them necessary, and with all passport agents upon railroads not in the immediate vicinity of the armies, as we consider these agents an unnecessary annoyance to good citizens and of no possible benefit to the country. . . . And whereas, the public enemy having proclaimed the freedom of our slaves, are forced into their armies the able-bodied portion thereof, the more effectually to wage their cruel and bloody war against us; therefore be it Resolved, That it is the true policy and obvious duty of all slave owners timely to remove their slaves from the line of the enemy’s approach, and especially those able to bear arms; and when they shall fail to do so, that it should be made the duty of the proper authorities to enforce the performance of this duty, and to give to such owners all necessary assistance as far as practicable. Resolved, That the course of the enemy in appropriating our slaves who happen to fall in their hands to purposes of war, seems to justify a change of policy on our part; and whilst owners of slaves, under the circumstances, should freely yield them to their country, we recommend to our authorities, under proper regulations, to appropriate such part of them to the public service as may be required. . . . And, lastly, we deem it not inappropriate to declare our firm and unalterable purpose, as we believe it to be that of our fellow-citizens, to maintain our right of self-government, to establish our independence, and to uphold the rights and sovereignty of the States, or to perish in the attempt. Resolved, That the chairman be requested to send a copy of these resolutions to his Excellency President Davis, one each to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, to be laid before the respective bodies, and one to the governors of each State in the Confederacy.” ~ Richmond Times Dispatch.

A Day of Intense Excitement~October 1864~19th to 21st

A Day of Intense Excitement ~ Elisha Hunt Rhodes

In the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, General Phil Sheridan turns a successful Confederate surprise attack into a Federal victory, rallying his troops and pushing the rebels back into the mountains. The Union casualties include the friend and brother-in-law of Robert Gould Shaw who died leading the 54th Massachusetts. The win serves to strengthen President Lincoln’s reelection possibilities while McClellan campaign hard. An eloquent woman campaigns for Lincoln. Lincoln praises the people of Maryland for banning slavery in the new state constitution and calls for Thanksgiving to be observed in November. Confederate soldiers provoke an international incident when they stage a raid from Canada into Vermont. As in the North women of the South help sick and wounded soldiers. A grieving father writes to Whitman. Religious enthusiasm increases in Oberlin, Ohio, as in other parts of the war-torn nation.

Federal cavalry officers

Federal cavalry officers

October 19– Wednesday– St Albans, Vermont– Twenty-five Confederate soldiers under Lieutenant Bennett Young arrive from Canada and in mid-afternoon stage simultaneous robberies of the town’s three. The fire bombs they brought to burn the town do not work. They escape across the Canadian border fifteen miles away with over $200,000. [The United States demands the arrest and extradition of the Southerners. However a Canadian court will rule that the men were soldiers, not spies, and declines to extradite them. Canada returns the $88,000 Canadian officers found on the Confederates. The rebel effort turns many Canadians against the Confederacy as they see the raid as an effort to draw Canada into the war.]

Confederate raiders of St Albans, Vermony

Confederate raiders of St Albans, Vermony

October 19– Wednesday– Oberlin, Ohio– “The scene at the Communion at the First Church, last Sabbath afternoon, was deeply gratifying and encouraging to all friends of religion. Fifty-one, mostly young people, united with the church and partook of the Sacrament. As their names were read, they took their places in the aisles, and lines were formed, on either side, extending from the pulpit nearly the entire length of the church. The usual ceremonies were then performed, some twenty receiving baptism, the remainder having previously been baptized elsewhere. The occasion was one of solemn joy and will be remembered with pleasure, in after years by the converts, as the commencement of their Christian life.” ~ Lorain County News.

October 19– Wednesday– Cedar Creek, Virginia– Early in the morning Confederate troops under General Jubal Early mount a surprise attack on the sleeping Federal camp, initially having significant success. However, Union General Phil Sheridan arrives from Washington in mid-morning, rallies his soldiers, counter-attacks and drives back the Confederates. Total Confederate losses– dead, wounded, missing– amount to 2910 while Federal losses reach 5665. Sheridan can receive replacements; Early can not as Lee has none to send him.

Sheridan leading successful counter-attack at Cedar Creek

Sheridan leading successful counter-attack at Cedar Creek

October 19– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “I am notified that this is a compliment paid me by the loyal Marylanders resident in this District. I infer that the adoption of the new Constitution for the State furnishes the occasion, and that in your views the extirpation of slavery constitutes the chief merit of the new Constitution. Most heartily do I congratulate you, and Maryland, and the nation, and the world upon the event. I regret that it did not occur two years sooner, which I am sure would have saved to the nation more money than would have met all the private loss incident to the measure; but it has come at last, and I sincerely hope its friends may fully realize all their anticipations of good from it, and that its opponents may by its effects be agreeably and profitably disappointed. . . . I may add that in this purpose to save the country and its liberties, no classes of people seem so nearly unanimous as the soldiers in the field and the seamen afloat. Do they not hive the hardest of it? Who should quail when they do not? God bless the soldiers and seamen, and all their brave commanders!” ~ Remarks by President Lincoln to a group of citizens who gathered outside of the White House to sing to him.

October 19– Wednesday– Andersonville, Georgia– A Confederate doctor assigned to the prison camp submits a brutally honest report maintaining that the high death rate among the inmates is due to dysentery, scurvy, and gangrene, caused in large part by poor rations, little medicine, and the accumulation of human waste within the stockade.

Confederate nurse

Confederate nurse

October 19– Wednesday– Athens, Georgia– “Georgia Relief and Hospital Association. This Samaritan of Institutions, with its head at Augusta, and its big heart with every Confederate army, is most justly complimented in a late letter of P. W. A., in the Savannah Republican. We cannot let this occasion pass without adding our mite of praise to this generous association of noble hearted men. For two years past it has been our good fortune to know somewhat of its actings [sic] and doings. And here let us remind our readers that it is not alone to the Georgian it has brought its assistance and succor, but to men from every State in the Confederacy. ‘God bless the Georgia Relief Association,’ has gone up from thousands of hearts not of Georgia – from the plains of Texas, and the mountain streams of Arkansas, from the Mississippi, the Ohio and Potomac, have the men come, who have been the recipients of its kindly charity. A few devoted men, whose names will go down to posterity, as a part and parcel of this war, have bent their wills and energies to this glorious charity.” ~ Athens Southern Banner.

October 19– Wednesday– Dublin, Ireland– Birth of Thomas Pakenham, Irish peer and soldier. [Dies in battle August 21, 1915.]

Thomas Pakenham, the 5th Earl of Longford

Thomas Pakenham, the 5th Earl of Longford

October 20– Thursday– New York City– “Another victory by Sheridan. News came today at noon. . . . He seems a brilliant practitioner, and our best fighting general. . . . Either we fight better of late, or the rebels fight worse.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

October 20– Thursday– somewhere in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia– “I take the earliest opportunity to inform you of our glorious victory, since I wrote to you before, the rebels, attacked our lines the day that I wrote home, the fight lasted from morning till dark at night, the fields lay full of wounded and dead rebels, over double the number of ours, and we captured 54 pieces of artillery . . . . this is the third time that we whipped them very badly since the 1st of last month, General Sheridan was at the head of his brave soldiers in the engagement, there is not a soldier here but would sacrifice their lives for the brave General, Sheridan’s army has crowned its self with victory. I am well.~ Letter from Union soldier Josiah Bloss to his sister.

fighting at Cedar Creek

fighting at Cedar Creek

October 20– Thursday– Winchester, Virginia– “Yesterday was a day of intense excitement in this city. . . . The Rebel Cavalry were all about the outskirts of town, and I had all I could do looking after the pickets. Many rebel families prepared food for the expected Rebel Army, but they did not come, and at night we received the news of Sheridan’s glorious victory. Hurrah for Sheridan! He is the man for me. . . . Our Army is now pursuing Early into the mountains. I hope they may catch him and use him up entirely.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

October 20– Thursday– Middletown, Virginia– Union General Charles Russell Lowell, age 29, a nephew of the editor and author James Russell, dies of wounds he received yesterday at the battle of Cedar Creek. His wife, Josephine Shaw Lowell, age 20, a sister of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who died in July, 1863, while leading the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, is eight months pregnant with her first child. [To honor the memory of her husband and her brother she will be active in social and political reform until her death on October 12, 1905. She never remarries.]

Josephine Shaw Lowell & her husband Charles Russell Lowell

Josephine Shaw Lowell & her husband Charles Russell Lowell

October 20– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with his guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad, and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps, and our sailors on the rivers and seas, with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while he has opened to us new: sources of wealth, and has crowned the labor of our working-men in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, he has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions. Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may be then, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the great Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the, land which it has pleased him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.” ~ Proclamation by President Lincoln.

October 20– Thursday– a prison camp in the Union lines outside of Petersburg, Virginia– “Knowing your anxiety to know my fate, I embrace this opportunity for the purpose of sending you a short note. I was captured in the action of yesterday and am doing well. You need not suffer any uneasiness about me. I will write every opportunity. Give my love to all and reserve a goodly portion for yourself.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier to his father.

October 20– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “In reply to your letter . . . addressed to His Excellency [Joseph Brown, Governor of Georgia], and desiring to know under what conditions he would be in favor of a reconstruction of the old Federal Union, and go into fraternal embrace with the foul invaders of our homes and rights, the murderers of our brave men, and the abusers and insulters [sic] of our women, in a word, the base and fiendish uncivilized of the age, I am directed by the Governor to say that his position on this subject has been so often given to the country in an official form that he does not consider it his duty to spend time in further explanations. All who wish to understand it have the means of information at hand.” ~ quoted from a Georgia newspaper in today’s Richmond Times Dispatch.

October 21– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “Miss Anna E. Dickinson. We have no words to fittingly describe the lecture of this talented young female orator, delivered at Ilion [New York] on Tuesday evening. For nearly two hours and a half she held a crowded audience in almost breathless attention. Her treatment of the Chicago Convention and of its nominees– especially her vivid historical, sketch of McClellan’s military career– was most bitterly sarcastic, and many portions of it most beautifully sublime. She has a power over the feelings and hearts of the people which few can resist; and it is a satisfaction to know that it is exercised ever in the cause of Justice and the Rights of Humanity.” ~ The Liberator. Today’s issue also reports that the widow, two daughters and one son of the radical John Brown are traveling with a guard of Federal troops as they cross Idaho Territory on their way to California.

Anna E Dickinson

Anna E Dickinson

October 21– Friday– Jersey City, New Jersey– “I have just returned home last evening from Washington, being there to see about getting the body of my son Captain Michael Mullery of Company I, 7th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers who was killed while leading his men in a desperate charge before Petersburg, Virginia, June 16th . I took a friend with me from Jersey City (T. C. Brown Esq.) but could only get a pass for one, so Mr. Brown has gone to City Point to get the Body. He took the boat for City Point last Wednesday at 3 o’clock and is now I hope on his way back with the body. Your friend Jesse came home from Washington June 23rd on a 30 days furlough, and the same evening received the sad intelligence of the death of our son Michael, when Jesse came home he was so reduced and weak that I thought he could not live a week, but he gained fast after a week or two . . . . he returned September 5th, and is there yet at Ward U S. General Hospital, Center Street. I took Breakfast with him yesterday morning. He looks well and is fleshy, but not fit for the front. I will write to him to day and send him your letter, and he will call and see you at his earliest convenience, he spoke very highly of you when he came home and had your ‘carte de visite’ and took it back with [him] to Newark, he is now assistant cook in the Hospital. He belongs in the 7th Ward. His Brother James is still at the front with Sheridan he is well and so far unhurt. Thank God, he has never been home since he went in the service, if he lives, we look for him next August when I must write to him, and let him know about the invitation you have given him to call & see you. I have another son Joseph who enlisted September 9th last year, for one year. . . . I remain Truly & Respectfully Yours Much Obliged.” ~ Letter from William Mullery to Walt Whitman.

McClellan campaign poster

McClellan campaign poster

October 21– Friday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “As the McClellan procession was passing through Ritchietown yesterday morning, a man in the procession got off and struck a boy for some real or imaginary offence. The man was arrested and taken into an Alderman’s office, when some of the McClellan men moved as if to attempt a rescue. Some Union men interfered to preserve the peace when a sort of a general row commenced, during which stones were thrown and several persons were more or less hurt.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

I Try to Not Be Anxious~October 1864~17th to 18th

I Try to Not Be Anxious ~ Hannah Whitman Heyde.

The Whitman family, like many other families, North and South, worries about a missing loved one, probably a prisoner, and about loved ones from whom they are separated. Refugees flee the Shenandoah Valley. Bandits as well as foraging and raiding soldiers, take crops, tools, animals and valuables from ordinary citizens. Yet once more we find evidence of women dressed as men in order to fight for the side of their choice.

October 17– Monday– Burlington, Vermont– “Write to me will you, Walt– I always feel better to hear from home. I shall be anxious till you write. I sent this morning to the Post Office. I thought I should hear. I have been spared ever since that battle but I had a hope he was safe, because he always had been. What will we do if we cant hear from him? I was glad the paper spoke of his being well. I hope we will hear from him soon. You must certainly send it to me too if you get a line from him. I wish Walt I could see dear Mother and you all– I hope Mother is well. . . . I do hope we will hear from George, I wish Mother would write as it’s very long since she has written. I hope she is well of rheumatism. Write soon Walt. I try to not be anxious about George but I am. . . . Tell Mother I am better and want to come home and see you all more than ever, give my love to all.” ~ Letter from Hannah Whitman Heyde to her brother Walt Whitman.

Louisa Whitman, mother of the clan

Louisa Whitman, mother of the clan

October 17– Monday– Elmira, New York– “I again seat my self to let you hear from me this leaves me doing well and hearty. I hope this may find you an our children all well and doing well. Write to me when you get this . . . . Write but one page of letter paper. Write only about your own family affairs an I will be sure to get it. I think you had better continue farming until I get home if I ever do. Life is uncertain. My Dear you must do the best you can. I know times is very hard.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Richard Henry Brooks, in a Federal prisoner-of-war camp, to his wife Telitha.

October 17– Monday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “Another lot of refugees from the Valley arrived in the city yesterday en route for Ohio. In all eight hundred families have been shipped from the Valley at Government expense by order of General Sheridan. The most of them belong to the Society of Dunkards, and being opposed to taking up arms they have been terribly persecuted by the rebels. They are a hardy looking set of men who will be an important accession to any Northern community.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. [Most likely these "Dunkards" were a branch of Anabaptists who believed in adult baptism only, rejecting infant baptism, and were committed to pacifism and non-resistence. However, other Christians did not always know of the differences among Dunkards, Brethren, Mennonites, Amish and other Pietist groups which preached pacifism so these people might have belonged to one of several Anabaptist or Pietist sects.]

Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley

October 17– Monday– Point Lookout, Maryland– “Though suffering this incarceration within the prison walls of Point Lookout, though banished from friends and the society of much loved ones, I rejoice to feel the assurance that God is with us, and, we hope, will turn back our captivity when we are sufficiently humbled – that we may meet once more the kind – the sweet embraces of our dear relatives, and friends. But we would not forget the sweet words. ‘Not verily my will but thine be done.’ I wish I could be allowed to write as much as I wished. I could have much to say to you. This privilege is denied me. But may be, you would ask Why is it that I appear as willing to continue the correspondence which has been so soon, and unexpectedly, cut short? I would answer now, the same that I would have answered on that ever memorable morning, that it is as motive no less, than a desire to cultivate the friendly relations– do not say, ‘there is none in existence between us.’ With your sanction our correspondence (though it will be rather slow) will continue. I am pained when I think of my uncivil conduct, when in your presence that morning, and also, those complicated mysteries that I had boldness to write since] at the expense of one so truly innocent– Let me ask you to forgive me, and not only to destroy these letters, but even tho recollection of them for ever. I can write no more now. I will send you a stamp all I have. Brown landed here a few days ago & we both have slight colds, with that exception we are well. Inform my mother that I have heard from Danville and Mr. Kelso – they are well. Their school is still going. Their children (two daughters) are well also.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Robert Yates Ramsey, in a Federal prisoner-of-war camp, to his friend Maggie.

Confederate prisoners

Confederate prisoners

October 17– Monday– Augusta County, Virginia– “I have been thinking of writing to you for some time ever since the yanks were up to see us. I have a great Deal to tell you but don’t know whether I will get through this time or not. In the first place we are all well. The yanks burnt both of our barns with about twenty five ton of hay in them & all of our wheat except about twenty five bushels that we had carried out. We saved almost all of our farming utensils. The yanks took all of our cows but two came back. I refugeed [sic] over the mountain with four horses & our colts & some old horses we left at home & they tried to drive the colts off but they ran off & came back. They looked through the house but didn’t take any thing except some sugar & one pair of pants from papa. There will be suffering times in the valley this winter as the yanks have burnt all of the barns from here down & all of the mills except one occasionally, all of the barns in this neighborhood are burnt up except two or three & the worst of all every body paid the yanks all of their gold & silver. One thing we never paid them one cent, & if they never come again we will do pretty well. Some people are ruined entirely. They like to ruined William Pence– they took of both of his black men that he had bought & five head of horses & all of his cattle & sheep & burnt his barn he didn’t have a barrel of flour on hand. I tell you he is almost crazy & the worst of all he has to go in the army now he has to go to Staunton to morrow to Start to Richmond the next day & John Grove has to go also . . . . Some people think the Confederacy is gone up all ready as the saying is. There has a great many family members off to the yanks from Rockingham & some men that had fine farms. People from here down are very much discouraged, every thing destroyed. The yanks didn’t got to John Grove. So all of the barns in that neighborhood are safe. They were at Uncle Jacobs but didn’t burn anything in that neighborhood. The yanks stripped some people of all of their stock.” ~ Letter from Daniel K. Schreckhise to his brother James.

shenandoah-valley

October 17– Monday– Franklin County, Tennessee– “Pink Brannon colored came to my house and wanted to buy my blacksmith tools. I would not sell them to him he then remarked that I had best sell them as they would be on hand to burn myhouse in a short while. After some further conversation he left and some time afterwards a party of men came to my house and Pink Brannon and the Captain of the Band [Temp, a white man] came into the house. The Negro remarking they have come to burn your house and I had better let him have the tools we had some further conversation about the tools but finally the party left without burning my house. The following day the Negro Pink Brannon came back and tried to prevail on me to let him have the tools but I refused upon this he went to where I had the tools and laded them into the wagons stating I didn’t made a d____d bit of difference he would have them anyhow he then came into the house andTemp counted out seventy five dollars in Confederate money and gave it to my daughter at this time. Temp was with him. They left my premises taking the tools with them.” ~ B. F. Sanders puts his mark on his sworn statement about an integrated band of robbers.

October 17– Monday– near Macon, Georgia– “I drop you a few lines to let you know where I am. We are in about four miles of Macon, camped in the piney woods. I am well at present. I do not know where we will be sent. The men come in slowly. You must be reconciled to my absence, for I expect nothing [but] to be a soldier for the balance of the war. But there is a Providence that shapes our destinies, and we should submit to His decrees with humility. You know I had rather be at home, but it is impossible for me to get there. So I must think of it as little as possible. When John finishes the orchard fence, let him gather the house field of corn. Let the hogs in when they eat out the river field. Put the cows, horses and sheep in the river field. Join the fence to the river at each end. Let the sheep go in and out by the slip gap. Let John have all the Negroes four days to pick peas. Pick before gathering corn in head field and bluff bottom. Put peas in school, hasp lock or nail [it] up. Sow barley and rye first rain. Kiss the children 500 times for me. You must do the best you can. Make slip gaps and let the hogs run in the fields after you gather corn. Put the potatoes up with open shelters over them. Direct your letters to Company H, 5th Regiment, Army of Tennessee, but no place on it. Write me all about the business, what is done, &c.” ~ Letter from a Confederate officer to his wife.

October 18– Tuesday– Winchester, Virginia– “A few days ago I happened to find two Rebel soldiers in a house just out of town. We arrested the men and I placed a guard over the house. The lady living there sent me a very insulting message and demanded that the guard be withdrawn. She claimed that she would not have a Yankee soldier in her house, but she did. I sent word back that as she had no choice in the matter, that the guard would remain. It is amusing sometimes to hear the remarks made about us.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

General Sheridan

General Sheridan

October 18– Tuesday– near Poplar Grove Church, Virginia– “Your Letter came to hand this morning and I hasten to answer the Same. Your Brother’s Effects will be Sent forward to Your Mother’s address, Soon as we can get a permit from the Provost Marshall General, which I have this day Sent a request for. I was much pleased to hear from him and the rest of the Officers that were taken prisoners with him. And I know they were neither wounded nor killed, as we had no chance of hearing from them until your Letter Arrived. Every thing is quiet with Us and no news. So I will bring this to a close, by requesting you to write Soon.” ~ Letter from Lieutenant William E Babcock to Walt Whitman about his brother George.

October 18– Tuesday– Nashville, Tennessee– “Sarah, alias John Williams, a private in the 2nd Kentucky cavalry, was sent to the Post prison, to be held until further orders. This gay ‘soldier gal’ has served for three years, and her sex never discovered, (so report saith,) until the present time. She is a veteran and deserves promotion.” ~ Nashville Dispatch

October 18– Tuesday– Milton, Florida; Summerville, Georgia; Huntsville, Alabama; Clinch Mountain, Tennessee; Barry County, Missouri– raids and skirmishes.

The Whole Valley Is One Barren Waste~ October 1864~ 14th to 16th

The Whole Valley Is One Barren Waste ~ W. A. Stilwell.

Sheridan’s troops are conducting a scorched earth policy in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, much like what Sherman and his soldiers are about to do afresh in Georgia, a savage and bitter harvest of fratricidal war. Women maintain hope and courage. President Lincoln seems more hopeful about his reelection. President Davis seems increasingly worried. Southern soldiers hope for an electoral victory by McClellan and the coming of peace.

cavalry-officers_Picture2

October 14– Friday– Dooly County, Georgia– “There is much sickness in our neighborhood. Sis Graham has been very sick. I sit up there last night to assist in giving physic. She was much better this morning and I think will be well in a few days. Pa is complaining today. I hope tis nothing more than cold. Such a sudden change in the weather is I guess what has produced so much sickness. It has been very cold for the past week. Several mornings had white frost. Farmers are busy gathering their crops. The corn crop is not so good this year as last. The potato and cane crops are very good. In a short time we will commence making syrup and sugar from the ‘good cane’ as the children call it. We will certainly have some for you when you come to see us. Last winter when your furlough was disapproved you said you thought when you made application again you wouldn’t say anything about it, to prevent anyone from being disappointed. Now, I do think you ought to tell me. Very often I leave home to spend a few days with my relatives and friends and when you come I want to be at home. It would certainly be a sad disappointment were you to come and I be from home. So it is a special request of mine that you must tell me.” ~ Letter from Maggie Cone to her fiancé Alva Benjamin Spencer,

October 14–Friday– New Orleans, Louisiana– The Tribune, a newspaper for black people begins publication in both French and English.

October 14– Friday– Klamath Lake, Oregon– Representatives of the United States government conclude a treaty with representatives of the Klamath and Modoc tribes, and the Yahooskin band of Snake Indians, promising money and supplies over a period of years in return for possession of certain lands inhabited by these peoples. [As with other treaties made with Native Americans the United States will break the treaty provisions within a few short years.]

October 15– Saturday– New York City– “Walk tonight and look in at the Club, seeking news and finding none. Mr [Samuel] Ruggles [Strong’s father-in-law] looked in before dinner. Just returned from Washington. Abraham, the Venerable, says to him, ‘It does look as if the people wanted me to stay here a little longer, and I suppose I shall have to, if they do.’”~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

Lincoln campaign poster

Lincoln campaign poster

October 15– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “The speeches of Jeff Davis betoken the close of the War. The rebellion is becoming exhausted, and I hope ere many months will be entirely suppressed. Not that there may not be lingering banditti to rob and murder for a while longer, the offspring of a demoralized state of society, but the organized rebellion cannot long endure.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 15– Saturday– near Strasburg, Virginia– “The whole valley is one barren waste, all the barns, mill and public houses have been burned up by Yankees, crops destroyed, dwellings sacked and plundered. The people are generally loyal to the Confederates. The other day after the battle, I seen and talked with two ladies while walking about the garden when the Yankee dead was lying all around them. Think of ladies walking over dead men, laughing as though nothing had happened. They stayed at home all the time of the battle and we fought all around the house. Could you do it, Molly? If you could have seen your own dear Billie as his horse went flying over the field carrying orders while the shells and shot was bursting and flying all around him I know you would admire him, if possible, more than ever. You must not scold me Molly for I had rather see Yankees run and fall than any thing else on earth, except you and the children. Of course, I don’t want to hurt them if they will let us alone, but if not, I love to see them scatter and skedaddle.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer W. A. Stilwell to his wife Molly.

Sheridan & his troops in the Shenandoah Valley

Sheridan & his troops in the Shenandoah Valley

October 15– Saturday– Fisher’s Hill Virginia– “I last night received your fine letter of the 10th (Monday). I have written to you since then, from New Market, & hope my letter has come to hand before now & cheered you up some. I am truly sorry you feel so despondent & take so much thought for the morrow.’ I am sure I could cheer you up if at home, but you must ‘fear not but trust in Providence & remember that the Lord has always provided for us & promises that the seed of the righteous shall never be forsaken.’ We have been here now three days . . . . no action has taken place, each party looking at the other & wondering what it was doing. The prospect seems bright in every quarter – things get along well at Richmond & Hood has surely made one of the boldest movements of the war & must be successful if the half that is said of his army is true – in fact we have always gained by taking bold measures & if Sherman is compelled to leave Georgia there will be a great revulsion of feeling in the North & peace sentiments will be in fashion again. Connecticut appears to have gone for McClellan – we are desirous of hearing from the Pennsylvania election – a lady from the West, who has lately come to New Market, says the West will go for McClellan, & Price is doing much in his favor by occupying the larger portion of Missouri. I hope you may be able to get some wood for present use. I intend to get home before long & attend to the hauling & cutting up of a winter supply. I shall be able to get fodder enough & I will put one horse into my pocket if I can do no better. I am sorry Mr. Geeding got offended, for I thought the government would impress his hay & he would be just as willing to let me have some of it but no matter – he has done much for us & I have no right or reason to complain of him. I asked you about Captain Sterrett in my last [letter]– did he have time to go to Richmond? I do not need my clothes & prefer that you keep them at home. I am sorry you were disappointed about coming over to camp, but I knew our movements were very uncertain as I wrote you. I do not know what we will do here. I will write often. Write soon. Love to the children & may Heaven bless you all.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

battle-peeble-farm

October 15– Saturday– Petersburg, Virginia– “I can very easily understand, the cause of the scarcity of news from Georgia. It is, no doubt, withheld to prevent the authorities in Washington from gaining any information in reference to the army around Atlanta and not that the news is of such a character as to warrant its being held from the people. I have too much confidence in our authorities, for a moment to believe they would withhold from the people anything, good or bad. You know not how glad I am to know that the people of Georgia have again determined never to be subjugated. I confess I, at one time, feared that, those few execrable reconstructionists, would cause some trouble in our already deeply afflicted country; but thanks to a brave and patriotic people, such sentiments have been crushed, and the ‘Empire State of the South’ is as uncompromising as ever. Aside from the many other Sacrifices our noble people have made, isn’t the fact, that amidst the darkest hour of our history, our people have again expressed their determination to be free, enough to cause every Georgian’s heart to leap for joy? Such a people can never be conquered. President Davis’ recent visit to Georgia, has, I’ve no doubt. had an influence in producing this glorious change among our people; but I think, by far the greatest influence has been excited by the ladies discountenancing the laggards and skulkers. Always, when dark clouds of oppression were lowering over our devoted country, threatening to engulf us in everlasting disgrace and infamy, they, the ‘Women of the South’, were seen alleviating the sufferings of the sick and wounded soldiers, encouraging the despondent, and frowning upon the inactive, and exerting themselves to the utmost, in securing the liberties of their country.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Alva Benjamin Spencer to his fiancee Maggie Cone.

October 15– Saturday– Cleveland, Tennessee– “Sister, Cousin M. Jarnagin, Mrs. Rumple, Lizzie Rhoda, Jimmie & I went up to view the fortifications & deserted Yankee encampment this morn. I have the headache this evening & laid down to take a nap. I will be so disappointed if the Rebels do not come. I still look for them a little.” ~ Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

battle-chapin-farm

October 16– Sunday– West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– “With shame I must confess that I have been very negligent in my correspondence Heretofore. But I will make an apology in this wise, living on the expectation of getting to the State Election, but it was promise and no performance . . . . I, being so often deceived about getting home, I shall make no rash promises [about] when I get home. Tomorrow I expect to be transferred into the Printing Office. I shall never be able to do Field Service. It may be that I will get my discharge this winter. I cannot tell but my 16 dollars per month here this winter is more than I could make at home. Then I will have a warm place to stay and not much to do. . . . The talk is that we will all get home to the Presidential Election but that was the talk that we would get home to the State Election but it was in vain. In this letter I enclose you 20 dollars– you will see that my family is cared for. In my next letter I will send you some more money. Let me know as soon as you get this money so that I will not be uneasy in it getting lost.” ~ Letter from wounded Union soldier Franklin Rosenbery to his father Abraham and step-mother Mary Jane.

October 16– Sunday– Winchester, Virginia– “Several sutlers have opened stores in the city for sale to soldiers but citizens cannot purchase except on a permit signed by the Provost Marshal. It is very amusing to see the people apply for permits. Hoop skirts and shoes, hairpins, ribbons and laces seem to be in demand by the fair ones of Winchester. The soldiers sometimes buy these articles for the people but it has [now] been forbidden.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

October 16– Sunday– Petersburg, Virginia– “My health is excellent at this time and I am getting on finely. I have a good amount of walking to do which just gives me a good appetite, an article which I am very seldom in need of whether I walk much or not. Today is Sunday. I rose early this morning and went to a spring about 150 yards distant which spouts through a trough and took a good wash, [ate] breakfast and then went down on the line to the four Companies nearest to us and got the reports from them, returned and am now sitting in our little room. I will finish and then go to the remaining six Companies and get their reports, come back and eat dinner and probably go to town for evening preaching. This will give you a small idea of my daily avocation, though it varies to a great extent some days. We have beautiful weather now, cool or rather cold at night, and fair and pleasant in the day time. All is quiet on the lines this morning but there was heavy shelling last night, and a few shells were thrown into Petersburg yesterday evening, for the first in some time. I was in town myself at the time, and one shell fell near me but did not explode. The citizens do not seem to care for it atall scarcely. The ladies were promenading the streets at the time and did not even quicken their pace.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

battle-fort-harrison

October 16– Sunday– Atlanta, Georgia– “I am here stopping at division headquarters. The first night I stopped at the Trout House, but it was so very unpleasant, and I have been invited to stay at division headquarters. The railroad has been torn up again between Resaca and Tunnel Hill. I have full faith that General Sherman will succeed in rendering his communication secure, and thus hold on to all that he has gained, but it is idle to deny that there is danger. We have intelligence that the rebels retreated southward from Dalton, and that the railroad is cleared of rebels and a good portion also cleared of rails. It is said that it will be repaired in about ten days. I am afraid they will strike out again south of Resaca.” ~ Letter of Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

The Gratitude of His Country by Dying at Last~Oct 1864~11th to 14th

The Gratitude of His Country by Dying at Last ~ George Templeton Strong.

As many in the North, Strong, a lawyer, expresses satisfaction at the death of Chief Justice Roger Taney. Taney was appointed by President Andrew Jackson, served 28 years as Chief Justice and authored the infamous opinion in the Dred Scott case in which he declared that black people, free or slave, had no civil rights in the United States. Maryland adopts a state constitution which abolishes slavery. Black soldiers serve the Union cause and finally gain some of pay which is due them. State election results demonstrate significant gains by the Republicans and auger well for Lincoln’s reelection. [At this time is not yet one set day for all state and federal elections.] at least some Englishmen favor Lincoln’s reelection. A soldier informs his wife about the loss of his leg. A former slave tells his story to a Northern woman. Tennessee citizens complain about Confederate bushwhackers while another complains to Federal authorities about women he views as disloyal. An immigrant from Scotland begins his rise to fame and fortune.The French forces press hard against the legitimate Mexican government.

United States Colored Troops {USCT}

United States Colored Troops {USCT}

October 11– Tuesday– near Fort Donelson, Tennessee– A unit of 85 black Union soldiers engages and drives off a force of 250 Confederate soldiers.

October 12– Wednesday– Oberlin, Ohio– “An Inquiry Meeting, for the purpose of personal religious conversation, is held under the joint supervision of the Pastors of the First and Second Congregational Churches, on Sabbath at 6 P.M., in the Theological Society Room, Chapel building.” ~ Lorain County News.

October 12– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– Roger Taney, Chief Justice of U S Supreme Court and author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, dies at age 87. A racist and Maryland slave-holder, he has been Chief Justice for 28 years.

Roger Taney, Chief Justice U S Supreme Court

Roger Taney, Chief Justice U S Supreme Court

October 12– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Returns of the elections from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana come in to-day. They look very well, particularly the two latter. Pennsylvania does not quite come up to my expectations. The city of Philadelphia has done very well, but in too many of the counties there are Democratic gains– not such, perhaps, as to overcome the Union majorities, but will much reduce them.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 12– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Secretary of War not being in, I answer yours about election. Pennsylvania very close, and still in doubt on home vote. Ohio largely for us, with all the members of Congress but two or three. Indiana largely for us, Governor, it is said, by fifteen thousand, and eight of the eleven members of Congress. Send us what you may know of your army vote.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to General Ulysses S Grant.

October 12– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “I write you a few lines the first opportunity to ease your fears in regard to me. It is true I have happened [in] to a bad spot, but it might have been worse.For it was the hottest place I was ever in. I was first shot between the right knee and angle, nearly breaking the leg. I was hardly down when I was again short in the right knee, shattering it all to pieces in a second. I was shot in the left knee slightly. . . . I continued to suffer, until I arrived here, from moving. The doctor, after counsel, amputated my right leg just above the knee. I hope you will not take it too hard. If I live, I can make a living shoe-making. I am considered to be doing well by the doctor and everybody else. You know I am one that never says die while I can move a little. I was wounded in trying to take the second works, where they had made a desperate stand. I passed through all the first safe and was in hopes I would have my usual luck. I have never spared myself in going into a fight, as I determined long ago to get out of this war if I had to be killed out.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier to his wife in Georgia.

October 12– Wednesday– Nashville, Tennessee– “Peter’s history is not uninteresting. Here it is: ‘my master’s name was Jim Brazier, and I lived eight miles from Tullahoma. My mother was sickly a long time, and missus wouldn’t let her stop workin’ no how. An one day when she’s so weak, she let a big pitcher fall on de floor and broke it, and master sent her to de whippin-house, and she died that night. I slept wid her, an she told me when she come to bed, that she thought if she went to sleep she’d never wake. An in de morning when I waked, she was stone dead. They never said anything to me bout what killed her, they knowed very well that I knowed the reason. After de war broke out, they telled me that I mustn’t go near de Yankees, for that they ‘had horns,’ just as if I’d not sense ‘nough to know better nor that.’ . . . One morning, soon after, Dr W. announced to Peter that his former master had just been hanged as a guerrilla. The account was in the morning paper.Glad of it,’ said Peter, emphatically; ‘I’d a be glad if that there had a happened afore.’” ~ Journal of Elvira Powers recounting the story of a young escaped slave.

runaway slaves

runaway slaves

October 12– Wednesday– Taylorsville, Tennessee– “The undersigners [sic], citizens of Johnson County, Tennessee, and Southern men, in behalf of themselves and others, respectfully represent: That we are but few in number, and most of us old and infirm men; that our county is now infested with some four or five bands of robbers and bushwhackers, who are obstructing the public road, robbing Southern men, and killing them, and further, threatening to drive us all from the county, and without some additional protection we will all be forced to leave our homes and county in a few days. We, therefore, most respectfully ask you to send in a small force for that purpose, say some forty or fifty men, under a good officer. We would further state that we will have considerable surplus of corn, and some meat, that could be furnished the Government, if it can be protected until all can be saved; fully enough, we think, to justify the Government in sending the small force we ask to protect and defend us until all can be saved and got out. If not defended in that way it will all be lost to Government and individuals. There is a small force here now, about fifteen men, which we wish to retain with the others, under Lieutenant Hawkins.” ~ Petition from eight residents to Confederate General Breckinridge.

October 12– Wednesday– Chihuahua, Mexico–Retreating toward the U S border, President Juarez arrives with a small force of republican troops. The American Counsel writes that “the situation is very bad and would bring despair upon any mind less faithful and hopeful.”

Benito Juarez, President of Mexico

Benito Juarez, President of Mexico

October 13– Thursday– New York City– “The Honorable old Roger B Taney has earned the gratitude of his country by dying at last. Better late than never. . . . Even should Lincoln be defeated, he will have time to appoint a new Chief Justice, and he cannot appoint anybody worse than Taney. Chase may very possibly be the man. Curious coincidence that the judge whose opinion in the Dred Scott case proved him the most faithful of slaves to the South should have been dying while his own state, Maryland, was solemnly extinguishing slavery within her borders by voting on her new anti-slavery constitution. (There seems no doubt it has been adopted.) Two ancient abuses and evils were perishing together. The tyrant’s foot has rested so long on the neck of ‘Maryland, my Maryland’ that she has undergone an organic change of structure, making it necessary for her to continue under that pressure, or in other words, loyal to the national government. The Confederacy will have nothing to say to Maryland as a free state.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

Dred Scott, circa 1857

Dred Scott, circa 1857

October 13– Thursday– Baltimore, Maryland– In a state-wide election eligible voters approve by a narrow margin, a new state constitution which abolishes slavery. The vote is 30, 174 in favor and 29,799 in opposition.

October 13– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “The President is greatly importuned and pressed by cunning intrigues just at this time. Thurlow Weed and Raymond are abusing his confidence and good nature badly. Hay says they are annoying the President sadly.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

pro-Lincoln cartoon

pro-Lincoln cartoon

October 13– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln tells John Hay, one of his personal secretaries, that he [Lincoln] will not be in any hurry to replace the late Chief Justice, Roger B Taney.

October 13– Thursday– Rice Springs Farm, Georgia– Federal cavalry troopers tangle with a Confederate force and drive them off toward Alabama. Total Union casualties– killed, wounded, missing– are 14. Total Confederate losses are over 70.

October 14– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “The Massachusetts 54th Regiment, of colored troops, has been paid off by the government in full to August 31. The soldiers have sent back to their families and friends in this city and vicinity the sum of $45,000 and the money has been received through Adams & Co’s Express. This is a most gratifying announcement. Justice ‘long delayed through hesitating Congressional legislation’ is at last done these brave men. The large amount they so promptly and considerately send home for the relief of their suffering families, and to liquidate what debts they may owe, is highly creditable to them.” ~ The Liberator. [The $45,000 delayed wages paid to the soldiers of the 54th would equal $688,000 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.] Today’s edition also carries a letter from two Englishman who write in support of Mr Lincoln, a letter which says in part that General McClellan’s “claims to office seem to us to rest on the fact, that he will do as little good to the Negro in his civil as he has done harm to the enemy in his military capacity. Mr. Lincoln’s claims are founded on the fact that he has done more for the emancipation of your colored people in his single administration than all the other Presidents put together, and that he is conducting his country through a crisis of almost unexampled difficulty, and under storms of abuse with which up to this time only great men have been honored, if not with the genius, certainly with the pertinacity and honesty of a Cromwell. The last news which has reached this country leads us to hope that, if you are true to yourselves, and careful to repel compromises such as govern Seymour’s ‘peace-at any-price’ Democrats, and their friend the London Times, would have you make, the most disgraceful conspiracy that history records may, in its overthrow, be made to subserve her greatest triumph.”

54th Massachusetts

54th Massachusetts

October 14– Friday– New York City– “What subject of human thought and action is higher than politics, except only religion? What political issues have arisn for centuries more monentous than those dependent on this election? They are to determine the destinies– the daily life– of the millions and millions who are to live on this continent for many generations to come. They will decide the relations of the laboring man toward the capitalist in 1900 A.D., from Maine to Mexico.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

October 14– Friday– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–Andrew Carnegie, age 29, forms his first iron business, the Cyclops Iron Company. [Carnegie, born in Dunfermline, Scotland, arrived in the United States in the summer of 1848. He dies on August 11, 1919. His fortune at his death will be in excess of $350 million, equal to $4.72 billion today, using the Consumer Price Index. The literature about Carnegie is voluminous; I recommend Andrew Carnegie by Joseph F Wall (1989) and Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America by Les Standiford (2005).

Andrew Carnegie, circa 1878

Andrew Carnegie, circa 1878

October 14– Friday– Wheeling, West Virginia– A large torchlight parade and mass meeting in support of the reelection of President Lincoln takes place, the largest such demonstration the city has ever seen.

October 14– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “Seward was quite exultant over the elections; feels strong and self -gratified. Says this Administration is wise, energetic, faithful, and able beyond any of its predecessors; that it has gone through trials which none of them has ever known, and carried on, under extraordinary circumstances and against combinations such as the world has never known, a war unparalleled in the annals of the world. The death of Judge Taney was alluded to. His funeral takes place to-morrow. The body will pass from his residence at 7 a.m. to the depot; and be carried to Frederick, Maryland. . . . I have never called upon him living . . . his position and office were to be respected . . . . That he had many good qualities and possessed ability, I do not doubt; that he rendered service in Jackson’s administration is true . . . . But the course pursued in the Dred Scott case and all the attending circumstances forfeited respect for him as a man or a judge.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 14– Friday– Tullahoma, Tennessee– “Sir, the government of the United States of America should know and understand its enemies whether male or female. And treason should be made odious in both alike, I am not making war upon ‘innocent’ women; every brave man loves and respects the name of woman, but when she stoops from the high position that beautifies the character of a true woman and seeks alike, with traitors of the male gender, to undermine and sweep away the best government of earth she forfeits her claim to that high regard and becomes the most corrupt and debased of the whole human family. I repeat that I love the very name of woman, but when she unsexes herself she is a fit subject for anything. It is to them in great measure, that this country, so beautifully adapted to higher scenes and more noble purposes is made one vast scene of carnage and blood. And have they repented? No! They are doubly distilled in their fanaticism. And shall they remain here among the people they so much despise to annoy the loyal people and give information to traitors? We cannot believe it just and we are aware that it is your purpose to reward patriotism and punish treason.These rebel women express a desire to go south or for the return of the gents of

their complexion, and surely they should at least have one portion of their wish granted them, the portion that leads their minds and carcasses southward. Who says no? Not he that is tinctured with loyalty. The following is a list of applicants for a journey south and by all means they should not be disappointed in their lofty expectation. . . . They should not have the honor of living one moment more among loyal people. And justice to humanity and the interest of government requires that they be sent to Brownlow’s next Depot to the infernal regions. Other names could be mentioned but time will not admit.” ~ Letter to Union General Milroy from a man who signs himself only “KD” and names better than 15 women as rebel spies and sympathizers.

I Will Make Georgia Howl~October 1864~9th to 11th

I Will Make Georgia Howl ~ General Sherman.

William Tecumseh Sherman advises General Grant of his plans for the next operation in Georgia. Plenty of fighting and raiding goes on in Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee. A Northern woman calls on the widow of President Polk. In the midst of election worries President Lincoln maintains his sense of humor. Canadian officials continues discussion about confederation.

refugees leaving Atlanta

refugees leaving Atlanta

October 9– Sunday– Tullahoma, Tennessee– Union General R H Milroy requests a cavalry regiment of the United States Colored Troops to deal with Confederate activity in the area of Fayetteville, Tennessee.

October 9– Sunday– Chattahoochee River, Georgia– “We have had despatches of another fight at Allatoona, in which the rebels were discomfited. General Sherman has telegraphed to General Slocum that Hood was moving south and might swing around upon him; it would seem, therefore, that the road is now clear. Then there is hope ahead, and we may at least hope, before another week passes, to be in communication with our homes. We are no longer in Atlanta I received orders on Friday night to march my regiment to the Chattahoochee River bridge and there report to Colonel Smith, commanding the 1st Brigade of our division. We came down accordingly and have just got into our new camp. There is not a board here and it is very cold; we ought to have fireplaces. We were fairly driven into bed last night by the cheerless cold at seven o’clock. To-night we will sleep in our uniforms, otherwise there is no standing it. A portion of the railroad bridge was carried off by the current about a week ago, and it has been impassable ever since; thus misfortunes multiply upon this road. The repairs will be completed today. We are in a terribly sad state of ignorance. We know that communications are now open, but beyond that, not a word. . . . We have not a grain of forage for our horses. I have sold my extra one, as I had not half enough for my Jennie, who is no longer as round as a ball. A sort of cane that grows in the marshes, leaves and sticks must keep them alive. One of our couriers was waylaid between here and Atlanta and murdered by guerrillas yesterday. His dead body was found by the wayside, rifled of his arms, with one bullet through his head and one through his breast. We have to get up at four o’clock every morning now, so as to be on the alert in case the rebels should come, but they won’t come here. What good would it do them? The destruction of a bridge so near to Atlanta will too poorly compensate Mr. Hood even for a trifling loss, and he has learned from experience that he cannot assault our fortified positions without very heavy loss.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

General Sherman in camp

General Sherman in camp

October 9– Sunday– near Allatoona, Georgia– “I can make this march, and I will make Georgia howl!” ~ Telegram from Union General William Tecumseh Sherman to General Ulysses S Grant as Sherman reveals his plan to strike southeast toward Savannah.

October 9– Sunday– Andersonville, Georgia– At the Andersonville prison camp the quartermaster establishes a factory for making shoes for the inmates, and a brewery for the production of a medical drink called corn beer, to combat scurvy, a major disease caused by a diet lacking in fresh foods.

October 9– Sunday– Boonville, Missouri; Russellville, Missouri; California, Missouri; St Francois County, Missouri; Fauquier County, Virginia; Bayou Sarah, Louisiana; Ven Wert, Georgia– Harrying, probing and assaulting.

October 10– Monday– New York City– “Cold. War news not much, but of a good sort. Sheridan seems to have harried the Valley of Virginia like a Viking.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

General Phil Sheridan

General Phil Sheridan

October 10– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “A convention of Maryland has framed a new constitution for the State; a public meeting is called for this evening at Baltimore to aid in securing its ratification by the people, and you ask a word from me for the occasion. I presume the only feature of the instrument about which there is serious controversy is that which provides for the extinction of slavery. It needs not to be a secret and I presume it is no secret, that I wish success to this provision. I desire it on every consideration. I wish all men to be free. I wish the material prosperity of the already free, which I feel sure the extinction of slavery would bring. I wish to see in process of disappearing that only thing which ever could bring this nation to civil war. I attempt no argument. Argument upon the question is already exhausted by the abler, better informed, and more immediately interested sons of Maryland herself. I only add that I shall be gratified exceedingly if the good people of the State shall, by their votes, ratify the new constitution.” ~ Letter from President Lincoln to Henry W. Hoffman.

October 10– Monday– Petersburg, Virginia– “We had a rich beef . . . just before I left the sharpshooters which I do not think I told you about. About an hour by sun one bright beautiful morning, a fine fat young cow was seen crossing the Yankee picket line, and making direct for our line, with a high head and quick step looking as wild as a buck. She halted in front of our outposts . . . but two of our boys anxious to obtain some fat Yankee beef succeeded by getting around her in forcing her to cross. They then yelled at her and on she came to our line in full tilt. Several of the boys gathered their guns, determined not to let her pass unmolested, myself among the rest. Just before she got up to our line the sharp crack of a rifle rang through the air, but as she was running, the ball missed her and the noise only made her more wild and quickened her pace. Bang! Bang! Crack! Crack! went another and another rifle but on she went or came; crossing our line and going to the rear. I shot at her about 150 yards in full speed, the ball passing just over her shoulders and entering the ground beyond, making the dust rise but getting no beef. By this time several of the Sharpshooters from each Regiment were after her. Crack! Crack! went the sharp ring of the rifles till I think about the 20th shot she fell headlong to the ground. She was immediately butchered and divided among all the Sharpshooters from the Brigade, each man getting a large hunk of tender fat beef. Now the mournful part of the tune had not come. Up to that time it was all excitement and fine fun for us. The Colonel commanding the Regiment in our rear, thinking sure we were attacked, had his men to Arms yet in the trenches wait patiently the approaching conflict as he thought. As no Yanks came he sent down to know the cause of the alarm. Learning the cause he sent for all that fired to appear before him immediately. I being Sergeant had to carry the squad up and myself with them. There were 6 of us from our Regiment being arraigned in his august presence, he called on me for full detail, which I gave, closing with a plea of defense, as we did it under excitement, etc. He gave us a long lecture, telling us he did not mind our getting the cow but the fuss we made. He sent us back and that night sent us word that he would acquit us but we must do so no more. The boys said they would not unless another cow came over.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

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October 10– Monday– Nashville, Tennessee– “Called this morning on Mrs. James K. Polk to obtain some leaves and flowers for souvenirs of the place, to arrange on paper for a Sanitary Fair. Received very cordially by Mrs. Polk, who accompanied me to the grounds and cut the leaves and blossoms for me herself. She also presented a fine photograph of the place, taken from Vine Street, and showing the tomb of the ex-president. Mrs. Polk has not entered society since the death of her husband. In person she is perhaps a trifle above the medium height, slender, with high forehead and delicate features, and bears marks of taste and refinement. Think she has passed through the ordeal of her former position with a true sense of its real worth in comparison with Christian duties and deeds of philanthropy.” ~ Journal of Elvira Powers. [Sarah Childress Polk, age 60, is the childless widow of President James Polk who died in the spring of 1849. She receives a government pension of $5,000 per year, which would equal $76,500 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index. While publicly proclaiming her neutrality, privately she has voiced pro-Union sentiments. She will have the longest widowhood of any former First Lady by the time she dies on August 14, 1891.]

Sarah Polk

Sarah Polk

October 10– Monday– Rectortown, Virginia; Thorn Hill, Tennessee; near Gallatin, Tennessee; near Valley Station, Colorado Territory; Pemiscot, County, Missouri; near Rome, Georgia; Eastport, Mississippi– Skirmishes, raids, expeditions and assaults.

October 10– Monday– Quebec City, Quebec, Canada– Delegates meet to discuss forming a Canadian confederation.

October 11– Tuesday– New York City– Union General Phil Sheridan “describes his recent operations. He says that he has destroyed, in the Shenandoah, Luray and Little Fort valleys, over two thousand barns filled with wheat, hay and farming implements, and over seventy mills filled with flour and wheat. He has obtained a very large number of horses, has driven four herds of stock before the army, and has killed and issued to it about three thousand sheep. This destruction and this spoliation are in accordance with the instructions of General Grant, who finds in these severe measures the only preventive of the enemy periodical incursions down the valley, which he is determined shall be stopped. General Sheridan says he has rendered the entire country through which he has passed untenable to the rebel army, and has made the inhabitants sick of the war, which before they were not, owing to the abundance in the midst of which they were living. These are the people, many of whom had protection papers from former commanders of our forces, who have for some time been bushwacking every Union train and small party passing along their roads. Railroad communications through from Alexandria to Strasburg will be completed in a few days. The soldiers in Sheridan’s department have suffered considerably from the cold weather of the past few days. Snow fell to the depth of three inches at Cumberland, Maryland, on Saturday last.” ~ New York Herald.

October 11– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln spends most of the evening in the telegraph office monitoring voting results from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. In between messages he reads and laughs over pages from The Nasby Papers by David Locke, a book of political satire which pokes fun at Democrats and Copperheads. Lincoln will periodically read out loud to whole room sections which he finds very funny. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton complains privately to an assistant about how Lincoln “when the safety of the Republic was thus at issue . . . could turn aside to read such balderdash and to laugh at such frivolous jests.”

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October 11– Tuesday– Harrisburg, Pennsylvania– In state-wide elections Republicans gain 3 seats in the U S House of Representatives, winning 15 of 24 seats.

October 11– Tuesday– Columbus, Ohio– In state-wide elections Republicans gain 12 seats in the U S House of Representatives, winning 17 of 19 seats.

October 11– Tuesday– Indianapolis, Indiana– In state-wide elections Republicans gain 4 seats in the U S House of Representatives, winning 8 of 11 seats.

October 11– Tuesday– New Market, Virginia– “We are off again tomorrow & I shall not be able to write to you for a day or two so I will write before I retire. I wrote you a few days ago – yours of the 4th Instant came a day after Mr. Robinson’s 2nd ‘Sunday surprise’ – I wanted to surprise you the 3rd Sunday but ‘Old Jubal’[General Early] said ‘no’ so I had to moodily submit & forgo a sweet day at home & spend a cheerless one in camp but I trust such days will not last always & that a kind Providence will permit us to spend many quiet & happy years at home – all the more happy because we have been compelled to spend so many away from each other & have been taught to appreciate the more fully each the others worth & mutual benefit. . . . It seems hard my Dear to call out [all] the . . . men, but the next 6 weeks determine our fate & every man must come out for that time & do his duty – if they do all will be well & they can then go home in peace & stay there with safety – see what the reserves did at Saltville & so they can do everywhere until this emergency is past — All must put a shoulder to the wheel & roll on to the end of this campaign & I feel that the end will then come. Our men in the field have lost none of their accustomed courage, their leaders none of their accustomed skill, but our ranks are depleted by the many bloody battles of this mighty campaign & we must have our lines lengthened to oppose those of the insolent foe that has added thousands upon thousands to his from every household in the North. The enemy is determined to do all that numbers can do this year & we must, shall , & will meet him with even numbers – no even as figures tell it, but every as moral courage & unconquerable will tell it. So say for me, to all that they must cheerfully come now, and in two months all will be well . . . . Get all your flour & eatables home as soon as you can – get Mr. Reed to get a Bushel of flour from Mr. Smith – for you. Pleasant dreams to you & may Heavenly blessings descend upon the heads of all the ‘loved ones at home.’ Write soon.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

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October 11– Tuesday– Morris Island, South Carolina– “I take this opportunity of informing you that I am Well as Present & Hope that when this Comes to your Hand it may Find you enjoying the Blessings of God. I thought that I would Let you Know that I would Not get Home this time.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Jacob Watson, a black man serving with the 54th Massachusetts, to his brother Hezekiah.

A Conflict Between Free Labor & Slave Labor~October 1864~the 7th to 9th

A Conflict Between Free Labor and Slave Labor ~ Henry C. Wright.

Writing in The Liberator, Henry C. Wright, age 67, a radical abolitionist, pacifist, anarchist and feminist characterizes the war as one between free labor and slave labor and encourages workers to vote for Lincoln. Whitman worries about his brother George, now a prisoner. Varina Davis writes about the late Rose Greenhow. A Northern woman has an inside look at a Tennessee prison. George Templeton Strong hears a story about his father. Plenty of hard fighting on many fronts. Yet the world turns.

Lincoln campaign poster

Lincoln campaign poster

October 7– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “This war is the laboring man’s war; a conflict between free labor and slave labor. Shall the North be subjugated to slave labor, or the south to free labor? The slaveocracy and their apologists in the North and in Europe claim that the South represents capital, and the North labor; that the South is capitalist, and the North the laborer. By slavery, the South means labor; by slaveholder, it means capitalists; and by slave, it means laborer. That labor and slavery, and laborer and slave, are one and the same thing, is the pervading sentiment of the South. . . . Laborers of the North! For whom and for what do you mean to vote on the 8th of next November? For freedom or for slavery to the toiling millions of this nation and continent, and of the world? All who vote for Lincoln vote for dignity to labor and for freedom and self-respect to the laborer; but all who vote for McClellan vote for the enslavement of the laborer, and for the degradation and dishonor of labor. Voting Laborers! Will you vote for your own disfranchisement, degradation and dishonor? Will you vote for concubinage or for marriage? for the prostitution, pollution and damnation of your wives and mother, your daughters and sisters, or for their purity elevation and happiness? Your votes must tell for the blessings of free labor, or for the horrors of slave labor. They must tell for freedom and free labor in Lincoln, or for slavery and slave labor in McClellan. They must tell for the elevation and happiness of laborers in the Baltimore Platform; or for their degradation, their enslavement and ruin in the Chicago platform. Are you for Lincoln and free labor, or for McClellan and slave labor? Earth’s toiling millions wait and watch for the answer you may give by your ballots the 8th of November. Heaven grant your votes may be against slavery and slave labor, and for freedom and free labor!” ~ Letter to The Liberator from Henry C. Wright.

Henry C Wright, c.1847

Henry C Wright, c.1847

October 7– Friday– Columbia, South Carolina– “I went out to the gate to greet the President, who met me most cordially; kissed me, in fact. Custis Lee and Governor Lubbock were at his back. Immediately after breakfast (the Presidential party arrived a little before daylight) General Chesnut drove off with the President’s aides, and Mr. Davis sat out on our piazza. There was nobody with him but myself. Some little boys strolling by called out, ‘Come here and look; there is a man on Mrs. Chesnut’s porch who looks just like Jeff Davis on postage-stamps.’ People began to gather at once on the street. Mr. Davis then went in. Mrs. McCord sent a magnificent bouquet I thought, of course, for the President ; but she gave me such a scolding afterward. She did not know he was there ; I, in my mistake about the bouquet, thought she knew, and so did not send her word. The President was watching me prepare a mint julep for Custis Lee when Colonel McLean came to inform us that a great crowd had gathered and that they were coming to ask the President to speak to them at one o clock.” ~ Diary of Mary Chesnut.

Mary Chesnut

Mary Chesnut

October 7– Friday– St Louis, Missouri– Birth of Louis F. Gottschalk, composer and conductor. [Dies July 15, 1934.]

October 7– Friday– Dallas, Georgia; Kingston, Tennessee; Johnston’s Farm, Virginia; Four Mile Creek, Virginia; near Columbia Furnace, Virginia; near Strasburg, Virginia; near Jefferson City, Missouri; Tyler’s Mills, Missouri; Moreau Creek, Missouri– Showdowns, encounters and free-for-alls.

October 7– Friday– of the coast of Bahia, Brazil–A U S warship, Wachusett, attacks and captures the CSS Florida in Brazilian waters, violating Brazilian neutrality.

October 7– Friday– St Petersburg, Russia– Apollon Grigoryev, poet and songwriter, dies at age 42 of problems from his alcoholism.

October 8– Saturday– New York City– “Even a drawn battle is a victory just now, for Rebeldom is exhausted, outnumbered, and suffocating– teste [Latin for ‘witness’] rebel newspaper articles, general orders, and Jefferson Davis’s Macon speech.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

October 8– Saturday– New York City– “The war has been described as ‘fratricidal,’ ‘sanguinary,’ ‘inhuman,’ ‘terrible.’ Of course it is. All war is. And how fearful, therefore, is their responsibility who begin it. The Copperhead orators and papers are very fond of this strain. If Sheridan wins a victory, or Sherman, or Farragut, or Grant, these people fall to shedding tears and bemoaning the families made wretched. Tears enough must indeed be shed, hearts broken, and homes desolated so long as the war lasts. Why, then, do not these canting worms entreat their friends the public enemies to lay down their arms and give us peace? If the Copperhead heart is so wrung with the misery of wounded soldiers and wretched families, let it urge the deluded men who are resisting the Government which never harmed them to submit to the laws which they themselves helped to make.  When the haughty leaders of the rebels threatened the country before the attack on Sumter, when they declared that if they could not have their own way they would overthrow the Government and dissolve the Union, why did not these plaintive Copperheads hiss them down, and recount to them the horrors of the war which they were provoking? Instead of that they told the friends of the Union and the Constitution that if they did not submit to the menaces of those leaders, they, the loyal men, would be responsible for the bloodshed! That is to say, if you awake and find a ruffian with his hand at your wife’s throat, you are guilty, if in the struggle she is hurt. That is the contemptible cant which crops out in the Chicago platform, and in all the harangues and papers of the Chicago party. The war is shocking, they say, and ought to stop. Certainly it ought, and when those who began it choose to stop fighting it will end. Meanwhile the American people will fight them—spelling fight as Sheridan is reported to spell it, ‘f-i-g-h-t, kill’– until they do choose to stop.” ~ Harper’s Weekly.

October 8– Saturday– Brooklyn, New York– “I am pretty well, perhaps not so unconsciously hearty as before my sickness. We are depressed in spirits home here about my brother George . . . if not killed, he is a prisoner– he was in the engagement of September 30 on the extreme left. My book is not yet being printed. I still wish to stereotype it myself. I could easily still put it in the hands of a proper publisher then, & make better terms with him. . . . The weather here is fine of late– to-day a little blowy. The political meetings in New York & Brooklyn are immense. I go to them as to shows, fireworks, cannon, clusters of gaslights, countless torches, banners & mottos, 15, 20, 50,000 people. Per contra I occasionally go riding off in the country, in quiet lanes, or a sail on the water, & many times to the sea shore at Coney Island. All the signs are that Grant is going to strike forthwith, perhaps risk all. One feels solemn who sees what depends. The military success, though first-class of war, is the least that depends.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to his friend Charles W. Eldridge.

walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

October 8– Saturday– New Market, Virginia– “We got here yesterday & are resting today – the enemy has gone on down the Valley [where] they did a great deal of burning. I am very tired – it is really cold this morning. Keep my coat until I send for it. The news from Missouri & Georgia is very cheering. I send you a piece of a Broome County paper. Send it to Nelson – the Courier is going & I can only say blessings on you all & love for you. Write me often. I suppose we shall go on.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

October 8– Saturday– Richmond, Virginia– “Nothing has so impressed me as the account of poor Mrs Greenhow’s sudden summons to a higher court than those she strove to shine in. And not an hour in the day is the vivid picture which exists in my mind obliterated of the men who rowed her in across ‘the cruel, crawling, hungry foam’ and her poor wasted beautiful face all divested of its meretricious ornaments and her scheming head hanging helplessly upon those who but an hour before she felt so able and willing to deceive. She was a great woman spolied by education – or the want of it. She has left few less prudent women behind her– and many less devoted to our cause. ‘She loved much,’ and ought she not to be forgiven? May God have mercy upon her and upon her orphan child.” ~ Letter from First Lady Varina Davis to her friend Mary Chesnut.

Varina Davis, First Lady of the Confederacy

Varina Davis, First Lady of the Confederacy

October 8– Saturday– Nashville, Tennessee– “‘How is it about the health of those who work here all the time?’ was the query. ‘Good,’ the overseer replied emphatically.’I was but sixteen when I first engaged in the business-was slender and weakly, but in a year’s time was strong and well.’This does not prove, however, that he might not be just as well, if a carpenter or machinist, and his labor have been of some befit to the world, instead of the reverse. Wanted to lower his self-respect a little by telling him so, but didn’t. We saw also the narrow cells where they [the prisoners] sleep. One cell was only occupied, by a maniac. He was chained by the foot, and standing in the open door with hands behind him. We were cautioned not to go within a certain distance. His position indicated that his hands were folded or carefully crossed, but we found afterward that he held a club in his right hand. He watched us in silence with lowering eyebrows and hanging head, apparently measuring the distance between himself and us, with his small, black, malignant eye. ‘Cannot I speak to him’ inquired one of the ladies. ‘Yes, you can, but I wouldn’t advise you to,’ said our attendant.’You’d likely be sorry for it if you do. He never speaks to anyone unless spoken to, but that easily angers him.’ It seems that for years he was a captain on the Mississippi River, where he acted on the proverb that drowned men tell no tales with those whose purses he thought worth his care. He afterward became a highway robber on land. His term of fifteen years expired about a week since, and they have been trying to get him transferred to the Insane Asylum, but the officers of said institution object to receiving him on account of being made insane while here. He has been so dangerous that he has been chained constantly for four years. They dare not go near enough for him to get hold of one, and his foot is pushed within his reach. Kindness they say only makes him worse-treating those worst who show him favors.” ~ Journal of Elvira Powers, a Northern woman, describing her visit with several other women to the state penitentiary.

Elvira Powers

Elvira Powers

October 8– Saturday– Andersonville, Georgia– Several major Confederate prison officials are transferred from the Andersonville prison camp to Camp Lawton, Georgia.

October 8– Saturday– in the Luray Valley, Virginia; Tom’s Brook, Virginia; the Vaughan Road near Petersburg, Virginia; Rogersville, Tennessee; Barry County, Missouri; near Jefferson City, Missouri– Sorties and intrusions.

October 8– Saturday– St Hilaire de Rouville, Quebec, Canada– Birth of Ozias Leduc, painter. [Dies June 16, 1955.]

October 9– Sunday– New York City– Birth of Jessica Blanche Peixotto, only daughter and first of five children of Raphael and Myrtilla Davis Peixotto. She will become the second woman to earn a doctoral degree from the University of California (1900) and build a career as an educator and social economist, studying and writing on such issues as unemployment, the need of a living wage, insurance for the unemployed and the elderly, and the social costs of poverty. [Dies October 19, 1941]

Jessica Blanche Peixotto

Jessica Blanche Peixotto

October 9– Sunday– New York City– “After dinner Mr Ruggles came in, bringing Judge Selden to look at some of my old books. The Judge is fervent in patriotism and . . . . thinks that Lincoln will be re-elected– God grant it!– and laments his own want of early training and his inability to read Latin, German, and French. Tells me that one of earliest legal recollections is a brief of may father’s for some motion before a vice-chancellor at Rochester or thereabouts in 1829 or 1830.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

October 9– Sunday– Tom’s Brook, Virginia–General Sheridan orders his cavalry to attack a detachment of Confederate cavalry that have been harassing the Union column. The running battle covers 10 miles before the Union cavalry stop, having captured 300 Confederates.

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We Have High Hopes~October 1864~the 3rd to 6th

We Have High Hopes ~ Marion Hill Fitzpatrick.

Southern soldiers, civilians and President Jeff Davis remain optimistic and encourage others that Sherman’s army can be driven from Georgia. Federal troops ravage the Shenandoah Valley. Plenty of fighting continues in many places. An arrest will lead to an important Supreme Court case. All the while the world goes on.

damage in Atlanta

damage in Atlanta

October 3– Monday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “Mr. W. W. Sharp, a refugee from Atlanta arrived in this city on Saturday. General Sherman sent those of the people of Atlanta who could establish their loyalty, North, and those who made no pretensions to loyalty were sent South. Mr. Sharp says that the rebels have their last man in the army. He has seen old men at work in the trenches who were so feeble that they could not get out without assistance. One of the councilmen who, together with the Mayor of Atlanta, sent a petition to General Sherman asking him to reconsider his order banishing the people from the town, came as far North as Louisville in company with Mr. Sharp. When the war broke out the councilman was worth a half a million in money. Now he is an almost destitute condition possessed of only a little money than was necessary to bring himself and family North.” ~ Wheeling Intelligencer.

October 3– Monday– Mt Sidney, Virginia– “The Yankees are now near Harrisonburg, but I hope they will not be there long. They did but little damage in Augusta county; burned a few barns and mills in the lower end of the county, but in Rockingham they have done a vast amount of damage, burning mills, barns, wheat and hay stacks, and robbing houses. . . . They are all well at home. Got a good deal frightened about the Yankees. What are you doing and all the family? I should be delighted to see you all, but see no chance now. I have only been three days at home since March. My love to all. Write me soon.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his brother Nelson.

October 3– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– “We regret to learn that Lewis E. Harvie, Esq., President of the Danville [rail] road, met with a serious accident on Saturday evening last. He was on his way to the city on a hand car, and when near Manchester came in collision with the up passenger train, by which the hand car was thrown from the track, and Mr. Harvie had his thigh broken and received other injuries. Prompt medical treatment was afforded him, and we trust he may soon recover from his injuries.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

October 3– Monday– Columbia, South Carolina– General Hood now has his eye “fixed upon a point far beyond that where he was assailed by the enemy. . . . And if but a half, nay one-fourth, of the men to whom the service has a right, will give him their strength, I see no chance for Sherman to escape from a defeat or a disgraceful retreat.”~ Speech by President Jeff Davis.

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis

October 3– Monday– Dooly County, Georgia– “I believe the people have fully recovered now from the discouraging effects produced by the fall of Atlanta. I don’t hear any advocate reconstruction. All seem to be, since seeing General Hood’s communication to Sherman, and hearing President Davis’ speech in Macon on his visit to General Hood’s headquarters, more determined than ever if possible, not to be subjugated. I’m unable to enlighten you with any new incidents from our army, or allow me, to call it, merely the Georgia army. I don’t like to claim it as ours so long as it meets with so many reverses. You say ‘You are proud to belong to General Lee’s army.’I’ve heard the same expression from many who belonged to that army and I agree with you that you ought to consider it an honor. In my last [letter], I think I said it was thought General Bragg would supercede Hood, it should have been Beauregard, although he hasn’t done so yet, but many think it probable.” ~ Letter from Maggie Cone to her fiance Alva Benjamin Spencer.

October 3– Monday– near Kennesaw, Georgia; Miller’s Station, Missouri; Morganza, Louisiana; Mount Elba, Arkansas; Mount Jackson, Virginia; North River, Virginia– Raids, demonstrations and skirmishes.

October 4– Tuesday– Mooers Forks, New York– Birth of Eliza Kellas, the first daughter and second child of Alexander and Elizabeth Perry Kellas. She will become an educator, in 1911 the principal of the Emma Willard School [formerly Troy Female Seminary] and in 1916 the president of the Russell Sage College of Practical Arts, holding joint appointments until 1928. [Dies April 10, 1943].

Eliza Kellas

Eliza Kellas

October 4– Tuesday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “John M. Phillips was arrested on Saturday evening upon sworn evidence that he had yelled for Jeff Davis and not for cheering for McClellan, as has been stated by a newspaper of this city. Singularly enough, Phillips, though a rank rebel, is not a McClellan man. He has been in the rebel army and has taken the oath of allegiance before the Federal Court and given bond for his good behavior. We learn that he will be held for trial by a Military Commission for a violation of his oath.” ~ Wheeling Intelligencer.

October 4– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “But little at the Cabinet of special importance. Governor Dennison, the new Postmaster-General, for the first time took his seat.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles. [Ohio-born William Dennison, now approaching his 49th birthday, is a lawyer, businessman, banker and politician, one of the founders of the Republican Party and served as governor of Ohio from 1860 to 1862. He chaired the Republican National Convention in Baltimore which nominated Lincoln for reelection. His appointment to replace Montgomery Blair is both a reward and insurance of certain segments of Republican voters. Dennison dies June 15, 1882.]

William Dennison

William Dennison

October 4– Tuesday– Winchester, Virginia– “I met a lady a days since who has had three brothers killed and one maimed for life since the war began. She is still bitter and desires to have the war go on.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

October 4– Tuesday– Petersburg, Virginia– “There is no fighting going on now. They fought last Thursday, Friday & Saturday. The Yanks still hold a small portion of our works on each wing, which it will be hard to recapture now and I do not think will be tried anymore. Our loss is said to be very light. The enemy’s loss is reported to be heavy. The spirits of the army are reviving now, though they have never been at a low ebb. We have checked Grant in all his grand movements on Richmond, inflicted severe loss on him, and we have high hopes that with the aid of Forrest in the rear that Hood will be enabled to drive Sherman from Georgia soil. I look for trouble from Sherman’s raids as it seems there is a large gap left open for him but I will hope for the best.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

October 4– Tuesday– Acworth, Georgia; Moon’s Station, Georgia; near Lost Mountain, Georgia; near Richwoods, Missouri; near Memphis, Tennessee; White’s Station, Tennessee; near Bayou Sara, Louisiana– Harrying, incursions and forays.

October 5– Wednesday– Huntington, Indiana– Lambdin P Milligan, age 52, a lawyer opposed to the war and involved with the pro-Southern group Knights of the Golden Circle, is arrested by Federal military authorities on charges of conspiracy, inciting insurrection and giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States. [He will eventually be freed by a decision of the U S Supreme Court, ex parte Milligan, 71US2 (1866).]

Lambdin P Milligan

Lambdin P Milligan

October 5– Wednesday– near Mt Crawford, Virginia– “I have reveille about one hour before day-break, am always awake, but never get up now, unless there are Rebs round. Did you see the new moon last night within a quarter of an inch of the evening star, and turning her back on him ? They must have been close together an hour before I could see them ; for an hour after, they were still less than an inch apart. They looked very strangely calm and peaceful and almost reproachful in the West last night, with the whole North and East, far and near, lighted up by burning barns and houses. Lieutenant Meigs was shot by a guerrilla, and by order [of General Sheridan] the village of Dayton and everything for several miles around was burned. I am very glad my Brigade had no hand in it. Though if it will help end bushwhacking, I approve it, and I would cheerfully assist in making this whole Valley a desert from Staunton north-ward, for that would have, I am sure, an important effect on the campaign of the Spring, but in partial burnings I see less justice and less propriety. I was sorry enough the other day that my Brigade should have had a part in the hanging and shooting of some of Mosby’s men who were taken, I believe that some punishment was deserved, but I hardly think we were within the laws of war, and any violation of them opens the door for all sorts of barbarity, it was all by order of the Division Commander, however. The war in this part of the country is becoming very unpleasant to an officer’s feelings. . . .I think that we shall move soon. As we are foraging our horses entirely upon the country, we have to move frequently, but lately we have done a little too much of it. This is a very scrubby letter and written before breakfast, too. I do wish this war was over! Never mind. I’m doing all I can to end it.” ~ Letter from Union officer Charles Russell Lowell to his wife Josephine.

October 5– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “The inmates of Stuart Hospital, formerly the old Fair Grounds, were thrown into a state of excitement yesterday by a desperate encounter which took place there between two men, one of whom was named D. B. Craddock. The unknown picked up a chair and struck Craddock over the head, whereupon, he drew a knife and inflicted a wound in the bowels of the other, which is likely to prove fatal. Subsequently, Craddock was arrested, and committed to Castle Thunder to await an examination by court martial.” ~ Richmond Whig.

October 5– Wednesday– Allatoona, Georgia– In hard fighting, Federal forces repel a Confederate attack. Total casualties– dead, wounded, missing– amount to 706 for the Union troops and 799 for the Confederate attackers. [The battle inspires the hymn "Hold the Fort, For We Are Coming" by Phillip Paul Bliss (1838– 1876).]

October 5– Wednesday– New Hope Church, Georgia; Thompson’s Creek, Louisiana; near St Francisville, Louisiana; Saint Charles, Louisiana; Atchafalaya, Louisiana; along the Osage River, Missouri– Bitter skirmishing.

October 5– Wednesday– Bensancon, France– Birth of Louis Jean Lumiere, pioneer movie maker. [Dies June 6, 1948.]

the Lumiere brothers, cinema pioneers

the Lumiere brothers, cinema pioneers

October 5– Wednesday– Marggrabona, East Prussia [now part of Poland]– Birth of Arthur Zimmerman, who will serve as Germany’s Foreign Secretary from November, 1916 to August, 1917. [Dies June 6, 1940.]

October 5– Wednesday– Calcutta, India– A cyclone kills approximately 70,000 people and destroys much of the city.

October 6– Thursday– New York City– “Read . . . The Trial . . . by the admirable Miss Charlotte Yonge . . . . This is the best thing the lady has written for a long while. . . . I am ashamed of being so much gratified by this little kind voice from sordid old England.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong. [Yonge, 1823– 1901, will publish 160 works between 1848 and her death.]

Charlotte Yonge

Charlotte Yonge

October 6– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “Admiral Porter has arrived from Cairo and proceeds to-morrow to Hampton Roads to take command of the North Atlantic Squadron. It is with reluctance that he comes into this transfer, but yet he breathes not an objection. I should not have mentioned the circumstance but for the fact that many put a false construction upon it. He will have a difficult task to perform and not the thanks he will deserve, I fear, if successful, but curses if he fails.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 6– Thursday– outside Petersburg, Virginia– “I set myself this morning to let you know that I am well at present and I hope these lines will find you all well. I was out on picket on Sunday night and Monday and I seen lots of rebels [from] where we stand picket . . . . we ain’t in very much danger. Hally, I would like to se you and the little ones but I Don’t suppose that I will for awhile but I want you to send me your likeness . . . . Hally I dream about home nearly every night. I dream that I was talking to you . . . . I can set in my tent and see the steeples in Petersburg. See them very plain. We have moved about 5 miles from the camp that we was at when I wrote to you before. There was a man shot in our regiment. He was shot by one of his own men. He was on picket and he went to relieve him and he halted him and he did not stop.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Sylvester McElheney to his wife Harriet.

October 6– Thursday– Brock’s Gap, Virginia; Kingsport, Tennessee; Florence, Alabama; Cole County, Missouri– Raids and melees.

West Point Classmates~03

West Point Classmates~3

Career soldiers who had graduated from the military academy at West Point, New York, became generals on both sides during the Civil War. At times this meant classmates or friends ended up on opposite sides, even fighting one another. Some of these soldiers were outstanding leaders, some were mediocre and some down right incompetent or dangerous to their commands. Here is the third of several random samples. Take note of the class rank. [Union generals are designated as USA. Confederate generals as CSA.]

Class of 1838– 45 in graduating class.

Pierre Beauregard, CSA, 2nd in the class.

General Pierre Beauregard

General Pierre Beauregard

Irvin, McDowell, USA, 23rd in the class

General Irvin McDowell

General Irvin McDowell

Henry Hopkins Sibley, CSA, 31st in the class.

General Henry Hopkins Sibley

General Henry Hopkins Sibley

Class of 1840– 42 in graduating class.

Paul O Hebert, CSA, 1st in the class.

General Paul Hebert

General Paul Hebert

William Tecumseh Sherman, USA, 6th in the class.

General William Tecumseh Sherman

General William Tecumseh Sherman

George H Thomas, USA, 12th in the class.

General George Thomas

General George Thomas

Bushrod Johnson, CSA, 23rd in the class.

General Bushrod Johnson

General Bushrod Johnson

Safely & Steadily Through the Most Desperate Perils~ October 1864~the 1st & 2nd

Safely and Steadily Through the Most Desperate Perils~ John Bright.

A British MP praises Lincoln’s leadership. Readers of Godey’s Lady’s Book, the magazine with the largest circulation in the country at the time, receive an update on the plans for Vassar College. Mexican troops prove more loyal to the Union than Texans. A Confederate spy and agent dies in the service of the Confederacy. A Confederate officer and a Federal officer provide interesting views of affair in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Walt Whitman’s brother George has been captured by the rebels.

GodeysLadysBookCoverJune1867

October– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– “We have before us the Circular of the Trustees [of Vassar College], issued at the Third Annual Meeting, January 26, 1864. It begins by stating that, owing to the present derangement in business affairs, and the magnitude of the object, it has been found best to postpone the opening of this College until the autumn of 1865. The Trustees remark: ‘The erection of a college edifice of such vast dimensions– five hundred feet in length and one hundred and seventy in depth, four stories high– embracing five independent dwelling-houses for resident officers, besides accommodations for the board, lodging, and study of three hundred young ladies, and their teachers, with full suites of class, lecture, music, and drawing-rooms, chapel and refectory, and suitable apartments for library, art-gallery, philosophical apparatus, chemical laboratory, cabinets of natural history, and all the other appurtenances of a College, the whole pervaded by a perfect system of arrangements for heating by steam, lighting by gas, and supplying with water on the most liberal scale and by the most recent and approved methods; this, of itself, and under the most favorable circumstances, was an immense task, requiring not energy and vigor alone, but extreme vigilance and caution, and a liberal allowance of time, to insure thoroughness in the work, and to avoid needless and wasteful expenditure.’ We think all who seriously consider the subject will feel that the delay was indispensable, and, as the Report suggests, may be made of much advantage to those young ladies who are hoping to enjoy the privileges of this noble institution. . . . We seriously advise every young lady who intends to become a candidate for Vassar College to prepare herself as thoroughly as possible. The Christian Founder has proved himself, in his munificent donations and just views, the true friend of woman. Every feminine heart should bless him, and every young lady who enjoys the opportunities of improvement Vassar College will bestow should endeavor to do him honor.” ~ Godey’s Lady’s Book. [Matthew Vassar, 1792– 1868, is a wealthy brewer and merchant who, at the request of a niece, donated 200 acres of land and $408,000 to build a college for women. His monetary gift would equal $6,240,000 today, using the Consumer Price Index.]

Matthew Vassar

Matthew Vassar

October 1– Saturday– New York City– “Grant and Sheridan seem doing well, thank God. May they continue to proper. The rebels have fought the battles of the last ten days without much sign of vigor. Can it be their rank and file are discouraged and demoralized?” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

October 1– Saturday– New York City– “A somewhat remarkable episode of the war took place lately on the Rio Grande. September 6 the Imperialists moved upon Matamoras. They were met at White Ranche by General Cortinas and severely repulsed. The French fell back and Cortinas pursued. Brownsville is just opposite Matamoras in Texas, and was held by a Confederate force under Ford, who sent troops across the river to operate against Cortinas in the rear. Cortinas, disposing of the French army in his front, turned upon the Confederates and drove them to Brownsville: pursuing them across the river, he occupied Brownsville and erected the United States colors.” ~ Harpers Weekly.

October 1– Saturday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “General Milroy was serenaded last evening at the McLure House. The band played the Star Spangled Banner and a spirited march, after which, loud calls were heard for ‘General Milroy’ and ‘Old Grey Eagle.’ Governor Peirpoint then stepped forward and introduced the General. General Milroy said he was nothing but a plain Western Hoosier. He would almost as soon attempt to storm a battery as to make a speech. He had received the credit of acting very promptly but would never, acquire any honor as a talker. . . . General Milroy said he believed that slavery was the cause of this war. The cause of contention ought to be removed, and he was glad that the signs of the times looked to the accomplishment of this great object.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

Union General Milroy

Union General Milroy

October 1– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “The President yesterday made inquiry of me as to the disposition made of Farragut. Informed me that General Canby wanted him to remain at Mobile, and that F. preferred doing so to coming to Wilmington. I told him Farragut was relieved of the latter duty, and he could remain as long as he pleased in the Gulf. This morning the President called at the Navy Department and made further inquiry. Said that . . . Sherman had some movements on hand, and the War Department also, and would like to know if F. could remain. I told him he could. Shortly after he left, two dispatches from Admiral Farragut came on to my table, received by this morning’s mail, in which he expressed decided aversion to taking command at Wilmington. . . . Seward and Stanton both endeavor to avoid Cabinet consultations on questions of their own Departments. It has been so from the beginning on the part of the Secretary of State, who spends more or less of every day with the President and worms from him all the information he possesses and can be induced to impart. A disposition to constantly intermeddle with other Departments, to pry into them and often to control and sometimes counteract them, has manifested itself throughout, often involving himself and others in difficulty.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 1– Saturday– near Wilmington, North Carolina– The British blockade runner Condor, with the USS Niphon in hot pursuit, runs aground. On board is the Confederate spy and agent for Confederate interests in Europe, Rose O’Neal Greenhow, age 49, with secret dispatches and $2,000 in gold. Fearing capture, she leaves the Condor in a small boat which capsizes in the storm-tossed surf. Weighed down by the gold concealed on her person, she drowns.

grave of Rose O'Neal Greenhow

grave of Rose O’Neal Greenhow

October 1– Saturday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Gabriel and Ned, black gentlemen, staked $50 aside on a game of ‘seven up. Officer Smith came upon them, like the unwelcome guest, and lodged them in jail. A lawyer undertook their defense, and mustered for the occasion all the eloquence and rhetoric of which he was master. In the course of his argument he held that gambling was only a slight offense, and too trifling to demand punishment. He considered it so trifling, in fact, and so innocent, he occasionally indulged in it himself, and had tried his luck only the night before. At this the Court smiled, the City Attorney laughed. The eloquent counsel had make a good hit, and, in appreciation thereof, the accused were released on paying the trifling fine of $10 each and cost. It was quietly suggested to our reporter that the legal gentleman was considerably more than ‘half primed’ [intoxicated].” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

October 1– Saturday– Athens, Alabama; Huntsville, Alabama; Carter’s Creek Station, Tennessee; Union, Missouri; Franklin, Missouri; Lake Springs, Missouri; Laurel Gap, Tennessee; salt Springs, Georgia; Peebles’ Farm, Virginia– Raids, assaults and skirmishes.

October 1– Saturday– Rochdale, England– “All those who have deplored the calamities which the leaders of secession have brought upon your country, who believe that slavery weakens your power and tarnishes your good name throughout the world, and who regard the restoration of your Union as a thing to be desired and prayed for by all good men, so far as I can judge, are heartily longing for the reelection of Mr. Lincoln. Every friend of your Union, probably, in Europe, every speaker and writer who has sought to do justice to your cause since the war began [hope that] Mr. Lincoln may be placed at the head of your executive for another term. . . . To us, looking on from this distance, and unmoved by the passions from which many of your people can hardly be expected to be free – regarding his Presidential path with the calm judgment which belongs rather to history than to the present time, as our outside position enables us, in some degree, to regard it – we see in it an honest endeavor faithfully to do the work of his great office, and, in the doing of it, a brightness of personal honor on which no adversary has yet been able to fix a stain. I believe that the effect of Mr. Lincoln’s reelection in England, and in Europe, and indeed throughout the world, will be this: It will convince all men that the integrity of your great country will be preserved, and it will show that republican institutions, with an instructed and patriotic people, can bear a nation safely and steadily through the most desperate perils. I am one of your friends in England who have never lost faith in your cause. I have spoken to my countrymen on its behalf; and now, in writing this letter to you, I believe I speak the sentiments and the heart’s wish or every man in England, who hopes for the freedom and greatness of your country. Forgive me for this intrusion upon you; but I cannot hold back from telling you what is passing in my mind, and I wish. if possible, to send you a word of encouragement.” ~ Letter from John Bright, member of Parliament, to Horace Greeley. [Bright, 1811– 1889, is a Quaker, fervent abolitionist and serves as a Member of Parliament for over 30 years in the course of his life.]

John Bright, MP

John Bright, MP

October 2– Sunday– Mt Sidney, Virginia– “We are again after the enemy, moved yesterday from Waynesboro to this place & today we are resting. Keeping the Sabbath for once – so I hope good may come of it. We routed the Yankee Cavalry at Waynesboro, quite handsomely & they retreated pell mell through Staunton . . . . I send Mr. Robinson over to take my coat & look after other things – I send you $50, by him. Have Miss Susan make my coat as soon as possible & write me when I can send for it – the one I have is coming to pieces rapidly – have the coat lined throughout, deep and strong pockets . . . . Please send my Jacket to me by Mr. R. he will tell you all the news. . . . Get all your flour home as soon as you can – I fear it is going to be scarce, so much wheat was burned. Ask Mr. Geeding if he cannot spare me a load of his hay – the government will get it all any way & I will pay him the same. . . . The Yanks burned J. C. Roler’s barn & stable – I hope we shall soon be able to turn the tide on them. I would come home today but I have only one horse to ride & it needs rest & we are so busy now & the General depends on me for routes &c in this region so I cannot leave just now, but hope to get home again before long– the Lord hasten the time when I may be able to stay there – I send you a fine Spencer Rifle – a present from Mr. Robinson– just what you have wanted – be careful of it & keep it hid – don’t let it be known that you have it. . . . God bless your dear soul.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

October 2– Sunday– Winchester, Virginia– “Today Captain Bowen, Surgeon Smith and myself attended the Episcopal Church, it being the only one in use, the others having been taken for hospitals. The church has a fine organ and a choir. The music was good, and we enjoyed it but the sermon was a little rebellious. The rector was trying to prove that people should receive all afflictions as from the hand of god and stated that no matter how diabolical the agents sent might be, the people should remember that the Lord sent them. (How are you, diabolical Yanks?) He prayed for all Christian rulers. I hope this included Jeff Davis, for he certainly is in need of prayer. . . . Most of the ladies were dressed in black, and it seemed almost like a funeral.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

October 2– Sunday– outside Petersburg, Virginia– Federal efforts to lengthen their lines to the left since September 30th have resulted in 2,889 total casualties, including dead, wounded, and missing. Confederate total casualties amount to 1,239. The Union siege lines have been extended by 3 miles, drawing Confederate defenses yet thinner.

October 2– Sunday– Petersburg, Virginia– “Here I am perfectly well and unhurt, but a prisoner. I was captured day before yesterday with Major Wright, Lieutenants Pooley, Cauldwell, Ackerson, Sims, and nearly the entire Regiment that was not killed or wounded Lieutenant Butler was badly wounded I am in tip top health and Spirits, and am as tough as a mule and shall get along first rate, Mother please don’t worry and all will be right in time if you will not worry I wish Walt, or Jeff would write to Lieutenant Babcock of our Regiment (who is with the Regiment) and tell him to send my things home by express, as I should be very sorry to lose them.” ~ Letter from Union officer George Whitman to his mother Louisa.

George Whitman

George Whitman

October 2– Sunday– Atlanta, Georgia– “We get no mail; no trains have gone north from Chattanooga for some time. We get no information as to the actual state of things and have to be contented as best we may. Last night we had a grand concert in Atlanta. It is said that this week is to be distinguished by a ball.” ~ Letters from Union Officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

October 2– Sunday– Big Shanty, Georgia; Fairburn, Georgia; Sand Mountain, Georgia; near Powder Springs, Georgia; Saltville, Virginia; Mount Crawford, Virginia; Bridgewater, Virginia; near Columbia, Tennessee; Washington, Missouri; Marianna, Florida– Run-ins, engagements, brouhaha and confrontations.

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