Now Contemplates Surrender to a Rebel Conspiracy ~ New York Times.
As the month ends the Democrats nominate General McClellan for president and the New York Times blasts them as unpatriotic. Around both Atlanta and Richmond food grows scarce.
August 30– Tuesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Some Wagons . . . have come 15 or 20 miles with their little supplies to exchange for something to eat, they get very little in return. One old Woman told me that the Yankees had taken all the Horses & Mules in the neighborhood, they afterwards picked up some old, rejected Horses, after getting them in a condition to work, the Rebels came & took them; leaving in the neighborhood only 1 steer (which she had in the Wagon) to go to Mill & do all the work for the neighbors– the old lady was quite out of temper & out of humor with every body; she must have felt more embittered after she finished her trading this morning, as I noticed the soldiers had determined to steal all they could from her & pay but little for the balance.” ~ Diary of William King.
August 30– Tuesday– Augusta, Georgia– “The subject of an armistice is attracting general attention. I do not feel sanguine with regard to it and indeed think that it would be a suicidal move upon the part of our government to agree to an armistice. Our ports would still continue blockaded; we would be denied the privilege of strengthening our position and Lincoln in the meanwhile would be elected.” ~ Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas.
August 31– Wednesday– New York City– “In perfect keeping with the cowardly innuendoes thus directed against the Union Army, is the plank of this rotten and perilous structure which is directed against the continuance of the war. ‘Justice, liberty and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities and a convention of the States.’ Should this convention fail; should the rebel delegates refuse to join it; or should the basis of their agreement to enter it be– as every authoritative assurance of the Southern authorities from Jefferson Davis downwards, proves it would be– absolute independence for the South, what then? Does this Chicago Convention, or those for whom it speaks, offer us no alternative before agreeing to a hopeless and helpless surrender of the Union? In all this wordy declaration of principles, where is there the first sign of a resolution to make the rejection of peace on the basis of the Union the ground and justification for enforcing by arms the supremacy of the Constitution? From first to last there is not even the barest intimation that the power of the National Government must at all hazards be asserted. The soldiers (who are considered fit objects of pity) are to have ‘care, protection and kindness’ extended to them for their needless sufferings in a four years’ war which has proved an irredeemable failure, and after that the framers of this platform are to consider their relations with the national army, its hopes, its aspirations, its patriotic endurance and its unequaled sacrifices finally wound up. . . . It will be Interesting to see how these prayers [for peace expressed in a recent speech by General McClellan] can be made to dovetail with a party creed which is framed – expressly and elaborately framed – for the purpose of accepting a degrading peace, and which even now contemplates in its complaisant paradoxes the surrender to a rebel conspiracy of all that is valuable in the national life, and all that stands between us and permanent disruption and ruin.” ~ New York Times on the Democratic Party’s platform adopted at the Chicago convention.
August 31– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Any person or persons engaged in bringing out cotton, in strict conformity with authority given by W. P. Fessenden, Secretary of the United States Treasury, must not be hindered by the War, Navy, or any other Department of the Government or any person engaged under any of said Departments.” ~ Executive order issued by President Lincoln
August 31– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “General McClellan was to-day nominated as the candidate of the so-called Democratic party. It has for some days been evident that it was a foregone conclusion and the best and only nomination the opposition could make. The preliminary arrangements have been made with tact and skill, and there will probably be liberality, judgment, andsense exhibited in launching and supporting the nominee, which it would become the Union men to imitate. That factious, narrow, faultfinding illiberality of radicals in Congress which has disgraced the press ostensibly of the Administration party, particularly the press of New York City, has given strength to their opponents. McClellan will be supported by War Democrats and Peace Democrats, by men of every shade and opinion ; all discordant elements will be made to harmonize, and all differences will be suppressed. Whether certain Republican leaders in Congress, who have been assailing and deceiving the Administration, and the faultfinding journals of New York have, or will, become conscious of their folly, we shall soon know. They have done all that was in their power to destroy confidence in the President and injure those with whom they were associated. If, therefore, the reelection of Mr. Lincoln is not defeated, it will not be owing to them. In some respects I think the President, though usually shrewd and sensible, has mismanaged. His mistakes, I think, are attributable to Mr. Seward almost exclusively. It has been a misfortune to retain Stanton . . . . the President is honest, sincere, and confiding, traits which are not so prominent in some by whom he is surrounded.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.
August 31– Wednesday– Staunton, Virginia– “I guess we have no news except what you will have heard before this reaches you. Rumor says that Early has had a fight, and whipped the Yankees badly, and captured prisoners four or five hundred, and they say he is now at Bushers hill twelve miles below Winchester Lee, (I am glad to hear) has captured two thousand prisoners, and nine pieces of artillery, but the yanks still hold the Weldon railroad. I had the wholesome pleasure of listening to two sermons last Sunday and of drinking in the word . . . as preached from the pulpit, of the Episcopal Church. – Excellent sermons; but not to be compared with that delivered by Mr. Preston, at Rocky Spring.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Robert Yates Ramsey to a friend.
August 31– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “At 8 o’clock Monday evening, as some each old shell were being melted up in Cook’s foundry, on 8th street, in rear of the War Department, one of the shell, which chanced to be loaded, exploded with a tremendous report, and threw ashes and cinders about at a great rate. Fortunately, no damage was done and nobody hurt.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.
August 31– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Bright and pleasant. The only news to-day was a dispatch from General Hood, stating that the enemy had left Holly Springs, Mississippi, for the Mississippi River, supposed to reinforce Sherman, whose communications are certainly cut. It seems to me that Sherman must be doomed. Forces are gathering from every quarter around him, and it is over 200 miles to Mobile, if he has any idea to force his way thither-ward. Attended an auction to-day. Prices of furniture, clothing, etc. still mounting higher. Common salt herrings are at $16 per dozen; salt shad, $8 a piece. Our agent was heard from to-day. He has no flour yet, but we still have hopes of getting some.” ~ Diary of John Jones.
August 31– Wednesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “A poor family Mrs. Rogers . . . gave me a terrible account of the sufferings of the families in her neighborhood from the Federal Foraging parties who are constantly coming among them, taking every little thing could find, and very often what was not wanted by them would be destroyed, that the day before yesterday a party of 7 were in the neighborhood but not more than 2 miles to her House, insulting the Women & taking & destroying every thing they could find, tearing up Bed & family Clothing, throwing away provisions & Butter Milk which they could not take away. Soon after a party of our men [Confederate soldiers] came upon them & took the whole party & took them off, & she heard from their neighbors that as our men were seen afterwards with the horses & no prisoners they thought the 7 poor wretches had been killed. She told me that the Yankees has burnt her Uncle’s (D. Daniels) dwelling House. These foraging parties commit many wanton & cruel depredations, keeping alive those bad feelings which will perpetuate this sad war.” ~ Diary of William King.
August 31– Wednesday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “We are enjoying pleasant weather now with our easy times; the nights are very cool, everything is wet in the morning. Today there was a reconnaissance sent out; they found some rebel forces not very far out. From the main army we hear nothing; we I do not know what it is doing, nor exactly where it is. Things seem to be picking up a little in Virginia. Our success in holding the Weldon Railroad, notwithstanding the strenuous efforts of the rebels to drive us from it, is certainly of importance.” ~ Letters from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.
August 31– Wednesday– Geneva, Switzerland– Ferdinand Lassalle, jurist, philosopher and socialist activist, age 39, dies of wounds sustained in a duel thee days ago. [His small political party of 4600 members will become part of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1875.]