Now Contemplates Surrender to a Rebel Conspiracy~August 1864~30th & 31st

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.

parrot-guns

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.

site of the 1864 Democratic convention

site of the 1864 Democratic 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.

General McClellan, Democratic nominee for president

General McClellan, Democratic nominee for president

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.

tending the wounded

tending the wounded

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.

sherman & artillery

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.]

Ferdinand Lassalle

Ferdinand Lassalle

Immediate Effort for a Cessation of Hostilities~August 1864~the 30th

Immediate Efforts for a Cessation of Hostilities~Democratic Party Platform.

In Chicago, the Democrats call for an immediate peace. Governor Seymour of New York vilifies Lincoln. George Whitman updates his mother on the fighting around Petersburg. Gideon Welles criticizes the army and the War Department. The descendants of the HMS Bounty mutineers make the news.

mutineers of HMS Bounty put Captain Bligh adrift

mutineers of HMS Bounty put Captain Bligh adrift

August 30– Tuesday– New York City– “Few episodes in naval history are more romantic than the story of the Mutineers of the Bounty. What caused the mutiny was never very clear, though the strange fate of those engaged in it, who took refuge in Pitcairn’s Island, has invested it with unusual interest. The severe sufferings of Captain Bligh and the eighteen set adrift with him, roused such official indignation in England that the Pandora frigate was sent in search of the Bounty to the Society Inlands. Several of the mutineers were there caught and carried to England, and three of them were afterward executed; but Christian, the leader, and eight others, together with six men and twelve women of Tahiti, had sailed away in the Bounty to Pitcairn’s Island, and after stripping the ship, burnt it, and thus isolated themselves from their race. . . . Since 1829 these people have never been quite lost sight of, but little has been known by the public at large of their actual condition. As their numbers increased beyond the capacity of the Island to maintain them, the British Government removed them to Tahiti; but, disgusted with the immorality they saw, which was inexplicable to this little community, accustomed daily to assemble twice for prayer, and to fast once in every week, they earnestly begged to return to their former home, and were accordingly taken back. But the necessity for migration became imperative, for Pitcairn’s Island was inadequate to their maintenance. At the suggestion of Queen Victoria, it is said, it was proposed to transplant them to Norfolk Island, which, since the convicts had been removed, was uninhabited. This offer was accepted, and thither they were carried in 1856, and the present condition of the colony has been, by the Queen’s command, recently made the subject of a report to the British Parliament. . . . The Governor of New South Wales is their Governor; and, in his absence, three magistrates, elected annually by universal suffrage, exercise the executive power. The courts are very paternal in their action, and their jury consists of seven persons. Education is compulsory, and they have a perfect Maine Liquor law. The use of bad language, the bearing of false witness, and slander are punished by a fine, and any crime which exceeds the contemplation of this code is punished according to the laws of New South Wales. The recommendations of Sir William have mostly been carried into effect. The chief want, a convenient port, is in a fair way to be supplied, though it may interfere with the present rule of not allowing strangers to remain on the Island. . . . Such is the present condition of the descendants of the mutineers of the Bounty. A more striking instance of total change, wrought by the influence of one man, the survivor of a band of murderers – for such they were upon one another after they burnt the Bounty – is hardly to be found. That such a change, so conspicuous after the murderous acts which cut off the other mutineers, should have occurred in that one man is, perhaps, not less wonderful than the work which be, with no counselors except a Bible and Prayer-book saved from the Bounty, afterward performed.” ~ New York Times.

satellite photo of Pitcairn Island

satellite photo of Pitcairn Island

August 30– Tuesday– Charles Town, West Virginia– “Sunday we left camp at Harpers Ferry and moved to this place again. Yesterday the Rebel Cavalry attacked our lines and we expected a battle but the enemy withdrew. I am expecting a lot of recruits now in a few days. This will give me a larger command.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

August 30– Tuesday– Chicago, Illinois– “This administration can not save this Union. It has, by its proclamations, by vindictive legislation, by displays of hate and passion, placed obstacles in its own pathway which it cannot overcome and has hampered its own freedom of action by unconstitutional acts. . . . But if the administration cannot save the Union, we can. Mr Lincoln values many things above the Union; we put it first of all. He thinks a proclamation worth more than peace. We think the blood of our people more precious than the edicts of the President. There are no hindrances in our pathways to Union and to peace. We demand no conditions for the restoration of our Union; we are shackled with no hates, no prejudices, no passions. We wish for fraternal relationship with the people of the South. We demand for them what we demand for ourselves– the full recognition of the rights of States. We mean that every star on our nation’s banner shall shine with equal luster.” ~ Speech by Horatio Seymour, Democratic governor of New York, at the Democratic National Convention. [Seymour, age 54, has been involved in politics and the Democratic Party since the early 1830's. He is sympathetic to the South and to slavery while virulently anti-Lincoln. New York City lawyer George Templeton Strong blames him for failure to take quick and firm action to suppress the rioting in July, 1863. Horace Greeley, editor of the Tribune has denounced Seymour as a "temporizing Copperhead" with dangerous and disloyal views.]

Horatio Seymour

Horatio Seymour

August 30– Tuesday– Chicago, Illinois– “Resolved, That in the future, as in the past, we will adhere with unswerving fidelity to the Union under the Constitution as the only solid foundation of our strength, security, and happiness as a people, and as a framework of government equally conducive to the welfare and prosperity of all the States, both Northern and Southern. Resolved, That this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which . . . the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view of an ultimate convention of the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States. . . . Resolved, That the aim and object of the Democratic party is to preserve the Federal Union and the rights of the States unimpaired . . . . Resolved, That the shameful disregard of the Administration to its duty in respect to our fellow-citizens who now are and long have been prisoners of war and in a suffering condition, deserves the severest reprobation on the score alike of public policy and common humanity. Resolved, That the sympathy of the Democratic party is heartily and earnestly extended to the soldiery of our army and sailors of our navy, who are and have been in the field and on the sea under the flag of our country, and, in the events of its attaining power, they will receive all the care, protection, and regard that the brave soldiers and sailors of the republic have so nobly earned.” ~ Platform of the Democratic Party adopted in convention.

site of the 1864 Democratic convention

site of the 1864 Democratic convention

August 30– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “Something must be done to close the entrance to Cape Fear River and port of Wilmington. . . . It is true that blockade-running has become systematized into a business, and the ingenuity and skill of Englishmen and the resources of English capital are used without stint in assisting the Rebels. I have been urging a conjoint attack upon Wilmington for months. Could we seize the forts at the entrance of Cape Fear and close the illicit traffic, it would be almost as important as the capture of Richmond on the fate of the Rebels, and an important step in that direction. But the War Department hangs fire, and the President, whilst agreeing with me, dislikes to press matters when the military leaders are reluctant to move. Fox urges the immediate recall of Farragut and giving him the North Atlantic Squadron. But to withdraw Farragut from Mobile suddenly will give cause for censure. The country is expecting the capture of the city of Mobile. I do not think it an important object at this moment. We have the bay and have closed all communication from abroad. To capture the city will be difficult, very difficult if the army does not take the principal work in hand.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles

August 30– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “I received your letter today & was very glad to hear from you once more– I have been wounded again but it has got well– it hit me in the right thigh this time– I have had A pretty hard time of it this summer marching & fighting together . . . I would like to see you very much I have dreamt of you often & thought of you oftener still– I expect to leave here tomorrow morning for Carlisle barracks – I was to go this morning but did not & now I am to go tomorrow morning I guess that they won’t put it off any longer my time is out in eleven days now – I have been home on A furlough – I shan’t have to do any more fighting I think.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Bethuel Smith to Walt Whitman.

August 30– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “The case of Messrs. Pollard & Elmore, charged with being concerned in the late duel, was again before the county court yesterday. The court gave its decision on the question raised as to whether Dr. Peticolas should be compelled to testify, he having declined upon the ground that his evidence might criminate himself. The decision of the court was that the witness ‘was bound to testify.’ Dr. Peticolas still respectfully declining to testify, the court issued an order for his committal to jail. Thereupon Dr. Peticolas was carried before Judge Meredith upon a writ of habeas corpus, when the Judge continued his case till this morning, and admitted him to bail in $1,000. The case will be argued before the Judge this morning at 11 o’clock. In the meantime the County Court have adjourned the case of Messrs. Pollard and Elmore till Saturday next, to await the decision of Judge Meredith.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

August 30– Tuesday– along the Weldon Railroad, Virginia– “We have moved 4 or 5 miles since I wrote you last. We came here on the 19th and expected to have a right smart fight, but so far, we have been very agreeably disappointed, as our Division has not been engaged to any extent. The first night we came here I was ordered . . . to deploy the Regiment as skirmishers and advance through a piece of woods where the enemy had been in considerable force a few hours previous, I thought we were in for a fight sure, but upon advancing and taking the position, as ordered, we found the enemy had fell back, and next morning we advanced ½ a mile further, to this place and here we have remained since. We have a splendid position here, and are very strongly entrenched, have plenty of shade, plenty to eat, plenty of good water, and are very comfortable. I think we have got this Rail Road all right although the enemy may make another effort to drive us away, but I don’t believe they will meet with any better success than they have in the three attempts they have made already, they have been pretty severely punished each time and may not think it worth while to try it again but if they are not satisfied let them keep on trying, we are prepared for them. . . . Mother I hope you take things easy and don’t worry and keep a bright look out for that little place in the country, When I get the New York papers I almost always look over the Farms for sale to see if there is anything offered that will suit us.” ~ Letter from Union soldier George Whitman to his mother Louisa.

Louisa Whitman

Louisa Whitman

A Gain to The Loyal Cause~August 1864~28th & 29th

A Gain to the Loyal Cause ~ Frederick Douglass.

Following up his meeting with Lincoln, Frederick Douglass provides a detailed proposal to draw more slaves from the South and into the Union cause. Welles speaks his mind about Secretary of State Seward. Many southerners express concern about Federal troops vandalizing or stealing property. Sherman’s soldiers find special delight in destroying railroads. The Democrats convene their national meeting to select a candidate to oppose Lincoln. Like many wealthy northern men George Templeton Strong hires a substitute rather than be drafted himself, a legal but rich man’s option under the law. The family of a wounded soldier write to Whitman.

General Sherman meeting with his officers

General Sherman meeting with his officers

August 28– Sunday– Petersburg, Virginia– “I am truly glad you’ve so far been spared the presence of the Yankee raiders; but from the recent dispatches of the press association, I’m every day afraid those uncivilized warriors will make their appearance near your home. It is doubtless their intention to free the prisoners confined at Andersonville. I hope such may never be. Should, however, such happen, I pity the fate of South Western Georgia. T’would be equivalent to turning loose so many inmates of the Asylum and Penitentiary. Neither citizens nor private property would be respected. Everything in their path would be taken or destroyed. Such has been the course pursued by them in Virginia, why should Georgia be an exception? I have known them to take jewelry from the persons of young ladies. Their object is to impoverish the citizens and enrich themselves. I do sincerely hope the day of retribution is not too far distant. Sometimes I think all raiders ought to be put to death as soon as captured; but so soon as I see them, I pity and can but treat them as prisoners of war should be.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Alva Benjamin Spencer to his finance Maggie Cone.

August 28– Sunday– Cobb County– “Sabbath again, a most delightful day, bright, clear & cool, everything quiet and calm, scarcely a thing moving about, not even on the [Rail] Roads. We have this morning traced the stolen pot, it was carried over to a Hospital at Mr. Baker’s place to wash with, they promising to return it today we left it with them, in use. The mosquitoes were very bad last night, as bad as I have ever known them in Savannah, even keeping me awake. I have written to my wife today to be sent via New York.” ~ Diary of William King.

imagesG437PAJ9

August 28– Sunday– outside of Atlanta, Georgia– “Quite early yesterday morning, squads of rebels appeared near our picket line, and patrols I sent out soon discovered a considerable force. About noon today they drove in a portion of our pickets, and at the same time opened upon our lines with two pieces of artillery. It was a reconnaissance, and when they found us posted here with infantry and artillery, they withdrew. We have a very nice place here now– a shady grove– and it would not be bad if we were to stay for a time. Our corps is in detachments at different points on the river, guarding our communications, while the rest of the army has gone on a big raid I suppose. General Locum has come and taken command of our corps. He was here yesterday, just as the fight commenced, and stayed until it was over. In personal appearance and manner, he is very prepossessing.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

August 29– Monday– Glens Falls, New York– “As we have received your letter you sent to Bethuel I will write a few lines in this and send it to you . . . he was wounded the 11 of June in his right leg a little above his knee– he rode in a government wagon 4 Days then on about one Day and night then he came to Washington– he got a furlough the first Day of July for forty Days at which period he returned to Washington to the hospital– he was very thin in flesh but looked some better when he left home his health was not very good and if the [hospital] saves his life we expect him home again next month.” ~ Letter from Christopher and Maria Smith, the parents of Bethuel Smith, a soldier in the Union cavalry, to Walt Whitman.

August 29– Monday– New York City– “I purveyed myself a substitute, a big ‘Dutch’ boy of twenty or thereabouts, for the moderate consideration of $1100. Thus do we approach the almshouse at an accelerating rate of speed. My alter ego could make a good soldier if he tried.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong. [As many wealthy Northern men, Strong hires a substitute in order to avoid the draft himself, an action permissible under Federal law at this time. The $1100 would equal $16,800 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

George Templeton Strong

George Templeton Strong

August 29– Monday– Rochester, New York– “That every slave who escapes from the Rebel states is a loss to the Rebellion and a gain to the Loyal Cause, I need not stop to argue the proposition is self evident. . . . I will therefore briefly submit at once to your Excellency the ways and means by which many such persons may be wrested from the enemy and brought within our lines: 1st Let a general agent be appointed by your Excellency charged with the duty of giving effect to your idea as indicated above: Let him have the means and power to employ twenty or twenty five good men, having the cause at heart, to act as his agents: 2d Let these Agents which shall be selected by him, have permission to visit such points at the front as are most accessible to large bodies of slaves in the Rebel States: Let each of the said agents have power to appoint one subagent or more in the locality where he may be required to operate: the said sub agent shall be thoroughly acquainted with the country and well instructed as to the representations he is to make to the slaves but his chief duty will be to conduct such squads of slaves as he may be able to collect, safely within the Loyal lines: Let the sub agents for this service be paid a sum not exceeding two dollars per day while upon active duty. 3dly In order that these agents shall not be arrested or impeded in their work, let them be properly ordered to report to the General Commanding the several Departments they may visit, and receive from them permission to pursue their vocation unmolested. 4th Let provision be made that the slaves or Freed men thus brought within our lines shall receive subsistence until such of them as are fit shall enter the service of the Country or be otherwise employed and provided for: 5thly Let each agent appointed by the General agent be required to keep a strict acct of all his transactions, of all monies received and paid out, of the numbers and the names of slaves brought into our lines under his auspices, of the plantations visited, and of everything properly connected with the prosecution of his work, and let him be required to make full reports of his proceedings at least, once a fortnight to the General Agent. 6th Also, Let the General Agent be required to keep a strict account of all his transactions with his agents and report to your Excellency or to an officer designated by you to receive such reports. 7th Let the General Agent be paid a salary sufficient to enable him to employ a competent Clerk, and let him be stationed at Washington or at some other Point where he can most readily receive communications from and send communications to his Agents: The General Agent should also have a kind of roving Commission within our lines, so that he may have a more direct and effective oversight of the whole work and thus ensure activity and faithfulness on the part of his agents– This is but an imperfect outline of the plan but I think it enough to give your Excellency an Idea of how the desirable work shall be executed.” ~ following up on the meeting of the 19th Frederick Douglass submits to President Lincoln a plan to aid slaves escape from the South.

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

August 29– Monday– Johnson’s Island, Sandusky, Ohio– “Colonel Cooper Nisbet, 66th Georgia, captured on the 22nd before Atlanta, is here and a member of my private mess. He gave me much personal intelligence. Indeed, with what I have heard from him, and from a recent letter from General Anderson’s Head Quarters, I am better informed about affairs and persons than at any time since my capture. I have undergone keen anxiety about my brothers. Ira lies in hospital at Baltimore and, from a letter showed me this morning by Colonel Phillips of Georgia from a lady who has been kind to him, I fear his recovery is doubtful. I have heard of Egbert, but not from him. He is supposed to be at [the prisoner of war camp at] Elmira, New York. All that remains of poor Sanders has been kindly cared for at Frederick City, Maryland.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Henry McDaniel to his sweetheart Hester C. Felker in Georgia. [He will survive the war and marry Hester on December 20, 1865.]

August 29– Monday– Chicago, Illinois– The Democratic National Convention opens with a speech by Mr August Belmont. Belmont, a wealthy businessman and Democratic politician, age 50, declares, “Four years of misrule, by a sectional, fanatical and corrupt party, have brought our country to the very verge of ruin. The past and present are sufficient warnings of the disastrous consequences which would befall us if Mr Lincoln’s re-election should be made possible by our want of patriotism and unity.”

site of the 1864 Democratic convention

site of the 1864 Democratic convention

August 29– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “We have word through Rebel channels that the Union forces have possession of Fort Morgan. This will give us entire control of the Bay of Mobile. . . . The Rebel leaders understand [Secretary of State William] Seward very well. He is fond of intrigue, of mystery, of sly, cunning management, and is easily led off on a wild chase by subtle fellows who can without difficulty excite his curiosity and flatter his vanity. Detectives, secret agents, fortune-tellers are his delight.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

August 29– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– “Saturday night, about one o’clock, the torch of the incendiary was applied to the stable of Mr. John M. Daniel, on Council Chamber Hill. The flames being undiscovered until they had gained considerable headway, the building and also two adjoining stables were destroyed. The horses in each were gotten out in safety by a party who were returning from the Theatre.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

August 29– Monday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Cool, clear pleasant day again. I walked out to the Powder Spring Road to learn what was going on in the big World. I saw an old Woman who had just moved into the Johnson Brick House (without doors or Window shutters) with her sick Husband & 8 children, she had come from Campbell County, to see if they could get some work to make a living, she thought they might be able to get washing & sewing enough to supply them with provisions to sustain life, the Husband she says was very sickly, & could do nothing to help. I will go & see him during the day or tomorrow. The poor are gathering thick in and about town. May God provide for them during the coming winter, trust in man is poor. Our Hogs are all gone I am afraid, nothing has been seen of any of them, for several days past, nothing eatable is safe out of doors, and our 2 last chickens have been missing for 2 days. A soldier remarked that often when their officers send them out on foraging expeditions for the Horses, they say do not take any thing more than you can bring off, by which the soldiers understand they are allowed to take everything they find, and can get, if they can only bring it off.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 29– Monday– along the western perimeter of Atlanta, Georgia– Carrying out General Sherman’s orders, Federal troops spend most of the day tearing up 12 miles of track of the Western & West Point Railroad. The wooden railroad ties along with fence-rails are burned in large bonfires. The metal rails are heated in the these fires until they can bend. Soldiers then wrap them around trees or telegraph poles to cool and harden into useless forms. [As this becomes a common practice for the remainder of the Georgia campaign, the soldiers nickname the bent rails "Sherman’s neckties."]

making Sherman's neckties

making Sherman’s neckties

August 29– Monday– Red Oak Station, Georgia; near Sandtown, Georgia; Smithfield Crossing, Virginia; Charles Town, West Virginia; Greeneville, Tennessee; Ghent, Kentucky; Milton, Florida; near Port Hudson, Louisiana– Hard skirmishes, bloody firefights, raids and surprise attacks.

August 29– Monday– London, England– William Huggins, age 40, becomes the first astronomer to take the spectrum of a planetary nebula when he analyzes NGC 6543. [Huggins dies May 12, 1910.]

Sir William Huggins 1906

Sir William Huggins 1906

 

Much Party Machinery Is In Motion~August 1864~26th to 28th

Much Party Machinery Is In Motion~ Gideon Welles.

Welles complains about party politics, 1864 style. [Editorial comment: My gosh, have today’s politicians taken pages out of that old playbook?] People going to jail for one reason or another, plenty of fighting in the Shenandoah Valley and in the greater Atlanta area, anti-American sentiment rises again in England and a scholarly diplomat heads for South America.

images51LUJLZE

August 26– Friday– New York City– A federal magistrate holds a hearing on the extradition of Mr Franz Muller for the murder of Mr Briggs on July 9th in London, England. Three witnesses brought to New York by Scotland Yard identify the defendant and he had in his possession the watch and hat of the deceased when arrested here.

Franz Muller

Franz Muller

August 26– Friday– Shepherdstown, West Virginia– “We are again on the Banks of the Potomac – we drove the Yanks down to Harpers Ferry, spent two days in front of that place, then came away yesterday, leaving the 1st Corps in front of the enemy there & came to this place, met all the Yankee cavalry on the road . . . at Leetown & routed them driving them in every direction – & killed & wounded a good many & forced the rest back across the Potomac & to Harper’s Ferry, so nipping in the bud one of the biggest raids they have ever undertaken. We lost but few but they were fine men . . . . I hope my letter with the ribbons &c in, my box with the cups & saucers & Tumblers &c, & the little bundle with the bonnet pattern in, have all gotten to you safely. If you do not like the bonnet pattern you can sell it. I will get everything I can for you – rest assured my dear One – I want to send you some money but the communications are so uncertain. I will send [some] before long. I have not heard from you by letter for a long time – two weeks at least – but Jacob Henger told me you were all well & quieted my fears that you might be sick – but do write. I long to hear from you & have an ardent desire to come home, but no chance while we are so busy & if we can only end the war I am perfectly willing to endure this season of activity – the signs are brightening & I still confidently [believe] a conclusion of hostilities [will come] with the ending of ‘Old Abe’s’ reign . I have not time to write more now. Kiss the children for me, they must be good girls. ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

August 26– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– “Eighty odd Negroes, captured before Petersburg in the battle of the 30th July, were brought over to the city yesterday and lodged in Castle Thunder. The way they were dirty it were hard to tell!” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

August 26– Friday– Nashville, Tennessee– “Fanny Wilson, aged 19 years, and an actress in the Memphis Theatre, was arrested a few days since while attempting to be a soldier. She had shorn her locks and donned the Federal blue—but it would not do. She had heard of major Pauline Cushman and panted for military glory and the romance of a Southern prison.” ~ Nashville Dispatch. [Pauline Cushman, 1833– 1893, an actress from Louisiana, served as a spy for the North for many months in the first years of the war, was caught by the Confederacy and sentenced to hang but was saved by Federal troops. Her story gained great notoriety in the press. See, Pauline Cushman, Spy of the Cumberland: an Accounting and Memorandum of Her Life by William J. Christen, Roseville, Minnesota, 2006.]

Pauline Cushman

Pauline Cushman

August 26– Friday– Cobb County, Georgia– “The 2 little Delk boys had come in again with Peaches & apples to get flour, sugar & coffee, while some thief took from my Pocket the last Handkerchief I had. I gathered no news. Some of the women told me many of their neighbors are getting about as bad as the soldiers, & were stealing from each other. What a crop of thieves this war has produced. An old man told me that Greenlee Butler was very low & that he had come in to try & get a Physician to go & see him, I told him I did not think he would find one who would be willing to venture it, from the danger of being taken by our [Confederate] Scouts.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 26– Friday– Pace’s Ferry, Georgia; Turner’s Ferry, Georgia; Halltown, West Virginia; Charles Town, West Virginia; Williamsport, Maryland; Bayou Tensas, Louisiana– Clashes and firefights.

August 26– Friday– Atlantic Ocean in the Western Hemisphere– The third hurricane of the season begins today, churning the ocean waters until September 1st but does not make landfall.

August 27– Saturday– New York City– “We learn by late advices from Peru that the Hon. E.G. Squier will undertake the exploration of the Republics of Peru and Bolivia after his duties as Commissioner to settle the various questions between the United States and Peru have terminated, to which important diplomatic office he was appointed by President Lincoln in the early part of 1863. The plan of Mr. Squier . . . is to thoroughly examine and explore the ancient remains of the Incas, which are to be found throughout the breadth and length of Pacific Peru, and also of the Basin of the Lake of Titicaca in Bolivia, and possibly of portions of Ecuador and North Chile, and to correct the topography [maps] of those countries. In this labor great attention will be directed . . . to the examination of the old convent and college libraries, and the public archives of these districts, of the works of ancient Spanish-American history, published in Spain and her western colonies, between 1560 and 1800; and also those left in manuscript, which are now very scarce, and particularly those relating to the Indian languages and the chronicles compiled in Spanish by descendants of the Incas or their nobles, many of whom are still to be found in the uplands of Peru. . . . Mr. Squier’s well-known volumes . . . show that he is in every way competent to satisfy not only men of learning, literature and art, but in an eminent degree to make a popular work for the masses.” ~ New York Times. [Ephraim George Squier, age 43, journalist, diplomat, archaeologist and author, is primarily self-educated and recognized by this time as one of the most distinguished scholars in the field. His scholarly friends and colleagues included historians William Prescott and Francis Parkman. Squier dies April 17, 1888.]

Ephraim G Squier

Ephraim G Squier

August 27– Saturday– Wheeling, West Virginia–”John C. Gilliland of Greenbrier county, was arrested and confined in a southern prison in the early part of the war for eight months, for his adherence to the laws of the United States; and was subsequently released and became a delegate to the first Legislature of West Virginia. He recently went to visit his family in Greenbrier, and I learn he was shot and almost instantly killed by some of the employees of Jeff Davis & Co., near his own residence. I hardly know what comment to make. I think the property of every rebel sympathizer in the neighborhood should be seized and given to the wife and children of Mr. Gilliland.” ~ Letter to the editor of the Wheeling Intelligencer.

August 27– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “Much party machinery is just at this time in motion. No small portion of it is a prostitution and abuse. The Whig element is venal and corrupt, to a great extent. I speak of the leaders of that party now associated with Republicans. They seem to have very little political principle; they have no belief in public virtue or popular intelligence; they have no self-reliance, no confidence in the strength of a righteous cause, little regard for constitutional restraint and limitations. Their politics and their ideas of government consist of expedients, and cunning management with the intelligent, and coercion and subornation of the less informed.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles

August 27– Saturday– Cobb County, Georgia– “We have missed one of Sows with [baby] pigs. Sharper says he heard that the soldiers had shot them all yesterday; there is no protecting anything out of doors from the Thieves, and I fear after I leave there will be but little safety for the food for the servants [slaves] left within the House. The whole country is overrun with Robbers, blue coats, gray coats, citizen’s coats & no coats, blessed are the poor who have nothing to lose. Mrs. Haynes & the 2 Delk boys came again to trade with Dr. Miller’s Wagon, which they have done and returned Home, they gave so little provisions in exchange, that they do not think they will come back. I hear General Kilpatrick had returned from his first raid unsuccessful, having lost heavily, that he had started yesterday towards the eastward Atlanta on a 2nd Raid.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 27– Saturday– Fairburn, Georgia; Farmer’s Ferry, Georgia; Nutter’s Hill, West Virginia; Duffield’s Station, West Virginia; Owensborough, Kentucky–Attacks, counter-attacks and skirmishes.

August 27– Saturday– London, England– “The capture of the Georgia by a Federal man-of-war is apparently another of those violations of the law of nations to which the Federal authorities periodically resort. From the time when Commodore Wilkes stopped the Trent, and sent the Confederate Commissioners prisoners to Washington, the officers of the Federal navy have imagined themselves jurists as well as seamen. We all remember the grotesque attempts at defending his conduct which the Commodore gleaned from his researches in Wheaton and Grotius; but while we can afford to amuse ourselves with blunders the Federal Government never indorsed, we are keenly alive to the fact that it was the attitude of our indignant people, and not the spirit of international law, which ruled the decision of the Cabinet of Washington. In those days we were unused to insult; we are more humble now, and perhaps, the depth of our abasement, both in Europe and America, may lead the astute Yankees to trespass somewhat on our forbearance. Let them be of good cheer, they may trample on us without any risk. The civis Romanus doctrine is odious to the present advisers of the Crown; meekness is the Christian principle which guides their actions; and the utmost limit to which indignation will move them will be the penning of numberless dispatches, and the delivery of empty but resounding protests.” ~ London Herald.

CSS Georgia

CSS Georgia

August 28– Sunday– Bunker Hill, West Virginia– “We have remained quietly in camp & there has been preaching, for the first time in a good while. I have never known a more active campaign, but is the only kind to protect us from the movements of the Yankees – we must keep them busy all the time or their roving dispositions will cause them to annoy us. . . . I ate come corn yesterday that did not agree with me & have been under the weather today, but feel better this evening – it is the first time I have been at all unwell. I bought you a pound & a half of tea which I will send you by the first chance – I could only find black tea but will try & get other during the summer. I paid $25. Confederate for the 1 ½ pounds. I think I will get you some nice flannel next time we go to Shepherdstown. I have heard where there is some. I see by a recent order that all the detailed farmers are obliged to sell all their surplus to soldiers families at the government price or be put into the Army. So I hope you will have no difficulty in procuring supplies. Did my letter with the ribbons &c come to hand? I send you a few stamps & envelopes I have but few stamps on hand. It is quite cool – wish I could have a bedfellow to help me to keep warm. How do the children like the books & you the bonnet stuff? I lately saw some children’s & ladies hats made of corn shucks & trimmed with the same wrought into a band of rosettes &c – they were very pretty. Write often.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

August 28– Sunday– Richmond, Virginia– “I have been sick with fever for about two weeks. I was taken very suddenly. I was sent to our Brigade hospital first but our Regiment moved and they moved the sick too. I have had too much fever to try to write to you before this morning. My throat and mouth is very sore. I had heard of Alex’s [his brother] death before I got your letters telling about it. I am in no fix to write. I am too weak and feverish. Don’t be at all uneasy about me.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

Distributing It With Their Own Fair Hands~August 1864~23rd to 25th

Distributing it with Their Own Fair Hands ~ Memphis Bulletin.

As in many places throughout the war, Memphis women voluntarily provide food, coffee and water to troops on guard duty. In Georgia General Sherman imposes restrictions on trade and commerce in rebel areas. At Mobile Bay, Federal forces finish closing the harbor. Outside Richmond, Confederate and Union forces tussle hard as Lee’s soldiers try to prevent a key supply line from being cut. People on both sides express concern about prisoners held by the other side. A Federal marshal seizes a supply of arms destined for Southern sympathizers. Lincoln meets with a key newspaper editor.

General William Tecumseh Sherman

General William Tecumseh Sherman

August 23– Tuesday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “In order to carry out the provisions of the act of Congress . . . and the regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury relative to trade and intercourse with States and parts of States in insurrection, and to make the operations of trade just and fair both as to the people and the merchant, the following general rules will be observed in this military division as near as the state of the country will permit: I. All trade is prohibited near armies in the field or moving columns of troops, save that necessary to supply the wants of the troops themselves. Quartermasters and commissaries will take such supplies as are needed in the countries passed through, leaving receipts and taking the articles up on their returns. When cotton is found, and transportation is easy and does not interfere with the supplies to the army . . . the quartermaster will ship the cotton to the quartermaster at Nashville or Memphis, who will deliver it to the agent of the Treasury Department. It will be treated as captured property of an enemy and invoiced accordingly. No claim of private interest in it will be entertained by the military authorities. II. In departments and military districts embracing a country within our military control, the commanders of such departments and districts may permit a trade in articles, not contraband of war or damaging to the operations of the army at the front, through the properly appointed agents and sub-agents of the Treasury Department, to an extent proportionate to the necessities of the peaceful and worthy inhabitants of the localities described . . . . III. All military officers will assist the agents of the Treasury Department in securing possession of all abandoned property and estates subject to confiscation under the law. IV. The use of weapons for hunting purposes is too dangerous to be allowed at this time, and therefore the introduction of all arms and powder . . . or anything used in connection with fire arms, is prohibited absolutely, save by the proper agents of the United States; and when the inhabitants require and can be trusted with such things for self-defense, or for aiding in maintaining the peace and safety of their families and property, commanding officers may issue the same out of the public stores in limited quantities. V. Medicines and clothing, as well as salt, meats and provisions, being quasi-contraband of war according to the condition of the district or locality where offered for sale, will be regulated by local commanders in connection with the agents of the Treasury Department. VI. In articles non-contraband, such as the clothing needed for women and children, groceries and imported articles, the trade should be left to the Treasury agents as matters too unimportant to be noticed by military men. VII. When military officers can indicate a preference to the class of men allowed to trade they will always give preference to men who have served the Government as soldiers and are wounded or incapacitated from further service by such wounds or sickness. Men who manifest loyalty by oaths and nothing more are entitled to live, but not to ask favors of a Government that demands act and personal sacrifice.” ~ order of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman.

fighting ay Mobile Bay

fighting ay Mobile Bay

August 23– Tuesday– Mobile, Alabama– After heavy bombardment from Federal forces on land and sea, Fort Morgan, the last Confederate fortification guarding the entrance to Mobile Bay, falls to Union control. While the Confederates control the city itself, the harbor is closed to traffic and controlled by Federal forces. This leaves only Wilmington, North Carolina, as the only port useful to the Confederacy.

August 24– Wednesday– New York City– “A delegation, consisting of four Union prisoners just released from Andersonville, Georgia, will have an early interview with the President, for the purpose of presenting the case of the thirty-five thousand Union soldiers now penned up at that place as prisoners of war. The statement which these men are prepared to lay before the President is horrifying to a degree far beyond what the experience of this war has brought hitherto. In an inclosed field of thirty acres of ground . . . . they swelter and rot, or go raving mad, or find an end to it by crossing the ‘dead line,’ where the friendly rifle of the sentinel brings them final release without the aid of cartel or Commissioner. A seething, reeking pen, surcharged with horrors unimaginable. Pestilence in every form of deadly fever, scurvy and nameless disease raging with undisputed sway; and death making its daily harvest of half a hundred. Such is military prison life in rebeldom. And yet we hesitate to make a general exchange, until we shall see whether the rebels shall gain a few hundred more able-bodied men than ourselves by the transaction. Able bodied men forsooth! How many score of our brave fellows will there remain in this soldier’s pound before another moon has passed, either to return to the field or to bear witness to the atrocities of Southern despotism or repeat the story of their wrong? . . . . The duty of the military authorities is surely clear. Exchange the white prisoners man for man at least; if no better can be done for the Negro troops now, their time will come anon, unless the South is to have a monopoly of the capture of prisoners. It is doubtless true that the maddening tortures and exposures our men have to endure form parts of the rebel scheme to compel us to make an exchange. What if it is so. They will have the odds in their favor in any case, in all that is most savage in this war. But let our authorities see to the release of our brave and patriotic soldiers.” ~ New York Times.

Andersonville prison

Andersonville prison

August 24– Wednesday– New York City– Franz Muller, a fugitive from justice in England, is arrested as he arrives on the ship Victoria.

August 24– Wednesday– Johnson’s Island, Sandusky, Ohio– “After a long period of painful suspense and an extended search, I have found a trace of you. My father first announced your capture. I will not scold you for not writing, for not sending me, at all events, a message, for I know you must have good reason for your silence. I wish I had cheerful news for you. Recent experience must have taught you much self-control, at least I trust it is so. Never forget that dark, sorrowful days will not last evermore. We have reason to remember that, Ira commanded his company in the battle at Monocacy Junction, Maryland, Sanders assisting as Acting Lieutenant. Ira was wounded through the foot and calf and left with other wounded at Frederick City. Sanders fell early in the action, pierced through the heart. Our father is an officer in Georgia State Troops at Atlanta.” ~ Letter from Confederate office Henry Mc Daniel, a prisoner since the battle of Gettysburg, to one of his brothers.

Johnson Island prison

Johnson Island prison

August 24– Wednesday– Chicago, Illinois– The United States Postal Service inaugurates the first railway post office route in the United States when Chicago Assistant Postmaster George B. Armstrong authorizes the route on the Chicago and North Western Railway between here and Clinton, Iowa.

August 24– Wednesday– Memphis, Tennessee– Much has been said and written about the conduct of the disloyal ladies of the South, but the loyal ladies of the South, where they have opportunity to express their sentiments, are making a record that will yet win its way to public appreciation.On the days of the late alarm Sunday and Tuesday, the 1st regiment, Colonel Charles McDonald commanding, was posted at the bridges south of the city. On Sunday morning the boys were on duty without breakfast, on learning which fact the ladies residing near the bridge on Hernando road at the outskirts of the city, made and distributed to them coffee and food, milk, and whatever they required. Through both days they took them water at integrals, distributing it with their own fair hands. Colonel McDonald and his gallant regiment desire us to express their gratitude, and to assure the ladies near the Hernando road bridge that if real danger could come to the city, they shall have abundant and grateful protection.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

civil-war-women-1500

August 24– Wednesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Mosquitoes were very troublesome last night, I have never known them so bad here before, as they have been this summer, the Yankee blood draws them. My guard came back early this morning, after laughing at him well about his fears, I asked what was the matter? . . . . He told me that he heard that 70 or 80 of our men had fired on the pickets, & they had been driven in. I went over to Mrs. McC. & found them all better, & learnt from her & the pickets that only 4 of our men were seen who fired on the Pickets, & that a detachment of 15 Cavalry had been sent in pursuit of them, but none could be found. The frequent appearance of scouts here will tend to restrict our liberties the more; and we are so suspected already, that I am inclined to get away as soon as possible, that I may get to a community where I am better known & where I can enjoy a greater amount of Liberty. I am still at liberty to go all over the country, but not to go into town, while the town is the only place about here I wish to visit.” ~Diary of William King.

August 24– Wednesday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “You need not be alarmed about those thirty thousand veterans Lee has sent to reinforce Hood. We have not seen them yet; do not think they got very near; at all events we are not afraid of them. Sherman has a pretty big number of men here, and they are good at fighting, equal at any time to an equal number of rebels. The reports are Probably just as true as those which prevailed six weeks ago, that Johnston had sent one of his corps to Virginia. I got my commission as Colonel by today’s mail. We will see what becomes of it.” ~Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

Sherman with some of his artillery outside Atlanta

Sherman with some of his artillery outside Atlanta

August 24– Wednesday– Annandale, Virginia; Huttonsville, West Virginia; Sutton, West Virginia; Halltown, West Virginia; Claiborne, Georgia; near Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas– Hard-fought frays and bloody skirmishes.

August 25– Thursday– New York City– “After being severely repulsed in his attacks on our new position across the Weldon Railroad, Lee seems to have given that up as a bad job. . . . The peace faction grows more and more rampant and truculent. I predict that Belmont and Barlow will manipulate the Chicago convention into nominating McClellan on a non-committal platform, and that if elected, he will betray the country.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

August 25– Thursday– New York City– “[U. S.] Marshal Murray on Monday last seized thirty-two cases, containing from fifty to eighty revolvers each, of the Savage Arms Company patent. These revolvers are supposed to be part of a lot purchased in this City for the ‘Sons of Liberty’ [a/k/a "Knights of the Golden Circle’, a pro-slavery, pro-Confederacy semi-secret society] in Indiana, and were stored at No. 42 Walker-street, where the seizure took place.” ~ New York Times.

Civil  War revolvers

Civil War revolvers

August 25– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Henry Raymond, editor of the New York Times, meets with President Lincoln at the White House. The President assures Raymond that ending slavery is non-negotiable. [Raymond, age 44, a native of New York State, has served as editor since the paper’s founding in September, 1851, is a hard-working journalist with moderate political views. At the Republican convention in Baltimore which renominated Lincoln, Raymond drafted most of the party’s platform. Since the convention he serves a chairman of the Republican National Committee.]

Henry Raymond of the New York Times

Henry Raymond of the New York Times

August 25– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “The Democrats hold a party nominating convention next Monday at Chicago, which is naturally attracting a good deal of attention. There is a palpable effort to give eclat, and spread abroad a factitious power for this assemblage in advance. To this the Administration journals, and particularly those of New York, have conduced. I do not think that anything serious is to be apprehended from that convention, if Seward can keep quiet; but his management, which is mismanagement, and his shrewdness, which is frequently untowardness, will ever endanger a cause.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

August 25– Thursday– Reams’ Station, Virginia– In a surprise attack, Confederate forces temporarily halt Federal destruction along the Weldon Railroad. Total Union losses– killed, wounded, missing– amount to 2372 while total Confederate losses reach approximately 720.

August 25– Thursday– Cobb County, Georgia– “I went to see old Mr. Hutchins this morning, he was better, & then went to the Picket Station to hear the News & see if the Country Wagons could succeed in bartering their little supplies for provisions, the soldiers were annoying them much, having nothing but money to buy with, while the country people only wanted provisions in exchange, & the soldiers were troubling them much, before I left them however, guards had been sent to protect them, & Dr. Miller’s Ambulance had come up to barter with them. I left them trading after having spent near an hour with them.” ~ Diary of William King.

This Administration Will Not Be Re-elected~August 1864~22nd & 23rd

This Administration Will Not Be Re-elected~President Lincoln.

In a dark mood, a pessimistic Lincoln drafts a secret memorandum pledging to support his successor who will not be able to save the Union. Publicly he encourages soldiers to press for victory. A Southern woman with four children learns that she is a widow. Another Southern woman worries that a slave revolt will be worse than an invasion by Yankees. A free black man is imprisoned in Richmond for the crime of serving as a scout for Federal troops. Yet another woman, born in the North, finally finds a way to her birthplace but leaves the South with deep regret. A Yankee soldier writes home about receiving his dead brother’s personal effects. Appalled by various wars in the last ten years, a group of Europeans sign the First Geneva Convention, an attempt to mitigate bellicose atrocities, and thereby sanction the activities of the International Red Cross.

images1WVSZUXQ

August 22– Monday– New York City– “Grant has made a new move, extending his left and occupying the Weldon Railroad. Lee was compelled to come out and attack. Sharp fighting. Results rather mixed in quality. We have lost heavily, but seem to hold our new position, a position it much concerns Lee to recover if he can.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

August 22– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “I suppose you are going home to see your families and friends. For the services you have done in this great struggle in which we are engaged, I present you sincere thanks for myself and the country. I almost always feel inclined, when I say anything to soldiers, to impress upon them, in a few brief remarks, the importance of success in this contest. It is not merely for the day, but for all time to come, that we should perpetuate for our children’s children that great and free government which we have enjoyed all our lives. I beg you to remember this, not merely for my sake, but for yours. I happen, temporarily, to occupy this big White House. I am a living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father’s child has. It is in order that each one of you may have, through this free government which we have enjoyed, an open field, and a fair chance for your industry, enterprise, and intelligence; that you may all have equal privileges in the race of life with all its desirable human aspirations–it is for this that the struggle should be maintained, that we may not lose our birthrights– not only for one, but for two or three years, if necessary. The nation is worth fighting for, to secure such an inestimable jewel.” ~ Remarks of President Lincoln to the 166th Ohio Regiment.

President Lincoln

President Lincoln

August 22– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “Mr. Fessenden returned yesterday– a long absence for such a period as this. The course pursued at the Treasury Department in withholding money from the naval contractors for months after it is due is reprehensible and injurious in the highest degree to the public credit. Mr. F. is not responsible for this wrong. It was the work of Chase, who, in order to retire his interest-bearing notes, seized the money which legitimately belonged to the naval contractors to the amount of $12,000,000. As a consequence we shall lose some of our best contractors, who feel there is bad faith and no dependence on the government.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles. [The $12 million would equal $184 million today, using the Consumer Price Index.]

August 22– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– “Francis J. Blake, of the Maryland Line, was on yesterday sent to Castle Thunder on the charge of being a spy and holding treasonable correspondence with the enemy. Peter Curry, a free Negro, sent down from Lynchburg, was committed on the charge of voluntarily piloting [Union General David] Hunter in Amherst county.” ~ Richmond Whig.

August 22– Monday– Petersburg, Virginia– “It becomes my painful duty to inform you of the death of your gallant husband E. H. Jones, who fell in the engagement near Deep Bottom on the 16th instant. In him we have lost a dear comrade, a true and noble soldier and one that did his whole duty cheerfully. He fell at his post endeavoring to repel a charge made by the enemy. He remained in the trenches after they had been abandoned by the greater part of his comrades and fell by a shot that caused instant death. He is buried near the spot he fell. I will take charge of his effects as soon as I can find some one to testify to them, and either send them to you, or make any disposition of them you may advise. My personal and immediate attention will be given to any information or service you may desire. I feel a deep and earnest sympathy for you in your great affliction, and hope ‘God who doeth all things well’ may comfort and console you.” ~ Letter from Confederate Lieutenant T. M. Beasley to Susan Jones of Box Springs, Georgia. [Susan and Edmond Jones married in 1857 or 1858 and she finds herself a widow with four children under 6 years of age. She will live another 36 years.]

typical outfit of Civil War widows

typical outfit of Civil War widows

August 22– Monday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Last evening 3[Union] soldiers rode up to get shelter from the very heavy Rain, & remained with me until 10 o’clock before they could leave, they would have remained all night, but feared their Horses would be stolen . . . they were very sensible men, & very anxious for this War to close, & asked if there was no way of closing it, but by but by wantonly killing off each other when there was so little ill feelings between the soldiers & private citizens, they like all others hated the poor Negro & said for their good they could never be placed in a more favorable condition than we now have them, but like all others they said the whole country would go to ruin if the Union was not restored.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 22– Monday– McIntosh County, Georgia– “The policemen of this county have recently traced out a deeply laid plan of insurrection by the Negroes, not only of this county but of the adjoining counties of Georgia and Florida. They have held their meetings and have organized their company and were soon to begin their horrid work of murdering our men, women and children. But thanks to an all-wise providence it has been found out and checked for the present. The leaders of this band of Negroes belong to my husband, Mr. Mitchell Jones who is now in the service at Atlanta in response to your last call. The police of this county is very small in comparison to the Negroes. The authorities have whipped these Negroes severely, and I have requested them to keep in custody the Negroes that belong to Mr. Jones until I could try and get him a detail for a short time. Such is a true statement of the facts that now exist here. I believe I would rather fall into the hands of the Yankees than the Negroes. Of the two I believe they have more humanity.” ~ Letter from a Mrs Jones to Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown.

August 22– Monday– Camden County, Georgia– “We have been startled at last by the appearance of a [Union] gunboat. The pickets ran in great terror. The Negroes were sent over to Major Bailey’s. Mr. Fisher drove a cart load of trunks into the woods and then stationed himself where he could watch the doings of the enemy. Mrs. Linn, Sybil and myself were left to receive them. Mrs. Linn with her two children seated themselves on the front steps. Soon eight men came up and immediately surrounded the house, and inquired for Richardson. He fortunately had left that morning for Savannah. They could not take Mrs. Linn’s word but searched the house. Sybil ran down thinking that Mrs. Linn might be frightened, and met six more at the gate. The result was that we were taken by the Gunboat with only a few moments warning, and sent North.” ~ Diary of Julia Johnson Fisher.

August 22– Monday– Charles Town, West Virginia; Canton, Kentucky; Roaring Springs, Kentucky; Yell County, Arkansas; Cove Point, Maryland– Altercations, skirmishes and brawls.

August 22– Monday– Geneva, Switzerland– A number of European states sign the First Geneva Convention. They include Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Prussia, Spain and Switzerland. The Convention provides for: the immunity from capture and destruction of all establishments for the treatment of wounded and sick soldiers, the impartial reception and treatment of all combatants, the protection of civilians providing aid to the wounded, and the recognition of the Red Cross symbol as a means of identifying persons and equipment covered by the agreement. [The Convention will be revised and expanded by additional agreements in 1899, 1906, 1929 and 1949. There are currently 64 articles under the Geneva Convention and 194 governments are signatories.]

original document of the First Geneva Convention

original document of the First Geneva Convention

August 23– Tuesday– Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia– “I am detailed at Brigade Head Quarters . . . I won’t haft to go near a fight as long as I will be here, perhaps I will be here all summer just according to circumstances. I had a letter from the Hospital steward where William died at the U.S.A. Hospital stating William wanted him to send his watch to me, but, as they was going to send his valise & saber & revolvers home he thought it best to send the watch along with them, you tell Mother to Keep the watch until I get Home, I also gave William a Revolver, a large Remington Revolver, his own Revolver is silver mounted, you will also keep the one I gave him till I get Home, and his saber and Revolver you will hang up in his room in memory of our Dear beloved Brother, as his sword has done his duty. I send forty Dollars to you as I wrote to [you] before, you will receive it from Fuller in Scranton. I am well and in good spirits.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Josiah Bloss to his sister.

widows in a graveyard

widows in a graveyard

August 23– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so co-operate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterward.” ~ Secret memorandum drafted by President Lincoln which he asks the members of his Cabinet to sign without reading it.

August 23– Tuesday– “Received dispatches to-day from Admiral Farragut confirming intelligence received several days since through Rebel sources. The official account confirms my own previous impressions in regard to operations. Secretary [of War Edwin] Stanton in one of his bulletins represented that Fort Gaines had surrendered to General Granger and the army. It is shown that the proposition of Colonel Anderson, who commanded the fort, was to surrender to the fleet after the monitors had made an assault, that Admiral Farragut consulted with General Granger, that the terms were dictated from the squadron, that Colonel Anderson and Major Brown went on board the Admiral’s vessel when the arrangement was consummated, etc. Why should the Secretary of War try to deprive an officer like Farragut and the naval force of what is honestly their due? It is only one of many like occurrences during the War. I do not recollect a single instance of generous award to the Navy by Stanton.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

Union Admiral Farragut

Union Admiral Farragut

August 23– Tuesday– Staunton, Virginia– “Freddy [his son] & I are well and get along quite well– he amuses himself in riding the horses & a little mule here. We have written you several letters lately. I sent you an Irish girl down to do your work, but I suppose she did not go straight on as the Yankees were advancing up the Valley at the time & no doubt she was stopped at the lines. She went with Mr C Stump who promised to send her to you so soon as practicable. I think she will suit you. I wrote by her. If you are willing to come out I will bring you out now. I most think you had better move out and let our property run chances. they can’t destroy the land & I don’t think the other property can be much hurt and if it does it can’t be so much loss, at least not to be compared with this life we now live. Freddy is often wishing you here. I think to stay here would be much better than for me to be there as here I can make some money & live peaceably Whilst to be there I would not be allowed to do business & constantly in dread of being & perhaps would be arrested and confined in prison which would keep you Constantly in dread &c &c. And upon the whole I rather think we had better live comfortably together whilst we do live & let the property go, or at least run chances.” ~ Letter from John Quincy Nadenbousch to his wife Hester. [She has remained at that home in Berkeley County, West Virginia, in the eastern panhandle of the state, an area which is now filled with Federal troops.]

The Most Grateful Satisfaction~August 1864~19th to 21st

The Most Grateful Satisfaction ~ Charles Francis Adams.

The American Minister to Great Britain extends his thanks to an abolitionist society for their support of the Lincoln Administration. Confederates still hold the city of Atlanta but for how much longer? Slowly Grant extends his hold on Petersburg. The New York Times informs an adoring American public about the most recent reports from the missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone. A Vietnamese rebel leader commits suicide to avoid capture by the French. The Russian Czar has fully crushed the rebellion in Poland. Napoleon III is in a snit with the Pope.

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August 19– Friday– Andersonville, Georgia– Confederate inspectors report to Richmond that at least 15,000 prisoners from the camp here should be transferred from the prison, and that poor leadership, combined with a lack of supplies, have left the post destitute, adding that the prison is a reproach to the Confederacy.

August 19– Friday– Dooly County, Georgia– “General Hood still holds Atlanta, though a great many think, he will have to fall back. A regular engagement is daily looked for, at that point. Heavy fighting no doubt awaits us. If the enemy is successful what a sad fate to Georgia! I fear we will suffer from Yankee raids, so long as Sherman remains in the State.” ~ Letter from Maggie Cone to her fiancé, Confederate soldier Alva Benjamin Spencer.

August 19– Friday– London, England– “I am requested to inform you that the resolutions passed by the executive of the Union and Emancipation Society, at Manchester, on the 4th of July last, which I had the pleasure to transmit to the President of the United States, have been received by him with the most grateful satisfaction. If there were need the sympathy thus manifested in quarters so evidently disinterested and just would inspire the Government and people with new resolution to rescue their institutions from the dangerous abyss which American slave-holders, aided by malevolent spirits, both abroad and at home, have conspired to open before them. Believing that in perseverance they are promoting the ultimate interests of the human race everywhere, they draw satisfaction from a cheering recognition of their labors from all worthy sources.” ~ Message from American Minister Charles Francis Adams.

Charles Francis Adams, 1867

Charles Francis Adams, 1867

August 19– Friday– Bien Hoa, Vietnam– Truong Dinh, a rebel leader against the French, dies by his own hand to avoid capture. He is about 44 years old.

Truong Dinh

Truong Dinh

August 20– Saturday– New York City– “The Czar of Russia, having crushed out the Polish rebellion and the Revolutionary Government about a year ago, is now engaged in the work of hanging the leaders of the revolt. It will be remembered that while that great rebellion was in actual progress, it maintained profound secrecy as to who were its leaders, and as to its means and agencies of operation. The ‘Revolutionary Committee,’ or ‘National Government,’ was a secret affair; secret as to its members and as to its plans, while its edicts were issued in secret and executed secretly by mysterious agents. It issued orders for the assassination of obnoxious persons, and vast numbers were suddenly and unexpectedly slain by they knew not whom. Some of its active military chiefs were of course known; but both in field and cabinet, it tried to wrap itself in mystery. It assumed for a time very formidable proportions, and had it got the assistance that was promised from England and France, it might have achieved success. But the immense armies of Russia, when fairly set in motion, soon broke it down, and reduced it to a mere guerrilla war, which also in turn was crushed out; and all the notice we now find of the late Polish Revolution is such as is conveyed in the following telegram from Warsaw, under date of the 5th instant: ‘M. Traugott, the head of the Polish National Government, together with Krajewski, Focyski, Zulinski and Jezioranski, the chiefs of the different departments, were hanged this morning on the glacis of the citadel. The sentences of death passed upon eleven officials of the National Government have been commuted in some cases to hard labor, and in the others to imprisonment in a Siberian fortress.’ And so closes the latest bloody tragedy of Polish Revolution.” ~ New York Times.

August 20– Saturday– Winchester, Virginia– “According to my promise I seat myself tonight to drop you a few lines to let you know how we are getting along since you left. We are at Winchester, where we arrived on day before yesterday evening. The only item of news is that General Bryan has resigned and will take his letter to Augusta where he waits the action of the War Department on his tender of resignation accompanied by Surgeons Certificate of Disability. It is generally thought his resignation will be accepted. Early had a fight with the enemy at this place on the evening of the 17th. Thrashed them handsomely, taking some 500 prisoners, and 6 pieces of artillery. Should this reach you give my respects to homefolks and everybody else that you see.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier W. A. Stilwell to a friend.

August 20– Saturday– Legareville, South Carolina– Federal troops burn the town.

August 20– Saturday– Cobb County, Georgia– “The foraging Wagons returned last night safe, but with little forage, I think, all the country in this vicinity being pretty much stripped of every thing. I took a short walk on the Powder Springs Road this morning, found no wagons from the country today. I stopped and had a long talk with the pickets today, men of good sense and spirits, and anxious for peace, but say there can be no peace until the government is restored, and the slave question disposed of. How this war is to be brought to a close God only knows. For 2 days past laborers have been hard at work putting in order the Rail Road in front of the House. I hear General Kilpatrick has gone on a Raid into the State. I hear that some of our Cavalry have been taking and killing some Federal prisoners near Gainesville, after they had surrendered, I am sure it cannot be true. A young soldier who had returned from the Stoneman Raid, told me that while on it, he had with him a Melodeon, & being in his way, he went up to a House & presented it to a young Lady at the door, she thanked him: the old Lady said it was more than they expected as she thought the Yankee soldiers kept their gifts for the Negro Women. I hear a foraging train had been taken near the town yesterday. I hear that about 180 deserters from our [Confederate] Army were brought into Marietta yesterday. Mr. Griffith and myself had a pleasant walk after supper this evening. How anxious am becoming to see my family at Home or even to hear from them. 1st [of] October is too far off to wait.” ~ Diary of William King.

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August 20– Saturday– Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia– Confederate troops drive off Federal cavalry who have been destroying parts of the Macon and Western Railroad but at a price. Total Confederate loss– dead, wounded, missing– is 240; total Federal loss is 237.

August 20– Saturday– London, England– John Alexander Reina Newlands, age 26, produces the first periodic table of the elements in order of their atomic weights. [Dies July 18, 1898.]

John Alexander Reina Newlands

John Alexander Reina Newlands

August 20– Saturday– Paris, France– Rumors are circulating around the city to the effect that Emperor Napoleon III is angry at Pope Pius IX to the extent that he will withdraw French soldiers from Rome where they have provided protection.

August 21– Sunday– New York City– “The expedition was sent out by the English universities, and accompanied by the excellent and devoted Bishop Mackenzie, who was so regardless of his own comfort, that there is little doubt he lost his life thereby. The Portuguese had long carefully excluded all other Europeans from the country; he himself had obtained access to it on a former occasion by entering it from the south and coming down the river, when they could not for very shame compel him to go back. This was in 1856,and on his return two years later the expedition was allowed without difficulty to enter the country . . . . On ascending the river several cataracts were encountered, which Dr. Livingstone had not seen when he came down. On this account they took the direction of the Shire River, and ascended the beautiful valley of that name. It contained a thick population, flourishing villages, and fine cultivation. Above was an elevated plateau some thousand feet above the sea, which strongly resembled the Deccan, except that it was covered with trees and grass, and which, like the valley, contained a large population. But about that time the Portuguese sold a quantity of firearms and ammunition to one of the tribes, to be paid for in slaves. The tribe, thus armed, swept the whole neighboring country like a scourge, killing the men in the villages, and carrying off women and children into slavery. This produced a terrible famine, in which large numbers of the survivors perished; and the fine valley of the Shire was transformed literally into a valley of bones. Whole villages were found without people. On another expedition they ascended the main stream of the Zambesi, passing thirty-five miles of rapids, and reached Lake Nyassa, which was 270 miles long and 60 or 70 wide. Above it was a range of hills, which proved when they had amended it to be another plateau or table land nearly 4,000 feet high, extending for many miles, and filled with villages and cultivation. . . . In reply to various questions. Dr. Livingstone, who seemed good-naturedly desirous to satisfy the curiosity of those present, stated that the cultivation by the African natives was very good, though it was entirely carried on with hand tools. They were very industrious, and while whole families worked in their gardens, which were often very large, men, women and children altogether, an infant in addition being sometimes seen deposited under a hedge. They grew beans of all kinds, pumpkins, maize and rice, but not wheat nor grain. Cotton they grew, spun and wove themselves.” ~ New York Times. [At this time Dr David Livingstone, age 51, has recently returned from an exploratory expedition which he began in March, 1858. His work as both a missionary and an explorer have gained him popularity in the United States as well as in Great Britain.]

Dr David Livingstone

Dr David Livingstone

August 21– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln authorizes the testing of an allegedly improved canon developed by Horatio Ames. [Ames, owner of an ironworks in Connecticut, is himself a giant of a man, standing 6' 6" tall and weighing over 300 pounds. The war will end before his canon are brought into extensive service. In a few years steel processing will make canon of iron obsolete. Ames will lose his business and his personal fortune. See, Lincoln and the Tools of War by Robert V Bruce, Chicago, Illinois, 1989.]

August 21– Sunday– along the Weldon Railroad, Virginia– Confederate efforts to gain control of this key railroad fail but they have inflicted heavy losses on the Federal forces. Total Union casualties since Thursday the 18th– killed, wounded, missing– are 4455; Confederate losses total approximately 1600. However, Grant has successfully cut one of Lee’s vital supply lines.

cavalry battle images

August 21– Sunday– Memphis, Tennessee– Confederate cavalry raid the city and occupy parts for several hours, taking some prisoners and carrying off needed supplies but fail to reach the prison where Confederate soldiers are held.

August 21– Sunday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Sabbath again. A Rainy, dirty day. This morning the encampment of the 5th & 6th Indiana Cavalry under Major Carter removed encampment to the North of town, near Mrs. Wilkins– it is the first time I can say I feel rejoiced at the removal of soldiers from me, until this command they have always contributed greatly to my enjoyment and comfort, nearly all of the officers being intelligent & gentlemanly in their deportment. I told the Chaplain that I should miss him, & a few of the officers & most of the privates greatly, but that I must candidly tell him that I was rejoiced that the Regiment was leaving me. Most of the officers were either drinking, ungentlemanly & bad principled men. I had very little to do with them & rejoiced at their departure, they afforded very little company for me, & very destructive to everything about, have done more damage to Fences & Trees than all who had preceded them combined of the Federal & Confederate Armies.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 21– Sunday– Camden County, Georgia– “Kate and family have gone to Valdosta to visit her mother. It is lonely without her. We went over yesterday for the mail, but heard nothing from the boys. It is monotonous here. I have no spirit to write. Some days we are very desponding. It seems as if we should never meet with our friends again. I hope we may have patience to wait. Mr. Linn has been home on a week’s furlough. His baby was four months old before he had a sight of it. It is a pretty child. Called Arthur Stuart. Ed Richardson’s foot is still very bad, but he is obliged to show himself in Savannah once in thirty days. He is going again tomorrow. It is two days journey to the [railroad] cars and he has nothing but a cart to go in.” ~ Diary of Julia Johnson Fisher.

August 21– Sunday– Berryville, Virginia; Charles Town, West Virginia; Middleway, West Virginia; Summit Point, Virginia; Loudon County, Virginia; Grubb’s Crossroads, Kentucky; Diamond Grove, Missouri– Firefights, melees and pitched battles.

I Can Better Serve the Nation in Its Need~August 1864~the 18th & 19th

I Can Better Serve the Nation in its Need ~ President Lincoln.

Advisors and friends warn the President that he cannot win reelection. The New York Times attacks his critics. Lincoln meets with the radical abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Grant cuts one of Lee’s supply lines and takes a hard line on prisoner exchanges. Once again authorities discover two women serving in the Federal army. A friend writes to Whitman, longing for news. Hard times and hard fighting in many places.

campaign flyer

campaign flyer

August 18– Thursday– Little Compton, Rhode Island– “I had really begun to wonder why you had so wholly forgotten me. Not one line to me have you written since leaving Washington, and now that I am away from there I have to wait for news of you in this long, roundabout way. After seeing you every day, & so much of you those last days when you were sick, it seems doubly strange not to have had a word from you. You will not think me foolish if I tell you that it hurt me a little, will you? You know what a foolish, absurd person I am, where I love anyone as I do you, and knowing this, and now I having confessed, you will pardon. . . . I am so glad that there is some hope of your book coming out soon. I long to see it. Just think, Walt, of my being a lion down here on your account, because it is known that I have the honor of your acquaintance. Such is the fact, & I was made to talk two entire evenings about you– it is so funny, some time I will tell you all about it. The bathing here is good, & the ocean– oh! so good. I board at a farm house, & keep as you do early hours– up at 6 or earlier & to bed at 9. I have been here two weeks, & am so brown that I could easily pass for a good ‘contraband’ [fugitive slave], I nearly live out doors. The rocks tempt me, & there I sit & see the waves & foam dash up over them, & it breaks into fine spray, & is so beautiful. I never loved the sea so much, & I though before I loved it more than any thing. How I wish you were here! It would cure you Walt, & how much I should like it. . . . Mr. Howells tells me he has seen your mother, & he is enthusiastic about her. Thinks her such a grand old lady as one sees only once in a lifetime. . . . Have you seen a pretty little poem by Juliette H. Beach called Claire? It was published in the Leader I judge, & I saw it copied; from it, I infer that she has a new baby, a girl.” ~ Letter from Ellen M. O’Connor to Walt Whitman.

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

August 18– Tuesday– New York City– “The National Intelligencer notices our strictures upon the recent manifesto, and the general political temper, of Messrs. Wade and Davis not to controvert them, but to claim that they apply with equal force to the Administration in its conduct of the war. We denounced what we deem the ultra radicalism and barbarism which have characterized the action of these gentlemen ever since the war began. The Intelligencer says that inasmuch ‘as they have previously uttered no complaint against the Administration,’ their theory of the war must be presumed to be that of the Administration itself. This is a non sequitur. Even if the fact alleged were true, the inference of the Intelligencer would not follow. They may have been restrained from complaining of the Administration at an earlier day, by many other motives than a full concurrence in its policy. They may have expected or desired office under it, and therefore kept silent. They may have lived and labored in the hope of inducing or forcing the President, sooner or later, to accept their dictation, and therefore have forborne earlier denunciation. Or, their sense of duty and responsibility to the country– their desire to quell the rebellion and save the Union– may have restrained them from openly assailing the Government by which alone that vast and imperative work can be accomplished. These motives might possibly have kept them still– if they had kept to themselves the discontent which has at last broken out in the fierce and intemperate manifesto with which they have lately delighted the breast of every rebel and Copperhead in the land. But as a matter of fact, of which we think the Intelligencer cannot be unaware, neither of these gentlemen has for a long time past concealed his complaints of the President. Both have more than once expressed their utter and complete discontent with the theory on which the Administration has conducted the war. Both have urged, publicly and privately, upon the President and upon Congress, a policy of confiscation, of subjugation, of extermination much more sweeping and summary than either has seen fit thus far to adopt.” ~ New York Times.

August 18– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “I beg of you, as citizens of this great Republic, not to let your minds be carried off from the great work we have before us. This struggle is too large for you to be diverted from it by any small matter. When you return to your homes, rise up to the height of a generation of men worthy of a free government, and we will carry out the great work we have commenced. I return to you my sincere thanks, soldiers, for the honor you have done me this afternoon.” ~ Remarks of President Lincoln to Union soldiers from Ohio who are returning home.

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August 18– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Leonard Swett meets with President Lincoln, cautioning him that it is doubtful that he can win reelection and suggesting that Lincoln withdraw his acceptance of the nomination. He informs the President that elements of the Republican Party plan to hold a another convention in September and nominate someone else. Lincoln refuses, telling Swett, “I confess that I desire to be reelected.” Later in the day, Lincoln tells another visitor, “I have the common pride of humanity to wish my past four years administration endorsed; and besides I honestly believe that I can better serve the nation in its need and peril than any new man could possibly do.” [Swett, 1825– 1899, a lawyer from Illinois, has been a confidant and friend of Lincoln for many years.]

August 18– Thursday– near Petersburg, Virginia– “I have only time to write a word to say that I am well, and that I this morning send you by Express $405.00 I send a note with the Express package. Please write as soon as you get the money.” ~ Letter from George Whitman to his mother Louisa. [The $405 to his mother would equal $6190 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

August 18– Thursday– City Point, Virginia– Despite pleas from Federal inmates at the Andersonville, Georgia, prison to reestablish large scale prisoner of war exchanges with the Confederacy, General Ulysses S. Grant refuses a Southern offer for a large scale prisoner exchange, worrying that released Confederate soldiers would be used to re-enforce the resistance against General Sherman in Georgia. Grant also remains determined the black Union soldiers held prisoner must be exchanged man-for-man, a position which the South refuses to accept. The Confederacy needs the manpower and feeding so many Federal prisoners drains their increasingly limited resources.

General Grant on horseback

General Grant on horseback

August 18– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “Edward C. Elmore and Henry R. Pollard were before the Mayor, yesterday, to answer the charge of ‘being about to break the peace by engaging in a duel with deadly weapons.’ Messrs. Pollard and Elmore had been arrested on the previous evening, when the former was admitted to bail, for his appearance before the Mayor yesterday, and the latter committed to jail, the privileges of bail being refused.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

August 18– Thursday– along the Weldon Railroad, Virginia– In an effort to cut the supply lines for Petersburg and Richmond, Federal troops occupy a mile-long stretch of the vital railroad in hard, costly fighting.

August 18~ Thursday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Two females dressed in Federal uniform were brought to the Irving Block from the front on Tuesday [16th]. They were arrested in the camps of the 21st Missouri Infantry, in which they were serving, one as a drummer and the other as teamster, under the names of Charley Davis and William Morris. The drummer’s real name is Jane Short. Previous to joining the 21st Missouri, she served for over a year as private in the 6th Illinois cavalry; into which regiment she enlisted from Shawneetown, Illinois, where she resided before the war. She was at the battle of Shiloh, and was there wounded in the hand by a musket ball. After recovering she rejoined her regiment and participated in various conflicts, until prostrated by sickness and sent to the hospital, which led to her discharge. She then came to Memphis and lived, she does not say how for several months, when pining for the excitement of glorious war again, she joined the band of the 21st Missouri, in which she performed excellent service on the base drum until the time of her arrest. In appearance she is thick set, full-faced, has short hair of a light color, and blue eyes. In uniform one would never suspect her to be a woman; she looks much like an unsophisticated country lad of twenty years and earnest modesty. Lou Morris, alias Bill Morris, the younger of the two, is much better looking than her companion, seems more active and sprightly, and, consequently, less modest. She formerly resided in St. Louis, from which place she enlisted in the ‘Red Rovers’ of the 10th Missouri cavalry, eighteen months since, and served nine months, passing unhurt through several engagements. She then deserted and coming to Memphis, lived as a woman until meeting with Jane short, with whom she started of the wars again, as teamster in the 2nd Missouri Infantry. They were never acquainted before meeting at a hotel in this city. They claim that they have not revealed their sex, nor was it discovered by any of their comrades since they entered the service, and that their enlistment was promoted by patriotic motives only. They wanted to do a small share towards ‘licking therebs’ as Lou said. The cause of their arrest, Lou informed me, was that Jane became frightened at the report that the regiment was to be sent out, with others, to meet [Confederate General] Forrest, and revealed their sex to one of the officers, who reported them at headquarters, when they were sent to the Provost Marshal of the right wing of the 16th Army Corps, and thence to Memphis. Lou said she was not frightened, and intends to join another regiment if she gets a chance. Jane is content to return to the paths of peace again. Lou, when dressed in uniform, looks as little like a woman as her companions, and presented the appearance of a hardy boy of eighteen. They are much tanned by exposure. It is the intention of the authorities to sent to their homes, if they have any.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

clayton

August 18– Thursday– Cobb County, Georgia– “It is very warm this morning– for 3 days past the days & nights have been very warm. . . . I and the Chaplain (Griffith) made Mr. Shepard a long visit this afternoon, heard no news, only someone had managed to get into his Bed Room during the day, & stolen his Razors– it requires very close watching to guard against robberies these days. Soldiers straggling, scouts, & bad citizens about roam over the Country committing depredations.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 18– Thursday– Monza, Italy– Birth of Matilda Cesira, a/k/a Gemma Bellincioni, operatic soprano, one of the most famous of the late 19th century. [Dies April 23, 1950.]

Gemma Bellincioni

Gemma Bellincioni

August 19– Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln meets with the abolitionist Frederick Douglass at the White House. They discuss ways to help slaves escape and how to increase black enlistment in the army and navy.

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

August 19– Friday– along the Weldon Railroad, Virginia– Confederate soldiers attempt to retake control of the railroad line.

August 19– Friday– Cobb County, Georgia– “I heard yesterday that from some cause Mr. Benedict has been sent from the place with his family over the Lines, I have not been able to learn the cause. This morning . . . on my walk . . . I found 4 Wagons from the country, some having come 15 miles with vegetables, fruit & chickens, which they had brought in to exchange for Bread & Meat, but they had been stopped there by the pickets, saying they had positive orders to allow no one to go farther into town, and the soldiers were around them to buy, but as they had nothing but money, while they wanted provisions in exchange; they intended to return home with their little supplies. I advised them to wait a while, as I understood Dr. Miller (the Chief Physician at the Military Institute) had sent to town to get permission for them to pass to the Hospital, it is an unwise arrangement, as it will discourage the country people from bringing in their little supplies, so much needed by the town people and Hospitals. In the afternoon my friend the Chaplain (Griffin) took a long & pleasant walk of about 2 miles off for exercise, he is a very agreeable companion of much good sense & piety. I will miss him much when he leaves. I learn the difficulty of Mr. Benedict was he was detected in trying to send Letters through . . . some person who told him he was going to pass South without permission. I would have thought Mr. B. would have better understood duties of a good citizen as we all are, to have done so.” ~ Diary of William King.

Hold On With a Bulldog Grip~August 1864~the 17th

Hold on with a Bulldog Grip ~ President Lincoln to General Grant.

A very interesting day. Lincoln sends encouragement to Grant. Much discussion about politics. Survivors of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, describe the burning of the town. Two gentlemen of Richmond are reported to have engaged in a duel. Reports of great difficulties in the South abound. There are reports of peace in Europe between Denmark and Germany. A member of Britain’s Parliament evaluates relations with the United States. Some wealthy Confederates marry in Europe.

 

President Lincoln

President Lincoln

August 17– Wednesday– New York City– “A Vienna telegram of the 2nd of August says: ‘The preliminary treaty of peace was signed to-day upon the basis that all rights to Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg should be ceded by the King of Denmark. The protocol of an armistice intended to remain in force, until the conclusion of peace, was also signed. During the armistice Jutland will be occupied and the Government of the province administered by the allies [Germany and Austria].’ The Abendpost (the evening edition of the Weser Zeitung) says: ‘Lauenburg, Schleswig and Holstein have been, relinquished by Denmark without any reserve. At the same time a rectification of the Schleswig frontiers was determined upon in the interest of Germany. It is to the harmony existing between Austria and Prussia that Germany owes a realization of her dearest wish, and to the same cause Europe owes it that general conflict has been averted. Complete success was obtained by the moderation displayed by the great German Powers, and the conviction arrived at by Denmark of their more sincere and loyal alliance. The great German Powers did not wage war to realize imaginary tendencies to nationality, but had in view the enforcement of positive and legitimate claims.’ . . . . The Paris Pays publishes an article, signed by its editorial secretary, severely censuring Austria and Prussia for despoiling Denmark of the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg, without regard to race, origin or nationality.” ~ New York Times.

August 17– Wednesday– New York City– “Great complaints , even by the most loyal men, of the shortcomings and mistakes of government and the ‘Peace Democrats’ vocal and truculent in threats of vengeance on Black Republicans and Abolitionists and in talk about revolution and repudiation of the war debt– all which will do them no good.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

1864 campaign literature

1864 campaign literature

August 17– Wednesday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– “After a long silence, or delay, first wishing unto you, much love, grace peace and mercy from God our Heavenly Father, who sees fit to give & bestow according to our need, may he strengthen & console you, in all your trials & temptations which no doubt you have to share with all the children of God. But a great consolation there is in his word, when he says that the hairs of our heads are all numbered and that not one of them shall fall to the ground without his notice. Is it not a wonder to us, that he should be so mindful of us poor creatures, and should it not strengthen our faith, so that we could more fully trust in him. Dear sister I often have to think back of the times we spent together, how quiet and secure I felt when with you, and how soon after, we had to be made afraid of the enemies of our own Country. I often have to study why it is so, Is God not ruler over all, Is he not on the throne, has he not power over all, and can turn nations & Kindred, all power is given him in Heaven & earth, for he over came the world . . . God through [his] mercy may have left this come upon us, to draw us nearer to him, & wean us off more from the world & the things of the world, when we see how soon we may be deprived of every thing, we here passes, as we have many examples in our town. People that had every thing that they could wish for, or make themselves comfortable, were deprived of all in one hours time, many had only 10 to 15 minutes time given them to leave their houses, and then forbid many, to take any thing out some saved a few clothes, others none at all, but what they had on their backs . . . . one woman asked permission to save one silk dress, had it on her arms they took it from her & tore it all to shreds, others again were more merciful, & helped the women to carry out things some appeared to be very much affected that they had come to this, one in particular I was told off, that shed tears & would not help to burn. . . . others were so affected when they saw the distress of some families, one in particular I was told that a woman handed her sick child out of the window to another one until she would get some necessary thing, he came and asked her, ‘madam can I do any thing for you,’ she said ‘no, you have done me all the harm you can do, you can’t do any worse,’ he took the child, & said ‘This child does not feel revengeful, it has a smile on its countenance’ & he wept.” ~ Letter from Eliza R. Stouffer to a friend, describing the burning of Chambersburg.

burning of Chambersburg

burning of Chambersburg

August 17– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “I have seen your despatch expressing your unwillingness to break your hold where you are. Neither am I willing. Hold on with a bulldog grip, and chew and choke as much as possible.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to General Ulysses S Grant.

General Grant

General Grant

August 17– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “I am sadly oppressed with the aspect of things. Have just read the account of the interview at Richmond between Jaquess and Gilmore on one side and Jeff Davis and Benjamin on the other. What business had these fellows with such a subject? Davis asserts an ultimatum that is inadmissible, and the President in his note, which appears to me not as considerate and well-advised as it should have been, interposes barriers that were unnecessary. Why should we impose conditions, and conditions which would provoke strife from the very nature of things, for they conflict with constitutional reserved rights? If the Rebellion is suppressed in Tennessee or North Carolina, and the States and people desire to resume their original constitutional rights, shall the President prevent them? Yet the letters to Greeley have that bearing, and I think them unfortunate in this respect. They place the President, moreover, at disadvantage in the coming election. He is committed, it will be claimed, against peace, except on terms that are inadmissible. What necessity was there for this, and, really, what right had the President to assume this unfortunate attitude without consulting his Cabinet, at least, or others?” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles. [James Gilmore, age 42, is a Massachusetts writer and journalist. James Jaquess, age 44, comes from Indiana and is a Methodist minister, educator and Union officer who believed that he could "covert" Jefferson Davis to peaceably ending the war. At their own request, Lincoln permitted them to undertake a personal, unaccredited mission to meet with Davis which they actually did on July 17th in Richmond, without any results. Jaquess lives to June 17, 1898 and Gilmore until November 16, 1903. Jaquess will lecture about this experience during the fall political campaign. Gilmore will make money lecturing and writing about his experience for many years after the war.]

August 17– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “At five o’clock yesterday morning, John M. Daniel, of the Richmond Examiner, and R. C. Elmore, of the C. S. Treasury Department, fought a duel on Dill’s farm, near the Central railroad, two miles north of the city. The weapons used were dueling pistols; distance ten paces. Two shots were exchanged. At the second fire Mr. Daniel was shot through the calf of the right leg, the ball missing both the bones of the leg and the femoral artery. Mr. Elmore received no injury.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

August 17– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Cloudy, and slight showers. In the afternoon dark clouds going round. We have nothing from below but vague rumors, except that we repulsed the enemy yesterday, slaughtering the Negro troops thrust in front. From Atlanta, it is said the enemy have measurably ceased artillery firing, and it is inferred that their ammunition is low, and perhaps their communications cut.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

cavalry-05-images

August 17– Wednesday– Petersburg, Virginia– “I have not time now to write much. Grant is attempting a movement on north side of James [River] again. We won in a pretty heavy skirmish yesterday. My Regiment has lost a number of wounded but none killed. We drove them back under cover of their gunboats. Every thing very quiet this morning, reports say Grant is moving away rapidly. We were on our way to Culpeper the other day, but recalled to protect Richmond. Expect we will move up in a few days towards the mountains. Give much love to dear Mother & all. May our lives be spared to meet in safety earnestly prays your affectionate son.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Barrington S King to his father.

August 17– Wednesday– Ann Arbor, Michigan– Birth of Charles Cooley, sociologist and educator. [Dies May 8, 1929.]

Charles Cooley

Charles Cooley

August 17– Wednesday– Cleveland, Tennessee– “At noon the alarm was given that, ‘The Rebels were coming.’ We were eating when the first cannon fired. We all fled to the cellar leaving the table just as it was. We then concluded that it was not safe even there & we then left. . . and went to Mr. Reeder’s, hundreds of persons joined us, (with bundles, etc.), in our march for the country. We went to Mr. Reeder’s & stayed all night. In due time Mother and the rest joined us there. I will always remember the night between 40 and 50 persons were there & nearly as many Negroes. The children and grown people laying stretched on the bare floor. I was ensconced in a large feather bed where I nearly suffocated from heat. . . Silence reigned in the direction of our lonely & deserted homes. Not more than half a dozen families remained at home. Occasionally we could hear the booming of cannon firing from the fort at the Confederates, who were peering saucily at them from thewoods beyond the fair ground. They tore up all the Rail Road & left about dark. I felt considerably disappointed, was in hopes they were going to pay us a visit of two or three days & we could get to see all our friends.” ~ Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

August 17– Wednesday– Nashville, Tennessee– “Some of the [Union] soldiers going out on the Louisville and Nashville railroad are guilty of practices which ought to be stopped, if possible. As the train passes over the bridge they steal all the hats of the foot passengers they can lay hands on. Many poor men suffer materially in this manner, and we therefore call the attention of the authorities to the subject.” ~ Nashville Dispatch.

August 17– Wednesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “This morning my old friend Reverend Mr. Taffe has left me for his Home, if an old bachelor can be said to have any home; I shall miss him much, he has been an agreeable companion for me for many days past, & such pleasant companionship I greatly need in my present lonely condition. God will however provide some other. I have much company about & in the House from the 5th & 6th Indiana Cavalry encamped about me, but I have very little to do with them, finding but little in them congenial to me either in mind or spirits. Some days ago I had a fine Cat sent to me by Mrs. McClatchy, she is very active in keeping the Rats in subjection; they have been very noisy and turbulent all summer. How anxious am I to hear something from my family & friends, but not a word have I heard . . . for near 2 months & may not be able to hear anything before I return to them, for which I am now becoming very anxious.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 17– Wednesday– near Winchester, Virginia; South Newport, Georgia; Issaquena County, Mississippi; near Pine Bluff, Arkansas– Raids and sharp firefights.

August 17– Wednesday– Sheffield, England– “Now, Sir, pardon me if I say that there were three things upon which the Parliament of England and the Government of England acted in a manner foreign to my view, and yet I am here to vindicate the course they pursued. First of these was the great schism that occurred in the model Republic on the other side of the Atlantic My feeling was to at once recognize the Confederate States of America – [calls of hear, hear] – and had I been Prime Minister it should have been done. [Loud cheers.] Though out of every twenty men I meet nineteen are sympathizers with the Confederate States. [A voice – And would recognize them.] No, no, you are wrong; though I say nineteen out of every twenty men are sympathizers with the Confederate States, still I must say that the sympathy of England went not to the point of risking war for the Confederate States. [calls of hear, hear,] Well, then, Parliament – that middle-class Parliament of which my honorable friend has made mention – taking its view, taking its cue – its command – from the kingdom over which it was destined to rule, said we will do nothing to risk the danger of a war. The ministry, following Parliament, did the same thing. I think, as a bold politician, Lord Palmerston was wrong, [calls of hear, hear and contrary calls of no, no] but he is a much older man than I, and though I do not accord with his opinion, I cannot mistake the prudence of his conduct. [Cheers.] He did what England desired he should do. He has followed what is called perfect neutrality, and we are now as we were at the beginning of that conflict.” ~ Speech of John Arthur Roebuck, Member of Parliament. [Roebuck, 1802– 1879, serves 30 years in Parliament.]

John Arthur Roebuck

John Arthur Roebuck

August 17– Wednesday– Baden-Baden, Germany– Society gossip reports that last evening in the best hotel in the city, a Confederate officer married a well-to-do young woman from Richmond, Virginia. The bride was “sumptuously attired in costume issuing from the hands of a renowned Paris modiste.” An English clergyman officiated at the ceremony. Guests were treated to a rich dinner accompanied by much fine wine. Prominent among the guests was John Slidell, Confederate representative to France.

More & More Obscure, Dubious & Muddled~August 1864~14th to 16th

More and More Obscure, Dubious and Muddled ~ George Templeton Strong.

To an observer like New York lawyer and businessman George Templet Strong, the election coming in November looks problematic. President Lincoln makes clear that he will not back away from emancipation. Gideon Welles writes of his displeasure with the Secretary of State. The U S Navy gets into another problem with Great Britain. Wounded soldiers write home about their injuries. Southern civilians note plenty of troubles, particularly in Georgia which worsens every day as Sherman advances.

soldiers at religious service 834-640wi

August 14– Sunday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Another Sabbath has come, how rapidly time is passing away & now how it rejoices my often depressed spirits to know that if we all live & I get permission, after 9 more Sabbaths shall have been numbered with the past, I will be in the enjoyment of the society of my family & friends, God grant that I may then find them all alive & well and if we can only then be in the enjoyment of the Blessings of Peace in our afflicted country. The day is very pleasant, but still I have to remain at Home. This morning my young friend Evans again called & spent an hour with me. At 10 o’clock the Chaplain Mr. Griffith had services, his congregation did not exceed 150 attending– his services were short not even an hour– his sermon a good one on the necessity of the Reformation of our natural lives & dependence for the atonement of Christ for Salvation. I was surprised to see the small number attending the services, the most of the men on the outskirts– how little do men think of their duties to God and of the condition of their souls on the final day of accountability. Death & the great exposure to death, tend it seems to render men more thoughtless.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 14– Sunday– Atlanta, Georgia– “Another week of anxiety and suspense has passed and the fate of Atlanta is still undecided. We have had but one severe shelling on our side of town, and that was on Wednesday night, and kept us awake from 12 o’clock until daylight. Our humane foes allowed us to get well to sleep before they began their work of destruction. Another shell entered our store, or rather the rooms above, while I was there examining the premises to see if any more had visited them. I was enveloped in the dust made by it.” ~ Diary of an Atlanta businessman.

siege of Atlanta

siege of Atlanta

August 14– Sunday– Columbus, Georgia– “And again I must record the death of another dear son. On the 11th, we were telegraphed that Watkins Banks was killed in Atlanta. Yesterday Gilmer came with his remains and told us that Watkins was passing near the enemy’s lines, arranging to send out some pickets, when a sharpshooter killed him, hitting him in the head. He died instantly and was not known to speak afterwards. He was buried yesterday.” ~ Diary of John Banks.

August 14– Sunday– Strasburg, Virginia; Lamar, Mississippi; near Dalton, Georgia; Pine Log Church, Georgia; near Fairmount, Georgia– Skirmishes and firefights.

August 15– Monday– New York City– “The details of the glorious news from Admiral Farragut’s fleet, which we publish this morning, fully sustain the conclusions drawn from the telegraphic report, as to the importance of the victory gained.” ~ New York Times.

August 15– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “If the Government should purchase, on its own account, cotton northward of you, and on the line of your communications, would it be an inconvenience to you, or detriment to the military service, for it to come to the north on the railroad?” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to General William Tecumseh Sherman.

President Lincoln

President Lincoln

August 15– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “There have been men base enough to propose to me to return to slavery the black warriors of Port Hudson and Olustee, and thus win the respect of the masters they fought. Should I do so, I should deserve to be damned in time and eternity. Come what will, I will keep my faith with friend and foe. My enemies pretend I am now carrying on this war for the sole purpose of abolition. So long as I am President, it shall be carried on for the sole purpose of restoring the Union. But no human power can subdue this rebellion without the use of the emancipation policy, and every other policy calculated to weaken the moral and physical forces of the rebellion. Freedom has given us one hundred and fifty thousand [black] men, raised on Southern soil. It will give us more yet. Just so much it has subtracted from the enemy, and, instead of alienating the South, there are now evidences of a fraternal feeling growing up between our men and the rank and file of the rebel soldiers. Let my enemies prove to the country that the destruction of slavery is not necessary to a restoration of the Union. I will abide the issue.” ~ President Lincoln in an interview with John T Mills.

August 15– Monday– Washington, D. C.– “From Mobile Bay the news continues favorable. Had Farragut’s preliminary dispatch of the 5th to-day. Have just written a congratulatory letter to him. These letters are difficult to pen. They must be brief and comprehensive, satisfactory to the Navy, the Government, and country, and not discreditable to the Department.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

Admiral Farragut

Admiral Farragut

August 15– Monday– Fisher’s Hill, Virginia– “I have not heard from you for some days but knowing that you will hear all kinds of stories & will be anxious to hear the truth I will write again, though briefly . . . . My shirts are getting somewhat worse for wear & I think I shall try to buy some ready made ones if we get where there are any, I believe white ones do as well as any others in the army & they usually last longer. I do not think it best to have any pants made of my cloth just now – if you have not done anything to them just keep the cloth safely – I will do all I can for your memoranda bless your dear little heart– I wish you had all the things you want. I hope Parkins carried up the box of cups & saucers & that you have gotten it by this time. Write me how the children like the books I sent them &c &c. Write me my love – I know you have hard times this hot weather & wish I could be at home to attend to affairs but be of good cheer – all will yet be well. Love & kisses & blessings for you all.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

August 15– Cobb County, Georgia– “The prevailing feeling of the [Union] Army now seems to be not only a reconstruction of the Union, but the abolition of slavery, not that they feel any interest in the poor Negro, but believing slavery to have been the cause of this sad War, they believe it necessary for future peace, that the Negro question must be settled now, by getting rid of the slave. The general feeling of the Army seems to be to favor Mr. Lincoln’s election, not that he is their choice, but for the same cause which induced so large a vote for Governor Brown, that it is better to leave the reins of Government undisturbed in his Hands during the War. I learnt today that there has been frequent injuries lately done to the [rail] Road above, causing damage to the Trains, one above Big Shanty last Friday, from the slight injuries done to the Road at different places, I apprehend they are done by persons living in the vicinity. I hear a Report today that a Confederate force has made a demonstration on Dalton.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 15– Monday– Cedar Creek, Virginia; Strasburg, Virginia; Charles Town, West Virginia; Buchanan, Georgia; Sandtown, Georgia; Fairburn, Georgia; Dalton, Georgia; near Gainesville, Florida; Dripping Spring, Missouri– Raids and cavalry skirmishes.

August 15– Monday– off the coast of Lisbon, Portugal– The U.S.S. Niagara seizes the C. S. S. Georgia. However the ship is no longer in Confederate service having been sold by the Confederacy at Liverpool, England, a few months ago, to a shipowner named Bates for a price in excess of £15,000. With a British crew and captain she now carries mail from Liverpool to Lisbon to the Azores and back. [The £15,000 at that time equaled $150,000 US, not $CSA, which was worth about 20 cents on the Yankee dollar by this point in the war; using the Consumer Price Index it would equal £1,287,000 or $2,290,000 in today’s money.]

USS Niagara

USS Niagara

August 16– Tuesday– New York City– “The great election of next November looks more and more obscure, dubious and muddled every day. Lincoln is drifting to the leeward. So much is certain. There is rumor of a move by our wire-pullers and secret unofficial governors to make him withdraw in favor of Chase, or somebody else, on whom the whole Republican party (if such a thing exists) can heartily unite. Fremont’s nomination is coldly received here, though it may find favor in Missouri.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

August 16– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “It was to me a painful exhibition of want of common intelligence as to his [Secretary of State William Seward] duties. He evidently supposes that his position is one of unlimited and unrestrained power, that he can override the courts and control and direct their action, that a case of [captured] prize [ship] he can interfere with and withdraw if he pleases. All his conversation exhibited such utter ignorance of his own duties and those of the court in these matters that one could scarcely credit it as possible. But it has been so through his whole administration of the State Department. My impression was, on witnessing his outbreak and hearing his remarks, that, having the senatorship in view, he was proposing to leave the Cabinet, and I am by no means certain that he has not some thoughts of such a step– men aspiring for office often have strange fancies.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

Secretary of State William Seward

Secretary of State William Seward

August 16– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “I have lost my right hand. I have also a severe wound in the right leg, one of the bones being badly fractured, and I fear that I will have to lose my leg, though the surgeon appears to be confident that he can save it. My strength holds out pretty well. My health otherwise is good. I am under charge of excellent surgeons and receive every attention. The hospital is well-managed, and I could not be better treated. Write to the rest of my Sisters and let them know where I am.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier, now a prisoner and being treated in a Federal hospital, to one of his sisters.

August 16– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Warm and cloudy. There are movements of interest of the armies below, from the fact that we have as yet no authentic account of the fighting during the last few days. I fear we have not been so successful as usual. The enemy is reported to be in force on this side (north) of the river, and marching toward this city. The local (clerks) troops have been called out to man the fortifications. But the blow (if one really be meditated) may fall on the other (south) side of the river.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

August 16– Tuesday– Cleveland, Tennessee– “We were awakened last night at 1 o’clock from our slumbers, by the hurrying to& fro of army wagons, horses, men, etc., caused by an alarm given that the Confederates were coming. Rhoda arose, dressed. We all packed some few clothes to take in case we were ordered out of town. About 4 o’clock we all dressed, put on our bonnets & ate a little cold breakfast & were ready to start to the country when the first gun was fired.” ~ Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

August 16– Tuesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “It has been an occasion of much surprise to me the uninterrupted experience of kindness & sympathy I have experienced from the officers & privates of the Federal Army. Could I be anxious to separate our political connection with such a people? What folly on the part of our politicians, to have involved this once happy country in such a War for such a purpose! May God ordain good results out of such a sad calamity. Often have officers stationed in town and about, when suddenly ordered off, rode out only to shake hands with me & say goodbye, and then passing near afterwards stopped to make me a short visit– how grateful must I feel for the many manifestations of kind and sympathetic feelings which I have experienced.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 16– Tuesday– outside of Atlanta, Georgia– “A body of rebel cavalry is raiding on our railroad lines, according to last accounts. No trains have come through from Chattanooga since Saturday. They were at Dalton on Sunday and demanded its surrender. To what extent they will succeed in interfering with our communications remains to be seen. I trust the rebels will not capture any of our mails. The monotony of our existence makes it difficult to write letters. I paid out my last fifty cents for five loaves of bread today. Don’t you pity my poverty? I would send for money, but it is too risky, and then we can get almost anything on credit, so there is no distress connected with poverty.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

Amsterdam Crystal Palace

Amsterdam Crystal Palace

August 16– Tuesday– Amsterdam, the Netherlands– The Palais voor Volksvligt, a/k/a the Amsterdam Crystal Palace, opens to the public. With its main hall capable of holding up to 9000 people it will serve a key role in the cultural and social life of the city until it is destroyed by fire in 1929.

August 16– Tuesday– Altona, near Hamburg, Germany– Birth of Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller, philosopher. [Dies August 6, 1937.]

August 16– Tuesday– Cotta Walla, New South Wales, Australia– Birth of Mary Gilmore, poet and socialist journalist. [Dies December 3, 1962.]

Mary Gilmore~1927

Mary Gilmore~1927

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