Monthly Archives: September 2012

Emancipation~The First Step

Buoyed by the moderate Union success at the Battle of Antietam on the 17th of September, President Lincoln on September 22nd issues his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in which he states Federal objectives in the war and declares that in any state remaining in rebellion on January 1st of 1863, all slaves shall be legally free persons. The full text follows.

President Lincoln

By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation

I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the United States and each of the States and the people thereof in which States that relation is or my be suspended or disturbed.

 

illustration from Harper’s Weekly

That it is my purpose, upon the next meeting of Congress, to again recommend the adoption of a practical measure tendering pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or rejection of all slave States, so called, the people whereof may not then be in rebellion against the United States, and which States may then have voluntarily adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily adopt, immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits; and that the effort to colonize persons of African descent with their consent upon this continent or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the governments existing there, will be continued.

 That on the 1st day of January, A. D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

That the Executive will on the 1st day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State or the people thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof are not then in rebellion against the United States.

 

copy for public distribution

That attention is hereby called to an act of Congress entitled “An act to make an additional article of war,” approved March 13, 1862, and which act is in the words and figure following;

 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That hereafter the following shall be promulgated as an additional article of war for the government of the Army of the United States, and shall be obeyed and observed as such:

 ART. –. All officers or persons in the military or naval service of the United States are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor who may have escaped from any persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due, and any officer who shall be found guilty by a court-martial of violating this article shall be dismissed from the service.

 SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That this act shall take effect from and after its passage.

 Also to the ninth and tenth sections of an act entitled “An act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate the property of rebels, and for other purposes.” approved July 17, 1862, and which sections are in the words and figures following:

 SEC. 9 And be it further enacted, That all slaves of persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the Government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from such persons and taking refuge within the lines of the army, and all slaves captured from such persons or deserted by them and coming under the control of the Government of the United States, and all slaves of such persons found on (or) being within any place occupied by rebel forces and afterwards occupied by the forces of the United States, shall be deemed captives of war and shall beforever free of their servitude and not again held as slaves.

 

anti-Lincoln cartoon from the British magazine PUNCH, portraying Lincoln as the devil attempting a last ditch effort to save the Union by encouraging slave revolts

SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That no slave escaping into any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia from any other State shall be delivered up or in any way impeded or hindered of his liberty except for crime or some offense against the laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive shall first make oath that the person to whom the labor or service of such fugitive is alleged to be due is his lawful owner and has not borne arms against the United States in the present rebellion not in any way given aid and comfort thereto, and no person engaged in the military or naval service of the United States shall, under any pretense whatever, assume to decide on the validity of the claim of any person to the service or labor of any other person or surrender up any such person to the claimant on pain of being dismissed from the service.

 And I do hereby enjoin upon and order all persons engaged in the military and naval service of the United States to observe, obey, and enforce within their respective spheres of service the act and sections above recited.

 

an American artist depicts a black man reading the proclamation

And the Executive will in due time recommend that all citizens of the United States who shall have remained loyal thereto throughout the rebellion shall, upon the restoration the constitutional relation between the United States and theirrespective States and people, if that relation shall have been suspended or disturbed, be compensated for all losses by acts of the United States, including the loss of slaves.

 

abolitionist art work

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

 Done at the city of Washington, this 22d day of September, A.D. 1862, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Human Nature on the Rack~Aftermath of the Battle of Antietam

“I put my arm around him, and got him into the first vacant house (that is, not occupied by soldiers) I came to, and told the woman of the house to bring down the softest bed she had, as there was no bed on the lower floor, and I thought it better for him to be on the ground floor; and when she objected to bringing down any of her feather beds, I told her I would take the place for a hospital, and turn the family out; this threat was sufficient, and the good feather bed was made ready on the floor, and I washed and bandaged the wound, and gave the pill, and left him in care of the family. While fixing him up, and washing the wound, I noticed that the ball had struck the middle seam of his coat squarely, and was amazed at his escape from instant death, but as he seemed cheerful, and amused himself with jokes, saying: ‘Shot in the neck (Army slang for being drunk)–disgraceful for a temperance man!’ and: ‘I’m glad it’s not a case for amputation, for I don’t think you’d be equal to it, Le Duc,’ and: ‘Say, Le Duc, do you think it will be good for a ninety-day leave?’ I thought possibly the surgeon was wrong, and that the boy’s vitality might carry him through. So, in making up my telegram to send to his father, Doctor Holmes–lecturer on anatomy in Harvard Medical School–I ran it over mentally in several ways, and finally decided on: ‘Captain wounded, shot though the neck, thought to be not mortal’ and sent it to Doctor Holmes, Boston.”– William LeDuc, brigade quartermaster recounting his care of the wounded Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

after the battle

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., having traveled to Antietam battlefield and elsewhere, finally watched the train slide into the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, railroad station. Climbing aboard, “in the first car, on the fourth seat to the right, I saw my Captain . . . even my first-born, whom I had sought through many cities.”The simple exchange “How are you, Boy?” was met with “How are you, Dad?” On Monday evening, September 29, eleven days after the start of his journey, Dr. Holmes was able to shelter his son once more. “I lay him in his own bed, and let him sleep off his aches and weariness. So comes down another night over this household, unbroken by any messenger of evil tidings,– a night of peaceful rest and grateful thoughts; for this our son and brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”

 

Confederate dead

“Not only were the wounded of our own army supplied, but all the Confederate wounded which fell into our hands were furnished all the medicines, hospital stores, and dressings that were required for their use.The difficulty of supplying the hospitals with food was a much greater one than that of providing articles belonging to the medical department, and was a matter of very great concern. This, a matter in all battles of moment, was in this particularly so on account of the distance of the depot of supplies.”– Dr Jonathan Letterman, Medical Director, United States Army

 

“The commanding general having decided to recross the Potomac, the delicate and difficult duty of covering this movement was assigned to Brig. Gen. Fitz. Lee, while I was directed to ford the river that afternoon with Hampton’s brigade at an obscure ford, and, proceeding to Williamsport, cross the river again at that point, so as to create a diversion in favor of the movement of the army. Hampton’s brigade did not reach the ford until dark, and, as the ford was very obscure and rough, many got over their depth and had to swim the river. The duty assigned to Brig. Gen. Fitz. Lee was accomplished with entire success, and he withdrew his command safely to the south side of the Potomac on the morning of the 19th.”– Confederate General Jeb Stuart

 

dead in “the Sunken Road” after the battle

“To account for the smallness of number of those present after the engagement, it is but proper to state that many were occupied in taking from the field of battle their wounded comrades, and a few who were scarcely able to march with the regiment were completely exhausted by the labor of a severe contest of more than two hours.”– Confederate Captain Edward J Willis

 

Union soldiers on burial detail

“The total loss of the division is as follows: Killed– 355; Wounded– 1,577; Missing– 321. The men of this division, already standing high as veteran soldiers, having endured hard marches, excessive fatigue and privation, receive from me my most hearty expressions of gratitude. The above list stands for itself a record of almost unparalleled loss during a single battle. They have poured out their blood like water, and we must look to God and our country for a just reward.”– Union General O O Howard

 

“On the evening of the 20th the command moved from Shepherdstown and encamped near the Opequon, in the vicinity of Martinsburg. We remained near Martinsburg until the 27th , when we moved to Bunker Hill, in the county of Berkeley. The official lists of casualties of my command during the period embraced in this report will show that we sustained a loss of 38 officers killed, 171 wounded; of 313 non-commissioned officers and privates killed, 1,859 wounded, and 57 missing, making a total loss of 2,438 killed, wounded, and missing.”– Confederate General T J [“Stonewall”] Jackson.

“The day had been a long one, but the evening seemed longer; the sun seemed almost to go backwards, and it appeared as if night would never come.”– Confederate Lieutenant James A. Graham

dead in a rifle pit where they died shooting

 

“I have heard of ‘the dead lying in heaps’, but never saw it till this battle. Whole ranks fell together.”– Union Captain Emory Upton

 

“Late last night and early this morning I visited the scene of the most deadly conflicts during the battle yesterday, and examined particularly the plowed field . . . . The dead and wounded were strewn upon the places indicated, in hideous confusion. Here was a perfect winnow of Butternuts and Graybacks, interlanded with Uncle Sam’s blue coats; at another point the dead and wounded rebel and Union troops were in heaps, as if designedly placed so for a funeral pyre or an auto de fe, without the combustible material; and everywhere could be seen stern, unmistakable evidence of the desperate struggle which always characterizes civil war among the whole human family, be it between a savage or civilized people. . . . Mingled with the dead came up to the ear the groans of those in whose breasts there yet remained a spark of vitality, but whose lamp had nearly expired; the hopeful cases, so far as possible, were removed for medical assistance before midnight of Wednesday; the hopeless cases were allowed to remain upon the field. Some in a perfectly conscious, others in a half conscious state, while more were insensible to all worldly affairs.”– New York Times, September 21, 1862

 

Antietam graveyard

“The troops Lee lost were the best he had– the best he could ever hope to have in the long war that lay ahead, now that his try for an early ending by invasion had been turned back.”– Historian Shelby Foote

 

“He [President Lincoln] came to suspect that the leaders of the Army of the Potomac had only a halfhearted commitment to crushing the Confederacy.”– Historian David H Donald

“Antietam was a sorely needed victory for the demoralized North. . . . The victory, incomplete as it was, was the long-awaited event that provided Lincoln the occasion to announce his plans to issue an Emancipation Proclamation the following January.”– Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin

 

American cartoon of “John Bull”

“Unknown to both the American embassy and the highest governing circles in Washington, Lee’s defeat at Antietam and rumors of Lincoln’s decision for emancipation had already combined with the growing horror of the war to intensify British interest in mediation.”– Historian Howard Jones

graves at Antietam

 

“History can at least record Antietam as a strategic Union success. Lee’s invasion of Maryland recoiled . . . quickly . . . . It frustrated Confederate hopes for British recognition and precipitated the Emancipation Proclamation. The slaughter . . . therefore proved to have been one of the war’s great turning points.”– Historian James McPherson

 

 

 

Human Nature on the Rack~the Battle at Antietam

September 17th in 1862. Near a small town in Maryland, a place of no strategic significance, the battle between Union and Confederate forces began about dawn with an exchange of artillery fire and Federal troops making an initial probe of rebel positions. Before the day was over more blood had been shed on the single day than ever before seen in American history and seldom matched since in the American experience. By dusk the Union forces suffered 2,108 killed; 9,540 wounded and 753 missing or captured while the Confederates suffered 1,546 killed; 7,752 wounded and 1,018 missing or captured. In terms of total casualties [killed, wounded, missing combined] in Civil War battles, Antietam ranks fifth but the others– Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Chancellorsville, and Spotsylvania Court House–were battles fought over a period of days. In terms of civil disasters, the worst was the hurricane which struck Galveston, Texas, in 1900, killing somewhere between 9,000 to 12,000 people.

Graveyard at Antietam

At day’s end, both sides held approximately the same positions. Confederate General Lee had fought a superior Union force to a bloody standstill, in part because many Union soldiers were inexperienced and in part because Union General McClellan held back about 25% of his total force. Worn out by the struggle, Lee began to retreat the next day. McClellan failed to give chase. The Confederate invasion of the North had been stopped and the marginal Union victory gave President Lincoln the opportunity to announce his Emancipation Proclamation. Unbeknownst to both sides, the bloodiest year of the ghastly war loomed over the horizon of the new year.

Here are the words and recollections of some of Antietam’s survivors:

Artillery in action

“Human nature was on the rack, and there burst forth from it the most vehement, terrible swearing I have ever heard. . . . The suspense was only for a moment, however, for the order to charge came just after. Whether the regiment was thrown into disorder or not, I never knew. I only remember that as we rose, and started all the [Confederate] fire that had been held back so long was loosed. In a second the air was full of the hiss of bullets and the hurtle of grape-shot. The mental strain was so great that I saw at that moment the singular effect mentioned, I think, in the life of Goethe on a similar occasion– the whole landscape for an instant turned slightly red. I see again, as I saw it then in a flash, a man just in front of me drop his musket and throw up his hands, stung into vigorous swearing by a bullet behind the ear. Many men fell going up the hill, but it seemed to be all over in a moment, and I found myself passing a hollow where a dozen wounded men lay– among them our sergeant-major who was calling me to come down.”– David L. Thompson, Private, Company G, 9th Regiment, New York Volunteers

93rd New York Infantry at Antietam

 

“During the whole day our artillery was everywhere bravely and ably handled. Indeed, I cannot speak too highly of the efficiency of our batteries and of the great service they rendered. On more than one occasion when our infantry was broken they covered its reformation and drove back the enemy.The cavalry had little field for operations during the engagement, but was employed in supporting the horse-artillery batteries in the center, and in driving up stragglers, while awaiting opportunity for other service. The Signal Corps, under Major Myer, rendered, during the operations at Antietam as well as at South Mountain and during the whole movements of the army, efficient and valuable service. Indeed, by its service here, as on other fields elsewhere, this corps has gallantly earned its title to an independent and permanent organization. The duties devolving upon my staff during the action were most important, and the performance of them able and untiring. At a later day I propose to bring to the notice of the Department their individual services. With the day closed this memorable battle, in which, perhaps, nearly 200,000 men were for fourteen hours engaged in combat. We had attacked the enemy in position, driven them from their line on one flank and secured a footing within it on the other. Under the depression of previous reverses we had achieved a victory over an adversary invested with the prestige of former successes and inflated with a recent triumph. Our forces slept that night conquerors on a field won by their valor and covered with the dead and wounded of the enemy.”– General George B. McClellan, Commanding General, forces of the United States

Dead near the Dunker church

“The arduous service in which our troops had been engaged, their great privations of rest and food, and the long marches without shoes over mountain roads, had greatly reduced our ranks before the action began. These causes had compelled thousands of brave men to absent themselves, and many more had done so from unworthy motives. This great battle was fought by less than 40,000 men on our side, all of whom had undergone the greatest labors and hardships in the field and on the march. Nothing could surpass the determined valor with which they met the large army of the enemy, fully supplied and equipped, and the result reflects the highest credit on the officers and men engaged. Our artillery, though much inferior to that of the enemy in the number of guns and weight of metal, rendered most efficient and gallant service throughout the day, and contributed greatly to the repulse of the attacks on every part of the line. General Stuart, with the cavalry and horse artillery, performed the duty intrusted to him of guarding our left wing with great energy and courage, and rendered valuable assistance in defeating the attack on that part of our line. On the 18th we occupied the position of the preceding day, except in the center, where our line was drawn in about 200 yards. Our ranks were increased by the arrival of a number of troops, who had not been engaged the day before, and, though still too weak to assume the offensive, we awaited without apprehension the renewal of the attack. The day passed without any demonstration on the part of the enemy, who, from the reports received, was expecting the arrival of reenforcements. As we could not look for a material increase in strength, and the enemy’s force could be largely and rapidly augmented, it was not thought prudent to wait until he should be ready again to offer battle.”– General Robert E Lee, Commanding General, forces of the Confederate States

newspaper illustration of the battle

 

“The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded was very heavy. Our troops behaved in the handsomest manner, and performed the part assigned to them successfully and with promptness, and in passing through the trying ordeal exhibited the soldier’s noblest qualities. I regret that some of the most valuable officers of the division were killed and many wounded, some of them of those who had distinguished themselves on many previous fields.”– Union General Winfield S. Hancock

the Lutheran church damaged by artillery and rifle fire

“We have to mourn in this action many of our companions as killed and wounded, who go to swell the list of noble martyrs who have suffered in our just cause. I was not to be acquainted with but one of the officers who fell on this occasion – Colonel John B. Strange, Nineteenth Virginia Volunteers. His tried valor on other fields, and heroic conduct in animating his men to advance upon the enemy with his latest breath, and after he had fallen mortally wounded, will secure imperishable honor for his name and memory.I herewith furnish a list of the killed and wounded . . . . As far as practicable the command was sheltered in a hollow in the rear of the artillery. For some four or five hours it was subjected to an almost uninterrupted fire of solid shot, shell, and spherical case, by which a number of men were killed and wounded, which casualties were borne by the troops with remarkable firmness and steadiness. I was subsequently ordered forward on the brow of the hill to dislodge the enemy’s skirmishers, who began to annoy our artillery to the eastward. Here we were more exposed to the Federal artillery than in our former position, and suffered considerably.”– Confederate General Richard B Garnett.

graveyard at Antietam

Compiled from the most reliable sources at my command, the number of wounded amounted to 8,350. This number is not entirely accurate, as many who were slightly wounded were attended to, of whose cases no record could, under the circumstances, be taken. The removal of so large a body of wounded was no small task. The journey to Frederick in ambulances was to wounded men tedious and tiresome, and often painful. It was necessary that they should halt at Middletown for food and to take rest; that food should always be provided at this place at the proper time and for the proper number; that the hospitals at Frederick should not be overcrowded; that the ambulances should not arrive too soon for the trains of cars at the depot at Frederick, and that the ambulance horses should not be broken down by the constant labor required of them. With rare exceptions this was accomplished, and all the wounded whose safety would not be jeopardized by the journey were sent carefully and comfortably away. The hospitals in Frederick were soon established and put in order by Surgeon Milhau, U.S. Army. In addition to the hospitals in the city, two large camps of hospital tents were formed on the outskirts of the city, capable of containing one thousand beds each. One hospital had been established in Frederick some months before our arrival there, but at that time it was filled, and chiefly with Confederate sick and wounded, who had been left there. All the available buildings in this city (six in number)were taken at once for hospitals for our own troops and those of the enemy who should fall into our hands. These were fitted up with great rapidity, particularly so when it is considered that the enemy was in possession of the city the day before we arrived there; that it had to be examined, the buildings selected and prepared, beds, bedding, dressings, stores, food, cooking arrangements made, surgeons, stewards, cooks, and nurses detailed and sent for. This was a great deal of labor, but it was done, and done promptly and well. On the 30th of September these hospitals contained 2,321 patients.The camps to which I have just alluded were formed in October, in very eligible and pleasant locations on the outskirts of the city. In these hospitals and camps 62 surgeons, 15 medical cadets, 22 hospital stewards, 539 nurses, and 127 cooks were on duty during the mouth of October, when all were in operation. During this month 3,032 patients, chiefly wounded, were received into these hospitals, making, with those then under treatment, on the 30th of September, 5,353. Of this number 403 were returned to duty, 23 were discharged, 3 deserted, 4 were sent on furlough, 2,064 were sent to other hospitals, and 253 died, leaving on the 31st of October 2,603 remaining in the hospitals.”– Dr Jonathan Letterman, Medical Director, U S Army

field hospital

“I deem it proper to state that all the killed and wounded of my own brigade were inside of my lines, as I established them after the fight, and that the killed and wounded of the enemy on this part of the field were also within the same lines. All my killed were buried, and all my wounded were carried to the hospitals in the rear, though, by some mis-management on the part of the surgeons or quartermasters, of which I was not aware until too late, some 10 or 15 of my wounded were left in a hospital on the Maryland side of the river when we recrossed.”– Confederate General Jubal Early

straw huts used as field hospital

“The medical department, in charge of Surgeon Cullen, were active and unremitting in the care of the wounded, and have my thanks for their humane efforts. My party of couriers were zealous, active, and brave. They are justly entitled to praise for the manly fortitude and courageous conduct shown by them in the trying scenes of the campaign.”– Confederate General James Longstreet

 

By Blood and Iron~September, 1862~the 26th to the 30th

As the month concludes, Northerners and Southerners continue to respond to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Black troops become part of the Union army in New Orleans. A Union general is murdered by one of fellow officers. Henry Ward Beecher pronounces that the war is God’s judgment upon both sections of the United States and upon England for the toleration of the sin of slavery. A Northern newspaper praises the photo-journalism of Matthew Brady. A Southern newspaper declares that Africans are by nature meant for slavery.

General Pope and Colonel Sibley plan systematic and drastic punishment upon the Sioux for the recent violence without looking for the cause. Street violence erupts in London. Citizens of Glasgow protest the death penalty imposed earlier this month upon Jessie McLaughlin. The new Prime Minister of Prussia denounces the Revolution of 1848 as a mistake and declares that German borders are not to be determined by treaties but “by blood and iron.” A reshaping of European politics begins.

Matthew Brady, c1875

September 26– Friday– New York City– The New York Times praises the war photography of Matthew Brady, a new journalistic art. “Once more let us repeat it – Mr. Brady is rendering us all a real service, in divers ways, by this work of his, undertaken so courageously, and carried forward so resolutely. It is no holiday business this taking the likeness of ‘grim-visaged war’ – and it is no mere gratification of idle curiosity which its results may afford us. We wish the artist all possible success in his task, and commend his efforts anew to the admiration and the appreciation of the American public.”

September 26– Friday– Downsville, Maryland– Elisha Hunt Rhodes writes, “We have been in camp here for three days and may remain for some time. . . . . Clothing is scarce, and what is pleasant we are soon to have some soft bread. Hard Bread is good, but soft bread is better.”

September 26– Friday– near Granite Falls, Minnesota– Colonel Sibley and his men arrest about 1200 Sioux men, women, and children.

September 27– Saturday– New York City– George Templeton Strong evaluates the Emancipation Proclamation. “Much discussed and generally approved, though a few old Democrats (who ought to be dead and buried but persist in manifesting themselves like vampires) scold and grumble. It will do us good abroad, but will have no other effect.”

September 27– Saturday– Richmond, Virginia– The Confederate Congress passes the Second Conscription Act authoring the drafting of all white men between the ages of 35 and 45.

September 27– Saturday– Richmond, Virginia– The Richmond Dispatch asserts that Africans are meant by nature to be slaves and are happy in their servitude. The same article goes on to say, “The neighborhood of a Yankee army creates as complete a stampede among Negroes as the approach of a locomotive among cattle. There are thousands of masters who continue to believe that their servants will not run under similar temptations, and foolishly to expose them to temptation. It is clear, therefore, that there is no security for the Negro property of the State, unless the Legislature makes the removal of the Negroes from districts exposed to invasion compulsory.”

September 27– Saturday– New Orleans, Louisiana–The First Louisiana Native Guards are mustered into the Union Army, thus becoming the first black regiment to receive official Army recognition.

members of the Louisiana Native Guard

September 27– Saturday– Island of Malta– Birth of Francis Adams, born to English parents, who will become an Australian journalist and writer of poetry, novels, essays and dramas. In his 31 years of life he will produce a prodigious amount of work, much of it sympathetic to socialism and feminism.

September 27– Saturday– Greytown, Natal, South Africa– Birth of Louis Botha who will serve as the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1910 to 1919.

September 28– Sunday– Brooklyn, New York– At his Plymouth Church, 49 year old Reverend Henry Ward Beecher preaches a lengthy sermon about slavery and the war to a congregation of about 3,000 people. His text is 1 Chronicles29:10-13. Beecher criticizes many for the current sad state of affairs. Among other things, he says, “Note the strange part played by the women of the South in this terrible drama. However violent the men may have been, the women have been far more furious and vindictive. Woman is at once the best and worst thing God has made. But how tearful a retribution is coming upon their homes. . . . . And they . . . will be deprived of their natural protectors, and must alone bear the desolation and the sorrow. The North has suffered and must suffer to the extent to which she has winked at Slavery for the sake of commerce and gain. We all of us are in the same plight– weak hearted voters, money-loving merchants, manufacturing districts and States . . . . Every nation or State that has profited by Slavery, is suffering to that extent by this war. Of these England is the most guilty and is suffering most. I love and honor England’s early history, her noble struggles for freedom and her later sturdy valor; but her commercial classes have pandered to Slavery, whole districts subsist and grow rich on slave products, and now starvation and trouble are rife among just these classes.”

Rev Henry Henry Ward Beecher

September 28– Sunday– Mankato, Minnesota– Colonel Sibley appoints a five-member military commission to “try summarily” Dakota for “murder and other outrages” committed against settlers. Sixteen trials take place immediately. Ten Dakota are convicted and sentenced to be hanged, six are acquitted. General Pope writes to Sibley about his intent to deal with the Sioux “The horrible massacres of women and children and the outrageous abuse of female prisoners, still alive, call for punishment beyond human power to inflict. There will be no peace in this region by virtue of treaties and Indian faith. It is my purpose utterly to exterminate the Sioux if I have the power to do so and even if it requires a campaign lasting the whole of next year. Destroy everything belonging to them and force them out to the plains, unless, as I suggest, you can capture them. They are to be treated as maniacs or wild beasts, and by no means as people with whom treaties or compromises can be made.”

depiction in the eastern press of alleged atrocities by the Sioux

September 28– Sunday– London, England–Riots occur in Hyde Park between Irish and Italians. The fighting is prompted by reports of conflicts in Italy between the Catholic Papacy and Garibaldi.

September 29– Monday– Washington, D.C.– Secretary of State Seward meets with Secretary of the Navy Welles to discuss the blockade of southern ports and British intentions. Welles notes, “I did not doubt that British merchants were actively preparing to try to run the blockade, but we would be active in trying to catch them.”

September 29– Monday– Louisville, Kentucky– Union General William “Bull” Nelson from Kentucky engages in a loud and obscenity-filled quarrel with Union General Jefferson Columbus Davis from Indiana (and no relation to the Confederate president) in the lobby of the Galt Hotel. Davis grabs a pistol and shoots Nelson, age 38 and Davis’ superior. Nelson later dies from his wound. Davis will never come to trial for the crime.

Union General William “Bull” Nelson before being murdered by a fellow general

September 30– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– Government clerk John Jones writes that “Lincoln’s proclamation was the subject of discussion in the Senate yesterday. Some of the gravest of our senators favor the raising of the black flag, asking and giving no quarter hereafter.”

September 30– Tuesday– Edinburgh, Scotland– In response to a mass meeting and a petition signed by over 40,000 citizens of Glasgow protesting the death sentence imposed upon Jessie McLachlan for the alleged murder of a fellow servant, Sir Archibald Alison commences an investigation on the instructions of the Lord Advocate.

Princes of the various German states, 1863, gathered as Bismarch begins the push for German unification

September 30– Tuesday– Berlin, Germany– Prime Minister Bismarck address the Prussian Parliament which has been rejecting the King’s proposed budget. He emphatically calls for a German nation-state, dominated by Prussia and rejects demands for liberal reform. In his speech, he declares, “Germany is not looking to Prussia’s liberalism, but to its power; Bavaria, Wurttenberg, Baden may indulge liberalism, and yet no one will assign them Prussia’s role; Prussia has to coalesce and concentrate its power for the opportune moment, which has already been missed several times; Prussia’s borders according to the Vienna Treaties are not favorable for a healthy, vital state; it is not by speeches and majority resolutions that the great questions of the time are decided, that was the big mistake of 1848 and 1849, but by iron and blood.”

By Blood and Iron~September, 1862~the 22nd to the 26th

The scores of wounded from the Antietam battlefield flood surrounding communities, including towns in Pennsylvania. Seizing the moment, President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation. Perhaps this is what has casused his reflective questions about the will of God. But the measure is limited to slaves in the states in active rebellion and will not take effect until the coming 1st of January. Some of his cabinet, like Gideon Welles, have doubts. Abolitionists take a critical stand, emphasizing the measures limitations and worrying that the Confederacy may take repressive measures against slaves. Robert Gould Shaw, whose parents are long-standing abolitionists, also wonders about the immediate efficacy of the decree.  A group of governors declare their support for President Lincoln. The President takes a constitutionally dangerous position by suspending the writ of habeus corpus in cases of rebels and their sympathizers.

In Richmond, rumors abound about General Lee and the army and about the Federal government. A Southern belle glories in all things “Confederate.” British sympathy for the rebellion runs high in some quarters, along with hope for the end of the blockade and access to American cotton.

Elsewhere, an American mercenary is killed in China and a skilled and very nationalistic German politician becomes Prime Minister of Prussia. The Sioux suffer a major defeat in Minnesota.

September 22– Monday– Tzeki, China– The 30 year old American soldier of fortune Frederick Townsend Ward, who has been training and leading troops of the Imperial Army for the last two years, dies of wounds he received yesterday in defeating rebels. As he lies dying he dictates a will providing for the care of his Chinese wife as well as his sister and brother.

Frederick Townsend Ward

September 22–Monday– Berlin, Germany– By the appointment of King Wilhelm I, Otto von Bismarck becomes prime minister.

Otto von Bismarck, c.1861

September 22–Monday–Washington, D.C.– Buoyed by Union success at Antietam, President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation. At its heart, he declares, “That on the first day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any state, or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free, and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any effort they may make for their actual freedom.” He further adds that “All officers or persons in the military or naval service of the United States are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor who may have escaped from any persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due, and any officer who shall be found guilty by a court-martial of violating this article shall be dismissed from the service.”

a period cartoon depicts woodsman Lincoln forcing down the rebellion by cutting down slavery

September 22– Monday– Washington, D.C.– Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles describes in his diary the Cabinet meeting about the Emancipation Proclamation. The President’s “mind was fixed, his decision made.” Welles own mind is more unsettled. “For myself the subject has, from its magnitude and its consequences, oppressed me, aside from the ethical features of the question. It is a step in the progress of this war which will extend into the distant future. A favorable termination of this terrible conflict seems more remote with every movement.”

September 23– Tuesday– Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota– At the battle of Wood Lake, 2000 Federal troops defeat about 950 Sioux fighters. Among the dead Sioux is Chief Mankato, killed by artillery fire. This marks the end of major fighting. Since the conflict began in mid-August about 500 settlers and soldiers have been killed and about 60 Sioux.

Battle of Wood Lake

September 23– Tuesday– London, England– As yet unaware of the result of the Battle of Antietam, Prime Minister Palmerston writes to the Foreign Secretary, Lord Russell. “If the Federals sustain a great defeat . . . [their] Cause will be manifestly hopeless.” He goes on to say that in such a case Britain can push for an armistice, the lifting of the Union blockade and mediation by Her Majesty’s Government.

 

ant-British cartoon depicts John Bull trying to set the dogs on Lady Liberty while she deals with the snake of “treason”

September 24– Wednesday– Altoona, Pennsylvania– At the invitation of Pennsylvania’s Governor, Andrew Curtin, a two day conference of “loyal war governors” convenes at the Logan House hotel. Curtin is a Republican and strong supporter of Lincoln. The other governors in attendance come from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island and Wisconsin as well as Francis Pierpoint, Governor of loyal Virginia and key figure leading the formation of the separate state of West Virginia. With the support of all present except for Governor Bradford of Maryland, the conference calls for raising additional troops in response to President Lincoln’s call for more soldiers, support of the Lincoln Administration, support of the Emancipation Proclamation and the recall of General McClellan.

September 24– Wednesday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Benjamin Schneck writes to his sister Margaretta Keller about the wounded from the Antietam battle. “We have already a great many wounded here & more are to come tonight. Our Ladies are engaged almost day & night getting up beds and nursing them. Rebecca is almost worn out.”

September 24– Wednesday– Washington, D. C.– President Lincoln issues a proclamation suspending the writ of habeus corpus. “Now, therefore, be it ordered, first, that during the existing insurrection, and as a necessary measure for suppressing the same, all rebels and insurgents, their aiders and abettors, within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia draft or guilty of any disloyal practice affording aid and comfort to rebels against the authority of the United States, shall be subject to martial law and liable to trial and punishment by courts-martial or military commissions; second, that the writ of habeas corpus is suspended in respect to all persons arrested, or who are now or hereafter during the rebellion shall be imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military prison, or other place of confinement by any military authority or by the sentence of any court-martial or military commission.”

September 24– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– John Jones writes in his diary. “The papers this morning are still in doubt whether Lee has returned to the Virginia side of the Potomac, or remains in Maryland. My theory is that he is per due for the present, hoping all the enemy’s forces will enter Virginia, from Washington–when he will pounce upon that city and cut off their retreat. The Northern papers contain intimations of the existence of a conspiracy to dethrone Lincoln, and put a military Dictator at the head of the government. Gen. Fremont is named as the man. It is alleged that this movement is to be made by the Abolitionists, as if Lincoln were not sufficiently radical for them!”

soldiers dance with ladies visiting their camp

September 24–Wednesday– Linwood, Louisiana– Sarah Morgan takes pride in the deprivations of living in the struggling Confederacy. “Yesterday the General saluted us with ‘Young ladies, if you will ride in a Confederate carriage, you may go to dress parade this evening.’ Now, in present phraseology, ‘Confederate’ means anything that is rough, unfinished, unfashionable, or poor. You hear of Confederate dresses, which means last year’s. Confederate bridle means a rope halter. Confederate silver, a tin cup or spoon. Confederate flour is corn meal, etc. In this case the Confederate carriage is a Jersey wagon with four seats, a top of hickory slats covered with leather, and the whole drawn by mules. We accepted gladly, partly for the ride and sight, partly to show we were not ashamed of a very comfortable conveyance; so with Mrs. Badger as chaperon, we went off in grand style. I must say I felt rather abashed and wished myself at home as we drove into town, and had the gaze of a whole regiment riveted on us. But soon the men fell in line, and I did not feel so painfully conspicuous. I was amused at a contrast near by, too. There was but one carriage present, besides ours, though there were half a dozen ladies on horseback. This carriage was a very fine one, and in it sat three of the ugliest, dowdiest, worst dressed females I ever saw. We three girls sat in our rough carriage as comfortable as could be, dressed– well, wecould not have been dressed better– and looking our very best. Sans mentir, I think the Confederates were much the most respectable.”

September 25– Thursday– Maryland Heights, Maryland– Robert Gould Shaw writes to his mother, an anti-slavery activist. “So the ‘Proclamation of Emancipation’ has come at last, or rather, its forerunner. I suppose you are all very much excited about it. For my part, I can’t see what practical good it can do now. . . . . I don’t mean to say that it is not the right thing to do, but that, as a war measure, the evil will overbalance the good for the present. Of course, after we have subdued them it will be a great thing.” saying how much he misses the family, he writes, “I wish we could feel whenever we are thinking of each other; you don’t know how often I have thought of you during those terrible days . . . . it seemed to me as if I could see the house and all of you there.”

 

William Lloyd Garrison, editor of the Liberator

September 26– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts–The Liberator carries the complete text of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of the 22nd and then harshly criticizes it. “Though we believe that this Proclamation is not all that the exigency of the times and the consequent duty of the government require, and therefore are not so jubilant over it as many others still, it is an important step in the right direction, and an act of immense historic consequences. . . . The objectionable features of the Proclamation are its avowed readiness to return to bloody stripes, and horrible torture, and life-long servitude, (if he be not killed outright,) any hunted bondsman on the mere oath of the villain claiming him, that he is loyal to the government, its seemingly contradictory talk (for the first portion of it is a characteristic jumble of words) about emancipating the slaves in all existing rebel States, on the first of January, 1863 (a time sufficient to enable Jeff. Davis and his traitorous confederates to anticipate that measure themselves, and thus secure their independence by foreign intervention) its proposition to make a new overture to the Slave States to sell their slave system at a bargain and its mean, absurd and proscriptive devices to expatriate the colored population from their native land.”

By Blood and Iron~September, 1862~the third week

General Lee’s attempted invasion of the North comes to a bloody halt in the worst single day of the war. A future justice of the U S Supreme Court is seriously injured in the fighting. Soldiers such as Elisha Hunt Rhodes and Robert Gould Shaw reflect on the horrors of the battle. On the same day women working in a war industry die in an unexplained industrial accident. General McClellan again is slow to move and fails to follow up on his costly success. Harpers Weekly praises a recently killed general.

The lack of Southern cotton causes increased unemployment in Britain. In Belfast Protestants and Catholics battle in the streets. A court in Scotland sentences an alleged murderer to death. In the Hawaiian Islands a princess marries an American man.

September 15– Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia– General Stonewall Jackson’s troops capture the town, taking a large number of Union soldiers as prisoners.

September16– Tuesday– Honolulu, Hawaii– Princess Lydia Kamakaeha Paki, who will become the last reigning monarch of the kingdom, Queen Lilieuokalani, marries an American, John Owen Dominis. He is 30 years old, she is 23.

the princess when she became Queen Liliuokalani

September 17–Wednesday–Belfast, Ireland–A Protestant parade erupts into violence between Catholics and Protestants.

Battle of Antietam

September 17– Wednesday– Sharpsburg, Maryland–At Antietam Creek, in a day long battle, Union forces turn back General Lee’s invasion of the north in the bloodiest single day in the war. The shooting begins about 5:30 in the morning and lasts twelve hours. Federal casualties (dead, wounded, missing) total 12,469 [25% of total force]; Confederate losses amount to 13,724 [30% of total force]. Three Union and two Confederate generals are among the dead. First Lieutenant Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, serving with the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, is among the wounded. Union General McClellan, while leading a force larger than that of Confederate General Lee, attacks Lee in a piecemeal fashion and holds back a strong reserve. As night falls, Lee’s Army is still on the field but threatened by a larger Union force.

September 17– Wednesday– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania– A series of three explosions rocks the main laboratory at Allegheny Arsenal killing 78 of the 158 workers, mostly young women, in the building. The explosion shatters glass and knocks pictures off of walls as far away downtown Pittsburgh, two miles from the blast. The subsequent fire burns 54 bodies beyond recognition. Founded in 1814 the Arsenal employs 1100 workers trying to supply ammunition to the Union Army.

the Powder Magazine as it looks today in historical preservation

September 17– Wednesday– Glasgow, Scotland– Mrs Jessie McLachlan, age 28, goes on trial for the murder of Jess McPherson of 17 Sandyford Place in Glasgowin in early July of this year. The accused was a close friend of Jess McPherson and a former servant in the same house. The jury takes only 15 minutes to find Jessie McLachlan guilty and Judge Lord Deas sentences Jessie McLachlan to be hanged on the 11th of October.

September 18–Thursday– Sharpsburg, Maryland–After yesterday’s horrendous battle, General Lee and his staff decide to withdraw southward. Skirmishing and canon fire continue sporadically. Union General McClellan fails to attack or pursue the Confederates. Elisha Hunt Rhodes describes the battlefield. “I have never in my soldier life seen such a sight. The dead and wounded covered the ground. In one spot a Rebel officer and twenty men lay near a wreck of a battery.”

Dead and wounded at Antietam aswomen care for the bodies

September 18– Thursday– London, England–Her Majesty’s Government reports that 140,000 English workers are unemployed because the Union blockade prevents English factories from receiving cotton from the Confederacy.

September 19– Friday– New York City– The New York Times carries an open letter from the Peace Society of London, England [founded in 1816], to Christians of the United States. It concludes by saying, “The eyes of the whole world are fixed upon you. There is no great principle in which the friends of humanity are interested but must suffer incalculable injury by the prolongation of the conflict. We beseech you, therefore, friends and fellow-Christians, for the interests of civilization, for the honor of free government, for the glory of Christ’s Gospel, that you, the ministers of religion and the conductors of the religious press especially, should put forth your influence to bring forth a speedy settlement of a quarrel which at present is arresting the progress of civilization, bringing disrepute upon all free government, retarding the triumphs of the Gospel, and causing the Name that is above every name to be blasphemed among the heathen through you.”

Battle of Antietam

September 19– Friday– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania– Colonel John Symington, Commander of the Allegheny Arsenal, writes to the Ordnance Department about Wednesday’s explosion, speculating that it may have been caused “by the leaking out of powder when one of the barrels was being placed on the platform. . . . parties shipping powder [in this case, Dupont and Company] may have used barrels more than once for the shipment of powder, as the barrels have been returned to them at their request.”

September 19– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles takes note of McClellan’s newest failure. “Nothing from the army, except that, instead of following up the victory, attacking and capturing the rebels, they, after a day’s armistice are rapidly escaping over the river.”

September 19– Friday– Benton County, Iowa– Birth of Adeline De Walt Reynolds. She will enter college at age 64 and after earning her degree, move to Hollywood, California, where she will act in her first movie role in 1940. She will die four weeks before her 99th birthday.

publicity picture of Adeline DeWalt Reynolds

September 20– Saturday– New York City– Harper’s Weekly carries a tribute to General Phil Kearney who died in battle on September 1st. “During the Italian campaign of 1859 Major Kearney served as volunteer aid to General Morris, a distinguished officer in the French army. . . . At the conclusion of this campaign the French officers, who had witnessed . . . the military ardor and enthusiasm of Philip Kearney, called the Emperor Napoleon’s attention to the American officer. His Majesty immediately bestowed upon him the Cross of the Legion of Honor. When the news of the breaking out of this hideous rebellion first reached Europe, Major Philip Kearney was residing in Paris. He lost not a moment. He hurried back to offer his services to his country, and was shortly afterward appointed a Brigadier-General of the forces of New Jersey. . . . Before the commencement of the present struggle his dwelling in Paris was the rendezvous of all American officers passing through France. His hospitality was unbounded, his courtesy that of the high-toned gentleman. We have seen gathered around his table there those now prominent in the rebel army.”

Images from Antietam

September 21– Sunday– Maryland Heights, Maryland– Robert Gould Shaw writes to his father, describing the battle at Antietam. As his brigade advanced through a cornfield they encountered numerous Confederate dead and wounded. They shared their water with the wounded. “There are so many young boys and old men among the Rebels, that it seems hardly possible that they can have come of their own accord to fight us, and it makes you pity them all the more, as they lie moaning on the field.” Shaw himself was grazed in the neck by a bullet but otherwise unharmed. That night “the stars came out bright, and we lay down among the dead, and slept soundly until daylight.” Near the end of the lengthy letter he writes, “Every battle makes me wish more and more that the war was over. It seems almost as if nothing could justify a battle like that of the 17th and the horrors inseparable from it.”

Battle of Antietam

September 21– Sunday– San Francisco, California– Citizens donate $100,000 to the Sanitary Commission for the care and relief of wounded and sick Union soldiers. [This would equal about $2.24 million in current value.]

By Blood and Iron~September, 1862~the second week

In the second week of September, casualties mount as Confederate troops invade Maryland. General Lee tries to reassure Marylanders that his army means freedom and choice for the state. His military intentions are revealed to the Union army by accident. British sympathy for the South increases in some quarters.

President Lincoln maintains a hectic schedule and publicly ponders the will of God while meeting with an interdenominational group from Chicago. The abolitionist Frederick Douglass criticizes General McClellan in a private letter to an old friend.

An assault on English citizens who are ignorant of or indifferent to the culture in Japan will create an international incident between the two island empires.

abolitionist activist Gerrit Smith in a photo by Matthew Brady

 

September 8– Monday– Rochester, New York– Frederick Douglass writes to his old friend, the abolitionist politician Gerrit Smith who is now 65 years old and having some health problems. “I had attributed your silence of late to what I supposed must be your ineffable disgust at the wretched management of the war. Your gloomiest predictions have been even now more than realized, and I shudder at what the future may still have in store for us. I think the nation was never more completely in the hands of the Slave Power. This government is now in the hands of the Army, and the Army is in the hands of the very worst type of American Democracy, the chief representative of which is now doing his utmost to destroy the country.” [This comment refers to Union General George McClellan, a long-time member in the Democratic Party.]

September 8– Monday– Fredericktown, Maryland– General Robert E Lee issues a proclamation to the people of Maryland, asserting that the state has long had ties to the South and is being oppressed by the Federal government. He concludes by saying, “In obedience to this wish [for freedom] our army has come among you, and is prepared to assist you with the power of its arms in regaining the rights of which you have been so unjustly despoiled. This, citizens of Maryland, is our mission so far as you are concerned. No restraint upon your free-will is intended—no intimidation will be allowed within the limits of this army at least. Marylanders shall once more enjoy their ancient freedom of thought and speech. We know no enemies among you, and will protect all of you in every opinion. It is for you to decide your destiny, freely and without constraint. This army will respect your choice, whatever it may be; and, while the Southern people will rejoice to welcome you to your natural position among them, they will only welcome you when you come of your own free-will.”

 

General Robert E Lee, c.1863

 

September 8– Monday– London, England– Chancellor or the Exchequer William Gladstone writes to a colleague that “the South cannot be conquered . . . It is our absolute duty to recognize . . . that Southern independence is established.”

September 10– Asuncion, Paraguay– Carlos Antonio Lopez, who has ruled dictatorially since 1841, dies at age 69.

William S Porter, aka O. Henry

September 11–Thursday–Greensboro, North Carolina– Birth of William Sydney Porter who will become famous as O Henry, American writer.

September 11– Thursday– Hagerstown, Maryland– Confederate troops seize the town.

Confederate Cavalry

September 11– Thursday– Harrisburg, Pennsylvania– Fearing a rebel invasion, Governor Andrew Curtin calls for 50,000 militia to prepare to defend the state.

September 12– Friday– Harrisburg, Pennsylvania– State records and the state treasury are shipped to New York to avoid seizure from the expected Confederate invasion.

John Ross, a leader among the Cherokee people

September 12– Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln meets with John Ross, a leader of Cherokee Nation, to discuss treaty relations; holds a brief cabinet meeting on military affairs; writes to General McClellan “that the enemy is recrossing the Potomac. Please do not let him get off without being hurt”; advises Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania that he does not have 80,000 troops to send to Pennsylvania; and assures the mayor of Philadelphia that “Philadelphia is in no danger. . . . and could not be reached by the rebel Army in ten days, if no hindrance was interposed.”

September 13– Saturday– Frederick, Maryland– Two Union soldiers find a copy of Confederate General Lee’s orders for the invasion of Maryland. The document is quickly passed to General McClellan. In the evening, Jeb Stuart advises Lee that McClellan has the document.

September 13– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln meets with a an interdenominational group of Christians from Chicago who present a petition calling for emancipation of all slaves. In response, Mt Lincoln says, “I hope it will not be irreverent of me to say that if it is probable that God would reveal his will to others, on a point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed he would reveal it directly to me; for unless I am more deceived in myself than I often am, it is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this matter. And if I can learn what it is I will do it.” He concludes his remarks by saying, “I view the matter as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion.”

Battle of South Mountain

September 14– Sunday– South Mountain, Maryland– In pitched battles for control of three passes through the Blue Ridge Mountains in this area, Federal troops turn back the Confederate forces. Dead, wounded and missing Confederates total 2685 and Union casualties amount to 2325.

body of Charles L Richardson

September 14– Sunday– Namamugi, Japan– Four British nationals– Charles Lennox Richardson, Woodthorpe Charles Clark, William Marshall, and Mrs. Margaret Watson Borradaile– are traveling on the Imperial Highway, enjoying a sight-seeing ride. When they encounter the large and well-armed retinue of Satsuma regent Daimyo Shimazu Hisamitsu heading in the opposite direction, they do not yield the roadway nor stop nor dismount. When Mr Richardson approaches Shimazu’s palanquin too closely, the daimyo’s bodyguard attack the Englishmen, killing Richardson and seriously injuring Marshall and Clark. [The incident initially provokes fear among the Europeans in Japan and when the Japanese government fails to pay reparations, will lead to a British naval bombardment of a Japanese town in August of 1863 and eventual payment by Japan of £25,000.]