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.”

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