Real Nature of the Contest~October 6 to 16, 1862

Tension between the United States and Britain increases as a member of the English Cabinet gives a public speech in favor of recognizing the Confederacy as an independent nation. The American Minister expects other British politicians to follow suit. Quietly in London a baby girl is born who will as an adventurous adult become an explorer.

The vicious treatment of the Indians in Minnesota angers a member of Lincoln’s Cabinet. The President orders an effort to be made to establish a loyal government in Louisiana. People in Boston express approval of the Emancipation Proclamation. Union forces in Kentucky win an important battle. Robert Gould Shaw tries to explain his feelings to his abolitionist mother. While wartime scarcity increases in Richmond, a troop of Confederate cavalry makes a daring raid into Pennsylvania.

October 6– Monday– Highland County, Ohio– Birth of Albert J Beveridge, politician and historian whose 4 volume biography of Chief Justice John Marshall will win a Pulitzer Prize in 1920.

Albert Beveridge in 1920

October 6– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– Government clerk John Jones writes in his diary about the city’s problems. “A Jewish store, in Main Street, was robbed of $8000 worth of goods on Saturday night. They were carted away. This is significant. . . . And our own people, who ask for prices for wood and coal, may contribute to produce a new Reign of Terror. The supplies necessary for existence should not be withheld from a suffering people. It is dangerous.”

October 7– Tuesday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania–The Philadelphia News reports that Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the president, has sent 1,000 pounds of. grapes to the sick and wounded in military hospitals during the week.

Mary Todd Lincoln

October 7– Tuesday– Newcastle, England– In a speech here, William Gladstone, currently serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Cabinet, urges official diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy. “We may anticipate with certainly the success of the Southern States, so far as regards effecting their separation from the North. I, for my own part, cannot but believe that that event is as certain as any event yet future and contingent can be. But it is from feeling that that great event is likely to arise, and that the North will have to suffer that mortification, that I earnestly hope that England will do nothing to inflict additional shame, sorrow, or pain upon those who have already suffered much, and who will probably have to suffer more. It may be that a time might arrive when it would be the duty of Europe to offer a word of expostulation, or of friendly aid toward composing the quarrel.”

William Gladstone, British Cabinet member hostile to the Union cause

October 7– Tuesday– Paris, France– The correspondent for the New York Times writes that “Not withstanding the fact that we are passing through a complete calm in European and local politics, the discussions in the Press on the Roman and other questions, absorbs the attention of the journals to such an extent that the American question is but little discussed. We are promised, however, some leading articles on the Emancipation question.”

October 8– Wednesday– Downsville, Maryland– Union soldier Elisha Hunt Rhodes writes about the war. “We do not complain, as it is all for the Union. The war will not end until the North wakes up. As it is now conducted it seems to me to be a grand farce. When certain politicians, Army contractors and traitors North are put out of the way, we shall succeed.”

October 8– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln writes to General Grant. “I congratulate you and all concerned on your recent battles and victories. How does it all sum up? I especially regret the death of Gen. Hackleman; and am very anxious to know the condition of Gen. Oglesby, who is an intimate personal friend.”

October 8– Wednesday– Perryville, Kentucky– In the major battle fought in Kentucky, Union troops beat back a Confederate invasion of the state. The fighting is costly to both sides. Southern dead, wounded and missing total 3405 [21.3% of the total force] while Northern dead, wounded and missing come to 4211 [11,4% of the total Union force]. The Union hero of the day is General Philip H Sheridan, age 31

Battle of Perryville, Kentucky

October 8– Wednesday– London, England– James Walker, one of the premier civil engineers of the 19th century, dies at age 81

October 9– Thursday– Leesburg, Virginia– About 1800 Confederate cavalry troopers under the command of Jeb Stuart cross the Potomac River on a raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania, a raid which again take Stuart on a circumferance ride around Federal forces.

October 10– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts–The Liberator reports a recent “great meeting” at Faneuil Hall, at which Senator Charles Sumner spoke and those assembled passed resolutions expressing satisfaction with and support of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

October 10– Friday– London, England– U S Minister Charles Francis Adams reports to Secretary of State Seward. “The last week has been marked by only two events of any particular importance. The first of these was the reception of the news of the President’s proclamation respecting the slaves. The effect of it has been only to draw the line with greater distinctness between those persons really friendly to the United States and the remainder of the community, and to test the extent of the genuine anti-slavery feeling left in this country. The second is the appearance of Mr. Gladstone, the chancellor of the exchequer, once more in a popular address referring to the state of things in America. From the first there has been little doubt on which side his sympathy was. . . . As this is just the season when public men are in the practice of making their addresses all over the country, it is probable that more or less of them will be appearing from day to day in the newspapers.”

October 10– Friday– Louvain, Belgium– Birth of Arthur De Greef, composer and pianist

October 11– Saturday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Jeb Stuart’s Confederate cavalry seize horses and supplies and destroy some war materiels and telegraph lines and then turn south toward Virginia.

rebel cavalry in Pennsylvania as depicted in Harper’s Weekly

October 12– Sunday– Poolesville, Virginia– Completing a daring four day maneuver, Confederate cavalry under General Jeb Stuart return to the safety of their own lines. Union cavalry have failed to catch or stop them. None of Stuart’s men have been killed or captured. While not militarily of great significance, the escapade boosts Southern morale and embarrasses General McClellan.

October 13– Monday– Chambersburg, P:ennsylvania– Benjamin Schneck writes to his sister, Margaretta Keller. “To make you feel easy by exaggerated rumors which you will no doubt obtain of the Cavalry Raid here . . . I will merely say, that we are all safe & feel like thanking God, that God deemed to have kept the hearts of these 1600 men in check not to eke out their vengeance, as one might have expected, upon us. . . . the Rebel cavalry will laugh the more heartily at their dashing, bold, successful raid. They got probably 800 horses, plenty of our army clothing at the Depot, sabers, pistols & as much as they wanted, & are now nearly all at least, safe in Virginia. One must give credit for two things: Gentlemanly conduct in their intercourse with our people, and intrepidity and boldness.”

October 13– Monday– London, England– Birth of Mary Kingsley, explorer and ethnographic writer.

Mary Kingsley

October 14– Tuesday– Maryland Heights, Maryland– Union soldier Robert Gould Shaw writes to his mother in Massachusetts. “I believe that the Right will conquer in the end, but we ought not to forget that that able generals, a well-disciplined army, and a powerful navy are the means to reach our end in this case. .; . . You must have thought from my late letters that I was degenerating sadly from the principles in which I was brought up; but an ordinary mortal must be somewhat affected by his surroundings, and events which you look at in one way from a distance, often seem very different when you are in the midst of them.”

October 14– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Wells notes angrily in his diary the discussion at today’s Cabinet meeting. “[Secretary of War] Stanton read a dispatch from General Pope, stating that the Indians in the Northwest had surrendered and he [Pope] was anxious to execute a number of them. . . . I was disgusted with the whole thing; the tone and opinions of the dispatch are discreditable. It was not the production of a good man . . . . The Indian outrages have, I doubt not, been horrible; what may have been the provocation we are not told. . . . . [some Indians] have good land which white men want and mean to have.”

October 14– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln sends a letter to General Butler and other military commandeers in New Orleans instructing them to find candidates to represent Louisiana once again in the Congress. “In all available ways give the people a chance to express their wishes at these elections. Follow forms of law as far as convenient, but at all events get the expression of the largest number of the people possible. All see how such action will connect with, and affect the proclamation of September 22nd. Of course the men elected should be gentlemen of character, willing to swear support to the constitution, as of old, and known to be above reasonable suspicion of duplicity.”

October 15– Wednesday– Downsville, Maryland– Elisha Hunt Rhodes writes about morale. “We are very much ashamed that the Rebels were allowed to make their late raid into Pennsylvania. If this Army cannot protect the loyal states we had better sell out and go home. I ought not to complain, but I am mortified to think we did not catch some of the Rebel raiders.”

October 16– Thursday– New York City– The annual trade sale of books opens at the offices of George A. Leavitt & Company. The New York Times reports that “attendance was quite as large as in former years, though the South was not very largely represented among the buyers. Orders from the rebel States will probably be deferred until after the 1st of January next, when the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln will have gone into effect, and the rebels will have time to turn their attention from war to literature.” A lunch of pork, beef, beans and coffee is available to book buyers.

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