Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Retrospective of 1862~Part Two

Immigration (U.S.):
> despite the on-going war, 91,985 immigrants enter the United States:
> 30.0% come from the German states;
> 26.8% come from Great Britain;
> 25.4% come from Ireland;
> 4.8% come from France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Netherlands combined;
> 3.9% come from China;
> 3.6% come from Canada;
> 2.8% come from Sweden, Norway and Denmark combined;
> 0.8% come from Central and South America, excluding Mexico;
> 0.6% come from Italy;
> 0.5% come from Greece, Spain and Portugal combined;
> 0.2% come from Mexico;
> 0.2% come from the Austrian Empire;
> 0.1% come from Poland;
> 0.1% come from the Russian Empire;
> 0.2%% come from other regions and other countries.
> Sex and age:
> 41.6% are female;
> 58.4% are male;
> 73.0% are between 15 and 40 years of age;
> 18.0% are under age 15;
> 9.0% are over age 40.
> Occupations by major categories:
> 54.9% have no occupation–this includes children;
> 15.5% have general labor occupations;
> 10.5% have skilled craft occupations;
> 8.1% have agricultural occupations;
> 6.8% have commercial occupations;
> 3.2% have domestic work occupations;
> 0.7% have professional occupations;
> 0.3% have miscellaneous occupations

> in a move aimed at restricting Chinese immigration, California imposes a tax of $2.50 per month, per person on all people of Asian descent [this would be about $57.70 in today’s money]

Journalism:
> Samuel L Clemens begins writing for The Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada Territory;
> James Russell Lowell begins writing for The North American Review

Samuel Clemens a/k/a Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens a/k/a Mark Twain

Medicine & Health:
> in Canada, smallpox sweeps through Fort Victoria area and down the length of the northwest coast, killing an estimated 200,000 First Nation people;
> Hermann Snellen, a 28 year old Dutch opthalmologist, publishes the Snellen chart for testing visual acuity.
> ergotism, a disease cause by fungus in rye, breaks out in Finland where rye bread is a diet staple of peasants and urban poor
>Dr Louis Elsberg opens the first public clinic to treat diseases of the throat
>in France Dr Edouard Raynaud publishes a paper on the cardiovascular disorder which will come to be called by his name

Military:
> as of June 30th, 673,124 men are on active duty in the U S military;
> the writer Ambrose Bierce, only 20 years old, is commissioned a first lieutenant and joins the staff of General William Bradcock Hazen. as a topographical engineer
> in Arizona, Cochise emerges as a brilliant military leader of the Apache people and will hinder and delay settlement by European Americans for the next ten years

Religion:
>the American Bible Society of New York City distributes thousands of pocket editions of the Bible to soldiers

Science & Technology:
> Brown & Sharpe, a Rhode Island company pioneering in making modern machine tools, produce the first universal milling machine
> Alexander Borodin, age 29, the illegitimate son of a Russian nobleman, becomes professor of chemistry at the Academy of Medicine in St Petersburg, Russia, and this year publishes the results of important experiments with benzoyl chloride; [he will soon begin his career in music as well];

Alexander Borodin

Alexander Borodin

> the 30 year old Julius von Sachs, a German botanist, shows that starch is the product of photosynthesis
> the first American open-hearth furnace for use in making steel begins operation

Social Movements:
> in the tiny Kingdom of Monaco the first Monte Carlo gambling casino opens
>Swiss philanthropist Henri Dunant, age 34, publishes a pamphlet in French urging the creation of non-military volunteer societies to aid wounded on battlefields; he will become a key person in the creation of the International Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions on the Conduct of warfare

Henry Dunant

Henry Dunant

Sports and Exercise:
>trotting-style horse races continue to be popular both in the North and the South; a new race track opens in New York City

Transportation:
>the Illinois-Central Railroad with miles of track running north-south provides great help to the Union army
>Ben Holladay, age 42, Kentucky-born and living in California, buys up the bankrupt Russell, Majors and Wadell company which went broke financing the now defunct Pony Express; Holladay now controls a monopoly on carrying mail and passengers between the Pacific coast and Missouri; over the next four years he will make a fortune before selling out in anticipation of the success of railroads to cross the Great Plains; however, he will die at age27 in 1887, impoverished by the Panic of 1873

Workers and Employment:
> in Charleston, South Carolina, in late July, at a slave auction, one entire family of a man, age 28, a woman, age 24, and their child, age 6, are sold for $3,060; one man, age 24, is sold for $1,365; one woman, age 20, with her infant, are sold for $1,120; a boy, age14, brings $955 on the auction block; six men, ranging in age from 20 to 38 years and in various degrees of health and strength, average $749 each.[The family of three sold for the equivalent of $70,600 in current dollars; the six men averaged a modern value of $17,300 each.]

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A Retrospective of 1862~Part One

Agriculture, Food & Drink:
>between July 1st, 1861 and June 30th, 1862, the U S exported 37,000,000 bushels of wheat, worth $43,000,000; this is a new U S record.
>in England, Crosse & Blackwell introduce canned soups
> in New York City, 19 year old Charles Gulden begins making and selling his Gulden’s Mustard
> to help finance the war, the Federal government imposes a tax on beer at $1 per barrel
> swayed by Admiral Andrew Hull Foote, the naval hero of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson & Island #10 and himself an ardent temperance advocate, the U S Navy abolishes its traditional rum ration for sailors
> Great Britain suffers major crop failures

Advertisement for Gulden's mustard

Advertisement for Gulden’s mustard

Art & Music:
>paintings
>Augustus Egg ~ Traveling Companions
>Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres ~The Turkish Bath
>Edouard Manet
~Concert in the Tuileries Gardens
~Lola de Valence
~Mlle. Victorine Meurent in the Costume of an Espada
~The Street Singer

French painter Edouard Manet

French painter Edouard Manet

>Moritz von Schwind ~ The Honeymoon
>James McNeill Whistler ~ The White Girl
>Ludwig Ritter von Kochel, an Austrian educator, scientist and musicologist, 62 years of age, publishes his Catalogue of Mozart’s Works or “The Kochel Catalog,”a pioneering scholarly work
>Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray wins the Prix de Rome in the Musical Composition category.
>The Saint Petersburg Conservatory is founded by Anton Rubinstein.
>Edvard Grieg gives his first concert in his home town of Bergen, Norway.
>Stephen Heller and Charles Halle perform Mozart’s E-flat concerto for two pianos at The Crystal Palace in London, England
>the scenes from Goethe’s Faust set to music by Robert Schumann, who died in 1856, receive a premiere performance in Cologne, Germany

Books:
>New books published this year include
>Aleardo Aleardi, Canto Politico
>Matthew Arnold’s On Translating Homer: Last Words, a reply to F. W. Newman’s Homeric Translation in Theory and Practice, 1861, itself a reply to Arnold’s On Translating Homer, published that year
>Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret
>Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Last Poems, are posthumously published in an edition prepared by her husband, Robert Browning
>The Rise, Progress and Decline of Secession by Reverend William G. Brownlow, from Kentucky, becomes a best seller in the North
>Last Poems by A. H. Clough, published posthumously with a memoir by F. T. Palgrave
>No Name by Wilkie Collins
>Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets by Thomas De Quincey
>The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky
>The History of the Intellectual Development of Europe by William Draper
>Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert
>Sister Philomene by Edmond & Jules de Goncourt
>Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

>Henrik Ibsen’s Love’s Comedy
>Julia Kavanagh’s French Women of Letters
>Henry Kingsley’s Ravenshoe
>Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn, which includes “Paul Revere’s Ride”
>George MacDonald’s David Elginbrod
>Modern Love by George Meredith
>A Chaplet of Verses by Adelaide Ann Procter and illustrated by Richard Doyle [Proctor, an unmarried philanthropist and social reformer and always in frail health will die early in 1864 at age 38; some modern scholars believe she was a lesbian]
>Goblin Market and Other Poems by Christiana Georgina Rossetti
>John Ruskin’s Unto This Last
>Elizabeth Stoddard’s The Morgesons
>William Makepeace Thackeray’s The Adventures of Philip
>Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenv;
>Artemus Ward, His Book by Artemus Ward (pen name of the humorist Charles Farrar Browne)
>John Greenleaf Whittier’s The Furnace Blast

>two novels, John Brent and Edwin Brothertoft, both by Theodore Winthrop, are published posthumously this year and become best sellers. Winthrop himself, an ardent anti-slavery man and officer in the Union Army, had been killed in battle in June, 1861; during his life no publisher was interested in his work. His sister, Laura Winthrop Johnson, will see to the publication of some of his other work and his books will do well for a decade.

>this year finds the reclusive Emily Dickinson, age 32, in her period of greatest poetic productivity; her poem “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers” under the title “The Sleeping” is published in the Springfield Republican this year; it is during this year that she first makes contact with Thomas Wentworth Higginson who encourages her to write

>Nikolai Chernyshevsky is imprisoned in St Petersburg, Russia, and begins his novel What Is To Be Done?

>Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a 37 year old German, begins writing about homosexuality under the pseudonym of “Numa Numantius”.

Business & Commerce:
>in New York City, the 59 year old Irish-American millionaire Alexander T Stewart builds and opens the largest retail store in the world. His steel-and-stone “Palace”occupies a full block at Broadway and 10th Street. The eight-storey building has a distinctive cast-iron front, glass dome skylight, central court, grand stairway leading up from the spacious ground floor and elevator cars for access to higher floors. The design and construction cost close to $3,000,000. It employs up to 2,000 people. The establishment has nineteen departments including silks, dress goods, carpets and toys.
>John Rockefeller, age 23, invests $4000 in an oil refining business which will eventually become the Standard Oil Company of Ohio [his investment would equal about $92,300 today; by 1894, Standard Oil of Ohio was worth about $41,000,000 or today about $1.11 billion]
>in Boston, several entrepreneurs found John Hancock Life Insurance Company
> the 3 year old Equitable Life Assurance Company, founded by Henry B Hyde, writes a record-breaking $2,000,000 of new life insurance policies [this would equal about 46.1 million dollars of business today]
>for the twelve months from July 1st, 1861 to June 30th, 1862, the U S government spent $394,368,100 for the War Department; $42,668,000 for the Navy Department; $853,000 for veterans’ compensation and pensions.
>in England, particularly in areas such as Lancashire, textile mills reduce production or shut down because they cannot receive shipments of Southern cotton

>in London, 18 year old Arthur Lasenby Liberty enters the employ of a merchant on Regent Street; in 1875 he will establish Liberty of London department store

Education:
>Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, introduces a gymnastics course for women;> the first female student is accepted into Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada
>New colleges founded include:
~University of Maine at Orono

A Crisis in Our Affairs~January, 1863~ the 22nd to the 31st

As the first month of the new year winds down, union officers as well a Jewish philanthropist and reformer see no end in sight to the conflict. A Southern woman wishes she were a man so she could join the fight and a Confederate clerk takes note of families divided by the war. Soldiers complain of too much mud and too little good food. Slaves seek freedom, sometimes at risk of life and limb, but are not always well-treated once within the Union lines. President Lincoln changes commanders once again. The reformer William Lloyd Garrison speaks up for the insane and abolitionist Frederick Douglass gets his wish as the Federal government authorizes Massachusetts to enlist black soldiers. In the Pacific Northwest Shoshone people are massacred. Unrest spreads in the Russian Empire. In the midst of so much violence and unrest, Rufus M Jones is born, a man who will become an important philosopher, educator and one of the founders of the American Friends Service Committee.

January 22– Thursday– Warsaw, Poland– With a spontaneous protest by young Poles against conscription into the Imperial Russian Army, students, workers and peasants give increased momentum to what will be called “the January Uprising.” From initial protests in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus, the liberation struggle will take two years for the Tsar’s forces to suppress. The uprising will soon joined by high-ranking Polish and Lithuanian officers serving in the Russian Army and various nationalist political leaders.

January 23– Friday– Linwood, Louisiana– Sarah Morgan writes patriotically in her diary. “Though none could regret the dismemberment of our old Union more than I did at the time, though I acknowledge that there never was a more unnecessary war than this in the beginning, yet once in earnest, from the secession of Louisiana I date my change of sentiment. I have never since then looked back; forward, forward! is the cry; and as the Federal States sink each day in more appalling folly and disgrace, I grow prouder still of my own country and rejoice that we can no longer be confounded with a nation which shows so little fortitude in calamity, so little magnanimity in its hour of triumph. Yes! I am glad we are two distinct tribes! I am proud of my country; only wish I could fight in the ranks with our brave soldiers, to prove my enthusiasm; would think death, mutilation, glorious in such a cause; cry, ‘War to all eternity before we submit.’ But if I can’t fight, being unfortunately a woman, which I now regret for the first time in my life, at least I can help in other ways. What fingers can do in knitting and sewing for them, I have done with the most intense delight; what words of encouragement and praise could accomplish, I have tried on more than one bold soldier boy, and not altogether in vain.”

January 24– Saturday– New York City– George Templeton Strong laments the attitudes of some. “I begin to doubt whether the Northern people, with so large a percentage of false, cowardly, despicable sympathizers with Rebellion now prepared to intrigue against our national life, to bow down to the bullies of the South, and to uphold slave-breeding as the noblest of duties, can be saved, ought to be saved, or is worth the trouble of saving.”

January 24– Saturday– Falmouth, Virginia– Elisha Hunt Rhodes notes the failed Federal advance due to weather and road conditions. “We can fight Rebels but not mud. . . . I suppose another attempt will be made as soon as the weather becomes good and the mud dries up.”

Charlotte Forten Grimke

Charlotte Forten Grimke

January 24– Saturday– Beaufort, South Carolina– Charlotte Grimke describes the adventure of several fugitive slaves now within the protection of Union forces. “Among them is a man named Michael. . . . . Michael’s master overtook him in the swamp.. A fierce grapple ensued– the master on horseback, the man on foot– the former drew a pistol and shot the slave through the arm, shattering it dreadfully. Still the brave man fought desperately and at last succeeded in unhorsing the master and beat him until he was senseless. He then with the rest of the company escaped.”

January 25– Sunday– South China, Maine– Birth of Rufus M Jones, Quaker author, educator, pacifist.

Rufus M Jones

Rufus M Jones

January 25– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln relieves General Burnside from command of the Army of the Potomac, and replaces him with General Joseph Hooker.

Union General Joseph Hooker

Union General Joseph Hooker

January 25– Sunday– Falmouth, Virginia– Union soldier Joseph Burrage writes to his mother Mary. “A Dutchman has built some ovens near us where he turns out warm bread and pies which are really nice. We had for supper one night before we started some of his bread and butter, followed by a pie. Luxurious wasn’t it? The next night we were laying in the water with nothing but pork and hard tack for eatables. Such are the ups and downs of soldier life. I took but little cold though, and think now I can stand most any weather.”

January 25– Sunday– Stafford Courthouse, Virginia– Robert Gould Shaw writes home. To his sweetheart he writes, “Annie, I have thought a great deal of you– indeed, almost all the time since I left Lenox– and of my visit to you, especially the last part of it. O, dear! You don’t know how much I should like to see you again!” To his sister, Effie, he writes, “They think here that the political troubles at home are going to finish the war before long. If we are not going to fight it out, the sooner it ends, the better. If we do make peace now, we shall have to go at it again one of these days,, I am sure, unless slavery dies out in the mean time. The Paymaster came up with us and we are going to receive four months’ pay.”

January 25– Sunday– Union camp near Vicksburg, Mississippi– General William Tecumseh Sherman writes to his brother, Senator John Sherman. “Two years have passed and the rebel flag still haunts our nation’s capital our armies enter the best rebel territory and the wave closes in behind, scarcely leaving a furrow mark behind. The utmost we can claim is that our enemy respects our power to do them physical harm more than they did at first ; but as to loving us any more, it were idle even to claim it. Our armies are devastating the land and it is sad to see the destruction that attends our progress we cannot help it. Farms disappear, houses are burned and plundered, and every living animal killed and eaten. General officers make feeble efforts to stay the disorder, but it is idle. The South . . . . [has] an abundance of the best cannon, arms and ammunition. In long range cannon they rather excel us and their regiments are armed with the very best Enfield rifles and cartridges, put up at Glasgow, Liverpool and their new Southern armories, and I still say they have now as large armies in the field as we. They give up cheerfully all they have. ‘I still see no end or even the beginning of the end. The early actors and heroes of the war will be swept away, and those who study its progress, its developments, and divine its course and destiny will be most appreciated. We are in for the war, and must fight it out, cost what it may.”

January 26– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln sends a private letter to General Joseph Hooker. “I have heard, in such way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the Army and the Government needed a Dictator. Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. . . . . What I now ask of you is military success . . . . The government will support you to the utmost of its ability, which is neither more nor less than it has done and will do for all commanders. I much fear that the spirit which you have aided to infuse into the Army, of criticizing their Commander, and withholding confidence from him, will now turn upon you. I shall assist you as far as I can, to put it down. Neither you, nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could get any good out of an army, while such a spirit prevails in it. And now, beware of rashness -Beware of rashness, but with energy, and sleepless vigilance, go forward, and give us victories.”

January 26– Washington, D. C.– The War Department authorizes the governor of Massachusetts to recruit black troops.

 

John Andrew, Governor of Massachusetts, who quickly issues a call for black soldiers

John Andrew, Governor of Massachusetts, who quickly issues a call for black soldiers

January 27– Tuesday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– Rebecca Gratz, Jewish educator, philanthropist, and social reformer, 81 years of age, writes to her sister-in-law, Ann Boswell Gratz. “I hope you have not suffered uneasiness from my unusual silence tho I acknowledge it mortifies me to think I have been neglectful of your last kind letter. I believe I have been more busy, more lazy and a little annoyed by a cold which in this damp warm weather I have found it hard to get rid of. . . . . I have been looking over domestic omissions which, having recently changed our man servant, have been staring me in the face. Well, we have changed for the better, got an industrious, colored man in place of an idle white one. My cold is better, and I only wait a change in the weather to be well again. . . . . The changes and chances and mischances that reach us from the Political world do not seem to advance our progress through this terrible war.”

Rebecca Gratz in her youth

Rebecca Gratz in her youth

January 27– Tuesday– Kenner, Louisiana– Union Lieutenant Charles L Stevens reports to brigade headquarters on the situation of “contraband” black people [slaves who have run away from their masters as well as slaves captured by Federal forces] and who have been laboring for the U S Army. “The men were in a shocking condition in regards clothing Many were entirely barefooted, and others nearly so–Others with no shirts, and a majority without pants excepting in the most ragged state. In this condition they worked daily on the Levees. Hardly an article of clothing had been issued, excepting about 75 pairs of shoes, and not a single blanket. I immediately issued all the clothing on hand . . . . The rations are given out every day. Either Sergeant Hagerthy or myself have attending to issuing them in order to be sure that the proper persons receive them. Many of the women are in even a worse condition than the men as regards clothing. From 5 to 16 work daily on the levee, more would if they had shoes Their rations we issue once a week. They receive 2 qts of meal and 2 lbs pork for a week. Yesterday we issued to 248 men–19 sick and 74 women, Total 341. The total number of deaths has been 78. None have died since I have been here.”

January 28– Wednesday– Athens, Georgia– An ad for “New Music” in the Southern Banner of Athens shows Stonewall Jackson’s celebrity status. “‘Stonewall Jackson’s Grand March’, ‘Rock me to Sleep Mother’, ‘Lorena’, ‘Let me kiss him for his mother’, ‘Maiden’s Prayer’. Just received.”

January 29– Thursday– along the Bear River, Washington Territory [now Preston, Idaho]– Soldiers attack an armed camp of the Shoshone people. The battle, fought in deep snow, lasts from early morning to late afternoon. When the Shoshone run out of ammunition, they resort to tomahawks and bows and arrows. The soldiers finally overpower the camp and kill most of the men and children, rape the women and burn the camp. In the fight, 21 soldiers are killed and 46 wounded; 410 Shoshone people are killed, another 164 wounded and/or captured.

Shoshone Prayer Tree marking the site of the massacre

Shoshone Prayer Tree marking the site of the massacre

January 30– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– In The Liberator, Garrison encourages readers to sign a petition, addressed to the General Court of Massachusetts. “We publish it with the hope that it may be circulated extensively for signatures, so as to challenge the most serious attention . . . .the laws pertaining to those who are alleged to be insane are not what they ought to be to ensure absolute justice to the accused, but give scope for the exercise of tyrannical power whereby the weak and defenseless are crushed, and all chance of redress rendered hopeless.”

William Lloyd Garrison, editor of the Liberator

William Lloyd Garrison, editor of the Liberator

January 30– Friday– Beaufort, South Carolina– Charlotte Grimke comments about a religious writer whose work is full of “cant” unlike “Mrs [Harriet Beecher] Stowe [who] always has something about religion in her books, but it is so differently administered that it is only pleasant and beautiful.”

January 31– Saturday– Richmond, Virginia– Government clerk John Jones observes the nature of civil war. “A few days ago, Lieutenant Buchanan was killed on a United States gun-boat by our sharpshooters. He was the son of Admiral Buchanan, in the Confederate service, now at Mobile. Thus we are reminded of the wars of the roses–father against son, and brother against brother. God speed the growth of the Peace Party, North and South; but we must have independence.” [His reference is to three decades of civil war in England during the 15th century.]

 

A Crisis in Our Affairs~January, 1863~the 16th to the 22nd

Regardless of the war, 19th century industrial development continues in the United States and in Europe. Revolutionary disturbances shake parts of the Russian Empire. In the North as well as in the South President Lincoln is criticized for the Emancipation Proclamation and he extends his thanks to English workers who have voiced their support of his action. In the South there are complaints of war profiteering and unruly escaped slaves. As in every war, the parents of soldiers are thankful that their children have survived death or injury.

typical railroad engine of the period

typical railroad engine of the period

January 16– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– In today’s issue of The Liberator, Garrison reprints in the “Refuge of Oppression” column, a piece from the New Hampshire Patriot, which criticizes President Lincoln. “The greatest crime ever committed by a Chief Magistrate of a free people has been perpetrated by the President in the promulgation of the Emancipation Proclamation– .the abolition scheme, unconstitutional, partisan, and atrocious in itself, cannot do any good, but is sure to produce immense harm to the cause of the Union, at home and abroad; and only those who are blind to the most patent facts, and deaf to all the appeals of reason and patriotism, can doubt it.”

January 17– Saturday– Manchester, England– Birth of David Lloyd George, who will become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

January 17– Saturday– Paris, France– Horace Vernet, French painter of battles, portraits, and Orientalist Arab subjects dies at age 73.

January 18– Sunday– Richmond, Virginia– John Jones laments the lack of patriotism he sees in some quarters. “It was bitter cold last night, and everything is frozen this morning; there will be abundance of ice next summer, if we keep our ice-houses. In these times of privation and destitution, I see many men, who were never prominent secessionists, enjoying comfortable positions, and seeking investments for their surplus funds. Surely there must be some compensation in this world or the next for the true patriots who have sacrificed everything, and still labor in subordinate positions, with faith and patient suffering.”

January 19– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln sends a message to the workers of Manchester, England, acknowledging their message of January 1st. “I know and deeply deplore the sufferings which the workingmen at Manchester and in all Europe are called to endure in this crisis. It has been often and studiously represented that the attempt to overthrow this government, which was built upon the foundation of human rights, and to substitute for it one which should rest exclusively on the basis of human slavery, was likely to obtain the favor of Europe. Through the actions of our disloyal citizens the workingmen of Europe have been subjected to a severe trial, for the purpose of forcing their sanction to that attempt. Under these circumstances, I cannot but regard your decisive utterance upon the question as an instance of sublime Christian heroism which has not been surpassed in any age or in any country. It is, indeed, an energetic and re-inspiring assurance of the inherent power of truth and of the ultimate and universal triumph of justice, humanity, and freedom. I do not doubt that the sentiments you have expressed will be sustained by your great nation, and, on the other hand, I have no hesitation in assuring you that they will excite admiration, esteem, and the most reciprocal feelings of friendship among the American people. I hail this interchange of sentiment, therefore, as an augury that, whatever else may happen, whatever misfortune may befall your country or my own, the peace and friendship which now exist between the two nations will be, as it shall be my desire to make them, perpetual.”

January 19– Monday– Warsaw, Poland– General Ludwik Mieroslawski, age 49, an historian, author and poet as well as activist, who had been involved in revolutionary activities in 1830, 1846 and 1848, is appointed dictator of Poland and leader of the rebels against the Russian Tsar.

January 20– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln provides information to the Senate about the situation in Mexico.

January 20– Tuesday– New Berne, North Carolina– Union General Foster receives a report from the Federal Military Governor Edward Stanly. “I have just received a letter from Edenton, of date the 6th Instant, informing that a band of Negroes & Soldiers, ‘armed,’ visited the premises of a Mrs Page of that town, and carried away Several Negroes, and a parcel of bedding & other furniture: that they were very insolent in their conduct and threatened to have the town shelled if they were interfered with. My correspondent says that they came, as he heard, from on board the Ocean Wave.A Negro man, formerly living on the plantation of the venerable James C. Johnston, named ‘Matthew’ was the person commanding the party This Negro, is one of desperate character. The Citizens of Edenton beg your protection from outrages of this Kind: they desire to know whether it can be afforded them, or must they take redress into their own hands?” [Later investigation revealed that the black men were escaped slaves, employed by Union forces, who came to take their wives and children to freedom. The bedding and clothing which they took was their own. The men were encouraged, aided and accompanied by white Union soldiers and sailors.]

January 20– Tuesday– Brussels, Belgium–The U S Minister reports to Secretary of State Seward that by French intervention in Mexico, France seeks to prevent domination by the United States of trade with Latin America.

January 21– Wednesday– Allegheny City [now part of Pittsburgh], Pennsylvania– Henry Warner writes to his son, John, a Presbyterian minister in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. “We received a note from Henry [his other son] last Saturday evening– he is very well but complains of monotony. I answered on Monday & direct some on the evil of discontent, stating how thankful he ought to be that he is not lying on the mud on the bank of the Rappahannock, that the most High has hid him, as in the cleft of the rock until this fearful judgment passes over us. When called on, I have no objection to him acting the patriot & soldier, but until then thank the Lord for all his mercies.” Further on he comments about the quality and cost of food. “Often have I wondered in Pittsburgh, at country people coming in 10 or 12 miles on foot to sell good fresh butter and eggs and buy with the money coffee, tea, & sugar. If people will barter away nutritious food for what is the very reverse, let the please their fancy. If I was worth a million I would not give 34¢ per lb for the coffee, but if mother would like to have coffee, & it was 1$ per lb I would walk 5 miles to obtain it. But she seems to care as little for it as I do. I wonder the foolish people do not prefer chocolate, which is a nutritious beverage.”

January 21– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– With work beginning on the transcontinental railroad President Lincoln issues an executive order regarding a key aspect of construction.” Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, do determine that the uniform width of the track of said railroad and all its branches which are provided for in the aforesaid act of Congress shall be 5 feet, and that this order be filed in the office of the Secretary the Interior for the information and guidance of all concerned.”

German manufacturer Adam Opel

German manufacturer Adam Opel

January 21- Wednesday– Russelsheim, Hesse, Germany–Adam Opel founds Opel AG, a company which will manufacture fine European sewing machines until 1911 when they will switch to manufacturing bicycles and automobiles.

January 22– Thursday– Warsaw, Poland– With a spontaneous protest by young Poles against conscription into the Imperial Russian Army, students, workers and peasants give increased momentum to what will be called “the January Uprising.” From initial protests in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus, the liberation struggle will take two years for the Tsar’s forces to suppress. The uprising will soon joined by high-ranking Polish and Lithuanian officers serving in the Russian Army and various nationalist political leaders.

A Crisis in Our Affairs~January,1863~the 9th to the 15th

Technological changes take place in Europe and America. An important Hindu religious leader is born in India. An important Protestant religious leader dies in the United States. In Mexico, French forces increase their operations. Robert Gould Shaw, offspring of Massachusetts abolitionists, see no hope of permanent peace with the Confederacy. Fighting in Arkansas gives the Union forces a victory. Soldiers and civilians, North and South, complain of war-time inflation. Radical abolitionists want the Emancipation Proclamation expended. Southern planters complain about unruly slaves. Ralph Waldo Emerson recommends Walt Whitman for a government job in Washington.

January 9– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– The Liberator carries a notice for the next regularly scheduled annual meeting, the 30th such, of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. “However effectual may be the President’s Emancipation Proclamation in breaking the chains of the bondmen in such rebellious sections of the country as he has just designated, and Heaven grant that it may be as potent in operation as it is comprehensive in its scope; nevertheless, nothing at this hour is settled so surely as the continued enslavement of four millions of the inhabitants of the land; and while any of these remain to wear the yoke, the primary object and specific work of this Society will not have been accomplished. Slavery, in the so-called loyal Border States is as inexcusable, as criminal, as revolting, as unendurable, as pregnant with evil and ruin, as in the rebellious Confederate States, and must be as vigorously and uncompromisingly assailed, until liberty is proclaimed throughout all the land, to all the inhabitants thereof.”

January 9– Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln informs Congress that the United States has been invited to participate in an international agricultural exhibition to be held next summer in the city of Hamburg, Germany.

January 10– Saturday– Concord, Massachusetts– Ralph Waldo Emerson sends a letter to Secretary of State William Seward regarding a job application from Walt Whitman of Brooklyn, New York. “Permit me to say that he is known to me as a man of strong original genius, combining, with marked eccentricities, great powers & valuable traits of character: a self-relying, large-hearted man, much beloved by his friends; entirely patriotic & benevolent in his theory, tastes, & practice. If his writings are in certain points open to criticism, they yet show extraordinary power, & are more deeply American, democratic, & in the interest of political liberty, than those of any other poet. He is indeed a child of the people, & their champion. A man of his talents & dispositions will quickly make himself useful, and, if the Government has work that he can do, I think it may easily find, that it has called to its side more valuable aid than it bargained for.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, c late 1850s

Ralph Waldo Emerson, c late 1850s

January 10– Saturday– Brooklyn, New York– Reverend Lyman Beecher, clergyman, educator, author, temperance advocate and one of the leaders of the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening, dies at age 87. He married three times and had nine children by his first wife and four more by his second wife. Of the thirteen offspring, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Catharine Beecher, Isabella Beecher Hooker and Henry Ward Beecher have become well-known in their own right. His third wife, Lydia Beals Jackson Beecher, will outlive Lyman by 6 years.

Rev Lyman Beecher

Rev Lyman Beecher

January 10– Saturday– Fairfax Station, Virginia– Robert Gould Shaw writes to his sweetheart, Annie. “If a peace is patched up with the South, I don’t believe it can be a permanent one, and if the war goes on for another eighteen months, other nations are likely to be drawn into it. I hope I may be mistaken, for, though I don’t think the soldiers are so much to be pitied as the fathers, mothers, wives, and sisters, who have to stay at home, there are few who are not heartily sick of the war.”

January 10– Saturday– London, England–The first section of the London Underground Railway (one of the first subways) opens for business.

January 11– Sunday– Atlanta, Georgia– Feeling confident about an ultimate Southern victory, the Southern Confederacy insists that the Yankees be made to pay for “stolen” slaves in whatever peace terms will be drawn up to end the war.

January 11– Sunday– Fort Hindman, Arkansas–The two day battle concludes as 5,000 Confederates, surrounded by a force of 50,000 Union troops, and a U. S. Navy squadron under the command of Admiral David Porter, see the Confederate artillery silenced by the naval attack and Union infantry breach the outer walls of the fort. The Confederates then surrender.

Union gunboats attack Fort Hindman

Union gunboats attack Fort Hindman

January 12– Monday– in the countryside near Richmond, Virginia– On or about this date, Adah B Samuels Thoms is born to slaves. She will become a formative leader among African-American women in the nursing profession. She will write an important volume of the history of black nurses.

January 12– Monday– Calcutta, India– Birth of Narendra Nath Datta, who will become known as the holy man Swami Vivekananda, a leader in Hinduism and who is generally recognized, by a famous speech in Chicago in 1893, as introducing Hinduism to Americans.

Swami Vivekananda, c 1890s

Swami Vivekananda, c 1890s

January 13– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– A Mr William Canter from New York City receives a patent for a chenille manufacturing machine.

January 13– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– John Jones notes the housing problems in the city. “How shall we live? Boarding ranges from $60 to $100 per month. Our landlord says he will try to get boarding in the country, and if he succeeds, probably we may keep the house we now occupy, furnished, at a rent of $1200, for a mere robin’s nest of four rooms! But I hope to getthe house at the corner of First and Casey, in conjunction with General Rains, for $1800. It has a dozen rooms.”

January 14– Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana– A group of planters complain to the Union authorities in New Orleans about the conduct of their slaves. “Many of the Negroes led astray by designing persons, believe that the plantations & everything on them belong to them, the Negroes. They quit work, go & come when they see fit. Ride off at night the mules that have been at work all day. Fences are pulled down, gates & bars are left open. Cattle, & sheep hogs & poultry are killed or carried off & sold. Negroes in numbers from one plantation to an other at all hours night & day. They travel on the rail road. They congregate in large numbers on deserted plantations. All these things are done against the will & in defiance of the orders of their masters. In Some instances Negro Soldiers partially armed have been allowed to visit the plantations from which they enlisted. In a word we are in a State of anarchy.”

January 14– Wednesday– Off the Texas coast–The Confederate warship Alabama sinks the USS Hatteras.

January 15– Thursday– Boston, Massachusetts– The Boston Morning Journal becomes the first newspaper in the United States to be printed on wood-pulp paper

January 15– Thursday– Falmouth, Virginia– Union soldier Elisha Hunt Rhodes writes in his diary of the dreariness and costs of camp life. “No news and all is quiet. But for our drills we should be unhappy in our laziness. We pay big prices for things to eat. Butter is 60c per lb. Cheese the same. Bread 25c per loaf. Soft crackers 30c per lb. Cookies (which children and soldiers love) 3 cents apiece. Today I found a small cod fish at 16c per lb. It tasted good.”

January 15– Thursday– Beaufort, South Carolina– Charlotte Forten Grimke, an African American educator, writes in her diary. “Had a letter mailed to my good friend [John Greenleaf] Whittier. . . . Miss Towne sent me the December Atlantic. Enjoyed it this evening, especially Dr [Oliver Wendell] Holmes’s excellent article . . . . That article is “My Hunt after the Captain.” [Holmes describes his search for his injured son, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, who was wounded at the battle of Antietam in September, 1862.]

Charlotte Forten Grimke

Charlotte Forten Grimke

January 15– Thursday– Veracruz, Mexico– French forces bombard the city.

A Crisis in Our Affairs~January, 1863~the 2nd to the 8th

The new year opens with bloodshed in a pitched battle in Tennessee. In the South, President Davis praises Confederate valor. In the North people such as General Sherman and George Templeton Strong evaluate the South’s endurance. In the Atlantic Monthly, Harriet Beecher Stowe challenges British women to support the Union cause. Southerners continue to see “contented” slaves while dealing with an increasing number of escapes. Through it all, life goes on all around the world.

January 2– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Senator John Sherman writes to his brother, General William Tecumseh Sherman. “We are watching with the most eager interest the progress of your expedition. We all hope its success will brighten the gloom cast by operations here. If the Mississippi can only be opened and Texas and Arkansas detached it will be a gleam of hope by which I can see the end of the war. Without an outlet to the South and West and with such a blockade as we can easily keep up, the Southern Confederacy cannot exist. This will settle the cotton question, for Texas and Arkansas can with the free labor that can easily be thrown there grow enough cotton for the world another ground of hope.”

Senator John Sherman

Senator John Sherman

January 2– Friday– Murfreesboro, Tennessee– The battle which began on New Year’s Eve comes to a conclusion. Total Federal losses are 12,906 dead, injured or missing while the Confederate losses amount to 11,739, killed, wounded or missing.

January 2– Friday– London, England– U S Minister Charles Francis Adams sends to Secretary of State Seward and President Lincoln a message drafted yesterday by Mayor Abel Haywood and many of the working men of Manchester, England. “We rejoice in your greatness. . . . We honor your free States, as a singular, happy abode for the working millions. . . . One thing alone has, in the past, lessened our sympathy with your country and our confidence in it; we mean the ascendency of politicians who not merely maintained Negro slavery, but desired to extend and root it more firmly. Since we have discerned, however, that the victory of the free north, in the war which has so sorely distressed us as well as afflicted you, will strike off the fetters of the slave, you have attracted our warm and earnest sympathy.”

January 3– Saturday– New York City–Harper’s Weekly today carries Thomas Nast’s first drawing of the modern Santa Claus.

Santa Claus by Thomas Nast

Santa Claus by Thomas Nast

January 3– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– Walt Whitman writes to his sister Martha. “Yesterday I went out to the Campbell Hospital to see a couple of Brooklyn boys, of the 51st. They knew I was in Washington, and sent me a note, to come and see them. O my dear sister, how your heart would ache to go through the rows of wounded young men, as I did and stopped to speak a comforting word to them. There were about 100 in one long room, just a long shed neatly whitewashed inside. One young man was very much prostrated, and groaning with pain. I stopped and tried to comfort him. He was very sick. . . . The 100 are in a ward, and there are, I should think, eight or ten or twelve such wards in the Campbell Hospital– indeed a real village. Then there are some 38 more Hospitals here in Washington, some of them much larger.”

January 3– Saturday– Murfreesboro, Tennessee– Confederate forces begin to withdraw.

January 4– Sunday– Atlantic Ocean– Two U S warships seize the Mercury, a Confederate blockade runner from Charleston on its way to Nassau, Bahamas with Southern trade goods and mail.

January 4– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln and General Halleck order General Grant to rescind Special Order 11, issued in December, 1862, expelling Jews from areas under Grant’s command. The President also orders Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to use Federal gunboats on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay to assist loyalists fleeing Virginia.

January 4– Sunday– Hamburg, Germany– Three men– Rudolf Rosochaki, F W Schwartz and Heinrich Geyer– create a schism in the Catholic Apostalic Church, which had been founded in England a little over 30 years before this, and in another 13 years their church will become known as the New Apostalic Church.

January 5– Monday– Washington, D.C.– Mr James Plimpton, age 35, from New York City, receives a patent for four-wheeled roller skates, an invention which makes the recreation much safer.

January 5– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– President Jeff Davis addresses a crowd which gathers in front of the Executive Mansion to welcome him back from his tour of the west. He characterizes the war and the Confederacy’s enemy. “Here, in the ancient Commonwealth of Virginia the great principles of human government were proclaimed by your ancestors; here great battles for freedom have been fought, when the grand system they founded was attempted to be overturned by those who got possession of a government which they could not comprehend, and which, in six months, they see themselves wholly unable to administer. . . . . You have shown yourselves in no respect to be degenerate sons of your fathers. You have fought mighty battles, and your deeds of valor will live among the richest spoils of Time’s ample page. It is true you have a cause which binds you together more firmly than your fathers were. They fought to be free from the usurpations of the British crown, but they fought against a manly foe. You fight against the off-scourings of the earth.”

January 5– Monday– Off the Florida coast–U S warships capture a British ship attempting to run the blockade.

January 6– Tuesday– On the steamer Forest Queen, Mississippi River– General William Tecumseh Sherman writes to his brother John. “I suppose you are now fully convinced of the stupendous energy of the South and their ability to prolong this war indefinitely, but I am further satisfied that if it lasts 30 years we must fight it out, for the moment the North relaxes its energies the South will assume the offensive and it is wonderful how well disciplined and provided they have their men. We found everywhere abundant supplies, even on the Yazoo, and all along the river we found cattle, and fat ones, feeding quietly. The country everywhere abounds with corn, and the soldiers, though coarsely, are well clad. We hear of the manufacture of all sorts of cloth and munitions of war. The river plantations are mostly abandoned, and all families, Negroes, stock and cotton removed 25 miles back.”

General William Recumseh Shreman

General William Recumseh Shreman

January 6– Tuesday– Nashville, Tennessee– The Nashville Dispatch lists military hospitals. “A large number of buildings have been selected to be fitted up as hospitals for the reception of the wounded, among which we hear of the First Presbyterian Church, corner of Spring and summer streets; the First Baptist Church, north Summer street; Cumberland Presbyterian Church; McKendree Church, Spring street, and the large residence of Mr. Alexander Wheless on Spruce street.”

January 6– Tuesday– London, England– Harriet Gouldsmith Arnold, English landscape painter and etcher dies at age73.

January 7– Wednesday– New York City– George Templeton Strong opines about the duration of the war. “Our resources will stand the wear and tear of indecisive conflict longer than those of slavedom, and can be sooner repaired.”

January 7– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– Government clerk John Jones writes about slaves. “A large body of slaves passed through the city to-day, singing happily. They had been working on the fortifications north of the city, and go to work on them south of it. They have no faith in the efficacy of Lincoln’s Emancipation. But it is different in Norfolk; 4000 enfranchised slaves marched in procession through the town the other day in a sort of frantic jubilee.They will bewail their error; and so will the Abolitionists. They will consume the enemy’s commissary stores; and if they be armed, we shall get their arms.”

 January 8– Thursday– Louisville, Kentucky– Birth of Ellen Churchill Semple, a geographer who will make geography a university-level discipline.

January 8– Thursday– Falmouth, Virginia– George Whitman writes to his brother Thomas Jefferson Whitman. “Poor old Mother, she is hardly ever out of my mind, when we are going into a fight, and I have often thought when I have been in a pretty hot place, how glad I was that none of you at home, knew anything about it, and it makes me feel quite bad to think how worried you all were, on account of seeing my name in the list of wounded, while I was just as well as ever I was in my life, as the scratch I got scared me a great deal worse than it hurt, It was a mighty warm place we were into when I was hit, as the Rebs had a battery planted right in front of us and not more than 1000 yards distance, and they poured grape and cannister into us like the very devil.”

January 8– Fairfax Station, Virginia– Robert Gould Shaw writes to his mother. “If we do change our commander again, and the new one doesn’t do any better than his predecessors, I should think a crisis in our affairs might be expected. . . . . I have been reading Bleak House and I didn’t remember how many beautiful things there were in it. . . . . What a great year this is for the Negroes and the country! . . . . I read Mrs Stowe’s “Reply” in the January Atlantic and liked it very much.” [In the mid-1850’s a group of prominent women in the United Kingdom had sent an open letter to women in the United states to encourage them to stand against slavery. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s article of 20+ pages chastises British women for failing to support the Union cause. Stowe’s passionate piece ends with the following: “And now, Sisters of England, think it not strange, if we bring back the words of your letter, not in bitterness, but in deepest sadness, and lay them down at your door. We say to you,– Sisters, you have spoken well; we have heard you; we have heeded; we have striven in the cause, even unto death. We have sealed our devotion by desolate hearth and darkened homestead,– by the blood of sons, husbands, and brothers. In many of our dwellings the very light of our lives has gone out; and yet we accept the life-long darkness as our own part in this great and awful expiation, by which the bonds of wickedness shall be loosed, and abiding peace established on the foundation of righteousness. Sisters, what have you done, and what do you mean to do?”

Harriet Beecher Stowe, c1853

Harriet Beecher Stowe, c1853

January 8– Thursday– Okolona, Mississippi– Colonel P Smith, commanding a Confederate cavalry battalion, writes to the Headquarters of the Confederate Department of Mississippi. “You will oblige me by sending instructions in reference to the manner of disposing of Negroes–runaways–caught by my scouts and not giving correct statement of the names of their owners and residence. It is difficult by any manner to ascertain where they belong, and the number is increasing beyond convenience. On yesterday a Negro was caught armed and killed two dogs in the attempt to catch him and finally shot himself inflicting a severe wound, ”

January 8– Thursday– Sacramento, California–Workers break ground for the start of the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.

The Day of Jubilee~January 1, 1863

And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan.– Leviticus 25:10

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor– Isaiah 61:1-2

So on the first day of 1863, it came to pass. Few recognized what a complete change this would make in the nature of the war. Many took no notice of the day. Few, if any, could foresee the great loss of life which would come this year.

African Americans keep a watch meeting awaiting news of emancipation

African Americans keep a watch meeting awaiting news of emancipation

January 1– Thursday– Washington, D.C.–Acting upon his declaration of September 22, 1862, in which he announced his intent to issue a formal emancipation of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863, President Lincoln, under his war powers in Article II, section 2 of the United States Constitution, signs and issues the Emancipation Proclamation to take effect except in locations where the Union has already regained control. “I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons. And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages. And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service. And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.”

January 1– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Secretary of The Navy Gideon Welles notes in his diary the beginning of the year. “The New Year opens with a bright and brilliant day. Exchanged congratulations at the Executive Mansion with the President . . . . The Emancipation Proclamation is published in the evening’s Star. This is a broad step, and it will be a landmark in history. The immediate effect will not be all its friends anticipate or its opponents apprehend.. . . . The character of the country is in many respects undergoing a transformation.”

January 1– Thursday– New Bedford, Massachusetts– At a meeting called by black clergy, African Americans pass a number of resolutions, one of which says, “we would also remember, with heartfelt gratitude to God, the name of William Lloyd Garrison, whose unwearied exertions and self-sacrifices, with those of his noble coadjutors, have been chiefly instrumental in bringing about the present hopeful crisis in the cause of human freedom.”

January 1– Thursday– Brooklyn, Ne York– Thomas Jefferson Whitman writes to his brother Walt, encouraging him to have their brother George resign from the army. “Speak with him of Mother, who is getting old very old, and if anything should happen [to] him I am quite sure she could not survive it Even now I can see the effect of the weeks worry that she has already had. Certainly no one could find any fault with him, or talk of him other than the bravest of the brave if he should resign to-morrow. And another thing I certainly do not see how this immense risk and sacrifice of life is doing any good at all, it looks very much to me as if we were slowly but surely drifting towards mediation or something worse. Walt, I beg of you, do not neglect to see George and put this thing in its strongest light.”

January 1– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– William Heyser, businessman and farmer, describes the day in his diary. “Pleasant weather. At the bank, then home to read and write. Town crowded with country people keeping New Year’s Day. This day Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. I think it will do more harm than good. Little can be done with it, but to make more enemies.”

January 1– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– John Jones, a clerk in the Confederate government, writes optimistically about the day and makes no mention of emancipation. “This first day of the year dawned in gloom, but the sun, like the sun of Austerlitz, soon beamed forth in great splendor upon a people radiant with smiles and exalted to the empyrean.” [The battle of Austerlitz, Moravia, fought in December, 1805 is considered Napoleon’s greatest victory, a fight against a much larger allied force.]

January 1– Thursday– Falmouth, Virginia– In the Army of the Potomac, Elisha Hunt Rhodes writes, “The new year opens, and we are still in camp with nothing new to report. Camp life goes on and it comes our turn to do picket duty on the river banks occasionally.”

January 1– Thursday– Charleston, South Carolina– Mr Robert Yeadon offers a bounty of $10,000 (Confederate) for the capture of Union General Ben Butler, dead or alive.

January 1– Thursday– Beaufort, South Carolina– Charlotte Grimke, age 25, an African American educator working with freed and escaped slaves, describes the day. “The most glorious day this nation has yet seen, I think. . . . I thought I had never seen a sight so beautiful. There were the black soldiers, in their blue coats and scarlet pants, the officers of this and other regiments, in their handsome uniforms . . . . Colonel Higginson . . . [made] a few elegant and graceful remarks. Dr William Brisbane [former slave owner turned abolitionist] read the President’s Proclamation, which was warmly cheered. . . . . Immediately at the conclusion, some of the colored people– of their own accord sang ‘My Country Tis of Thee.’”

January 1– Thursday– Paris, Tennessee– Charles Alley, Union cavalryman from Iowa, meditates on his life. “New Year’s Day and fine warm weather. Another year has gone into eternity. How many thousands of my fellow creatures have gone into eternity. How many even of my own company and yet I am alive, healthy and strong. Surely in these things God has been good to me. And what return have I made him that of a Christian. Ah, how little do I differ from the other men. Too often do I give way to evil thoughts, to angry words, to an evil disposition. Lord enable me to dedicate myself more entirely to thy service.”

January 1– Thursday– Linwood, Louisiana– Southern woman Sarah Morgan optimistically welcomes the new year in her diary. “1863! Why I have hardly become accustomed to writing ’62 yet! Where has this year gone? With all its troubles and anxieties, it is the shortest I ever spent! ’61 and ’62 together would hardly seem three hundred and sixty-five days to me. Well, let time fly. Every hour brings us nearerour freedom, and we are two years nearer peace now than we were whenSouth Carolina seceded. That is one consolation.”

January 1– Thursday– Prairie Grove, Arkansas– Oliver Coffman, a Union cavalryman, writes excitedly in his diary. “Today I worked all day. The boys had plenty of whiskey & the artillery are making the old cannon roar. Part of the boys are on a scout. A happy new year to all.”

January 1– Thursday– Paris, France– Birth of Pierre de Coubertin, French historian, educator and founder of the International Olympic Committee.

January 2– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– The Liberator carries the banner headline “Three Million of Slaves Set Free! Glory, Hallelujah!” Garrison reprints the text of the Emancipation Proclamation and an account of “the grand demonstration in this city [Boston], yesterday, at Tremont Temple, probably the only public celebration of the kind in this section of the country. The Proclamation of freedom was not received at the meeting until just previous to the adjournment last evening . . . . The joyous enthusiasm manifested was beyond description, the whole audience rising to their feet and shouting at the tops of their voices. After the meeting at the Temple, a large number wended their way to the Twelfth Baptist Church, where they joined in prayer and congratulations, and partook of a repast which had been there prepared.”

January 2– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Senator John Sherman writes to his brother, General William Tecumseh Sherman. “We are watching with the most eager interest the progress of your expedition. We all hope its success will brighten the gloom cast by operations here. If the Mississippi can only be opened and Texas and Arkansas detached it will be a gleam of hope by which I can see the end of the war. Without an outlet to the South and West and with such a blockade as we can easily keep up, the Southern Confederacy cannot exist. This will settle the cotton question, for Texas and Arkansas can with the free labor that can easily be thrown there grow enough cotton for the world another ground of hope.”

January 2– Friday– London, England– U S Minister Charles Francis Adams sends to Secretary of State Seward and President Lincoln a message drafted yesterday by Mayor Abel Haywood and many of the working men of Manchester, England. “We rejoice in your greatness. . . . We honor your free States, as a singular, happy abode for the working millions. . . . One thing alone has, in the past, lessened our sympathy with your country and our confidence in it; we mean the ascendency of politicians who not merely maintained Negro slavery, but desired to extend and root it more firmly. Since we have discerned, however, that the victory of the free north, in the war which has so sorely distressed us as well as afflicted you, will strike off the fetters of the slave, you have attracted our warm and earnest sympathy.”