Monthly Archives: June 2013

What July, 1863 Will Bring

Currier & Ives romantic depiction of Gettysburg Battle

Currier & Ives romantic depiction of Gettysburg Battle

As the month begins it is clear leaders both South and North that events are moving toward a climax. Lee’s invasion of the North seems to be going well. The Army of the Potomac has a new commander. Union forces have gained ground in Tennessee. How long can besieged Vicksburg hold out? A new attack against Charleston, South Carolina appears certain. Discontent with the war effort and resentment against the draft flourish in some sections of the North. Discontent likewise flourishes in the South, particularly over shortages of all kinds of goods. President Davis and President Lincoln both face multiple problems at home and abroad. While some doubt the fighting spirit of black soldiers, the men of 54th Massachusetts are eager to prove themselves and will write the name of their regiment in glory. History is in the making.

some of the graves at Gettysburg

some of the graves at Gettysburg

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Doing All the Mischief They Can~June 30th, 1863

Doing All the Mischief They Can– Rachel Cormany, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Rumors and worries abound, South and North. Cavalry battles in Pennsylvania. Union General Buford decides to take a stand at Gettysburg. Federal forces make headway in Tennessee. A British visitor writes an impressive word picture of General Lee. Poet Walt Whitman describes President Lincoln in tones of admiration which will echo in his poems after Lincoln’s assassination. An English politician urges recognition of the Confederacy. The revolution continues in Poland. The year reaches its mid point~much of the worst comes with sunrise tomorrow.

June 30– Tuesday– New York City– The New York Times updates its readers on the complex situation in Poland. “On the 10th inst. Cyaschowski gained a brilliant victory over the Russians at Konski, in the government of Sandomir. Two Russian companies were completely destroyed. On the same day the Poles defeated the Russians at Ignacew and Kalsie, The Insurgent Chief, Abicht, and the Capucin Priest, Konarski, were hung in front of the Citadel of Warsaw. It is said, that the Archbishop of Warsaw having protested against this sentence, had been arrested and transported to St. Petersburg. Another account says he had simply been ordered to repair to St. Petersburg. The National Government is said to have warned the Grand Duke Constantine that it could no longer be responsible for his safety. Private letters received from Warsaw, at Berlin, on June 15, state that the Commissioners of the Exchequer, upon examining the Government Treasury in that city, discovered that Russian bank notes, Polish bonds, and gold half imperials to the amount of 5,000,000 silver roubles had been abstracted. In their place was left a receipt signed by the National Government. Four officials, and the books in which the number of the missing bonds were entered, had also disappeared.” On another page, it reports, “The London Morning Herald publishes a lengthy appeal from nearly one hundred ministers, of all denominations, in the Confederate States, seeking to enlist English sympathy in the Confederate cause. It is stated that the address originated from no political source whatever, but from a conference of ministers held at Richmond. The address takes the ground that the restoration of the Union is impossible.”

June 30– Tuesday– Hanover, Pennsylvania– Hurrying to rejoin General Lee’s main body, slowed by captured wagons and horses, and having to ride north in a wide arc to get around the Union army, Confederate General Jeb Stuart’s cavalry, attacks a Union cavalry regiment, driving them through the streets of the town. Additional Federal cavalry units arrive in two waves and after a seesaw fight, a stalemate ensues. Stuart disengages and continues moving in an arc to get around the Union cavalry, further delaying his attempt to rejoin Lee’s army which is concentrating at Cashtown, west of Gettysburg. One of the Union commanders is 23 year old George Armstrong Custer. Union casualties total 215, Confederate losses amount to 117.

Cavalry battle

Cavalry battle

June 30– Tuesday– Guilford Township, Franklin County- Pennsylvania– Amos Stouffer describes current events. “A warm cloudy day yesterday. I came home. Had my horse captured at Loudon’s and walked home. . . . The rebs are marching past all day. Immense baggage trains trudging along all day with a great many captured cattle and horses from Hooker’s army. We hear nothing, but know that he is close at hand. The rebs have gave up all hope of going to Harrisburg. There were 42 pieces of artillery taken past here to day. Mary is yet at Lasicus.”

June 30– Tuesday.– near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– The English observer Sir Arthur James Fremantle has an interesting meeting. “This morning, before marching . . . General Longstreet introduced me to the Commander-in-Chief. General Lee is, almost without exception, the handsomest man of his age I ever saw. He is fifty-six years old, tall, broad shouldered, very well made, well set up– a thorough soldier in appearance; and his manners are most courteous and full of dignity. He is a perfect gentleman in every respect. I imagine no man has so few enemies, or is so universally esteemed.–Throughout the South, all agree in pronouncing him to be as near perfection as a man can be. He has none of the small vices, such as smoking, drinking, chewing, or swearing, and his bitterest enemy never accused him of any of the greater ones. He generally wears a well worn long gray jacket, a high black felt hat, and blue trousers tucked into his Wellington boots. I never saw him carry arms; and the only mark of his military rank are the three stars on his collar. He rides a handsome horse, which is extremely well groomed. He himself is very neat in his dress and person, and in the most arduous marches he always looks smart and clean.”

Sir Arthur Fremantle, British observer of the Gettysburg campaign

Sir Arthur Fremantle, British observer of the Gettysburg campaign

June 30– Tuesday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Confederate soldier Thomas Gordon Pollock writes to his father. “It is almost amusing to witness the anxious stare with which we are regarded as our sunburnt motley dressed regiments but moving in closed ranks with the cadenced step to the tune of Dixie and with enfield muskets glistening and the red battle flag inscribed all over with the names of our victories pass through the thoroughfare of one of the numerous towns. Sadness is on the countenance of all but some try to look fierce and angry and tell us confidently we will never get back. It is a beautiful country overflowing with wealth & fatness. Every inch of ground seems to be producing something. The army is reveling in good eating such as the poor fellows have not so much heard of since the beginning of the war. But all this regularly and in good order. I have heard of no case of outrage to person or property. Such is General Lee’s order. I enclose you the last, and what General Lee says the army does down to the lowest private because they say ‘I reckon he knows.’ The perfect reverence the soldiers feel for his orders is only equaled by their faith in him.”

June 30– Tuesday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Rachel Cormany updates the pages of her diary.  “Nothing special transpired today. The Rebs are still about doing all the mischief they can. They have everything ready to set fire to the warehouses & machine shops–Tore up the railroad track & burned the crossties–They have cleared out nearly every store so they cannot rob much more–Evening– Quite a number of the young folks were in the parlor this evening singing all thepatriotic & popular war songs. Quite a squad of rebels gathered outside to listen & seemed much pleased with the music– ‘When this cruel war is over’ nearly brought tears from some. they sent in a petition to have it sung again which was done. they then thanked the girls very much & left–they acted real nicely.”

Rachel Cormany of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Rachel Cormany of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

June 30– Tuesday– Gettysburg, Pennsylvania– Two brigades of Union cavalry soldiers, numbering somewhere between 3200 and 5000 men total, under the command of General John Buford arrive here. Buford, 37 years old, a graduate of West Point in the class of 1848 and a career cavalry officer, believes that Confederate General Lee has changed direction. Carefully selecting good defensive positions, Buford decides to fight a delaying action until General John Reynolds and his infantry arrive. He sends a dispatch to General Reynolds. “I am satisfied that A. P. Hill’s corps is massed just back of Cashtown, about 9 miles from this place. . . . The enemy’s pickets (infantry and artillery) are within 4 miles of this place, on the Cashtown road. . . . today, one of my parties captured a courier of Lee’s. Nothing was found on him. He says Ewell’s corps is crossing the mountains from Carlisle, Rodes’ division being at Petersburg in advance. . . . Should I have to fall back, advise me by what route.”

overly dramatic depiction of Buford's cavalry in action

overly dramatic depiction of Buford’s cavalry in action

June 30– Tuesday– Emmitsburg, Maryland– Near this town, 12 miles away from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Union Generals John Reynolds and Oliver Howard have dinner, talking about the major battle which they are sure is about to take place.

General Oliver Otis Howard

General Oliver Otis Howard

 June 30– Tuesday– near Manchester, Maryland– Elisha Hunt Rhodes quickly updates his diary. “This morning we were detailed as rear guard and as we have had rain and the roads were muddy, we had a hard march through Mount Vernon and Westminster to our camp near Manchester. The Rebel Cavalry hover in our rear all day.”

 June 30– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– A report to President Lincoln shows that as of this month 960,061 men are on active duty with the armed forces of the United States.

President Lincoln

President Lincoln

June 30– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln writes to General David Hunter who has sent a letter complaining about being relieved of command earlier this month. “I assure you, and you may feel authorized in stating, that the recent change of commanders in the Department of the South was made for no reasons which convey any imputation upon your known energy, efficiency, and patriotism; but for causes which seemed sufficient, while they were in no degree incompatible with the respect and esteem in which I have always held you as a man and an officer.” The President also requests updated information from military authorities in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, reassures the governor of New Jersey, and meets with a Congressman from Pennsylvania.

 June 30– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles updates his diary. “Lee and his army are well advanced into Pennsylvania, and they should not be permitted to fall back and recross the Potomac. . . . I don’t want them to leave the State, except as prisoners. Meade will, I trust, keep closer to them than some others have done. . . . This movement of Lee and the Rebel forces into Pennsylvania is to me incomprehensible, nor do I get any light from military men or others in regard to it. Should they cross the Susquehanna, as our General-in-Chief and Governor Curtin fear, they will never recross it without being first captured. This they know, unless deceived by their sympathizing friends in the North, as in 1861; therefore I do not believe they will attempt it. I have talked over this campaign with Stanton this evening, but I get nothing from him definite or satisfactory of fact or speculation, and I come to the conclusion that he is bewildered, that he gets no light from his military subordinates and advisers, and that he really has no information or opinion as to the Rebel destination or purpose.”

June 30– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Walt Whitman, in a long letter to his mother, describes a recent glimpse of the President. “Mr. Lincoln passes here (14th st) every evening on his way out. I noticed him last evening about ½ past 6, he was in his barouche, two horses, guarded by about thirty cavalry. The barouche comes first under a slow trot, driven by one man in the box, no servant or footman beside– the cavalry all follow closely after with a lieutenant at their head. I had a good view of the President last evening– he looks more careworn even than usual– his face with deep cut lines, seams, & his complexion gray, through very dark skin, a curious looking man, very sad. I said to a lady who was looking with me, ‘Who can see that man without losing all wish to be sharp upon him personally? Who can say he has not a good soul?’ The lady assented, although she is almost vindictive on the course of the administration, (thinks it wants nerve &c., the usual complaint). The equipage is rather shabby, horses indeed almost what my friends the Broadway drivers would call old plugs. The President dresses in plain black clothes, cylinder hat– he was alone yesterday.”

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

June 30– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– Fed by rumors and wrong information, John Jones gleefully records in his diary. “The city is now in good humor, but not wild with exultation. We have what seems pretty authentic intelligence of the taking of Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, the City of York, etc. etc. This comes on the flag of truce boat, and is derived from the enemy themselves. Lee will not descend to the retaliation instigated by petty malice; but proclaim to the inhabitants that all we desire is Peace, not conquest. From Vicksburg we have further information that, in springing his mine, Grant destroyed hundreds of his own men, and did us no injury. Also that a battery we have above Vicksburg had fired into some passing transports, doing great damage to life and boats. The troops landed, and failed to take the battery by assault, losing hundreds in addition.”

June 30– Tuesday– St Helena Island, South Carolina– Charlotte Forten Grimke meets the soldiers from Massachusetts. “This evening Mrs Hunn, Lizzie and I rode with Colonel Gillmore down to see the 54th Massachusetts which is encamped at Land’s End.”

Charlotte Forten Grimke

Charlotte Forten Grimke

 June 30– Tuesday– Tullahoma, Tennessee– Confederate General Bragg, facing a major assault on the morrow by Union forces under General Rosecrans, evacuates the town under cover of darkness. In the campaign since June 24th the Federal troops have lost 83 killed, 473 wounded and 13 missing. The numbers of Confederate dead and wounded are unknown but 1634 of Bragg’s soldiers have been taken prisoner.

June 30– Tuesday– Goodrich’s Landing, Louisiana– In another attempt to relieve pressure on Vicksburg, Confederate forces have seized Union supplies and burned bales of cotton to prevent its seizure by Federal troops. However, before they make good their escape, they are attacked by a combined force of U S Navy and Marines and two units of black infantry. In the intense exchange, the Federals suffer a total of 120 casualties. Confederate losses are unknown and they escape with needed supplies of food and ammunition.

 June 30– Tuesday– London, England–A member of Parliament urges Queen Victoria to take the lead of the European powers and recognize the Confederacy.

Great Apprehension Prevails~June 1863~the 28th & 29th

Great Apprehension Prevails– Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles

The clock is ticking. Vicksburg and Port Hudson running low on food and supplies. Pennsylvania wondering where General Lee will attack. Federal forces increasing the pace of their pursuit, causing Lee to change direction and concentrate at the town of Gettysburg instead of pressing toward Harrisburg, the state capital. There seems an overall satisfaction with General Meade as the new Union commander. Soldiers in bluer uniforms and in grey uniforms think about marriage, family and homes after the war. President Lincoln answers critics who place party politics over the welfare of nation.

June 28– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles describes the current crisis. “The President convened the Cabinet at 10 A.M. and submitted his reply to the Vallandigham committee. Save giving too much notoriety and con- sequence to a graceless traitor who loves notoriety and office, and making the factious party men who are using him for the meanest purposes that could influence men in such a crisis conspicuous, the letter is well enough, and well conceived. After disposing of this subject, the President drew from his pocket a telegram from General Hooker asking to be relieved. The President said he had, for several days as the conflict became imminent, observed in Hooker the same failings that were witnessed in McClellan after the Battle of Antietam, a want of alacrity to obey, and a greedy call for more troops which could not, and ought not to be taken from other points. . . . Some discussion followed in regard to a successor. The names of Meade, Sedgwick, and Couch were introduced. I soon saw this review of names was merely a feeler to get an expression of opinion– a committal– or to make it appear that all were consulted. It shortly became obvious, however, that the matter had already been settled, and the President finally remarked he supposed General Halleck had issued the orders. He asked Stanton if it was not so. Stanton replied affirmatively, that Hooker had been ordered to Baltimore and Meade to succeed him. We were consulted after the fact. . . . Instead of being disturbed, like Chase, I experienced a feeling of relief, and only regretted that Hooker, who I think has good parts, but is said to be intemperate at times, had not been relieved immediately after the Battle of Chancellorsville. No explanation has ever been made of the sudden paralysis which befell the army at that time.”

 

Chamersburg, Pennsylvania

Chamersburg, Pennsylvania

June 28– Sunday– St Helena Island, South Carolina– Colonel Robert Gould Shaw to his wife Annie: “Shall we ever have a home of our own, do you suppose? I can’t help looking forward to that time, though I should not; for when there is so much for every man in the country to do, we ought hardly to long for ease and comfort. I wish I could do my share; i.e. that I had as much talent and ability to give to it as I want. Good bye for the present, my dearest. Your faithful and affectionate Husband.”

 

depiction of Colonel Shaw & the 54th Massachusetts

depiction of Colonel Shaw & the 54th Massachusetts

June 28– Sunday– Donaldsonville, Louisiana– Well before sunrise Confederate forces launch a surprise attack against Federal troops at Fort Butler. Unfortunately for the attackers, once daylight comes they are caught in a crossfire between the fort’s defenders and a Union gunboat on the Mississippi River. The Union defenders suffer a total of 23 dead, wounded and missing while the Confederate attackers lose a total of 301 casualties.

June 28– Sunday– Port Hudson, Louisiana– This is the 36th day of the siege by Federal forces. Inside, Confederates are running low on food, reduced to killing mules and rats for meat.

June 28– Sunday– Vicksburg, Mississippi– Confederate General Pemberton, in charge of defending the city, receives an anonymous warning that much of the garrison is close to mutiny over the lack of proper rations.

June 28– Sunday– Messersmith’s Woods, Franklin County, Pennsylvania– Late at night Confederate General Lee learns that Federal forces have crossed the Potomac River in large numbers and are closer than previously thought. Lee decides not to move against the state capital at Harrisburg and instead orders Generals Longstreet, Hill and Ewell to advance to Gettysburg and Cashtown, Pennsylvania.

June 29– Monday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Confederate soldier Iowa Royster writes to his mother about his love life. “On my way to join my reg’t. I came by Winchester and saw Kate. She had rec’d. a letter from you date in Jan. and was preparing to answer it. She and I are engaged. Tell my Papa that I don’t know much her father is worth. Don’t know whether he is worth anything or not – couldn’t come within ten thousand dollars of the amount to save my life. All of his good instructions lost! Well, ‘a fool will have his own way.’ Quick courtship wasn’t it? A weeks acquaintance last September, and two days in June. I congratulate myself on promptness. Great qualities in a solider. When I left Winchester Kate gave me a bundle of provisions, a paper of candy, raisins, etc., some hankerchiefs [sic], trimmed my hat and did a great many things to captivate me.”

June 29– Monday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– A reporter for the New York Times sends a message to his newspaper. “Business is almost entirely suspended in all its departments. The receipts of produce by the Pennsylvania Railroad have ceased. There was no meeting of the Board of Brokers this forenoon, and there is quite a panic among the outside dealers. The prices of Stocks have declined 5 per cent. The Corn Exchange raised five companies this morning. The coal dealers held a meeting this forenoon, and resolved to close their collieries till the crisis has passed, and to enable the miners to volunteer. The merchants have resolved to raise a million of dollars. All the stores are to be closed, and the men employed in them forwarded for the defense of the city and the State. The men who leave their employment are to be paid their usual salary during their absence. Telegraphic communication between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh is still perfect. There is no truth in the rumored capture of Harrisburg by the rebels.” Mayor Henry issues a proclamation: “You number more than fifty thousand able-bodied men– the means to arm and equip yourselves are at hand. Close your manufactories [sic], workshops and stores, before the stern necessity for common safety makes it obligatory. Assemble yourselves forthwith for organization and drill.”

June 29– Monday– Frederick, Maryland– Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin at the head of his 20th Maine Regiment is part of the large Union force moving through town. They feel relieved to be met by cheering and enthusiastic citizens whose homes and stores are decorated with flags and bunting, a stark contrast to the Virginia towns through which they have passed in the last few days.

 

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin

June 29– Monday– Washington, D. C.– Gideon Welles describes the worried state of things. “Great apprehension prevails. The change of commanders is thus far well received. No regret is expressed that Hooker has been relieved. This is because of the rumor of his habits, the reputation that he is intemperate, for his military reputation is higher than that of his successor. Meade has not so much character as such a command requires. He is, however, kindly favored; will be well supported, have the best wishes of all, but does not inspire immediate confidence. A little time may improve this, and give him name and fame.”

President Lincoln with his two private secretaries

President Lincoln with his two private secretaries

June 29– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln responds to members of the Democratic Party from Ohio. “With all this before their eyes, the convention you represent have nominated Mr. Vallandigham for governor of Ohio, and both they and you have declared the purpose to sustain the national Union by all constitutional means. But of course they and you in common reserve to yourselves to decide what are constitutional means; and . . . you omit to state or intimate that in your opinion an army is a constitutional means of saving the Union against a rebellion, or even to intimate that you are conscious of an existing rebellion being in progress with the avowed object of destroying that very Union. At the same time your nominee for governor, in whose behalf you appeal, is known to you and to the world to declare against the use of an army to suppress the rebellion. Your own attitude, therefore, encourages desertion, resistance to the draft, and the like, because it teaches those who incline to desert and to escape the draft to believe it is your purpose to protect them, andto hope that you will become strong enough to do so.”

Look at Pharaoh’s Army Going to the Red Sea~June 1863~the 27th & 28th

Look at Pharaoh’s Army Going to the Red Sea~a woman in Chambersburg commenting about passing Confederate soldiers

In an almost prophetic comment, a Pennsylvania woman sneers at passing Rebel soldiers, comparing them to the hosts of Pharaoh in pursuit of the children of Israel. Union General Hooker fusses and is replaced by General George Meade, a daring move by President Lincoln on the eve of a major battle. Confederate General Lee orders his soldiers to refrain from theft or looting. However, whether out of need or spite or bitterness some in the Army of Northern Virginia help themselves at gunpoint to all kinds of things, needful and decorative. An observer from England makes a keen and pro-Southern analysis. The presence of black soldiers in the Union army causes the South to take a belligerent stand on prisoners of war. Confederate forces are losing ground in Tennessee.

June 27– Saturday– New York City– George Templeton Strong writes in his diary. “I fear Joe Hooker, drunk or sober, is no match for Lee, and that his army, though in excellent order and condition, is discouraged by its repeated failures.”

June 27– Saturday– camp north of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Sir Arthur James Fremantle arrives at the camp of Confederate General James Longstreet. “I entered Chambersburg at 6 P. M. This is a town of some size and importance. All its houses were shut up; but the natives were in the streets, or at the upper windows, looking in a scowling and bewildered manner at the Confederate troops, who were marching gayly past to the tune of Dixie’s Land. The women (many of whom were pretty and well dressed) were particularly sour and disagreeable in their remarks. I heard one of them say, ‘Look at Pharaoh’s army going to the Red Sea.’ Others were pointing and laughing at Hood’s ragged Jacks, who were passing at the time. This division, well known for its fighting qualities, is composed of Texans, Alabamians, and Arkansians, and they certainly are a queer lot to look at. They carry less than any other troops; many of them have only got an old piece of carpet or rug as baggage; many have discarded their shoes in the mud; all are ragged and dirty, but full of good humor and confidence in themselves and in their general, Hood. They answered the numerous taunts of the Chambersburg ladies with cheers and laughter. One female had seen fit to adorn her ample bosom with a huge Yankee flag, and she stood at the door of her house, her countenance expressing the greatest contempt for the barefooted Rebs.”

General James Longstreet

General James Longstreet

June 27– Saturday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Confederate General Lee issues orders regarding the conduct he expects from his soldiers. “There have . . . been instances of forgetfulness on the part of some, that they have in keeping the yet unsullied reputation of the army, and that the duties exacted of us by civilization and Christianity are not less obligatory in the country of the enemy than in our own. The commanding general considers that no greater disgrace could befall the army, and through it, our whole people, than the perpetration of the barbarous outrages upon the innocent and defenseless, and the wanton destruction of private property, that have marked the course of the enemy in our own country. Such proceedings not only disgrace the perpetrators and all connected with them, but are subversive of the discipline and efficiency of the army and destructive of the ends of our present movements. It must be remembered that we make war only upon armed men, and that we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people have suffered without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of our enemy, and offending against Him to whom vengeance belongeth, without whose favor and support our efforts must all prove in vain. The commanding general, therefore, earnestly exhorts the troops to abstain with most scrupulous care from unnecessary or wanton injury to private property; and he enjoins upon all officers to arrest and bring to summary punishment all who shall in any way offend against the orders on this subject.”

General Robert E Lee, 1863

General Robert E Lee, 1863

June 27– Saturday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– Amos Stouffer updates his journal: “A cloudy, rainy day. The rebs are still in my vicinity . . . . About home the Rebs are thick as may be. Some 20,000 marched past here . . . . Their wagon trains were a couple [of] miles in length. They had 18 pieces of Artillery. . . . Our army at Harrisburg . . . is reported 60,000 strong. Mostly militia. Some of our drafted men are there.”

June 27– Saturday– Harrisburg, Pennsylvania– A reporter describes activities in the city. “Governor Curtin, General Couch, and several prominent citizens of the place were in close conversation this morning. All the important State documents remaining here have been ordered to be shipped to Philadelphia. It is evident that the military commanders here rely somewhat upon Hooker’s army to disconcert and defeat the rebel invaders.”

June 27– Saturday– Sandy Hook, Maryland– About 1 p.m. Union General Hooker telegraphs General Halleck in Washington. “I have now imposed upon me, in addition, an enemy in my front of more than my number. I beg to be understood, respectfully, but firmly, that I am unable to comply with this condition with the means at my disposal, and earnestly request that I may at once be relieved from the position I occupy.”

June 27– Saturday– Fortress Monroe, South Carolina– It is reported that “The issue between Commissioners [Union and Confederate officials who negotiate prisoner exchanges] has been made up on the subject of the recent act of the Confederate Congress, which declares punishment upon all our officers and men commanding Negro or mulatto troops, and upon such troops themselves. The Confederate authorities, who have used the services of Negroes and half-breeds– Indians and Negroes – have been notified by Colonel Ludlow [the Union Commissioner] that the United States Government will throw its protection around all their officers and men, without regard to color, and will promptly retaliate for all violations of the cartel and the laws and usages of war.”

June 27– Saturday– Manchester, Tennessee– Union forces occupy the town. Since the 24th of this month through today’s operations, Federal troops have tangled with and pushed back the Confederates at Liberty Gap, Guy’s Gap, Fosterville, Beech Grove, Shelbyville. and Fairfield, strengthening the Union hold in the middle of Tennessee and effectively preventing these Confederate forces from attempting to relieve besieged Vicksburg.

June 27– Saturday– Vicksburg, Mississippi– Union sappers begin digging another mine under a Confederate fortified position. Sensing the renewed Union effort, Confederates begin to counter-dig. On the ramparts, Confederate General Martin E Green, of Missouri, age 48, is killed by a Union sharpshooter.

trenches before Vicksburg

trenches before Vicksburg

June 28– Sunday– Frederick, Maryland– At 7 a.m. Union General George Meade receives orders giving him command of the Army of the Potomac as President Lincoln has accepted the resignation of General Hooker.

General George Meade

General George Meade

June 28– Sunday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Confederate General Longstreet rests his men. One of them, Franklin Gaillard, writes to his son. “It is very funny to pass through these Yankee towns to see the long sour faces the people put on. The girls some of them wear little United States flags. Others more indecent hold their noses and make faces. Our men go on and pay no attention to them. They only laugh at them when they make themselves ridiculous. Things are very cheap here in their stores but they will not take our money and General Lee has issued very stringent orders about private property. He is very right for our Army would soon become demoralized if they were allowed to do as many of them would like to. Many of them think it very hard that they should not be allowed to treat them as their soldiers treated our people. But we must not imitate the Yankees in their mean acts.”

June 28– Sunday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Rachel Cormany describes the conduct of some Confederate soldiers from Georgia. “They took the hats & boots off the men-Took the hat off Preacher Farney. Took $50. off Dr Sneck & his gold watch valued very highly– took the coats off some, they totally stripped one young fellow not far from town– a Mr. Skinner. We have to be afraid to go out of our houses.”

June 28– Sunday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– From his little camp in the mountains, Amos Stouffer keeps his eyes on movement by the Confederate forces. “A fine warm day. The Rebels are marching down the valley. I can hear their drums and wagon trains quite plain from my camp as they are going down the pike towards Carlisle. . . . This evening they are reported to be in Carlisle. . . . To day the rebs robbed the mill of several hundred bushels of corn & oats. About 15,000 rebs marched past.”

June 28– Sunday– 5 miles north of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Confederate officer L. M. Blackford writes to his father, William Blackford. “I spent some hours in Chambersburg, which is a pretty town of 5600 inhabitants. The stores were all closed when we entered the place, but many of them were opened by threats of violent entrance by armed force if it was not done quickly. When opened, guards in most instances–not all–were posted at the door and but a limited number allowed to enter at a time. . . . . At some of the stores the soldiers got in, and not being restrained by a guard, took a good many things without pay. There was, in short a good deal of lawlessness, but not as much as might have been expected under the circumstances. I did not know of more than 6 or 8 stores in all being opened. I secured some needed things, for our messmenage, and for myself a handsome black felt hat . . . . Our whole party re-hatted themselves. . . . . The army is in splendid condition: marches almost wholly without straggling, and is in the highest spirits. Lee is making a bold stroke for peace. Pray that it may succeed.”

No Silk Dresses in This Town~June 1863~the 25th and 26th

No Silk Dresses in this Town– a Confederate soldier in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Female spies carry pistols under their skirts. A school for girls prospers in spite of the war. Some women pray to be spared from the invading “greybacks” while another prays for Confederate victory. A disturbance occurs at a house of ill-repute. There is fighting at sea, in the middle of Tennessee, at Vicksburg and at Port Hudson. Pennsylvania prepares to resist the invaders. A famous admiral dies. A Union officer worries about the consequences of the burning of Darien, Georgia. The union army moves northward, all too slowly for Gideon Welles. Confederate soldiers take retribution on the property of an abolitionist Congressman.

June 25– Thursday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Confederate soldier G C Brown writes to his mother and sister about obtaining dresses, assorted dry goods and a bit of foodstuffs which he is sending south to them. “The whole concern cost me (the 4 lbs. tea at $3.00 included) $163.00– It would cost you about $700 if you could get it at all, I suppose. I hope to be able to fill another box if we get to Harrisburg or Carlisle, and will try to send the things included in your list & not sent now. There are no silk dresses in this town– all being off or hidden. I bought for Confederate States money & used no threats for compulsion whatever. Chickens sell for 10 cents here, butter for 12 ½ but we generally have to pay in Yankee money for them as General Ewell does not allow us to force our own currency upon the people– a leniency which I think utterly thrown away upon men who behave as these have done, or at least as their troops have done. The people in the towns seem to stir about as much as usual or more, and behave pretty well except that now & then women turn their backs on us, or bring up a decided pout, which as they are naturally very much uglier & coarser than ours, doesn’t improve them.”

Southern woman and her soldier husband

Southern woman and her soldier husband

June 25– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Local woman Rachel Cormany describes her encounters with the “greybacks.” “They must surely expect to set up stores or fill their empty ones judging from the loads they have been hauling away & they take every thing a body can think of– I was across the street for water & at Aunt Maria’s two rebs were talking. One was telling about the battle at Chancellorsville. A body would think by his talk that he did about all that was done, at least the greatest part–he told how mean our men acted in December battle at Fredricksburg.”

Rachel Cormany

Rachel Cormany

June 25– Thursday– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania– Fearing Confederate attack, over 11,000 men have, at the direction of their employers and city officials, left their jobs in stores, shops, factories and mills and are helping to build fortifications.

June 25– Thursday– Frederick, Maryland– The Union Army of the Potomac, moving in pursuit of General Lee begins arriving on this side of the Potomac River.

June 25– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles updates his diary. “Word is sent me by a credible person who left Hagerstown last evening that Ewell and Longstreet with their divisions passed through that place yesterday to invade Pennsylvania with sixty thousand men. The number is probably exaggerated, but I am inclined to believe there may be half that number, perhaps more. Where in the mean time is General Hooker and our army? I get nothing satisfactory from Headquarters or Stanton. . . . Mr. Stanton called on me this morning and stated he had made an arrangement with John C. Rives to publish a military journal which he proposed to call the Army and Navy Gazette, He wished it to embrace both branches of the service unless I objected. The entire expense, over and above the receipts, whatever they may be, should be borne by the War Department. I told him I of course could make no objection to the name, and if the orders, reports, official papers, and current news were regularly and correctly published there would be some conveniences attending it.”

June 25– Thursday– Nashville, Tennessee– The Nashville Daily Press describes the commencement and program at St Cecilia’s Academy. “One of the most remarkable problems connected with our social condition is presented by the fact that while in every centre of two belligerent armies, liable to all the real dangers and distracting fears consequent upon such a situation, St. Cecilia’s Academy has suffered little, if any, relaxation from its former high degree of prosperity. . . . Such a phalanx of beauty, intelligence and gallantry, making all allowances for the multiplicity of inconveniences and deprivations of war, has not united in our midst since the peaceful days of yore. We are sure that a more lovely array of childhood never took place anywhere. The costume of the ‘little dears,’ in both junior and senior departments, was of the most elegant and fashionable prints, and in the ‘make up’ the characteristics of neatness and simplicity were unmistakable.”

five women from the Civil War period

five women from the Civil War period

June 25– Thursday– Memphis, Tennessee– The Memphis Bulletin reports on a recent disturbance at a house of ill-repute. “Several soldiers had congregated there, where they were furnished whisky, and all went on merrily for awhile; but a dispute arising between one of the soldiers and a girl, who was an inmate of the house, the controversy grew hot, and the soldier drew a pistol and fired at the girl, the ball taking effect in the side of her head and passing out behind the ear. The skull was not fractured, and consequently the wound is not dangerous. Either the girl, or another one of the soldiers, firedat the fellow who had fired at the girl without effecting anything. The police were on hand, and, with the assistance of the patrol guards, succeeded in arresting the whole crew.”

June 25– Thursday– Vicksburg, Mississippi– Union sappers complete a tunnel under a position utilized by a Confederate regiment from Louisiana. At 3:30 in the afternoon, with General Grant watching, 2200 pounds of explosive are ignited. The blast kills the six Mississippians trying to dig a countermine and makes a gigantic crater. For the 20 hours both sides battle back and forth as the Yankees attempt to exploit the damage. Union soldier Lucius Barber writes that “Occasionally we would succeed in getting hold of a paper printed in Vicksburg. It was printed on wall paper and with a miserable type, fit emblems of the waning fortunes of the Confederacy. This paper would have flaming editorials telling about Johnson, how that, at the proper moment, he would attack and annihilate Grant. It also stated that Marmaduke had captured Milliken’s Bend and cut off our supplies, and by a general system of lying had made the rebel soldiers believe that we were as good as ‘goners.’”

Vicksburg under bombardment

Vicksburg under bombardment

June 26– Friday– Off the coast of Maine–A Confederate ship captures a Union coastal vessel; however, in a Federal counter-attack, the Confederate crew is captured.

June 26– Friday– New York City– Admiral Andrew Foote dies at age 56. An ardent anti-slavery man, Foote served from 1849 through 1851 in the West Africa squadron to suppress international slave trade. He became a hero in the North for his key role in Union victories of 1862 at Fort Henry, Fort Donalson and Island #10 in the Mississippi River.

Union Admiral Andrew Foote

Union Admiral Andrew Foote

June 26– Friday– Caledonia, Franklin County, Pennsylvania– Near this village, Confederate soldiers destroy the Caledonia Iron Works because the facility belongs to abolitionist Congressman Thaddeus Stevens.

Radical Republiucn Congressman Thaddeus Stevens

Radical Republiucn Congressman Thaddeus Stevens

June 26– Friday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– Amos Stouffer describes the day. “A wet, rainy day. The rebs are in Newburg. Took about 100 head of cattle. They are every place you hear off in this part of the State, taking [a] great many horses & cattle. Lee’s whole army is in our valley-about 90,000 men. We do not know where Hooker is with our army. Some say on the Potomac by Williamsport, others at Baltimore. Self at the mountains with the horses. Do not know where Ben & Andy are. Think at Miller’s or at Harrisburg.”

June 26– Friday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Rachel Cormany commits her worries to her diary and herself to God. “O it seems dreadful to be thus thrown into the hands of the rebels & to be thus excluded from all the rest of the world–I feel so very anxious about Mr. Cormany–& who knows when we will hear from any of our friends again. It is no use to try to get away from here now–we must just take our chance with the rest– trusting in God as our Savior then come life come death if reconciled with God all is well– My God help me– I do wish to be a real true & living Christian.”

June 26– Friday– camp near Poolesville, Maryland– Union Colonel Charles Russell Lowell writes to William Whiting, the Solicitor in War Department, about the burning of Darien, Georgia. “If burning and pillaging is to be the work of our black regiments, no first-rate officers will be found to accept promotion in them; it is not war, it is piracy . . . . Without first-rate officers (and even with them) expeditions in which pillaging is attempted by order will infallibly degenerate into raids in which indiscriminate pillaging will be the rule . . . . Public opinion is not yet decided in favor of black troops; it is merely suspended, in order to see the experiment tried. I do not believe it can be made favorable to their employment if it sees only such results as these; unfavorable public opinion will still further increase the difficulty of getting good officers, and so on ad infinitum. Of the absolute right and wrong of the case, I say nothing, and of the effect upon the black race, for those are outside questions: but in a military point of view, I think the net result of Darien expeditions will be against us.”:

June 26– Friday– Hoover’s Gap, Tennessee– Union forces successfully conclude a three day fight, continuing to drive back Confederate forces in Middle Tennessee. Total Union casualties are 583, Confederate casualties are unknown.

June 26– Friday– Memphis, Tennessee– The Memphis Bulletin reports on “unladylike” activities. “It would not be expected that the gentle sex would become so ungentle as to endeavor to carry concealed weapons; yet, such is the case with two Minervas who are now confined within ‘Dame Irving’s embrace,’ and ‘lodging to be free.’ It seems that these ladies forgot that we were living in a military age, and attempted to carry concealed pistols through the lines to their rebel friends. A sharp corporal, however, who happened to be on picket duty, proved too sharp to be imposed upon; so, finding the weapons and guessing the intent, our traveling ladies were furnished rooms in the Irving Hotel.”

Nancy Hart Douglas, rebel spy

Nancy Hart Douglas, rebel spy

June 26– Friday– Port Hudson, Louisiana– In a series of quick sallies, the Confederates capture several Union outposts.

June 26– Friday– New Orleans, Louisiana– Sarah Morgan celebrates in the pages of her diary. “O praise the Lord, O my soul! Here is good news enough to make me happy for a month! . . . . Lee has crossed the Potomac on his way to Washington with one hundred and sixty thousand men. . . . It is so delightful to see these frightened Yankees! One has only to walk downtown to be satisfied of the alarm that reigns. . . . Men congregated at corners whispering cautiously. These were evidently Confederates who had taken the oath. Solitary Yankees straggled along with the most lugubrious faces, troubling no one. We walked down to Blineau’s with Mrs. Price, and over our ice-cream she introduced her husband, who is a true blue Union man, though she, like ourselves, is a rank Rebel. Mr. Price, on the eve of making an immense fortune, was perfectly disconsolate at the news. Every one was to be ruined; starvation would follow if the Confederates entered; there was never a more dismal, unhappy creature. Enchanted at the news, I naturally asked if it were reliable. ‘Perfectly!’”

The News is Very Exciting but Not Entirely Unexpected~June 1863~the22nd to the 24th

The News Is Very Exciting but Not Entirely Unexpected– Colonel Robert Gould Shaw

General Lee appears headed for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the state capital. Confederate soldiers and Pennsylvania citizens regard each other with mutual disdain and distrust. Many people, North and South, worry about big battles coming. A black soldier in the 54th Massachusetts speaks his mind. George Templeton Strong praises black soldiers. General Grant’s forces pound Vicksburg relentlessly. Among Grant’s medical units an uppity, tough, determined widow gets things done, her way. In Tennessee Union forces launch a major offensive. A Southern aristocratic woman meets mountain folk.

June 22– Monday– near Ashby Gap, Virginia– Union soldier H. W. Freedley writes a quick note to Doctor Joseph Hiester at home in Pennsylvania. “Please answer as I have had much anxiously [sic] on account of yourself and family. I sincerely hope the rebels have not molested you in your quiet home at Milmont. Remember me most kindly to your family.” Freedley is romantically interested in the Doctor’s daughter, Maria.

June 22– Monday– St Simon’s Island, Georgia– James Gooding, a black man serving in the 54th Massachusetts, writes to the editor of the New Bedford Mercury about the criticism of the burning of Darien which has appeared in the Copperhead northern papers. “But turn the tables– say the troops here should be captured by the rebels, (of course they would hang them every one), the copperhead press would treat that as an unimportant item, or some of them would say probably, ‘we are glad of it’ that is a cheaper way of getting rid of them, than expending money to send them to President Lincoln’s Paradise in Central America, or to colonize them at Timbuctoo or Sahara. But we all know they must say something, or people will think they are losing ground; they must keep up the appearance of knowing considerable, if not more [information].”

June 22– Monday– McMinnville, Tennessee- Lucy Virginia Smith French, age 38, novelist and poet, describes an educational experience. “Yesterday we rode out to see some of the mountain people.’ I do say I never imagined people could live so. One house was clean—but everything seemedto be dropped just where they were done using it, and left there until they wanted to use it again. Somehow I never conceived of anything so wholly untidy and uncomfortable. . . Mrs. Armfield said these people were the ‘aristocracy’ of the mountain and she took me to see them as a curiosity. The strangest thing to me was that they showed not the slightest embarrassment, but appeared to think themselves all right, and just a good as anybody living. At Walker’s we found a young soldier home on furlough and it was astonishing to see how the service had improved him, and how much better he appeared than his surroundings.”

Lucy Virginia French Smith

Lucy Virginia French Smith

June 22– Monday– Vicksburg, Mississippi– Union forces engage in another day of heavy bombardment. Many residents of the city have abandoned their homes and are living in caves to seek shelter from the constant shelling.

damage at Vicksburg

damage at Vicksburg

June 23– Tuesday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Rachel Cormany writes of the day’s activities. “It was not long until the rebs really made their appearance–I do not think that they are Cavalry but mounted infantry–they most of them have nothing but a musket to fight with. They rode in as leisurely as you please each one having his hand on the trigger though, to fire any minute–now I judge we are shut out again for awhile–I just wonder what they want this time. They are part of those that were here last week. P.M. just ate a piece & fed my baby–both of us took a good nap after our walk. Evening–The Rebs have been cutting up high. Sawed down telegraph poles, destroyed the scotland bridge– again took possession of the warehouses & were dealing out flour by the barrel &molasses by the bucket ful– They made people take them bread–meat–&c to eat–Some dumb fools carried them jellies & the like–Not a thing went from this place. Three cannon went through when they came–but just now they took them back. wonder what that means.”

Chambersburg City Hall

Chambersburg City Hall

June 23– Tuesday– Murfreesboro, Tennessee– Union General William Rosecrans, after much encouragement from President Lincoln and Secretary of War Stanton, launches a major campaign against the Confederates in Middle Tennessee. The campaign, which will last through the 7th of July, will be known as the Tullahoma Campaign and will prevent Confederate General Braxton Bragg from trying to relieve besieged Vicksburg.

General William Rosecrans

General William Rosecrans

June 23– Tuesday– Vicksburg, Mississippi– Cloaked with authority by General Grant, Mary Ann Bickerdyke, a widow, a month away from her 46th birthday, is directing nursing services for sick and injured Union soldiers. When several surgeons and staff officers complain to General Sherman about the bossy and demanding woman who disregards regulations and gets things done, Sherman assures them that he can do nothing about her, saying, “She ranks me.” [Bickerdyke has been serving since the first summer of the war. When her methods were challenged after the Battle of Shiloh last year, she responded, “I get my Authority from the Lord God Almighty; have you anything that ranks higher?”]

Mary Ann Bickerdyke, Mother to the Boys in Blue

Mary Ann Bickerdyke, Mother to the Boys in Blue

June 24– Wednesday– New York City– George Templeton Strong writes: “Negro regiments seem to stand fire and fight well, an immense point in our favor. It is certainly natural they should exert themselves to avoid being made prisoners! On the whole, things look well, if we can but take Vicksburg and Port Hudson.”

George Templeton Strong whose diaries provide much information about Northern life during the Civil War

George Templeton Strong whose diaries provide much information about Northern life during the Civil War

June 24– Wednesday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– Amos Stouffer records the day’s events. “A fine day. The Rebs came to Shippensburg to day. They are in strong force-Cavalry, Infantry & Artillery-the whole under the command of Lee, Commander in Chief of the Rebel Army. This is no mere raid. It is a formidable invasion. Self at the mountain with a farmer by the name of Pie.”

June 24– Wednesday– near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Confederate soldier Jedediah Hotchkiss writes to his wife Sara about being in the North. “For the first time in the war crossed the Pennsylvania line & invaded the old ‘Keystone’, frightening the Dutch out of their senses, they confidently expected us to burn every thing and lay waste the country and they thought we would be justified in so doing – but when they found us doing all things decently & not disturbing them except to supply our army with every thing it needed to eat &c &c and furnish any number of big horses & wagons, all sorts of supplies, leather saddles &c all called for by a polite officer, & no pillaging, they were rejoiced to get off so well & set before our men any quantity of the good things they have so abundantly & General Ewell says we will all get fat here.”

June 24– Wednesday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Rachel Cormany describes Confederate looting in her town. “It is thought by many that a desperate battle will be fought at Harrisburg. This afternoon the Rebs are plundering the stores. some of our merchants will be almost if not entirely ruined. . . . All is quiet this evening so I shall retire after having committed myself to my maker.”

Rachel Cormany

Rachel Cormany

June 24– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln telegraphs General Darius Couch at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “Have you any reports of the enemy moving into Pennsylvania? and if any, what?”

June 24– Wednesday– St Simon’s Island, Georgia– Colonel Robert Gould Shaw writes to his father. “Yours of the 9th came to hand last evening. At the same time we received news of the Rebel incursion into the Northern [states] and orders to embark at once for Port Royal. We are now waiting for a transport, which will hold the regiment. The news from the North is very exciting but not entirely unexpected, for Morse wrote me, that Lee wouldn’t leave the Potomac army quiet very long. Then my theory has always been that the North must feel the war much more than they have, before it is ended. I don’t know why we are ordered to return to Beaufort, unless the troops there are going North, or another attack is to be made on Charleston or Savannah.”

Robert Gould Shaw~"Blue-eyed Child of Fortune"

Robert Gould Shaw~”Blue-eyed Child of Fortune”

June 24– Wednesday– Rover, Tennessee; Unionville, Tennessee; Middleton. Tennessee; Bradyville. Tennessee; Christiana, Tennessee; and Big Spring Branch, Tennessee– As Union General Rosecrans begins his campaign, Federal troops engage Confederate forces in a series of skirmishes and fire-fights.

June 24– Wednesday– Vicksburg, Mississippi– Union artillery bombards the city from sunrise until well after dark. Food inside the besieged city grows more scarce. Outside, in the siege-works and beyond, Union General Grant receives more men and supplies.

We Are Generally Anticipating a Lively Time~June 1863~the 20th to 22nd

We Are Generally Anticipating a Lively Time~Walt Whitman

Significant fighting takes place in Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia and Pennsylvania as Confederate troops enter the Keystone State. More and more people, North and South, soldiers and officers as well as civilians anticipate major battles. The burning of Darien, Georgia, bothers many. Vicksburg is under heavy bombardment but the Times of London predicts a Union repulse there. A black man is lynched in New York. President Lincoln gets a Supreme Court justice with whom he is satisfied. Polish immigrants in the United States work to help the revolution in Poland. France begins parliamentary elections.

June 20– Saturday– Camp Brightwood, near Washington, D.C.– Union Colonel Charles Russell Lowell writes to Effie Shaw, the sister of his friend, Robert Gould Shaw. “I look for a general action soon, and shall not be surprised if Lee has Washington by August 1st. Don’t think me gloomy, I should regard the loss of Washington as the greatest gain of the war. I don’t wonder Rob feels badly about this burning and plundering [of Darien, Georgia], it is too bad. . . . Such a gentle fellow as Rob must be peculiarly disturbed about it.”

Effie Shaw & Charles Russell Loweel who marry in October, 1863

Effie Shaw & Charles Russell Loweel who marry in October, 1863

June 20– Saturday– Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia– Union soldier Christian Geisel writes a quick letter to his sister Louisa. “We expect to have heavy fight shortly again. By all accounts some of the rebel cavalry is in Pennsylvania again. and I expect that there is great excitement up there now, but I don’t think they will stay there long. I can write no more at present.”

June 20– Saturday– Staunton, Virginia– Confederate soldier M. G. Harman writes to his uncle, Albert Garber. “I have just Heard Major T.P. Eskridge told Mr. B. Evans that Tom was killed & his body left on the Field. I have been down to see Colonel Davidson & Bill but can hear nothing. I Hope it is untrue. Come in before you say anything to Aunt or the Family about it.”

June 20– Saturday– St Simon Island, Georgia– Colonel Robert Gould Shaw to his friend Charles Russell Lowell: “I am totally in the dark as to what has been going on in other parts of the country for two weeks past. The last paper I saw, was of June 6. I should like to ask your opinion on a subject, which has troubled me a little lately. On a late expedition we made with Montgomery– he burnt the town of Darien about 20 miles from here. We had met with no resistance there & the only men to be seen were some horsemen at a great distance. There were a few women & darkeys in the place and a great many more had gone off in vehicles on our approach. It was never known to be a refuge for guerillas, and our gunboats have been in the habit of running by it at will & without opposition. Don’t you think that unless it is a settled policy of the Government to destroy all the property in rebeldom, the destruction of a defenseless town, containing only a few non-combatants, is unjustifiable, and contrary to all rules of warfare? Harry writes me that you have been transferred to Heintzelman, so I suppose there is a good chance of your remaining for some time, near Washington. Good, for Effie. . . . I hope this war will not finish one or both of us, and that we shall live to know each other well. I had a note from Effie a week ago. I remember, at Susie’s, just after you were engaged you said to me: ‘Am not I a lucky fellow?’ And I must say, I think you are. There are not many girls like Effie; though she is my sister, I may say it.” [Within the next 16 months both Shaw and Lowell will be killed in battle.]

June 20– Saturday– London, England– The Times of London reviews the Union siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, suggesting that General Grant’s position becomes more precarious each day “The fortunes of the Federal arms at the last date were balancing between a temporary check and total failure. All the details leave an impression that unusual energy had secured very slight results.” The paper goes on to say that private sources claim that Vicksburg has been relieved, and that the Federal army is now surrounded by Confederate forces.

John Walter, owner of The Times of London

John Walter, owner of The Times of London

June 21– Sunday– Newburgh, New York– In the city, 60 miles north of New York City, a black man, accused of the rape of an Irish serving girl, is snatched from the jail by a mob, mostly of Irish immigrant men, beaten savagely and lynched. The New York Times says of the incident, “The crime of which the Negro stood charged with was of a revolting character, but he was amenable to the law, and still had the right of a fair trial. Those who were instrumental in destroying his life, however, in their misguided frenzy, committed the higher crime of murder.”

June 21– Sunday– New York City– The New York Times reports that “Almost every people of Europe has a newspaper organ in this country, and indeed in this city. The deep interest taken in the affairs of Poland has led to the establishment of an organ in the language of that country. It is called Echo z Polski, or Polish Echo, and contains full details concerning the present Polish war for independence. It is published under the auspices of the Central Polish Committee.”

June 21– Sunday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Rachel Cormany writes of her day. “All was pretty quiet until near noon The news came that the rebels are near here–which caused great excitement again. Soon after a regiment of the N. Y. Greys came (militia) so all excitement died away– Wrote a letter (or finished it rather) to My Samuel. Read such a pretty Sunday School book.”

June 21– Sunday– Upperville, Loudoun County, Virginia– Protecting General Lee’s main body of infantry, General Jeb Stuart’s cavalry tangles with a combined Union force of cavalry and infantry, While successfully preventing discovery of Lee’s main body, Stuart for the first time in the war, losses an artillery piece to capture by the Yankees. Combined total casualties are approximately 400. Shortly after this event, Stuart will fatefully decide to strike north and east to draw Federal attention away from Lee but as a result will lose his lines of communication with the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia.

cavalry battle

cavalry battle

June 21– Sunday– Richmond, Virginia– Government Clerk John Jones reports that, “To-day we have an account of the burning of Darien, Georgia. The temptation is strong for our army to retaliate on the soil of Pennsylvania.”

June 21– Sunday– Vicksburg, Mississippi– Confederate soldiers detect the sound of digging and recognize that Union “sappers” are trying to undermine a key defensive position. In response six volunteers from a Mississippi regiment begin to dig a countermine. A Confederate officer writes that “all you can hear is the rattle of the Enemy’s guns, with the sharp crack of the rifles of their sharp-shooters going from early dawn to dark and then at night the roaring of the terrible mortars [on Union gunboats on the Mississippi] is kept up.” A Union soldier from Indiana writes, “Friday morning, while on duty in the pits, we had a splendid view. Just as the town clock in Vicksburg struck six, all the batteries along the line opened with a full blast, for the first time since the siege commenced, and the first heavy artillery firing since the assault. We were in front of our batteries and between them and the rebel works. The fire was principally directed on the town and on the camps behind the first line, of works. From our pits we could see sixty pieces on our lines all busily at work. That same evening the batteries gave them another touch, and this (Sunday) morning, about 3 o’clock, another still, but the regular bombardment has not yet commenced. The mortars are at work very night, and generally through part of the day.”

shelling Vicksburg

shelling Vicksburg

June 21– Sunday– LaFourche Crossing, Louisiana– Attempting to draw off Federal forces from the siege of Port Hudson, a large Confederate raiding party runs into Union troops here. In several hours of sharp fighting yesterday and today, the Confederates lose a total of 219 dead, wounded and missing. Union losses amount to 48 in total.

June 21– Sunday– Paris, France– Across the country the first round of elections for members of Parliament begins today.

June 22– Monday– Greencastle, Pennsylvania– The first units of General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia begin crossing into Pennsylvania. In a skirmish, Confederate infantry drive off a patrol of Union cavalry, killing Corporal William Rihl, the first Pennsylvanian and first Union soldier to die in the Gettysburg Campaign.

June 22– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln appoints Associate Supreme Court Justice, Stephen J. Field, age 46, to the newly created tenth circuit court which consists of California and Oregon.

Justice Stephen J Field

Justice Stephen J Field

June 22– Monday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles updates his diary. “The rumors yesterday of a fight near Aldie are fully confirmed, but as yet no definite information. It is not always pleasant to go to the War Department to have news verified, even if they have the facts. . . . Generally I have found Stanton affable and communicative when alone, but not always, especially if there has been disaster or unpleasant news.”

June 22– Monday– Washington, D.C.– Walt Whitman to his mother: “Well, mother, we are generally anticipating a lively time here or in the neighborhood, as it is probable Lee is feeling about to strike a blow on Washington, or perhaps right into it & as Lee is no fool, it is perhaps possible he may give us a good shake– he is not very far off– yesterday was a fight to the southwest of here all day, we heard the cannons nearly all day– the wounded are arriving in small squads every day, mostly cavalry, a great many Ohio men– they send off to-day from the Washington hospitals a great many to New York, Philadelphia, &c. all who are able, to make room, which looks ominous– indeed it is pretty certain that there is to be some severe fighting, may be a great battle again, the pending week– I am getting so callous that it hardly arouses me at all– I fancy I should take it very quietly if I found myself in the midst of a desperate conflict here in Washington.”

June 22– Monday– Leesburg, Virginia– On the move northward, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin and some of his officers buy a good dinner from a local family. While these people do not like the Yankees they are nonetheless willing to feed them in return for sound Northern money.

June 22– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– John Jones updates his diary. “To-day I saw the memorandum of Mr. Ould, of the conversation held with Mr. Vallandigham, for file in the archives. He says if we ‘can only hold out’ this year that the peace party of the North would sweep the Lincoln dynasty out of political existence. He seems to have thought that our cause was sinking, and feared we would submit, which would, of course, be ruinous to his party! But he advises strongly against any invasion of Pennsylvania, for that would unite all parties at the North, and so strengthen Lincoln’s hands that he would be able to crush all opposition, and trample upon the constitutional rights of the people. Mr. Vallandigham said nothing to indicate that either he or the party had any other idea than that the Union would be reconstructed under Democratic rule.”

All Kinds of Reports Are Flying About~June, 1863~the 17th to the 20th

All Kinds of Reports Are Flying About~Rachel Cormany, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents worry about the advancing rebels. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, begins filling up with refugees. Baltimore prepares to defend itself. The mayor of Boston worries as well. Georget Templeton Strong sees an advantage to the invasion.

Robert Gould Shaw remembers happy times and reassures his mother. Some Northerners begin planning care for the orphaned children of soldiers.. Gideon Welles laments Hooker’s incompetence. More cavalry battles take place as Lee advances. Slave auctions, including the sale of children, still occur in Confederate territory.

A charming and politically savvy widow prepares for foreign travel on behalf of the Confederacy. The King of Prussia deals with Russia. Vallandigham arrives in British territory on his way to make new trouble for the Lincoln Administration. President Lincoln deals with a Central American republic, reassures the people of Louisiana and offers an olive branch to the Chicago newspaper which General Burnside tried to suppress.

June 17– Wednesday– New York City– George Templeton Strong takes a rather detached view. “This move of Lee’s is likely to do good by bothering and silencing our nasty peace-democracy. It seems now as if Harrisburg might be defended with success. If we do but carry Vicksburg and Port Hudson, we can well afford to let rebeldom have full swing to burn and plunder for a week or two.”

 

George Templeton Strong whose diaries provide much information about Northern life during the Civil War

George Templeton Strong whose diaries provide much information about Northern life during the Civil War

June 17– Wednesday– Harrisburg, Pennsylvania– William Heyser, a native of Chambersburg who fled from there omn the night of the 14th, describes events in the state capital. “Very warm. The city is filling with volunteers and delegates to the Democratic Convention. Rumors from Chambersburg that our ships and stores have all been plundered and that the public building may be burned that houses army stores. Appeals made to the Governor for troops to protect the state, but unheeded. My son-in-law, J. A. Eyster, came this afternoon from Philadelphia. Reports my daughter, Elizabeth and the children well. News that the Rebels have left for Hagerstown, after having done a minimum of damage to the town.”

Union camp at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Union camp at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

 June 17– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln receives the new minister to the United States from San Salvador, who expresses “sympathy felt by the President of Salvador for the cause of the American Union.” According to reporters, President Lincoln replies by saying “he hoped the Minister’s residence here would be agreeable, and his mission satisfactory, and said he was not uninformed of the devotion of Salvador to the principles of republicanism and the interests of civilization.”

June 17– Wednesday– Aldie, Virginia– In an inconclusive fight, units of General Jeb Stuart’s cavalry, screening the Confederate infantry as it marches north behind the shelter of the Blue Ridge Mountains, are attacked by a brigade of Federal cavalry near this village. During the four hours of hard fighting, the Union troopers suffer about 300 total casualties while the Confederate horsemen suffer approximately 120 casualties. When Union reinforcements arrive, the Southerners withdraw toward Middleburg, Virginia.

cavalry fight

cavalry fight

June 17– Wednesday– St Simon Island, Georgia– Colonel Robert Gould Shaw to his sister-in-law, Clemence Haggerty: “It is such a short time since you and I have been so nearly related, that I hardly realize it as yet; and now I am back in the old track, and routine of camp-life again, the three months at home, with their great pleasures and little troubles, seem to have been passed in dream-land. I don’t believe I think much more of Annie than I used to, but the great difference in our relation to each other seems very strange. . . . You can’t imagine what a spooney, home-sick set we are here, after our pleasant times at Readville. Major Hallowell lies on his back singing, ‘No one to love, none to caress /// None to respond to this heart’s wretchedness’ and we all feel just so. It is very demoralizing to be at home for so long a time. I felt quite sorry to deprive you of my old sword, but I wanted my Mother to have it, as I hadn’t given her any of my discarded shoulder-straps, sashes, &c, &c. I think of you every morning and evening when I put on my slippers; they are a great comfort. When you see your father, please give him my regards. I was sorry not to see him before I came away.”

June 17– Wednesday– Hamilton, Bermuda– By tacit agreement with Confederate authorities, Clement Vallandigham arrives here from Wilmington, North Carolina. Vallandigham immediately sets to work to try to arrange transport to Canada.

June 17– Wednesday– Berlin, Germany– King William responds to Tsar Alexander’s letter of June 1st by writing that if France attacks Russia William must maintain “a benevolent neutrality” to avoid a French invasion. He concludes by suggesting that his people would be more sympathetic if the Russian Empire granted some favors to German merchants seeking to do business in Russia.

 

Wilhelm I, King of Prussia

Wilhelm I, King of Prussia

June 18– Thursday– New York City– In the annual meeting of the Institute of Reward the corresponding secretary reports on the activities since the last annual meeting. “During the year past the exertions of the Institute have been mainly directed to urging upon the State Legislatures their acceptance of the Congressional grant of land for agricultural and educational purposes, and toward securing provisions, by which, in the selection of students for the colleges and experimental farms endowed by the grant, preference shall be given to the orphans of those dying in the defense of their country; and also, toward procuring a supplemental fund for the support of a preparatory department for a younger class of orphans on the said farms. Governors, Congressmen, Assemblymen, and others, have been seen and consulted, and the objects of the Institute have been made known to large numbers of the people, in meetings held for this purpose, in various parts of the country, and have everywhere been received with cordiality. Especially has this been the case in the camps, where our troops have found in this movement new encouragement for their devotion to the country’s service.”

June 18– Thursday– St Simon’s Island, Georgia– Colonel Robert Gould Shaw to his mother: “I am very glad you feel so happy and contented about my course in taking the black regiment and besides that cause for satisfaction– I have never had to regret it, for material reasons.There is no doubt that all the black troops in the country should be gathered into one or two armies– as in small bodies they can never make themselves felt much. It was quite astonishing to be received as we were at Beaufort. The Commander of the Post, there, Colonel Davis, is almost a Copperhead– as well as a good many of his subordinates and I was told, at Hilton Head, that they might not be very cordial. But, on the contrary, they treated me with the greatest consideration and there was no end to the offers of services from all the Colonels, Quartermasters & Commissaries of the place. Some, who had been very violent in their opposition to the enlistment of Negroes, seemed glad of this chance to back out, by degrees, and say there was a vast difference between contrabands & free Negroes.”

June 18– Thursday– Fayetteville, Tennessee– Mr Daniel Whittington, an official of Lincoln County, posts the following public notice: “I will on Saturday, the 1st day of August nextsell to the highest bidder, in the town of Fayetteville, Lincoln county, Tennessee, the following SLAVES, viz: Amanda, aged about 35 years; Martha, about 6 years; and Gordy, about one year, (these will be sold in one lot,) Ann, about 19 years; Tom, about 16 years; Andrew, about 14 years; Josephine, about 10 years; Nancy, about 8 years. The above slaves will be sold on a credit of twelve months, except the sum of 5 per cent on the amount of sale, which will be required in cash. Notes with two or more approved securities will be required of the purchaser, and a lien retained upon said Slaves until the purchase money is paid.” [Note that four of these slaves are children under twelve years of age.]

 

typical slave auction

typical slave auction

June 19– Friday– Guilford Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania– Amos Stouffer describes his day. “A fine day. Still a great deal of excitement about the Rebs, who are scouring the country in every direction about Waynesboro, Greencastle, Mercersburg [and] Finkstown for horses and cattle and Negroes. The excitement is very great . . . towards Harrisburg. Worse than here. No [Union] troops have come as yet.”

June 19– Friday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Rachel Cormany describes her day, writing of her husband as “Mr Cormany.” “The excitement is still high. I have slept well every night so far knowing that my Heavenly Parent watches over me at all times. Ironed this morning & baked a loaf of brown bread. feel a little blue. I feel troubled about Mr. Cormany– we are penned up so here that we can hear nothing. All kinds of reports are flying about– still the excitement has abated considerably. Mended all my clothes & put every thing away. Read about the great revivals of ‘56 & ‘57. felt much happier than in the forenoon, enjoyed a sweet season of prayer.”

 

Rachel Cormany

Rachel Cormany

June 19– Friday– Washington, D.C.– In response to requests from Federal authorities in Louisiana, President Lincoln writes, “The people of Louisiana shall not lack an opportunity for a fair election for both Federal and State officers by want of anything within my power to give them.” Also, President Lincoln meets with Frederick W. Lincoln, the Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, who represents a committee of Bostonians who came to consult the President regarding the defenses of their city.

 

President Lincoln

President Lincoln

June 19– Friday– Richomond, Virginia– Rose O’Neal Greenhow, a wealthy, charming and attractive widow and Washington socialite, age 46, who had been arrested as a spy and sent South last summer, writes to a friend. “I saw the President this morning and he affords me every facility and and in carrying out my mischief. I shall leave here on Tuesday or Wednesday. Tuesday certainly as the [ship] upon which I will go will sail the latter part of the week on Friday from Wilmington to Bermuda. Once I shall take out as much cotton as I can. I shall be very much engaged for the remainder of my sojourn here in getting ready.” President Davis is sending her to England to promote the cause of the Confederacy and gather information. The cotton to which she makes reference will be sold on European markets to raise money for the Confederacy.

 

Rose O'Neal Greenhow with her daughter

Rose O’Neal Greenhow with her daughter

June 19– Friday– Loudoun County, Virginia– Confederate cavalry under General Jeb Stuart finishes three days of on-and-off fighting with Federal cavalry. Neither side gains any advantage but Union losses total 349 dead, wounded, and missing while Stuart claims to have suffered only 40 total casualties.

June 19– Friday– St. Simon’s Island, Georgia– Union soldier Samuel Christy to his sister Mary Jane. “There was three guns boats what went before us and at last we Came to a little town and before we got to it we sent two or three shells into it and all the people run and left it and we came and got off the ship and went into it and took every thing that was good we got some sheep and some cattle and hogs and chickens and many others things and then we set the town on fire and burnt it down and then we came about two miles toward Camp and then stop and stayed on the ship all night and the next morning we came back to Camp “

June 20– Saturday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Rachel Cormany describes her day. “Went to bed early & slept well all night. This morning there is great excitement again. The report came last night that 40,000 or 50,000 infantry & some artillery have taken possession of Hagerstown–that the camps extend nearly to Greencastle–things surely look a little dubious. If we could only have regular mails. A mail came last night–but was not opened until this morning–Got a letter from My Samuel. it is but short. He is still safe–but were under marching orders again. it has been over a week on the way–I almost feel like getting out of this to some place where the mail is uninterrupted, but then I fear, My Samuel might chance to come here & I would not see him so I shall stay.”

June 20– Saturday– Baltimore, Maryland– Anticipating a Confederate attack, soldiers and laborers busily construct breastworks north and west of the city as a defensive measure.

June 20– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– West Virginia officially joins the Union as a free state with provision for the gradual emancipation of slaves in the state. John Nicolay, President Lincoln’s secretary, writes at the President’s request to the Chicago Tribune, an anti-administration newspaper now back in publication at the President’s order which revoked General Burnside’s order of suppression, that President Lincoln will be pleased to receive copies “so long as in your kindness you may please to send it.”

Chicago Tribune ad, 1870

Chicago Tribune ad, 1870

June 20– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles updates his diary. “Tidings from New York to-day are sad respecting Admiral Foote. I fear he cannot recover and that his hours upon earth are few. His death will be a great loss to the country, a greater one in this emergency to me than to any other out of his own family. . . . Sumner’s opinion and estimate of men does not agree with Chase.s. Sumner expresses an absolute want of confidence in Hooker; says he knows him to be a blasphemous wretch; that after crossing the Rappahannock and reaching Genterville, Hooker exultingly exclaimed, ‘The enemy is in my power, and God Almighty cannot deprive me of them.’ I have heard before of this, but not so direct and positive. The sudden paralysis that followed, when the army in the midst of a successful career was suddenly checked and commenced its retreat, has never been explained. Whiskey is said by Sumner to have done the work. The President said if Hooker had been killed by the shot which knocked over the pillar that stunned him, we should have been successful.”

 

 

I Took to My Prayer With a Delerium of Fervor~June 1863~the 14th to 16th

I Took to My Prayers with a Delirium of Fervor.~ Sarah Morgan prays for Confederate victories at Vicksburg & Port Hudson

Confederate forces recapture Winchester, Virginia, and enter Pennsylvania. They take free black people as prisoners and send them south. Some local citizens worry and hide their valuables. President Lincoln calls for more troops from the threatened states and reassures his wife that it is safe to stay in Philadelphia.. Draft resistence increases in some places. The Times argues that the invasion hurts the Peace Democrats and will unite Northerners against the South.

Port Hudson and Vicksburg remain under siege. General Grant expresses confidence that Vicksburg will fall. A black soldier in the 54th Massachusetts writes an account of the burning of Darien. His white colonel complains to headquarters about that expedition.

An Irish immigrant soldier and a southern belle take to prayer while a Quaker poet calls for peace. In London, Parliament again debates relations with the United States. A Confederate agitatorwants to make more trouble.

June 14– Sunday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Rachel Cormany, a Canadian-born woman whose husband is away serving in the Union atmy, writes in her diary. “Read the Telescope & wrote letters this A.M.–P.M. went to Sunday School, took Cora along– she did pretty well– was in Brother Hoke’s Bible class. How much better I feel to get out to religious gathering. Intend to go more. Mrs. Dulany was there with her little one too. I got such a good book to read. Some excitement about the rebels come. Evening the excitement pretty high.”

Rachel Cormany

Rachel Cormany

June 14– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles worries. “Scary rumors abroad of army operations and a threatened movement of Lee upon Pennsylvania. No doubt there has been a change. I fear our friends are in difficulties.”

June 14– Sunday– St Simon’s Island, Georgia– James H Gooding, one of the black soldiers serving in the 54th Massachusetts, writes to the New Bedford, Massachusetts, Mercury. “The town of Darien is now no more; the flames could be distinctly seen from the camp on the Island from three o’clock in the afternoon till daylight the next morning. We are to go on another expedition next week, into the interior. It is rumored we are to try to take possession of a railroad between Savannah and some point south, probably Mobile. We all hope the rebels will make a stand, so that we may have a good chance to empty our cartridge boxes. Talking about Southern scenery! Well, all I have seen of it yet is not calculated to make me eulogize its beauties. If a person were to ask me what I saw South, I should tell him stink weed, sand, rattlesnakes, and alligators. To tell the honest truth, our boys out on picket look sharper for snakes than they do for rebels.” This same day, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw writes to a Colonel Halfine at 10th Army Corps headquarters about the burning of Darien. “I am perfectly ready to burn any place which resists, and gives some reason for such a proceeding; but it seems to me barbarous to turn women and children adrift in that way; and if I am only assisting Colonel Montgomery in a private enterprise of his own, it is very distasteful to me.”

 

Colonel Shaw & his soldiers depicted on the 54th Massachusetts memorial

Colonel Shaw & his soldiers depicted on the 54th Massachusetts memorial

June 14– Sunday– Eunice, Arkansas– In retaliation for Confederate sniping, Federal forces burn the town.

June 14– Port Hudson, Louisiana– When the Confederate garrison refuses a call to surrender, Union forces attempt a frontal assault which is repelled. Union casualties total 1792 dead, wounded and missing. Confederate losses amount to 47 in total.

June 14– Sunday– New Orleans, Louisiana– Sarah Morgan updates her diary. “The excitement about Port Hudson and Vicksburg is intense. When I heard on Friday that the last attack was being made on the former place, I took to my prayers with a delirium of fervor. If I was a man, if I had the blessed privilege of fighting, I would be on the breastworks, or perchance on the water batteries under Colonel Steadman’s command. But as I was unfortunately born a woman, I stay home and pray with heart and soul. That is all I can do; but I do it with a will. In my excitement, I was wishing that I was a Catholic, that I might make a vow for the preservation of Port Hudson.”

Sarah Morgan Dawson

Sarah Morgan Dawson

June 15– Monday– Newport, Rhode, Island–At the Quaker Yearly Meeting, John Greenleaf Whittier reads one of his poems supporting the traditional Quaker peace witness.

June 15– Monday– Guilford Township, Franklin County- Pennsylvania– Amos Stouffer describes the day’s excitement in his diary. “A warm day. The excitement is very great about the rebs. No one is at work about here except to hide their valuables. It is reported that they are in Greencastle. Self & Andy in town this evening. The Provost guard came in while we were there. They had a skirmish with them at Green Castle. They are coming for sure. Andy and James took the horses to the mountains.”

June 15– Monday– near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Confederate soldier Thomas Boatwright writes to his wife. “The people thought that we came to murder and rob but no so for the orders from General Lee is not to touch a thing that belongs to private individuals that what is needed for comfort must be taken by proper authorities which I think is all right. . . . I do not know where we are going only say that we are marching northward where bound know not. I have purchased two dresses for you and a pair of shoes that I will send you as soon as a way is offered.”

Chambersburg City Hall

Chambersburg City Hall

June 15– Monday– Cincinnati, Ohio– Two hundred and seventy-three bales of confiscated Southern cotton are sold at auction with prices ranging from 30 ½ cents to 45 ½ cents per pound. The quality is considered generally inferior. [The prices would range from about $5.64 to $8.41 per pound in current dollars. In March, 2013, raw cotton was selling at a bit over 87 cents US per pound which would equal about 5 cents US in 1863.]

June 15– Monday– Washington, D.C.– Responding to the threat of invasion, President Lincoln issues a proclamation. “Whereas the armed insurrectionary combinations now existing in several of the States are threatening to make inroads into the States of Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, requiring immediately an additional military force for the service of the United States: Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy thereof and of the militia of the several States when called into actual service, do hereby call into the service of the United States 100,000 militia from the States following, namely: From the State of Maryland, 10,000; from the State of Pennsylvania, 50,000; from the State of Ohio, 30,000; from the State of West Virginia, 10,000–to be mustered into the service of the United States forthwith and to serve for the period of six months from the date of such muster into said service, unless sooner discharged; to be mustered in as infantry, artillery, and cavalry, in proportions which will be made known through the War Department, which Department will also designate the several places of rendezvous.”

President Lincoln

President Lincoln

June 15– Monday– Manassas Junction, Virginia– On the march with much of the Army of the Potomac, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin of the 20th Maine comments to one of his officers that perhaps a third battle of Bull Run is shaping up and all of the movement portends “a little sport by morning.”

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin

June 15– Monday– Winchester, Virginia– On this third day of fighting, Confederate forces win an important victory. More than 2,400 Federal soldiers surrender This cleared the Shenandoah Valley of Union troops and opens the way for General Lee to move ahead with his planned invasion of the North. In addition to those taken prisoner, the Union soldiers lost 2,043 killed, wounded or missing while Confederate casualties amounted to 266 in total.

June 15– Monday– a Union camp in Middle Tennessee– Irish immigrant Charles Alley, serving with the 5th Iowa Cavalry, prays upon receiving orders. “Ordered out this morning with three days rations and 110 rounds of ammunition to the man. This looks as though it was meant we should pay our respect to the enemy while we are out. Lord make us to be successful and enable us to go forth trusting in Thee, and giving Thee the Glory of every success, and forme—be my shield and buckler in the day of battle, and if I too should lie on the bloody field—may my spirit be caught up to thy throne in heaven and then all with me shall forever be well. May thy love and blessing go with my adopted country still—with my dear old mother countryand with all that I have ever been kind or even unkind in both.”

June 15– Monday– Gaines’ Landing, Arkansas– Union troops lay waste most of the town.

June 15–Monday– Vicksburg, Mississippi–Union forces besieging the city have the Confederates boxed in. Southern forces have plenty of munitions but little food. An increasing number of Confederate fighters are out sick or hospitalized with scurvy, malaria, or dysentery. Union General Grant writes to his father. “I have the enemy closely hemmed in all round. My position is naturally strong and fortified against an attack from outside. I have been so strongly reinforced that Johnston [Confederate General Joseph E Johnston who has been bickering with Confederate President Jeff Davis] will have to come with a mighty host to drive me away.–I do not look upon the fall of Vicksburg as in the least doubtful. . . . The fall of Vicksburg now will only result in the opening of the Mississippi River and demoralization of the enemy. I intended more from it.”

shelling Vicksburg

shelling Vicksburg

June 15– Monday– London, England– In Parliament the House of Lords debates taking action against the United States for U S seizure of British ships attempting to run the blockade of the Confederacy. The Marquis of Clanricarde declares that “it is a farce to call this a blockade” because four British merchant ships have successfully entered southern ports at least seventeen times and “every man of common sense in the United States is now convinced that it is impossible to compel the Southern States to reenter the Union.” He closes his speech by declaring that “it is the duty of the British Government not to allow these infractions of the maritime law to continue.” The Duke of Somerset, who serves as First Lord of the Admiralty, speaks in opposition to the Marquis and convinces the House to vote down the Marquis’ motion.

Parliament buildings, London

Parliament buildings, London

June 16– Tuesday– New York City– The New York Times evaluates the consequences of the Confederate push northward. “If the rebel cavalry, now supposed to be on a grand raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania, should be so successful as to penetrate either State, we venture a prediction or two as to the result. 1. They will utterly fail to be impressed by the services in their behalf of men claiming to be ‘Peace Democrats’ but will snatch the horses, kill the cattle, and burn down the houses of all alike who come within their destructive sweep. 2. After they have come and gone (for their visit will be as brief as a thunder-storm in Summer,) the once “Peace Democrats’of the States invaded will be found picking their flints, whetting their knives, rallying to common centres and asking to be led on an avenging campaign against the traitors to their country and the ravagers of their homes. 3. The political atmosphere will be purified by the rebel fire, blasting its way through the green and beautiful North– ‘peace meetings’ will cease to be held; party names will be discontinued and forgotten; the conscription will no longer be opposed; the name and sorrows of Vallandigham will not be strongly pressed for sympathy.”

June 16– Tuesday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Local wife and mother Rachel Cormany awakens early in the morning to see Confederate soldiers in her town. Later she sees them rounding up black people. “We almost came to the conclusion that the rebs had left again leaving only a small guard who took things quite leisurely. Soon however they became more active. Were hunting up the contrabands & driving them off by droves. O! How it grated on our hearts to have to sit quietly & look at such brutal deeds– I saw no men among the contrabands– all women & children. Some of the colored people who were raised here were taken along– I sat on the front step as they were driven by just like we would drive cattle.”

June 16– Tuesday– Holmes County, Ohio–A series of demonstrations throughout the county demands an end to the draft and to the war.

June 16– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln sends a telegram to his wife Mary who is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “It is a matter of choice with yourself whether you come home. There isno reason why you should not, that did not exist when you went away. As bearing on the question of your coming home, I do not think the raid into Pennsylvania amounts to anything at all.”

June 16– Tuesday– London, England–A Confederate agent sends a request to Richmond for additional money to recruit street toughs to harass abolitionists and persons expressing sympathy for the North.

Not a Very Agreeable Spectacle~June 1863~the 12th & 13th

Not a Very Agreeable Spectacle ~June 1863~the 12th and 13th

Prseident Lincoln responds to his critics and replaces a general. Gideon Welles complains about Congressional ineptitude. Colonel Shaw writes to his wife about politics, military operations and religion. Vicksburg is shelled relentlessly. Some Southerners complain about German immigrants serving in the Union army. An English observer watches a slave auction in disgust. On positive notes, English authors are changing literature. And an English woman who will change women’s fashion is born.

President Lincoln

President Lincoln

June 12– Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln makes a lengthy public reply to Mr Erastus Corning and other Democrats from New York State who in mid-May published a series of resolutions extremely critical of the President and his policies. In a key part, Lincoln writes, “In giving the resolutions that earnest consideration which you request of me, I cannot overlook the fact that the meeting speak as ‘Democrats.’ Nor can I, with full respect for their known intelligence, and the fairly presumed deliberation with which they prepared their resolutions, be permitted to suppose that this occurred by accident, or in any way other than that they preferred to designate themselves ‘Democrats’ rather than ‘American citizens.’ In this time of national peril I would have preferred to meet you upon a level one step higher than any party platform, because I am sure that from such more elevated position we could do better battle for the country we all love than we possibly can from those lower ones where, from the force of habit, the prejudices of the past, and selfish hopes of the future, we are sure to expend much of our ingenuity and strength in finding fault with and aiming blows at each other. But since you have denied me this I will yet be thankful for the country’s sake that not all Democrats have done so.” He concludes by saying, “I further say that, as the war progresses, it appears to me, opinion and action, which were in great confusion at first, take shape and fall into more regular channels, so that the necessity for strong dealing with them gradually decreases. I have every reason to desire that it should cease altogether, and far from the least is my regard for the opinions and wishes of those who, like the meeting at Albany, declare their purpose to sustain the government in every constitutional and lawful measure to suppress the rebellion. Still, I must continue to do so much as may seem to be required by the public safety.”

Erastus Corning

Erastus Corning

June 12– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Secretary Gideon Welles makes observations about politics. “The interference of Members of Congress in the petty appointments and employment of laborers in the navy yards is annoying and pernicious. The public interest is not regarded by the Members, but they crowd partisan favorites for mechanical positions in place of good mechanics and workmen, and when I refuse to entertain their propositions, they take offense. I can’t help it if they do. I will not prostitute my trust to their schemes and selfish personal partisanship.”

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy

June 12– Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln replaces General David Hunter with General Quincy Gillmore to command the Department of the South which now includes the 54th Massachusetts.

June 12– Friday– Charleston, South Carolina– Sir Arthur James Fremantle, on his way to join with General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia, sees a sight which bothers him. “I called at an exchange office this morning, and asked the value of gold; they offered me six to one for it. I went to a slave auction at 11; but they had been so quick about it that the whole affair was over before I arrived, although I was only ten minutes late. The Negroes–about fifteen men, three women, and three children — were seated on benches, looking perfectly contented and indifferent. I saw the buyers opening the mouths and showing the teeth of their new purchases to their friends in a very business-like manner. This was certainly not a very agreeable spectacle to an Englishman, and I know that many Southerners participate in the same feeling; for I have often been told by people that they had never seen a Negro sold by auction, and never Wished to do so.”

Sir Arthur James Fremantle of Her Majesty's Coldstream Guards

Sir Arthur James Fremantle of Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards

June 12– Friday– St Simon’s Island, Georgia– Colonel Robert Gould Shaw in a letter to his wife, Annie, describes the raid on Darien and his own revulsion at what Colonel Montgomery did. “Now, dear Annie, remember not to breathe a word of what I have written about this raid, to any one out of our two families, for I have not yet made up my mind what I ought to do. Besides my own distaste for this barbarous sort of warfare, I am not sure that it will not harm very much the reputation of black troops and of those connected with them. For myself, I have gone through the war so far without dishonor, and I do not like to degenerate into a plunderer and robber– and the same applies to every officer in my regiment. There was not a deed performed, from beginning to end, which required any pluck or courage. If we had fought for possession of the place, and it had been found necessary to hold or destroy it, or if the inhabitants had done anything which deserved such punishment, or if it were a place of refuge for the enemy, there might have been some reason for Montgomery’s acting as he did; but as the case stands, I can’t see any justification.”

June 12– Friday– Knoxville, Tennessee– The Knoxville Register loudly complains about the conduct of German immigrants who are serving in significant numbers in the Union army. “Crimes, thefts, and insults to the women of the South, invariably mark the course of these stinking bodies of animated sour-krout. [Union General] Rosecrans himself is an unmixed Dutchman, an accursed race which has overrun the vast districts of the country of the Northwest. . . . It happens that we entertain a greater degree of respect for an Ethiopian in the ranks of the Northern armies than for an odoriferous Dutchman, who can have no possible interest in this revolution. . . . Why not hang every Dutchman captured?” [General Rosecrans was born in Ohio and can trace his family on his father’s side back to immigrants who arrived in 1651 and on his mother’s side to Stephen Hopkins, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and whose forebearers came from England in 1635. Rosecrans graduated 5th in the 1842 class of 56 cadets at West Point. Confederate General James Longstreet graduated 54th out of 56 in the same class and had a reputation as a trouble-maker.]

June 12– Friday– London, England–Charles Dickens, Frederic Leighton and others found “The Arts Club” in Hanover Square.

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

June 13– Saturday– Brooklyn, New York– Jeff Whitman to his brother Walt. “Walt I have thought considerable of the idea that you speak of, that of your giving lectures. I fear that you would not meet with that success that you deserve. Mr Lane [Moses Lane was chief engineer of the Brooklyn Water Works] and I talked about the matter and both came to the conclusion that it would be much better if you could be appointed dispensing agent, or something of that kind, for some of the numerous aid societies, and he said that he would go and see Storrs [Reverend Dr Richard Storrs, an influential Congregational clergyman, pastor for many years of the Brooklyn Church of the Pilgrim and chair of the St Nicholas Society, a charitable organization] and some other of the big guns of those societies in this city and see if it could not be done. What do you think about it. Do you think it could be accomplished.? . . . . you and I cannot agree in regard to ‘Uncle Abe’– I cannot think that he is the man for the place or he would have surrounded himself with men that could do something. He lends himself to the speculators, in all the ways that it can be done. He says ‘yes’ to the last man or ‘No’ as that man wants him to. Everything he does reminds me of an old woman. I hope that the country will last long enough for this damned war to fall through It seems nothing but an immense bubble, only of a desperate character.”

June 13– Saturday– Harrisburg, Pennsylvania– Governor Andrew Curtin issues a proclamation that Pennsylvania African Americans who enlist must do so in Pennsylvania regiments and only recruiters authorized by the War Department in Washington may recruit black soldiers.

June 13– Saturday– Winchester, Virginia– The advance units of General Lee’s invasion force reach the town and begin a two day battle with Federal troops.

June 13– Saturday– Staunton, Virginia– David Evans to Miss Lew Plunkett. “The beautiful Bouquet Sent by you Several days ago, I received, and with great delight, did I gaze at this one, reminding me still of your devoted friendship, which I hope time will never eraize [sic]. Accept my Sincere thanks for this mark of Your Kindness towards me.”

June 13– Saturday– St Simon’s Island, Georgia– Colonel Robert Gould Shaw writes to Annie, his new wife. “To-morrow is Sunday, and perhaps you will be at Staten Island; at any rate, I suppose, not at Lenox; but wherever you are, I wish I could go to church with you, and saunter about in some pretty garden afterwards. There is a beautiful little church near here, almost buried in trees and moss. I have had it put to rights (it was damaged by some sailors and soldiers), and the Chaplain of the Second South Carolina Regiment is to preach there for us to-morrow. I shall always have a service of some kind on Sunday; and if we can’t always get a chaplain, I shall have one of the officers officiate. I don’t feel good enough myself to undertake to teach others, as you suggest. Perhaps I shall some time. I have read some of Robertson’s sermons, and think them very beautiful.”

June 13– Saturday– Vicksburg, Mississippi– By day Union artillery bombards the city and by night Union gunboats on the Mississippi River fire relentlessly into to beleaguered city.

Vicksburg besieged

Vicksburg besieged

June 13– Saturday– London, England– Birth of Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff-Gordon, English fashion designer, who will become the first British designer to achieve international renown as a widely-acknowledged innovator in couture styles as well as in fashion industry public relations, originating the “mannequin parade,” a precursor to the modern fashion show, and training the first professional models.

Lady Duff-Gordon, 1919

Lady Duff-Gordon, 1919

June 13– Saturday– Christchurch, New Zealand– Englishman Samuel Butler, age 27, publishes A First Year in Canterbury Settlement, which in 1872 will appear, with some revisions, as the first part of his novel Erewhon.

Samuel Butler, 1858

Samuel Butler, 1858