Monthly Archives: July 2013

Slavery Will Be Sent Out by this Agony~July 1863~the 30th & 31st

Slavery Will Be Sent out by this Agony~Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia seems to be short of feed for its animals. The United States makes a treaty with the Northwest Shoshone people. President Lincoln and his cabinet meet an impressive member of General Grant’s staff. Harriet Beecher Stowe writes to a friend in England about writers, slavery and British attitudes about the American war. The solicitor of the War Department writes a legal opinion about black soldiers and slavery. President Lincoln takes a firm stand with the Confederacy about the treatment of black soldiers, particularly, for each and every black soldier or white officer from black regiments executed by the South, a Confederate prisoner will be executed.

At last, two months of long and hard campaigns draw to a close. What will happen next? Is peace or at least a cease-fire close at hand? Is either side so decimated by casualties that operations are impossible? Might Britain intervene or at least extend diplomatic recognition to the Confederacy? Will either side see more changes at the highest levels of command? What is the significance of the New York riots? Will Lincoln enforce the draft law? Is more bloody fighting yet to come? Is the Confederacy permanently severed or can it regain control of the lower Mississippi River? It seems for a moment that both sides stop and take a deep breath. But not for long. Campaigns through the end of summer and into the fall will continue to make 1863 the bloodiest and most fateful year of the Civil War.

lincoln_rockingchair

July 30– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln issues an order regarding the treatment of prisoners. “It is the duty of every government to give protection to its citizens, of whatever class, color, or condition, and especially to those who are duly organized as soldiers in the public service. The law of nations and the usages and customs of war, as carried on by civilized powers, permit no distinction as to color in the treatment of prisoners of war as public enemies. To sell or enslave any captured person on account of his color, and for no offense against the laws of war, is a relapse into barbarism and a crime against the civilization of the age. The Government of the United States will give the same protection to all its soldiers, and if the enemy shall sell or enslave anyone because of his color the offense shall be punished by retaliation upon the enemy’s prisoners in our possession. It is therefore ordered, That for every soldier of the United States killed in violation of the laws of war a rebel soldier shall be executed, and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into slavery a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the public works and continued at such labor until the other shall be released and receive the treatment due to a prisoner of war.”

July 30– Thursday– Madison Court House, Virginia– Confederate soldier Michael Garber updates his sister Kate. “Our Horses are almost completely broken down, can scarcely drag the Guns, this morning is the first corn they have been fed for 20 days, as we are near the Rail now we will be able to get good feed for them. . . . I am very badly off for Shirts. I have to borrow one until I can have mine washed. I have but the one. Our Corps is the only part of the army encamped here, do not know where the rest of the army is, it is said that we will move in the direction of Gordonsville in a few days.”

July 30– Thursday– Greenfield Township, Michigan– Birth of Henry Ford, American business man. He is the first of five children born to William and Mary Litogot Ford.

Shoshone encampment

Shoshone encampment

July 30– Thursday– Box Elder, Utah Territory– The United States and representatives of the Northwest Shoshone people sign a treaty of peace. In part the key provisions are “The several routes of travel through the Shoshone country, now or hereafter used by white men, shall be and remain forever free and safe for the use of the government of the United States, and of all emigrants and travelers under its authority and Protection, without molestation or injury from any of the people of the said nation. And if depredations should at any time be committed by bad men of their nation, the offenders shall be immediately seized and delivered up to the proper officers of the United States, to be punished as their offences shall deserve; and the safety of all travelers passing peaceably over said routes is hereby guaranteed by said nation. Military agricultural settlements and military posts may be established by the President of the United States along said routes; ferries may be maintained over the rivers wherever they may be required; and houses erected and settlements formed at such points as may be necessary for the comfort and convenience of travelers” and “the United States agree to increase the annuity to the Shoshonee Nation five thousand dollars, to be paid in the manner provided in said treaty. And the said northwestern bands hereby acknowledge to have received of the United States, at the signing of these articles, provisions and goods to the amount of two thousand dollars, to relieve their immediate necessities, the said bands having been reduced by the war to a state of utter destitution.”

July 31– Friday– Andover, Massachusetts– Harriet Beecher Stowe writes a lengthy letter to her friend, Elizabeth Georgiana, The Duchess of Argyll. “So many, good and noble, have passed away whose friendship was such a pride, such a comfort to me! Your noble father. Lady Byron, Mrs. Browning, – their spirits are as perfect as ever passed to the world of light.” About Ann Isabella Byron and Elizabeth Barrett Browning she adds, “I have lost Lady Byron. Her great heart, her eloquent letters, would have been such a joy to me! And Mrs. Browning, oh such a heroic woman! None of her poems can express what she was, – so grand, so comprehending, so strong, with such inspired insight! She stood by Italy through its crisis. Her heart was with all good through the world.” However, in the longest part of her letter Stowe discusses the lack of English sympathy for the Union cause and the struggle against slavery. “The utter failure of Christian, anti-slavery England, in those Instincts of a right heart which always can see where the cause of liberty lies, has been as bitter a grief to me as was the similar prostration of all our American religious people in the day of the Fugitive Slave Law. Exeter Hall is a humbug, a pious humbug, like the rest. Lord Shaftesbury. Well, let him go; he is a Tory, and has, after all, the instincts of his class. But I saw your duke’s speech to his tenants! That was grand! If he can see these things, they are to be seen, and why cannot Exeter Hall see them? It is simply the want of the honest heart. Why do the horrible barbarities of Southern soldiers cause no comment? Why is the sympathy of the British Parliament reserved for the poor women of New Orleans, deprived of their elegant amusement of throwing vitriol into soldiers’ faces, and practicing indecencies inconceivable in any other state of society? Why is fill expression of sympathy on the Southern side? There is a class of women in New Orleans whom Butler protects from horrible barbarities, that up to his day have been practiced on them by these so-called New Orleans ladies, but British sympathy has ceased to notice them. You see I am bitter. I am. You wonder at my brother. He is a man, and feels a thousand times more than I can, and deeper than all he ever has expressed, the spirit of these things. You must not wonder, therefore. Remember it is the moment when every nerve is vital; it is our agony; we tread the winepress alone, and they whose cheap rhetoric has been for years pushing us into it now desert en masse. . . . . Slavery will be sent out by this agony. We are only in the throes and ravings of the exorcism. The roots of the cancer have gone everywhere, but they must die – will. Already the Confiscation Bill is its natural destruction. Lincoln has been too slow. He should have done it sooner, and with an impulse, but come it must, come it will. Your mother will live to see slavery abolished, unless England forms an alliance to hold it up. England is the great reliance of the slave-power to-day, and next to England the faltering weakness of the North, which palters and dare not fire the great broadside for fear of hitting friends. These thing’s must be done, and sudden, sharp remedies are mercy. Just now we are in a dark hour; but whether God be with us or not, I know He is with the slave, and with his redemption will come the solution of our question.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe

July 31– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Navy Secretary Gideon Welles: “I met at the President’s, and was introduced by him to, Colonel Rawlins of General Grant’s staff. He arrived yesterday with the official report of the taking of Vicksburg and capture of Pemberton’s army. Was much pleased with him, his frank, intelligent, and interesting description of men and account of army operations. His interview with the President and Cabinet was of nearly two hours’ duration, and all, I think, were entertained by him. His honest, unpretending, and unassuming manners pleased me; the absence of pretension, and I may say the unpolished and unrefined deportment, of this earnest and sincere man, patriot, and soldier pleased me more than that of almost any officer whom I have met. He was never at West Point and has had few educational advantages, yet he is a soldier, and has a mind which has served his general and his country well. He is a sincere and earnest friend of Grant, who has evidently sent him here for a purpose.” [John A Rawlins, 1831-1869, serves as Grant’s chief staff officer and is a close friend and influential advisor. The “purpose” is Grant’s advancement, perhaps as much or more the purpose of Rawlins than Grant himself.]

John A Rawlins

John A Rawlins

July 31– Friday– Washington, D.C.– William Whiting, age 50, a graduate of the law department at Harvard and serving as Solicitor to the War Department issues his advisory opinion about the status of black soldiers. “Since the Conscription act makes no distinction between white and colored citizens, but requires them equally to be enrolled and drafted in the forces of the United States, there seems to be no reason why such citizens should not, when volunteering to serve the country, be placed upon the same footing with other soldiers as regards their pay and bounty. The attention of Congress will be directed to this subject, and from the generous manner in which they have treated the soldiers heretofore, it cannot be doubted that they will honor themselves by doing full justice to those of every color, who rally round the Union flag in time of public danger. But I do not forget that the colored soldiers are not fighting for pay. They will not let their enemies reproach them with being mean as well as cowardly. They will not lose this, their first chance, to vindicate their right to be called and treated as men. Pay or no pay, they will rally round that banner of freedom which shall soon float over a country that contains no slaves within its borders. The policy of the Government is fixed and immovable. Congress has passed the irrevocable acts of emancipation. The Supreme Court of the United States have unanimously decided that since July 13, 1861, we have been engaged in a territorial civil war, and have full belligerent rights against the inhabitants of the rebellious districts. The President has issued proclamations under his hand and seal. Abraham Lincoln takes no backward step. A man once made free by law cannot be again made a slave. The Government has no power, if it had the will to do it. Omnipotence alone can reenslave a freeman. Fear not the Administration will ever take the back track. The President wishes the aid of all Americans, of whatever descent or color, to defend the country. He wishes every citizen to share the perils of the contest, and to reap the fruits of victory.”

William Whiting

William Whiting

July 31– Friday– Pleasant Hills, Alabama– Birth of Sidney J Catts, politician who will serve as governor of Florida from 1917 to 1921.

 

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All Exhibited Great Determination & Courage~July 1863~the 26th to the 29th

All Exhibited Great Determination and Courage ~General James Longstreet

As the month moves to a close, the consequences of Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Fort Wagner and the New York riots touch the lives and hearts of many. Death takes two prominent figures from the American political stage. Gideon Welles expresses his distrust of France and of Great Britain. A Confederate newspaper hopes for the total desolation of the North. Russia anticipates a European war. Queen Victoria insists on British neutrality in the American war.

July 26– Sunday– Frankfurt, Kentucky– Senator John J Crittenden, who tried to avert the start of war in 1860 and ‘61 by some sort of compromise, dies at age 75. One of his sons serves in the Union Army, another in that of the Confederacy.

Senator Crittenden, 1855

Senator Crittenden, 1855

July 26– Sunday– Huntsville, Texas– Sam Houston, founding father and first President of the Republic of Texas, dies of pneumonia at age 70, his wife Margaret by his bedside. His last words are, “Texas! Texas, Margaret!”

Sam Houston

Sam Houston

July 26– Sunday– St Petersburg, Russia–The Russian government directs elements of its Atlantic and Pacific fleets to make courtesy calls at American ports. This tactic insures that Russian ships will be free of ice-bound harbors in the event of war with Britain and France in coming fall and winter months.

July 27– Monday– Gettysburg, Pennsylvania– Dr Joseph Hiester describes for his wife the care of a wounded soldier whom they know. “I have been nursing Freedley for two days and he appears to be doing well. The pain has been less I think since I have been here. . . . This wound is from a sound bullet . . . just below the knee joint. It may stiffen the joint partly, for a while, but I think finally he will have the use of it. It will take a long time however for him to have a tolerable use of his leg. He desires to be kindly remembered. . . . I have not yet had a scrape of a Pen from home. This goes to Chambersburg this afternoon and if you have not do so at once. but don’t try to telegraph as the charge is simply an Extortion which no one should countenance. That is unless something occurs to make it an imperative necessity.”

July 27– Monday– Washington, D.C.– Navy Secretary Gideon Welles does some analysis of international relations. “The Mexican Republic has been extinguished and an empire has risen on its ruins. But for this wicked rebellion in our country this calamity would not have occurred. Torn by factions, down-trodden by a scheming and designing priesthood, . . . the Mexicans are . . . unable to enjoy rational freedom. . . . I don’t expect an improvement of their condition under the sway of a ruler imposed upon them by Louis Napoleon. The last arrivals bring us some inklings of the reception of the news that has begun to get across the Atlantic of our military operations. John Bull is unwilling to relinquish the hope of our national dismemberment. There is, on the part of the aristocracy of Great Britain, malignant and disgraceful hatred of our government and people. In every way that they could, and dare, they have sneakingly aided the Rebels. The tone of their journals shows a reluctance to believe that we have overcome the Rebels, or that we are secure in preserving the Union. The Battle of Gettysburg they will not admit to have been disastrous to Lee, and they represent it as of little importance compared with Vicksburg and Port Hudson, which they do not believe can be taken. Palmerston and Louis Napoleon are as much our enemies as Jeff Davis.”

July 27– Monday– Centreville, Virginia– Colonel Charles Russell Lowell writes to his sweetheart Effie Shaw about his friend and her brother Robert Gould Shaw, killed in battle on July 16. “Will and I have been talking over the good fellows who have gone before in this war, fellows whom Rob loved so much, many of them; there is none who has been so widely and so dearly loved as he. What comfort it is to think of this, if ‘life is but a sum of love,’ Rob had had his share, and had done his share. When I think how Rob’s usefulness had latterly been increasing, how the beauty of his character had been becoming a power, widely felt, how his life had become something more than a promise, I feel as if his father’s loss were the heaviest; sometime perhaps we can make him feel that he has other sons, but now remember that in a man’s grief for a son whose manhood had just opened, as Rob’s had, there is something different from what any woman’s grief can be. That is the time to die when one is happiest, or rather I mean that is the time when we wish those we love to die; Rob was very happy too at the head of his regiment where he died.”

drummer-boy

July 27– Monday– near Culpeper Court House, Virginia– Confederate General James Longstreet submits a report to Richmond about the Battle of Gettysburg. Near the conclusion, he says, “The troops all exhibited great determination and courage on the battle-field, which, together with the fortitude and endurance subsequently shown by them under circumstances of great trial, justly entitles them to our hearty thanks and highest praise. Major General Pickett’s division merits especial credit for the determined manner in which it assaulted the enemy’s strong position upon the Cemetery Hill.”

July 27– Monday– Cassville, Missouri; Rogersville, Kentucky; Bridgeport, Alabama; Bayou Teche, Louisiana– Skirmishes, ambushes and fire-fights.

July 28– Tuesday– Baltimore, Maryland– Union soldier Samuel Potter writes to his wife Cynthia. “There are a great many sick & wounded soldiers here in Baltimore & the hospitals are conducted in the best manner. Everything must be clean about them. The sick and wounded have the best kind of diet. Those who are not sick have to live on a very plain diet and they growl a good deal about it although they get plenty to eat. There are about 400 in this hospital none of them very sick, most of them like me, waiting to be sent to their regiments. We have no special war news here at this time & I have nothing to relate of interest as taking place here. It is very monotonous here. We have a fine view of the city & bay but that is all the good it does us now.”

July 28– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Walt Whitman describes to his mother the slow dying of a young soldier whom Whiman is nursing. “As I sit here writing to you, Mother, I wish you could see the whole scene. This young man lies within reach of me, flat on his back, his hands clasp’d across his breast, his thick hair cut close; he is dozing, breathing hard, every breath a spasm– it looks so cruel. He is a noble youngster. I consider him past all hope. Often there is no one with him for a long while. I am here as much as possible.”

July 28– Tuesday– in the vicinity of Warrenton, Virginia– Union General George Meade sends a report to Washington. “No reliable intelligence of the position of the enemy has been obtained. He pickets the Rappahannock from Fredericksburg to Rappahannock Station. These pickets, however, seem to be mere ‘lookouts’ to warn him of my approach. Some camps can be seen at Pony Mountain, near Culpeper, and in the vicinity of Cedar Mountain. Contradictory reports from citizens and scouts place the main body, some at Gordonsville, others say at Staunton and Charlottesville, and some assert the retreat has been extended to Richmond. My own expectation is that he will be found behind the line of the Rapidan, which, from all I can learn, presents a favorable line of defense, most of the fords being commanded by the southern bank, where his artillery can be used to advantage. If I can hold the railroad without too great a weakening of my force, and it proves to have the capacity to afford all the supplies needed, I shall advance until the enemy is encountered or definite information obtained of his movements.”

July 28– Tuesday– 18 miles east of Vicksburg, Mississippi– General William Tecumseh Sherman writes to his brother Senator John Sherman, encouraging the Senator to visit. “Vicksburg is worth seeing, and a glance will tell you more than reams of paper why it took us six months to take the place. I am camped near Big Black, four and one-half miles northeast of where the railroad crosses it. My depot of supplies is at the crossing. . . . . I have four divisions here much reduced, but still a good stock. In the riots of New York I recognize the second stage of this war, but I trust our Government will deal with them summarily. The war has progressed as fast and as successfully as should be.

July 29– Wednesday– New York City– Anti-black sentiment lingers in the city. Samuel Gompers, 13 at the time, English-born, arrives with his immigrant parents. Later he remembered the day. “We were all seasick except father, mother the longest of all. Father had to do all the cooking in the meanwhile and take care of the sick. There was a Negro man employed on the boat who was very kind in many ways to help father. Father did not know much about cooking. When we reached New York we landed at the old Castle Garden of lower Manhattan, now the Aquarium, where we were met by relatives and friends. As we were standing in a little group, the Negro who had befriended father on the trip, came off the boat. Father was grateful and as a matter of courtesy, shook hands with him and gave him his blessing. . . . . The onlookers, not understanding, grew very much excited over father’s shaking hands with this Negro. A crowd gathered round and threatened to hang both father and the Negro to the lamp-post.” [In a few years Gompers will become a leader of labor unions.]

Samuel Gompers

Samuel Gompers

July 29– Wednesday– Gettysburg, Pennsylvania– Wounded Union soldier H. W. Freedley to his sweetheart Maria Hiester: “This is the first letter I have written for I thought that it would be strange to dictate to your father a letter for him to write to his daughter. I am glad to hear that you are all so well. Your father never looked so well Maria I am seriously wounded. I will not be able to be moved from here with in a month, I will not write to you again. You little know the pain much exertion cost. You shall hear promptly of every change in the state of my wound through your father.”

July 29– Richmond, Virginia– The Daily Dispatch offers an analysis of international relations. “Why, it would be the delight of nearly every soul in the Southern Confederacy to see all Yankeedom turned into a howling wilderness, to see every mother’s son of them massacred, or sold into slavery, to see Boston and New York (like Tyre of old) turned into little villages, where the fishermen dried their nets. . . . . we deem it certain that England and France will never allow the Union to be reconstructed.– In that event England cannot fail to foresee the downfall of her maritime supremacy, and France the extinction of all hope of ever obtaining a permanent foothold in Mexico. As long as we fought on equal terms England was anxious to see the strife continue; but she is not anxious to see us overwhelmed, as she will be induced by the enormous lies of the Yankee newspapers to believe we are about to be. Napoleon has long been desirous to recognize the Confederacy, and now that he has planted the tricolor in Mexico, he will no longer be withheld by England. These considerations . . . induce us to believe that we shall shortly be recognized, at least by France.”

Queen Victoria, 1860

Queen Victoria, 1860

July 29– Wednesday– London, England– In a message to Parliament Queen Victoria declares that she sees “no reason to depart from the strict neutrality which Her Majesty has observed from the beginning of the contest” in the United States.

Manliness & Patriotism & High Courage~July, 1863~the 24th to the 26th

Manliness and Patriotism and High Courage~ Charles Russell Lowell

As the news spreads about the attack upon Fort Wagner many mourn the death of Colonel Shaw. His soldiers consider the rebels’ treatment of the Colonel’s body to be disgraceful. President Lincoln orders the U S Navy to tread lightly in dealing with neutrals. Gideon Welles complains of General Meade’s inactivity. Harper’s Weekly criticizes the mob in New York City. President Davis deals with a free press problem. [Is it treason for an editor to speak his mind?] Federals finally capture John Hunt Morgan. A sad and exhausted Charlotte Forten Grimke decides to return to New England.

July 24– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles complains about Meade’s inactivity. “While something efficient is being done by Union generals with small commands, the old complaint of inactivity and imbecility is again heard against the great Army of the Potomac. Meade is– I say it in all kindness– unequal to his position, cannot grasp and direct so large a command, would do better with a smaller force and more limited field, or as second under a stronger and more able general. If he hesitates like McClellan, it is for a different reason. Since the Battle of Gettysburg he has done nothing but follow Lee at a respectful distance.”

July 24– Friday– Centerville, Virginia– Union Colonel Charles Russell Lowell writes to his sweetheart, Effie Shaw. “‘Each and All’ is a true poem and in Emerson’s best strain, but don’t misunderstand it ; Emerson doesn’t mean to bring in question the reality of beauty, or the substantial truth of our youth’s hopes, but he has seen how unripe and childish is the desire to appropriate, and how futile the attempt must always be. He does not lament over this, perhaps he rather rejoices over it– everything is ours to enjoy, nothing is ours to encage; open, we are as wide as Nature; closed, we are too narrow to enjoy a seashell’s beauty. I wonder whether you will ever like Wordsworth as much as I do– I wonder whether I liked him as much when I was only ‘nineteen.’ . . . . he is rather a cold customer, not an ardent Protestant, and yet far from Catholic; but then he lived pretty high up and a good deal alone.”

Zebulon Vance

Zebulon Vance

July 24– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– President Davis writes to Zebulon Vance, Governor of North Carolina about a report that a newspaper editor in the state is “engaged in the treasonable purpose of exciting the people of North Carolina to resistance against their Government, and co-operation with the enemy.” He asks Governor Vance, “If . . . the facts stated . . . be true (and the author is entitled to the greatest credit), the case is quite grave enough for me to consult with you on the subject, and to so licit from you such information and advice as you may be able to give me, for the purpose of such joint or separate action as may be proper to defeat designs fraught with great danger to our common country. I write you confidentially, because there may be error or exaggeration in the reports about this man, and I would be unwilling to injure him by giving publicity to the charges, if there be no foundation for them.”

July 24– Friday– Morris Island, South Carolina– James Gooding, a soldier in the 54th Massachusetts, writes a report for the Mercury about the assault on Fort Wagner. “We have since learned by the flag-of-truce boat that Colonel Shaw is dead– he was buried in a trench with 45 of his men! not even the commonest respect paid to his rank. Such conduct is in striking contrast to the respect paid a rebel Major, who was killed on James Island. The Commander of the 54th regiment had the deceased rebel officer buried with all the honors of war granted by the regulations; and they have returned the compliment by tossing him into a ditch. We hope the London Times will make note of that fact. They did not say how many of our men they had buried, beyond the 45 with the Colonel, nor how many of them they have as prisoners; they merely said they would not exchange them then, but should hold them for future consideration. So we can give no definite news of those who are killed or prisoners. We have never been allowed to approach near enough to hold any parley with them since the night of the assault.” He goes on to describe the present state of the regiment and its losses to date. “The regiment is hardly fit for service in the field at present for want of officers. Captains Russell and Simpkins have never been heard of since the memorable night of the 18th. All the other company commanders are so severely wounded that it is feared some of them will never be able to resume the field again, and it is to be hoped that the steps for reorganizing the regiment will be speedily taken. It is due to what few officers we have left with us, to reward them with a step higher up the ladder. Colonel Littlefield, of the 3rd S.C. Regiment, has temporary charge of the 54th. . . . . The total number of men now killed, wounded and missing, is 357. It is estimated that about 70 of the wounded will be again fit for service.”

54mass

July 24– Friday– Beaufort, South Carolina– Charlotte Forten Grimke receives confirmation of bad news. “To-day the news of Colonel Shaw’s death is confirmed. There can no longer be any doubt. It make me sad, sad at heart.”

July 25– Saturday– New York City–Harpers Weekly addresses the recent riots. “There was nothing peculiar to New York, or to the Irish race in this riot of Monday. Precisely similar mobs have been seen in Paris, London, Vienna, Naples, and Canton. They are explosions of the volcanic element which lies dormant in the heart of every large city. Nor does the riot imply, as some of the papers try to have us believe, any such general disapproval of the Conscription law as should lead to its alteration or suspension. Though the draft was the original cause of the riot, it soon took the more familiar direction of an anti-negro demonstration, such as used to occur in this city at intervals of ten years or so before the Revolution of 1776, similar in kind to the no-popery riots of Lord George Gordon, in London, and the Jacobin riots in Paris during the revolution. Toward the close of the day, the rage of the mob was exclusively directed against colored people, who had no more to do with enforcing the Conscription Act than the Pope of Rome.”

July 25– Saturday– New York City– George Templeton Strong laments. “It is amazing the amount of detriment done to our moral sense by the slavery system that has been legally and constitutionally forced upon us for so many years. . . . . We seem to make little progress toward Charleston. There are rumors of repulse before Fort Wagner, and of the death of Colonel Shaw (Francis G Shaw’s son) who commanded a Negro regiment from Massachusetts.”

July 25– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln issues an executive order to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles requiring that the U S Navy observe the greatest care and respect when near neutral ports and when dealing with the citizens and ships of neutral countries. “My dear sir, it is not intended to be insinuated that you have been remiss in the performance of the arduous and responsible duties of your Department, which, I take pleasure in affirming, has in your hands been conducted with admirable success. Yet, while your subordinates are almost of necessity brought into angry collision with the subjects of foreign states, the representatives of those states and yourself do not come into immediate contact for the purpose of keeping the peace, in spite of such collisions. At that point there is an ultimate and heavy responsibility upon me. What I propose is in strict accordance with international law, and is therefore unobjectionable; whilst, if it does no other good, it will contribute to sustain a considerable portion of the present British ministry in their places, who, if displaced, are sure to be replaced by others more unfavorable to us.”

July 25– Saturday– near Warrenton, Virginia– Union officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes records that when his hungry soldiers reached this area yesterday, they found and ate plenty of blackberries. “They were good, too, for we were nearly starved. It is reported that we are to remain here for a few days and receive clothing for the men, which is much needed.”

Elisha Hunt Rhodes

Elisha Hunt Rhodes

July 25– Saturday– London, England– Birth of Alison Skipworth, a/k/a Alison Mary Elliott Margaret Groom. As an actress she will have a career on Broadway and in Hollywood, making her last film in 1930.

 

Alison Skipworth

Alison Skipworth

July 26– Sunday– Salineville, Ohio– A cavalry force of 2600 Union soldiers captures Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and the small remainder of his force. Morgan and most of his officers are taken to the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus.

July 26– Sunday– Confederate camp near Luray, Virginia– Jedediah Hotchkiss writes to his wife Sara. “Moved up to the foot of the Mountain yesterday, 3 miles from Luray and there rest for the holy Sabbath & it is a lovely morning, giving promise of a joyous day for inanimate nature, for it rained hard last night, with thunder & lightning & tempered the fervent heats of the past few days, laid the dust & worked the face of creation– we shall all enjoy this much needed rest, animals as well as men, and then the pasturage here is very fine. I saw Sam Chapman yesterday, he said his mother was very low, could hardly survive — I hope my bundle has reached you by this time – and I hope too I may soon hear from you, I have not heard in so long that I feel quite uneasy– Lt. Smith goes up today & I send this horrid note by him — I am in excellent health, thank a kind Providence, and doing very well, only earnestly wishing that this war may cease & I permitted to return once more, but still I am for fighting this war out, and hope it may not last long.”

July 26– Sunday– Union camp near Centreville, Virginia– Colonel Charles Russell Lowell writes to his mother. “You will write me, I know, all you learn about the Fifty-Fourth, I see that General Beauregard believes Bob Shaw was killed in a fight on the 18th. I hope and trust he is mistaken. He will be a great loss to his regiment and to the service, and you know what a loss he will be to his family and friends. He was to me one of the most attractive men I ever knew, he had such a single and loyal and kindly heart ; I don’t believe he ever did an unkind or thoughtless act without trying to make up for it afterwards. Effie says he never did (I mean she has said so, of course I have not heard from her since this news).” Later that day, he writes to Effie Shaw, his sweetheart and sister to Robert Gould Shaw. “Cousin John has just sent me the report about dear Rob. It does not seem to me possible this should be true about Rob. Was not he preeminently what ‘Every man in arms should wish to be ?’ The manliness and patriotism and high courage of such a soldier never die with him ; they live in his comrades, it should be the same with the gentleness and thoughtfulness which made him so loveable a son and brother and friend. As you once wrote, he never let the sun go down upon an unkind or thoughtless word.”

July 26– Sunday– Dead Buffalo Lake, Dakota Territory [now North Dakota]– Federal soldiers skirmish with members of the Sioux Nation who are led by Sitting Bull, Gall and Inkpaduta.

July 26– Sunday– St Helena Island, South Carolina– Having returned from several days of nursing wounded survivors of the 54th Massachusetts, Charlotte Forten Grimke decides to return to the North. “Had a long talk with him [Dr Rogers], after which came to the sudden determination to go North in the next steamer. It is necessary for my health, therefor it is wiser to go. My strength has failed rapidly of late.”

Charlotte Forten Grimke

Charlotte Forten Grimke

I Die In A Good Cause~~July 1863~the 20th to the 24th

I Die in a Good Cause~Lewis Douglass

A son of Frederick Douglass reports about the battles in which he has fought. Charlotte Forten Grimke mourns the losses among the 54th Massachusetts and goes to nurse the wounded survivors. William Lloyd Garrison looks for blame in the New York riots and notes the exultation of the Southern press. Navy Secretary Welles notes that certain English folk can not accept Union victories. George Whitman describes the surprising ease of the capture of Jackson, Mississippi. And it seems that in an outbreak of war profiteering Union soldiers were overcharged for many itmes during the Gettysburg campaign.

A Southern woman is arrested as a Union spy while Rose Greenhow ponders her mission on behalf of the Confederacy. Another woman notifies her cousin that he has become a new father. A Confederate soldiers writes to his cousin about the death of her brother.

Despite some political turmoil in Nicaragua, Americans traveling to Nicaragua can easily traverse the country on the way to California. Life goes on.

attack against Fort Wagner

attack against Fort Wagner

July 20– Monday– Rippon, West Virginia– Confederate cavalryman Lewis Harman writes to his cousin Addie Garber about her brother, Thomas Garber, and his personal effects. “I have also poor Tom’s knife & Testament . . . . I will take good care of both & send them home to you by first opportunity. Unfortunately I did not see dear Tom on the morning after he died, as we moved forward at dawn in pursuit of the enemy, when I had gotten back in the evening he had been buried by a party of his Company who had been sent to bury the dear fellow. The poor fellow suffered very little Dear Cousin, & I am sure he died as I wish to die & all other brave soldiers fighting in our most just cause. When I see you which I hope will not be a very long time from this I will tell you all I know.”

July 20– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– John Jones describes an interesting case of alleged spying. “A Mrs. Allen, a lady of wealth here, has been arrested for giving information to the enemy. Her letters were intercepted. She is confined at the asylum, St. Francis de Sales. The surgeon who attends there reports to-day that her mental excitement will probably drive her to madness. Her great fear seems to be that she will be soon sent to a common prison. There is much indignation that she should be assigned tosuch comfortable quarters–and I believe the Bishop (McGill) protests against having criminals imprisoned in his religious edifices. It is said she has long been sending treasonable letters to Baltimore.”

July 20– Monday– Morris Island, South Carolina– Lewis Douglass, age 23, the oldest son of Frederick Douglass and serving in the 54th Massachusetts, writes to his wife, Amelia. “I have been in two fights, and am unhurt. I am about to go in another I believe to-night. Our men fought well on both occasions. The last was desperate we charged that terrible battery on Morris Island known as Fort Wagoner, and were repulsed with a loss of killed and wounded. I escaped unhurt from amidst that perfect hail of shot and shell. It was terrible. I need not particularize the papers will give a better than I have time to give. My thoughts are with you often, you are as dear as ever, be good enough to remember it as I no doubt you will. As I said before we are on the eve of another fight and I am very busy and have just snatched a moment to write you. I must necessarily be brief. Should I fall in the next fight killed or wounded I hope to fall with my face to the foe. . . . .How I got out of that fight alive I cannot tell, but I am here. My Dear girl I hope again to see you. I must bid you farewell should I be killed. Remember if I die I die in a good cause. I wish we had a hundred thousand colored troops we would put an end to this war.”

Lewis Douglass

Lewis Douglass

July 20– Monday– St Helena Island, South Carolina– A saddened Charlotte Forten Grimke writes of the fate of the 54th Massachusetts. “To-night comes news oh, so sad, so heart sickening. It is too terrible, too terrible to write. We can only hope it may not all be true. That our noble, beautiful young Colonel Shaw is killed and the regiment cut to pieces. . . . Thank Heavens! They fought bravely. . . . I can write no more to-night.”

Charlotte Forten Grimke

Charlotte Forten Grimke

July 20– Monday— dateline: Virgin Bay, Nicaragua– Today’s New York Times reports that the Mr Andrew Dickinson, Lincoln’s newly appointed minister to Nicaragua, has been well received by the government and the people. The central government remains in armed conflict with rebels now based in Honduras. “The rainy season has commenced in earnest. The rivers and lakes are rising, and there need be no fears of delay to passengers bound to and from California on account of low water. The weather is scorchingly hot during the day, but the nights, happily, are deliciously cool.”

July 21– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles writes about anti-American attitudes in Britain. “The aspect of things is more favorable and it is amusing to read the English papers and speeches anticipating, hoping, predicting disaster to the Union cause. It will be more amusing to read the comments on the reception of intelligence by the steamer which left soon after the 4th instant.”

American anti-British cartoon

American anti-British cartoon

July 21– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– John Jones ponders the future. “We have intelligence to-day, derived from a New York paper of the 18th instant, that the ‘insurrection’ in New York had subsided, under the menacing attitude of the military authority, and that Lincoln had ordered the conscription law to be enforced. This gives promise of a long war.”

July 21– Tuesday– St Helena Island, South Carolina– Learning that nurses are needed for the wounded survivors of the 54th Massachusetts, Charlotte Forten Grimke volunteers.

July 21– Tuesday– London, England– Birth of C Aubrey Smith, film actor who will make over 70 films in his career.

July 22– Wednesday– New York City– The Chamber of Commerce estimates that Confederate raiders like the Alabama have captured or sunk merchant vessels with cargoes worth a bit over $12,000,000.

July 22– Wednesday– Beaufort, South Carolina– Charlotte Forten Grimke begins her hospital duty be mending pants, shirts and jackets torn by bullet holes or bayonet strikes. Then she moves in to the ward to help and recognizes the faces of many soldiers she knows.

hospital ship as shown in Harper's Weekly

hospital ship as shown in Harper’s Weekly

July 23– Thursday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania–Federal army officers report to Washington that miners in the area around Pottsville seem prepared to resist the draft by force if necessary.

July 23– Thursday– Manassas Gap, Virginia– In a fight from dawn to dusk, Federal troops fail to block General Lee’s retreat and by night fall the Confederates are in the Luray Valley.

July 23– Thursday– Sherando, Virginia– Hester Hyden writes to her cousin, Confederate soldier Henry Dedrick, informing him about the birth of his new son. “I take this opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that we are all well but Lizzy and she is as well as can be expected. She gave birth to a fine son this morning at 4 o’clock. He weighs 10 lbs and a half and looks very much like Willy only light hair. Lizzy got along very well and we have great reason to thank God for his care and protection over her. Yes, he will ever answer those who call earnestly upon him for help. Lizzie did not need a Doctor. Lizzie wants you to write her word what she must call your little son. She says she was thinking about calling him for both of his grandfathers and if you do not prefer the name send her a name for him when you write to her. She says I must tell you she has wrote you 6 letters and has not received the seraph of a pen from you since the 11th of June.”

July 23– Thursday– Winnsboro, South Carolina– Birth of Kelly Miller, African American sociologist who will teach at Howard University from 1890 to 1934. His father, Kelly, is a black man who will serve in the Confederate army; his mother, Elizabeth Roberts is a slave at the time of his birth. Dr Miller’s best known work is Out of the House of Bondage, one of four important books.

July 23– Thursday– Charleston, South Carolina– Confederate agent Rose Greenhow writes to a friend. “You will doubtless be surprised at what may appear like my infirmity of purpose. But finding it impossible to get out from this port I have remained here. Eagerly looking for some lifting of the clouds which hang over us and have finally concluded to put off my trip for another month for the reason that I cannot make up my mind to leave until things look less gloomy. For even with my sanguine hopeful spirit what can I say when asked about our prospects but thus we are retreating every where and every where sorely pressed I have never felt so little hopeful in my life. . . . . Beauregard is all energy and resources seem to have developed by his great genius but alas he cannot make big guns and without them the city must fall. With this dread anticipation I cannot go away.”

July 23– Thursday– Beaufort, South Carolina– Charlotte Forten Grimke describes he patients. “Brave fellows! I feel it a happiness, an honor to do the slightest service for them. True they were unsuccessful in the attack of Fort Wagner. But that was no fault of theirs. It is the testimony of all that they fought bravely as men can fight, and that it was only when completely overwhelmed by superior numbers that they were driven back.”

July 23– Thursday– near Milldale, Mississippi– George Whitman writes to his mother, describing the fall of Jackson, Mississippi. “The skirmish was kept up until about daylight on the morning of the 17th when a white flag was run up, by some citizens on one of the rebel works and we soon found that the whole rebel force had skedaddled during the night, and we went in and occupied the place. Our Brigade was the first troops inside the town, and the 51st was the second Regiment. We found the place very much damaged by our Artillery, and nearly deserted by the inhabitants, what few citizens we found had dug holes or burrows in the ground and there they had staid while the fighting was going on. The loss on our side, has been very light indeed and our regiment only had one man wounded. We took three or four hundred prisoners, and quite a large number of rifles and considerable ammunition fell into our hands.”

William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison

July 24– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– In The Liberator Garrison blames Southern sympathizers for the recent mob violence in New York City. “Whoever attempts to charge upon the conscription act the origin of the late fiendish riots in New York and elsewhere, is to be set down as extremely credulous or boldly dishonest. It has been a part of the program of the Southern traitors, from the beginning of their revolt, if driven to the wall to stir up in due time, in all the leading cities and towns of the North, those elements of ignorance and depravity which are easily ‘set on fire of hell’by the concealed hands of confederate sympathizers. The draft simply furnished the occasion to inflame the passions” of some people. He also notes Southern rejoicing at the rioting. “The Richmond Enquirer, of the 16th is exultant over the ‘beginning of chaos’ at the North as exemplified by riot, murder and conflagration in New York. It wonders that ‘this good work did not commence long ago’ and adds: ‘This excellent outbreak may be the opening scene of the inevitable revolution which is to tear to pieces the most rotten society, and leave the Northern half of the old American Union a desert of blood-soaked ashes. . . . . This one insurrection may be suppressed for the moment, but it will be the parent of other and still worse convulsions. We have but to persevere in our determined resistance, gird ourselves to the task of winning our independence more sternly than ever, yet a little while, and we shall see the giant but hollow bulk of the Yankee nation bursting into fragments, and rushing down in perdition in flames and blood, Amen!’”

July 24– Friday– New York City– A letter to the editor of the New York Times reports war profiteering during the recent campaign in Pennsylvania. “Some controversy being had upon the subject of the conduct of the inhabitants of the Pennsylvania border toward our troops who went forth to defend them, let me say that I have it from the lips of one of the members of the Seventy-first regiment, a gentleman in every respect, that it is absolutely true that the citizens of Harrisburg charged $1 50 for a loaf of bread, $1 for a candle, 50 cents for a canteen full of water, and for other articles of necessity in like proportion. It is hardly necessary to add that the members of said regiment left that city, and shook off the dust off their feet against it with feelings of a very decided character. Justice to your correspondent demands that these facts be made public. The record is sufficiently scandalous, but let those who were the cause of complaint bear the burden.”

To Honor Heroes~Lest We Forget

 

from “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio, broadcast on Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bos-54thMass-Mon-front

The Shaw Memorial, by American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, stands11 feet by 14 feet, like a giant bronze diorama, on the corner of Boston Common.In it, 40 or so black soldiers march to war alongside their white colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, on horseback.The statue memorializes the firstAfrican-American volunteer infantry unit of the Civil War, the 54thMassachusetts Regiment, which was crushed 150 years ago Thursday in a battle atFort Wagner in South Carolina.”It shows in their stance, in their eyes, theirpride, and it shows them marching out of Boston for what they know is going to be a sea change in the history of their generation,” says Beverly Morgan-Welch, executive director of the Museum of African-American History in Boston.

In the 1989 film Glory, Massachusetts Gov. John Andrew,abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Shaw’s father introduce the watershed idea of a regiment of black soldiers. The Shaw Memorial is also cinematic it hasthe kind of movement you’d expect to see in the frame of a movie, says HenryDuffy, curator of the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, N.H.,where the 19th century artist lived and worked. Another mammoth Shaw Memorial rises up from the estate’s well-groomed grounds. In the front, the procession is led by a drummer, but half the drum is outside the frame of the picture. In the back, the last soldier’s legs are cut off. It gives you a sense that there’s more happening both in front and behind. The meticulous Saint-Gaudens trained inParis. He was already world famous when a committee in Boston commissioned him to make a monument in 1883.”He was originally focusing just on Col. Shaw,” Duffy says, “and it was Shaw’s parents who told him, ‘No, if you’re going to do a monument to our son, you have to include his men, because he was dedicated to his men and the men have to be part of it.’ “A Haunting SacrificeRecruiting black soldiers was strategic and symbolic during the Civil War. The carnage was far worse than expected, and the Union needed more men. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect in January 1863, enabled newly freed slaves to join. Shaw, the son of a wealthy Boston abolitionist, chose to fight with the 54th at Fort Wagner rather than command from the sidelines. Six hundred men stormed the fort; 272 died. Shaw, just 25 years old, was the first to fall, making him a hero to his surviving men and the rest of the Union. Duffy says he thinks the colonel’s sacrifice inspired Saint-Gaudens to the point of obsession. He was supposed to complete his commission in six months — instead he took 14 years.”It haunted him,” Duffy says. “I think he just couldn’t get it out of his mind.”

Boston54thMass080410_01

Even after installing the first sculpture in Boston, the artist continued to tinker with other versions for three more years. Finally, he stopped with the one at his home in New Hampshire.”I think, like Shaw himself, Saint-Gaudens had his eyes opened,” Duffy says. “He had never had much to do with black people, just like Shaw, so that when he had to do this he was faced with having to, for the first time in his life, I think, look at people and not stereotypes.”Saint-Gaudens sat for hours with black models in his studio. The realistic faces he captured have stirred people from the moment the Boston memorial was dedicated in 1897, including writer Henry James, poet Robert Lowell and composer Charles Ives.”[The] Shaw Memorial is the first time black Americans were ever portrayed in a work of sculpture as heroic,” says historian and Bostonian David McCullough, “otherwise they were background. But here they are the heroes who would, many of them, paythe ultimate price.”That’s one reason the Boston’s Black Heritage Trail walkingtour starts at Saint-Gauden’s memorial.

Saint-Gaudens

Saint-Gaudens

*******

editorial notes:

>Period accounts make clear that Colonel Shaw was NOT the first man nor even the first officer to fall

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

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

>Shaw’s style of leading fron the front was common which was why so many high rabking officers died in the Civil War

>the 54th had more free-born Northen black soldiers than fugitive Southern slaves

the fight at Fort Wagner

the fight at Fort Wagner

None But Splendid Soldiers~July 1863~the 17th to the 20th

None but Splendid Soldiers~a reporter describes the attack by the 54th Massachusetts

the 54th Massachusetts attacks Fort Wagner

the 54th Massachusetts attacks Fort Wagner

In a terrible battle the soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment prove their courage and make an enduring name for themselves. In New York City thousands of black people have been left homeless by the rioters. In Memphis Federal authorities impose regulations on black people. Federal forces win a fight in Indian Territory. Soldiers, rebels and Yankees, write of love and their religious faith. Gideon Welles ruminates on current events and the future. John Sherman praises the success of his brother William Tecumseh Sherman. Unlike his bother Walt, Jeff Whitman shows no sympathy for the rioters. Colonel Chamberlin writes to his wife about the fight of the 20th Maine on July 2nd at Gettysburg.

July 17– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Navy Secretary Gideon Wells evaluates foreign and domestic news. “At the Cabinet council Seward expressed great apprehension of a break-up of the British Ministry. I see in the papers an intimation that should Roebuck’s motion for a recognition of the Confederacy prevail, Earl Russell would resign. I have no fears that the motion will prevail. The English, though mischievously inclined, are not demented. I wish the policy of our Secretary of State, who assumes to be wise, was as discreet as theirs. . . . . The surrender of Port Hudson is undoubtedly a fact. It could not hold out after the fall of Vicksburg. We have information also that Sherman has caught up with and beaten Johnston.”

July 17– Friday– Bunker Hill, West Virginia– Confederate soldier Jedediah Hotchkiss sends a letter to Sara, his wife, in which he gives her a long list of things which he is sending to her as the army attempts to reduce the considerable size of its wagon train. He concludes by saying, “Our wagon train is so large as to impede greatly the movements of the army & by reducing it we promote the efficiency of the army & we are all ready to do any thing to promote that – I hope you are all getting along comfortably, pleasantly I cannot expect, in the gloom of the present – the seemingly thick darkness that envelopes us but I do not despair in the least & only look upon it as the darkness before the dawn – looking for the Republic to come brightly out of all its tribulations – it is no time to think of coming home, else I would apply for permission & try & come – Wait in patience my Love, for the days of peace must come – write to me often & tell me if there is anything I can do to lighten the burden of your cares & add to the comfort of my loved ones at home – O! had I the wings of a dove, how soon would I fly away & come to you – I have no news to write – so be of good cheer — heartily thank God for his many mercies & implore the continuance of his favor – My kisses for my dear children – and love & prayers for you all.”

July 17– Friday– Memphis, Tennessee– Federal authorities issue a general order regarding escaped slaves as well as all free black and mixed race persons in the city.”Every free Negro or mulatto, and every contraband within the District must, with[in] twenty days enter into the employment of some responsible white person,who will be required to report names, age, and description of such from Negroes or contrabands and nature of contract, to the Provost Marshal of theDistrict. All Negroes and mulattos failing to find service or employment with someresponsible white person, will immediately remove to the contraband camp,under charge of Chaplain Fiske, Superintendent of contrabands.”

July 17– Friday– Honey Springs, Indian Territory [now Oklahoma]– A combined Union force of blacks, whites and Native Americans defeats a Confederate force. Federal losses total 79 while Confederate losses total 637 dead, wounded and missing.

Battle of Honey Springs

Battle of Honey Springs

July 18– Saturday– Mansfield, Ohio– Senator John Sherman writes to his brother General William Tecumseh Sherman. “I supposed when Vicksburg fell that you would have a period of rest, and perhaps might return to Ohio to find yourself popular and famous. But the fortune of war carries you into new dangers and I hope new successes. We have been very anxious for news from your movements, but as yet we have only had uncertain reports, and can only live in the hope that you will whip Johnston and win new laurels. I have just returned from Cincinnati, where I was during the whole of Morgan’s raid. How completely the tone of the press has changed in regard to you. Even the Gazette, which has been malignant to the last degree, published quite a number of letters in which your share of the movements about Vicksburg was highly praised. I notice, however, that the editor has said nothing. All other papers, and indeed all officers and citizens with whom I converse, gave you great credit. So that now in the Northern States, and especially here in Ohio, your popularity is second only to that of Grant. You need care but little for this, as you passed through a storm of obloquy which would have submerged many an officer. Popular opinion is so changeable that it is worthless. It is founded upon rumor, and is as explosive as gas.”

July 18– Saturday– New Albany, Indiana– Federal authorities arrest George W Bickley, one of the leaders of the Knights of the Golden Circle.

July 18– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles forecasts the future as he sees it. “There is some talk, and with a few, a conviction, that we are to have a speedy termination of the war. Blair is confident the Rebellion is about closed. I am not so sanguine. As long as there is ability to resist, we may expect it from Davis and the more desperate leaders, and when they quit, as they will if not captured, the seeds of discontent and controversy which they have sown will remain, and the social and political system of the insurrectionary States is so deranged that small bodies may be expected to carry on for a time, perhaps for years, a bushwhacking warfare. It will likely be a long period before peace and contentment will be fully restored. Davis, who strove to be, and is, the successor of Calhoun, without his ability, but with worse intentions, is ambitious and has deliberately plunged into this war as the leader, and, to win power and fame, has jeopardized all else.”

Little Round Top where the 2oth Maine fought

Little Round Top where the 2oth Maine fought

July 18– Saturday– Blue Mountain, Virginia– Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin writes to his wife Fanny, reflecting about the battle at Gettysburg two weeks ago. . “We have been living a savage and desert life for a month at least. Still I have continued to send you now and then a slip written in pencil on my knee on a saddle . . . . How sad about poor [Colonel Strong] Vincent– nobele fellow– He sent for me a little time before the battle and we sat till midnight talking of our dearest things. I saw in him a noble ambition just balancing with the tenderest love for his wife, which made him doubt whether to stay in the army or resign. He felt he had done his share of duty, so far as patriotism went. He lingered a day or two after his wound but was most of the time unconscious. His wife was too feeble to go to him, and so he died alone except one or two of his staff were with him. My own poor fellows went down like rain– it seemed to me the very best men of all. What heroes they were! Some of them with big gashes in their head, tied their handkerchief about it, and were in the foremost line again, in ten minutes, fighting like tigers.” [Colonel Vincent’s wife Elizabeth is pregnant with their first child.]

July 18– Saturday– Morris Island, Charleston harbor, South Carolina– Union artillery and gunboats bombard the Confederate Fort Wagner for eight hours during the day. At 7:45 in the evening Federal forces begin an infantry assault across the narrow access to the fort. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts lead the charge. When the soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts reach a point about 150 yards from the fort, the defenders open fire with cannon and small arms, tearing through the Union ranks. The 51st North Carolina shoot directly into them, as the Charleston Battalion fire into the Union left. The determined soldiers of the 54th manage to reach the parapet, but after a fierce struggle, including hand-to-hand combat, they are forced back. Among the 54th Massachusetts, 30 are killed outright, including Colonel Shaw; another 24 will die of their wounds; 52 are missing in action and later presumed dead; 15 are captured; 149 suffer wounds of varying degrees. Additionally, 1245 other Union soldiers are killed, wounded or missing. Confederate casualties total 274.

the fight at Fort Wagner

the fight at Fort Wagner

July 19– Sunday– Brooklyn, New York– Jeff Whitman writes to his brother Walt about the draft riots. “In the flashy, sensation style the papers were all far from the truth, ahead, but when it comes to the killed, they are farther from the truth, behind. Undoubtedly we shall never know the full number but I have it from the very best authority– an eye witness of most of the fights, that there are now more than 400 rioters that have paid their lives for their plunder The papers are not allowed to publish this. I suppose it is much better not to let it be known, but the lesson was fearful and thorough to these men. Yesterday I saw them taking coffins out of the shanties on 2nd Avenue piling them on carts and driving right to the cemetery. I understand they have been doing this ever since Monday night. The police covered themselves with glory. They certainly made a splendid fight. They deserve great credit . . . . They did well also in Brooklyn. The scoundrels thought to commence operations in Brooklyn, and did set fire to a couple of grain elevators, but the thing has gone no further. I think that rioting in these parts has received its quietus mostly from that Regiment of Michigan boys that the War Department were kind enough to send us. I hear that they made fearful havoc with the Irish ranks.”

July 19– Sunday– near Buffington Island, Meigs County, Ohio–Union cavalry attack John Hunt Morgan’s raiders. During the night, General Morgan and about 400 soldiers escape by following a narrow path through the woods. The rest of his force, about 900 troopers, surrender.

July 19– Sunday– Darkesville, West Virginia– Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss sends a letter to Sara, his wife. “We are quiet – in camp and the voices of prayer & praise again goes peacefully up instead of the sounds of strife that have so much of late disturbed our Sabbaths. Mr. Lacy preached at our Hd. Qrs. at 9 A.M. & now he has gone to preach near Gen. Johnson’s Qrs — his text was ‘Seek the Lord & ye shall find him’ &c – a very good short practical lecture. . . . We regret the loss of Vicksburg, but consider that no vital blow was struck by its capture & we feel that upon the very heels of reverses our most brilliant victories have always hung & therefore, trusting in God, we look confidently to the future . . . . I sent you a few candles – abolish night work – for candles are not to be had – it’s a fact & facts are stubborn things – I write on my knees sitting on the ground & expect to eat off & sleep on the ground &c &c – so go the times & like reasonable philosophers we must adapt ourselves to them – enjoy what we have & not think of what we have not.”

July 19– Sunday– Morris Island, South Carolina– Samuel Mason, correspondent for the New York Herald, describes the assault made by the 54th Massachusetts. “I saw them fight at Wagner as none but splendid soldiers, splendidly officered, could fight, dashing through shot and shell, grape, canister, and shrapnel, and showers of bullets, and when they got close enough, fighting with clubbed muskets, and retreating when they did retreat, by command and with choice white troops for company.”

the 54th attacks Fort Wagner

the 54th attacks Fort Wagner

July 20– Monday– Bew York City– A group of businessmen make a public appeal to aid the more than 3,000 black people left homeless and destitute by the actions of “the brutal and fiendish mob.”

July 20– Monday– Harpers Ferry, West Virginia– Union soldier Samuel Potter writes to his wife Cynthia, explaining that he has been sick since the battle at Gettysburg and praying for better times. “I suppose you have a good garden. I hope to be able to help you eat some of it this summer, if my furlough comes all right. I will still leave you in the hands of our Great Preserver who has kept us all so long in the midst of dangers & preserve us from harm. Oh how I would like to be sitting beside you in the old church on the hill listening to Mr. McKee. Those were among the most pleasant hours of my life there to have them with the children & me there & oh how I would like to enjoy them again. I hope God will preserve & protect us & permit us to meet again to enjoy the service of his sanctuary again on earth. Pray for me dear Cynthia that I may grow in grace maybe more sanctified & that I may be more acceptable to my Creator & I will still pray for my dear wife that she may be kept in the hollow of God’s hand, that no harm may befall her that she may be made holy & righteous that we all parents & children may be accepted by the Almighty.”

A Good Deal in a Muddle~July 1883~the 15th & 16th

A Good Deal in a Muddle~Walt Whitman

The rioting in New York is subdued at last after much damage and loss of life. Soldiers like Elisha Hunt Rhodes are quite willing to shoot rioters. Walt Whitman expresses compassion for the crowds and opposes the draft. Gideon Welles blames Democratic politicians for the rioting. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw unknowingly writes what will be his last letter to his wife. Federal forces occupy Jackson, Mississippi, without a battle. Confederate soldiers want news from home and complain about a lack of supplies. Southern women do whatever they can for the cause.

July 15– Wednesday– Boonsboro, Maryland– Elisha Hunt Rhodes summarizes the situation. “At last the northern soil is free from Rebels, and great must be the rejoicing at home. Good news again Port Hudson has fallen. Well, now enforce the draft and we shall be all right. I wish they would send the 2nd Rhode Island to New York City. The riots in that city are a disgrace to the nation and ought to be suppressed at any cost of money or life.”

Elisha Hunt Rhodes

Elisha Hunt Rhodes

July 15– Wednesday– Washington, D. C.– The Washington Intelligencer comments abot the riots in New York “The Government must suppress such tumultuous uprisings with a heavy hand, but the wise surgeon, while he applies the knife and cautery to the extermination of the tumor of the blotch, will not neglect a pathology of the symptoms by which the origin of these disorders may be traced.”

July 15– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– Walt Whitman writes to his mother about the troubles in New York. “So the mob has risen at last in New York. I have been expecting it, but as the day for the draft had arrived & every thing was so quiet, I supposed all might go on smoothly but it seems the passions of the people were only sleeping, & have burst forth with terrible fury, & they have destroyed life & property, the enrolment buildings &c as we hear– the accounts we get are a good deal in a muddle, but it seems bad enough– the feeling here is savage & hot as fire against New York, (the mob-‘copperhead mob’ the papers here call it,) & I hear nothing in all directions but threats of ordering up the gunboats, cannonading the city, shooting down the mob, hanging them in a body, &c &c meantime I remain silent, partly amused, partly scornful, or occasionally put a dry remark, which only adds fuel to the flame. I do not feel it in my heart to abuse the poor people, or call for rope or bullets for them, but that is all the talk here, even in the hospitals. The acc’ts from N Y this morning are that the government has ordered the draft to be suspended there. I hope it is true, for I find that the deeper they go in with the draft, the more trouble it is likely to make.”

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

July 15– Wednesday– James Island, Charleston harbor, South Carolina– Colonel Robert Gould Shaw writes what will be his last letter to his wife of two months, Annie. “Your letters of June 3rd, 14th, and 28th, and July 3rd, 4th, and 5th, came to-day, and I felt horridly ashamed of myself for having blamed you for not taking care to post your letters. Do excuse it. It will show you how much I value your dear letters. You don’t know what a fortunate day this has been for me and for us all, excepting some poor fellows who were killed and wounded. We have at last fought alongside of white troops. Two hundred of my men on picket this morning were attacked by five regiments of infantry, some cavalry, and a battery of artillery. The Tenth Connecticut (of Stevenson’s Brigade) were on their left, and say they should have had a bad time, if the Fifty-fourth men had not stood so well. The whole Division was under arms in fifteen minutes, and after coming up close in front of us, the enemy, finding us so strong, fell back. The other regiments lost in all, three men wounded. We lost seven killed, twenty-one wounded, six missing, supposed killed, and nine unaccounted for. These last are probably killed or captured. All these belonged to the four companies which were on picket. The main body, excepting artillery, was not engaged at all. All this is very gratifying to us personally, and a fine thing for the colored troops. It is the first time they have been associated with white soldiers, this side of the Mississippi. To make my happiness and satisfaction complete, the afternoon brought your and Mother’s letters. . . . . I know this letter will give you pleasure, because what we have done to-day wipes out the remembrance of the Darien affair, which you could not but grieve over, though we were innocent participators. You will have some satisfaction in telling it to your father, your Uncle Charles, and Aunt Fanny, to all of whom please give my sincere regards. Whenever you see your grandfather and grandmother, do not forget to give them my respects. To our Mamma, and Clem. I needn’t say I send my warmest love.”

Shaw & the 54th Massachusetts depicted on the memorial

Shaw & the 54th Massachusetts depicted on the memorial

July 16– Thursday– New York City– By this time 4,000 soldiers, most of them having fought at Gettysburg, are in the city. In skirmishes between the crowds and soldiers about 30 rioters and 10 soldiers are killed, many others on both sides are wounded. A final confrontation occurs this evening near Gramercy Park. [The exact death toll is unknown, but at least 120 civilians were killed, 11 black men were lynched, at least 2,000 people were injured. Total property damage is estimated to be $1.5 million or about $28.3 million today. Fifty buildings, including two Protestant churches, burned to the ground.]

July 16– Thursday– New York City– Dr John Torrey describes today’s events for Dr Asa Gray. “The [street] cars are running this morning, but the stores are closed in the greater part of the 3rd avenue. Herb came up to breakfast. He had been up all night at the Assay Office, & had been drilling, under a U. S. officer, as an artillerist. They had 4 cannon & a rifle battery ready for the mob, at the office. I found a body of marines there this morning. Just at this moment there was a false alarm, ‘every man at his post.’ The great doors were slammed to in a moment, & the arms were seized. I was amused to see an old tar quietly light his match rope, & swing it about to get it well on fire. He had the shells, to be thrown from the windows, in charge. Quiet was soon restored. Passing down the Avenue, I saw the 7th Regiment at their armory, ready to go wherever they were needed. They will be as impartial as veterans.”

July 16– Thursday– New York City– The New York Times reports that “The Thirteenth Ward was the scene of great excitement during the night. Bands of thieves, taking advantage of the occasion, joined themselves with the rioters for the purpose of plunder. They went into a lager-beer saloon, on the corner of Governeur and Division streets, and demolished the premises.”

July 16– Thursday– Darkesville, West Virginia– Confederate soldier Tony Pastor to his sweetheart Annie Harris: “I tell you our boys have had a hard time sure, since they left Fredricksburg. They have been on the march for more than a month, during which time they have not had a change of clothes, they are now both dirty & ragged, & a great many of them barefooted, yet notwithstanding all these things they seem to be very cheerful indeed. We drew up in line of battle this side of Hagerstown & fortified where we remained two days waiting for the enemy to attack us but this they did not do, excepting to skirmish a little, & on Tuesday morning about day eight we crossed the river at Williamsport. wading it up to our shoulders. We are now about six miles this side of Martinsburg in camp, how long we will remain at this place I cant say. It is thought by some the Yankees are making for Fredricksburg again, if so we will be on the march for that place in a few days.”

July 16– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles criticizes the Democratic governor of New York state. “It is represented that the mob in New York is about subdued. Why it was permitted to continue so long and commit such excess has not been explained. Governor Seymour, whose partisans constituted the rioters, and whose partisanship encouraged them, has been in New York talking namby-pamby. This Sir Forcible Feeble is himself chiefly responsible for the outrage.”

July 16– Thursday– Staunton, Virginia– W. H. Frenger writes to his cousin, Marguerite (Maggie) Williams, seeking news from home. “I will try my luck in writing to you this time, and I am almost certain that I will meet with success. I want to hear from my many friends in Frederick- how they are getting along- what they are doing, &c., I have written several letters to my Frederick friends since the Yanks left, but have not received even a line from them. not even sister Becky has thought it worth while to write. And I now hope you will do me the kind favor to answer this by return mail, and tell me how & what you are all doing, &c, I heard that Becky was married; but am still at a loss to know if it is true. Please excuse this short letter, as my candle is almost gone. We are all well, & hope this may find you the same. Give my love to Uncle James & Lizzie, your Ma, and all the rest. & reserve a good portion for yourself. I will try & give you a long letter if you will answer this.”

July 16– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– The Richmond Dispatch reports that “Lt. Buford, otherwise Mrs. Alice Williams, the female ‘Lieutenant,’ who was in Castle Thunder for appearing in male apparel, goes South this morning to Atlanta, Georgia. It is hardly probable that this brave but eccentric woman will be kept out of the fights in Mississippi.”

Rose Greenhow & daughter

Rose Greenhow & daughter

July 16– Thursday– Charleston, South Carolina– Confederate agent Rose Greenhow writes to President Jefferson Davis about the current state of her affairs and why she is delaying her departure to Europe. “I arrived here yesterday (Wednesday) at noon after rather a fatiguing travel from Richmond, not stopping by the wayside long enough to wash my face. The only thing to mark the journey was the excitement and anxiety manifested by all classes to hear the news from Richmond, and especially from Lee’s army, and many a sigh of relief was uttered. When I spoke of his calm confident tone. I endeavored also to empress upon every one your conviction as to the necessity of reinforcing the army by the most rigorous means. Just as I left Richmond news of the fall of Fort Hudson had been received which was confirmed by the intelligence of the wayside. On reaching Wilmington the situation of Charleston became the engrossing subject of conversation and of interest, which was not diminished by the accounts received from time to time by passengers who got on the principle portion of whom were from Charleston or the vicinity. Doubt and anxiety as to the result was the general tone of the people, and occasionally severe animadversions upon the conduct of the military affairs, especially instancing the supineness, in the construction of the defenses. These I mention–nor [do] I attach importance to criticism of this nature but rather to show you the temper & spirit of the people.”

July 16– Thursday– Jackson, Mississippi– Concerned about the superior numbers of Federal troops, Confederate General Joe Johnston withdraws from the city without offering major battle and General Sherman’s Union troopers occupy the place.

July 16– Thursday– New Orleans, Louisiana– For the first time in more than two years a steamboat arrives from St Louis as the United States controls the Mississippi for its entire length, although occasional raids by rebel guerilla bands hamper fully free travel.

riverboats-cairo

Mobs, Riots & Disturbances~July 1863~the 14th and 15th

Mobs, Riots, and Disturbances~Gideon Welles

While rioters run rampant in New York, life goes on in other ways and in other places. A Confederate soldier asserts to his wife that Gettysburg was not a Southern defeat while a government clerk in Richmond laments the loss of control of the Mississippi River. President Lincoln explains his dissatisfaction to General Meade. Secretary Welles sees a rebel conspiracy reaching even to New York City. A Memphis paper calls for compassion for street walkers.

Mid-week brings a third day of disturbances in New York and elsewhere. Clucking his disdain for Yankees Sir Arthur Fremantle departs for England.

New York City rioters

New York City rioters

July 14– Tuesday– 2 miles east of Martinsburg, West Virginia– Confederate soldier Jedediah Hotchkiss writes to his wife Sara. He does view Gettysburg as a defeat nor does he see the surrender of Vicksburg as a serious loss. “The talk of the Yankee papers about the routed & demoralized condition of our army is the purest of nonsense. We could have remained at Gettysburg if we had seen fit – the enemy did not come out to attack us & only followed when the found we were gone . . . . We regret the loss of Vicksburg, because of the noble stand she has made & the heroic endurance of her citizens & soldiers but she is not the Confederacy & freedom does not die with her – its fall sets free a band of noble spirits to harass and annoy the enemy in his imagined possession of the Mississippi & he will find his much coveted & dearly obtained prize an apple of Sodom now he has gained it. Our army is in fine spirits and ready to meet the foe any where in the open field.”

July 14– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln writes to General George Meade, explaining his dissatisfaction. “Again, my dear general, I do not believe you appreciate the magnitude of the misfortune involved in Lee’s escape. He was within your easy grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in connection with our other late successes, have ended the war. As it is, the war will be prolonged indefinitely. If you could not safely attack Lee last Monday, how can you possibly do so South of the river, when you can take with you very few more than two thirds of the force you then had in hand? It would be unreasonable to expect, and I do not expect you can now effect much. Your golden opportunity is gone, and I am distressed immeasurably because of it. I beg you will not consider this a prosecution, or persecution of yourself As you had learned that I was dissatisfied, I have thought it best to kindly tell you why.”

July 14– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Secretary Welles smells a conspiracy. “We have accounts of mobs, riots, and disturbances in New York and other places in consequence of the Conscription Act. Our information is very meager; two or three mails are due; the telegraph is interrupted. There have been powerful rains which have caused great damage to the railroads and interrupted all land communication between this and Baltimore. There are, I think, indubitable evidences of concert in these riotous movements, beyond the accidental and impulsive outbreak of a mob, or mobs. Lee’s march into Pennsylvania, the appearance of several Rebel steamers off the coast, the mission of A. H. Stephens to Washington, seem to be parts of one movement, have one origin, are all concerted schemes between the Rebel leaders and Northern sympathizing friends, the whole put in operation when the Government is enforcing the conscription. This conjunction is not all accidental, but parts of a great plan. In the midst of all this and as a climax comes word that Lee’s army has succeeded in recrossing the Potomac. If there had been an understanding between the mob conspirators, the Rebels, and our own officers, the combination of incidents could not have been more advantageous to the Rebels.”

July 14– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– Government clerk John Jones wonders and worries. “To-day we have tidings of the fall of Port Hudson, on the Mississippi River, our last stronghold there. I suppose some 10,000 or 12,000 of our men had to surrender, unconditionally. Thus the army of General Pemberton, first and last, some 50,000 strong, has been completely destroyed. There is sadness and gloom throughout the land! The enemy are established on Morris Island, and the fate of Charleston is in doubt. We have nothing authentic from General Lee; but long trains of the slightlywounded arrived yesterday and to-day. It has been raining, almost every day, for nearly two weeks.”

July 14– Tuesday– Memphis, Tennessee– The Memphis Bulletin addresses a moral issue. “In all the large cities and towns in the North and East, they have houses of refuge and correction. Here, however, if a frail female falls, and commits a wrong act, or in other words, forfeits a place in genteel society, and happens to violatethe ordinances of the city, she is immediately arrested and carried to the station-house,where there are no adequate arrangements for her accommodation. Could we not have a ‘house of refuge’ and correction for dissipated and fallenwomen? It is true that many of them are beyond redemption, and no act of kindness to recall them to the path of rectitude and virtue could be successful in accomplishing the object. But there are others, who have not traveled the road to degradation so far; perhaps these might be recalled, their youthful years would justify such a hope at least. Harshness cannot recall them, scorn will only drive them further, but separation from vicious associations may do much.”

July 14– Tuesday– Manitowaning, Manitoulin Island, Canada– George Ironside, Jr, a conscientious, humane, and knowledgeable government agent dealing with First Nation peoples, dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. His exact age is unknown but most likely is 63 at the time he dies.

July 14– Tuesday– Hamburg, Germany– The first of five days of meetings, with veterinarians from all over Europe, begins today. The topic of the meeting is discussion on systems to combat epizootic diseases. This meeting will become the first International Veterinary Congress, later known as The World Veterinary Congress.

July 15– Wednesday– New York City– The third day of the riots includes yet more destruction, death, arson and lynchings. A group of white men attack Abraham Franklin, a disabled African American coachman, beat him and his sister, Henrietta, then lynch Abraham. After he is dead, Patrick Butler, a 16 year old Irish butcher, cuts down the body and drags it through the streets. Another mob beats to death Joseph Reed, a 7 year old black child. Susan B Anthony writes that the mob violence in the city caused her and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to leave the Stanton house for safer quarters. The New York Times observes, “In the movements of the mob yesterday, moreover, there was no mistaking the fact that pillage was the prime incentive of the majority. ‘Resistence to the draft’ was the flimsiest of veils to cover the wholesale plundering which characterized the operations of the day.”

draft rioters

draft rioters

July 15– Wednesday– New York City– Martha Perry tells of what happened in her house. “Hurrying to the kitchen, I found our colored servants ghastly with terror, and cautioned them to keep closely within doors. One of them told me that she had ventured out early that morning to clean the front door, and that the passing Irish, both men and women, had sworn at her so violently, saying that she and her like had caused all the trouble, that she finally rushed into the house for shelter. Now that I began to realize our danger, I tried with all my power to keep John [her injured husband] in ignorance of it, for in his absolutely disabled condition the situation was most distressing. The heat was intense: and during the morning I sat in his room behind closed window shutters, continually on the alert to catch every outside noise, while watching the hot street below in the glare of sunlight. Men and women passed with all sorts of valuables taken from plundered houses.”

July 15– Wednesday– New York City– Dr John Torrey, age 67, a prominent scientist describes his day for his friend Dr Asa Gray. This morning I was obliged to ride down to the office in a hired coach. A friend who rode with me had seen a poor negro hung an hour or two before. The man had, in a frenzy, shot an Irish fireman, and they immediately strung up the unhappy African. At our office there had been no disturbance in the night. Indeed the people there were “spoiling for a fight.” They had a battery of about 25 rifle barrels, carrying 3 balls each, & mounted on a gun- carriage. It could be loaded & fired with rapidity. We had also 10-inch shells, to be lighted & thrown out of the windows. Likewise quantities of SO3, with arrangements for projecting it on the mob. Walking home we found that a large number of soldiers – infantry, artillery & cavalry are moving about, & bodies of armed citizens. The worst mobs are on the 1st & 2nd & 7th Avenues. Many have been killed there. They are very hostile to the Negroes, & scarcely one of them is to be seen. A person who called at our house this afternoon saw three of them hanging together. The Central Park has been a kind of refuge to them. Hundreds were there to-day . . . . This evening there was a great light north of us & I found, on looking with a spyglass, that it was from the burning a fine bridge over the Harlem valley used by one of the railroads. There was some cannon-firing in the 1st Avenue, with what result I don’t know. The city looks very strangely. Nothing in Broadway but a few coaches. Most of the stores closed, but the side walks are full of people & not a few ladies are out. It is half past 10 o’clock, & I must go to bed”

Dr John Torrey

Dr John Torrey

.July 15– Wednesday– New York City– George Templeton Strong writes of events near and far. “There will be much trouble today. Rabbledom is not yet dethroned any more than its ally and instigator, Rebeldom. News from the South is consolatory. Port Hudson surrendered. Sherman said to have beaten Joseph Johnston somewhere near Vicksburg. Operations commencing aganst Charleston. Bragg seems to be abandoning Chattanooga and retiring on Atlanta.”

July 15– Wednesday– New York City– Sir Arthur James Fremantle departs for England. “The hotel this morning was occupied by military, or rather by creatures in uniform. One of the sentries stopped me; and on my remonstrating to his officer, the latter blew up [at] the sentry, and said, You are only to stop persons in military dress– don’t you know what military dress is?’ ‘No,’ responded this efficient sentry– and I left the pair discussing the definition of a soldier. I had the greatest difficulty in getting a conveyance down to the water. I saw a stone barricade in the distance, and heard firing going on– and I was not at all sorry to find myself on board the China.”

July 15– Wednesday– Troy, New York– Violence against the draft law and against black people erupts here. The trouble makers are primarily Irish immigrants. The New York Times reports, “The mob was addressed by Reverend Father Haveeman, who advised them to go to their homes, to keep the peace and obey the laws. The mob then broke away, and visited the colored church, and threatened to destroy it. Again Father Haveeman addressed the excited crowd, and implored them to desist, and, through his efforts, the church was saved. The mob next went to the jail, and forcing it open-released all the prisoners confined there. The Steamer Francis Skiddy, having colored waiters on board, was warned away from the dock, and quietly slipped down to Albany.”

Organized Insurrection in the Interest of Rebellion~July 1863~the 13th and 14th

Organized Insurrection in the Interest of the Rebellion~George Templeton Strong.

Riot and mayhem grip new York City. What begins as an anti-draft protest quickly becomes a racist campaign of violence against African Americans and contains elements of class struggle as vandalism and looting increase. Sir Arthur Fremantle, on his way home to England after witnessing the battle at Gettysburg, becomes an eye witness to the riots. [In his account of his time in the country which he will publish next year in England, he will steadfastly predict victory for the Confederacy.] Some observers predict another battle between Lee and Meade. President Lincoln congratulates General Grant.

July 13– Monday– South Norwalk, Connecticut– Birth of Mary Emma Woolley, educator who will become president of Mount Holyoke College, 1901 to 1937. She will also become a peace advocate, suffragist, a vice-chairperson of the American Civil Liberties Union and a president of the American Association of University Women.

Dr Mary Emma Woolley

Dr Mary Emma Woolley

July 13– Monday– New York City–Rioting erupts as workers, many Irish immigrants, turn violent in response to the draft. At mid-morning a mob of around 500 people, aroused by anti-draft speeches from several agitators. attack the office where the draft is taking place. As the mob increases in numbers the violence gets out of hand. They cut telegraph wires, collect weapons, stop traffic in a number of streets, attack John Kennedy, the Superintendent of Police and stone the homes of police officers. Taking advantage of increasing chaos some rioters plunder jewelry, hardware, and liquor stores, eight draft offices, and vandalize the offices of Horace Greeley’s Tribune. Others burn the armory, although doing it so carelessly that some of their own people perish in the blase. About 4:00 PM, protesters loot and set fire to the Colored Orphan Asylum. The children are safely evacuated. The focus shifts from an anti-draft protest to one of racial violence against black people. A gang led by an Irish immigrant named John Nicholson attack and lynch William Jones, a black man, then burn his body. Peter Heuston, a member of Mohawk people, is taken for an African-American and badly beaten. [Two weeks later Heuston will die in the hospital.] Uncontrolled rioters burn the homes and shops of black people. A number of black persons are killed or injured. Because the New York State Militia had been sent to assist Union troops in Pennsylvania, the local police are left to suppress the riots.

rioting in New York City

rioting in New York City

July 13– Monday– New York City– George Templeton Strong renders an opinion about the day’s rioting. “The fury of the low Irish women in that region [the area around Lexington & 45th] was noteworthy. Stalwart young vixens and withered old hags were swarming everywhere, all cursing the ‘bloddy draft’ and egging on their men to mischief. . . . If a quarter one hears be true, this is an organized insurrection in the interest of the rebellion and Jefferson Davis rules New York today. . . . . We telegraphed, two or three of us, from General Wood’s rooms, to the President, begging that troops be sent on and stringent measures taken. The great misfortune is that nearly all our militia regiments have been dispatched to Pennsylvania.”

July 13– Monday– New York City– Martha Perry, nursing her injured husband, an officer from the 20th Massachusetts, describes what she saw and hear. “In the early morning, I heard loud and continued cheers at the head of the street, and supposed it must be news of some great victory. In considerable excitement I hurried downstairs to hear particulars, but soon found that the shouts came from the rioters who were on their way to work. About noon that same day we became aware of a confused roar; as it increased, I flew to my window, and saw rushing up Lexington Avenue, within a few paces of our house, a great mob of men, women and children . . . . At all points fires burst forth, and that night the city was illuminated by them. I counted from the roof of our house five fires just about us.”

fighting in the streets of New York

fighting in the streets of New York

 July 13– Monday– New York City– Having reached the city by train from Philadelphia last night, Sir Arthur James Fremantle witnesses another key series of events. “The luxury and comfort of New York and Philadelphia strike one as extraordinary after having lately come from Charleston and Richmond. The greenbacks seem to be nearly as good as gold. The streets are as full as possible of well-dressed people, and are crowded with able-bodied civilians capable of bearing arms, who have evidently no intention of doing so.– They apparently don’t feel the war at all here; and until there is a grand smash with their money, or some other catastrophe to make them feel it, I can easily imagine that they will not be anxious to make peace. I walked the whole distance of Broadway to the Consul’s house, and nothing could exceed the apparent prosperity; . . . . On returning to the Fifth Avenue [Hotel], I found all the shopkeepers beginning to close their stores, and I perceived by degrees that there was great alarm about the resistance to the draft which was going on this morning. On reaching the hotel I perceived a whole block of buildings on fire close by: engines were present, but were not allowed to play by the crowd. In the hotel itself, universal consternation prevailed, and an attack by the mob had been threatened. I walked about in the neighborhood, and saw a company of soldiers on the march, who were being jeered at and hooted by small boys, and I saw a Negro pursued by the crowd take refuge with the military; he was followed by loud cries of ‘Down with the b—-y n*****! Kill all n******!’ &c. Never having been in New York before, and being totally ignorant of the state of feeling with regard to Negroes, I inquired of a bystander what the Negroes had done that they should want to kill them? He replied civilly enough–“Oh sir, they hate them here; they are the innocent cause of all these troubles.’”

July 13– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln sends a personal letter to General Ulysses Grant. “I do not remember that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment of the almost inestimable service you have done the Country. I write to say a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do what you finally did–march the troops across the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below . . . . When you dropped below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join General Banks; and when you turned northward, east of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment that you were right and I was wrong.”

General Ulysses S Grant

General Ulysses S Grant

July 13– Monday– Hagerstown, Maryland– Union Officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes: “I have not changed my clothes for five weeks but still I am happy, and we are doing good work.”

July 13– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– Clerk John Jones laments. “Lee and Meade have been facing each other two or three days, drawn up in battle array, and a decisive battle may have occurred ere this. The wires have been cut between Martinsburg and Hagerstown. Not another word have we from either Charleston or Jackson; but we learn that monitors, gun-boats, and transports are coming up the James River. Altogether, this is another dark day in our history. It has been officially ascertained that Pemberton surrendered, with Vicksburg, 22,000 men! He has lost, during the year, not less than 40,000!”

July 13– Monday– Calcutta, India– Birth of Margaret Murray, an English woman who will become an archaeologist. Her 1921 and 1931 scholarly studies of witches and their practices will gain great popularity among modern practitioners.

Dr Margaret Murray

Dr Margaret Murray

July 14– Tuesday– New York City–Commerce in the city grinds to a halt with some workers joining the mob. Rioters attack the homes of notable Republicans. Governor Horatio Seymour, a Democrat, arrives in town and speaking at City Hall, he attempts to calm the crowd by declaring that the Conscription Act is unconstitutional. Republicans see the speech as encouraging the rioters. City police are reinforced by approximately 800 troops from forts in the New York Harbor and from West Point. In several neighborhoods the rioters build barricades from debris to keep police out. The nature of the disturbance is clearly racial and political, directed against African Americans and prominent Republicans who are seen as responsible for the war and the draft. William Williams, an African-American sailor, is beaten, stabbed and left to die. Henry O’Brien, the commander of the 11th New York volunteers, is murdered by the mob. Rioters fight off police and loot the Brooks Brothers clothing store, causing more than $50,000 in damages. Democratic and Republican leaders busily argue about the riots. Mayor George Opdyke, age 58, a Republican, sends for federal troops, but will not call for martial law which would give control of the city to the federal government. Militia units receive orders to return to New York. Authorities temporarily suspend the draft.

July 14– Tuesday– New York City– Martha Perry describes some of the day’s events. “Men, both colored and white, were murdered within two blocks of us, some being hung to the nearest lamppost, and others shot. An army officer was walking in the street near our house, when a rioter was seen to kneel on the sidewalk, take aim, fire and kill him, then coolly start on his way unmolested. I saw the Third Avenue street car rails torn up by the mob. . . . . I passed the hours of that dreadful night listening to the bedlam about us; to the drunken yells and coarse laughter of the rioters wandering aimlessly through the streets, and to the shouts of a mob plundering houses a block away.”

Sir Arthur Fremantle, British observer of the Gettysburg campaign

Sir Arthur Fremantle, British observer of the Gettysburg campaign

July 14– Tuesday– New York City– Sir Arthur James Fremantle observes the chaos. “At breakfast this morning two Irish waiters, seeing I was a Britisher, came up to me one after another, and whispered at intervals in hoarse Hibernian accents–‘It’s disgraceful, sir. I’ve been drafted, sir. I’m a Briton. I love my country. I love the Union Jack, sir.’ I suggested an interview with Mr. Archibald, but neither of them seemed to care about going to the Counsel just yet. These rascals have probably been hard at work for years, voting as free and enlightened American citizens, and abusing England to their hearts’ content. . . . . The consternation in the streets seemed to be on the increase; fires were going on in all directions, and the streets were being patrolled by large bodies of police followed by special constables, the latter bearing truncheons, but not looking very happy. I heard a British captain making a deposition before the Consul, to the effect that the mob had got on board his vessel, and cruelly beaten his colored crew. As no British man-of-war was present, the French Admiral was appealed to, who at once requested that all British ships with colored crews might be anchored under the guns of his frigate. The reports of outrages, hangings, and murder, were now most alarming, the terror and anxiety were universal. All shops were shut: all carriages and omnibuses had ceased running. No colored man or woman was visible or safe in the streets, or even in his own dwelling. Telegraphs were cut, and railroad tracks torn up. The draft was suspended, and the mob evidently had the upper hand.”

July 14– Tuesday– New York City– George Templeton Strong watches “a strong squad of police marching eastward down this street, followed by a company of infantry with gleaming bayonets.”

Brag and Bluster and Bloodthirstiness~July 1863~the 10th to the 12th

Brag and Bluster and Bloodthristiness~George Templeton Strong

General Lee and his soldiers prepare for another big battle. Navy Secretary Welles worries that such a battle will not happen. President Lincoln is satisfied– so far. Walt Whitman tries to reassure his mother. The 54th Massachusetts prepares to attack Fort Wagner. Sarah Morgan feels upset by Yankee loyalists in the streets of New Orleans. Arthur Fremantle complains about uncomfortable travel and praises the marvel of a sleeper railroad car. Charles Francis Adams warns Britain about selling ships to the Confederacy while Secretary Seward warns France that recognition of the Confederacy would be seen as a hostile act. The threat of war over the situation in Poland worries many European capitals. Britain threatens Japan over the death of a British subject in September of 1862.

July 10– Friday– Williamsport, Maryland– Uncertain as to how close Federal forces may be, Confederate General Lee sends a message to his cavalry commander, General Jeb Stuart. We must prepare for a vigorous battle, and trust in the mercy of God and the valor of our troops. Get your men in hand, and have everything ready.”

July 10– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Walt Whitman tries to allay his mother’s fears. “We are having pleasant weather here still. I go to Campbell Hospital this afternoon. I still keep going, mother, the wounded are doing rather badly I am sorry to say, there are frequent deaths. The weather, I suppose, which has been peculiarly bad for wounds, so wet & warm, (though not disagreeable outdoors). Mother, you must write as often as you can . . . you must not get worried about the ups & downs of the war. I don’t know any course but to resign ones self to events– if one can only bring one’s mind to it.”

July 10– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Secretary of State Seward advises the U S Minister to France to inform the French government that diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy would be viewed by the United States as a hostile act.

July 10– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Secretary of the Navy Welles evaluates the army’s efforts. “I am assured that our army is steadily, but I fear too slowly, moving upon Lee and the Rebels. There are, I hope, substantial reasons for this tardiness. Why cannot our army move as rapidly as the Rebels? The high water in the river has stopped them, yet our troops do not catch up. It has been the misfortune of our generals to linger, never to avail themselves of success, to waste, or omit to gather, the fruits of victory. Only success at Gettysburg and Vicksburg will quiet the country for the present hesitancy.”

July 10– Friday– Detroit, Michigan– Birth of Ellen Warren Scripps Booth, philanthropist and patron of the arts. In her lifetime she will make gifts of over $20,000,000.

July 10– Friday– New Orleans, Louisiana– Sarah Morgan laments the bad news. “Shall I cry, faint, scream, or go off in hysterics? Tell me which, quickly; for to doubt this news is fine and imprisonment, and if I really believe it I would certainly give way to my feelings and commit some vagaries of the kind. My resolution is formed! I will do neither; I won’t gratify the Yankees so much. . . . What a scene I have just witnessed! A motley crew of thousands of low people of all colors parading the streets with flags, torches, music, and all other accompaniments, shouting, screaming, exulting over the fall of Port Hudson and Vicksburg. The Era will call it an enthusiastic demonstration of the loyal citizens of the city; we who saw it from upper balconies know of what rank these ‘citizens’ were. We saw crowds of soldiers mixed up with the lowest rabble in the town, workingmen in dirty clothes, newsboys, ragged children, Negroes, and even women walking in the procession, while swarms of Negroes and low white women elbowed each other in a dense mass on the pavement. To see such creatures exulting over our misfortune was enough to make one scream with rage. One of their dozen transparencies was inscribed with ‘A dead Confederacy.’ Fools! The flames are smouldering! They will burst out presently and consume you! More than half, much more, were Negroes. As they passed here they raised a yell of ‘Down with the rebels!’ that made us gnash our teeth in silence.”

July 10– Friday– dateline: Paris, France– Today’s New York Times reports that the French government appears to be quietly preparing for war with Russia over the on-going crisis in Poland.

French soldiers, mid 19th century

French soldiers, mid 19th century

July 11– Saturday– New York City– George Templeton Strong updates his diary. “The [Sanitary] Commission has spent near twenty thousand dollars this week and received as much. It is doing an immense business around Gettysburg. . . . . I observe that the Richmond papers are in an orgasm of brag and bluster and bloodthristiness beyond all historical precedent even in their chivilric columns.”

July 11– Saturday– Johnstown, Pennsylvania– Sir Arthur James Fremantle, having left Confederate Generals Lee and Longstreet and satisfactorily proving to Union officers that he is indeed an English officer, describes the start of his journey home. “I hope I may never for my sins be again condemned to travel for thirty hours in an American stage on a used-up plank road. We changed carriages at Somerset. All my fellow travelers were of course violent Unionists; and invariably spoke of my late friends as Rebels or Rebs. . . . . Left Johnstown by train at 7.30 P. M., and by paying half a dollar, I secured a berth in a sleeping car– a most admirable and ingenious Yankee notion.”

Pullman sleeping car

Pullman sleeping car

July 11– Saturday– near Antietam Creek, Maryland– Confederate soldier Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara: “I have only time before we ride to place our troops for another sanguinary battle on the banks up the Antietam– God grant we may be successful – I am well– very well, we are all hopeful & in good spirits, never better – General Lee has issued a soul stirring address this morning – and our men will perform deeds of valor.”

July 11– Saturday– on the march in Maryland– Confederate soldier Henry Dedrick writes to his family. “As I had forgot to let you know that Joseph Grass was killed at the fight at Gettysburg. I first heard that he was only wounded but since I have that he was killed. I want you to show this to William Grass. All the creek boys is well. I don’t know where James Padgett is.”

July 11– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln sends a telegram to J K Dubois in Springfield, Illinois. “It is certain that, after three days’ fighting at Gettysburg, Lee withdrew and made for the Potomac, that he found the river so swollen as to prevent his crossing; that he is still this side, near Hagerstown and Williamsport, preparing to defend himself; and that Meade is close upon him, and preparing to attack him, heavy skirmishing having occurred nearly all day yesterday. I am more than satisfied with what has happened north of the Potomac so far, and am anxious and hopeful for what is to come.”

July 11– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– Gideon Welles complains: “I fear the Rebel army will escape, and am compelled to believe that some of our generals are willing it should. They are contented to have the War continue. Never before have they been so served nor their importance so felt and magnified, and when the War is over but few of them will retain their present importance.”

July 11– Saturday– St Helena Island, South Carolina– Several escaped slaves return to the mainland, avoid Confederate guards and help 28 other slaves escape to the safety of Federal forces on the island.

fugitive slaves escaping by boat

fugitive slaves escaping by boat

July 11– Saturday– James Island, Charleston harbor, South Carolina– Colonel Robert Gould Shaw sends a note to his wife, Annie. “This morning I got a paper from General Terry of July 7th giving an incomplete list of the killed and wounded in the Second and Twentieth Massachusetts Regiments at Gettysburg. Poor Mudge is dead, I see. It will be a terrible blow to his family. You know he was my captain when we first went out. But every one must expect to lose their friends and relatives, and consider themselves as particularly favored by Providence if they do not General Gillmore made an attack on Ft. Wagner this morning, and was repulsed. He will probably begin a regular siege now. Fort Wagner is half-way down Morris Island.”

July 11– Saturday– London, England– U S Minister Charles Francis Adams presents evidence to the British government that the ships being built by Laird Brothers at Liverpool are rams being sold to the Confederacy. Adams demands that British authorities take appropriate action.

Charles Francis Adams, Lincoln's Minister to Great Britain

Charles Francis Adams, Lincoln’s Minister to Great Britain

July 12– Sunday– New York City– The New York Times comments about a crisis brewing in Asia. “It appears from the letters of our Japanese correspondent, that England is about to plunge into another of those little Eastern wars which have so often led to great results. The time has come when Japan must either atone for the offences of her people toward British subjects, or else suffer, and already a formidable squadron of English ships is assembled in Japanese waters to commence hostilities, should the government of the Tycoon evince any disposition to reject the ultimatum which the representative of Victoria at the Court of Yeddo has addressed to it. The demands of this ultimatum are that the assassins of the two British seamen, killed in the Capital, and of Mr. Richardson, killed near Kanagawa, shall be tried and executed; that Japan shall pay a heavy pecuniary penalty in acknowledgment of her offences, and that a pecuniary compensation shall be made by her to the surviving relatives of the murdered. . . . . As Americans have suffered no outrages at the hands of the Japanese, and have no wrongs to avenge, the position assumed by the American Minister is one of perfect neutrality, and we may be assured that his best efforts will be directed to bringing about an amicable arrangement between the litigant powers. No sanguine anticipation of his success need, however, be entertained; for even were the government of the Tycoon disposed to yield, the Princes, who are the real criminals, would not permit it; while tie British are determined to proceed to extremities if ample atonement is not promptly made. But the Japanese may not be so culpable as the British allege, since the murders in question were, it is said, provoked by the arrogance of the English, and their contempt for the laws and customs of the people. The Japanese, also, are bitterly averse to all foreigners.”

Japanese image of the death of Richardson, a British subject

Japanese image of the death of Richardson, a British subject

July 12– Sunday– St Petersburg, Russia– Tsar Alexander writes to King William of Germany, urging him to win the support of Austria for Russia’s operations in Poland.