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.”

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