Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Acknowledged Inability of Diplomacy~September 1863~the 29th & 30th

The Acknowledged Inability of Diplomacy ~ Gideon Welles

As September ends, President Lincoln supports temperance efforts. Some of his Cabinet retain concerns about relations with Great Britain. The popularity of the Russians grows in New York City. In the Confederate capital inflation and slaves are running away. Women committed to the abolitionist cause maintain their efforts. The Polish question simmers in Europe. The Twentieth Century begins to take shape.

September 29– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “I think that the reasonable men of the world have long since agreed that intemperance is one of the greatest, if not the very greatest of all evils amongst mankind. That is not a matter of dispute, I believe. That the disease exists, and that it is a very great one is agreed upon by all. The mode of cure is one about which there may be differences of opinion. You have suggested that in an army– our army– drunkenness is a great evil, and one which, while it exists to a very great extent, we cannot expect to overcome so entirely as to leave such successes in our arms as we might have without it. This undoubtedly is true, and while it is, perhaps, rather a bad source to derive comfort from, nevertheless, in a hard struggle, I do not know but what it is some consolation to be aware that there is some intemperance on the other side, too, and that they have no right to beat us in physical combat on that ground. But I have already said more than I expected to be able to say when I began, and if you please to hand me a copy of your address it shall be considered. I thank you very heartily, gentlemen, for this call, and for bringing with you these very many pretty ladies.” ~ President Lincoln to a group of the Sons of Temperance who called upon him at the White House.

water fountain in New York City built to promote temperance

water fountain in New York City built to promote temperance

September 29– Tuesday– Summerville Ford, Orange County, Virginia– “Miss Josephine, I seat myself to write you a few lines as I have not written you a letter for some time. We are still camped on the Rapidan river at Summerville Ford. We guard the ford and picket along the river. The river is the line between Orange and Culpepper, us and the enemy. The Yankees have advanced their picket lines [so that] the distance between us is about five hundred yards at places. They have also reinforced their picket. The picket don’t fire on each other now. They holler at each other sometimes and sometimes exchange news papers. It is against orders but they will do it.” ~ Confederate soldier Adam W Kersh in a letter to his niece Josephine Kersh.

September 29– Tuesday– Allenstein, East Prussia, Germany– Birth of Hugo Haase. Born in a working class Jewish family he will become a lawyer, socialist politician and pacifist who will oppose the First World War. He will be murdered in 1919.

September 29– Tuesday– Ravensburg, Germany– Birth of Franz Zorell, who will become a multilingual scholar and Biblical exegetist.

September 29– Tuesday– byline: St Petersburg, Russia– The New York Times prints a copy of a lengthy memorandum from Earl Russell, the Foreign Secretary of the British government, to Lord Francis Napier, Her Majesty’s Minister to Russia, regarding the situation in Poland. At its conclusion, Earl Russell writes: “In communicating their views to Prince Gortschakoff, it remains to Her Majesty’s Government to discharge an imperative duty. It is to call His Excellency’s most serious attention to the gravity of the situation, and the responsibility which it imposes upon Russia. Great Britain, Austria and France have pointed out the urgent necessity of putting an end to a deplorable state of things which is full of danger to Europe. They have at the same time indicated the means which, in their opinion, ought to be employed to arrive at this termination, and they have offered their cooperation in order to attain it with more certainty. If Russia does not perform all that depends upon her to further the moderate and conciliatory views of the three Powers – if she does not enter upon the path which is opened to her by friendly counsels, she makes herself responsible for the serious consequences which the prolongation of the troubles of Poland may produce.”

September 30– Wednesday– New York City– “The [Russian] squadron . . . sailed from Cronstadt about two months ago, and its first vessel was fifty-six days in reaching its present mooring. The course sailed was along the north shore of England. The navigation of the Baltic becomes difficult after the middle of November, and, soon after, practically impossible. That is only six weeks or forty-two days hence. It is clear, therefore, that the squadron will make no effort to return to any Baltic port this season. It may seek other American ports, or spend the Winter cruising near the West India islands and drop down to Rio Janeiro, intending to appear eventually on the Pacific, and seek thence the northern seas of Asia, where Russia presents her true maritime front.” ~ New York Times.

Russian warships in New York harbor

Russian warships in New York harbor

September 30– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Permit me in this connection to express my surprise and regret that the British Minister should so persistently insist on interfering in matters that belong to the Prize Courts, and on which he should not be heard from diplomatically, as, were Great Britain in our case and we in hers, the American Minister in London would not be heard diplomatically until judicial remedies have been exhausted. His right to be heard in the Court of Prize, according to its rules of procedure, and in the proper cases, is unquestioned. If the Court, after its appellate jurisdiction is fully exhausted, should fail to do justice in any case then undoubtedly, and not till then, diplomacy may properly come in. But I do not understand by what authority Her Majesty’s Minister intervenes at all, even in the Prize Courts by suggestion, or before you, in cases where the violation of territorial immunities of Neutral powers, other than Great Britain, is in question. . . . I am not unaware of your strong desire to conciliate Great Britain and to make all reasonable concessions to preserve friendly relations with her. In this feeling I cordially participate. But my earnest conviction is that we shall best command the respect which insures peace, by firmly, but not offensively, maintaining our rights; and in no way can amicable relations with Great Britain and others be so surely maintained as by our claiming only what is right, by surrendering nothing that is clearly and indisputably our own, and by referring always the question of what our just rights are to those tribunals of Prize, which are instituted by the consent of nations to adjudge these points, under the law of nations and in the interests of peace, by reason of the acknowledged inability of diplomacy, even in the most skillful hands, to deal satisfactorily, before-hand, with these complicated questions as they arise.” ~ Memorandum from Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to President Lincoln in regard to complaints from Lord Lyons, the British Minister to the United States, about the seizure and sale of British merchant ships caught by the U S Navy while attempting to run the blockade of Southern ports. Welles includes a detailed legal analysis of the issues involved.

September 30– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Still nothing additional from Lee’s or Bragg’s army; but from abroad we learn that the British Government has prevented the rams built for us from leaving the Mersey. . . . Boots are selling in this city at $100 per pair, and common shoes for $60. Shuck mattresses, $40. Blankets, $40 each; and sheets, cotton, $25 each. Wood is $40 per cord.” ~ Diary of John Jones. [The $100 for shoes would equal $1890 today; however, that comparison is to United States dollars. By this point in time inflation is spiraling upward in the Confederacy so the comparison could easily be 4 or more times greater as the South has less and less backing for its paper money as the war continues.]

September 30– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Runaway. Left our store, on the 25th of August, a Negro man named John, the property of Dr. A. Leyburn, of Lexington, Va., John is about 6 feet high, of a bright, gingerbread color, spare built, and very likely. He speaks in a low tone, and is very polite and plausible in manner. He may be lurking in or near Sidney, as he had a room above the Old Fair Grounds, on Main street, or he may have followed some one in the army as it passed through to Tennessee. We will give $50 for his arrest in or near the city, or $100 if he be lodged in any jail in or out of the State, where we can get him.” ~ Richmond Dispatch.

runaway slaves headed toward the Union lines

runaway slaves headed toward the Union lines

September 30– Wednesday– Craney Island, Virginia– “From the barracks, we went, last night, to a religious meeting, where we heard a preacher worthy of a high seat in our Newport synagogue. He is from Gates County, North Carolina, & and I feel very sure that he must have lived very near Friends, for his musical intoning can have been picked up nowhere but in Friends meeting; and his mode of appeal, of argument, and of illustration were decidedly Quaker-like. Sarah’s stay here has been a fortnight; while I have been here a week. We have taught the children, visited the sick, clothed some of the most needy, and done what we could to make the road easy for those who are seeking to join their families. One woman who always came to the school at the first sound of the bell, said to me, one morning, ‘I feel so anxious to learn! Every once in awhile I come to the name of God,—and the love of it, the name is so sweet, I can’t help trying to learn!’” ~ Letter from Lucy Chase to her family and friends in Worcester, Massachusetts. [Lucy Chase, age 41, and her sister, Sarah Chase, age 27, are Quakers who, along with many family members, have been involved in anti-slavery activities for years. At this time they have come with other abolitionists to assist fugitive slaves, particularly those headed north.]

Quaker women-late 19th century

Quaker women-late 19th century

September 30– Wednesday– Paris, France– The opera Les Pecheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) by 25 year old George Bizet opens at the Theatre Lyrique. [It will last for only 18 performances and yield little money for the composer.]

 

 

 

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Everything That the Law of Nations Requires~September 1863~the 26th to the 28th

Everything That the Law of Nations Requires~Earl Russell

Her Britannic Majesty’s Foreign Secretary reaffirms Britain’s neutrality in the American war while criticizing the Federal government in general and Senator Sumner in particular. A new crisis threatens European peace. A new prince is born on the Iberian Peninsula.

People in West Virginia and in Tennessee worry about invasion and raids. War damage is visible in many places in Virginia. In New York City Russian and American naval officers have fellowship while wealthy citizens complain of the lack of good domestic help.

Lord John Russell, Foreign Secretary

Lord John Russell, Foreign Secretary

September 26– Saturday– Blairgowrie, Scotland– In a lengthy speech, John Russell, the 1st Earl Russell, Her Majesty’s Foreign Secretary, addresses international relations and foreign affairs. Concerning the ships built by Laird Brothers for the Confederacy, he states, “They are steam rams, which might be used for the purpose of war without ever touching the shores of the Confederate ports. Well, gentlemen, to permit ships of this kind knowingly to depart from this country, not to enter into any Confederate port, not to enter into the port of a belligerent, would, as you see, expose our good faith to great suspicion; and I feel certain that if, during our war with France, the Americans had sent line-of-battle ships to break our blockade at Brest, whatever reasons they might have urged in support of that, we should have considered it a violation of neutrality. Such is the spirit in which I am prepared to act. Everything that the law of nations requires, everything that our law, that the Foreign Enlistment act requires, I am prepared to do, and even, if it should be proved to be necessary for the preservation of our neutrality, that the sanction of Parliament should be asked to further measures. In short, to sum up, Her Majesty’s Government are prepared to do everything that the duty of neutrality requires– everything that is just to a friendly nation, taking as a principle that we should do to others as we should wish to be done to ourselves. But this we will not do– we will not adopt any measure that we think to be wrong. We will not yield a joy of British law or British right in consequence of the menaces of any foreign Power.”

Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts

Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts

Regarding a critical speech made by Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, Lord Russell declares, “But, certainly, if I look to the declarations of those New-England orators– and I have been reading lately, if not the whole, yet a very great part, of the very long speech by Mr Sumner on the subject, delivered at New-York– I own I cannot but wonder to see these men, the offspring, as it were, of three rebellions, as we ourselves are the offspring of two rebellions, really speaking like the Czar of Russia, the Sultan of Turkey, or Louis XIV. himself, of the dreadful crime and guilt of rebellion. . . . Now, gentlemen, with these feelings I own I almost lose my patience when I see men, in what is called an oration, heaping up accusation after accusation, and misrepresentation after misrepresentation, all tending to the bloody end of war between these two nations. I cannot but say, are they not satisfied with the blood that has been shed in the last two years, with that field of Gettysburg where 10,000 corpses of men, most of them in the prime of manhood, were left lying stretched on the ground? Are they not satisfied with that bloodshed, but would they seek to extend to the nations of Europe a new contest in which fresh sacrifices are to be made of human life, of human interest, and of human happiness? . . . . believing that we ought to make every effort that all these various conflicts may end in peace, in union and in friendship, I shall at all events have the consciousness that I have done my best to preserve peace between these mighty nations.”

September 27– Sunday– New York City– The New York Times reports that new tensions are arising between Germany and Denmark even as the threat of war in Europe remains possible over the status of Poland.

September 27– Sunday– New York City– “We would ask, why is it that while far higher wages are paid here than in Europe, so few really good servants are to be procured? Why is it that institutes are not founded for the purpose of instructing women of good character in the proper performance of household duties? Why are there not some intelligence offices which will make it their business to recommend to their customers only such servants as are furnished with good references, which they are prepared, after making the necessary inquiries, to fully indorse? Why are there not some agencies for the purpose of securing good places for such of the colored people, unhoused during the late riots, as desire to obtain them? (Many of these are, doubtless, competent and deserving. Shall they be driven to seek employment elsewhere by the clamors of a brutal mob, which would dictate to Americans in this Empire City what sort of servants they shall employ?) And, finally, why will not poor American girls throw aside their false pride and earn honest livings for themselves by going out to service in respectable families, and relieve us from the tyranny of the horde of immigrants who, having never had an opportunity of learning anything at home, yet claim on their arrival here to know everything, and confidently take upon themselves situations whose duties they are wholly incompetent to fill? We, of course, do not deny that a pretty large number of excellent servants is to be found, of every country and profession of faith; but the number of these is lamentably small in proportion to the demand. Our people are certainly as kind to their employees as those of any other nation; they offer, moreover, more liberal wages than are paid anywhere in Europe. Why, then, should they not be able to obtain and to retain in their families for years servants who will work intelligently, cheerfully and faithfully, and secure for themselves in return the happiness of a pleasant home, the good will of their masters and mistresses, and the consciousness of being thoroughly respected by their employers – because, forsooth, they show themselves in look and word and deed thoroughly deserving of respect.” ~ Letter to the editor of the New York Times. The sender signed her/him-self only as “G.M.”. [If the reader listens carefully she can hear the author sighing ‘Good help these days is so hard to find.’]

Russian warship in New York harbor

Russian warship in New York harbor

September 27– Sunday– near Culpepper, Virginia– “On our march to this place we passed through the village or town of Sulphur Springs which before the war was a famous summer resort. Traces of its glory and beauty can still be seen in the ruined and blackened walls of its hotels. We did not stop long enough to visit the famous springs.” ~ Union officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes in his diary.

September 27– Sunday– Bridgeport, Alabama– “Having learned from reliable sources that Colonel Murray, with 500 men, is prowling around in the [Tennessee] counties of DeKalb, Warren, Smith, and Wilson, committing depredations upon Union families which for barbarity and cruelty have had no parallel in this campaign, I respectfully ask that my command may be ordered to McMinnville or Carthage, to relieve the cavalry forces stationed at either point. The forces stationed at these points are unacquainted with that country, while my men have a perfect knowledge of every crossroad and by-path throughout that section. My only desire to be ordered to one of the points is for the good of the service. I could render more good for the service of stationed at one of these points, while the cavalry I would relieve could be as beneficial as myself if here. The inhabitants of the counties named are almost unanimously loyal, having sent more men in loyal Tennessee regiments than any other four counties in Middle Tennessee, and in justice to themselves they ought to be protected in their loyalty to their Government. Murray and his men, having every advantage of a perfect knowledge of the country, keep out of the way of the cavalry now in that country. They have not only stolen property, insulted ladies, but have even murdered loyal men. They have stolen all my stock, have attempted to burn my house, insulted my family, fired on my wife, and committed the most heathenish outrages ever heard of. While I could render important service, if stationed there, the cavalry I would relieve could be as useful here. If I am allowed to go to either of these points I pledge my all that I will clear the country of all rebels. I earnestly request that Companies C and H of this command, now stationed at Decherd and Tullahoma, respectively be ordered to join this portion of the regiment. It is the desire of the officers and men to do so, and as they are of little benefit where they are. I respectfully urge that they be ordered to join me at once. While I would willingly join General Crook in the front, I feel it is my duty to protect the families of my men.” ~ Colonel William B Stokes, 5th Tennessee [U S] Cavalry, requesting that he and his soldiers be reassigned to duty in their home area.

September 28– Monday– New York City– The New York Times criticizes New York’s Governor Seymour for his opposition to the draft while not mounting a legal challenge to test its constitutionality.

 September 28– Monday– New York City– The officers of the visiting Russian fleet are entertained at the Metropolitan Hotel by Admiral Farragut, Commodore Paulding and Captain Eads of the U S Navy, among others.

 

Commodore Hiram Paulding, U S Navy

Commodore Hiram Paulding, U S Navy

September 28– Monday– Wheeling, West Virginia– Fearing a large scale invasion by Confederate forces, the governor issues a proclamation calling the state militia to readiness. “To the end, therefore, that they may be met and driven back from the borders of the State and defeated in their wicked and ruinous purpose, I, Arthur I. Boreman, Governor of the State of West Virginia, do issue this my proclamation, calling on the requiring all officers of the militia and all persons subject to military duty within the State to have their arms in order and be ready to assemble at their usual places of rendezvous at a moment’s notice, and to move to any point when their services may be required. Officers in command of regiments are especially required to give orders to the commandants of companies to see that every man in their respective companies is notified to be in readiness and to have his arms in order for service.” [Governor Boreman, a 40 year old lawyer, played a key role in keeping the area loyal to the Union and in the separation from Virginia.]

 

Governor Boreman of West Virginia

Governor Boreman of West Virginia

September 28– Monday– Washington, D.C.– Union Generals Crittenden, McDowell and McCook are relieved of duty and ordered to Indianapolis, Indiana, to face a court of inquiry regarding their conduct at the Battle of Chickamauga.

September 28– Monday– Bealton Station, Virginia– “We don’t live here quite so well here as we did in the front. The army has been here all summer & the whole of this once beautiful country is a continuous scene of desolation. There are no cornfields nor potato patches, hogs or sheep munching over the fields. What few citizens remain here have nothing to sell or trade for our coffee or sugar but still we live well & I have as good health as ever. . . . I suppose Mr Burns death will be a lesson for all of us to be ready for we know not the day nor the day when the angel of death will take either of us from this earth. May we strive for a home in heaven. We know our time will come to die & so let us be prepared to meet the author of our existence to give an account of the deeds done here on earth & oh that we may hear that welcome sentence. Well done good & faithful servant, enter thou in the joy of thy Lord. What will become of us when we die. Will we have time & opportunity. Dear Cynthia let us prepare, though others do as they will. . . . All of my affections center there [at home]. There is the attraction for me, if I were to get twenty letters a week & none from my wife. I would be as uneasy & unsatisfied as if I got none.” ~ Union soldier Samuel Potter to his wife Cynthia at home in Pennsylvania.

King Charles I of Portugal c.1900

King Charles I of Portugal c.1900

September 28– Monday– Lisbon, Portugal– A prince, Charles, is born to King Luis I and Queen Maria Pia. As Charles I he will rule Portugal from 1889 until his assassination in 1908.

God Bless the Russians~September 1863~the 23rd to the 26th

God Bless the Russians. ~ Gideon Welles

Russian warships arrive in New York City. Sent by the Tsar in order to be sure that the Imperial Russian fleet is not ice-bound in the event of war against England and France over the Polish question, the move is praised by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles and the New York Times. Confederate President Jeff Davis reaches out diplomatically to the Pope in hope of stopping Yankee recruitment in Europe. News about the battle at Chickamauga reaches north and south. Abolitionist editor Garrison writes about Irish immigrants. Colonel Charles Russell Lowell makes wedding plans. The New York Times covers women’s fashions. And life moves on as people who will change the world are born.

September 23– Wednesday– Memphis, Tennessee– Birth of Mary Church Terrell, African American educator, lecturer, author and activist for civil rights and suffrage. Her parents, Robert Church and Louisa Ayers, are both former slaves. Ms Terrell will graduate from Oberlin College, become one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP], at age 85 become the first black woman member of the American Association of University Women and at age 89 sue to desegregate restaurants and lunchrooms in Washington, D.C.

Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell

September 23– Wednesday– Aubonne, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland– Birth of Alexandre Yersin, a bacteriologist who will help develop the anti-rabies serum and discover the cause of bubonic plague.

Alexandre Yersin in 1893

Alexandre Yersin in 1893

September 24– Thursday– New York City– Several Russian warships arrive on a friendly visit. Today’s New York Times reports that “The Russian frigate Osliaba, which has lain at anchor in our harbor for several days past, and has been an object of so much interest to our citizens, is about to be reinforced by a fleet of four or five vessels of the same nationality. The English steamer which arrived yesterday reports having signaled the fleet a short distance outside of Sandy Hook. On paying a visit to the Osliaba, yesterday, we found her officers in the best of spirits at the prospect of soon being joined by so large a force of their countrymen, with whom they can share the pleasures of their visit here . . . . An Admiral of the Russian navy accompanies the fleet, but his name, or the names of the vessels composing the fleet, are not known on board of the Osliaba. The Osliaba has been absent from Russia two years, and came to this port from Cadiz [Spain]. She is here awaiting orders, and will probably join the fleet on its departure from this port. Those who have been on board of her all speak in the highest terms of her appearance and management, and of the rare intelligence and gentlemanly bearing of her officers of every grade. We were told by the courteous mid-shipmen who escorted us through the frigate, that officers belonging to the Russian navy are required to be able to speak English and French. There were none on board the Osliaba who could not speak the former language correctly and fluently. Last night the vessels spoken of above as signaled, and which prove to be steam frigates, arrived at and anchored in Flushing Bay.”

September 24– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– To support operations in Tennessee, President Lincoln issues an executive order that Union generals are “authorized to take military possession of all railroads, with their cars, locomotives, plants, and equipments, that may be necessary for the execution of the military operation committed to his charge; and all officers, agents, and employees of said roads are directed to render their aid and assistance.” He also orders the lifting of the naval blockade of the port of Alexandria, Virginia, which is now under Federal control.

September 24– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– President Davis appoints Ambrose Dudley Mann, age 62, a Virginian, a lawyer and diplomat, as the Confederacy’s special agent to the Papacy. The objective of the appointment is to ask the Pope to help stop Federal recruitment of Irish and German Catholics. Recruiters for the Union forces offer an enlistment bounty which draws many poor Europeans. [After the war ends, Mann will not return to the United States but will remain in Europe and die in Paris in 1889.]

September 25– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– A brief article begins with a description of the condition of the people of Ireland as a people deprived of “education, very poor, under the absolute control of . . . priestcraft, and . . . greatly demoralized [by English rule]. In Ireland they knew nothing of prejudice or malevolence against the Negro race and it is among the dreadful results of American slavery, that it has infected the minds of the Irish, who have come over here, with a colorphobia . . . which so disgracefully characterizes native-born Americans. Nevertheless, we entertain for them nothing but the utmost good will and the deepest compassion. . . . Our moral indignation is directed wholly against those who take advantage of their ignorance and credulity to make them serve the cause of injustice and oppression.” ~ An article in today’s Liberator by William Lloyd Garrison on the Irish immigrants involved in the New York City draft riots in July. [Garrison had no animosity toward Irish immigrants as some Bostonians of the period did but he was strongly antagonistic to all organized religion. See the award winning biography All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery by Henry Mayer. Also, the classic Freedom’s Ferment by Alice Felt Tyler and The Web of Progress by William and Jane Pease.]

September 25– Friday– New York City– “September is usually one of those months of transition in which it is most difficult to speak with certainty of styles that will be adopted in the future. Even the semi-annual opening does not always reveal the choicest secrets of what is to be, the public exhibition being rather intended to suit the tastes and tempt the pockets of Peoria, than settle the vexed questions of taste and style for the fastidious . . . of Fifth-avenue and Madison-square. . . . ladies are just now intruding extensively upon male attire. Not only the hat, but high military boots are said to have been appropriated abroad, although, as yet, none have been seen in this country; also the vest and the cane, leaving absolutely nothing but the trousers, which, figuratively, have been worn by married women for a long time. This invasion threatens an absolute revolution in fashion, and with the aid of a certain mysterious contrivance for raising the dress, gives to the most radical dress reformers all they ever asked. . . . Hoops will be worn undoubtedly rather larger, it is said, than during the past season. The Princess Alexandra has used her influence with Queen Victoria, and has prevailed upon her to take back all she recently said against this popular female institution. . . . Sets of jewels are altogether confined to full dress occasions . . . . The cameo is the favorite style, and these may be cut in any real, or allegorical figure, and in the most costly stones, and worn as bracelet, ring or breastpin. A fine chance this for preserving an enduring memento of newly-made Majors, Colonels and Brigadier-Generals.” ~ The New York Times on women’s fall fashions.

groupwomen-CW

September 25– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “The English Government has interposed to prevent the armored rams built by the Lairds from coming out. . . . Things look a little threatening from France, but Louis Napoleon may not persist when he learns that England has changed her policy. Should we meet with defeat at Chattanooga, it is by no means certain England will not again assume unfriendly airs, and refer the question of the departure of the armored ships to the ‘law officers of the Crown.’ Our own ironclads and the fear of privateers which would ruin her commerce are, however, the best law, and our best safeguards. The Russian fleet has come out of the Baltic and are now in New York, or a large number of the vessels have arrived. They are not to be confined in the Baltic by a northern winter. In sending them to this country at this time there is something significant. What will be its effect on France and the French policy we shall learn in due time. It may moderate; it may exasperate. God bless the Russians.” ~ Gideon Welles in his diary comments on international relations.

September 25– Friday– Centerville, Virginia– “Did I tell you that I hoped to get a leave of absence sometime about November 1st and meant therein to come home, and that ‘s not all, but meant also to be married? I don’t believe I did tell you, for the plan, though inchoate, was not in shape to bear telling. Now I think it will; of course, I do not expect to get my leave, but I think I shall ask for it; . . . . I shall ask for twenty days, and shall try to be married in the first five (one of the first five, Henry; it only takes one day) and I want you to be married on one of the other five. E [Effie Shaw] and I would so much like to be at your wedding, old fellow. . . . Of course, in these times, weddings are what they should be– quiet, simple, and sacred.” ~ Union Colonel Charles Russell Lowell in a letter to his friend Major Henry L Higginson. [Higginson, age 28, a distant cousin of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, is like Lowell an officer in a regiment of Massachusetts cavalry. At this time he is in Boston recovering from wounds received back on June 17th.]

September 25– Friday– Columbus, Georgia– “Just gotten telegram from Willis [his son] who was in the battle near Ringgold, saying that William Mitchell, a lieutenant, was killed. Willis was wounded, flesh wound . . . . This battle has lasted several days and been most fatal. Our killed and wounded estimated at 10 to 12,000. The enemy’s loss thought to be larger than ours. We certainly made a victory. The enemy commanded by Rosecrans. Bragg commanded our army. Many have fallen from Columbus and the neighborhood. The fighting still continues about Charleston. Nothing decisive from there yet, she still holds out and thus far has escaped the enemy. Elbert [another son] is still in Mississippi. . . . Cotton not so high as it has been 35 to 45c.” ~ John Banks in his diary. [The price for cotton at 45 cents/pound would equal about $8.49 in today’s money.]

September 26– Saturday– New York City– “This is the only fleet of Russian vessels that has ever been seen in our waters, and its appearance at this particular time will doubtless give rise to a variety of speculations among our own people, and perhaps to still more anxious perturbations on the other side of the Atlantic. It is most likely a coincidence which has no great political significance, but it fortunately affords an opportunity, eagerly desired by our citizens, of giving a hospitable welcome to the representatives of the only leading European Power which has manifested any sympathy for us as a people during our life struggle, or exhibited anything like candor in the view it has taken of the position of our Government in its present contest with rebels.” ~ New York Times.

visting Russian naval officers

visting Russian naval officers

September 26– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln and members of his Cabinet express their displeasure that Union troop movements to support General Rosecrans in Chattanooga, Tennessee, are published in the New York Post.

September 26– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “The most reliable account we have of the battle leaves little doubt we were beaten, and only the skill and valor of General Thomas and his command saved the whole concern from a disastrous defeat. McCook and Crittenden are reported to have behaved ingloriously. There is obscurity and uncertainty respecting Rosecrans on the last day that should be cleared up.” ~ Gideon Welles writes in his diary about the battle at Chickamauga.

September 26– Saturday– Richmond, Virginia– “The Execution of Spencer Kellogg. – This person, convicted of desertion and of being a spy, was hanged yesterday at Camp Lee, in the presence of the military and a large concourse of citizens. He was cool, calm and collected up to the last moment, and gave the signal himself for the drop to fall. He was attended by several clergymen, who administered to him the consolations of religion. On reaching the gallows, Kellogg examined the rope to see if it was strong enough; and had a conversation with Captain Alexander and others.” ~ The Richmond Sentinel.

Our Men Stood Well Their Ground~September 1863~the 20th to the 23rd

Our Men Stood Well Their Ground~ Gideon Welles

Fighting at Chickamauga

Fighting at Chickamauga

In a move that restores Southern hopes, damaged by the losses at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, the Confederacy wins a major battle at Chickamauga, Georgia, yet pays a high price in a large number of casualties. Only the courage of Union General Thomas prevents the defeat from turning into a rout. Gideon Welles blames Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Confederate President seeks the moral support of the Pope. Whitman receives financial support. A German story-teller dies.

September 20– Sunday– Chickamauga, Georgia– The final day of the battle, terribly damaging to both sides. Confederate General Bragg continues his assault on the Union line on the left. In late morning, Union General Rosecrans is informed that a gap exists in his line; however, by moving units to shore up the supposed gap, Rosencrans creates a real one, and General Longstreet’s seasoned Confederate soldiers promptly exploit it, driving one-third of the Union army, including Rosecrans himself, from the field. Union General George Thomas, Virginia-born, 47 years old, West Point graduate, Class of 1840, assumes command and consolidates Federal forces on Horseshoe Ridge and Snodgrass Hill. Although Bragg’s forces launch a series of determined assaults on the Union forces, Thomas’s soldiers hold until after dark. Thomas leaves the field to the Confederates and carefully withdraws to fortified positions in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Union losses amount to 16,170 (1,657 killed, 9,756 wounded, and 4,757 captured or missing), while the Confederate total reaches 18,454 (2,312 killed, 14,674 wounded, and 1,468 captured or missing). These are the second-highest of the war overall. Although the Confederates technically win, driving the Federals from the field, they have not effectively destroyed the Union forces nor have they regained Confederate control of the region of East Tennessee. General Thomas becomes known as “the Rock of Chickamauga.’

General George Thomas

General George Thomas

September 20– Sunday– Berlin, Germany– Jacob Grimm, philologist, jurist, mythologist and editor, dies at age 78.

Jacob Grimm

Jacob Grimm

September 21– Boston, Massachusetts–”I have been much interested in a letter from you to Mr. Redpath, written some weeks ago, which I have lately seen, & I am very glad to send you the inclosed check to be used for the benefit of our noble ‘boys’ in the hospitals, at your discretion. I have seen much of the hospitals myself, & I know how much good your friendly sympathy must do them, & also that even a slight pecuniary aid is sometimes very acceptable to them in their forlorn condition. Of the enclosed check, ten dollars of the amount is contributed by my sister, Mrs. G. W. Briggs of Salem, to whom I read your letter, & ten dollars by my friend Edward Atkinson. The balance I give to the boys with great pleasure, & I will very gladly give more hereafter, when I hear from you of the receipt of this & find that more is needed. As your letter is not of a very late date, I do not feel certain that your address may be the same as at the time you wrote. Please inform me how this is, as I hope to be able to send you more from other friends. I hope you will continue in your good work, as I am sure from your letter, & from what my friend, Mr. Emerson, says of his own acquaintance with you, that your visits must give great comfort to our poor suffering men.” ~ Letter from Dr Le Baron Russell to Walt Whitman. [Dr Russell, age 49, is a prominent Boston physician, descended from a distinguished family and an abolitionist. His sister, Lucia Jane Russell Briggs, is the wife of the pastor of the First Parish Church in Salem, Massachusetts and will continue to send money to Whitman.]

September 21– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “A battle was fought on Saturday near Chattanooga and resumed yesterday. Am apprehensive our troops have suffered and perhaps are in danger. As yet the news is not sufficiently definite. The President came to me this afternoon with the latest news. He was feeling badly. Tells me a dispatch was sent to him at the Soldiers’ Home shortly after he got asleep, and so disturbed him that he had no more rest, but arose and came to the city and passed the remainder of the night awake and watchful. He has a telegram this p.m. which he brings me that is more encouraging. Our men stood well their ground and fought like Union heroes for their country and cause. We conclude the Rebels have concentrated a large force to overpower Rosecrans and recapture Chattanooga.”~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

September 21– Monday– Washington, D. C.– Concerned about the battle of Chickamauga, President Lincoln wires General Burnside in east Tennessee. “Go to Rosecrans with your force without a moment’s delay.” He also telegraphs General Rosecrans. “Be of good cheer. We have unabated confidence in you, and in your soldiers and officers. In the main you must be the judge as to what is to be done. If I were to suggest, I would say, save your army by taking strong positions until Burnside joins you, when, I hope, you can turn the tide.”

September 21– Monday– Chickamauga, Georgia– Mortally wounded in battle, Confederate General Benjamin Hardin Helms dies. He is 32 years old and, being married to Emilie Todd, a half-sister of Mary Todd Lincoln, is President Lincoln’s brother-in-law. The President and First Lady mourn his death in private.

General Benjamin Hardin Helm

General Benjamin Hardin Helm

September 22– Tuesday– Brooklyn, New York– “The enclosed $25 is from my old friend Joseph P. Davis who is Engineering down in Peru. Although he is far away yet he does not forget home. I have written him in some of my letters what you were doing, with short extracts from your letters. Well Walt it looks as if we had met rather a bad reverse in the West. If Rosecrans is whipped I should hardly think that the United States was large enough to contain the infernal quacks that administer the military arm of our government. I suppose there is at least 30,000 men nibbling around in Kansas and other parts west. Matters that would tumble of their own weight if the army in front of Rosecrans was thoroughly whipped. Tis awful to think of.” ~ Jeff Whitman in a letter to his brother Walt. [The $25 contribution would equal about $472 in today’s dollars.]

September 22– Tuesday– Philadelphia– “You will see by this, that I am in charge of an employment office for colored persons. The demand is very good at this time and all the more since the New York riots. I write to ask if you think the way can be opened so as to get a number of both women and girls to the City from Norfolk, and the Fortress. I can get them good homes, and I cannot think that their suffering will be less this winter than last, at the above places. Please do me the favor, if it will not be to much trouble, to tell me whether or no, you think anything can be accomplished by coming to the Fortress.” ~ Letter from John Oliver to Mr C B Wilder at Fortress Monroe.

September 22– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “The effects of this great victory will be electrical. The whole South will be filled again with patriotic fervor, and in the North there will be a corresponding depression. Rosecrans’s position is now one of great peril; for his army, being away from the protection of gun-boats, may be utterly destroyed, and then Tennessee and Southern Kentucky may fall into our hands again. To-morrow the papers will be filled with accounts from the field of battle, and we shall have a more distinct knowledge of the magnitude of it. There must have been at least 150,000 men engaged; and no doubt the killed and wounded on both sides amounted to tens of thousands! Surely the Government of the United States must now see the impossibility of subjugating the Southern people, spread over such a vast extent of territory; and the European governments ought now to interpose to put an end to this cruel waste of blood and treasure.” ~ Government clerk John Jones writing in his diary about the battle of Chickamauga.

September 22– Tuesday– near Hickman’s Bridge, Kentucky– “About 2000 of the prisoners that Burnside took at Cumberland Gap, passed here the other day, on their way to Louisville (Jeff that was rather a slick thing, old Burny did, up there wasn’t it, he fooled the rebs that time nicely) they were rather a good looking set of men but very dirty, and badly uniformed, some of them seemed to talk pretty spunky, but the most of them seemed to think they’d had about pie enough. We have rather bad news from Rosecrans this morning, but I hope that it is nothing very serious, for I expected that Rosey was going to strike them a mighty blow down there, and if he has met with any very serious reverse it will set things back a long while. It seems to me that he should have remained at Chattanooga until he had been sufficiently reinforced to have gone right down through Georgia and drove everything before him. Gillmore too seems to have a pretty hard time, down at Charleston, but still I don’t know but he is getting along about as well as could be expected, considering what he has to contend with and if he only makes a sure thing of it in the end, a few days, or weeks, time won’t make much difference.” ~ George Whitman evaluates several major battle-fronts in a letter to his brother Jeff.

September 22– Tuesday– Blountsville, Tennessee– In a four hour battle Union cavalry and artillery capture the town. The Federal attackers lose a total of 27 killed, wounded and missing while the Confederate defenders suffer a total of 165 casualties.

September 22– Tuesday– Carter’s Depot, Tennessee; Marrow Bone Creek, Kentucky; Centreville, Virginia; Rockville, Maryland; Orange Court House, Virginia; Darien, Georgia; La Fayette County, Missouri– Skirmishes, raids and fire fights add to the casualty lists.

September 23– Wednesday– New York City– “News Monday that Rosecrans had been badly defeated at ‘Chickamauga Creek’ . . . . But rebel dispatches speak in subdued tone. It was probably a desperate but indecisive conflict, and every battle in which the rebels come short of complete victory is equivalent to a rebel defeat just now.” ~ George Templeton Strong in his diary.

September 23– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Stanton tells me that General Meade is in town. I trust some efficient blows to be struck now that Lee is weak. The opportunity should not be lost, but the army is to me a puzzle. I do not find that Stanton has much to say or do. If there are facilities of combination and concentration, it is not developed. No offensive movements here; no assistance has been rendered Rosecrans. For four weeks the Rebels have been operating to overwhelm him, but not a move has been made, a step taken, or an order given, that I can learn.” ~Gideon Welles in his diary.

tribute to the fallen in Harper's Weekly

tribute to the fallen in Harper’s Weekly

September 23– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– President Davis, an Episcopalian, sends a letter to Pope Pius IX, head of the Roman Catholic Church. “The letters which you have written to the clergy of New Orleans and New York have been communicated to me, and I have read with emotion the deep grief therein expressed for the ruin and devastation caused by the war which is now being waged by the United States against the States and people which have selected me as their President, and your orders to your clergy to exhort the people to peace and charity. I am deeply sensible of the Christian charity which has impelled you to this reiterated appeal to the clergy. It is for this reason that I feel it my duty to express personally, and in the name of the Confederate States, our gratitude for such sentiments of Christian good feeling and love, and to assure Your Holiness that the people, threatened even on their own hearths with the most cruel oppression and terrible carnage, is desirous now, as it has always been, to see the end of this impious war ; that we have ever addressed prayers to Heaven for that issue which Your Holiness now desires; that we desire none of our enemy’s possessions, but that we fight merely to resist the devastation of our country and the shedding of our best blood, and to force them to let us live in peace under the protection of our own institutions, and under our laws, which not only insure to every one the enjoyment of his temporal rights, but also the free exercise of his religion. I pray Your Holiness to accept, on the part of myself and the people of the Confederate States, our sincere thanks for your efforts in favor of peace.”

Pope Pius IX

Pope Pius IX

To the Influence of Women We Look~September 1863~the 16th to the 20th

To the Influence of Women We Look ~ Memphis Bulletin

groupwomen-CW

A newspaper calls upon women to urge their men to make peace. Charlotte Forten Grimke, resting and recuperating in New England, meets with Garrison and later with Colonel Higginson’s wife. Queen Victoria’s government reduces tension with the United States by refusing to let sail ships built by a British company for the Confederacy. President Lincoln grants an honorable discharge to a former client whom he represented in a famous murder case. Walt Whitman describes the death of soldier. Southerners expect great things from General Bragg. A wealthy American builds a college in Turkey. Pope Pius IX laments government actions in Latin America.

September 16– Worcester, Massachusetts– “While in Boston . . . . met Mr [William Lloyd] Garrison and had a very interesting conversation with him. It has done me good to see his face again. Read with great interest some of Miss [Louisa May] Alcott’s Hospital Sketches. She writes with great vivacity . . . . Read . . . Mrs Browning’s Last Poems which Mary Shepard has given me.” ~ Charlotte Forten Grimke’s entry in her diary. [Louisa May Alcott’s book was based on the six weeks she spent in the Washington, D.C. area nursing the sick and wounded after the battle of Fredericksburg in December, 1862. It was published by James Redpath in the summer of 1863. Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Last Poems, collected and edited after her death by her husband Robert Browning , was published in 1862.]

September 16– Wednesday– near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– “A fine warm summer day . . . . The news from the war is favorable. . . . In Mobile there was a great bread riot. 600 women & children went with clubs, axes, &c., demanding bread or blood.” ~ Amos Stouffer diary entry.

September 16– Wednesday– London, England–Her Majesty’s Government announces officially that authorities are impounding the metal-clad “ramming” vessels being built for the Confederacy by Laird Brothers.

Her Britannic Majesty, Queen Victoria

Her Britannic Majesty, Queen Victoria

September 16– Wednesday– Constantinople, Turkey– Christopher R Robert, 61 years old, an American philanthropist who has made a considerable fortune in railroads and in the import business, founds Robert College, the first American educational institution outside the United States. While touring Constantinople during the Crimean War, the wealthy Mr Robert met an American Protestant missionary named Cyrus Hamlin who convinced him that young Turks needed American-style education. It is Hamlin, age 52, who insists on naming the school after the benefactor. [By the time of his death in 1878 Christopher Robert will put a total of $600,000 into the college, or about $14.2 million in current dollars.]

Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey

Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey

September 17– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “New panic is rising respecting the ironclads in England, and some of our sensation journals fan the excitement. It does not surprise me that the New York Times, Raymond’s paper, controlled by Thurlow Weed, and all papers influenced by Seward should be alarmed. The latter knows those vessels are to be detained, yet will not come out and state the fact, but is not unwilling to have apprehension excited. It will glorify him if it is said they are detained through protest from our minister. If he does not prompt the Times, he could check its loud apprehensions.”~Gideon Welles in his diary.

September 17– Thursday– Memphis, Tennessee– Federal officials ban the sale of liquor.

September 17– Thursday– Paris, France– Alfred de Vigny, poet, playwright and novelist, dies of cancer at age 66. A friend of Victor Hugo, de Vigny published 13 major works. His childless marriage seemed to be an unhappy one and for several years he had an affair with the popular actress Marie Dorval, who herself was rumored to have shared a lesbian romance with the author George Sand, a/k/a Lucile Aurore Dupin.

September 17– Thursday– Rome, Italy– Pope Pius IX publishes an encyclical condemning the Catholic Church’s treatment by the government of New Granada. “In this great Catholic calamity and this tremendous ruin of souls, mindful of Our Apostolic office and solicitous of the welfare of the whole Church, We consider the words of the prophet of old as addressed to Us: ‘Cry, cease not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show My people their wicked doings and the house of Jacob their sins.’ With this apostolic letter, We raise Our voice and lament without ceasing while reproaching the government of New Granada for the great damage and injustices it has inflicted on the Church, her sacred ministers, her property, and this Holy See. And by Our Apostolic authority We condemn everything which has been decreed, accomplished, or attempted in any way by the government of New Granada or by any of its lower magistrates, either in this matter or in others concerning the Church and her rights. Furthermore, by this same authority We abrogate the laws and decrees themselves with all their consequences and declare them entirely invalid, never to have had any force nor to have any in the future.” [The short-lived New Granada, a union of Columbia, Panama and parts of Brazil, has already been effectively replaced by the new constitution of May 1863 which created the United States of Columbia. The liberal government will continue to reduce the influence of Catholic bishops and priests, limit their political activities and seize church lands for commercial uses.]

 

Pope Pius IX

Pope Pius IX

September 18– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “The proclamation suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus has been generally well received. I have never feared the popular pulse would not beat a healthful response even to a stringent measure in these times, if the public good demanded it.”~Gideon Welles in his diary.

September 18– Friday– Washington, D. C.– President Lincoln orders the honorable discharge of a Union soldier named William “Duff” Gordon, 30 years old and in poor health. [In a famous murder trial in Illinois in 1858 Attorney Lincoln represented Gordon and got him acquitted of a charge of murder. The chief witness to the crime which occurred on August 29, 1857, claimed that he could see the blow struck by Gordon because the moon was full and bright. However, the moon was in its first quarter on August 27th and not full until September 4th. While cross-examining the witness Lincoln took a small blue-covered book from his jacket pocket and kept referring to it as an “almanac” until the witness was discredited. However, modern scholars have not been able to find any period almanac with such a cover and Lincoln did not place it into evidence. While the skillful lawyer had his facts correct it may be he bluffed the witness. Gordon will live on until 1899, dying at age 66.]

young lawyer Lincoln

young lawyer Lincoln

September 18– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “There are two good women nurses, one on each side. The doctor comes in and give him a little chloroform. One of the nurses constantly fans him, for it is fearfully hot. He asks to be rais’d up, and they put him in a half-sitting posture. He call’d for ‘Mark’ repeatedly, half-deliriously, all day. Life ebbs, runs now with the speed of a mill race; his splendid neck, as it lays all open, works still, slightly; his eyes turn back. A religious person coming in offers a prayer, in subdued tones; around the foot of the bed, and in the space of the aisle, a crowd, including two or three doctors, several students, and many soldiers, has silently gather’d. It is very still and warm, as the struggle goes on, and dwindles, a little more, and a little more and then welcome oblivion, painlessness, death. A pause, the crowd drops away, a white bandage is bound around and under the jaw, the propping pillows are removed, the limpsy [sic] head falls down, the arms are softly placed by the side, all composed, all still, and the broad white sheet is thrown over everything.” ~ In a letter home Walt Whitman describes the recent death of a 20 year old cavalry soldier from New York whose leg had been amputated.

civil_war_nurse

September 18– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– “Nothing new from the Rappahannock, but a battle islooked for soon. Rosecrans, who had advanced into Georgia, has fallen back on Chattanooga, which he is fortifying. If he be not driven from thence, we shall lose our mines, and the best country for commissary supplies. But Bragg had from 60,000 to 70,000 men on the 5th inst., when he had not fallen back far from Chattanooga; since then he has received more reinforcements from Mississippi, and Longstreet’s corps, arrived bythis time, will swell his army to 90,000 men, perhaps. Johnston will probably take command, for Bragg is becoming unpopular. But Bragg will fight!”~John Jones, government clerk, in his diary.

September 18– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– A court fines Mary C Van Lew $10 for permitting her slave Margaret to move freely about the city and hire herself out. [The fine would equal approximately $189 in today’s dollars.]

September 18– Friday– Chickamauga, Georgia– Skirmishing begins between Union and Confederate forces and as both sides gather reenforcements, the encounter grows into a ful scale battle.

September 19– Saturday– Worcester, Massachusetts– “Had a long and pleasant talk with Mrs Higginson [Mary Elizabeth Channing, wife of Thomas Wentworth Higginson]. I think I shall like her. She is an invalid, and has been so for years. She looks older than her husband. Her manners are kind and pleasant. She asked many questions about Port Royal, and says she has some thought of going down next month. She heard from the colonel a few days ago.” ~ Diary of Charlotte Forten Grimke. [Mary Channing Higginson, always in frail health, will die after a prolonged illness in September, 1877.]

September 19– Saturday– Richmond, Virginia– “The country is indignant at the surrender of Cumberland Gap by General Frazier, without firing a gun, when his force was nearly as strong as Burnside’s. It was too bad! There must be some examples of generals as well as of deserting poor men, whose families, during their absence, are preyed upon by the extortioners, who contrive to purchase exemption from military service. The country did not know there was such a general until his name became famous by this ignominious surrender. Where did General Cooper find him?”~ John Jones in his diary.

September 19– Saturday– Chickamauga, Georgia– Hans Christian Heg, a Swedish immigrant, 33 years old, serving as a colonel and brigade commander of the 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment in the Union Army, dies a day after being shot during the first day of the battle. His regiment is composed mostly of Scandinavian immigrants, many of whom he recruited. He will be the most senior officer from Wisconsin to be killed in the war.

Hans Christian Heg

Hans Christian Heg

September 19– Saturday– Vienna, Austria– Joseph Nigg, a painter who has made a specialty of painting on porcelain, dies a month before his 81st birthday.

September 20– Sunday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Sisters, wives, call back you loved ones while they are within the sound of your voice. Confess your error by repairing it. Tell them that the Federal Government is strong enough to forgive and magnanimous enough to forget. Tell them of those who have already come in by scored and hundreds and made their peace with an offended Government, from which, had stern justice been dealt out without lenity, they would have received nothing by confiscation, outlawry and death. The time has come when all who fear God and love the things of peace, should throw aside the veil of passion that has darkened their minds for the last thirty months, and look calmly to the future. See into what we are drifting; on the one hand anarchy, on the other despotism! To the influence of women we look to restore a calm, healthy feeling in the community, a humiliation before God, a submission to rightful authority, and all else needed to give us the golden days of peace and prosperity.” ~Memphis Bulletin [This is the conclusion of a long article in today’s paper entitled “Female Influence in Restoring Peace to this Country.”]

 

Some Hard Fighting to Do~September 1863~the 11th to the 15th

Some Hard Fighting to Do~Confederate soldier Richard Brooks

President Lincoln, in a desperate measure, suspends the historic right of habeas corpus and begins to discuss post-war reconstruction. Abolitionist editor Garrison praises the late Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. Navy Secretary Welles dines with Admiral Farragut. Charlotte Forten Grimke visits the poet Whittier. New Yorker George Templeton Strong criticizes Southern Christianity for supporting slavery and secession. Confederate General Pickett marries.

September 11– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “The correspondent of the New Bedford Mercury, writing from the 54th Regiment at Morris Island, speaks of the young Colonel’s manner just before the attack on Wagner: ‘. . . we lay flat on the ground, his manner was more unbending than I had ever noticed before in the presence of his men– he sat on the ground, talking to men very familiarly and kindly, told them how the eyes of thousands would look upon the night’s work: “Now boys, I want you to be men!” . . . . his lips were compressed, now and then was a visible a slight twitching of the corners of the mouth, like one bent accomplishing or dying. He showed a well -trained mind, an ability of governing men not possessed by many older or more experienced men.’ In him the Regiment has lost one of its best and most devoted friends.” ~ The Liberator on Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. [William Lloyd Garrison knew Shaw and his parents personally. As a youngster Shaw often played with two of Garrison’s own sons.]

William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison

September 11– Friday– New York City– “By their fruits ye shall know them. A church that inculcates anti-christian ethics and makes crime and oppression a paramount duty, is to say the least no better than Christianity as promulgated everywhere else and in all past ages. . . . Saint Chrysostom, Saint Ambrose, Saint Bernard, Cranmer, Laud, Calvin, Servetus, Wesley, Leo X, Luther would agree in denouncing the practical Christianity of Richmond and Charleston as unchristian, heretical and damnable.” ~ George Templeton Strong in his diary.

September 11– Friday– Washington, D. C.– “Let the reconstruction be the work of such men only as can be trusted for the Union. Exclude all others, and trust that your government so organized will be recognized here as being the one of republican form to be guaranteed to the State, and to be protected against invasion and domestic violence. It is something on the question of time to remember that it cannot be known who is next to occupy the position I now hold, nor what he will do. I see that you have declared in favor of emancipation in Tennessee, for which may God bless you. Get emancipation into your new State government constitution and there will be no such word as fail for your cause. The raising of colored troops, I think, will greatly help every way.” ~ President Lincoln to Andrew Johnson, concerning reconstruction of loyal government in Tennessee.

September 11– Friday– Off the Texas coast–The appearance of a Union warship causes a British merchant vessel to flee.

September 12– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln sends a letter to Josiah Quincy to express “personal gratification” for the kind and supportive letter from Quincy, now 91 years of age. [Quincy served as a Congressman from Massachusetts (1805 to 1813), mayor of Boston (1823 to 1829) and president of Harvard University (1829 to1845). He authored five important books of history.]

Josiah Quincy

Josiah Quincy

September 12– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “Admiral Farragut and a few friends to dine with me. The more I see and know of Farragut, the better I like him. He has the qualities I supposed when he was selected. The ardor and sincerity which struck me during the Mexican War when he wished to take Vera Cruz, with the unassuming and the unpresuming gentleness of a true hero.” ~ Gideon Welles in his diary. [David Farragut, 62 years of age at the time, Tennessee-born, has been in the navy since 1810, starting as a 9 year old cabin boy, served in the War of 1812, the war with Mexico and gained fame first for the capture of New Orleans early in the war and, second, for assistance to General Grant in the Vicksburg campaign.]

Admiral Farragut

Admiral Farragut

September 12– Saturday– Petersburg, Virginia– “We will leave here as soon as we can . . . but where we are a going I cannot tell but I think when you hear from me again I will be in Atlanta Ga. or Rome Ga. that is what we all think but when we get there I am afraid we will have to go to Tennessee an if we go there I think we will have some hard fighting to do.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Richard Brooks to his wife.

September 12– Saturday– Cleveland, Tennessee– “The Yankees cavalry rode in (about two hundred) from the fair ground where they bivouacked last night, the ‘stars and stripes’ floating above theirheads, I could not realize they were our enemies and had come to deal death missals [sic] amongst us. . . The Federals left town this morning.” ~ Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

September 12– Saturday– Bern, Switzerland– Birth of Hermann Kutter, who will become a Lutheran theologian and an advocate of Christian socialism.

September 13– Sunday– near Warrenton, Virginia– “We have had a Sunday school this morning, and the Bible study was well attended by the men. We hope to have a Chaplain soon. Heavy cannonading can be heard in the distance but we do not know what it means. It has rained hard all day.” ~ Elisha Hunt Rhodes in his diary.

September 13– Sunday– Confederate headquarters near Petersburg, Virginia– General George Pickett, under orders to move westward with General Longstreet [“Old Peter”], decides to marry his sweetheart. “Now, my darling, I have just had a long powwow with him (Old Peter) who, ‘old war-horse’ as he is, has been in love himself, is still in love, will always be in love, and knows of our love of our plighted troth and knowing it, tells me it is his purpose to take me with him on this proposed expedition. Now, my Sally, your Soldier is a soldier, and never, even to himself, questions an order. ‘His not to reason why.’ Darling, do you know what this means? Why, my little one, it means that you haven’t one moment’s respite. It means that you are to be Mrs. General George Pickett, my precious wife, right away. It means that you are to fulfill your promise to ‘come to me at a moment’s notice.’ Yours, too, now, ‘not to reason why’ but to obey and come at once. We cannot brook any delay, my darling; so pack up your knapsack never mind the rations and the ammunition, but come. My Aunt Olivia, with Uncle Andrew, one of my staff and one of my couriers will meet you and your dear parents on this side of the Black Water and will escort you to Petersburg, where I shall be waiting at the train to meet you. I shall see you all to the hotel, where you will wait while your father, Bright and I get the license and make other necessary arrangements for our immediate marriage, which I have planned to take place sine die at St. Paul’s Church. Our old friend, Doctor Platt, will pronounce the words that make us one in the sight of the world. From the church, we will go to the depot, where a special train, having been arranged for us by our friend, Mr. Reuben Raglan, God bless him, will take us over to Richmond, where my little sister is waiting longingly to love and welcome my wife her new sister. My darling will realize how impossible it is for her Soldier to consult with her and will forgive his bungling and awkwardness. Never mind, after this she shall do all the planning. Oh, what a heaven on earth is be fore us if only this cruel war were over!”

September 13– Sunday– Glasgow, Scotland– Birth of Arthur Henderson, the illegitimate son of Agnes Henderson, a housemaid. He will become a leader in Britain’s Labour Party and will win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934 for his work with the League of Nations.

Arthur Henderson

Arthur Henderson

September 14– Monday– Amesbury, Massachusetts– “We had a perfectly delightful visit [with John Greenleaf Whittier and his sister Elizabeth]. . . . The poet was in one of his most genial moods– told much about his early life– a very rare thing for him to do– and was altogether as he could be.” ~ Charlotte Forten Grimke in her diary.

September 14– Monday– Washington, D.C.– At the White House President Lincoln meets with Governor John Andrew of Massachusetts.

September 14– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– “Bragg is falling back toward Atlanta, and Burnside says, officially, that he has taken Cumberland Gap, 1200 prisoners, with 14 guns, without a fight. All of Tennessee is now held by the enemy. There has been another fight (cavalry) at Brandy Station, and our men, for want of numbers, ‘fell back.’ When will these things cease?” ~ Diary of John Jones.

September 14– Monday– Winchester, Tennessee– A Confederate raiding party steals food, clothes and ammunition.

September 15– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.–President Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus. “Whereas, in the judgment of the President, the public safety does require that the privilege of the said writ shall now be suspended throughout the United States in the cases where, by the authority of the President of the United States, military, naval, and civil officers of the United States, or any of them, hold persons under their command or in their custody, either as prisoners of war, spies, or aiders or abettors of the enemy, or officers, soldiers, or seamen enrolled or drafted or mustered or enlisted in or belonging to the land or naval forces of the United States, or as deserters therefrom, or otherwise amenable to military law or the rules and articles of war or the rules or regulations prescribed for the military or naval services by authority of the President of the United States, or for resisting a draft, or for any other offense against the military or naval service: Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim and make known to all whom it may concern that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended throughout the United States in the several cases before mentioned, and that this suspension will continue throughout the duration of the said rebellion or until this proclamation shall, by a subsequent one to be issued by the President of the United States, be modified or revoked. And I do hereby require all magistrates, attorneys, and other civil officers within the United States and all officers and others in the military and naval services of the United States to take distinct notice of this suspension and to give it full effect, and all citizens of the United States to conduct and govern themselves accordingly and in conformity with the Constitution of the United States and the laws of Congress in such case made and provided.” [The legal analysis and definition of habeas corpus is long and complex with roots in Anglo-Saxon law. Briefly it can be understood as a term applying to a court order to bring a person before a judge or to release from unlawful imprisonment or to guarantee due process. In the 150 years since these events historians and legal scholars have analyzed, argued and criticized. Lincoln was a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer. His intent seems to be to empower federal authorities, including the military, to hold spies, draft resisters, deserters, or those caught directly aiding the Confederacy for indefinite periods of time.]

September 15– Tuesday– Auburndale, Massachusetts– Birth of Horatio William Parker, American musician, composer, organist, choir director and teacher. He will teach in the music department at Yale for many years. [His mother, Isabella Graham Parker, daughter of a Baptist minister, is knowledgeable in Latin and Greek and will supply verse translations as well as some of her own poetry for her son’s libretti.]

September 15– Tuesday– Petersburg, Virginia– General George Pickett and Sallie Corbell wed in a ceremony in St Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Sallie Corbell Pickett

Sallie Corbell Pickett

When Will We See Peace Again?~September 1863~the 7th to the 10th

When Will We See Peace Again? ~ Myra Adelaide Inman

As fighting continues, civilans and soldiers worry and wonder. Mary Chesnut visits with Mary Custis Lee, has ice for sweets and attends a wedding. President Lincoln urges the recruitment of more black soldiers. A Union general urges promotion for Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin. France is spending a lot of money to conquer Mexico. The crisis in Poland still simmers. And life continues, shaping the future in ways not immediately visible.

Mary Chesnut

Mary Chesnut

September 7– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– Mary Chesnut records a recent meeting with Mary Custis Lee, General Lee’s wife and a great-granddaughter of Mary Custis Washington. “That day, Mrs Lee gave me a likeness of the General in a photograph taken soon after the Mexican War. She likes it so much better than the later ones. He certainly was a handsome man then, handsomer even than now. I shall prize it for Mrs Lee’s sake, too. She said old Mrs Chesnut and her aunt, Nellie Custis (Mrs Lewis) were very intimate during Washington’s Administration in Philadelphia. I told her Mrs Chesnut, senior, was the historical member of our family; she had so much to tell of Revolutionary times. She was one of the ‘white-robed choir’ of little maidens who scattered flowers before Washington at Trenton Bridge, which everybody who writes a life of Washington asks her to give an account of. . . . Mrs Ould and Mrs Davis came home with me. Lawrence had a basket of delicious cherries. ‘If there were only some ice,’ said I. Respectfully Lawrence answered, and also firmly, ‘Give me money and you shall have ice.’ By the underground telegraph he had heard of an ice-house over the river, though its fame was suppressed by certain Sybarites, as they wanted it all. In a wonderfully short time we had mint-juleps and sherry-cobblers.” [Sybarites refers to residents of the ancient city of Sybaris, a Greek colony in Italy, whose inhabitants were known as lovers of luxury and pleasure.]

September 7– Monday– near Nicholasville, Kentucky– George Whitman writes to his mother. “I last wrote you, from Covington where we were having first rate easy times and fine living. We left there, August 26th marched down to the Depot and took the Cars for this place. We are about 100 miles from Covington and 3 from the village of Nicholasville We are right among the farmers, so of course we are all right on the grub question, pedlars every day bring in fruit, vegetables, Eggs and all that kind of thing. We have been expecting orders to march every day, and this morning we were ordered to be ready to move at any moment, with 3 days rations in Haversacks, but a few minutes ago the orders to be ready, were countermanded for some reason or another, (I think likely that word has come from Burnside that he is not likely to meet with much resistance at Knoxville).”

September 8– Tuesday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– Birth of Jessie Willcox Smith, painter and illustrator. She is the youngest of the four children of Charles and Katherine Willcox Smith. Her illustrations for children’s books and her work for various magazines will give her financial success. She will never marry and at different times in her career she will provide financially for 11 different children, including the 3 of her invalid sister. By 1915, when she will win a silver medal at the Panama Pacific Exposition, she will be one of the best known artists in the United States.

Jessie Willcox Smith in 1917

Jessie Willcox Smith in 1917

September 8– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “Let me urge that you do your utmost to get every man you can, black and white, under arms at the very earliest moment, to guard roads, bridges, and trains, allowing all the better trained soldiers to go forward to Rosecrans. Of course I mean for you to act in co-operation with and not independently of, the military authorities.” ~ President Lincoln to Governor Andrew Johnson in Nashville, Tennessee.

September 8– Tuesday– near Warrenton, Virginia– “My personal knowledge of this gallant officer’s skill and bravery upon the battlefield, his ability in drill and discipline, and his fidelity to duty in camp, added to a just admiration for his scholarship, respect for his Christian character, induces me to ask your influence on his behalf. Colonel Chamberlin joined the brigade of which he is now the commanding officer, about a year ago. At all the severe conflicts of the army since, he has greatly distinguished himself for the skillful dis position of his command and for his personal bravery. Not a battle has been fought in which the 20th Maine under his command has not added luster to our arms, and a brighter page to our history. . . . I would urge the promotion of this officer since the service, more than ever before, demands that high-toned, moral, patriotic Christian men shall lead its forces to victory.” ~ Letter of Union General James Rice to Senator William Fessenden of Maine, urging the senator to seek the promotion of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin to the rank of general. [Fessenden, age 56, a Republican and strong anti-slavery man, has served in the Senate since 1854 and at this time chairs the Senate Finance Committee.]

Senator William Fessenden

Senator William Fessenden

September 8– Tuesday– Charleston, South Carolina– Confederate defenders of Fort Sumter repulse an attack by Federal infantry. Union losses total 117; Confederate losses are unknown.

September 8– Tuesday– Cleveland, Tennessee– A local woman, Myra Adelaide Inman, confides her worries to her diary. “All of the southern soldiers have left today. Oh, I feel so sad to think the southern army has left and left us to our fate. We are looking for the Yankees in soon. Mr. Farrow was here this morn. We are very busy baking biscuits for some soldiers, the last we will cook for them in a long time, I am afraid. When will we see peace again? I never wish to pass such a week as the last has been, such confusion and noise I never witnessed. Cousin John Lea came and told us good-bye about 2 o’clock. He went down to Dalton [Georgia]. I am very lonesome this eve. The soldiers have all left and everything is quiet, looking for the Yankees [to come] in every minute. When will we see another southern soldier, we are now in the federal government, how I detest it. I do wish we could whip them. We are cut off from all of our friends and relatives. The town looks deserted. I took a good cry this eve about our fate.”

September 8– Tuesday– Sabine Pass, Texas– A small Confederate garrison surprises and routs a much larger Union force inflicting about 200 Federal casualties. The Confederates report no killed or wounded.

September 9– Wednesday– Cambridge, Massachusetts– “The Times [of London], I see, has now sent over an ‘Italian’ to report upon us– a clever man, but a double foreigner, as an Italian with an English wash over him. Pray, don’t believe a word he says about our longing to go to war with England. We are all as cross as terriers with your kind of neutrality, but the last thing we want is another war. If the rebel iron-clads are allowed to come out, there might be a change.” ~ Letter of James Russell Lowell to the English author Thomas Hughes whose 1857 novel Tom Brown’s School Days was a best seller in the United States as well as in Great Britain.

James Russell Lowell

James Russell Lowell

September 9– Wednesday– near Warrenton, Virginia– “It was a somewhat sad sight to look at these veterans, with their travel-stained uniforms and their battered canteens; many of the regiments had no more than 200 men, and their flags were so tattered that you could barely read such names as Fair Oaks, and Williamsburg . . . . The men looked spare and brown and in good health; and also as if they would then and there fight French Zouaves or anybody else you chose to bring on. . . . Some divisions at Gettysburg marched thirty-six miles in one day; and then fought for two days after that, with scarcely anything to eat or to drink. Among the troops were the 11th and 16th Massachusetts regiments and the 10th battery, and certainly none of the soldiers looked better. . . . The artillery looked even more serviceable than the infantry; and, independent of the large number of guns, was well horsed and well manned. As a rule I am much pleased with the aspect of our officers, high and low. They are cleanly and have a firm, quiet bearing. You can often pick out those who have been through the thick of it, by their subdued and steady look.” ~ Colonel Theodore Lyman, aide-de-camp to General Meade, in a letter to his wife, Elizabeth “Mimi” Russell.

September 9– Wednesday– Chattanooga, Tennessee– Federal troops enter the city following its evacuation by Confederate forces. Union forces also establish control of the critical Cumberland Gap, the intersection of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.

September 9– Wednesday– Bishopsworth, Somerset, England– Birth of Herbert Henry Ball. In 1886, he and his new wife will move to Toronto, Canada, where he will work as a journalist, serve as a Conservative Member of Parliament from 1926 to 1929 and as the King’s Printer, printing Canadian government documents from 1930 to 1934.

Herbert Henry Ball c.1921

Herbert Henry Ball c.1921

September 9– Wednesday– Paris, France–A French government report reveals that French operations in Mexico have cost over 172,000,000 francs. [About 2.1 million U S dollars in 1863; about 37.751 million in today’s dollars.]

September 10– Thursday– Centreville, Virginia– “I to-day had to call attention in a general order to the prevalence of profanity in the command, and at the same time to add that perhaps I had not set them a good example in this respect. I don’t swear very much or very deep, but I do swear, more often at officers than men, and there is a great deal of swearing in the regiment which I wish to check; of course, I shall stop it in myself entirely; I shall enforce the Articles of War if necessary. . . . I think we must make up our minds to a long war yet, and possibly to a war with some European power. For years to come, I think all our lives will have to be more or less soldierly, i. e. simple and unsettled; simple because unsettled.” ~ Letter of Union Colonel Charles Russell Lowell to his sweetheart, Effie Shaw.

September 10– Thursday– Camden, South Carolina– “It is a comfort to turn from small political jealousies to our grand battles to Lee and Kirby Smith after Council and Convention squabbles. Lee has proved to be all that my husband prophesied of him when he was so unpopular and when Joe Johnston was the great god of war. The very sound of the word convention or council is wearisome. Not that I am quite ready for Richmond yet. We must look after home and plantation affairs, which we have sadly neglected. Heaven help my husband through the deep waters. The wedding of Miss Aiken, daughter of Governor Aiken, the largest slave-owner in South Carolina; Julia Rutledge, one of the bridesmaids; the place Flat Rock. We could not for a while imagine what Julia would do for a dress. My sister Kate remembered some muslin she had in the house for curtains, bought before the war, and laid aside as not needed now. The stuff was white and thin, a little coarse, but then we covered it with no end of beautiful lace. It made a charming dress, and how altogether lovely Julia looked in it!” ~ Diary of Mary Chesnut. [William Aiken, 1806-1887, was governor of South Carolina from 1844 to 1846 and U S Congressman from 1851 to 1857. No information seems to be readily available about his daughter.]

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September 10– Thursday– Bayou Forche, Arkansas– Federal troops rout an entrenched Confederate force, thereby opening the way to advance on Little Rock.

September 10– Thursday– Little Rock, Arkansas– Confederate forces withdraw toward Rockport and this evening this important Southern center is occupied by Union troops.

September 10– Thursday– Paris, France– A correspondent for the New York Times reports on French newspaper opinion regarding the situation in Poland. “The Siecle publishes an article upon the Polish question, stating that the declaration of the Journal de St. Petersburg shows that Russia is not more accommodating at present than in July. The Siecle thinks it impossible that France, England and Austria should tolerate the present position of affairs. They will be forced to take one part or another, and say plainly, yes or no. If England and Austria should decline to sanction an ultimatum in reply to the unmeaning notes in which Russia scoffs at their remonstrances, the other Powers will be ready to go hand in hand with France for the deliverance of Poland. The insurgent Leader Lelewel had suffered a decisive defeat at the hands of the Russians. Lelewel himself is said to have been killed or wounded, and Grekowicz had undertaken the command of his corps. A later dispatch says Lelewel was left dead on the field, pierced by two bullets. The Paris Patrie urges the recognition of the Poles as belligerents by the great Powers.”

 

The Kindness of the Ladies~September 1863~the 5th to the 7th

The Kindness of the Ladies ~ J. T. McKinnon, 110th Ohio Regiment

civil-war-women-1500

Women nurse and feed the sick and wounded, deal with bandits and, like Charlotte Forten Grimke, seek needed respite. Fighting on many fronts shows no sign of decreasing and many wonder if another major battle or two will be fought before winter brings an end to campaigning. Soldiers write home about food, about religious faith and about female care. In Europe, Charles Francis Adams warns the British government that the United States will go to war with England if the ships built for the Confederacy are allowed to sail and an American citizen writes that most ordinary Europeans support the Union cause.

September 5– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “What a difference it is with me here, I tell you, Nat, my evenings are frequently spent in scenes that make a terrible difference for I am still a hospital visitor, there has not passed a day for months (or at least not more than two) that I have not been among the sick & wounded, either in hospitals or down in camp– occasionally here I spend the evenings in hospital– the experience is a profound one, beyond all else, & touches me personally, egotistically, in unprecedented ways. I mean the way often the amputated, sick, sometimes dying soldiers cling & cleave to me as it were as a man overboard to a plank, & the perfect content they have if I will remain with them, sit on the side of the cot awhile, some youngsters often, & caress them &c. It is delicious to be the object of so much love & reliance, & to do them such good, soothe & pacify torments of wounds &c. You will doubtless see in what I have said the reason I continue so long in this kind of life as I am entirely on my own hook too. Life goes however quite well with me here. I work a few hours a day at copying &c, occasionally write a newspaper letter, & make enough money to pay my expenses. I have a little room, & live a sort of German or Parisian student life– always get my breakfast in my room, (have a little spirit lamp) & rub on free & happy enough, untrammeled by business, for I make what little employment I have suit my moods, walk quite a good deal, & in this weather the rich & splendid environs of Washington are an unfailing fountain to me, go down the river, or off into Virginia once in a while. All around us here are forts, by thescore, great ambulance & teamsters’ camps – these I go to– some have little hospitals, I visit, &c &c.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to Nathaniel Bloom.

September 5– Saturday– near Sulphur Springs, Virginia– You wish to know if I am quite well now. Well I can assure you that it is the best that it has been in years & in regard to what I get to eat. It is better living than I have had since I came out. We have corn syrup or fried corn or have it roasted. Every day we have green beans, corn & pickled pork cooked together an excellent dish. We draw potatoes & roast them or cook them any way we like for breakfast. Several days back we have had our potatoes pared & an onion or two & sliced & then after frying our meat we put them in with it & pour on some water & let them stew down cooking soft with a rich gravy. Then our cup of coffee & my dish of elderberries & fox grapes stewed with plenty of sugar to season & our soft bread (as we are getting it now) makes a good enough meal for a soldier. The boys are all living well now. We got some pickled cabbage from the commissary the other day & I don’t think any of them care for it. As far as food & clothing are concerned there are thousands of soldiers better provided for here than they would be at home.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Samuel Potter to his wife Cynthia.

artillery-civil-war-001

September 5– Saturday– Alpine, Georgia; Lebanon, Alabama; Tazewell, Tennessee; Maysville, Arkansas– Skirmishes, raids and fire fights occur as each side presses for advantage.

September 5– Saturday– Memphis, Tennessee– The Memphis Bulletin reports on the pluck of a local woman. “A day or two ago a widow lady named Ward, who resides some eight miles from the city on the Pigeonroost road, was coming to this city, with two bales of cotton, when she was stopped by three guerrillas who declared their intention to burn her cotton. The lady was not disposed to submit very tamely to this arrangement. She therefore produced a repeater, and told them that she would shoot the first man who dared to move a step toward carrying out their threat. This heroic determination on the part of the lady deterred the villains from the execution of their threat, and they ‘slunk away’ to their hiding place.”

September 5– Saturday– London, England– U S Minister Charles Francis Adams protests British aid to the Confederacy and threatens that the United States will break diplomatic relations with Britain if such aid continues. He tells Her Majesty’s Government that if the Laird rams escape the United States will go to war against Britain. “It would be superfluous for me to point out to your Lordship that this is war,” he tells Foreign Minister Lord Russell.

September 6– Sunday– Salem, Massachusetts– “Spent most of the day with Mary who read me some beautiful hymns, and passages from Mrs [Frances] Kemble’s book, which interested me greatly. . . . It fills one with admiration for the noble woman whose keen sense of justice, whose true humanity shrank with the utmost loathing from the terrible system whose details she saw day after day.” ~ Diary of Charlotte Forten Grimke.

Charlotte Forten Grimke

Charlotte Forten Grimke

September 6– Sunday– New York City– “The sight of a New-York Times this morning was like the face of a dear old friend; and indeed, next to the Stars and Stripes, which we seldom see in these distant seas, I know of no inanimate object which could bring more joy, because when I touch it like the palm of a tried friend I know it is loyal, and so I will tell you that away here at the foot of the Tyrolese Alps, and upon the Adriatic, there were many glad hearts when the news arrived of our decisive successes. Not alone the Americans here, but the eyes of Austrian-Italy are looking wistfully toward the success of liberty the world over, and is glad to receive consolation and strength from any source, preparatory to that longed-for day when she shall successfully throw off the yoke which galls so deeply the fair neck of Italy. In an extended journey one meets with intelligent people from all parts of the world, and of the many opinions and feelings expressed, I have, with scarcely an exception, heard only sympathy for liberty and the North. And I may appropriately say here, that the only unpleasant or disagreeable personage I have met, has been the Northern Copperhead, who was violent in condemnation of his Government and its supporters, but never a word against those who seek to destroy our Union. But be assured these men are despised by every European who has for his country a loyal feeling – and say, truly, the open rebels are more honorable.” ~ Letter to the editor of The New York Times from an American living in Venice, Italy. [Despite the success of Garibaldi, at this time Austria still controls sections of northern Italy, French soldiers remain in Rome and the Pope retains some of the territory of the old Papal States.]

September 6– Sunday– near Warrenton, Virginia– “We are having considerable religious interest in our Regiment, and I pray God that it may continue. Soldiers are not the worst men in the world, but they are very careless in regard to matters of religion. We have had no Chaplain for many months and consequently no regular services. . . . last week about thirty were present [for prayer meeting]. Tonight I was invited to join them. I accepted and made an address. . . . soon nearly every officer and man of our Regiment was listening to the service. I never saw such a prayer meeting before and I know the Spirit of the Lord was with us.” ~ Elisha Hunt Rhodes in his diary. [Rhodes is an observant member of a Baptist church.]

Elisha Hunt Rhodes

Elisha Hunt Rhodes

September 6– Sunday– Charleston, South Carolina– At nightfall, after a day-long Federal bombardment, the Confederate garrison evacuates Fort Wagner. Fort Sumter, reduced to rubble, continues to hold out.

September 6– Sunday– Stevens’ Gap, Georgia; Sweet Water, Tennessee; Carter’s Run, Virginia; Petersburg, West Virginia; Fort Scott, Kansas; Carthage, Missouri; Hutton Valley, Missouri– Small but deadly fighting takes lives.

September 6– Sunday– near Little Rock, Arkansas– Confederate General Lucius Marshall Walker is mortally wounded in a pistol duel with Confederate General John Marmaduke.

September 7– Monday– Bear Skin Lake, Missouri; Ferry Landing, Arkansas; Morgan’s Ferry, Louisiana; Holly Springs, Mississippi; Bath, West Virginia– Bitter fighting takes a toll.

September 7– Monday– West Jefferson, Ohio– “We chanced to spend a few days in the Atheneum hospital of your city in a wounded and very week condition, at least, such was our condition when first arriving there. The Union ladies learning our situation came in to see us, loaded with viands, which they spread out before us in such abundance, that we could select the most palatable of the luxuries, and the part we considered the most conducive to health, so that our improvement was remarkably rapid while we stayed there. We do not wish to mention the kindness of the ladies of Wheeling exclusively, for after the rebels left Winchester and the citizens were permitted to enter the hospital, they manifested a great deal of interest in our welfare, and treated us very kindly; the same may be said of the loyal ladies of Martinsburg, where we spent a few days in the hospital; but we have yet to see the ladies of Wheeling surpassed in hospitality and devotion to the Union cause. If such a devotion to the Union was universal throughout the North, what would be the result? Those leading traitors whose only hope of success is in a divided North, would begin to seek refuge in foreign countries to avoid that fate which all traitors to a free, prosperous and happy country deserve. New light dawning upon their deluded followers would cause them to see the error of their way, and to depart from it and come back into the Union and remain peaceful and loyal citizens. Our Union would then be restored to that state in which it was transmitted by our forefathers to their children, after having purchased it at the cost of so much blood and treasure, and in the same condition in which it descended to us. It would then resume its former proud position among the nations of the earth. We, as a nation, in our struggle for self existence, should imitate the actions of those revolutionary heroes, whose self sacrifices and patient endurance of hardships in that noted struggle for liberty, has become proverbial. Our wound is slowly improving, and we hope to be able soon to take our place with our brave comrades by whose side we were fighting when wounded.” ~ Letter from J. T. McKinnon, 110th Ohio Regiment, to the editor of the Wheeling Intelligencer.

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September 7– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “You spoke the other day, partly in fun, about the men being so undemonstrative. I thought I would write you a line, as I hear you leave the hospital tomorrow for a few weeks. Your labor of love & disinterestedness here in Hospital is appreciated. I have invariably heard the Ward A patients speak of you with gratitude, sometimes with enthusiasm. They have their own ways (not outside eclat, but in manly American hearts, however rude, however undemonstrative to you). I thought it would be sweet to your tender & womanly heart, to know what I have so often heard from the soldiers about you, as I sat by their sick cots. I too have learnt to love you, seeing your tender heart, & your goodness to those wounded & dying young men– for they have grown to seem to me as my sons or dear young brothers. As I am poor I cannot make you a present, but I write you this note, dear girl, knowing you will receive it in the same candor & good faith it is written.” ~ Walt Whitman’s letter to a Miss Gregg

I Think About You Every Day of My Life Out Here~September 1863~the 1st to the 5th

I Think About You Every Day of My Life out Here ~ Walt Whitman

As the month begins those who wish for a slow down or an end to fighting are disappointed. Battles large and small take place in Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee, even as women in Alabama call for “peace and bread.” Whitman describes his hospital work. Europe continues to simmer on the verge of boiling over about the situation in Poland. France attempts to build a monarchy in Mexico.

September– Boston, Massachusetts– As part of an article in this month’s issue of The Atlantic Monthly the writer describes Charlotte Forten Grimke. “One of the teachers of this school is . . . a young woman of African descent, of olive complexion, finely cultured, and attuned to all beautiful sympathies, of gentle address . . . . She had read the best books, and naturally and graceful1y enriched her conversation with them. She had enjoyed the friendship of Whittier; had been a pupil in the Grammar-School of Salem, then in the State Normal School in that city, then a teacher in one of the schools for white children, where she had received only the kindest treatment both from the pupils and their parents, — and let this be spoken to the honor of that ancient town. She had refused a residence in Europe, where a better social life and less unpleasant discrimination awaited her, for she would not dissever herself from the fortunes of her people; and now . . . with a profound purpose, she devotes herself to their elevation.” ~ “The Freedmen at Port Royal” by Edward L Pierce. [At age 34, Massachusetts-born Pierce, a Harvard-trained lawyer, has been active in anti-slavery activities and Republican politics. His 25 page article is part of a longer report about the status of the escaped slaves at Port Royal, South Carolina. Between 1877 and 1893 he will publish a 4 volume biography of Senator Charles Sumner.]

Charlotte Forten Grimke

Charlotte Forten Grimke

September 1– Tuesday– New York City– The New York Times updates its readers on the situation in Europe with regard to Russian military operations in Poland. “It is represented via Berlin that the purport of the French note to Russia is thoroughly pacific, and that the English note, although couched in terms of the most perfect courtesy, is rather more reserved, although maintaining the same sense. Both notes persevere in the proposals formerly made by the Powers to Russia. They regret that Russia has not consented to accept the six points, the project of a conference, and an armistice, but hope that after mature consideration, the Government of the Emperor will arrive at a different conclusion. While both Powers make Russia responsible for future consequences, they declare that after having fulfilled the duties imposed upon them by humanity and the right interpretation of treaties, they must for the present confine themselves to repeating their former observations with increased emphasis. M. Drouyn De Lhuys and Earl Russell further declare themselves willing to await the measures which the Russian Government may adopt, in the hope that they will lead to peace.”

September 1– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “I think about you every day of my life out here– sometimes I see women in the hospitals, mothers come to see their sons, & occasionally one that makes me think of my dear mother [as] one did very much, a lady about 60, from Pennsylvania, come to see her son, a Captain, very badly wounded, & his wound gangrened, & they after a while removed him to a tent by himself; another son of hers, a young man, came with her to see his brother; she was pretty full-sized lady, with spectacles, she dressed in black . . . . I got very well acquainted with her, she had a real Long-Island old fashioned way but I had to avoid the poor Captain as it was that time that my hand was cut in the artery, & I was liable to gangrene myself but she and the two sons have gone home now, but I doubt whether the wounded one is alive as he was very low.” ~ Walt Whitman in a letter to his mother, Louisa.

September 1– Tuesday– Barbee’s Crossroads, Virginia– A detachment of the 6th Ohio Cavalry is ambushed. Of the 50 Union soldiers, 31 are killed, wounded or missing. Confederate casualties are unknown.

September 1– Tuesday– Charleston, South Carolina– Federal artillery begins a new round of bombardment against Fort Sumter and Fort Wagner.

September 1– Tuesday– Devil’s Backbone, Arkansas– Confederate troops ambush two Federal cavalry regiments. However the Federals regroup, are reenforced by a battery of artillery and rout the rebels. Total Union casualties are 16. Confederate casualties amount to 65.

September 1– Tuesday– Fort Smith, Arkansas– Union troops capture the town.

September 1– Tuesday– Oakland, California– Ferry service opens between here and San Francisco.

Oakland, California c1900

Oakland, California c1900

September 1– Tuesday– dateline: Paris, France– The New York Times quotes the French government. “We are happy to be able to announce that His Imperial highness the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian accepts, with the consent of his august brother, the Emperor of Austria, the crown of the new Mexican Empire. . . . A few months ago the venerable Archbishop of Mexico went in person to the Palace of Misamor to urge the Prince, in the name of religion and of the whole Mexican episcopate, to accept the holy and glorious mission to which Divine Providence had predestined him. The worthy prelate had the consolation on leaving Misamor of knowing that the Archduke would no longer hesitate in the event of the Mexican throne being reestablished under the conditions specified by his Imperial Highness at the opening of the negotiation. The Archduke had therefore already entered into more than a moral engagement toward the Mexican episcopate and the notables of the country, who, before proclaiming his election, were anxious to have a certainty of his acceptance. At the taking of Puebla the Archduke addressed his congratulations to His Majesty the Emperor of the French.”

Maximilian, nominated to be emperor of Mexico

Maximilian, nominated to be emperor of Mexico

September 2– Wednesday– Amesbury, Massachusetts– “It was delightful to be with the Whittiers again. I showed them a beautiful and touching letter from Mrs Sarah Shaw, with two excellent photographs of her noble son. I can never thank her enough for sending me these pictures. . . . had much pleasant quiet talk with Mr Whittier and his sister in the little vine-clad porch. She is as lovely as ever, but so very, very frail. Every time I part with her I have the fear that I may not see her again.” ~ Charlotte Forten Grimke in her diary. [At this time John Greenleaf Whittier, age 55, is living in the family home with his younger sister Elizabeth. The two are close friends. Elizabeth is in frail health and her death in 1864 will strike the poet very hard.]

the Whittier home in Amesbury

the Whittier home in Amesbury

September 2– Wednesday– Confederate Headquarters near Petersburg, Virginia– General James Longstreet sends a memo to General Lee. “If we advance to meet the enemy on this side [of the Potomac] he will in all probability go into one of his many fortified positions. These we cannot afford to attack. I know but little of the condition of our affairs in the West, but am inclined to the opinion that our best opportunity for great results is in Tennessee. If we could hold the defensive here with two corps and send the other to operate in Tennessee with that army, I think that we could accomplish more than by an advance from here.”

September 2– Wednesday– Knoxville, Tennessee– Union troops enter the city, cutting the railroad link between Chattanooga, Tennessee and Virginia.

September 2– Wednesday– Montgomery, Alabama– Concerned of the need for more soldiers, a joint committee of the state legislature passes a resolution approving the use of slaves in the Confederate army.

September 2– Wednesday– Victoria, Vancouver, Canada– The fifteen newly-elected members of the Third House of Assembly of Vancouver Island convene in their first session. [This body will hold session until August 31, 1866, as the last parliament for an independent Colony of Vancouver Island before unification with the colony of British Columbia.]

September 3– Thursday– Cleveland, Tennessee– “The house is in such a confusion I cannot sleep, we are looking for the Yanks. The Cavalry is passing through continuously en route for Chattanooga.” ~ Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

September 3– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “General Lee is still here (I thought he had departed), no doubt arranging the program of the fall campaign, if, indeed, there be one. He rode out with the President [Jeff Davis] yesterday evening, but neither were greeted with cheers. I suppose General Lee has lost some popularity among idle streetwalkers by his retreat from Pennsylvania. The President seeks seclusion. A gentleman who breakfasted with him this morning, tells me the President complained of fatigue from his long ride with General Lee.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

General Robert E Lee, 1863

General Robert E Lee, 1863

September 3– Thursday– Hoopa Valley, California– Federal troops skirmish with Native Americans.

September 4– Friday– Bentonville, Arkansas; Quincy, Missouri; Flint Creek, Arkansas; Moorefield, West Virginia; Hog Eye, Arkansas; Petersburg Gap, West Virginia– Fire fights, ambushes and skirmishes add to the casualty lists.

September 4– Friday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Every day proves the wisdom of the order relaxing the restrictions upon country trade. A better feeling pervades the country people who bring in their stuff to exchange for the necessaries of which they have been so long deprived. Every cup of coffee will neutralize, by its delicious aroma, some of the malignant spirit that has pervaded their society so long. Every yard of ‘domestic’ will help to form the new and stronger tie that is to restore their former allegiance, and make them again American citizens. We hope the authorities will soon become convinced that the more liberty can be given to these honest people, who, though once deluded, are now willing to lay aside opposition and prejudice, and receive again the birthright of which their own imprudence deprived them.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

September 4– Friday– Mobile, Alabama– A group of angry women carrying signs which declare “Peace and Bread” march through the streets, break into stores and seize food and clothing.

September 5– Saturday– Brooklyn, New York– “Ain’t the Administration got wit enough to see that now is the hour to end the war by whipping the rebels. Don’t they know enough to know that unless it is ended in 6 months they will have a hard time to get men to fill the places of what they have now. I fear not.” ~ Jeff Whitman in a letter to his brother Walt.

September 5– Saturday– dateline: Paris, France– The New York Times updates readers on international affairs. “It is perfectly evident . . . that the Empire program . . . carried out in Mexico, was conceived at a time when the dissolution of the Union was believed to be a certainty, and that this program was based upon that belief. This program once adopted, it became the interest and the constant desire of the French Government to aid and render certain in every way possible the dissolution of the Union, and thus . . . the different attempts at mediation, and the shameless and unprincipled manner in which the Government Press has labored to convert public opinion against the North and the Government at Washington. But . . . since the late National successes, even the most prejudiced can see that there is a reasonable hope of a speedy military occupation of the region in rebellion; but it is too late to change the Mexican program . . . . The Government papers in their joy at having destroyed the Monroe doctrine in America, now leave that fact behind as acquired to history, and complain of ‘these arrogant Americans who now pretend to turn us out of our rights in Mexico.’ . . . . La France declares that the United States have denied their republicanism by not joining England and France in favor of Poland, and that the reason of this defection to their own political creed is found in their hatred of England and France. . . . that the United States are obliged to take sides with Russia, because they as well as Russia are trying to bring into bondage a struggling nation. La France thinks that the United States are preparing to make war on France in Mexico the moment the latter becomes engaged in a war with Russia, but this journal informs the Invalide Russe that its Government will be brought by diplomacy to do justice to Poland; that therefore there will be no war between France and Russia, and that France is not afraid of the United States under any circumstances.” Regarding the situation in Poland, the paper says that are more than 83,000 Russian troops in Poland with 5,000 cavalry and 163 pieces of artillery, that these troops have massacred Poles in various provinces and pillaged the homes of wealthy Poles.