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

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