Monthly Archives: October 2013

Do a Little Something for Their County~October 1863~27th to 31st

Do a Little Something for Their Country ~ Union soldier Thomas Donohue

Soldiers write home about food, or the lack of it, death, romance and home-sickness. Women continue their efforts to feed soldiers. The International Red Cross has its beginnings in Switzerland. The situation in Tennessee continues to boil toward more hard fighting before the year’s end. Walt Whitman tries to find a publisher. George Templeton Strong entertains. Effie Shaw, one of the sisters of the late Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, marries her sweetheart. And the world continues to change.

October 27– Tuesday– near Camp Iogu, Hamilton County, Tennessee– “Today pleasant our wagons came up about noon to the gratification of officers and men as all were suffering less or more for something to eat. . . . J Anderson, Fancher Brothers and myself went out in the country to buy some corn bread off the citizens we traveled all fore noon and visited some 25 or 30 houses, we found them all suffering worse then we were. everything had been taken from them by the secesh and their husbands and Brother and Fathers had left home some 2 years ago and some a year and some18 months and joined our army there is not secesh here there all for the union and treat us with all the respect they can, but none of them was able to sell us a loaf of corn bread they were all out of meat them that had any and said that baked it up for the soldiers yesterday and had divided with them until they had nothing left for themselves and there children on our way back to camp We were passing by a house where 2 women were chopping down a tree close to the road side we walked up to them and inquired if there was no men about to chop wood for them one of them said her husband had joined the first east Tennessee cavalry and took sick and died last winter at Murfreesboro the others was a young girl unmarried we told them it looked like [it was] too hard to see women into chopping wood so we turned in and chopped down and carried up to the house a nice pile of wood. They were remarkably well pleased and invited us to [come] in and rest ourselves but we thanked them kindly as it was then half past 12 o’clock and we had to be in camp at one for roll call.” ~ Diary of Union soldier John Hill Ferguson.

Chattonooga from the north

Chattonooga from the north

October 27– Tuesday– Chattanooga, Tennessee– The new supply route ordered by General Grant is operating. Food and ammunition are arriving for the Federal troops and the Confederate siege begins to weaken.

October 27– Tuesday– near Chattanooga, Tennessee– “I just returned last night from a trip of three days up in Walker County, Georgia after corn. I could not find any corn to buy and had to press some. I pressed it from a lady whose husband is gone to the Yankees, It was very hard to do so and she was crying and begging but I could not help it, my orders was to get corn and I was obliged to get it. I don’t want to go anymore. I had much rather fight Yankees than take corn from women and children. I had a good time otherwise, eating butter and milk and potatoes and other vegetables but it did not last long, but like the hog I had to return to my wallering [sic] in the clay and vomit again.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier William Stilwell to his wife Molly in Georgia.

October 27– Tuesday– Harlingen, the Netherlands– Railway service from Leeuwarden reaches this ancient city, chartered in 1234.

Harlingen railway station as it looks today

Harlingen railway station as it looks today

October 28– Wednesday– Boston, Massachusetts– “I have taken your proposition into consideration. There is a lion in the way– $– I could easily publish a small Book, but the one you propose– to stereotype, advertise and push it– implies an expenditure that may be beyond my means. But if I can get credit, I may try. Whether I will or no depends somewhat on the printer’s notions as to whether the book would sell. Suppose you finish it and send it on: if I can’t publish it, I will see if some other person won’t. This is the best I can safely promise you. If I can get one or two jobbers to read and like it, and they will make an advance order, or give a favorable trade opinion, the way is clear. What say?” ~ Letter from James Redpath to Walt Whitman in response to Whitman’s letter of October 21st. [The book will become Memoranda During the War and be published in 1875.]

October 28– Wednesday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– “Believing that united and systematic effort only could accomplish the work of relieving the suffering in the Army, the ‘Ladies’ Aid’ became last April an auxilery [sic] of the ‘Women’s Branch Sanitary Commission,’ and subsequent visits to the wounded at Gettysburg confirmed the good opinions formed of the Christian and Sanitary Commissions. A lady who spent weeks in the work at Gettysburg remarked to us, that no one could form any conception of the work they accomplished, unless they had witnessed their unwearied labors of love. . . . After the battle of Gettysburg we received and forwarded from friends in Greenvillage, 32 loaves of bread, 23 dozen of rusk, butter, apple butter, dried fruit, &c. And from our own society, shirts, sheets, towels, drawers, 8 pillows, 18 handkerchiefs, bologna sausage, tongue, chip beef, corn starch, 4 bottles of wine, raspberry vinegar, &c. Other articles received at that time were used in Hospitals at home. To these latter we desire to call the attention of our friends. Such articles as apple butter, peach butter, pickles, &c., are needed and will be thankfully received. Persons having old cotton or linen are requested to leave it at Nixon’s Drug Store, for the use of 500 wounded still at Gettysburg.” ~ Report from Martha C Nixon, Secretary of the Chambersburg Ladies’ Aid Society printed in this day’s Franklin Repository.

women of the US Sanitary Commission

women of the US Sanitary Commission

October 28– Wednesday– Baltimore, Maryland– “We landed here this morning. This afternoon at 3:00 o’clock we leave for Washington and I expect we go on to Warrenton, Virginia. We will join Captain Patterson’s Company– 148th Regiment. Well, Father, I feel satisfied that I am doing the will of God. I feel glad that I could so willingly yield to the will of God. I know that God is able to deliver me safe and if I should fall in the field of Battle. I am glad to know that God will save me forever in Heaven. I know that he that promised is faithful and cannot lie.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Franklin Rosenbery to his father, John Rosenbery.

October 28– Wednesday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Bulletin can publish articles of editorial, or when contributed, signed by the writer, favorable or unfavorable to the general policy of the Government, if in proper spirit and designed to do good. Also questions calculated to interest the people of West Tennessee and Arkansas may be discussed pretty freely, but the paper must be held responsible for the truth of every statement of facts, and that the article is calculated to do good and not excite resentment. Try and stop this universal spirit of fault-finding and personality that has brought the press down beneath the contempt of every decent man. Encourage business advertisements, improvements in the arts, narrations of events abroad in the past or, when well authenticated, of the present. In other words, let the Government and its agents do their business in their own way.” ~ Directive issued by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman to the editor of the Memphis Bulletin.

William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman

October 28– Wednesday– Cherbourg, France–The Confederate warship Georgia arrives in the port for refitting and to take on supplies.

the CSS Georgia

the CSS Georgia

October 29– Thursday– Boston, Massachusetts– In today’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr Horatio Storer, a doctor of obstetrics, reports positively on the use of chloroform to assist women in labor and delivery.

October 29– Thursday– Warrenton, Virginia– “I am well and enjoying myself as well as Can be expected Down here in Dixie I tell you we have had Some very hard marching lately from Culpeper to Centreville is about 60 miles and now we are going Going Back the Same road we Came on last week we Crossed the old bull run battle Field and we Could See lots of Skeletons of men that were killed there a year ago . . . . I See that old Abe has Called for three hundred thousand more men I Guess that Some of them will have to Come out here yet and do a little Something for their Country well I Guess I have written enough So I will Close Excuse all mistakes and poor writing.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Thomas Donohue to Almira Winchell

October 29– Thursday– Wauhatchie, Tennessee– Daylight sees the conclusion of one of the few night-time battles in the war. Federal troops in large numbers repel a Confederate attempt to cut off the Union supply line. Federals secure their connection from Chattanooga to the outside and can receive supplies, weapons, ammunition, and reinforcements via what soldiers are calling “the Cracker Line.” Confederate casualties total 408; Union casualties total 420 dead, wounded and missing.

fighting~October, 1863

fighting~October, 1863

October 29– Thursday– Houston, Texas– Confederate General Magruder sends a reprimand to General Henry McCullough because McCullough granted furloughs to half of his soldiers so that they could go home and plant crops of wheat. Magruder instructs him to recall these soldiers immediately “as their services in the field are absolutely necessary at this crisis.”

October 29– Thursday– Geneva, Switzerland– The international conference organized by Henry Dunant and his committee concludes the gathering which began on October 26th. The meeting, called to develop possible measures to improve medical services on the battle field, has been attended by 36 individuals: 18 official delegates from national governments, 6 delegates from other non-governmental organizations, 7 non-official foreign delegates, and the five members of the International Committee, including Dunant. The states and kingdoms represented by official delegates are Baden, Bavaria, France, Britain, Hanover, Hesse, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and Spain. Today at the conference’s conclusion the delegates adopt these final resolutions: 1) Foundation of national relief societies for wounded soldiers; 2) Neutrality and protection for wounded soldiers; 3) Utilization of volunteer forces for relief assistance on the battlefield; 4) Organization of additional conferences to enact these concepts in legally binding international treaties; and 5) Introduction of a common distinctive protection symbol for medical personnel in the field, namely a white armlet bearing a red cross. This marks the official beginning of the International Red Cross. [Dunant, a 35 year old Swiss businessman, has been trying to ameliorate battlefield conditions ever since 1859 when he toured the site of the battle of Solferino, Italy, and saw over 38,000 dead, dying and wounded, mostly unattended. For this work he will receive the very first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901.]

 

Henry Dunant

Henry Dunant

October 30– Friday– New York City– “Last Tuesday Miss Charlotte Cushman dined here . . . . The tragedienne is a cultivated woman and made herself most agreeable. She looks far better off the stage than on it. Her performances of Macbeth at Boston, New York, Washington and other cities, have brought the Sanitary Commission some eight thousand dollars.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong. [The $8,000 would be equivalent to $151,000 today.]

October 30– Friday– near Germantown, Virginia– “We have not orders to move from here yet, but don’t expect we will lay here long. The rebels destroyed the railroad from Bristol Station to the Rappahannock, and our men are at work repairing it as speedily as possible, and as soon as supplies can be transported on it again I think our army will advance again. We have had nice, clear weather for the last week, but it is cold at night, today it looks as if we might get rain soon. Give my kindest regards to Lydia Brand. I am glad that she thinks of me yet, but sorry to disappoint her in her request as it would be impossible to get a photograph taken here, but tell her I would be pleased to see hers, I have no doubt you young folks have changed a good deal since I saw you last, and also give my best respects to all the rest of Brands family, and all inquiring friends.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Christian Geisel to his sister Mrs Annie Geisel Montgomery.

October 30– Friday– North West Frontier Province, the border area between the Emirate of Afghanistan and the British controlled Punjab Province– Crag Piquet, a rocky position fortified by the British, is the scene of fierce fighting, sometimes hand-to-hand, between a large force of Pashtuns and British soldiers. Two British soldiers, George Fosbery and Henry Pitcher, will be awarded the Victoria Cross for their bravery in this battle. Control of this position will see-saw back and forth for the next four weeks.

October 31– Saturday– Staten Island, New York– Colonel Charles Russell Lowell, age 26, marries Miss Josephine “Effie” Shaw, age 19, in the Unitarian Church here. Effie is one of the sisters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who died in the attack on Fort Wagner in July.

Josephine "Effie" Shaw and her new husband

Josephine “Effie” Shaw and her new husband

October 31– Saturday– Charleston, South Carolina– From Thursday through today Federal artillery and gunboats lob 2961 rounds on the badly damaged Fort Sumter, causing 33 Confederate casualties. However, at sunset the Confederate flag still flies above the rubble.

October 31– Saturday– Marietta, Georgia– Birth of William G McAdoo, the second of three sons and the fourth of seven children born to William McAdoo and his second wife, Mary Faith Floyd McAdoo. He will serve as Secretary of the Treasury under President Woodrow Wilson for six years and as a U S Senator from California from 1933 to 1939.

William G McAdoo, c1915

William G McAdoo, c1915

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The Ship Rides Safe & Sound~October 1863~25th to 27th

The Ship Rides Safe & Sound ~ Walt Whitman

Whitman praises President Lincoln while the President begins considering standing for re-election next year. Soldiers write home. Black Union soldiers prove once again their combat readiness. Visiting Russian naval officers enjoy Niagra Falls. Southern socialite Mary Chesnut entertains Confederate officers. Two northern women raise a lot of money for the Sanitary Commission.

Seal of the U S Sanitary Commission

Seal of the U S Sanitary Commission

October 25– Sunday– Niagra Falls, New York– “They spent all day yesterday, from breakfast till dark, ‘doing’ the Falls, and there are few places of interest that were not visited by every officer of the fleet. They were allowed free passes everywhere . . . . The Russians . . . give the American side the preference . . . . They have spent their money very freely, however, for curiosities, and their presence here so late in the year, when the ‘season’ was thought to be over, has been a perfect godsend to the venders of these articles. All of them seem bound to have a plentiful supply of mementoes of their visit to this memorable place. It speaks well for their taste and judgment that their most liberal purchases are of stereoscopic views of the Falls and the scenery round about. Their visit here will terminate to-morrow morning. A special train will be in readiness at 8 1/2 o’clock to take them to Buffalo, where they will stop three hours. From Buffalo they will take a special train to Elmira, where they will stop over night, and arrive in New York on Tuesday. Thus far the excursion has been a great success, and the Russians unanimously vote it the most acceptable treat they have received since their arrival in America.” ~ A reporter for the New York Times describes the visit to the Falls by the Russian naval officers whose ships are anchored in the harbor at New York City.

visiting Russian naval officers

visiting Russian naval officers

October 25– Sunday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Fannie I wish you could just look in on me this evening and see how pleasantly I am situated I think perhaps you would want to be a soldier too, our tent is about nine feet by eighteen, on one side of the tent and near the center is a good brick fireplace in which a good cheerful fire is burning; directly opposite at a small table strewed with papers two or three ink stands, two books a looking glass, clothes, brush, match box, etc. is the subscriber happy as a lark and feeling first rate generally, my bed is a very useful article of furniture but not very ornamental stands in the back part of the tent covered with warm woolen blankets, don’t you wish you were a soldier so you could enjoy all these luxuries and comforts. We have built winter quarters for our men and the prospect is good for our staying here all winter, though there are rumors of our leaving here soon, I don’t credit them and shall not until the order for march comes then perhaps I may be persuaded to believe it. We are so comfortably situated now that I should rather dislike going into the field and leaving here just as we have got everything so nicely fixed for winter, but I am ready to go anywhere they have a mind to send us.” ~ Letter from Union officer Frank Guernsey to his wife Fannie.

October 25– Sunday– Pine Bluff, Arkansas– Early in the morning a company of Union cavalry, including black soldiers of the 5th Kansas Cavalry, head toward Princeton, Alabama. Soon they run into an advancing Confederate infantry division. After an exchange of fire, the Confederate commander advances under a flag of truce and demands surrender. The Federal troops refuse to surrender and slowly retreat back into Pine Bluff. About 300 freed slaves have rolled cotton bales out of the warehouses for barricades to protect the courthouse square and they join the dismounted cavalry troopers, taking positions to defend the town. After failing to take the square by a frontal assault, the Confederates attempt to set fire to the cotton bales to force out the Union soldiers but fail. The Confederate soldiers retire, leaving Pine Bluff under the control of the Federals. Casualties are 75 in total for the Union force and 40 total for the Confederate division. The Federal defenders, including the slaves, total about 850 fighters, and successfully hold off about 2,000 Confederate attackers.

22nd Regiment United States Colored Troops

22nd Regiment United States Colored Troops

October 26– Monday– Elmira, New York– “Before leaving Niagara Falls, this morning, the officers of the Russian fleet went down in a body from the Cataract House to the stairs leading to the ferry at the foot of the American Falls, where a photographic view of the entire party was taken, with the cataract in the background. It was a beautiful and cloudless morning, and, for the first time since the guests have been at the falls, a brilliant-hued rain bow shot forth from the mists of the cataract, and mounting the early sunbeams, pointed upward, like a painted horn, to the sky. The artist succeeded in getting an excellent negative, and the Russians are delighted at the prospect of having such a splendid souvenir of their visit to Niagara to transmit to their friends at home. . . . The party arrived a Elmira at 4 1/2 P.M., where they were received by a large concourse of citizens and escorted to the Brainerd House, which was decorated with Russian flags, and on the balcony of which a brass band played patriotic airs while the guests marched into the doorway. Some ten or fifteen invited guests, mostly officers of the Erie Railroad, accompanied the Russians from Buffalo to Elmira.” ~ A reporter for the New York Times.

October 26– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “Thanks to both you and our friend Campbell for your kind words and intentions. A second term would be a great honor and a great labor, which, together, perhaps I would not decline if tendered.” ~ Confidential letter from Abraham Lincoln to Elihu Benjamin Washburne. [Washburne, 47 years old, is serving in Congress as a U S Representative from Illinois. He is a close friend of Lincoln as well as General Ulysses Grant. He has sounded out the President on running for re-election in the upcoming presidential race in 1864.]

Elihu Washburne

Elihu Washburne

October 26– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “The prospect of passing the Winter in the North is less agreeable than probable. Not that I have an apprehension of a want of ordinary comforts; it is the isolation from home. My wound is doing well. I am now permitted to walk a few steps daily, and in consequence, I am slowly regaining strength. My general health is good as might be expected. The authorities of the Hospital are kind and attentive to our wants and comfort; the accommodations are ample and excellent. Virginia is visible across the Potomac.” ~ Letter from Confederate Major Henry Mc Daniel to his wife Hester in Georgia. Mc Daniel was wounded and captured at Gettysburg in July.

October 26– Monday– near Cleveland, Tennessee– “Our folks are very busy hauling in our corn. We will have plenty of corn, potatoes, tallow, pumpkins, and nearly enough meat to do us another year if we can only keep it from the soldiers. How thankful we should be for our blessings. The soldiers are ruining Uncle Caswell, taking his corn, burning his rails and killing his hogs.” ~ Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

October 26– Monday– Sacramento, California– The first rails are laid for construction of the Central Pacific Railroad.

October 27– Tuesday– New York City– “The well-known conduct of Governor Seymour during the riot fully sustains this view. His action was not, as his warmest friend must admit, that of the Governor of a community, attempting to preserve it from anarchy and rapine, but rather of the chief of a gang of ill-used and oppressed men, whose wrongs more than half-justified their crimes. We feel for the sensitiveness of the Democratic Presses as to these New-York riots. They certainly do present to the popular mind the most awful, as well as the most natural, culmination to the Copperhead principles. They have been a very unfortunate circumstance for the Peace Democracy in the West.” ~ The New York Times continues to blame the Democratic Party in general and the peace advocates (“Copperheads”) in particular for the July riots in New York City.

October 27– Tuesday– Washington, D. C.– “Well, dear Mother, how the time passes away– to think it will soon be a year I have been away– it has passed away very swiftly somehow to me. O what things I have witnessed during that time. I shall never forget them & the war is not settled yet, & one does not see any thing at all certain about the settlement yet, but I have finally got for good I think into the feeling that our triumph is assured, whether it be sooner or whether it be later, or whatever roundabout way we are led there, & I find I don’t change that conviction from any reverses we meet, or any delays or government blunders– there are blunders enough, heaven knows, but I am thankful things have gone on as well for us as they have– thankful the ship rides safe & sound at all– then I have finally made up my mind that Mr Lincoln has done as good as a human man could do. I still think him a pretty big President. I realize here in Washington that it has been a big thing to have just kept the United States from being thrown down & having its throat cut & now I have no doubt it will throw down secession & cut its throat & I have not had any doubt since Gettysburg.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to his mother, Louisa.

lincoln_rockingchair

October 27– Tuesday– near Warrenton, Virginia– “Still in camp. I hardly think that our Regiment will reenlist. While several of the officers (I for one) favor it, the men as a rule want to go home when their time expires. As one half must enlist again before they will send us home, I have no hope of going. It is growing cold very fast, and although our Regiment is in stone huts we find it difficult to keep warm.” ~ Diary of Union officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

October 27– Tuesday– near Columbia, South Carolina– “Young Wade Hampton has been here for a few days, a guest of our nearest neighbor and cousin, Phil Stockton. Wade, without being the beauty or the athlete that his brother Preston is, is such a nice boy. We lent him horses, and ended by giving him a small party. What was lacking in company was made up for by the excellence of old Colonel Chesnut’s ancient Madeira and champagne. If everything in the Confederacy were only as truly good as the old Colonel’s wine-cellars! Then we had a salad and a jelly cake. General Joe Johnston is so careful of his aides that Wade has never yet seen a battle. Says he has always happened to be sent afar off when the fighting comes. He does not seem too grateful for this, and means to be transferred to his father’s command. He says, ‘No man exposes himself more recklessly to danger than General Johnston, and no one strives harder to keep others out of it.’ But the business of this war is to save the country, and a commander must risk his men’s lives to do it.” ~ Diary of Mary Chesnut.

Mary Livermore

Mary Livermore

October 27– Tuesday– Chicago, Illinois– Organized by Mary Livermore and Jane Hoge of the U S Sanitary Commission, the first “sanitary fair” opens to raise money to buy medical supplies, clothes and other necessities for wounded and sick Union soldiers. The price of admission is 75 cents and visitors can purchase donated items such as clothes, toys, artwork, musical instruments, books and other such things. Mary Livermore, age 42 at the time, Massachusetts-born, is an educator, writer, abolitionist and activist. Her friend Jane Hoge, Pennsylvania-born, age 52, bore 13 children and is a worker for children and destitute widows. Both have been active in the business of the Sanitary Commission since the war began. [Over the next two weeks 5,000 people will come through the gates. The fair will raise $100,000 of which $3000 will come from the sale of the original draft of the Emancipation Proclamation which President Lincoln has donated. After the war, both women will remain active in various causes and both will write first-hand accounts of their war-time experiences. In today’s dollars the cost of admission would equal $14.10 and the proceeds would equal $1,890,000]

 

A Book That Would Please Women~October 1863~20th to 24th

A Book That Would Please Women~ Walt Whitman

Whitman tries to find a publisher for a new book, one which will please women. The days are busy ones for women. Two are arrested in Tennessee for the crime of dressing as men. One is killed in West Virginia by a train accident. Some try to raise money for their church. Others petition President Lincoln for total emancipation of all slaves. An actress enthralls George Templeton Strong.

Lee and Meade probe each other, looking for a weak place to mount an offensive. Confederate raiders create havoc in Missouri. Black troops cause a stir in Maryland. General Grant makes plans. Visiting Russian naval officers tour New York state. A representative of Venezuela seeks to buy a military vessel in the United States.

honor-brave-1500

October 20– Tuesday– South Norwalk, Connecticut– “I improve the present time to write a few lines to you to thank you for the kindness you have shown towards our afflicted son I feel that we can’t thank you half enough for the interest you have Manifested toward him our Dear boy but you have out heart felt thanks for what you have Done for him and us as parents to James and we humble hope the lord will reward you for it and May you in the hour of need find the Same friend you have been to James and I have no Doubt but what you will. our blessed Savior Says whosoever shall give a cup of cold water to any one Shall not lose his reward therefore I know the lord will reward you for all the kindness you have Showed our Son and to others I Dare Say for those that are kind to one is kind to More.” ~ Letter from John and Margaret Stilwell to Walt Whitman.

October 20– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln meets with Dr Thomas C Durant, age 43, a financier and railroad promoter, to discuss surveying the Great Plains and expansion of railroads in the west.

Thomas C Durant

Thomas C Durant

October 20– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Quantrell and other bold raiders in Missouri have collected some thousands of desperate men, and killed several regiments of the enemy. They have burned a number oftowns (Union), and taken the large town of Boonville. These are the men against whom Kansas Abolitionists have sworn vengeance– no quarter is to be granted them. I suspect they are granting no quarter!” ~ Diary of government clerk John Jones.

October 21– Wednesday– New York City– “The officers of the Russian fleet will start on their excursion to Niagara Falls to-morrow morning. The excursion has been gotten up under the joint auspices of the Hudson River Steamboat Company and the New-York Central and Erie Railroad Companies. All the officers of the fleet, numbering 100 and over, will join in the excursion, and they will be accompanied only by the Committee representing the Railroads and a few invited guests.” ~ New York Times.

October 21– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “A delegation is here saying that our armed colored troops are at many, if not all, the landings on the Patuxent River, and by their presence with arms in their hands are frightening quiet people and producing great confusion. Have they been sent there by any order, and if so, for what reason?” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to General Schenck, in Baltimore, Maryland.

October 21– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “My idea is a book of the time, worthy the time– something considerably beyond mere hospital sketches– a book for sale perhaps in a larger American market– the premises or skeleton memoranda of incidents, persons, places, sights, the past year (mostly jotted down either on the spot or in the spirit of seeing or hearing what is narrated) (I left New York early last December, & have been around in the front or here ever since)– full of interest I surely think– in some respects somewhat a combination in handling of the Old French Memoires, & my own personality (things seen through my eyes, & what my vision brings)– a book full enough of mosaic, but all fused to one comprehensive thing . . . . I have much to say of the hospitals, the immense national hospitals– in them too most radical changes of premises are demanded (the air, the spirit of a thing is every thing, the details follow & adjust themselves). I have many hospital incidents, [that] will take with the general reader– I ventilate my general democracy with details very largely & with reference to the future– bringing in persons, the President, Seward, Congress, the Capitol, Washington City, many of the actors of the drama . . . . I think it a book that would please women. I should expect it to be popular with the trade. Of course I propose the affair to you publisherially [sic] as something to invest in, to make out of (for both of us)– I take it [that] it would be a very handsome speculation. Only it is to be done while the thing is warm, namely at once. I have been & am in the midst of these things, I feel myself full of them, & I know the people generally now are too (far more than they know,) & would readily absorb & understand my memoranda. Wherefore let us make & publish the book, & out with it so as to have it for sale by middle or 20th of November.” ~ Letter of Walt Whitman to James Redpath.

James Redpath

James Redpath

October 21– Wednesday– near Warrenton, Virginia– “The people here seemed somewhat surprised to see us return. The game between Meade and Lee seems to me like a game of checkers, and Meade has had the last move. We do not know where the Rebel Army is, but I suppose General Meade does, and that is sufficient.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

October 21– Wednesday– Tennessee– “Jane Ann Rhodes and Josephine Barry were charged with appearing on the streets in male attire, and two men, a wagon master and another, were charged with complicity in their misconduct. It appeared from the evidence that the girls had accompanied the two men from Washington, and that they traveled with the army as assistants or Government employees. The girls were fined $5 each, and ordered to the workhouse, while the men were fined $50 each. Their names are R. L. Fowler and Frank Ward.” ~ Nashville Dispatch.

October 22– Thursday– New York City– “Tonight at the Academy of Music with Ellie, General Dix’s handsome, buxom, bouncing daughter Miss Kitty, Jem Ruggles, George Anthon, and Johnny. We had Mrs Little’s box. Macbeth for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission, with Charlotte Cushman and [Edwin] Booth; a strong cast. Immensely crowded house. . . . The performance excellent. The sleep-walking particularly intense; indeed Charlotte Cushman is the best Lady Macbeth I ever saw– beyond all comparison. Macbeth died very game.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong. [Charlotte Cushman (1816 to 1876) had a stellar career performing Shakespeare, even playing Romeo to her sister Susan performing as Juliet, and had two romantic relationships with other prominent women.]

Charlotte Cushman as Romeo & her sister Susan as Juliet

Charlotte Cushman as Romeo & her sister Susan as Juliet

October 22– Thursday– Albany, New York– The visiting Russian naval officers spend the evening here and have a brief meeting with Governor Seymour.

October 22– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Members of the New School Presbyterian Synod call upon President Lincoln to assure him of their loyalty. In his impromptu remarks the President declares it is his duty to maintain liberty and religion and he can only do his duty by the assistance of God and the means which God has supplied, of which the reverend gentlemen around him were noble examples. “If God be with us, we will succeed; if not, we will fail.”

October 22– Thursday– North West Frontier Province, the border area between the Emirate of Afghanistan and the British controlled Punjab Province– A British reconnaissance patrol is attacked by some Bunerwal tribesman.

October 23– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “One again, here is the petition, sponsored by the Loyal Women of The Republic, through their National Association, calling upon the Congress to enact emancipation of all persons of African descent held in involuntary servitude.” ~ The Liberator

October 23– Friday– Niagra Falls, New York– The visiting Russian naval officers arrive by train to do some sight-seeing at the Falls.

Niagara Falls, c.1862

Niagara Falls, c.1862

 October 23– Friday– Memphis, Tennessee– “This exhibition for some cause has been poorly attended. We cannot attribute the lack of interest in this praiseworthy movement of the Christian ladies of your community, to anything other than ignorance on the part of citizens of the existence of such a thing as Baptist Fairs. Indeed, we were told by Mrs. Grant, one of the principal leaders in this most benevolent enterprise, that many of the citizens had told her when interrogated, why they did not patronize the Fair, they knew nothing of it. Besides the weather, since the opening of it, has been most inclement and the impossibility of procuring any music may also have worked against it. Now, we wish it distinctly understood, by every reader of the Bulletin, not only that there is such an institution as the Baptist Ladies’ Fair, but that is so far as the collections and articles on exhibition are concerned, a decided success. We have visited many fairs in our life, but have yet to see one that will excel this in beauty of selection or variety. The tasteful arrangement and splendid decorations are a great credit on the heads of the tables. Wednesday evening, the commencement of the Fair, it was impossible to procure any music, the weather was unfavorable, the attendance slim, and the consequence was that but about $100 were realized– barely enough to pay expenses. Thursday evening, owing to the inclement of the weather, the attendance was but tolerable, the music promised did not come, and though the visitors were unusually liberal, the ladies realized but about $200. Tomorrow– Saturday evening– a Colonel of one of the regiments stationed in the city, proposes to have at the Hall one of our splendid brass bands, and Mr. Conway hopes to be able to present new and interesting attractions. The object is a benevolent one to support the past of the church, Mr. G. W. Lancaster, and to liquidate an outstanding debt on the church. We invite our citizens to attend to-night, and show by their presence here that they feel an interest in the cause of Christianity. This denomination have suffered severely since the war by the loss of three churches—one burned on Beal street– one demolished at Fort Pickering– and one is occupied as a hospital, leaving only this one in the city.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

October 23– Friday– North Wales, Great Britain– The Festiniog Railway introduces steam locomotives into general service.

 train

October 24– Saturday– Ritchietown, West Virginia– “A most terrible accident occurred . . . near the house of Mr. J. B. Ford, which resulted in the instant death of Mrs. Crane, wife of the Auditor of West Virginia. The engineer of the express for the east; as the train neared the point indicated, observed a lady walking in close proximity to the track and called to her to get out of the way. There are two or three tracks . . . near the point, and it is supposed she became confused and alarmed, and instead of getting out of the way, fell . . . upon the main track. . . . For two hours after the accident the body was not identified, but it was finally recognized as that of Mrs. Crane. An inquest was held upon the body and a verdict rendered in accordance with the above statements.” ~ The Wheeling Intelligencer.

October 24– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 23rd instant, enclosing a translation of a note addressed to you by Mr. Bruzual, in which he speaks of an intention of buying a steamer in this country for the government of Venezuela, of which he is the representative, and in connection with which you ask if I am aware of any objection to the arming of the steamer in the manner indicated in Mr. Bruzual’s dispatch. I am not sufficiently informed of the condition of affairs in Venezuela to express an opinion upon the subject of your inquiry. The subject is one of extreme delicacy, and should, and I doubt not will, be duly considered by the Department of State, especially in view of occurrences transpiring abroad affecting our own country. . . . The request of Mr. Bruzual appears to be, under the circumstances, one of extraordinary and unusual character, and such as, had the application been made by that gentleman to this Department, would not have been granted. He is not, it seems, accredited, by reason of the unsettled condition of affairs in Venezuela, and yet it is proposed he shall have extended to him the unusual favor of a public officer in obtaining an armed vessel. Excuse me for suggesting doubts as to the policy of this step, but they are such that I have declined the responsibility, and placed the letter exclusively on your request, so that you can present or withhold it, as in your judgment, with a full knowledge of the facts and my doubts, may seem best.” ~ Letter from Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to Secretary of State William Seward.

 

General Grant

General Grant

October 24– Saturday– Chattanooga, Tennessee– General Ulysses Grant makes a personal inspection of the Federal defenses and orders the creation of a supply route via Brown’s Ferry on the Tennessee River, a route more defensible than the one used to this point.

 

 

More Toward Universal Freedom~October 1863~the 16th to 19th

More Toward Universal Freedom~ New York Times

The New York Times evaluates the nature of the war and contrasts the goals of the Confederacy with those of the Union. President Lincoln calls for 300,000 more volunteers. General Grant receives command of all Federal forces in the west. Soldiers and civilians write about conditions in camp and at home. The wife of a black soldier is exploited by white men. Political tensions involving Russia, Poland, France, Mexico, Great Britain and the United States continue to simmer and lead to rumors of new wars. And the world continues to turn as a new generation of history makers are born.

first-main-cavalry

October 16– Friday– Camp Nelson, Kentucky– “There is scarcely any sickness in the Regiment now, as our camp is very dry and healthy and is kept perfectly clean. I don’t hear any talk of our leaving here, so I think the chances are that we will stay here some time. I am just as comfortable here as can be, I have first rate grub, a good stove, plenty of wood, and everything nice. . . . The election last Tuesday in Ohio was a grand victory for our side; don’t you Yorkers feel a little ashamed about your election last Fall, when you see how other states treat such chaps as Seymour & Vallandigham? Jeff, how is it that you never write to a fellow now a days, I’ve a good mind to get mad at all of you. Mattie what’s the news at your house, have you got lots of good things put away for the winter? I make lots of reckoning, of good dinners with you, if I come home this winter. Mother don’t neglect to write as soon as you get this, and let me know all the particulars of your affairs.” ~ Letter from Union soldier George Whitman to his mother and family in Brooklyn, New York.

October 16– Friday– near Chattanooga, Tennessee– “I have been looking for Father but no word of him. Now if he has not started tell him not to start now. The bridges between here and Atlanta are well washed away and General Bragg will not allow any citizen to come up. He had better wait some two weeks before he comes. I want him to bring me something good to eat and please send me a pair of pants and a shirt. I had a shirt stolen from me a few days ago, also please send me a towel. I am in good health. I have got me a Yankee horse, he was wounded in the fight in the foot. I think I can cure him. He won’t cost me but very little. I told the man I got him from if I cured I would pay him twenty-five dollars. He is a young horse four years old and, [if] I get him well, will be worth eight hundred or a thousand dollars.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier William Stilwell to his wife Molly in Georgia.

October 16– Friday– Birmingham, England– Birth of Austen Chamberlain, the second child and eldest son of Joseph Chamberlain and Harriet Kendrick Chamberlain. His mother dies giving birth to him. He will hold a number of cabinet level posts in the British government and in 1925 will share the Nobel Peace Prize along with American Charles G Dawes.

Sir Austen Chamberlin

Sir Austen Chamberlin

October 17– Saturday– New York City– Harper’s Weekly declares that Russian friendliness to the Lincoln administration is justly upsetting France and Great Britain and opines that “an alliance with the Czar . . . may prove an epoch of no mean importance in history.”

October 17– Saturday– Washington, New Jersey– Birth of Louisa Boyd Yeomans King, author, lecturer and pioneer of the garden club movement. The third of the five children of Alfred and Elizabeth Blythe Yeomans, she will write twelve books about gardening as well as numerous magazine articles.

Louisa Boyd Yeoman King

Louisa Boyd Yeoman King

October 17– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “Whereas the term of service of a part of the volunteer forces of the United States will expire during the coming year; and Whereas, in addition to the men raised by the present draft, it is deemed expedient to call out 300,000 volunteers to serve for three years or the war, not, however. exceeding three years. Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy thereof and of the militia of the several States when called into actual service, do issue this my proclamation, calling upon the governors of the different States to raise and have enlisted into the United States service for the various companies and regiments in the field from their respective States their quotas of 300,000 men. I further proclaim that all volunteers thus called out and duly enlisted shall receive advance pay, premium, and bounty, as heretofore communicated to the governors of States by the War Department through the Provost-Marshal-General’s Office by special letters.” ~ Proclamation by President Lincoln.

October 17– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– In the evening, President Lincoln, his wife Mary, their son Tad, and Lincoln’s secretary William Stoddard attend a benefit performance of William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. Theater owner Leonard Grover stages the play which stars James Wallack as Macbeth, Charlotte Cushman as Lady Macbeth, and Edward Davenport as Macduff. The Washington Evening Star reports that the Lincoln party “occupied the lower stage boxes to the right.” The benefit garners over $2,000 for the Sanitary Commission and “Mr. Grover. . . gave the use of the entire resources of his establishment for this benefit, (including the services of two stars at his own expense,) and Miss Cushman generously contributed her valuable aid to the same object.” [The $2,000 would equal $37,700 today.]

October 17– Saturday– Louisville, Kentucky– General Grant meets with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Stanton gives Grant orders creating the Military Division of the Mississippi which Grant himself is to command, replacing General Rosecrans with General Thomas, and General Sherman to have command of operations in Tennessee. Thomas and Sherman are to operate under Grant’s command.

General Grant

General Grant

October 17– Saturday– Bolivar, Tennessee– “I have commenced making myself a calico dress overcasting collar and cuffs. Ma says she is not going to make anymore common clothes for me. If I don’t make them then I will have to do without. She seems determined to make me learn how to sew. The Negroes all say that while there is a book on the place ‘Miss Sallie ain’t gwine to sew.’ They say that it is not because I am such a lover of books but because I don’t want to sew, which I expect is about half true as I dislike sewing very much indeed. But one consolation is that Ma says that sewing to all beginners is irksome.” ~ Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.

October 17– Saturday– London, England– “One thing is clearly apparent. It is that England has a healthy dread of war with America. English statesmen see nothing so disastrous. Consequently, Mr. Laird’s iron-clads are now, it is said, under charge of royal marines, and there is no fear of their leaving the Mersey until another effort has been made to hold them by law, or to make a law that will hold them. . . . As to France, there are no present signs of hasty movement. There seems now little doubt that the new Emperor, as he has been formally saluted, will go to Mexico in February or March. The presence of the new Empress, it is thought, will be better than an army of 40,000 men. All these matters will be pushed forward with the obstinacy of Napoleon and of France – of the man who is not accustomed to abandon his projects, and of the nation that overcame that same invincible obstacle in Algeria. But, must this of necessity lead to war between France and America? If the Monroe Doctrine be adhered to, yes; if it be abandoned, no. Napoleon has no occasion to become the ally of the South, unless threatened with war by the North. If so threatened on account of his occupation of Mexico and establishment of a monarchy there, he will naturally seek to strengthen himself by an alliance with any Power or any parties, that will aid him in carrying out his place of empire and aggrandizement. . . . The Queen of England has attended the uncovering of a statue of the late Prince Consort at Aberdeen.” ~ Dispatch sent by a reporter to the New York Times.

October 18– Sunday– New York City– “Our fathers fought in the Revolution for freedom. That was the sign by which they must conquer. That was emblazoned amid the glories of the banner under which they fought. And feeling this great truth pulsating in their every heart-beat, they could not but look kindly upon the effort of any slave to make himself a freeman among freemen, by offering his life as readily as they were offering theirs for their common country. But with the rebels it is the reverse. They have set Slavery as the foundation-stone of their Government. They have plunged into rebellion and crime of all sorts in defense of Slavery. The liberty which they claim to be fighting for is a liberty to enslave others. They declare their Confederacy to be ‘a God-sent missionary’ to teach ‘Slavery, Subordination and Government.’ We, on the other hand, fight on different conditions. All the logic of the struggle leads us more and more toward universal freedom. Every dollar spent, every drop of blood shed, is an argument in this direction, and leaves behind an influence which leads us to take a bolder stand and more decided measures for freedom to each and to all. The bravery of the black man has already silenced the opposition to these regiments.” ~ New York Times on “The Negro Soldier Question.”

October 18– Sunday– Chattanooga, Tennessee– Union General Thomas, now in command of the defense of the city, responds to General Grant’s orders not to withdraw by wiring that “We will hold the town till we starve.”

General George Thomas

General George Thomas

October 19– Monday– New York City– “There has been a great deal of speculation concerning the purpose for which vessels-of-war of each of the three greatest Powers of Europe were in our harbor. The public, we believe, generally settled down into the belief that the English happened here; that the Russians had come to our Atlantic coast for safety in event of war between [Russian Tsar] Alexander and [French Emperor] Napoleon; but nothing intelligible could be suggested regarding the French, unless, like the English, their coming was an accident.” ~ The New York Times.

 October 19– Monday– near Grand Ridge, Illinois– Birth of John Huston Finley, the first of the four children of Lydia Margaret McCombs Finley and James Gibson Finley. An educator and author, Finley will serve as president of the City College of New York [1903 to 1913], New York State Commissioner of Education and from 1921 until his death in 1940 as an editor at the New York Times.

John Huston Finley

John Huston Finley

October 19– Monday– Nashville, Tennessee– “The bearer Maria, Colored woman recently belonging to William Cartright, residing about eight miles on the Murfreesboro Pike has represented her case to me as one a peculiar hardship and ill usage. According to her statement her husband is a colored soldier in the regular service of the government, that while living with in the lines of this post her owner came and managed to steal her child away and convey it to his residence, being desirous of obtaining her clothes, and her other children, who trusted the word of a Tennessee soldier who offered for five dollars to convey her safely to the residence of her master, obtain her children and clothing and insure her safe return within the lines, but this was a trap, as she alleges by which for the sum of thirty dollars the soldier or individual so presenting himself had agreed to deliver he up to her master, who no sooner had her in his power than he locked her up for four days and inflicted upon her a most cruel beating, the marks of which she now carries on her person. A cruel beating was also inflicted on one of the children whose marks and scars was seen by one of the soldiers of the 129 Illinois Regiment. She now hopes to obtain from your excellency the necessary authority and help to obtain her clothing and two children. I have no doubt of the entire truthfulness of her statement, and I feel sure Governor that your well known regard for righteousness and your sympathy for the weak and oppressed will prompt you to do what may be within your power to redress the wrongs from the suppliant who will present you with this humble document.” ~ Letter from Thomas Cotton, Chaplain, 129th Regiment Illinois Volunteers, to Governor Andrew Johnson.

Election Returns Come in Triumphantly~October 1863~the 12th to the 16th

Election Returns Come in Triumphantly ~ Gideon Welles

In elections in key northern states candidates who favor peace with the South are defeated. Fighting continues in states throughout the Confederacy. The Confederate experimental submarine is lost. Walt Whitman keeps busy nursing the wounded but considers going home for a rest. As more of the Imperial Russian fleet arrives in the United States the Times of London criticizes the American President and the Russian Tsar.

October 12– Monday– Buckhorn Tavern, Alabama; Jonesborough, Missouri; Jackson’s Mill, Mississippi; West Liberty, Kentucky; Tulip, Arkansas– Raids and skirmishes.

fighting~October, 1863

fighting~October, 1863

October 12– Monday– San Francisco, California–Six warships from Russia’s Pacific fleet arrive on a friendly visit.

October 13– Tuesday– South Norwalk, Connecticut– “I received your kind and ever welcome letter from you and glad to hear that my brother is so comfortable and many thanks to you for your kindness to him and to me in writing to let me know how he is and I hope that the lord will reward you for your kindness to us who are entire strangers to you and I am sure that I will and all of us will ever be grateful to you and never will forget you or your kindness to us in our days of trouble.” ~ Letter from Julia Stilwell to Walt Whitman.

October 13– Tuesday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– “A fine pleasant day. To day will decide the great question wether Copperheadism [Democrats who favor peace with the Confederacy] can compete successfully with Unionism. It will be a greater triumph for the country than the bloodiest victory.” ~ Diary of Amos Stouffer.

October 13– Tuesday– Harrisburg, Pennsylvania– Incumbent Republican governor Andrew Curtin, a strong ally of President Lincoln, wins re-election, receiving 51.46% of the popular vote as compared to the 48.54% won by George Woodward, the Democratic challenger.

Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania

Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania

October 13– Tuesday– Columbus, Ohio–In the race for governor, the Peace Democrat Clement Vallandigham, running in absentia from exile in Canada, suffers a severe defeat by Unionist John Brough, a war Democrat running on the Republican ticket. Brough receives 60.59% of the votes to Vallandigham’s 39.41%.

 

John Brough, governor-elect of Ohio

John Brough, governor-elect of Ohio

October 13– Tuesday– Washington, D. C.– “The elections in Ohio and Pennsylvania absorb attention. The President says he feels nervous. No doubts have troubled me. An electioneering letter of McClellan in favor of Woodward for Governor of Pennsylvania, written yesterday, is published. It surprises me that one so cautious and intelligent as McC. should have been so indiscreet and unwise. The letter can do him no good, nor can it aid Woodward, who is a party secessionist. It is a great mistake, and must have been extorted from McClellan by injudicious partisan friends, under the mistaken idea that his personal influence might control the election. What errors prevail in regard to personal influence among party men! A good and wise man can do but little on the day of election, particularly in a bad cause. He can often aid in a good one by confirming the right-minded who are timid and may hesitate and doubt. McClellan lost balance when he wrote this letter. Preston King spent the evening with me. Young Ulric Dahlgren called. The gallant fellow lost a leg at Gettysburg and is just recovering, so that he gets around on crutches. It is the first of his calls, and King was wonderfully interested in him– affected to tears– and listened to his modest accounts with the earnestness of a child.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles. [At this time Preston King, age 56, a former U S senator from New York, has returned to his law practice but retains an active role in Republican politics by serving as chairman of the National Republican Committee. He is vehemently opposed to secession and strongly supportive of President Lincoln. Ulric Dahlgren, age 21, is the second son of Admiral Dahlgren. A captain in a cavalry unit he was injured on July 6th in a skirmish with Confederate cavalry as he and his men pursued Lee’s retreating column. His mangled lower right leg was amputated on July 9th.]

 October 13– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “There is a new lot of wounded now again. They have been arriving, sick & wounded, for three days. First long strings of ambulances with the sick. But yesterday many with bad & bloody wounds, poor fellows. I thought I was cooler & more used to it, but the sight of some of them brought tears into my eyes. Mother, I had the good luck yesterday to do quite a great deal of good. I had provided a lot of nourishing things for the men . . . I had them where I could use them immediately for these new wounded as they came in faint & hungry, & fagged out with a long rough journey, all dirty & torn, & many pale as ashes, & all bloody. I distributed all my stores, gave partly to the nurses I knew that were just taking charge of them & as many as I could I fed myself. Then besides I found a lot of oyster soup handy, & I procured it all at once. Mother, it is the most pitiful sight I think when first the men are brought in. I have to bustle round, to keep from crying– they are such rugged young men all these just arrived are cavalry men. Our troops got the worst of it, but fought like devils. . . . . Mother, I will try to come home before long, if only for six or eight days.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to his mother Louisa.

 

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

October 13– Tuesday– Warrenton, Virginia; Auburn, Virginia; Arrow Rock, Missouri; Maysville, Alabama; Fayetteville, Tennessee; Wyatt, Mississippi; Burlington, West Virginia– Skirmishes, raids and fire fights.

October 13– Tuesday– Vincennes, France– Philippe Antoine d’Ornano, a Marshal of France, dies at age 79. A second cousin to Napoleon Bonaparte, he served as a general. After Bonaparte’s defeat and exile, d’Ornano spent time in exile as well but by 1829 had returned to France and had a career in the military and later in politics.

Phillippe d'Ornano-c.1860

Phillippe d’Ornano-c.1860

October 14– Wednesday– New York City– “We are all jubilant over the good news from Ohio and Pennsylvania. The tail of the national Copperhead is out of joint. Ohio pronounces against the pinchbeck martyr to free speech, Vallandigham, by a majority estimated at near one hundred thousand. Curtin’s majority in Pennsylvania is less multitudinous, but t’will serve. McClellan has lowered himself sadly by an ill–advised letter, supporting Judge Woodward. Curtin’s Copperhead, anti-Administration, peace-on-any-terms opponent. I guess that the McClellan pipe is nearly smoked out . . . . He may be a good general, but he is a bad citizen, doing all he can– ignorantly, I hope and believe– to weaken and embarrass the government and to help the public enemy.” ~ Diary entry of George Templeton Strong. [In Ohio, Brough received over 288,000 votes while Vallandigham a bit over 187,000.]

October14– Wednesday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– “A fine day. The election returns are not near all in yet. But enough is known to make Curtin’s majority 20,000 at least. Franklin gave him about 350 majority. This election has been a glorious victory for the Great Republic.” ~ Diary of Amos Stouffer.

October 14– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “The election returns from Pennsylvania and Ohio are cheering in their results. The loyal and patriotic sentiment is strongly in the ascendant in both States, and the defeat of Vallandigham is emphatic. I stopped in to see and congratulate the President, who is in good spirits and greatly relieved from the depression of yesterday. He told me he had more anxiety in regard to the election results of yesterday than he had in 1860 when he was chosen.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 14– Wednesday– Catlett’s Station, Virginia; Shannon County, Missouri; Gainesville, Virginia; Carrion Crow Bayou, Louisiana; McLean’s Ford, Virginia; Blountsville, Tennessee; St Stephen’s Church, Virginia; Loudoun, Tennessee; Grove Church, Virginia; Salt Lick Bridge, West Virginia; Brentsville, Virginia– Melees, encounters, showdowns, small scale engagements and plenty of armed run-ins keep the doctors and burial details busy.

October 14– Wednesday– Chilton, Wisconsin– Birth of Winifred Sweet Black, journalist. The fourth of the five children and youngest of three daughters of Benjamin Sweet and Lovisa Denslow Sweet, she will have an extremely successful career from 1890 until her death in 1936 writing for the newspapers of William Randolph Hearst, often under the pen name of “Annie Laurie.” In September, 1900, she will disguise herself as a young man and maneuver through police lines to become the first outside journalist and the only woman reporter to describe the damage from the storm which devastated Galveston, Texas.

 

Winifred Sweet Black c.1913

Winifred Sweet Black c.1913

October 14– Wednesday– Bristoe Station, Virginia– Union troops maul Confederate attackers in a fierce fight. Federal casualties total 546; Confederate casualties amount to approximately 1400.

October 15– Thursday– Brooklyn, New York– “Walt do come home if only for a short time. . . . Will you write me at once if you can come. Mother, Mat and Sis are all suffering from bad colds, Mother particularly I think is failing rapidly. I do so wish that I could see you and have a good talk about family affairs I am in an awful hurry or would write more.” ~ Letter from Jeff Whitman to his brother Walt.

October 15– Thursday– Hedgesville, West Virginia– A squad of 37 Confederate soldiers are captured as they attempt to burn the bridge over Back Creek.

October 15– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “This lady, Abigail C. Berea, had a husband and three sons in the war, and has been a nurse herself, without pay” and asks to have her youngest son discharged because of poor health. “Let it be done.” ~ Order signed by President Abraham Lincoln to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

October 15– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “The election returns come in triumphantly for the Union. Woodward and Vallandigham, both Rebel sympathizers, have been defeated. General McClellan, whose reticence and caution have hitherto been well maintained, unwisely exposed himself. I am informed he refused to write a letter until assured by those in whom he had full trust that there was no doubt of Woodward’s election. I doubt if his letter helped Woodward to one vote, but it has effectually killed McClellan.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 15– Thursday– In Virginia at McLean’s Ford, Blackburn’s Ford, Mitchell’s Ford, Manassas and Oak Hill– Raiding and skirmishing as General Lee and General Meade probe each other’s strength and attempt to determine the other’s intentions.

October 15– Thursday– Charleston, South Carolina– The Confederate experimental submarine Hunley sinks taking the inventor Horace L Hunley and seven others to their deaths.

common grave of the Hunley crew

common grave of the Hunley crew

 October 15– Thursday– Bristol, Tennessee– Federal troops occupy the town.

October 15– Thursday– London, England– “Whoever recommended the Russian Emperor to send a squadron of frigates to New-York, may congratulate himself on a great success. Now that it is done we see that it was exactly the thing to do, and almost wonder that it never occurred before to the astute politicians of St. Petersburg. The resemblances between the United States and the Russian Empire have not only been remarked by every one who has thought on the present and probable future state of the world, but they have created a sympathy between the two Powers which is becoming stronger under the influence of calamity, disappointed ambition, and the rebukes of the civilized world. Both in their arrogance and petulance of a few years since and in their present tone of more limited pretensions the Americans and Russians have shown an accord which indicates the gravitation of the two Powers to a permanent alliance. . . . . In the hour of common trial the Czar gives his officers an opportunity of showing his Republican allies how much they sympathize with each other, and resent the ill-will of England and France. Not that the discreet and guarded Muscovites would ever hint that their visit had a political subject, or that they had anything but respect and esteem for Englishmen, Frenchmen, and all mankind. The coarser part of the speech-making is left to the New-York orators, just as the interpretation of the squadron’s visit, as the sign of speedy alliance between the two countries for the punishment of European perfidy, is allowed to be given to the world by the American Press. But there can be little doubt that what has taken place is just what the Emperor foresaw and desired. At a time when he and his brother Potentate at Washington are carrying on a relentless war against so-called ‘rebels,’ and each is in some trepidation as to the policy of France, the Czar calls forth an exhibition of the mutual sympathy between their respective nations. The time could not have been better chosen, the success could not have been more complete. The Russian officers are the lions of the hour. They are invited everywhere; the British and French officers remain unnoticed on board their ships.” ~ The Times of London.

October 16– Friday– Chantilly Cross Roads, Virginia– “If Lee attacks us here he will meet another Gettysburg defeat. Nothing but Rebel Cavalry have as yet appeared in our front. . . . We have been short of rations and an ear of field corn roasted in the ashes tasted very good to me. Yet I am happy and feel well all the time.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

 

A Better State of Things~October 1863~the 8th to the 12th

A Better State of Things~Gideon Welles

British and American officials make nice with each other, perhaps signaling improved international relations. Hard fighting continues in Tennessee and in Virginia. George Templeton Strong dines with the Secretary of State. Walt Whitman describes the patients in the hospitals. And the world continues to turn with the births of those who will help to shape the next century.

Winfield House in London--residence of the American Ambassador since 1936

Winfield House in London–residence of the American Ambassador since 1936

October 8– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “Dear comrade, I still live here as a hospital missionary after my own style, & on my own hook. I go every day or night without fail to some of the great government hospitals. O the sad scenes I witness, scenes of death, anguish, the fevers, amputations, friendlessness, of hungering & thirsting young hearts, for some loving presence, such noble young men as some of these wounded are, such endurance, such native decorum, such candor. I will confess to you, dear Hugo, that in some respects I find myself in my element amid these scenes and shall I not say to you that I find I supply often to some of these dear suffering boys in my presence & magnetism that which nor doctors nor medicines nor skill nor any routine assistance can give?” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to Hugo Fritsch.

October 8– Thursday– Fairfax, Virginia– “I believe with Lord Bacon, who was a very wise old fellow, that whatever be your income, it is only just to yourself, your wife, and your fellow-men, to lay aside a large fraction for wet days, and a large fraction for charity; I have never acted up to my theory, but I mean to begin now– I don’t mean to worry about money, and I don’t mean to have you worry ; ergo you must expect to see me keep an account-book, and occasionally pull it out and warn you how much water we are drawing, and how much there is under our keel. Mother ends by saying that she has put a thousand dollars in the bank to be something to fall back upon during the first year, but I think we ought to get along without needing that, my pay is $2400 a year, not including horses, one servant, and fuel and quarters ‘commuted’ when on duty in a city, of course these latter are supplied in the field. I know what officers of my regiment have done easily on a captain’s pay, and I know what I used to do when I kept house in Burlington, and I know we can live suitably and worthily on that, and be very happy and see friends as we want to see them, only we must start right.” ~ Letter from Charles Russell Lowell to his fiancee, Effie Shaw. [His salary of $2400 would equal $45,300 in current dollars.]

October 9– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “Another female bread riot occurred in Mobile, September 4th. The 17th Alabama regiment was ordered to put down the disturbance, but refused to do duty. The Mobile Cadets tried their hand, and were defeated and forced to fly by the women. Peaceful measures finally quieted the famine-stricken wretches. The rioters proclaimed openly their determination, if some means were not rapidly devised to relieve their suffering or stop the war, to burn the whole city.” ~ The Liberator provides an exaggerated account of the bread riot.

October 9– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “We [directors of the Sanitary Commission] gave a grand dinner to [Secretary of State William] Seward Friday night at Willard’s [Hotel]. Sat next to the Secretary and am satisfied there is more of him than I supposed. He is either deep or very clever in simulating depth, and discoursed of public affairs in a statesmanlike way, I thought.” ~ George Templeton Strong, in the capital on Sanitary Commission business, describes the evening in his diary.

 

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

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

October 9– Friday– Bristow Station, Virginia– “All of the officers have built quarters, and it looks now as if we were to stay here during the winter and guard the railroad. I hope so, for this is the first easy duty we have ever had, and we need rest. There is some talk of sending the 2nd Rhode Island home for the winter. . . . [regarding re-enlistment] I want to remain and see the end of the war. We had a very good meeting last night, and much interest was shown.” ~ Elisha Hunt Rhodes in his diary.

October 9– Friday– den Helder, the Netherlands– Birth of Edward William Bok, author, editor, conservationist, philanthropist and peace advocate. The second of the two sons of Sieke Gertrude van Herwerden Bok and William Hidde Bok, he will emigrate with the family to the United States in 1870. [In addition to writing numerous books and articles, giving generously to the arts and education, creating the American Peace Award in 1923 and supporting the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, Bok will serve as editor of Ladies Home Journal for 30 years, making it the premier magazine for women for over two decades and, in 1907, the first American magazine to have one million subscribers. At his death in 1930 he will leave a total of $2,000,000 to various charities.]

Edward Bok

Edward Bok

October 10– Saturday– Cambridge, Massachusetts– Birth of Alanson Bigelow Houghton, the second of five children and first son of Ellen Ann Bigelow Houghton and Amory Houghton. He will develop Corning Glass, his father’s company, into national prominence, be elected to two terms in the U S House of Representatives and serve as American ambassador to Germany and later to Great Britain.

Alanson B Houghton

Alanson B Houghton

October 10– Saturday– New York City– Representatives of the City of Baltimore, Maryland, call upon the Russian admiral and extend an official invitation for the Russian fleet to visit their city.

October 10– Saturday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– Birth of Helen Dunbar, stage and film actress.

 

Helen Dunbar

Helen Dunbar

October 10– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– At the White House, President Lincoln receives the British Minister Lord Lyons, Admiral Alexander Milne, and two other officers of British navy, escorted by Secretary of State Seward.

 October 10– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “Dining at Lord Lyons’s this evening. Admiral Milne, who sat next me, stated that he is the first British admiral who has visited New York since the government was established, certainly the first in forty years. He said that it had been the policy of his government to avoid such visitations, chiefly from apprehensions in regard to their crews, their language and general appearance being the same as ours. There were doubtless other reasons which neither of us cared to introduce. He was exceedingly attentive and pleasant. Said he had tried to preserve harmony and good feeling, and to prevent, as far as possible, irritation and vexatious questions between us. Complimented the energy we had displayed, the forbearance exercised, the comparatively few vexatious and conflicting questions which had arisen under the extraordinary condition of affairs, the management of the extensive blockade, and the general administration of our naval matters, which he had admired and in his way sustained without making himself a party in our conflict. There were some twenty or twenty-five guests, including the Prussian, Spanish, and Brazilian Ministers, the Secretary of State, the Attorney-General, and myself of the Cabinet. The whole was well-timed and judiciously got up for the occasion, and with a purpose. It is, I think, the harbinger of a better state of things, or rather of a change of policy by the English government.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles. [Sir Alexander Milne, age 57, a career officer, has been Commander-in-Chief of the North America and West Indies Station of Her Majesty’s Navy since January, 1860. He has been particularly conscientious in having ships under his command watch for vessels engaged in the slave trade. At time of this dinner he has just brought his flagship, the HMS Nile, from New York City to the Washington area.]

 

Admiral Sir Alexander Milne

Admiral Sir Alexander Milne

October 10– Saturday– Blue Springs, Tennessee– Federal forces defeat a Confederate column which is attempting to disrupt Union lines of supply and communication. Union casualties total 100, Confederate losses 216.

October 11– Sunday– In Virginia at Brandy Station, Culpeper Courthouse, Griffinsburg, Kelly’s Ford, Morton’s Ford, Stevensburg, and Warrenton– Heavy skirmishing, intense fire fights, cavalry clashes and sniping as Union forces try to curtail General Lee’s new thrust northward.

October 11– Sunday– Bristow Station, Virginia– “Still on guard duty. The enemy does not molest us. Only pretty girls with pies for sale invade our camp.” ~ Diary of Union officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

October 11– Sunday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Last night about eleven o’clock, a fire broke out in a block of wooden buildings on the south side of Beal street, entirely consuming nine of them, together with much of their content. The fire was undoubtedly the work of an incendiary, and we hear of parties who think they can identify him. If so, the matter should be investigated.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

October 11– Sunday– near Chattanooga , Tennessee– “My Dear we are hear [sic] in line of Battle at the time expecting a battle every day an the cannons is firing every day an the bomb shells is passing an bursting about every day they have bin [sic] at it this morning but they do but little damage as yet. I hope we will never have this battle to fight for if we do we will lose several thousand good men.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Richard Brooks to his wife Telitha in Georgia.

October 11– Sunday– Tavistock, England– Birth of Mary Ellen Spear Smith, politician. She will move to Canada with her husband and sons in 1892 and become the first woman member of British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly as well as the first woman Cabinet minister in the British Empire. As an independent, she will win a Vancouver by-election in 1918, called after the death of her husband Ralph Smith and will later be re-elected as a Liberal in 1920 and again in 1924. She will serve as minister without portfolio from March to November 1921. In her career she will serve as a powerful advocate of British Columbia’s first Mothers’ Pensions Act and Female Minimum Wage Act.

 

Mary Ellen Smith

Mary Ellen Smith

October 12– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “At Seward’s yesterday with Lord Lyons and Admiral Milne to dine. Miss Cushman, the actress, who is visiting at Seward’s, was present. I took her to dinner. The city is full of rumors of fighting, and of Meade’s falling back. Much is probably trash for the Pennsylvania and Ohio elections, which take place to-morrow. Still I am prepared for almost any news but good news from the front. Cannot expect very good news from Meade’s command. He would obey orders and faithfully carry out the plans of a superior mind, but there is no one here more capable than himself, to plan, to advise, to consult. It will not surprise me if he is outgeneraled by Lee.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 12– Monday– McMinnville, Tennessee– “We are now sure that a great victory was gained by our troops at Chickamauga, that Rosecrans was worsted and Burnside defeated. Report states now that Rosecrans is at Chattanooga occupying the late rebel fortification there, and that he is surrounded. Longstreet, being on this side [of] the Tenn. river with a large force. Forrest is also said to be on this side [of] the river, and Wheeler to have gone on from McMinnville to Shelbyville, which he captured, destroying all stores etc. just as he did at McM. The mountain people who have been robbing so much here all summer, are very much frightened I am told, for fear of the retribution which is to come if the ‘sesh’ get it again, and many of them are moving off. It will be a good riddance to any place when such a population leaves, certainly; but I fear they are not half frightened enough. Their doings have been so outrageous that I would wish them to be ‘scared out [of] their seven senses,’ if they have the usual number, which I think doubtful. Yesterday Darlin’ and I rode out a little way on the Altamont road in the buggy, but I was uneasy the whole time consequently our ride was brief. I do not like to leave the house for any length of time—there is no telling what may happen before your return. We are environed by dangers on every side and live as it were on the brink of a precipice. Robberies take place every day or two, and we know not when our turn may come. Lawless men roam at large, all about, belonging to neither, or both armies, but whose only object is rapine and plunder. I see the Abolition Nashville Union exalts in the fact that Warren county has been desolated, nothing left the rebels there but their land and houses—some of the latter gone too. Well, so it is—but God I trust will care for us and help us, if we try to help ourselves.” ~ Journal of Lucy Virginia French.

 

 

Much Has Been Done But Not All~October 1863~the 4th to the 8th

Much Has Been Done, but Not All. ~ General James Longstreet

The year’s fighting is far from over and casualties mount. General Longstreet encourages his troops. Walt Whitman receives financial support for his hospital visitation work. New York City and the visiting Russian fleet continue to enjoy each other. The situation in Mexico continues to boil. And the world continues to change.

October 4– Sunday– Boston, Massachusetts– “I was very glad to hear of the receipt of the check I sent you & to know that it had already begun to do some good. I like very much your plan of aiding chiefly those frequent cases of suffering among the poor & unfriended young men of whom I have myself seen so many in the hospitals. I am sure you must be doing infinite good to the bodies & souls of these poor youths so far away from all other sympathies & friendships, & who now just seek a friend & comforter as few are to them. The hospitals are too cold, too regardless of human feeling, treating our brave volunteers too much like more professional fighters not more like thinking & suffering men. It is bad policy, as well as inhumanity, to treat them so. The effects of the iron will of our hospitals is discouraging to the hearts of our men, & I fear it does more to prevent volunteer enlistments than all other causes. The difficulty of getting discharges & furloughs, even in cases clearly demanding such indulgence, is very great & seems to increase rather than to diminish. I wish some more humane rules could be established. I have tried to prevail upon those in authority to ameliorate the system, but without effect. I have received twenty dollars . . . but I retain it for a few days hoping to add more to it. Meanwhile I have sent your letter to our friend Miss Hannah E. Stevenson, (whom you may remember as an ardent worker in one of the Georgetown Hospitals,) who will read it to some of her friends. She informs me that her sister Mrs Charles P Curtis has written to you & sent aid for the boys. She was much interested in your account of them. It will give me great pleasure to hear from you again.” ~ Letter from Dr Le Baron Russell to Walt Whitman.

New York City committee on board the Russian flagship

New York City committee on board the Russian flagship

October 4– Sunday– New York City– “The Joint Committee of the Common Council on the reception and entertainment of our Russian guests met yesterday to arrange the preliminaries for the grand banquet to be given to the officers of the fleet. The Committee were in session two or three hours, but adjourned without fixing the time for the banquet, or deciding upon the place in which it is to be held. . . . The place for holding the banquet will probably be the Academy of Music, which will afford an opportunity for a larger number of our citizens, including ladies, to join in the festivities. As the Russian fleet will remain in our harbor for some time to come, there is no occasion for haste, in any of the means that may be adopted for the entertainment of its officers. . . . Meanwhile, the officers, as well as the crews of the squadron, are enjoying themselves in their own way in viewing the sights of the City, and partaking individually of the hospitalities of our citizens. Last evening, Admiral Lisovsky, accompanied by a number of the officers of the fleet, visited Niblo’s Theatre.” ~ The New York Times.

October 4– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– “Your letter reached me this forenoon with the $30 for my dear boys, for very dear they have become to me, wounded & sick here in the government hospitals. As it happens I find myself rapidly making acknowledgment of your welcome letter & contribution from the midst of those it was sent to aid & best by a sample of actual hospital life on the spot, & of my own goings around the last two or three hours. As I write I sit in a large pretty well-fill’d ward by the cot of a lad of 18 belonging to Company M, 2nd N Y cavalry, wounded three weeks ago to-day at Culpepper, hit by fragment of a shell in the leg below the knee, a large part of the calf of the leg is torn away, (it killed his horse) still no bones broken, but a pretty large ugly wound. I have been writing to his mother . . . . Although so young he has been in many fights & tells me shrewdly about them, but only when I ask him. He is a cheerful good-natured child [who] has to lie in bed . . . I bring him things, he says little or nothing in the way of thanks, is a country boy, always smiles & brightens much when I appear, looks straight in my face & never at what I may have in my hand for him. I mention him for a specimen as he is within reach of my hand & I can see that his eyes have been steadily fixed on me from his cot ever since I began to write this letter. There are some 25 or 30 wards, barracks, tents, &c in this hospital. This is ward C, has beds for 60 patients, they are mostly full, most of the other principal wards about the same, so you see a U S general hospital here is quite an establishment, this has a regular police, armed sentries at the gates & in the passages &c & a great staff of surgeons, cadets, women & men nurses &c &c. I come here pretty regularly because this hospital receives I think the worst cases & is one of the least visited.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to Margaret S. Curtis in response to hers of October 1st.

typical ward of a Civil War hospital

typical ward of a Civil War hospital

October 4– Sunday– Richibucto, New Brunswick, Canada– Birth of Peter Veniot, businessman, newspaper owner, and politician who will serve as the Premier of New Brunswick from 1923 to 1925.

October 5– Monday– New York City– Admiral David Farragut of the U S Navy visits the Russian ships anchored in the harbor. The Russians express their pleasure with the visit.

October 5– Monday– Brooklyn, New York– The Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Rail Road begins operations. [This is now the oldest right-of-way on the New York City Subway, the largest rapid transit system in the United States and one of the largest in the world.]

October 5– Monday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “Rev. Alexander Campbell. – This distinguished gentleman preached yesterday to a full house in the Disciple’s church, Centre Wheeling. Although quite advanced in old age, being upwards of seventy-five, he retains a great deal of those wonderful powers of mind that have made him famous as a theologian throughout the world. He seldom any more leaves his quiet home at Bethany, being too feeble to travel any great distance. We learn, however, that he still employs himself in his literary labors as editor of the Harbinger and President of the College, as ardently, and almost as laboriously, as ever. His many friends here and elsewhere will be glad to know that his health is such as to permit him to make a visit even this far from home.” ~ Wheeling Intelligencer. [Born in Ireland in 1788, Campbell is one of the founders of the Disciples of Christ as well as president and founder of Bethany College which is about 25 miles from Wheeling.]

 

Alexander Campbell

Alexander Campbell

October 5– Richmond, Virginia– “Soldiers! Much has been done, but not all. The fruits of your splendid victory are to be enjoyed. Tennessee and Kentucky, with their rolling fields and smiling valleys, are to be reclaimed to freedom and independence. You are to be the agent of their deliverance, and your task requires the same heroic fortitude, patience, and courage, always shown by you in the trying past. Your General looks to you for renewed exertions.” ~ Richmond Times Dispatch quotes the address given by General James Longstreet to his troops after the battle of Chickamauga.

October 5– Monday– In Tennessee at Blue Springs, Murfreesborough, Readyville and at Stones River railroad bridge– Skirmishing as both sides maneuver. Confederate raiding parties strike both at Shelbyville and at Christiana as well.

October 5– Monday– Tilburg, the Netherlands– The railway station opens with service now available to Breda, the Netherlands.

October 6– Tuesday– Boston, Massachusetts– “I took from Dr. Russell your letter to Mr. Redpath, to stir some warm hearts to aid you in your blessed work among our sick and wounded boys. My sister, Mrs. Charles P. Curtis, has already written you. Her husband’s words and her own, your touching words coined into gold or greenbacks. I inclose you to-day thirty dollars, the result of an application to my friends, the Misses Wigglesworth.” ~ Letter from Hannah E Stevenson to Walt Whitman. [Anne and Mary Wigglesworth were friends of Hannah Stevenson’s and patrons of various benevolent organizations in Boston. Mary will die in 1882 and Anne in 1891. See the Boston Evening Transcript, August 29, 1882, and January 6, 1891.]

October 6– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Senator Charles Sumner writes to John Bright in England warning that British intervention the American civil war could give Russia an excuse to begin naval operations against British and French ships or operations in Mexico against the French. [Bright, a month away from his 52nd birthday, is a Quaker and Radical who at this time is serving his 20th year in the House of Commons. An eloquent orator, he has spoken against American slavery and in support of the Lincoln Administration.]

October 6– Tuesday– Washington, D. C.– “Mother, I am writing this in Major Hapgood’s office as usual. I am all alone to-day. Major is still absent, unwell, & the clerk is away somewhere. O how pleasant it is here, the weather I mean, & other things too for that matter. I still occupy my little room 394 L street, get my own breakfast there, had good tea this morning, & some nice biscuit, (yesterday morning & day before had peaches cut up). My friends the O’Connors that I wrote about re-commenced cooking the 1st of this month, (they have been as usual in summer taking their meals at a family hotel near by.) Saturday they sent for me to breakfast & Sunday I eat dinner with them, very good dinner, roast beef, lima beans, good potatoes &c. They are truly friends to me. I still get my dinner at a restaurant usually. I have a very good plain dinner, which is the only meal of any account I make during the day, but it is just as well, for I would be in danger of getting fat on the least encouragement, & I have no ambition that way.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to his mother Louisa.

 October 6– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– In the evening, President Lincoln, Secretary of State Seward and their families attend a performance of Shakespeare’s Othello on stage at Grover’s Theater.

October 6– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “I read to-day an interesting report from one of our secret agents– Mr A Superviele– of his diplomatic operations in Mexico, which convinces me that the French authorities there favor the Confederate States cause, and anticipate closer relations before long. When he parted with Almonte, the latter assured him that his sympathies were with the South, and that if he held any position in the new government (which he does now) he might say to President Davis that his influence would be exerted for the recognition of our independence.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

October 6– Tuesday– Baxter Springs, Kansas– William C. Quantrill and his raiders massacre about 100 black Union soldiers.

October 6– Tuesday– Off the coast of Texas–U S warships capture a British blockade runner.

October 7– Wednesday– Bristow Station, Virginia– “Our new Chaplain is Rev John D Beugless, formerly pastor of the Pawtuxet Baptist Church. . . . Many of the soldiers are good Christian men but need some one to guide them. I feel greatly rejoiced over the prospect for the future.” ~ Diary of Union officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

October 7– Wednesday– Memphis, Tennessee– Union General Grant orders that all cotton and other crops belonging to persons in armed rebellion against the United States are to be seized.

 

infantry fighting

infantry fighting

October 7– Wednesday– Hazel River, Virginia; Warsaw, Missouri; Ferry’s Ford, Arkansas; Summit Point, West Virginia; Utz’s Ford, Virginia; Charles Town, West Virginia; Evening Shade, Arkansas; Mitchell’s Ford, Virginia– Skirmishes, ambushes, raids and fire fights.

 October 8– Thursday– Rochester, New York– Birth of Edythe Chapman, a star of the stage and of silent films. She will make her first film at age 51 in 1914 and her last at age 67 in 1930 and three dozen more in between.

Edythe Chapman

Edythe Chapman

 

Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi~October 2, 1869

“Born of Hindu parents in 1869, Gandhi traveled to London as a young adultto study law. He corresponded with Tolstoy, sending him a copy of IndianHome Rule and seeking Tolstoy’s comments. Tolstoy replied that India andhumanity as a whole needed the practice of passive resistance.”

Gandhi in 1907 in South Africa

Gandhi in 1907 in South Africa

“Gandhi gained employment with a Muslim law firm in South Africa. There,with his dark complexion, he encountered extreme racial prejudice. Reading the Bible, the Koran, and Tolstoy’s Kingdom of God Is Within You, he became increasingly convinced that only nonviolence could heal the wounds of the world, both personal and national. He worked tirelessly on behalf of Indian immigrants’ civil rights, refusing to depart from nonviolence to achieve political purposes. Instead he relied on satyagraha, a term he coined, meaning “holding on to Truth” or “Soul force”. He achieved remarkable changes on behalf of South African Indians during this period.”

Gandhi at age 21

Gandhi at age 21

“Returning to India, Gandhi took up the cause of freedom from British rule. He endured imprisonments without trial, and fasted for weeks on end to purify both his own motives and those of others in the freedom movement whose frustration with setbacks and slow progress often led to violence. He founded the weekly paper Harijan to address the need of “untouchables,” and created two ashrams.

Ultimately the goal of independence for India became a source of great sadness to Gandhi. He refused to attend the independence celebration on August 15, 1947, unwilling to be a party to what he termed “India’s vivisection”: the partitioning off of Pakistan from India. During the civil unrest following independence, Gandhi fasted for communal peace. He personally visited areas beset with riots, to no avail. In January 1948, Gandhi was assassinated as he was on his way to a prayer meeting.

Gandhi’s timeless influence inspired Dr. Martin Luther King and countless other peace activists, and brings light to our world in these dark days.

Recommended readings: Gandhi on Non-Violence, A Selection from the Writings of Mahatma Gandhi, edited and with an introduction by Thomas Merton; and, The Words of Gandhi, selected by Richard Attnborough, Director of the award-winning film “Gandhi” (1982), for which Attenborough prepared through 20 years of study about Gandhi and his life.” — from Gratefulness.org, A Network for Grateful Living.

Kasturba, Gandhi's wife, in 1915

Kasturba, Gandhi’s wife, in 1915

 

“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”~ Gandhi

To Heal the Wounds of the Nation~October 1863~the 1st to the 3rd

To Heal the Wounds of the Nation~ Abraham Lincoln

As the new month begins the Atlantic Monthly rebukes a prominent British author. President Lincoln calls for a national day of thanksgiving. Secretary of the Navy Welles evaluates a Union general. The visiting Russians continue to cause a stir in New York City. The reform-minded Hutchinson Family singers perform in Boston. Walt Whitman receives monetary support to continue his visitations to the wounded. In Memphis a fallen woman takes her own life.

Offices of the Atlantic Monthly

Offices of the Atlantic Monthly

October– Boston, Massachusetts– This month’s Atlantic Monthly carries a response to Thomas Carlyle. “You have Homered it of late in a small way, one sees. You profess to sing the purport of our national struggle. ‘South chooses to hire its servants for life, rather than by the day, month, or year; North bludgeons the Southern brain to prevent the same’: that, you say, is the American Iliad in a Nutshell. In a certain sense, more’s the pity, it must be supposed that you speak correctly; but be assured that this is the American Iliad in no other nutshell than your private one,– in those too contracted cerebral quarters to which, with respect to our matters, your powerful intelligence, under such prolonged and pitiless extremes of dogmatic compression, has at last got reduced. . . . To have lost, in the hour of our trial, the fellowship of yourself, and of others in England whom we most delighted to honor, is a loss indeed. Yet we grieve a thousand times more for you than for ourselves; and are not absorbed in any grief. It is clear to us that the Eternal Providence has assigned us our tasks, not by your advice, nor by vote of Parliament,– astonishing to sundry as that may seem. Your opinion of the matter we hold, therefore, to be quite beside the matter; and drivel, like that of your nutshell-epic, by no means tends to make us wish that Providence had acted upon European counsel rather than upon His Own! Moreover, we are very busy in these days, and can have small eye to the by-standers. We are busy, and are likely to be so long; for the peace that succeeds to such a war will be as dangerous and arduous as the war itself. We have as little time, therefore, to grieve as to brag or bluster; we must work. We neither solicit nor repel your sympathy; we must work,– work straight on, and let all that be as it can be.” [At this time Carlyle, historian and essayist, is approaching age 68 and is in declining health. Since 1850 he has moved away from earlier liberal ideas, attacked the idea of democracy and publicly supported slavery by which he has alienated English thinkers such as John Stuart Mill and Americans such as Ralph Waldo Emerson.]

October 1– Thursday– Auburn, Virginia; Elizabethtown, Arkansas; Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia; Mountain Gap, Tennessee; Lewisville, Virginia– Skirmishes, raids and fire fights add to the number of killed and wounded.

October 1– Thursday– Boston, Massachusetts– “It was with exceeding interest that Mr. Curtis and I listened to the letter you lately wrote to Dr. Russell, which came to us through my sister, Miss Stevenson. Its effect was to make us desire to aid you in the good work you are engaged in, caring for the sick and wounded soldiers. We inclose thirty dollars and feel very glad to have the opportunity to minister to their comfort. Mr. Curtis would send it anonymously, but I think it is pleasant to know where one had excited an interest, and in asking you to acknowledge its receipt, my wish is most to be sure that it has reached its destination.” ~ Letter from Margaret Curtis to Walt Whitman. [The $30 gift would be like one of $566 today.]

October 1– Thursday– New York City– “Much impeded by the crowd that blocked Broadway, spectators of the reception of the Russian naval officers whose squadron is now in the harbor. This evening to the Club; a large assemblage, and a speech from a reverend Englishman, Dr Massie, who is here to represent the anti-Southern feeling of England. He seems a sensible, venerable old codger, white as to his hair, nut-crackery as to his countenance, accurate as to his diction.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong. [James William Massie, age 64, born in Scotland, spent 17 years as a missionary in India. He has spoken against slavery for many years and at the time of this tour of the United States–one of several in his lifetime– he serves as Secretary of the Home Missionary Society in London.]

October 1– Thursday– New York City– The city holds a parade to honor the visiting Russian naval officers. The Russian admiral has his ships fire a salute to honor the Americans. The mayor and other dignitaries give speeches of welcome. Houses and shops display both the Stars and Stripes and the Imperial Russian flag.

 

visting Russian naval officers

visting Russian naval officers

October 1– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Senator John Sherman of Ohio visits President Lincoln in the White House to discuss the situation in Missouri and Kansas.

October 1– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “All failures, or any want of success, is imputed to the Navy, though entirely blameless, and though the fault, if any, is with the military. Without the Navy, Morris Island could not be retained by the army, and all proceedings would terminate, yet the Navy gets no credit. Its services are not properly appreciated, and General Gillmore, though a good engineer, is, I apprehend, not adapted to full command– cannot manage men, and has the infirmities which belong to engineers and those who are trained to secondary and scientific positions. They can criticize, and blame others without the faculty of accomplishing great results themselves.” ~ Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles writes in his diary about the lack of progress against Charleston, South Carolina. [General Quincy Adams Gillmore, commanding operations against Charleston, graduated first in his class at West Point in 1849. For many years studies at West Point focused primarily on military engineering and Gilmore taught engineering there for four years during the 1850’s. He was one of the first Union generals to integrate units of black soldiers into his attack infantry instead of restricting them to KP, supply or teamster work.]

 

Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles

October 1– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “I always carry a haversack with some articles most wanted– physical comforts are a sort of basis. I distribute nice large biscuit, sweet-crackers, sometimes cut up a lot of peaches with sugar, give preserves of all kinds, jellies, &c. tea, oysters, butter, condensed milk, plugs of tobacco, (I am the only one that doles out this last, & the men have grown to look to me) wine, brandy, sugar, pickles, letter-stamps, envelopes & note-paper, the morning papers, common handkerchiefs & napkins, undershirts, socks, dressing gowns, & fifty other things. I have lots of special little requests. Frequently I give small sums of money & shall do so with your brother’s contribution– the wounded are very frequently brought & lay here a long while without a cent. I have been here & in [the] front 9 months doing this thing, & have learned much– two-thirds of the soldiers are from 15 to 25 or 6 years of age, lads of 15 or 16 more frequent than you have any idea.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman describing his hospital visitation efforts to William S Davis, a lawyer in Worcester, Massachusetts.

October 1– Thursday– Harrison, Tennessee– For unknown reasons a Confederate raiding party burns the public records.

October 2– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– The Hutchinson Family– reorganized, reconstructed and augmented: by the union of the House of John and the Tribe of Asa will continue their series of spirit-stirring Concerts in the cause of Freedom, Humanity, and Reform, . . . at the Melonaon. Tickets of admission: evenings, for adults, 25 cents; children, 15 cents. Afternoon adults, 15 cents, children 10 cents. The character and object of their concerts, and the superior excellence of their singing, should secure the most liberal patronage. Go and hear them!” ~ The Liberator. [The Hutchinsons, from New Hampshire, began singing their four-part harmonies in 1840. For years they have stirred controversy by appearing on public platforms with abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison and singing songs about abolition, women’s rights and temperance. The 25 cent ticket would cost $4.72 today, quite reasonable for a program of live music.]

 

Hitchinson Family Singers

Hitchinson Family Singers

October 2– Friday– Off the coast of Texas–U S warships seize a British merchant ship attempting to run the blockade.

 October 3– Saturday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– Two regiments of black soldiers parade through the city center and are warmly applauded.

October 3– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “It has seemed to me fit and proper that they [the blessings received] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans. mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.” ~ President Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation calling for a national Thanksgiving Day.

 Lincoln-1861

October 3– Saturday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Another suicide has occurred in our city among that unfortunate class whose attractions are made the sport of bad men, and whose short lives are a standing memento mori of the prostitutes. Poor Mary Raymond came to this city as the nurse of a lady. So far as is known she was virtuous and respectable. But she fell a victim to the lust of a seducer, and her downward career was even more rapid than is usual with the class. On Thursday, in the absence of her paramour, she was arrested under the General Order, which is sweeping the Cyprians from our streets, and conveyed to the Irving Prison. As she entered she made the declaration that she would never leave the place alive. She was, however, released in a few hours, but before going from the place took a large dose of laudanum, which threw her into spasms, and terminated her short and unhappy life at six A. M. yesterday. Dr. Dickinson, the coroner, held the usual inquest. The sin of seduction needs no rebuke at the hands of the press. If the death of this poor creature has not a tongue sharp and severe enough to reach the profligate, there is nothing we could say will touch their heart. Poor Mary Raymond, there is a terrible judgment in store for the man who led her into the evil way which has proved so short and fatal.” ~ Memphis Bulletin

Pyotor Kozlov, Russian explorer

Pyotor Kozlov, Russian explorer

 October 3– Saturday– Dukhoushcina, Smolensk region, Russia– Birth of Pyotr Kuzmich Kozlov, Russian explorer who will make six important expeditions through parts of Asia [1883, 1888-89, 1893-95, 1899-1901, 1907-09 and 1923-26.]