Pleasing in Her Address and Modest in Her Manner~November 1863~the 1st to 5th

Pleasing in Her Address and Modest in Her Manner ~ General Robert E Lee.

General Lee praises the courage and resourcefulness of Southern women. Many of his soldiers are cold, poorly clothed and meagerly fed. The New York Times brags about Union soldiers. Northern states are putting large numbers of soldiers into the field on many fronts. Colonel Chamberlain writes a passionate love letter to his wife. A wounded soldier bemoans his state to Walt Whitman. While there is some fighting in Louisiana and South Carolina, it is in Tennessee that the cauldron is on the boil for major fighting before the year’s end. Planners extend a last minute invitation to President Lincoln to speak at the dedication of the new national cemetery at Gettysburg. New York City hosts a grand ball for its Russian visitors. Labor troubles erupt in the Pennsylvania coal region. And the world goes on.

Union soldiers

Union soldiers


November 1– Sunday– New York City– “The bounty and pay of the American soldier is something so astounding to the European, that we are forced to wonder that we have not had a double influx of able-bodied emigrants to make what to many of them would be a fortune in the three years of their service. It will, however, have the effect of showing foreign nations that it will be useless to land armies upon this Continent.” ~ New York Times

period dresses 212

November 1– Sunday– Confederate Headquarters along the Rappahannock River, Virginia– “I had a visit from a soldier’s wife to-day, who was on a visit with her husband. She was from Abbeville district, S. C. Said she had not seen her husband for more than two years, and, as he had written to her for clothes, she herself thought she would bring them on. It was the first time she had traveled by railroad, but she got along very well by herself. She brought an entire suit of her own manufacture for her husband. She spun the yarn and made the clothes herself. She clad her three young children in the same way, and had on a beautiful pair of gloves she had made for herself. Her children she had left with her sister. She said she had been here a week and must return to-morrow, and thought she could not go back without seeing me. Her husband accompanied her to my tent, in his nice gray suit. She was very pleasing in her address and modest in her manner, and was clad in a nice, new alpaca. I am certain she could not have made that. . . . She, in fact, was an admirable woman. Said she was willing to give up everything she had in the world to attain our independence, and the only complaint she made of the conduct of our enemies was their arming our servants against us. Her greatest difficulty was to procure shoes. She made them for herself and children of cloth with leather soles. She sat with me about ten minutes and took her leave– another mark of sense– and made no request for herself or husband. I wrote you about my wants in my former letter. My rheumatism I hope is a little better, but I have had to-day, and indeed always have, much pain. I trust it will pass away.” ~ Letter from Confederate General Robert E Lee to his wife Mary.

General Robert E Lee

General Robert E Lee

November 1– Sunday– Charleston, South Carolina– Union ships and artillery toss over 750 rounds into Fort Sumter.

November 1– Sunday– Chattanooga, Tennessee– The new supply route brings large amounts of food and ammunition to the Federal forces.

November 1– Sunday– Confederate Headquarters outside Chattanooga, Tennessee– “The abuses and irregularities which have so recently been observed amongst the cavalry have had an injurious effect on the morale of this army and upon the citizens. A strict regard for private rights and a due observance of the laws and regulations are essential to discipline and good order as well as content and harmony amongst the people. All straggling and pillaging are positively forbidden, and commanders are enjoined to see that previous orders on that subject are carried into effect. They will be held to a strict accountability for any violation of these orders. It is enjoined upon officers of this army to arrest all cavalrymen absent without proper authority from their commands, or who are found wandering over the country plundering and stealing from the citizens. Men so arrested will be sent under guard to these headquarters, where they will be dismounted and assigned to infantry.” ~ Orders from General Braxton Bragg.

November 1– Sunday– Angel Island, San Francisco, California– Federal troops establish a fortified camp.

November 1– Sunday– Konigsberg, East Prussia– Birth of Alfred Reisenauer, composer and pianist.

November 2– Monday– New York City– Theodore Dehone Judah, age 37, dies of yellow fever. Trained in engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Mr Judah has played a key role in developing the Central Pacific Railroad and undertook the route survey through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. While traveling across the Isthmus of Panama to New York from California he contracted the fever which takes his life.

Theodore D Judah

Theodore D Judah

November 2– Monday– St Paul, Minnesota– A report to Governor Henry Swift shows the disposition of the state’s soldiers. The 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry is at Bristow Station, Virginia; the 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry at Chattanooga, Tennessee; the 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry at Little Rock, Arkansas; the 4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry in operations against the Memphis and Charleston Railroad in Alabama; the 5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry at Canton, Mississippi; the 6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry on garrison duty in Minnesota; the 7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry in St. Louis, Missouri; the 8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry on garrison duty in Minnesota; the 9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry at Jefferson City, Missouri; the 10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri; the 1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry on duty in Minnesota; Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry on duty along the Tennessee River; the 1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery at Vicksburg, Mississippi; the 2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery at Chattanooga, Tennessee; the 3rd Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery on duty in Minnesota. [Such distributions of state troops are fairly representative of most Northern states during the war.]

November 2– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln receives an invitation to make a few remarks at the dedication of the new National Cemetery in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.

November 2– Monday– Confederate camp along the Rappahannock River, Virginia– “We are still quietly resting here. The troops are camped very thick here and wood is very scarce. I suppose we will move soon but I hope we will have no more hard marching this year. It is pretty cold of nights now and in the daytime too some days. I want to go into winter quarters so we can build some huts and have some protection from the rain and keen cold cutting wind. . . . it is a serious truth that there are men in our Regiment that have been entirely barefooted till a day or two ago, and have but one inferior suit of clothes and not a sign of blanket, overcoat, or anything at all to lie on or cover with. They build a fire and lie down on the ground before it and sleep, when it is cold enough to freeze a man well wrapped up.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

November 2– Monday– Murfreesboro, Tennessee– “I have taken some pains to inquire into the case, and I learn from very reliable Union families inthis place, that she is a very estimable Lady, and that what she related about her situation is substantially true. While she has always been a true woman, and Loyal, her husband has been a Libertine and a Rebel, and is now living in a state of adultery within the Rebel lines, leaving her and her little ones to suffer the anguish, that necessarily follows such transactions. I look upon it as a dreadful thing for a pure minded woman, to be under the necessity of living with either a Libertine or a Rebel, but when the two great sins, become united in one person, it becomes positively insufferable, and will certainly admit of executive interference. Mrs Johnson can tell you the situation of the Property, and in short, the whole story better than I can. I really hope something can be done for her, although I have no interest in the matter, any more than the natural sympathy, that ought to be found in every human breast, when the innocent are wronged. I have no acquaintance with the Lady and should not have known anything about the case except by the accident of my position at this time.” ~ Report from Union Colonel William L Utley.

November 3– Tuesday– Albany, New York– In another political victory for President Lincoln and a rebuff to Democratic Governor Horatio Seymour, in the mid-term election Republicans win control of key offices and control of the state legislature which will severely limit Seymour’s ability in the last half of his term.

November 3– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Hospital Scenes and Incidents of the War. – A lady is engaged in writing a work with the above title, with the intention of devoting the proceeds, when published, to the benefit of sick and wounded soldiers. She solicits and will be grateful for brief and well authenticated accounts of personal adventures, experiences, &c. in hospital and camp life. Editors wishing to aid in this enterprise, will please call attention to it. Address, ‘Matron,’ box 857, Richmond, Va.” ~ Richmond Whig.

November 3– Tuesday– Collierville, Tennessee– In an attempt to disrupt Union operations on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad Confederate cavalry attacks the Federal garrison here but is driven back by a large force. Total killed, wounded and missing are 95 for the Confederates and 60 for the Federals.

November 3– Tuesday– Bayou Bourbeau, Louisiana– In a long and fierce engagement, Confederate soldiers drive back Federal troops but reinforcements regain the position in a hard-fought counterattack. Total Federal losses– dead, wounded, missing– number 604 while Confederate casualties amount to 181.

November 4– Wednesday– along the Rappahannock River, Virginia– “I write to you now to tell you that you are my own sweet love and that I think of you with fervent and passionate affection every moment. When I am leading (as I have been) solid battalions into the deadly eye of mortal conflict, if I do it well it is because I love you well. It is you who do it, through a person dressed in a colonel’s uniform who fears no foe and betrays no friend. As I tell you so often . . . what is life or death to love– or music which is the same, for you must know music is swelling the very air with love tonight. Am I well? Why, yes. . . . . Well, my darling how do all things go with you? The cheeks are round, are they? Are the breasts so too? I did not know that I had written that till the music struck a new strain and took away my common place sense.” ~ Letter from Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain to his wife Fannie.

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

November 4– Wednesday– Confederate positions outside Chattanooga, Tennessee– General Braxton Bragg takes a gamble by ordering General James Longstreet and his troops to retake Knoxville from the Federal forces.

November 4– Wednesday– Off the coast of Texas–U S warships seize a British ship attempting to run the blockade.

November 4– Wednesday– Paris, France– Les Troyens, an opera by Hector Berlioz, debuts at the Theatre Lyrique.

Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz

November 5– Thursday– Audenried, Pennsylvania–Twelve masked men break into the home of mine owner George Smith and kill him. Local police blame the Molly Maguires and draft resisters but make no arrests. [On the Molly McGuires and Pennsylvania coal miners, see William Anthony Gudelunas, Jr. and William G. Shade, Before the Molly Maguires: The Emergence of the Ethnoreligious Factor in the Politics of the Lower Anthracite Region: 1844-1972; Kevin Kenny, Making Sense of the Molly McGuires; Philip S Foner, History of the Labor Movement in the United States and Spencer J Sadler, Pennsylvania’s Coal and Iron Police.]

November 5–Thursday– New York City–Society leaders give a grand ball to honor visiting officers of the Russian Navy.

The Russian Ball in New York City

The Russian Ball in New York City

November 5– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “My leg mends slowly (about as it was when you were here). I have been out in the city on Monday & Tuesday, both days I was at the relief associations, to try to get a shirt or two– yesterday I got a order from the Chaplain yesterday to get two shirts from the Christian Commission, when I went up and showed them the order they told me that they had

none– then I went into their store room and there was some nice shirts there. I told them that they were just the kind that I wanted– but they told me that they were layed out for distribution amongst the different camps through the city. So I got none of them, & I was mad enough too, after walking up there three times and than get nothing, (the Relief association may be a very nice thing, but I cant see it, for I never get any thing from them yet– you have give me more than all of the rest put together. So you are the relief association that I (as well as all the rest of the boys) like best.” ~ Letter from Lewis K. Brown, a wounded soldier, to Walt Whitman who is in Brooklyn, visiting his family.

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