The Progress of Events~January 1864~24th to 28th

The Progress of Events ~ Reverend D Paul

A Northern preacher exhorts his congregation to support the war and the total abolition of slavery, which he describes as “a giant, God-dishonoring crime.” A Southern newspaper mocks Mr Lincoln and claims that he wants to place “the Negro . . . astride of the white man.” A strange situation occurs at a Southern college for women named after an English abolitionist.” Scattered fighting continues. Scarcity and other problems plague the Confederacy and the broader world continues to turn.


January 24– Sunday– Mansfield, Ohio– “Now, my dear friends permit me, simply as your pastor, to say, with all earnestness, that I have no sympathy with political preachers, and no disposition to drag mere party politics into the pulpit. But when a moral question becomes a question at issue between political parties, that fact does not, and shall not close my mouth. If in opposing what I believe to be a giant, God-dishonoring crime, I oppose a political party, so be it. If any political party shall array itself against the principles which I have vowed to maintain, and which I believe to be in accordance with the word of God, I will pay my vow to God, even if I should stand accused of political preaching. If in so doing I should be compelled to part with those whose friendship I value, and whose kindness I have experienced I shall be filled with grief, but not torn with remorse. But need there be any parting ? Are there any here who would prefer a political party to the church of God ? If you forsake the communion of this church on account of its opposition to slavery, in all this free north where will you find a more congenial home? Would you cling to an institution whose death doom God has written in letters of fire and blood ? Would you re-fasten the shackles on limbs from which they have been broken by the fortunes of war ? Would you hurl back to chains and slavery those who, side by side with the nation’s nobles, have met in the shock of battle, and driven back, the traitorous foe? Would you, if you could, arrest the progress of events which promise, though with toil and suffering now, to leave to coming generations a constitution and a union, without that institution which had risen in power and influence, and the audacity of crime, until, like a spire tipped tower it pierced the clouds of Jehovah’s wrath, calling down their scathing lightening on the heritage our fathers left us? We are persuaded better things of you!” ~ A sermon preached in the United Presbyterian church by the pastor, Reverend D Paul.

January 24– Sunday– Paris, France– Birth of Marguerite Durand [dies March 16, 1936], actress, journalist, suffrage activist, labor organizer and feminist leader. [In 1897 she will found the feminist daily La Fronde, staffed completely by women. “Feminism owes a great deal to my blonde hair” she will write in 1903.]

Marguerite Durand

Marguerite Durand

January 25– Monday– La Grange, Tennessee; Mount Pleasant, Mississippi; Bainbridge Ferry, Alabama; Sulphur Springs, Arkansas; Bayou Grand, Florida– Skirmishes, ambushes, fire fights and mayhem.

January 25– Monday– Nashville, Tennessee– “The municipal regulations failing to keep the city effectually policed, it is hereby ordered, for the preservation of the health and lives of the citizens, and of the troops on duty at this place, that the occupant of every house daily sweep or scrape clean the pavement or sidewalk in front of his building. This will be done daily before 9 o’clock A. M. On stated days, hereafter to be announced, each occupant will clean to the middle of the street in front of his premises, collecting the sweepings into piles, to be carried away by Government wagons. For any neglect of this regulation, a fine double that enforced by the municipal ordinance will be imposed by the Provost Marshal; and if not paid at his office within one week from notice, will be levied by sale at public auction of goods sufficient to realize the sum.” ~ Order issued by Union General R. S. Granger.

January 25– Monday– Pozega, Slavonia– Birth of Julije Kempf (dies June 6, 1934), Croatian historian and author.

January 26– Tuesday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “The supervisors of the several counties of the State are hereby authorized, from time to time during the war, to borrow money in their corporate names, for such time and on such terms as may be agreed upon, for the purpose of providing for the support and relief of the families of living and deceased soldiers of their respective counties.” ~ Enactment of the state legislature.

January 26– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “[Secretary of War Edwin] Stanton tells some curious matters of Jeff Davis, derived from Davis’s servant, who escaped from Richmond. The servant was a slave, born on Davis’ plantation. Mrs. Davis struck him three times in the face, and took him by the hair to beat his head against the wall. At night the slave fled and after some difficulty got within our lines. He is, Stanton says, very intelligent for a slave and gives an interesting inside view of Rebel trials and suffering. It should be taken, perhaps, with some allowance.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

January 26– Tuesday– Camden County, Georgia– “Mr Fisher and myself went to see Mrs. Alberti . . . . We stayed over night . . . had a cup of real coffee and tea with sugar and milk, and biscuit and butter. Our ride was about 23 miles and all the way through pine woods. Now and then a house to cheer the sight. We were upset once by the breaking of a rein, the buggy was turned completely over and left in the gutter. We fortunately were near a house where we procured help. The spinning wheel was going briskly– the women were hard at work trying to clothe the family while the men were in the army. They were indifferent as to the termination of the war if it would only end that they might be kept from starvation. We stopped at Dr. Mitchell’s. Mrs. Mitchell put on an old cloak to hide her rags and says they are experiencing great destitution. We have frequent applications from people far and near for clothing. So far as we can ascertain people seem certain that the confederacy is short lived; that this year must terminate the war. Confederate money is almost valueless. Worth only five cents on the dollar. Dr. Mitchell prepared for me a bottle of cough mixture and a few powders– charged $8.00. Sent in Sybil’s bill, a little short of $300 for eight or nine visits– and refuses confederate money. Julia writes that she will soon visit us and bring some necessary articles.” ~ Diary of Julia Johnson Fisher.

January 26– Tuesday– Mellby, Sweden– Otto Lindblad, musician and composer of Sweden’s royal anthem, dies at 55 years of age.

Otoo Lindblad

Otoo Lindblad

January 27– Wednesday– Cambridge, Massachusetts– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Henry Dana, Jr, and Professor J. Peter Lesley (prominent geologist and educator) are elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

January 27– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln instructs Union General Frederick Steele in Arkansas that the state’s civil authorities could be allowed to remain in charge of state government without the appointment of an interim military governor. However, the new government must maintain the abolition of slavery.

January 27– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Oh! what a grand, what a successful hit was made for Puritanism in polities and religion, and for the whole tribe of shoddy when the Negro got astride of the white man, what a grand thing it was that the people were so easily gulled by those tricksters, those gamblers in human life, who are now riding roughshod over the prostrate form of popular freedom, sweeping away the bulwarks raised by the great men of the revolution around the Temple of Liberty. But we have already dwelt too long on this last decide of the American Autocrat, and must hasten to a conclusion . . . . The amnesty which is offered to the Confederates under a certain rank . . . is too absurd to be worthy of even a passing notice. . . . . The Southern people are fighting in a just cause, as they are fighting against usurpation, and confiscation, and for freedom and State rights. They are fighting to preserve their land against the fate of Ireland and Poland. They are fighting against a power that has trampled every principle of law and constitutional authority under foot. They are fighting for their homes, for their dearest rights. They are now fighting the battles of the Revolution over again; and if they fail, then the history of Ireland will be repeated on their own soil . . . . there is no man possessing a sense of justice, and who is not impelled to silence by the dread of a penalty which has fallen upon many for exercising the right of free speech, who will not acknowledge that the cause of the South is to-day the cause of Liberty against Despotism. If any man wants a proof of this, he will find it in the last message of the Washington Autocrat.” ~ Richmond Dispatch criticizes President Lincoln’s offer of amnesty.


January 27– Wednesday– Fair Garden, Tennessee– In a fight that lasts most of the day, Federal troops beat a Confederate force. However, the Federals are forced to withdraw at nightfall as they are fatigued and low on ammunition. Total Union casualties– dead, wounded, missing– are 100 and 165 for the Confederates.

January 27– Wednesday– Columbia, Tennessee– James Andrews, the mayor, is arrested for killing a Federal soldier and mortally wounding another during a confrontation at his place of business.

January 27– Wednesday– Munich, Germany– Leo von Klenze, prominent neoclassicist architect as well as a painter and writer, dies, weeks away from his 80th birthday.

Mary Sharp College

Mary Sharp College

January 28– Thursday– Winchester, Tennessee– “I addressed you yesterday by Telegraph informing you that a Negro man by name of Marcus Combs now living in Nashville came to my house yesterday accompanied by some soldiers who belong to the command of Colonel James S. Selfridgeof the 46th Pennsylvania Volunteers and demanded a Negro girl belonging to me, aged 13 years. This Negro Marcus Combs claims to be the father of the girl. This Negro man Marcus formerly belong to me and the community demanded of me to sell him out of the place for theft & other misconduct which would have put a free man into our penitentiary. Such is the character of the Negro. Now he brings a verbal order from you to the Colonel Selfridge commanding the post at Dechard Depot (so the Colonel informs me that the girl is to be delivered up to him) and I assure you, that I am a good loyal Citizen of Tennessee, having taken the oath of allegiance at the earliest day possible for me, and received a Guarantee of Protection signed by yourself & Major General Rosecrans, for all my property both real & personal. Now with this statement of facts before you I would most respectfully petition you to inform me either by mail or Telegraph immediately (for the case is very urgent) whether the Negro girl is protected by the papers I hold? Whether Colonel Selfridge has a right to take the property from me without given me a voucher for the same as he is commanded to do by yourself & General Rosecrans in the protection papers given to me at the time I took the oath of allegiance?” ~ Letter from Zuinglius C. Graves, President of Mary Sharp College to Andrew Johnson, military governor of Tennessee.[Graves (1816 – 1902) was born in Vermont and licensed as a Baptist preacher around 1833 or 1834. He became the first president of Mary Sharp College in 1850. Ironically the school was named after a niece of the British abolitionist Granville Sharp (1735 – 1813). Mary Sharp herself was an ardent abolitionist, active in campaigns to abolish the Atlantic slave trade. Graves, a supporter of the system of slavery, envisioned a college and created a curriculum designed to provide for women the “same knowledge, literary, scientific and classical, that had been for so many generations the peculiar and cherished heritage of the other sex; that the sister should be placed on an equality with the brother, for the development and unfolding of all the qualities of her mind, thus making her what she was designed to be by her Creator, a thinking, reflecting, reasoning being, capable of comparing and judging for herself, and dependent upon none other for her free, unbiased opinion.” The college will close in 1896 due to financial problems.]

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