To Resist the Present Rebellion~March 1864~16th to 21st

To Resist the Present Rebellion ~ President Lincoln

Lincoln finds support among Northern workingmen. Women do their part on both sides of the struggle. Alcohol can be problematic for soldiers on leave. The failed Union cavalry raid from the start of the month remains an issue. Inflation and food shortages bother many in the South. The prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia is off to a bad start. Grant re-organizes the Federal command structure. The Danes win a naval battle against the Germans. Darwin finds a strong defender.

March 16– Wednesday– Baltimore, Maryland– Birth of Carrie Bamberger Frank Fuld [dies July 18, 1944], the fifth of the six children of Elkan and Theresa Hutzler Bamberger. Both her parents are Jewish immigrants from Bavaria. [Through her first husband, Louis Meyer Frank, she will have access to a substantial fortune, becoming a well-known philanthropist to benefit Princeton University, Hadassah, the New York Philharmonic, the Newark (New Jersey) Community Chest and various charitable and social service organizations.]

Carrie Bamberger Fuld

Carrie Bamberger Fuld

March 16– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– At the close of the Sanitary Commission Fair here, President Lincoln says, “In this extraordinary war, extraordinary developments have manifested themselves, such as have not been seen in former wars; and among these manifestations nothing has been more remarkable than these fairs for the relief of suffering soldiers and their families. And the chief agents of these fairs are the women of America. I am not accustomed to the use of language of eulogy: I have never studied the art of paying compliments to women; but I must say, that if all that has been said by orators and poets since the creation of the world in praise of women were applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice for their conduct during this war. I will close by saying, God bless the women of America.”

March 16– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln asks General Butler to see about obtaining the return of the body of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren from the Confederates.

March 16– Wednesday– Army of Northern Virginia winter quarters, Virginia– “The pictures came to hand which done me almost as much good as if I had seen you all except you. Some of the pictures are good some not so good but they all suit me. . . . . And as to yourself you look well in the face but form much more delicate than I expected to see. Come up & see us and get some of our good eatings & I think you will improve.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier John Nadenbousch to his wife Hester.

March 16– Wednesday– Andersonville, Georgia– In an attempt to avoid fraternization, guard troops at the prison camp near Andersonville are ordered not to speak with prisoners except on official business.

Andersonville Prison

Andersonville Prison

March 16– Wednesday– Annandale, Virginia; Tullahoma, Tennessee; Palatka, Florida; Santa Rosa, Texas; Bristoe, Station, Virginia– Encounters, affrays and tough scraps.

March 17– Thursday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “On Monday a couple of soldiers, being somewhat intoxicated, were making profane remarks in the presence of ladies on a steamboat that was about leaving the wharf, when the captain of the boat being unable otherwise to preserve order and decorum started towards the Atheneum after a guard. The soldiers anticipating his purpose, are said to have caught hold of the captain and refused to allow him to go and he was compelled to leave with his boat without enjoying the satisfaction of seeing the men arrested. We have lately heard of similar instances of disorder on other steamers running to and from this point.” ~Wheeling Daily Intelligencer

March 17–Thursday– Nashville, Tennessee–In a face-to-face meeting, General Grant promotes William Tecumseh Sherman to head the Military Division of the Mississippi commanding the Department of the Ohio, Department of the Tennessee, Department of the Cumberland and the Department of the Arkansas. Major General James McPherson is promoted to Sherman’s old position as commander of the Army of the Tennessee.

March 17– Thursday– near the Island of Rugen, Baltic Sea– In a brief battle known as the Battle of Jasmund, the Danish navy scores a tactical victory over the German navy. Casualties on both sides are very few in number; however, the Danes force the Germans to pull back.

Battle of Jasmund

Battle of Jasmund

March 18– Friday– New York City– “Bad news for the household of Hamilton Fish. His beautiful daughter, Bessy, who married young d’Hauteville within the year, has died at Marseilles of puerperal convulsion in a premature confinement. God help those who suffer the catastrophe . . . . General Grant seems for the present in command of the Army of the Potomac as General-in-Chief without displacing General Meade. . . . . A terrible ordeal for Grant. His path is whitened by the bones of popular reputations that perished because their defunct owners did not know how to march through Virginia to Richmond. I hope grant may possess the talisman, ‘the seal of Solomon’ that raises its possessor to capacity for his place, however large.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

March 18–Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln praises the efforts of northern women to aid the Union cause. Mere words, he says, “would not do them justice for their conduct during this war.”

March 18– Friday– Dalton, Georgia– “All remain quiet beyond Tunnel Hill, and appearances are unfavorable for an engagement at an early day. Division drills are still the order of the day. An interesting revival is going on in the various Methodist churches here.” ~ Brief news update by a reporter for Richmond Times Dispatch.

March 19– Saturday– St Louis, Missouri– Birth of Charles Marian Russell. [He will become a painter and sculptor, doing over 2,000 paintings of the American West. He will die October 24, 1926.]

March 19– Saturday– Eel River, California; Laredo, Texas; Beersheba Springs, Tennessee; along the Cumberland River, Kentucky; Black Bay, Arkansas– Struggles, strife and skirmishes. Federal troops are also on the move at Lexington, Missouri and Rolling Prairie, Arkansas.

March 19–Saturday– London, England–Thomas Henry Huxley, noted British biologist and nicknamed “Darwin’s bulldog,” publishes a brilliant rebuttal to a Mr Hunt who had published a paper claiming that black people were biologically inferior. Huxley proves Hunt is unscientific and affirms the rightness of the Union drive to end slavery.

Thomas Henry Huxley

Thomas Henry Huxley

March 19– Saturday– Bombay, India– Birth of Joseph Baptista, who will become an advocate of Indian home rule. [He will die in 1930.]

Joseph Baptista

Joseph Baptista

March 20– Sunday– Elk River, Tennessee– “The Colonel has been absent some days attending the court-martial in which those guerrillas that were taken at Boone’s Hill are being tried. I understand that some have been convicted of murder and are to be hung. Those men are not soldiers but a band of robbers and murderers. They don’t mind whether a man is a Union man or a Confederate,– if he has money they will take it. They commit crime on the Confederate people and then the Union soldiers are charged with it. I do not intend ever to fall into their hands.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Robert Cruikshank to his wife Mary.

March 20– Sunday– St Louis, Missouri– “A deputation of the citizens presented each soldier with a badge of welcome. We were then marched to a capacious hall where a bountiful feast had been prepared for us. After dinner, we all adjourned to the saloon where all who chose were treated to beer.” ~ Diary of Union soldier Lucius Barber, describing being on furlough.

March 20– Sunday– Camden County, Georgia– “No one but Franky came in to Sunday School. We have been out of meat some days. Live on corn and rice. Yesterday Kate sent us a potato pie, and radishes, such a treat! And one day in the week Mrs. Linn gave us a piece of venison. We have kind and thoughtful neighbors. . . . Gussy has just come with a loaded mule. Goods sent by Julia in exchange for some cast off clothing. For mine she has received $217.00 Confederate money– worth about 5cents on the dollar. Having no opportunity for spending the money I concluded to invest it in land thinking it might become profitable. Sybil has received some . . . cloth for the boys. Once worth from ten to twelve cents a yard– now from six to twelve dollars bringing a calico dress to $100.00, a calico shirt to $40.00. The bubble must burst before long. . . . We want Northern comforts. It is tedious to spend half the time catching fleas and the other half in sleeping and eating hominy and rice. The thought of milk, potatoes and good bread makes us mourn for a return of good times.” ~ Diary of Julia Johnson Fisher.

March 20– Sunday– Andersonville, Georgia– At the prisoner of war camp the 15 foot high rectangular log stockade is finally completed. It includes guardposts called “pigeon roosts” along the top, and a low railing 15 feet inside the walls called “the deadline” which no prisoner may cross under penalty of being shot by a guard.

March 21–Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln signs legislation allowing Nevada and Colorado to become states even though they do not meet the population requirements.

March 21– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “The honorary membership in your association, as generously tendered, is gratefully accepted. . . . . None are so deeply interested to resist the present rebellion as the working people. Let them beware of prejudices, working division and hostility among themselves. The most notable feature of a disturbance in your city last summer was the hanging of some working people by other working people. It should never be so. The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds. Nor should this lead to a war upon property, or the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”~ President Lincoln’s reply to a committee from the Workingmen’s Association of New York.

March 21– Monday– Augusta County, Virginia– “I saw more men the other day than I ever saw before at one place in my life & I only seen a handful to what you all have seen. I always thought I was intended to be an old Maid but I don’t know the other girls is always quarreling with me about the boys & I tell them that I was intended to be an old maid but I think I will wait till some of them that is older than me gets married first as I’m never in a hurry. . . . Jim, if you want a wife I have been corresponding with a young lady for some time & she wants to marry. If it is your request I will Court her for you & you Can Marry as soon as the war is over. Give my love to Monroe & receive a due portion for yourself.” ~ Letter from Mollie Houser to her cousin James Houser.

March 21– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– “The papers found in Dahlgren’s pockets, which the Yankee papers pronounce forgeries, have been carefully filed at the War Department.” ~ Richmond Whig.

Ulric Dahlgren

Ulric Dahlgren

March 21– Monday– Greenbrier County, Virginia– “I think if our rations get much less, General Starvation will be here also or General ‘Skidaddle’ to a quarter where there is more to eat. . . . . I’m getting awfully tired of this camp, I despise this inactivity. I am tired of the war – I want to fight it out, the sooner we begin this spring the better. We had a grand sight here last night. The mountains around us were literally mountains of fire. It burned all round our cabins– what do you think we did – we just let it burn. I have to reduce myself to half a sheet as paper is scarce just at this time. We can buy nothing here now – nor can we, I suppose until the new money is issued – give my best love to all & write soon, assured that I will do the same.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier James R McCutchan to Rachel Ann McCutchan.

March 21– Monday– Orange County, Virginia– “Like you, I often think of the happy times we had there in our young days, and the scene enacted while riding along the road not far from there, when I asked a blushing girl of fifteen summers to be mine, and she would not consent. . . . we have had many trials since then and a hard road to travel, but that was the last quarrel we had. I often wonder how you ever managed to love me. I was so much older and uglier than you but I suppose a woman can do anything she sets her head to. I was 29 the 18th of this month but the day passed off without my thinking about it– I think and highly hope that this war will end this year, and Oh then what a happy time we will have. No need of writing then but we can talk and talk again, and my boy can talk to me and I will never tire listening to him and he will want to go with me everywhere I go– So, hoping for these good times, let us cheer up and go forth with renewed vigor and energy. Pray for me.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda. [Marion and Amanda married February 26, 1860. She was 16. Marion will die of wounds next year on April 6, 1865. Amanda will remarry in 1873 and live until 1907.]

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