Express My Entire Satisfaction~April 1864~28th to 30th

Express My Entire Satisfaction ~ President Lincoln to General Grant

Lincoln and Union soldiers and civilians feel confident in General Grant. Even as he suffers a personal loss, Jeff Davis feels confident in General Lee, a confidence shared especially by his soldiers. British soldiers suffer a defeat in New Zealand. The New York Times praises Russia. And at a small battle in Arkansas the rebels suffer the first but not the last stroke of retribution for the atrocity at Fort Pillow.

April 28– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “I thought I would write you just a line, though I have nothing of importance– only the talk of the street here seems more & more to assert that Burnside’s army is to remain near here to protect Washington & act as a reserve, so that Grant can move the Army of the Potomac upon Richmond, without being compelled to turn & be anxious about the Capital– also that Burnside can attend to Lee if the latter should send any force up west of here, (what they call the valley of the Shenandoah) or invade Pennsylvania again. I thought you would like to hear this– it looks plausible, but there are lots of rumors of all kinds. I cannot hear where Burnside’s army is as they don’t allow the papers to print army movements but I fancy they are very near Washington, the other side of Arlington heights, this moment.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to his mother Louisa.

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

April 28– Thursday– Augusta County, Virginia– “I haven’t any news that would interest you we have had a great deal of bad weather this spring but the last week has been most beautiful. I am in hopes that we will have fine crops this year for the failure of the crops here last year has caused a great scarcity. Cousin I so seldom write a letter that I am alas out of practice & have no news but war news & I have gotten so tired of that I hate to hear of it unless their should be peace & then I would not care how much they would talk then. We still have a wedding in the neighborhood once & awhile. I suppose the girls have come to the conclusion that the war lasts so long that they will be old maids & they had better get married when they can. . . . I hope you will pardon me for not writing sooner please write soon & give me all the news & tell me whether any of your friends were killed or wounded in the battle out there. We are expecting a large fight to come off in the valley & I dread it very much.” ~ Letter from Kit Hanger to her cousin, Julia Houser. [Apparently, Kit (a/k/a Katherine) herself married a year or so before the war started and is now about 27 or 28 years old.]

April 28– Thursday– Camden County, Georgia– “Summer is here in earnest. Thermometer at 90 in the shade. Major B was over this morning cow hunting. . . . Mrs Bailey sent us some pork and peas and a saucer of butter. We are living very well.” ~ Diary of Julia Johnson Fisher.

April 29– Friday– New York City– “Sat between Mrs Cunard and Mrs Camilla Hoyt. That lady grows stouter than is becoming, but her face is among the most splendid specimens of physical beauty– for form and color– I have ever seen.”~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

George Templeton Strong

George Templeton Strong

April 29– Friday– Sandusky, Ohio– “We see no bud nor blossom, though in South the trees are visible only in the distance. I think with a sigh of the fragrance of locust blossoms that now fills the air around you. It would be pleasant to share that breath of Spring with you, but I am glad the trees blossom and the flowers grow for you, if not for me. Who knows? Perhaps I may yet see you ere the Spring be gone. For the newspapers, North and South, seem to think the cartel [program of prisoner exchange] resumed. Please remember me to my friends. With affection undiminished by absence and trial, my dear.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Henry McDaniel, captured at Gettysburg last July and in a prison camp, to his wife Hester at home in Georgia.

April 29– Friday– Bristoe Station, Virginia– “I thought I would write you a word to say that I am perfectly well and hearty. We arrived here last night about dark, and are going to fall in, in a few minutes to move on towards Warrenton I believe. I hear that Grant has issued an order, that no letters will be allowed to be sent from this army for the next Sixty days. If that is the case Walt you must tell Mother not to feel the least bit worried if she does not hear from me in some time. . . . I can tell you nothing about the army, more than you already know everyone seems to be in good spirits and hopeful.” ~ Letter from George Whitman to his brother Walt.

April 29– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– Government agents cause considerable stir as they impress a significant number of horses for use by General Lee’s troops.

April 29– Friday– Orange County, Virginia– “General R.E. Lee reviewed our corps today. There was some ten or twelve thousand men in the field. Oh, if you could have seen it, I would have been so glad and I know that if you had of seen it, I could have seen you and that would have done me more good than a hundred reviews.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier W R Stilwell to his wife Molly.

General Robert E Lee

General Robert E Lee

April 29– Friday– Camden County, Georgia– “Fred came again unexpectedly. Has four days furlough. The orders for going to Savannah were countermanded. Our little pig is gone and we are again without meat, but having milk and occasionally a dish of greens. Sybil goes to Mrs. Lynn’s every morning to dress the baby. We fancy that he does not breathe just right and feel a little disturbed about him. Mrs. Lynn is doing very well.” ~ Diary of Julia Johnson Fisher.

April 29– Friday– Ringgold, Georgia; Grand Encore, Louisiana; Saline Bottom, Arkansas; Sni Hills, Missouri; Berry County, Tennessee– Fire fights and brawls aplenty.

April 29– Friday– Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada– Abraham Pineo Gesner, physician, surgeon, geologist, and inventor of kerosene, dies at 66 years of age.

April 29– Friday– Versailles, France– Charles Julien Brianchon, mathematician, chemist and creator of Brianchon’s theorem in geometry (1810), dies at 80 years of age.

April 29– Friday– Gate Pa, New Zealand–A British force of 1700 prepares to assault a palisade defended by 230 Maori warriors. A heavy bombardment by 17 British artillery pieces begins at daybreak, continuing for eight hours. By mid afternoon the palisade looks as if it had been demolished and there is a large breach in the center. At 4 p.m. the artillery barrage lifts and 300 soldiers go up to capture and secure the position. Within ten minutes over a hundred of them are dead or wounded. The remainder fall back. The British make no second assault. During the night the Maori give assistance to the wounded and collect their weapons. By daybreak they abandon the position. This is the single most devastating defeat suffered by the British forces in the whole of the Maori Wars.

Gate Pa, New Zealand~after the battle

Gate Pa, New Zealand~after the battle

April 30– Saturday– Albany, New York– New York becomes the first state to charge a hunting license fee.

April 30– Saturday– New York City– “Russia is now the leader in social advancement in Eastern Europe. She is stronger in the true union of all classes than ever before. Her population, as they each day enjoy the freer institutions conferred upon them, and become more intelligent under the influence of a constitutional government, will produce more and become richer. The Emperor is more firmly seated by these wise reforms than he has been in the past. Year after year he must be moved on by the great wave of popular progress which he has admitted within the limits of his kingdom. He cannot withdraw (if he would) from reform. The great wound in the side of the nation – their weakest point, Poland – is more than half-cured by the measures of emancipation now inaugurated there. On the whole, we look upon Russia at this time as stronger than she has been during any year since 1815. But her strength is on the side of civilization, not against it; and even these irritating and exciting celebrations, we believe, will lead to no necessary struggle between her power and that of Eastern Europe.” ~ New York Times, commenting about the 50th anniversary celebrations in Russia to mark the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte as the European allies reached Paris.

April 30– Saturday– New York City– “No news from Virginia. Our Sanitary Commission Relief Corps is largely strengthened and we are making heavy purchases of supplies. The collision must come soon. It will be nearly decisive. I fear it will be fatal. God help us!” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

April 30– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “Not expecting to see you before the spring campaign opens, I wish to express in this way my entire satisfaction with what you have done up to this time, so far as I understand it. The particulars of your plans I neither know nor seek to know. You are vigilant and self-reliant; and, pleased with this, I wish not to obtrude any restraints or constraints upon you. While I am very anxious that any great disaster or capture of our men in great number shall be avoided, I know that these points are less likely to escape your attention than they would be mine. If there be anything wanting which is within my power to give, do not fail to let me know it. And now, with a brave army and a just cause, may God sustain you.” ~ Letter from President Lincoln to General Ulysses S Grant.

April 30–Saturday– Richmond, Virginia– Confederate President Jeff Davis orders the Confederate Army to return fugitive slaves to their owners. On this same day President Davis’ son Joe dies from injuries sustained in a fall at the Confederate White House.

April 30– Saturday– Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas– In a bloody day long battle the Confederates win a tactical victory but at a high price. Total Confederate casualties are approximately 1,000 and Federal casualties approximately 700. In retaliation for the atrocities at Fort Pillow and Poison Spring, black soldiers kill Confederates who try to surrender.

United States Colored Troops

United States Colored Troops


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