Monthly Archives: July 2014

O Distressing Times!~July 1864~the 30th & 31st

O Distressing Times Here Now! ~ Anna Mellinger

Confederate soldiers destroy much of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. A costly disaster takes place at Petersburg as Federal troops fail to exploit a breech in the Confederate defenses. The Stoneman rail in Georgia fails. Conditions worsen at Andersonville prison.

Chambersburg burning

Chambersburg burning

July 30– Saturday– New York City– “A rebel cavalry raid, possibly on a large scale, has crossed the Potomac and occupied Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Will these feeble, fat, Pennsylvanians ever learn to establish a militia system and do a little to protect themselves? I almost hope Harrisburg may be harried– the lesson would be useful. At Atlanta, the rebel general Hood claims a victory. I rather think he lies. Untruthfulness is characteristic of his tribe. Southerners seem unable to perceive any virtue or value in veracity.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

July 30– Saturday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Confederate cavalry burns the town, destroying 75% of the business district, leaving 3,000 people homeless and causing $1,628,431 in damages. [This would equal $24.9 million in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

July 30– Saturday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– “O distressing times here now! Chambersburg is burned to ashes. Over two hundred houses burned. O Lord Strengthen thy children in whatever may befall them and [may they] submit to thy will.” ~ Diary of Anna Mellinger.

remains of the burnt courthouse in Chambersburg

remains of the burnt courthouse in Chambersburg

July 30– Saturday– McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania– “The burning of Chambersburg was generally condemned by our Regiment at first when all the sympathies were all aroused, but when reason had time to regain her seat I believe that they all thought as I thought at first; that it was Justice & Justice tempered with Mercy. That burning per se is wrong no one can deny; and the bare idea of turning out of doors upon the cold charities of the world unprotected women & unoffending children is sufficient to cause the feelings to rebel. But there may be circumstances under which it is not only justifiable but becomes a duty– stern it is true but nevertheless binding. . . . Instead of snatching from the hands of the ladies what they had saved from their burning houses & throwing it back into the flames as the Yankees did in K____ Valley, or stealing & destroying it as they did Mrs Anderson in the Valley of Virginia our men could be seen all over the city checking the fire or carrying trunks, bundles &c. for the ladies. How beautiful the contrast! It must be acknowledged that there were some who having become drunk seemed to glory in spreading destruction but it must also be remembered that many of them have had strong provocation.” ~ Diary of Confederate soldier J. Kelly Bennette.

July 30– Saturday– Petersburg, Virginia– An underground tunnel dug by Union soldiers who are coal miners from Pennsylvania and filled with explosives, goes off as planned early in the morning, killing about 278 Confederate soldiers and making a crater 170 feet long, 30 feet deep and 70 feet wide. However, poor planning and ineptitude by some Federal officers results in failure to exploit the explosion. In the ensuing fight, known as the Battle of the Crater, 3798 Union soldiers are killed, wounded or missing while the Confederate defenders sustain a total of 1491 casualties. [General Grant will relieve General Burnside of his command. A court of inquiry will hold Burnside responsible for the fiasco.]

Pennsylvania miners placing explosives in the tunnel

Pennsylvania miners placing explosives in the tunnel

July 30– Saturday– Macon, Georgia– Union General Stoneman and his cavalry reach the city but find the Union officers that had been kept prisoner there had been moved, so they begin firing artillery into the city. Local militia drive them off.

July 30– Saturday– near Augusta, Georgia– “The war is nearing our own door. Passengers from Macon say that it was rumored that our forces and the Yankee Raiders were drawn up in line of battle eight miles from that place where the train left. . . . A large party of raiders was seen in the vicinity of Covington last night. I fired off two pistol shots tonight to keep my courage up. I don’t know how I feel! A strange kind of apathy comes stealing over me as if I knew that it must come – that which we had so often talked of– so often jested upon, would soon be a fact that the Yankees would be in our midst and then what? I don’t know. Let the future decide.” ~ Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas.

July 31– Sunday– Hancock, Maryland– Federal cavalry clash with the Confederate horsemen who burned Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The rebels retreat toward Cumberland, Maryland.

July 31– Sunday– Petersville, Maryland– “Yesterday we made a long and hard march . . . . The poor old Sixth Corps has been on its feet for a long time and we are very weary. But it is all for the Union and I trust we are doing good work that will help the boys we left at Petersburg, Virginia.” ~ Diary of Union officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

July 31– Sunday– Petersburg, Virginia– “This is to inform you that I am again permitted to write you a few lines through the mercy of God to let you know that I am yet alive and in the enjoyment of a reasonable portion of health at present, After the bloody day’s work of yesterday. The yankees blew up about 75 yards of our works and then made a charge on a portion of our works and taken possession of about 300 or 400 yards of our works and we had to charge them and retake them. Our loss was very heavy in hour regiment in both officers and men. Colonel Evans was killed dead on the field. . . . Honey I have not received a word from you since I was at home which is one month today. I hope I will hear from you soon. . . . I hear the yankees are invading Georgia with their raiding parties. I fear they will over run the state before this cruel war closes. But they ever do come to where you are they will not trouble you I don’t think. Write me all the news you can. . . . I am afraid I hear bad news as there been so much hard fighting about Atlanta. Oh when will this cruel war close? Give my love to all. Kiss the children for me. I remain yours as ever until death.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Edmond Hardy Jones to his wife.

battle of the crater

battle of the crater

July 31– Sunday– near Clarksville, Tennessee– Three Union soldiers are murdered in cold blood after surrendering to Confederate raiders.

July 31– Sunday– McMinnville, Tennessee– “Everything is pleasant, if we could only now be assured that we would be allowed to remain in peace in our home. Of that we have no kind of assurance however, and the recent house burning which have taken place in White and Van Buren counties, warn us that our turn may come next. I should not be surprised at any time [to] have our house burned over our heads, and if it were to happen, I think I could bear it resolutely. I feel that we are doing right to be at home, and if misfortune finds us in the path of duty, why we must strive to bear it with all the fortitude we can summon to our support. On last Monday we leftBersheba . . . . We rumbled and tumbled, (and grumbled some,) over the rocks and stocks and blocks in that ‘Dry Wash,’ and finally came out into thevalley road, where all mounted into the buggies. . . We jogged on in this way thro’ the hot sun until it began to tell on me in the shape of a headache—which continued until it became 4 P. M., when we stopped at a fine spring and opened out well-filled lunch basket—dealing about buttered biscuit. Broiled chicken, ham, crackers, and June apples. After the lunch, and the afternoon beginning to grow cooler my head was much relieved. We were in a hurry from this time on, to get to the river before dark, because of the pickets were out and would not let us pass after dark. . . We reached the river just at dusk—found no pickets—drove on up into town—found nobody on guard anywhere, it was quite dark as we passed thro’ town and I could not tell how the old place looked except that I had [the] general impression that it had a peeled and scaly appearance. We came in by the bluff road, and I recognized no place, although I knew where we were, until we reached the steps. It was the first place that reminded me I had reached home. There was a light at the front of the house, but no one knew we were in the yard until we knocked at the door. Mammy and Puss were here and Miss Mollie had come out expecting us to get in before dark but gave us up when night set in, because they thought we would not know there were no pickets out, and would stay somewhere on the other side of the river. They were just preparing for bed when we came in—and I need not say there was joy on all hands at our reaching home once more.” ~ Diary of Lucy Virginia French, recounting her return to her home from Beersheba Springs.

July 31– Sunday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “Our brigade is on the extreme right flank of the army now and has turned to the rear, facing west, so as to prevent the turning of the flank. There is no enemy in our front, except some cavalry patrolling, and there is no prospect of a fight here. The enemy has fared so ill in all his attacks that he won’t venture another. We would like to have him try it here, nothing would afford the 26th [Wisconsin Infantry Volunteer Regiment– his unit] more pleasure than to see the enemy attack them in their breastworks. We have built miles of breastworks, but have never yet fought in any of them. I have not seen an honest blade of grass in Georgia; our horses look poor; the heat and flies are hard on them, and feed so poor and scanty. . . . there are thousands of little flies which are the greatest annoyance. They are everywhere, swarming in clouds in the air, settling like locusts on our sugar, mixing like spice with our apple sauce, and floating like ducks in our coffee and tea.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife.

July 31– Sunday– Sunshine Church, Georgia– Federal cavalry under General Stoneman run into three cavalry brigades under Confederate General Joseph Wheeler. The Confederates prevail in a running fight, capturing Stoneman with some of his officers and men while the others make a hard dash back to the safety of the Union lines.

July 31– Sunday– Andersonville, Georgia– The inmate hospital at the prison camp is enlarged to accommodate 1400 patients, but this does little to improve conditions. Of the 30,000 prisoners, 6315 are sick with scurvy, gangrene, or dysentery, along with 517 of the 2700 Confederates soldiers on post.

Louis Hachette

Louis Hachette

July 31– Sunday– Paris, France– Louis Hachette, publisher of educational materials and numerous types of books and journals, advocate for the poor and for the establishment of international copyright, dies at age 64.

All Tried and Approved Soldiers~July 1864~the 29th

All Tried and Approved Soldiers~ General Sherman

Day by day Sherman tightens the hold on Atlanta and unleashes raiders throughout Georgia. South central Pennsylvanians again prepare for a rebel invasion as they did a year ago at the time before the Gettysburg battle. Lincoln sends thanks to an elderly woman in Scotland. Belle Boyd arrested– again! A young woman calmly murders the man who killed her lover some months ago.

July 29– Friday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– “This Evening our men Started with our horses. the Rebs is coming again– great trouble but we have to be giving up and submit [to God’s will].” ~ Diary of Anna Mellinger.

July 29– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “The plaid you send me is just now placed in my hands. I thank you for that pretty and useful present, but still more for those good wishes for myself and our country, which prompted you to present it.” ~ Letter from President Lincoln to Mrs Anne Williamson, age 81, of Edinburgh, Scotland.

President Lincoln

President Lincoln

July 29– Friday– Washington, D. C.– For the third time Federal soldiers arrest Belle Boyd on charges of spying for the Confederacy and she is detained at the Old Capitol Prison.

July 29– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– “Captain Robert Boyce, foreman of the smith shop at the Confederate Arsenal, was charged with cruelly beating a Negro belonging to Thomas M. Jones. It appeared that the Negro, who works in the shop under Boyce’s control, came home Monday evening, what Mr. Jones, Mr. Griffin and other witnesses, who saw him, considered ‘cruelly beaten.’ Mr. Griffin said he was the worst beaten and bruised Negro he had ever seen. Mr. Jones went to see Captain Boyce, who said he had beaten the Negro to ‘make him confess.’ Several workmen in the shop stated that the Negro, having acted in a very suspicious manner about some copper which was subsequently [reported] stolen, Captain Boyce whipped him, in their judgement, not cruelly. . . . The Mayor said the testimony before him was that the Negro had been most cruelly beaten. He should fine the accused $20, and Mr. Jones could carry the matter to the Grand Jury if he thought proper. If the Negroes in the Arsenal committed larcenies, it was the duty of those having control over them to bring them before him, instead of whipping them to make them confess. We do not advocate Negro murder, or cruelty towards Negroes, but certainly it is much better when Negroes are caught stealing to thrash them soundly than to pester the courts with their cases.” ~ Richmond Whig.

July 29– Friday– Petersburg, Virginia– “I have just learned that Colvin will start home this evening and in haste will drop you a few lines to send by him if I can get it to him in time. If not I shall send it by mail. . . . My health is excellent. We are still here at the same place where we have been ever since July 4th. We drawed two months wages yesterday. I now have $53.00 in money and some owing to me. I hope to be able to send you a pretty little sum of money this winter but will keep this now for fear of getting sick again. I am glad to hear that Henry [his son] has a new hat and is so well pleased with it. May God bless you. Pray for me.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

July 29– Friday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “McPherson’s death was a great loss to me. I depended much on him. In casting about for a successor I proposed [General Oliver Otis] Howard who is a man of mind and intellect. He is very honest, sincere and moral even to piety, but brave, having lost an arm already. But he was a junior Major General to Hooker who took offense and has gone away. I don’t regret it; he [Hooker] is envious, imperious and braggart. Self prevailed with him and knowing him intimately I honestly preferred Howard. Yesterday’s work justified my choice, for Howard’s disposition and manner elicited the shouts of my old corps, and he at once stepped into the shoes of McPherson and myself. I have now Thomas, Schofield and Howard, all tried and approved soldiers. We are gradually drawing our lines close up to Atlanta, fortifying our front against the bold sallies, and I now have all the cavalry out against the [rail] roads between Atlanta and Macon. I am glad I beat Johnston, for he had the most exalted reputation with our old army as a strategist. Hood is a new man and a fighter and must be watched closer, as he is reckless of the lives of his men. It is wonderful with what faith they adhere to the belief that they whip us on all occasions though we have them now almost penned up in Atlanta. If no reinforcements come I think I will cut them off from all communication with the rest of the confederacy.” ~ Letter from General William Tecumseh Sherman to his wife Ellen.

General Sherman

General Sherman

July 29– Friday– Burge Plantation near Covington, Georgia– “Sleepless nights. The report is that the Yankees have left Covington for Macon, headed by Stoneman, to release prisoners held there. They robbed every house on the road of its provisions, sometimes taking every piece of meat, blankets and wearing apparel, silver and arms of every description. They would take silk dresses and put them under their saddles, and many other things for which they had no use. Is this the way to make us love them and their Union? Let the poor people answer whom they have deprived of every mouthful of meat and of their livestock to make any! Our mills, too, they have burned, destroying an immense amount of property.” ~ Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt.


July 29– Friday– New Orleans, Louisiana– “The young woman (whose initials ‘L. J. W.’ are only given) determined on revenge, but kept her resolution to herself lest she should be prevented; and on a subsequent day proceeded to a house where she learned Turner (against whom she seems to have especially directed her revenge) was stopping, and deliberately shot him dead. She thus tells the story: I asked Mrs. Christian if Turner was gone. She pointed to him at the gate, just leaving. I looked at the clock, and it was just 4 1/2 o’clock, P. M. I then walked out into the yard, and as Turner was starting called to him to stop. He turned, and saw I was preparing to shoot him. He started to run. I fired at a distance of about twelve paces, and missed him. I fired again as quickly as possible, and hit him in the back of the head, and he fell on his face and knees. I fired again and hit him in the back, and he fell on his right side. I fired twice more, only one of these shots taking effect. By this time I was within five steps of him, and stood and watched him until he was dead. I then turned round and walked toward the house, and met Mrs. Christian, and her sister, his wife, coming out. They asked me what I did it for. My response was, ‘You know what that man did the 13th of December last—murdered a dear friend of mine. I have been determined to do this deed ever since, and I shall never regret it.’ They said no more to me, but commenced hallooing and blowing a horn. I got my horse and started home, where I shall stay or leave as I choose, going where I please, and saying what I please.” ~ New Orleans Daily Picayune reprints the story of a young woman from Nashville, Tennessee, taking revenge on the rebel who killed her lover because of the man’s loyalty to the Union. [Apparently neither local law enforcement nor Federal troops made any move to arrest her.]

The Madness Begins~July 28, 1914

reading the news of the start of war

reading the news of the start of war

At 11:10 A.M. on July 28, 1914, Count Leopold von Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, sent the following telegram from Vienna to M. N. Pashitch, Serbian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. This declaration of war was received at Nish at 12:30 P.M.:  “The Royal Serbian Government not having answered in a satisfactory manner the note of July 23, 1914, presented by the Austro-Hungarian Minister at Belgrade, the Imperial and Royal Government are themselves compelled to see to the safeguarding of their rights and interests, and, with this object, to have recourse to force of arms. Austria-Hungary consequently considers herself henceforward in state of war with Serbia.”

Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria

Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria

The Real Campaign Is Clearly In Georgia~July 1864~26th to 28th

The Real Campaign Is Clearly in Georgia ~ James Russell Lowell

Plenty of hard fighting take place in Georgia as Sherman tries to put a strangle-hold on Atlanta and Hood goes on offense against the Federal forces. Lincoln expresses his thanks to Sherman. Affairs at Petersburg are quiet.


July 26– Tuesday– Shelburne, Massachusetts– Fidelia Fiske, educator and missionary, dies at age 48 of “inflamation of the lymphatic vessels.” A graduate of Mount Holyoke, she spent 15 years doing missionary work in Oroomiah, Persia [now Rezaiyeh, Iran] and wrote a biography of her mentor and friend, Mary Lyon (1797– 1849), a dedicated pioneer of women’s education in the United States.

Fidelia Fiske

Fidelia Fiske

July 26– Tuesday– near Rockville, Maryland– “The Rebel General Early is again moving upon Maryland and instead of going back to Petersburg we are to try another campaign in this state. Yesterday I rode into Washington and enjoyed a good dinner at a hotel. It was quite a treat to meet my friends there. We have marched twenty miles today and the heat has been intense.” ~ Diary of Union officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

July 26– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “I have just seen yours complaining of the appointment of Hovey and Osterhaus. The point you make is unquestionably a good one, and yet please hear a word from us. My recollection is that both General Grant and yourself recommended both H [ovey] and O [sterhaus] for promotion, and these, with other strong recommendations, drew committals from us which we could neither honorably or safely disregard. . . . I beg you to believe we do not act in a spirit of disregarding merit. We expect to await your program for further changes and promotions in your army. My profoundest thanks to you and your whole army for the present campaign so far.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to General William Tecumseh Sherman.

July 26– Tuesday– outside Petersburg, Virginia– “All quiet in front of Petersburg, and everything going on just the same as when I last wrote. We came out from the front line, last night and are now at our camp, in the woods about half a mile from the enemy’s works. We go up in front and stay 48 hours and then come back here and stay the next 48. I received Walt’s letter of July 14th and am looking every day to hear from you again. Mother I hope you are all well at home, Walt I hope is all right . . . . I have never been heartier than I have been this summer, we live very well here and are a great deal more comfortable than one would think. I wrote you last, about the 13th of this month, did you get the letter? We are kept pretty busy, while we are back in Camp, making out papers for men who are sent away sick or wounded, but still we don’t kill ourselves with hard work. Well Mother it is getting late and I am getting sleepy, so good night.” ~ Letter from Union soldier George Whitman to his mother Louisa.

July 26– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “The Yankee Doctress. Mary E. Walker, the Yankee assistant surgeon, captured last spring near Dalton, yesterday, at her own request, was conducted to General Gardner’s headquarters. She desires to be paroled. The General has promised to look into her case.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

July 26– Tuesday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– Sherman sends General George Stoneman with a large contingent of Federal cavalry on a raid toward Macon, Georgia, in an attempt to disrupt Confederate supply lines and help encircle Atlanta.

General William Tecumseh Sherman

General William Tecumseh Sherman

July 26– Tuesday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “I got your long letter and one from Minnie last night and telegraphed you in general terms that we are all well. We have Atlanta close aboard, as the sailors say, but it is a hard nut to handle. These fellows fight like Devils and Indians combined, and it calls for all my cunning and strength. Instead of attacking the forts which are really unassailable I must gradually destroy the [rail] roads which make Atlanta a place worth having. This I have partially done, two out of three are broken and we are now maneuvering for the third.” ~ Letter from General William Tecumseh Sherman to his wife Ellen.

July 27– Wednesday– Memphis, Tennessee– A military court finds Mrs L G Pickett guilty of attempting to smuggle goods into the Confederacy and sentences her to six months imprisonment in the military prison at Alton, Illinois and to pay a fine of $1,000.

July 27 – Wednesday– Kingston, Nova Scotia, Canada– Birth of Ernest Howard Armstrong, journalist, politician and Premier of Nova Scotia from 1923 to 1925. [Dies February 15, 1946.]

July 27– Wednesday– Dublin, Ireland– Joseph Patrick Haverty, painter, dies at age 70.

July 28– Thursday– Ezra Church, Fulton County, Georgia– Determined to take the offensive, Confederate General Hood launches an attack against part of Sherman’s Federal forces but is repulsed with heavy losses. Total Confederate casualties– killed, wounded and missing– amount to about 3,000 while Union losses total 642.

Battle of Ezra Church

Battle of Ezra Church

July 28– Thursday– Lowell, Massachusetts– “As to our situation here, you are doubtless well informed. My own feeling has always been confident, and it is now hopeful. If Mr. Lincoln is re-chosen, I think the war will soon be over. If not, there will be attempts at negotiation, during which the rebels will recover breath, and then war again with more chances in their favor. Just now everything looks well. The real campaign is clearly in Georgia, and Grant has skillfully turned all eyes to Virginia by taking the command there in person. Sherman is a very able man, in dead earnest, and with a more powerful army than that of Virginia. It is true that the mercantile classes are longing for peace, but I believe the people are more firm than ever. So far as I can see, the opposition to Mr. Lincoln is both selfish and factious, but it is much in favor of the right side that the Democratic party have literally not so much as a single plank of principle to float on, and the sea runs high. They don’t know what they are in favor of – hardly what they think it safe to be against. And I doubt if they will gain much by going into an election on negatives. I attach some importance to the peace negotiation at Niagara (ludicrous as it was) as an indication of despair on the part of the rebels . . . . Don’t be alarmed about Washington. The noise made about it by the Copperheads is enough to show there is nothing dangerous in any rebel movements in that direction. I have no doubt that Washington is as safe as Vienna. What the Fremont defection may accomplish I can’t say, but I have little fear from it. Its strength lies solely among our German Radicals, the most impracticable of mankind. If our population had been as homogeneous as during the Revolutionary war, our troubles would have been over in a year. All our foreign trading population have no fatherland but the till, and have done their best to destroy our credit. All our snobs, too, are Secesh.” ~ Letter from James Russell Lowell to his friend John Lothrop Motley, American Minister to the Austrian Empire.

James Russell Lowell circa 1855

James Russell Lowell
circa 1855

July 28– Thursday– Burge Plantation near Covington, Georgia– I rose early and had the boys plow the turnip-patch. We were just rising from breakfast when Ben Glass rode up with the cry: ‘The Yankees are coming. Mrs. Burge, hide your mules!’ How we were startled and how we hurried the Major to his room !” ~ Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge.

Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge

Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge

July 28– Thursday– Flat Rock Bridge, Georgia; Lithonia, Georgia; Campbellton, Georgia; Long’s Mills, Tennessee; New Berne, North Carolina; Cedar Bluff, Alabama; Morganza, Louisiana– Scouting, probing, raids and skirmishes.

You Have Done Your Part Nobly~July 1864~23rd to 25th

You Have Done Your Part Nobly ~ Senator John Sherman

Senator Sherman praises his brother’s efforts in Georgia yet worries about General Grant’s failure to take Richmond. More and more of Georgia is laid waste. Confederate forces in northern Virginia have success. Whitman heals.


July 23– Saturday– Atlanta, Georgia– “It really made me sad to witness the ruin and destruction of the place. The soldiers have broke open many stores and scattered things over the streets promiscuously. There is the same noise and bustle on Whitehall [Street] but instead of thrift and industry and prosperity, it is hurried scramble to get away, fleeing from the wrath to come. If Sodom deserved the fate that befell it, Atlanta will not be unjustly punished, for since this war commenced it has grown to be the great capital place of corruption in official and private circles. While I regret the loss of Atlanta on account of its great value to the country as a military base and its incalculable value on account of its arsenals, foundries, manufacturies and railroad connections, I can scarcely regret that the nest of speculators and thieves, &c. is broken up. The constant and glorious patriotism and self-sacrificing devotion to our cause displayed by the women of Atlanta is the only redeeming virtue of the place.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier to his mother.

July 23– Saturday– Burge Plantation near Covington, Georgia– “I have been left in my home all day with no one but Sadai. Have seen nothing of the raiders, though this morning they burned the buildings around the depot at the Circle [Social Circle, a near-by town]. I have sat here in the porch nearly all day, and hailed every one that passed for news. Just as the sun set here Major Ansley and family came back. They heard of the enemy all about and concluded they were as safe here as anywhere. Just before bedtime John, our [slave] boy, came from Covington with word that the Yankees had left. Wheeler’s men were in Covington and going in pursuit. We slept sweetly and felt safe.” ~ Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge.

July 23– Saturday– Tanauan, Batengas, the Phillippines– Birth of Apolinario Mabini, lawyer, political theoretician and revolutionary, who will serves as Prime Minister from January to May, 1899. [Dies May 13, 1903.]

Apolinaria Mabini

Apolinario Mabini

July 24– Sunday– Brooklyn, New York– “Since I last wrote to you my illness has been gradually alleviated, until now I go about pretty much the same as usual. I keep pretty old-fashioned hours, rise early, dine at 1, & go to bed before 10. My head feels clear & comfortable, & my strength has returned almost, but not quite up to what it was. . . . I am trying to make arrangements to publish my volume [Drum Taps]. I shall probably try to bring [it] out myself, stereotype it, & print an edition of 500. I could sell that number by my own exertions in Brooklyn & New York in three weeks. . . . Mother’s age I think begins to just show– in a few weeks, she will commence her 70th year– still she does most of her light housework. My sister & her children are well. . . . Well, William, about the war I have to inform you that I remain hopeful & confident yet. I still think Grant will go into Richmond. My brother [George] describes the spirit of the troops as confident & sanguine under all their trials.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to his friend William D. O’Connor.

Louisa Whitman, Walt's mother

Louisa Whitman, Walt’s mother

July 24– Sunday– Mansfield, Ohio– “We all feel that upon Grant and you, and the armies under your command, the fate of this country depends. If you are successful, it is ardently hoped that peace may soon follow with a restored union. If you fail, the wisest can hope for nothing but a long train of disasters and the strife of factious. All our people cling to the hope of success, and seem perfectly willing to submit to taxation, bad administration, and every ill short of disunion. Whether it is the result of education, the constant warnings of the early Southern statesman, or the reason of the thing, everybody here dreads the breaking up of the union as the beginning of anarchy. The very thing they fight for in the South is for them, and for us, the worst calamity. What can be more terrible than the fate of Kentucky and Missouri. A man cannot go to bed at night, except in fear of the knife and torch. This lawlessness will extend all over the country if we do not have military success. . . . Bad precedents in time of war will easily be corrected by peace. But the anarchy of unsuccessful war will reduce us to a pitiable state, in which we shall easily fall victims to demagogism or tyranny. Every one feels that you have done your part nobly. Grant has not had such success. No doubt he has done as well as any one could with his resources and such adversaries. Still he has not taken Richmond, and I fear will not this campaign.” ~ Letter from Senator John Sherman to his brother General William Tecumseh Sherman.

July 24– Sunday– Kernstown, Virginia– Confederate troops defeat the Union forces and drive the Federals back across the Potomac River. Total Confederate losses– killed, wounded and missing– are approximately 600 and Federal losses total approximately 1200.

July 24– Sunday– Cobb County, Georgia– “I feel very lonely this pleasant, bright, cool day, no company and hearing constantly this morning the heavy cannonading at the South East which I am informed was kept up the most of last night – man killing his brother man, like beast of prey, without even the excuse of hunger or passion towards each other and I am in ignorance if one of my poor children may not be among the slain; this sad war, this war brought on by the corruption of politicians– how often are my feelings painfully excited toward that class of human demons, for whose corrupt occupation I have all my life felt the bitterest contempt, the most of them would willingly despoil Heaven for an office.” ~ Diary of William King.


July 24– Sunday– Union lines outside Atlanta, Georgia– “Our battery kept up a fire on the city all night. We could plainly see the burning fuse of the shell as it sped on its way. At one time there was a fire in the city, probably caused by our shell. The tall kind sergeant, you remember, was wounded in the breast last Sunday, I fear fatally. Few that were not with us will ever appreciate the fierceness of our struggle that afternoon; besides a strong enemy in front and on the left, we were exposed to the sun, which was literally scorching. After we had won the field and were at last relieved, the men were so exhausted that they could hardly move, and some had to be carried back though not wounded; among these was my Adjutant, who seemed to be in hysterias, and for a time I almost feared that he was dying. One Captain and Lieutenant, who had worked splendidly, were in about the same condition. I had not strength to speak above a whisper, but soon recovered. Our guns were so hot from rapid firing that the men could not touch the barrels.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife.

July 24– Sunday– Burge Plantation near Covington, Georgia– “No church. Our preacher’s horse stolen by the Yankees. This raid is headed by Guerrard and is for the purpose of destroying our railroads. They cruelly shot a George Daniel and a Mr. Jones of Covington, destroyed a great deal of private property, and took many citizens prisoners.” ~ Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge.

July 24– Sunday– Hanover, Germany– Birth of Frank Wedekind, playwright. [Dies March 9, 1918.]

Frank Wedekind~1883

Frank Wedekind~1883

July 25– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “The cane you did me the honor to present through Governor Curtin was duly placed in my hand by him. Please accept my thanks; and, at the same time, pardon me for not having sooner found time to tender them.” ~ Letter from President Lincoln to William O. Snider of Philadelphia.

July 25– Monday– Petersburg, Virginia– “I am getting very uneasy & exceeding anxious to hear how and when Father, Yourself, Harris & all of Roswell are. Major Minturn tells me he hears regularly from his wife. It was through her we have heard of the destruction of our little village. The factory & every home in the place being burnt. It is impossible for me to realize it, and I want to hear all about it from some of the family. Oh how fiercely I could drive the scoundrels from my home that their presence might no longer pollute my native state. In all my engagements with the enemy when I come in sight of their blue Yankee uniforms a feeling more like that of a fiend than human takes possession of me and I only feel an intense desire to kill, to strike to the earth all that come in my reach. I rejoice that Johnston has been superceded by Hood. We have heard of the fighting there & are anxiously looking for further news. Atlanta, I expect, is now safe & I pray God we may have such a victory then as will have to [lead to] an early termination or cessation of hostilities but what will Father and yourself do for a home. Dear old Roswell I am afraid we will never meet in a home there again. Oh what a war, a cruel war, & how little the Yankees feel it.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Barrington S King to his mother.

July 25– Monday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Another day of trial and anxiety has come, all nature seems cheerful, the skies bright and clear and the weather very cool for the season, and after Breakfast as I could not go to town I walked to the Picket station near the Graveyard, gave one of them [Federal soldiers] a letter to take to the P.O. for me and asked him to inquire for letters there for me . . . . I learnt that the report of the Federal Army having entered Atlanta some days ago was untrue, and that they were still out of it up to yesterday evening, that the fighting on Thursday and Saturday was very severe and the loss large on both sides, that on Thursday General McPherson (one of the best of the Federal Generals) was killed and . . . a large number of other officers on both sides, and the sacrifice of men great on both sides, how this needless war is spreading mourning and distress throughout our once prosperous and almost perfectly happy county– if the politicians were out of the way, how soon could the afflicted people reconcile their differences, and terminate this appalling and wicked sacrifice of Life and happiness.” ~ Diary of William King.


July 25– Monday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “We are very near Atlanta, actually besieging it, only I doubt whether we have troops enough wholly to encompass it; still we are bound to take it, there can be little doubt of it. Our batteries throw shot and shell into the city and the forts around the city, and the rebels reply from their forts at times quite lustily. My regiment is in a very good position and, though one or two shells have struck within the camp, we are unhurt. Do you want my old hat? I have put it up and will send it off by mail. You can see the mark that bullet left on the 22nd of June. I have been through so many battles; nearly two hundred officers and men of my regiment have been killed and wounded in this campaign; I have been with them always, exposed as much as any, and have come out unscathed. I have faith that I will in the future and finally come home. The papers have doubtless told you how disastrously to the rebels the battles of the 20th and the 22nd resulted, and also that General McPherson . . . was killed. . . . There has been considerable fighting along the lines today. Our lines are moving from the left to the right with the view, I suppose, of meeting at the Mobile Railroad. Two of my men have been slightly bruised by a shell, otherwise we are all well.” ~ Letter from union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife.

War Is A Calamity~July 1864~22nd to 23rd

War Is a Calamity ~ William King

Welles criticizes Greeley’s peace efforts. George Templeton Strong forces himself to remain optimistic. The sound of canon and muskets fills the air in Virginia and Georgia.


July 22– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “At the Cabinet-meeting the President read his correspondence with Horace Greeley on the subject of peace propositions from George Saunders and others at Niagara Falls. The President has acquitted himself very well– if he was to engage in the matter at all– but I am sorry that he permits himself, in this irregular way, to be induced to engage in correspondence with irresponsible parties like Saunders and Clay or scheming busybodies like Greeley. There is no doubt that the President and the whole Administration are misrepresented and misunderstood on the subject of peace, and Greeley is one of those who has done and is doing great harm and injustice in this matter. In this instance he was evidently anxious to thrust himself forward as an actor, and yet when once engaged he began to be alarmed; he failed to honestly and frankly communicate the President’s first letters, as was his duty, but sent a letter of his own, which was not true and correct, and found himself involved in the meshes of his own frail net.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

July 22– Friday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Not feeling very well last night from a cold and some feverish feeling, I went to bed early, but had rather a restless night; this morning I feel pretty well again, my cold has pretty much passed off. May God in his goodness deliver me from sickness this summer, to be even unwell with my wife away from me and I so lonely would be sad suffering to me, but I must put my trust in God and be resigned. . . . I have written another letter to my wife [sent to safety in Savannah, Georgia] hoping I may have an opportunity of getting it off. I will continue to write regularly to her, although I fear but few of my letters will ever reach her– it is painful to be so separated without the means of communicating with each other how much more happiness were we permitted to enjoy, before this cruel, stupid politicians’ war was inaugurated!. . . . war is a calamity to beast as well as Man; yet ambition and bad men will often involve a happy country in war with but little provocation. So God deals with his creatures for the sins of a few. . . . How many fearful forebodings of evil will force themselves on my depressed heart, in God will I place my trust, he is wise and good, he will overrule all things well, whatever man in his wickedness and weakness may try to do, God will overrule all for the good of His children, could we only feel with true confidence that we were of the Household of faith how cheerfully resigned would we be to the many trials of life and be ready to depart and be at peace in Heaven, how blessed are the dead, who have died in the Lord– this sad, cruel war, upon whom rest the great sin of having involved this happy, peaceful prosperous country in it? May God deal with his accustomed mercy in punishing His weak and sinful creatures.” ~ Diary of William King.

July 22– Friday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– Determined to take the offensive Confederate General John Bell Hood launches a direct attack against General Sherman’s left flank but suffers a severe repulse, sustaining a total of 8,499 killed, wounded and missing. Federal losses amount to 3,641. The popular Union General James B. McPherson is killed and his soldiers swear take vengeance on the rebels.

July 22– Friday– Columbus, Georgia– “Since the last entry I made in December, 1863, I have been in feeble health, and overcome with troubles, so much so that I have quit going to my office and stay at home. On the 15th of May, a battle was going on at Resaca on the state railroad. Our men were ordered to lie down in the trenches while the enemy was shelling them. A shell fell near my dear Eugene . . . and exploded, killing him so dead that he was not known to speak or breathe afterwards. The night following, Willis [another son] had the sad duty to perform of burying him in the night, which was near where he was killed in a garden. Had no coffin but put him in a grave and covered him with the dirt and hurried off, the enemy not far off. This was the earthly end of dear Eugene, about twenty-five years of age. He was a good, dutiful son, of fine person, near or quite six feet high, of pleasing manners and very popular. . . . He loved his home but was denied the enjoyment of it. I had given him some land in Stewart County, built him a house (all new) . . . and eighteen Negroes. Thus ends dear Eugene, which has caused many tears to be shed. Even to this day I often cry to think and speak of him.” ~ Diary of John Banks.


July 22– Friday– Burge Plantation near Covington, Georgia– “We have heard the loud booming of cannon all day. Mr. Ward [the overseer] went over to the burial of Thomas Harwell, whose death I witnessed yesterday. They had but just gone when the Reverend A. Turner, wife, and daughter drove up with their wagons, desiring to rest awhile. They went into the ell [a large back room] and lay down, I following them, wishing to enjoy their company. Suddenly I saw the servants [slaves] running to the palings, and I walked to the door, when I saw such a stampede as I never witnessed before. The road was full of carriages, wagons, men on horseback, all riding at full speed. Judge Floyd stopped, saying: ‘Mrs. Burge, the Yankees are coming. They have got my family, and here is all I have upon earth. Hide your mules and carriages and whatever valuables you have.’ . . . Sadai [nine year old daughter] was taking down and picking up our clothes, which she was giving to the servants [slaves] to hide in their cabins; silk dresses, challis, muslins, and merinos, linens, and hosiery, all found their way into the chests of the women and under their beds; china and silver were buried underground, and Sadai bid Mary [a slave] hide a bit of soap under some bricks, that mama might have a little left. Then she came to me with a part of a loaf of bread, asking if she had not better put it in her pocket, that we might have something to eat that night. And, verily, we had cause to fear that we might be homeless, for on every side we could see smoke arising from burning buildings and bridges. Major Ansley, who was wounded in the hip in the battle of Missionary Ridge, and has not recovered, came with his wife, sister, two little ones, and servants [slaves]. He was traveling in a bed in a small wagon. They had thought to get to Eatonton, but he was so wearied that they stopped with me for the night. I am glad to have them. I shall sleep none to-night. The woods are full of refugees.” ~ Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge.

July 22– Friday– Pine Bluff Arkansas; Wright County, Missouri; Coldwater River, Mississippi; Clifton, Tennessee; Vidalia, Louisiana; Condordia, Louisiana; Newtown Virginia; Berryville, Virginia– Incursions, sorties and assaults.


July 23– Saturday– New York City– “I will not let myself doubt the final issue. What further humiliation and disaster, public and private, we must suffer before we reach the end, God only knows; but this shabbiest and basest of rebellions cannot be destined to triumph.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

July 23– Saturday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “Fifty barrels of vegetables were shipped from this city last evening by the Soldiers’ Aid Society, for West Virginia boys at Martinsburg. This gift will be greatly relished by the boys after their many privations. They must be heavily tired of flitch and hard tack.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

July 23– Saturday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “The bronze statue of Washington captured by General Hunter’s command, having served its purpose at the Sanitary Fair has been removed to the yard of the Lindsley Institute, the temporary capital of the State, where it attracts considerable interest.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

July 23– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “This morning we crossed Chain Bridge and are once more in the District of Columbia. We are under orders to move and I expect we shall take transports back to Petersburg. Our campaign has been brief but successful.” ~ Diary of Union officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

canon details2

July 23– Saturday– Cobb County, Georgia– “The greater part of this morning we have heard heavy firing of cannon toward the South East. I learnt last evening that the Federal forces had gone into Atlanta the previous afternoon, but have heard none of the particulars. I hope the citizens did not abandon their homes as they did here, as painful as it is to be restricted as we are here, it is a duty to remain at home and give personal attention to one’s interests, the path of duty is the path of safety, running away from Home even before an enemy is cowardice and weakness– my stay here though subjecting me to many inconveniences, has been and still is a source of much gratification in affording me an opportunity of knowing the character of the Federal Army, and understanding their feelings and plans and so far none, even among privates in their intercourse with me have manifested any other feelings than those which are kind and gentlemanly. I have had nothing to pain me in my free intercourse with them, but everything has tended to allay any unkind feelings which I may have previously entertained and I truly wish all our ultra disunion men of the South could have enjoyed the same privilege I have for the past 3 weeks– both in sorrows and in joys. . . . The heavy firing has continued all day and still continues at dark.” ~ Diary of William King.


July 23– Saturday– Union lines outside Atlanta, Georgia– “I wrote you last on the field of battle, on the field of victory, when we had accomplished what seldom falls to the fortune of one little regiment of two hundred and sixty muskets to achieve. It was a proud day for us. The boys are in good spirits; they are ready for the most desperate deeds. . . . Our pickets found early yesterday morning that the strong line of [Confederate] outer works about three-quarters of a mile in length in our front ha! been evacuated by the enemy. We fell in at once and marched forward and passed through them and took position on hills within easy cannon reach of the principal fortifications, to which the enemy had retired. We have thrown up works to protect us from artillery fire. We are only two and a half miles from the city; it is partly screened by high wooded hills. We have a large number of batteries in position. There has been a good deal of exchange of fire between them and the rebel artillery. . . . Our lines were very much extended; as we crowded nearer the city, they would become closer and stronger, and compel them to evacuate or stand a siege; to attack then was the best thing they could do. They have been badly beaten. I am very confident now that Atlanta will soon be ours. Johnston has been superseded by Hood in the command of the rebel army.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife.

Exposed to a Most Terrific Fire~July 1864~20th to 21st

Exposed to a Most Terrific Fire ~ a Confederate soldier

In Virginia and Georgia there is hard fighting and plenty of skirmishing in other parts of the Confederacy. Citizens complain of the devastation. Soldiers worry about their families. Scotland Yard chases a killer to New York City. A future First Lady is born.


July 20– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “A very pretty girl, named Althea F. Harris, was received here yesterday from Columbia, South Carolina, where she was arrested as a spy. She was committed to Castle Thunder.” ~ Richmond Whig.

July 20– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “I shall leave tonight for my Regiment. My health is very good, but I do not believe that I would ever fully regain my strength in a hospital. I think marching and the excitement of change will be an advantage to me. We have some pretty weather now which is a rarity to us. I hope it will continue till I get hardened to Camp life again. Our prospects are not so bright as they were a few weeks past and I expect the people in Georgia are pretty low spirited. This should be avoided as much as possible. It just fires me up to fight the harder, and I am told by those just from the army that the soldiers are in fine spirits and ready for another fight.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

sharpshooters at Petersburg

sharpshooters at Petersburg

July 20– Wednesday– Petersburg, Virginia–”I am feeling very uneasy about Father & yourself & little Haddie. It has been so long since I have heard from you & the date of the letter was the 14th of June & now the Danville R R is finished & mails have come through & yet I can hear nothing from yourself or Father. Members of the Regiment lately from Atlanta returning to duty bring such conflicting rumors too that I feel doubly anxious to hear. One man says they have not only destroyed the factories but that most of the buildings in the village has been burnt. Another says they have only burnt the Wool Mill & are running the Cotton Mill on their own account & have burnt more of the buildings in the village. I don’t know what to believe but know this, that if it is not already burnt it will if Sherman is ever forced to retreat be destroyed without a doubt. It was reported to that Johnston had decided to give up Atlanta. But now he has been superceded by Hood who will fight Sherman where he is.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Barrington King to his mother.

July 20– Wednesday– Cleveland, Tennessee– “The brass band belonging to the 2nd Ohio Heavy Artillery plays every evening at the Raught (Raht) House on the hill. I like to hear it, yet it makes me very, very sad. I hear it now playing in the distance. After Rhoda and I go to bed in our snug little domicile, we hear them beat the tattoo, after that dies way the sound of the bugle pierces our ears, when the last blast [is] heard all is still for the night, and we sink to rest with a heavy heart amid fortifications and cannon ready to deal deadly missiles among our hearts’ idols who are banished and exiled from their homes.” ~ Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

July 20– Wednesday– Peachtree Creek, Georgia–While trying to protect Atlanta, Confederate forces are beaten back, sustaining heavy losses. Confederate causalities–dead, wounded and missing– amount to 4,796; Union causalities total 1,779.

Peachtree Creek battlefield

Peachtree Creek battlefield

July 20– Wednesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “I called to see Mrs McClatchy this morning, found her son better and all in more cheerful spirits. I heard nothing new but the rumor that some of our Cavalry in small bodies were about east and west of us, and some apprehension of their making raids upon the town, for the interruption of which trees had been cut and thrown across the Road near Colonel Brumby’s House. At 11 o’clock today the whole wagon train and horses left us, leaving the desolating marks of an army encampment behind them, fences pretty generally destroyed and the improvement of the place greatly marred, what a devastator is war. Not a chicken nor a pig left on the place; and when about leaving Sharpe informed me they were about taking off our lame mule which by the by I thought had been taken long before. . . . [Union] Major Flagg being in ill health and sympathizing with me in my lonely condition, has consented to remain with me a few days longer, greatly relieving me from my anticipated loneliness. Captain Rankin advises me to bring the Ladies up, and the servants [slaves] wish me also to do so, but all things look so dreary and lonely and we having neither poultry nor garden and none to be had in the neighborhood, they had better remain where they are now for a while longer, here for a while they would almost feel like prisoners, for almost such do I feel myself to be, so much so in addition to the danger of being innocently implicated in depredations which may be committed by Bushwhackers and Raiders, that I think I had better go to the North for 1 or 2 months, hoping that a more settled state of things may pass over our afflicted country within that time, than now exists. . . . [Union] Captain Garfield the Commissary, informs me that he has been often robbed by their own men, and that they 2 nights ago had robbed him largely of Hams and other provisions, 1 of the wagoners was suspected and arrested; the Robbers steal from the Rebels, Negroes and their own people alike; stealing and not patriotism moves them, the thieves infest both armies, but the Federal Army is more largely attended. I discover they have either destroyed or stolen the Ploughs and most of the Spades and Hoes, but few things with us seem to have been wantonly destroyed, at other places I notice much has been destroyed from mischief and badness, such as the breaking of windows, glasses, and defacing walls, etc– general lawlessness pervades the whole country.” ~ Diary of William King.

July 20– Wednesday– Newtown, Virginia; Berryville, Virginia; Stephenson’s Depot, Virginia; Philomont, Virginia; Blount County, Tennessee; La Fayette County, Missouri; Johnson County, Missouri; Arrow Rock, Missouri– Skirmishes, brawls, melees and showdowns.

July 20– Wednesday– Liverpool, England– A detective from Scotland Yard boards a ship to New York City, hoping to catch Franz Muller for the July 9th murder of Thomas Briggs.

July 20– Wednesday– Le Ma-sur-Seine, France– Birth of Michel Gaston Carraud, composer. [Dies June 15, 1920.]

Erik Axel Karlfeldt 1931

Erik Axel Karlfeldt

July 20– Wednesday– Karlbo, Sweden– Birth of Erik Axel Karlfeldt, poet. [Dies April 8. 1931 and posthumously receives the Noble Prize for Literature that year.]

July 21– Thursday– Buffalo, New York– Birth of Frances Folsom Cleveland [dies October 29, 1947], the only child of Oscar and Emma Folsom. [A graduate of Wells College, Frances, at age 22, will marry President Grover Cleveland, 27 years her senior and her father’s law partner. During her time as First Lady she will serve as an excellent hostess and, like Jackie Kennedy in later decades, a fashionable trend-setter. Five years after President Cleveland’s death, she will marry Thomas Preston, businessman and educator.]

Frances Folsom Cleveland

Frances Folsom Cleveland

July 21– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “The bearer of this is a most estimable widow lady [Mrs. Ann G. Sprigg] , at whose house I boarded many years ago when a member of Congress [1847-1848]. She now is very needy; & any employment suitable to a lady could not be bestowed on a more worthy person.” ~ Lincoln to William P. Fessenden, new Secretary of the Treasury.

July 21– Thursday– Petersburg, Virginia– “How long we will remain in this situation we cannot tell. It seems as if Grant is determined, if not driven away, to remain here all summer. I do wish this campaign would close, tis very disagreeable, and very unhealthy, both from bullets & disease. We can stand it about as well as Grant, though. It is now certainly known that General Johnston has been relieved of his command and General Hood has assumed command. Hood is an excellent officer, and I’ve no doubt will soon relieve the downtrodden portions of our beloved state. The Yankees are

getting uncomfortably near my home and I’m extremely anxious they should be driven away as speedily as possible. They have overrun enough of our state, and I think it is now time for them to halt. I received two letters from home today, and they exhibit great uneasiness lest Sherman should overrun our portion of the state. Our country is actually filled up with refugees from the northern part of Georgia. I think there is no use in being in such a hurry, Sherman hasn’t got Atlanta yet– not do I believe he will. If he does succeed he will be compelled to do some very hard fighting, I’m certain.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Alva Benjamin Spencer to his fiancee Maggie Cone.

July 21– Thursday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Mr. Fletcher called to see me this morning, he in common with the rest of us out and in town, are prohibited from passing the Lines. He says while going into town a few days ago in his wagon with a load of wood at noon, a band of thieves met him on the road and took away one of his Horses, there is but little safety in moving about now, the strict orders prohibiting going in or out of town just now, I think, is attributable to the apprehension of a raid on Marietta, where the [Federal] government has a large amount of stores, it is reported that for some days past Confederate Scouts have been seen about at no great distance from the town. The [railroad] cars are now running more numerously toward the river. Excluded as we are in the country we can gather but little news– I am provided with no guard yet. Long wagon trains are constantly passing up and down the Road. The flies exceed in number and annoyance anything of the kind I have ever known, leaving no comfort for man or beast.” ~ Diary of William King.

July 21– Thursday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “We have again had ourselves exposed to a most terrific fire. God in His kind providence has again spared me, even to having allowed a minie ball to strike my pants and yet not injure my leg. But He saw fit to take a leg from our dear friend Captain B. H. Napier. Besides, the Captain, though now with one leg, is worth a dozen two-legged ones, and you must answer his letter without fail to cheer him up as much as possible. He was shot at about 3 o’clock yesterday in a dreadful charge up over the enemy’s breastworks.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier to his sister.

July 21– Thursday– Atlanta, Georgia– “General Johnston is removed from his command, and Hood succeeds him. Johnston could not stand, so his successor is expected to do wonderful things. When

censured for continually falling back, Johnston replied, ‘We can rebuild cities when demolished, but if this army is once destroyed, we can never raise another.’ His men love and honor him and regret his removal. . . . Words cannot picture the scenes that surround me, scenes and sounds which my soul will hold in remembrance forever. Terrific cannonading on every side, continual firing of muskets, men screaming to each other, wagons rumbling by on every street or pouring into the yard (for the remnants of fences offer no obstructions new to cavalryman or wagoner) and from the city comes up wild shouting, as if there was a general melee there. I sit in my dismantled home tonight, feeling that our earthly loves and all our pleasant things are ours so slightly . . . . the firing increased, becoming fiercer each hour. Still the soldiers said, ‘There is no danger. We are driving back the enemy.’ Towards evening, I was standing in the yard, listening to the firing and expressing my fears of a still nearer approach of battle-scenes. Our kind soldier friend replied, ‘Oh, that is nothing. That firing is a long way off from here. Our army will never allow the Yankees to take Atlanta.” ~ Diary of Cyrena Stone.

July 21– Thursday– Bald Hill, Georgia; Atchafalaya, Louisiana; Plattsburg, Missouri; Barrancas, Florida– Skirmishes and raids.

I Could Be Comfortable Enough~July 1864~18th to 20th

I Could Be Comfortable Enough ~ William King

In the midst of national tribulation there are some small joys. Whitman receives an encouraging letter from a disabled veteran. A soldier is thankful for a supply of paper and fresh apple cider. Union friends salute Confederate General Pickett on the birth of his son. A wealthy Georgia man enjoys the friendly companionship of Union officers. Yet sorry and worry are commonplace. A woman leans the details of the death of two her sons in the same battle. An Atlanta woman worries about the safety of her house. Deaths of prisoners occur every day at Andersonville. “A number of depraved and abandoned women” are imprisoned in Richmond. Common soldiers are unhappy about the dismissal of General Johnston. Welles worries about his son joining the army.

an Ohio farmer worries about his son serving with General Grant

an Ohio farmer worries about his son serving with General Grant

July 18– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “Your kind letter came to hand yesterday. I was very much surprised to hear that you were in Brooklyn. I was also very sorry to hear of your illness & to think that it was brought on by your unselfish kindness to the Soldiers. There is a many a soldier now that never thinks of you but with emotions of the greatest gratitude & I know that the soldiers that you have been so kind to have a great big warm place in their heart for you. I never think of you but it makes my heart glad to think that I have been permitted to know one so good. I hope you will soon be enjoying good health again for it is one of God’s greatest blessings. I should like very much to see you back here but I suppose you must stay where it suits your health best but I will still write to you for I can never forget your great kindness to me. I have got my [artificial] leg but I think that I will never be able to walk much on it as my stump is so short but if I can’t I can go on my crutches for they appear to be a part of myself for I have been on them so long. . . . The 4 of July passed off here as usual– there was a national salute fired from the surrounding forts & there was any amount of sky rockets. They commenced celebrating the 4th on Sunday evening after dark & they kept it up until morning. I could not sleep practically all night there being so much noise.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Lewis K Brown to Walt Whitman.

July 18– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– “I, being the last one of Company H to visit the battlefield of May 6th , by request of Mr. M.O. Young take pleasure in responding to a letter received of him by you soliciting information relative to the death of your beloved sons John and Thomas. Having received a painful wound myself in the knee, I did not see either of them when struck but have received full particulars of the sad events from reliable men who witnessed them. Lieutenant was kneeling down giving instructions to some of the company about firing, when he was struck in the forehead by a minie ball, it passing through his brain. He died instantly without even speaking. This [was] some 75 yards from the enemy’s breastworks. Thomas, I do not suppose, was aware of it at the time, for, after reaching the Yankee breastwork and remaining behind them for minutes, he was struck himself by a minie ball, it passing through the right side of his neck cutting the jugular vein. He turned to Lieutenant Culp and, pointing with his finger to his wound from which his life’s blood was fast gushing forth, asked him where John was. This was the only word he spoke. Noble, noble youths, their untimely fate is deeply lamented by the entire company. No more heroic soldiers have fallen since this war began than they. None more gallant have ever graced the ranks of the Confederate army. In courage and valor they were surpassed by none. I am wholly inadequate to describe with pen the grief I have felt at your irreparable loss.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier to a mother in Georgia.

Petersburg under siege

Petersburg under siege

July 18– Monday– Petersburg, Virginia– “I am glad to get the paper and envelope you sent me, for it is a hard matter to get here. My health is better than it has been in a long time, or in other words I am stout and hearty. We are still here in the same place and still in line fronting the enemy. We have been here 16 days today. We are not so friendly with the yanks now. All communications, trading, &c., is stopped except an occasional exchange of papers by the officers. There is still no firing between us and I hope will not be till an advance is made. We sharpshooters have not been relieved since we came here, and do not want to be as we have a better position than back at the Brigade [headquarters]. I gave you a sketch of our position in my last letter. We still continue to catch some fish and some days a great many are caught, and our rations are a little better now, so upon the whole we are living well. In addition to this, the boys have pressed a large amount of cider from half ripe apples in an orchard near by, which was quite a treat, but the apples are given out now. Soldiers are up to any emergency that presents itself.” ~ Letters from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

July 19– Tuesday– Ashby’s Gap, Virginia; Berry’s Ford, Virginia; Charles Town, West Virginia; Darkesville, West Virginia; Kabletown, West Virginia– Federal troops in pursuit of General Early fight a number of sharp engagements, causing the Confederate forces to retreat toward Winchester, Virginia.

 July 19– Tuesday– Petersburg, Virginia– “My men had all heard of the arrival of the ‘Little General,’ as they call him, and when I was riding out of camp last night to surrender to him, I noticed the bonfires which were being kindled all along my lines and knew that my loyal, loving men were lighting them in honor of my baby. But I did not know till this morning that dear old [Union General Rufus] Ingalls, at Grant’s suggestion, had kindled a light on the other side of the lines, too, and I was over come with emotion when I learned of it. To-day their note of congratulation, marked unofficial, which I inclose, came to me through the lines. You must keep it for the baby.” ~ Letter from Confederate General George Pickett to his wife Sallie Ann.

July 19– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “A department is devoted at Castle Thunder to the detention of a number of depraved and abandoned women, to prevent their following the army and contributing by their pestilential presence to the destruction of the moral of the soldiers. Several of them are yet good looking, and may at one time have been beautiful. It has been found necessary to keep them in constant confinement, as once at liberty they follow and hover in the tract of an army like carrion crows that snuff a field of slaughter.” ~ Richmond Examiner.

 July 19– Tuesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “This morning I have remained at Home, reading and enjoying for a short time the company I had around me, who are very pleasant and intelligent men, with such a good library, had I my wife with me I could be comfortable enough even with the exclusion from town, to which I am now subjected– but knowing as I do how many families there are in town who need sympathy and advice, I must got a special permit (which has been kindly promised to me by the Commandant) now and then to go and see them; I am not excluded from visiting any . . . around in the country, having the liberty of the county, but there is no society near me. I must however endure for a time the privation as best I can– but how long I can be content to remain here without my family or any other company I do not know, were it not for the charge of the servants [i.e. his slaves], I would quit at once and return Home or go to the North, but I cannot well leave them and the property here– to remain here under existing circumstances may subject me to even a greater annoyance than that of being excluded from town– if the rumors be true that many of our cavalry are in this vicinity, their doings in addition to the many evil disposed persons about, may subject us all to suspicion, and involve us in the consequences of their actions. I think I must so arrange matters as may allow me properly either to go to the North or South for a while, until affairs in this section become more settled, if that happy day can be again before the return of peace, which I fear cannot be, how sorely the fountains of happiness have been broken up by this war. I have not been away from Home today. In the afternoon Mr. Shepard made me a visit, he like myself being excluded from town.” ~ Diary of William King.

fighting in Georgia

fighting in Georgia

July 19– Tuesday– Atlanta, Georgia– “All of my neighbors have gone. Am alone on the hill. A friend has urged me to move to town and reside with her. But this is my house, and I wish to protect it, if possible. There may be not battle here. If not, I am safe. If there is one, where is any safety?” ~ Diary of Cyrena Stone.

July 19– Tuesday– Atlanta, Georgia– “General Hood has superseded General Johnston, and there is a great deal of dissatisfaction in the army about it. The Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas troops have threatened to lay down their arms and return home on account of Johnston’s removal. What he was removed for, no one knows. I presume, though, it was for not fighting and allowing the Yanks to penetrate so far into Georgia. I must confess that I am not as much of Johnston man as I have been. He is too cautious, is not willing to risk a battle until he is satisfied he can whip it. My dearest Wife, I want a suit of some sort, a dark one if you can get one. The one I have is in rags. My pants are out at the seat and knees, but I have not worn my summer pants yet on account of getting washing done. I have washed my shirts twice since I have been here. They were not washed very nicely, but it was better than a black shirt. My darling Camilla, [if] this cruel war would end what would I give! I do want to see you so badly, my darling. It appears like I have [never] seen you and the dear little children. I think of you, my darling Wife, all the time. I feel lonely and gloomy, but, if I could only get a sight of your dear face, I know my spirits would revive.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier to his wife.

July 19– Tuesday– Milledgville, Georgia– The Confederate Union reports that Yankee prisoners at Andersonville are dying at the rate of 50 to 60 per day.

July 19– Tuesday– Nanking, China–The Imperial Army takes the city from the rebels. The total number of dead from both sides may exceed 300,000.

July 19– near Little Rock, Arkansas; Webster, Missouri; Taos, Missouri; along the White River, Arkansas; Iron Bridge, Indian Territory [now Oklahoma]– Skirmishes and raids.

July 20– Holyoke, Massachusetts– Birth of William F Whiting, politician and businessman. [He will serve as U. S. Secretary of Commerce from August, 1928, to March of 1929. Dies August 31, 1936.]

William F Whiting

William F Whiting

July 20– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “My son, Thomas G. Welles, left to-day for the Army of the Potomac, having received orders from the War Department to report to General Grant. To part with him has been painful to me beyond what I can describe. Were he older and with more settled principles and habits, some of the anxieties which oppress me would be relieved. But he is yet a mere youth and has gone to the camp with boyish pride and enthusiasm, and will be in danger of being misled when beyond a parent’s control. He is just eighteen and goes alone on his mission. I have tried to dissuade him so far as I could with propriety, but there was a point beyond which I could not well go. In the condition of the country and when others were periling their lives and the lives of their children, how could I refrain, and resist the earnest appeals of my son, whose heart was set upon going? To have positively prohibited him would have led to bad results, and perhaps not have accomplished the end desired. Yet it has been hard to part with him, and as he left me, I felt that it was uncertain whether we should ever meet again, and if we do he may be mutilated, and a ruined man. I have attended closely to my duties, but am sad, and unfit for any labor.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

The Trails and Troubles of Their Acts~July 1864~15th to 18th

The Trials and Troubles Of Their Acts ~ William King

In Georgia citizens such as William King suffer and Confederate General Johnston is replaced. General Pickett becomes a proud father. Greeley’s peace efforts fail. A crossdressed woman coming from a tete-a-tete is arrested. Lincoln calls for more troops and encourages Grant and Sherman.

Shohola Train Wreck

Shohola Train Wreck

July 15– Friday– near Sholola, Pennsylvania– A train loaded with Confederate prisoners collides with a coal train, killing 44 prisoners, 17 guards and 4 railroad workers as well as injuring 109 others of 955 aboard

July 15– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “We had some talk at Cabinet-meeting to-day on the Rebel invasion. The President wants to believe there was a large force, and yet evidently his private convictions are otherwise. But the military leaders, the War Office, have insisted there was a large force. We have done nothing, and it is more gratifying to our self-pride to believe there were many of them, especially as we are likely to let them off with considerable plunder scot-free.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

July 15– Friday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Our servants [slaves] are all getting on well, I having but little for them to do, they are enabled to make money by washing and mending for the [Yankee] soldiers. I today heard of the sad condition of Mr. and Mrs. Greenlee Butler, they had remained within the Lines of Judge Irvine’s place, he was very feeble, and they in common with all their neighbors had been robbed of all their provisions and nearly everything else. . . . the sufferings from the depredations of the robbers is very great. Many who were well supplied for months and some for a year, have been compelled to come to town and perform day work for a living . . . . Large numbers of families are quitting the county, and going to the North to seek a support for themselves and families– such are the consequences of a needless war on domestic comfort and the prosperity of a county.” ~ Diary of William King.

July 15– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– “I have made General Johnston two visits, and been received courteously and kindly. He has not sought my advice, and it was not volunteered. I cannot learn that he has any more plan for the future than he has had in the past. It is expected that he will await the enemy on a line some three miles from here, and the impression prevails that he is now more inclined to fight. The morale of our army is still reported good.” ~ Telegram from Confederate General Braxton Bragg to President Jefferson Davis.

July 15– Friday– Columbus, Mississippi– “Our dispatches from the front are very encouraging – Forrest is fighting the Enemy near Tupelo – nothing decisive, but we have repulsed them in every attempt to fight us. God grant our Army may be crowned with glory and success – protect my dear Brother and friends from all danger. The news from Virginia is glorious, God grant it may be true, our forces in three miles of Washington City, and shelling the City. Oh heaven, smile upon our poor, desolated South, brighten the hearthstones of our sad and lonely homes – drive our enemy back, take them in peace, we do not wish them any harm, but oh! grant our Sunny land Victory and peace, bless my dear old Father and spare him to us, for the days when our dear boys will once more bless our homes with their presence.”~ Diary of Belle Edmondson.

July 15– Friday– Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada– Birth of Franklin Knight Lane. [The family will move to California in 1871. He will become a news reporter, lawyer and Democratic politician, serving on the Interstate Commerce Commission from 1906 to 1913 and as Secretary of the Interior from 1913 to 1920. Dies May 18, 1921.]

Franklin Knight Lane

Franklin Knight Lane

July 15– Friday– London, England– Birth of Marie Susan Etherington, a/k/a Dame Marie Tempest, D.B. E, singer, stage and film actress. [Dies October 15, 1942.]

Dame Marie Tempest, 1886

Dame Marie Tempest, 1886

July 16– Saturday– Atlantic Ocean– The first hurricane of the season begins, well east of the coast of Georgia, and rages for the next two days, with winds reaching a peak intensity of 80 mph. It will dissipate in the ocean miles away from the coast of Nova Scotia.

July 16– Saturday– Nashville, Tennessee– “About three o’clock on Thursday night last (14th ) the police arrested a suspicious looking character, who afterwards proved to be a woman dressed in male attire. An investigation into the affair established the fact that she had but recently come to this city on a visit, and meeting a Lieutenant, a friend of her husband and family, a promenade and a disguise was suggested by the officer, which was acceded to by Mrs._____. She was returning to her boarding house when arrested, and, as might be expected, exhibited much uneasiness of mind, when being escorted to the police headquarters. The Lieutenant shortly afterwards made his appearance and deposited a sufficient sum for security, thus saving her from lodging the rest of the night in the workhouse.” ~ Nashville Daily Press.

July 17– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– “In your dispatch of yesterday to General Sherman, I find the following, to wit: ‘I shall make a desperate effort to get a position here, which will hold the enemy without the necessity of so many men.’ Pressed as we are by lapse of time I am glad to hear you say this; and yet I do hope you may find a way that the effort shall not be desperate in the sense of great loss of life.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to General Grant.

July 17– Sunday– Petersburg, Virginia– “God bless you, little Mother of our boy bless and keep you. Heaven in all its glory shine upon you; Eden’s flowers bloom eternal for you. Almost with every breath since the message came, relieving my anxiety and telling me that my darling lived and that a little baby had been born to us, I have been a baby myself. Though I have known all these months that from across Love’s enchanted land this little child was on its way to our twin souls, now that God’s promise is fulfilled and it has come, I can’t believe it. As I think of it I feel the stir of Paradise in my senses, and my spirit goes up in thankfulness to God for this, His highest and best the one perfect flower in the garden of life Love.” ~ Letter from Confederate General George Pickett to his wife Sallie Ann on the birth of their son George.

Sallie Corbell Pickett

Sallie Corbell Pickett

July 17– Sunday– Cobb County, Georgia– “How little could our disunion friends have conceived of the trials and troubles their acts were to bring upon a happy and prosperous people– most of them fleeing away from their Homes. [Union] Colonel Bishop informed me this morning that there would be preaching in the Presbyterian Church by a member of the [Northern] Christian Association, I told him I would attend but feeling a little unwell and not liking to be too long away from Home on Sunday, I returned without attending Church, this making 6 Sabbaths since I have attended Church; God grant that peace may soon be restored to our afflicted country.” ~ Diary of William King.

Union artillery outside of Atlanta

Union artillery outside of Atlanta

July 17– Sunday– Atlanta, Georgia– Confederate General Joseph Johnston receives notice from President Jeff Davis that Davis no longer has confidence in him and is replacing him with General John Bell Hood in order to turn back the advance of Union General Sherman. Davis writes “as you failed to arrest the advance of the enemy to the vicinity of Atlanta . . . you are hereby relieved from the command.”

July 17– Sunday– Parker’s Ford, Virginia; Vining’s Station, Georgia; Herring Creek, Virginia; Ray County, Missouri; Davison’s Ford, Louisiana– Onslaughts, forays and assaults.

July 17– Sunday– Spa, Belgium– Dirk D. Curtius, lawyer, opponent of monarchy and liberal politician, dies at age 71.

Dirk D Curtius

Dirk D Curtius

July 18– Monday– Niagra Falls, New York– Horace Greeley arrives to attempt peace negotiations.

July 18– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do issue this my call for 500,000 volunteers for the military service: Provided, nevertheless, That this call shall be reduced by all credits which may be established under section 8 of the aforesaid act on account of persons who have entered the naval service during the present rebellion and by credits for men furnished to the military service in excess of calls heretofore made. Volunteers will be accepted under this call for one, two, or three years, as they may elect, and will be entitled to the bounty provided by the law for the period of service for which they enlist. And I hereby proclaim, order, and direct that immediately after the 5th day of September, 1864, being fifty days from the date of this call, a draft for troops to serve for one year shall be had in every town, township, ward of a city, precinct, or election district, or county not so subdivided, to fill the quota which shall be assigned to it under this call or any part thereof which may be unfilled by volunteers on the said 5th day of September, 1864.” ~ Proclamation of President Lincoln calling for a half million more volunteers, in large part because of the large number of casualties suffered in Virginia and Georgia.

July 18– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “I have seen your despatches objecting to agents of Northern States opening recruiting stations near your camps. An act of Congress authorizes this, giving the appointment of agents to the States, and not to the Executive Government. It is not for the War Department, or myself, to restrain or modify the law, in its execution, further than actual necessity may require. To be candid, I was for the passage of the law, not apprehending at the time that it would produce such inconvenience to the armies in the field as you now cause me to fear. Many of the States were very anxious for it, and I hoped that, with their State bounties, and active exertions, they would get out substantial additions to our colored forces, which, unlike white recruits, help us where they come from, as well as where they go to. I still hope advantage from the law; and being a law, it must be treated as such by all of us. We here will do what we consistently can to save you from difficulties arising out of it. May I ask, therefore, that you will give your hearty co-operation.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to General William Tecumseh Sherman.

General Sherman

General Sherman

July 18– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln meets with James R. Gilmore to discuss peace. Gilmore, age 42, a Massachusetts-born businessman, had made a secret trip, with Lincoln’s permission, to meet with President Davis in Richmond. However, he reports that the Confederacy demands recognition of its independence and the continuance of slavery. After the meeting Lincoln issues this announcement: “Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States, will be received and considered by the Executive Government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and collateral points; and the bearer or bearers thereof shall have safe conduct both ways.” This effectively ends Horace Greeley’s efforts at peace talks.

Much Uneasiness Is Felt~ July 1864~13th & 14th

Much Uneasiness Is Felt ~ W A Stilwell

Many Southerners worry about the Federal advance in Georgia. General Hood criticizes General Johnston. An imprisoned editor is released. Rape and murder in Memphis. A baby born at Andersonville. A friend encourages Whitman. A new gold find in the West. A future businessman receives a famous name at birth.

July 13– Rhinebeck, New York– Birth of John Jacob Astor [the 4th of that name in American history] to William and Caroline Astor. A prosperous capitalist and inventor, he will add the Astoria section to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. [Dies April 12, 1912 on the Titanic.]

John Jacob Astor IV~1895

John Jacob Astor IV~1895

July 13– Wednesday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “Mr. Jordan, who was arrested on Monday, charged with circulating false rumors, was released yesterday by Captain Over, after an investigation of his case. Mr. Jordan admitted that he had told the store of Pryor & Frost, that the citizen rebels of Baltimore had risen and that fighting was going on in the streets. He heard the report from some one passing in the street, but did not recollect who the person was. Captain Over being satisfied that the accused did not circulate the rumor for an evil purpose, released him.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

July 13– Wednesday– Petersburg, Virginia– “No letter yet. Still I am doomed to sad disappointment. I hope, however, to get several at once in a few days, as the rail road communication with the South is now about established. I do anticipate so much pleasure. There’s not an hour but that your image comes up before me, and besieged as we are, our anxiety is doubly increased. I’m so anxious to hear how your anticipated visit terminated; and everything else connected with Georgia. Since the enemy has made his appearance in our own dear State, I can’t think there can be any dearth of news, and I assure you anything you may write, will interest me. The situation of affairs around Petersburg remains about the same. Grant still continues the barbarous practice of throwing shells into the city, occupied only by defenseless women and children. He seems afraid to make an advance. So he keeps up an incessant sharp shooting, and shelling, accomplishing nothing.” ~ Letters from Confederate soldier Alva Benjamin Spencer to his fiancee Maggie Cone.


July 13– Wednesday– Memphis, Tennessee– “A Mrs. Annie Mason, residing in the vicinity of Court Square, while passing through a by street in the southeastern part of the city, early last evening on her way to make arrangements for the renting of a residence in that quarter, was met and confronted by two men each with a canteen of whisky, who invited her to drink, and on her refusing, and attempting to pass, seized and forcibly carried her into a grove, some distance off, robbed her of all the money she had, tore her clothing almost entirely from her person, bound her to a tree in an upright position, and then commenced the hellish work of violating her person, repeating it a number of times, and quelling her cries by blows and curses. . . . Towards midnight they departed leaving their victim, still tied to the tree, and insensible. . . . early this morning was discovered nearly dead, by a woman passing near the scene of the outrage, who gave notice to the military authorities by whom she was removed to one of the hospitals, and tenderly cared for. On regaining her consciousness, she made a deposition, which led to the arrest of one Hugh Burns, who she immediately identified as one of the parties. He denied any complicity in the affair, but was sent to the Irving Block to await the result of further investigation. The other ruffian is still at large, but as careful description of him is in the possession of the authorities, and he will in all probability, be speedily arrested. Mrs. Mason, at the hour of this writing, was in a helpless condition from the injuries sustained. And her death was momentarily expected.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

July 14– Thursday– Buena Vista, Wisconsin– “I received your kind letter, and it will be impossible for me to tell how glad I was to hear from you again though very sorry to hear that you had been sick. Oh! I should like to have been with you so I could have nursed you back to health & strength, but if you were with your mother no doubt you were taken care of better than I could have done for you but I would liked to have been with you anyway. I could have read to you and talked with you if nothing more. I am afraid I shall never be able to recompense you for your kind care and the trouble I made you while I was sick in the hospital unless you are already paid by knowing you have helped the sick and suffering soldiers many of them will never cease to remember you and to ask God’s blessing to rest upon you while you and they live– there is no one such as you at least I have often thought of you and wondered where you were [and] if you were still visiting Armory Square Hospital.” ~ Letter from Elijah D Fox, a disabled Union veteran, to Walt Whitman.

July 14– Thursday– near Petersburg, Virginia– “Much uneasiness is felt in regard to General Johnston’s army retreating and leaving our beautiful country to be desolated. Many are uneasy about friends, parents, wives, etc. being left in possession of the enemy. As for my part, of course, I can not but have some uneasiness and anxiety about you but having always trusted you to a merciful and kind providence, God forbid that I should now doubt and fear when danger is near. I therefore think that it is the part of wisdom to ask God still to take care of my dear Molly, and having done this, leave the matter with him who has thus far been our help. Should you be so unfortunate as to fall in the hands of the enemy, tell them that I stand between them and the capital of my country. Tell them that I breath the air of a true patriot fighting for my God, my country, my religion, my wife, and dear children. Should they insult you it will only cause me to strike the harder blows for all that is near and dear to man. Don’t insult them unnecessary. Treat them as enemies but never yield any principle.” ~ Letter from W. A. Stilwell to his wife Molly in Georgia.

July 14– Thursday– near Chattahoochee River, Georgia– “The whole army will thus form a concave line behind Nancy’s Creek, extending from Kyle’s Bridge to Buchanan’s, but no attempt will be made to form a line of battle. Each army will form a unit and connect with its neighbor by a line of pickets. Should the enemy assume the offensive at any point, which is not expected until we reach below Peach Tree Creek, the neighboring army will at once assist the one attacked. All preliminary steps may at once be made, but no corps need move to any great distance from the river until advised that General Stoneman is back. . . . Each army should leave behind the Chattahoochee River, at its bridge or at Marietta, all wagons or incumbrances not absolutely needed for battle. A week’s work after crossing the Chattahoochee should determine the first object aimed at, viz the possession of the Atlanta and Augusta [rail] road east of Decatur, or of Atlanta itself.” ~ Orders from Union General William Tecumseh Sherman to all of his soldiers.

General William Tecumseh Sherman

General William Tecumseh Sherman

July 14– Thursday– Cobb County, Georgia– “In the afternoon I went to town to make a few visits, the Rain interrupting me in part. I saw several of the Roswell factory operatives. Mr. Wood among the number on their way to the North. Having a Letter to send to my Sister (Mrs. P.) & hearing that Mrs. Gossett was going to Roswell today, I went to see her & gave her the Letter, as it was raining heavily, I remained some time with her in her Room which was very poorly furnished. I noticed a very rich Mahogany Beaureau [sic], with a large glass on Marble slab, a piece of furniture which was probably worth $75.00, a marked contrast with the rest of her plain & scanty furniture, it occasioned some painful suspicions of the manner in which she became possessed of it. I heard the Report in town of a large portion of Wheeler’s [Confederate] Cavalry being on this side of the river again– this sad war, how many anxious feelings does it occasion. Will not God soon bring it to a close!” ~ Diary of William King.

July 14– Thursday– Atlanta, Georgia– “During the campaign from Dalton to the Chattahoochee River it is natural to suppose that we have had several chances to strike the enemy a decisive blow. We have failed to take advantage of such opportunities, and find our army south of the Chattahoochee, very much decreased in strength. Our loss cannot be less than 20,000, without having fought a decisive battle. I deem it of the greatest importance that General Kirby Smith should be ordered at once, with at least half, if not a larger portion, of his army, on this side of the Mississippi River. Our success west of the Mississippi River has proved a disadvantage to us, since the enemy has re-enforced his army on this side, and we have failed to do so. The strength of the Army of Tennessee is such at this time as to render it necessary to have aid from General Kirby Smith– allowing that we should gain a victory over Sherman– to follow up our success and regain our lost territory. Our present position is a very difficult one, and we should not, under any circumstances, allow the enemy to gain possession of Atlanta, and deem it excessively important, should we find the enemy intends establishing the Chattahoochee as their line, relying upon interrupting our communications and again virtually dividing our country, that we should attack him, even if we should have to recross the river to do so. I have, general, so often urged that we should force the enemy to give us battle as to almost be regarded reckless by the officers high in rank in this army, since their views have been so directly opposite. I regard it as a great misfortune to our country that we failed to give battle to the enemy many miles north of our present position. Please say to the President that I shall continue to do my duty cheerfully and faithfully, and strive to do what I think is best for our country, as my constant prayer is for our success.” ~ Letter from Confederate General General John Bell Hood, age 31 and one of the commanders serving under General Joseph Johnston, to General Braxton Bragg

General John Bell Hood

General John Bell Hood

July 14– Thursday– Andersonville, Georgia– The Sumter Republican, a local newspaper, reports that a baby had been born within the stockade to Mrs. H. Hunt, the wife of a prisoner, who, dressed as a man, remained with her husband through his imprisonment and her childbirth. Mrs. Hunt and the child are now boarding with a family in town.

July 14–Thursday– Tupelo, Mississippi–In a fierce fight, Union forces stop a major thrust by Confederate General Bedford Forrest but fail to bring his operations to a complete halt. Confederate causalities– dead, wounded and missing– total 1,347; Union causalities amount to 674.

July 14– Thursday– Helena, Montana– Prospectors discover gold.