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.

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