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.

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