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.

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