Never For One Moment Forgot His Love, Duty or Fidelity~August 1864~the 3rd & 4th

Never for One Moment Forgot His Love, Duty, or Fidelity ~ Admiral Farragut.

On the eve of making a name for himself in naval history, Union Admiral Farragut writes to his wife. A Georgia man sees the misery of war all around him. A newspaper in Richmond reports the situation in Georgia with blind optimism. A soldier describes the battle at the crater outside Petersburg. In Europe an old Napoleonic soldier dies.

Federal troops advancing in Georgia

Federal troops advancing in Georgia

August 3– Wednesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Just before dinner 2 poor Women who live on the Powder Springs Road with 2 little girls stopped at the House. 1 of the Women I had seen before, as they could not get into town, they had been to the Hospital at the Military Institute to exchange Blackberries for provisions, they come about twice a week to effect such exchanges for Provisions, they live 7 miles off & their Horse having been stolen, they have to walk in & out with their small supplies. Many of these poor robbed people, having nothing at Home to live on, and sustaining themselves by gathering Blackberries & exchanging them for food, when the blackberries are gone, which are now nearly over, they must suffer; the whole county in the wake of the 2 Armies has been robbed of every thing, growing crops, gardens, Provisions, Poultry, Hogs, Cows, Horses, nearly every thing, in many cases their clothing & furniture either taken or destroyed by the soldiers of both armies, & often by the people of the County. All the wicked passions of the people seem to be left without restraint– such are some of the fruits of war. How often have I wished that I had with me all the warm advocates of this War to witness with me from day to day the sad effects of war, sufferings enough to melt the Heart. These poor women told me that all their neighbors were about in the same condition as themselves, many in actual suffering from want. The men are all gone & none left but women, children & old & sick men. They came to see me to get advice what they should do, as they are now, many must starve ere long. We having only enough left to supply ourselves until next Winter, we cannot give much. I have aided them a little, but the wants of myself & the servants [his slaves] must be cared for. Nothing can be bought to eat, no one is allowed by the regulations of the Federal Army to sell food or clothing to the citizens. I do not understand the philosophy of it, but so it is.” ~ Diary of William King

August 3– Wednesday– Mobile, Alabama– Only this city and Wilmington, North Carolina, remain as effective and open Confederate ports. The city is protected by three land forts and a small group of Confederate ships, led by the CSS Tennessee. Today Federal troops land and invest Fort Gaines in preparation for an all-out Union offensive.

August 3– Wednesday– state of Wurttemberg, Germany– Jakob Walther, a stone mason, dies at age 75. As a young man he served as an unwilling conscript in the French army under Napoleon Bonaparte. His memoir is one of two books by common soldiers who participated in the ill-fated invasion of Russia in 1812. [It will be published in an English translation in 1932 as A German Conscript with Napoleon and re-issued in 1991 under the title Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier.]

Napoleon's troops retreating in 1812

Napoleon’s troops retreating in 1812

August 3– Wednesday– Sunshine Church, Georgia; Jug Tavern, Georgia; Mulberry Creek, Georgia; Wilcox Landing, Virginia; Triune, Tennessee; Woodville, Tennessee; Fayette, Missouri– Fire fights, scouting and probing, skirmishes and clashes.

August 4– Thursday– New York City– In response to President Lincoln’s request for a day of prayer and fasting, many businesses close and many places of worship hold services. A number of churches take up special collections for the Sanitary Commission.

August 4– Thursday– Monocacy River, Maryland– “This morning we left Frederick and marched to this place. My camp is in a wheat field on the bank of the river and we have enjoyed a good bath. It is cloudy and we hope for rain to cool the air and lay the dust. The wagon train has arrived and as we have not seen our baggage in many days we were glad to get our fresh clothing. We hope to remain in this camp for a few days for rest.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

Elisha Hunt Rhodes

Elisha Hunt Rhodes

August 4– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “The events of the last few days before Atlanta have shed a flood of light upon the campaign into Georgia. The letter of our correspondent is replete with thrilling interest. As a narrative of recent engagements, it will be universally read and commented on. The events referred to demonstrate, beyond controversy, that the flanking policy of Sherman, by which he has driven a large army nearly half way across the great State of Georgia, can be successfully blocked if the proper means be used for the purpose. As effort on the part of the lion hearted Hood – a gigantic, terrible effort, tis true – has brought flanking to an end. He has proved not only that the enemy’s flanking can be blocked, but that we too, can play at the same game, and even defeat him in it.” ~ Richmond Times Dispatch

August 4– Thursday– outside of Petersburg, Virginia– “I have done but one day’s duty since I wrote last to you , and that was on the 30th day of July. I never will forget that day, nor will any of the regiment, as long as any of us live. At two o’clock on the morning of that day our division was waked up out of a quiet slumber and ordered to pack up and move immediately. We went down on the left of the corps and awaited orders. At 4 a.m. we were ordered to form in line of battle, and then all knew what had to be done. The 48th Pennsylvania had undermined one of the largest of the enemy’s forts, and at daybreak the fort was to be blown up, and our corps was to make a charge. At ten minutes before 5 o’clock, three guns were fired, and at that instant the rebel fort was blown into the air something like 200 feet. We were about 500 yards from it when the mine exploded. The ground for half a mile around shook as though moved by an earthquake. There were two regiments in the fort and hardly a man escaped. . . . Five minutes after the explosion the division made a charge under a most terrific fire from both flanks of the enemy, but we carried the works without much loss of life; but after we got into them, a battery on our left opened on us a severe fire with shrapnel. We held our position until the Negro troops came up, passed us, and made a second charge, but the enemy proved too strong for them . . . . Then the enemy made two different charges, but we held him at bay until he made the third when they proved too much for us, and we had to give way. They took a good many prisoners. They got about eighty-seven of our regiment. . . . The enemy now held the same ground they did before the assault. . . . We have only one hundred and eighty men for duty in the regiment. . . . There were about two hours that day when I would have given very little for my chance of life, but as God would have it, I came off safe. . . . The enemy had been undermining a fort of ours for a week past, but our fellows found it out, night before last. Everything was moved out of the fort and a shaft sunk, when the discovery was made that the rebs had things nearly fixed for blowing it up. Our boys just dug a small trench from a brook near by and spoiled all their calculations. They need not try, we think, to get ahead of the ‘Yanks.’” ~ Letter from Union soldier Ethan S. Morehead to his brother Joseph Morehead, an officer in Union forces fighting in Mississippi.

Battle of the Crater

Battle of the Crater

August 4– Thursday– Nashville, Tennessee– “About three months ago, Mr. William Scruggs, who resides. . . fourteen miles from town on the Hillsboro Pike, hired a refugee named Nash to work upon his farm. When the work was finished, Nash was paid off and discharged. He loitered about the place until Tuesday evening last [August 2], when he and one of Mr. Scrugg’s Negro girls disappeared. Mr. Scruggs came to town yesterday morning, and with the aid of a police officer, succeeded in finding the two in bed, in a house on the alley between Church and Union streets in the rear of the Maxwell house . . . . The woman was taken in charge by Mr. William Thillet, a friend of Mr. Scruggs, and the two of them had taken shelter from the rain in the saloon of P. B. Coleman, when three soldiers came along, in company with a Negro boy, who pointed the girl out to the soldiers, and the later immediately took possession of the girl, told her she was free, and at liberty to go where she pleased. The matter was laid before the military authorities who declined to inquire into the subject, or to have anything to do with it.” ~ Nashville Dispatch.

August 4– Thursday– Cobb County, Georgia– “I met an Ox Wagon load of Women & children with 3 men going to town from the Powder Springs Road, to look for work & something to eat, as they had been stripped of everything. The 2 younger men told me they had deserted from our Army as it fell back & exposed their Homes & families, and that they have been compelled to conceal themselves the greater part of the time to avoid our scouts, that while on the Road today about 7 miles below town, they were overhauled by some of our scouts, who seemed determined to shoot them as deserters, but told them on account of the women & children with them they would spare them. What a time of care & watchfulness we in this county are passing through, the danger to life & property demands vigilance on the part of every one. War reduces even civilized men to a state of barbarism.” ~ Diary of William King.

Union Admiral Farragut

Union Admiral Farragut

August 4– Thursday– On board USS Hartford off Mobile, Alabama– “I write and leave this letter for you. I am going into Mobile Bay in the morning if ‘God is my leader’ as I hope he is, and in him I place my trust, if he thinks it is the proper place for me to die I am ready to submit to his will, in that as all other things. My great mortification is that my vessels, the Iron clads were not ready to have gone in yesterday. The army landed last night and are in full view of us this morning . . . . God bless and preserve you my darling and my dear boy, if anything should happen to me – and may his blessings also rest upon your dear mother and all your sisters and their children. Your devoted and affectionate husband, who never for one moment forgot his love, duty, or fidelity to you.” ~ Letter from Admiral David Farragut to his wife Virginia. [Farragut is 63 years at this time, has served in the navy since the age of 9 and was promoted to admiral a year ago. Though born in the South, he regards secession as treason and moved from Virginia to New York when the war began.]

August 4– Thursday– Antietam Ford, Maryland; New Creek, West Virginia; Harrison’s Landing, Virginia; Tracy City, Tennessee; near Brazos Santiago, Texas; Natchez, Mississippi– Raids, skirmishes, scouting and probing the enemy.

David Hansemann

David Hansemann

August 4– Thursday– Schlangegenbad, Germany– David Hansemann, a prominent politician and banker, dies at 74 years of age.

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