Hold On With a Bulldog Grip~August 1864~the 17th

Hold on with a Bulldog Grip ~ President Lincoln to General Grant.

A very interesting day. Lincoln sends encouragement to Grant. Much discussion about politics. Survivors of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, describe the burning of the town. Two gentlemen of Richmond are reported to have engaged in a duel. Reports of great difficulties in the South abound. There are reports of peace in Europe between Denmark and Germany. A member of Britain’s Parliament evaluates relations with the United States. Some wealthy Confederates marry in Europe.


President Lincoln

President Lincoln

August 17– Wednesday– New York City– “A Vienna telegram of the 2nd of August says: ‘The preliminary treaty of peace was signed to-day upon the basis that all rights to Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg should be ceded by the King of Denmark. The protocol of an armistice intended to remain in force, until the conclusion of peace, was also signed. During the armistice Jutland will be occupied and the Government of the province administered by the allies [Germany and Austria].’ The Abendpost (the evening edition of the Weser Zeitung) says: ‘Lauenburg, Schleswig and Holstein have been, relinquished by Denmark without any reserve. At the same time a rectification of the Schleswig frontiers was determined upon in the interest of Germany. It is to the harmony existing between Austria and Prussia that Germany owes a realization of her dearest wish, and to the same cause Europe owes it that general conflict has been averted. Complete success was obtained by the moderation displayed by the great German Powers, and the conviction arrived at by Denmark of their more sincere and loyal alliance. The great German Powers did not wage war to realize imaginary tendencies to nationality, but had in view the enforcement of positive and legitimate claims.’ . . . . The Paris Pays publishes an article, signed by its editorial secretary, severely censuring Austria and Prussia for despoiling Denmark of the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg, without regard to race, origin or nationality.” ~ New York Times.

August 17– Wednesday– New York City– “Great complaints , even by the most loyal men, of the shortcomings and mistakes of government and the ‘Peace Democrats’ vocal and truculent in threats of vengeance on Black Republicans and Abolitionists and in talk about revolution and repudiation of the war debt– all which will do them no good.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

1864 campaign literature

1864 campaign literature

August 17– Wednesday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– “After a long silence, or delay, first wishing unto you, much love, grace peace and mercy from God our Heavenly Father, who sees fit to give & bestow according to our need, may he strengthen & console you, in all your trials & temptations which no doubt you have to share with all the children of God. But a great consolation there is in his word, when he says that the hairs of our heads are all numbered and that not one of them shall fall to the ground without his notice. Is it not a wonder to us, that he should be so mindful of us poor creatures, and should it not strengthen our faith, so that we could more fully trust in him. Dear sister I often have to think back of the times we spent together, how quiet and secure I felt when with you, and how soon after, we had to be made afraid of the enemies of our own Country. I often have to study why it is so, Is God not ruler over all, Is he not on the throne, has he not power over all, and can turn nations & Kindred, all power is given him in Heaven & earth, for he over came the world . . . God through [his] mercy may have left this come upon us, to draw us nearer to him, & wean us off more from the world & the things of the world, when we see how soon we may be deprived of every thing, we here passes, as we have many examples in our town. People that had every thing that they could wish for, or make themselves comfortable, were deprived of all in one hours time, many had only 10 to 15 minutes time given them to leave their houses, and then forbid many, to take any thing out some saved a few clothes, others none at all, but what they had on their backs . . . . one woman asked permission to save one silk dress, had it on her arms they took it from her & tore it all to shreds, others again were more merciful, & helped the women to carry out things some appeared to be very much affected that they had come to this, one in particular I was told off, that shed tears & would not help to burn. . . . others were so affected when they saw the distress of some families, one in particular I was told that a woman handed her sick child out of the window to another one until she would get some necessary thing, he came and asked her, ‘madam can I do any thing for you,’ she said ‘no, you have done me all the harm you can do, you can’t do any worse,’ he took the child, & said ‘This child does not feel revengeful, it has a smile on its countenance’ & he wept.” ~ Letter from Eliza R. Stouffer to a friend, describing the burning of Chambersburg.

burning of Chambersburg

burning of Chambersburg

August 17– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “I have seen your despatch expressing your unwillingness to break your hold where you are. Neither am I willing. Hold on with a bulldog grip, and chew and choke as much as possible.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to General Ulysses S Grant.

General Grant

General Grant

August 17– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “I am sadly oppressed with the aspect of things. Have just read the account of the interview at Richmond between Jaquess and Gilmore on one side and Jeff Davis and Benjamin on the other. What business had these fellows with such a subject? Davis asserts an ultimatum that is inadmissible, and the President in his note, which appears to me not as considerate and well-advised as it should have been, interposes barriers that were unnecessary. Why should we impose conditions, and conditions which would provoke strife from the very nature of things, for they conflict with constitutional reserved rights? If the Rebellion is suppressed in Tennessee or North Carolina, and the States and people desire to resume their original constitutional rights, shall the President prevent them? Yet the letters to Greeley have that bearing, and I think them unfortunate in this respect. They place the President, moreover, at disadvantage in the coming election. He is committed, it will be claimed, against peace, except on terms that are inadmissible. What necessity was there for this, and, really, what right had the President to assume this unfortunate attitude without consulting his Cabinet, at least, or others?” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles. [James Gilmore, age 42, is a Massachusetts writer and journalist. James Jaquess, age 44, comes from Indiana and is a Methodist minister, educator and Union officer who believed that he could “covert” Jefferson Davis to peaceably ending the war. At their own request, Lincoln permitted them to undertake a personal, unaccredited mission to meet with Davis which they actually did on July 17th in Richmond, without any results. Jaquess lives to June 17, 1898 and Gilmore until November 16, 1903. Jaquess will lecture about this experience during the fall political campaign. Gilmore will make money lecturing and writing about his experience for many years after the war.]

August 17– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “At five o’clock yesterday morning, John M. Daniel, of the Richmond Examiner, and R. C. Elmore, of the C. S. Treasury Department, fought a duel on Dill’s farm, near the Central railroad, two miles north of the city. The weapons used were dueling pistols; distance ten paces. Two shots were exchanged. At the second fire Mr. Daniel was shot through the calf of the right leg, the ball missing both the bones of the leg and the femoral artery. Mr. Elmore received no injury.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

August 17– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Cloudy, and slight showers. In the afternoon dark clouds going round. We have nothing from below but vague rumors, except that we repulsed the enemy yesterday, slaughtering the Negro troops thrust in front. From Atlanta, it is said the enemy have measurably ceased artillery firing, and it is inferred that their ammunition is low, and perhaps their communications cut.” ~ Diary of John Jones.


August 17– Wednesday– Petersburg, Virginia– “I have not time now to write much. Grant is attempting a movement on north side of James [River] again. We won in a pretty heavy skirmish yesterday. My Regiment has lost a number of wounded but none killed. We drove them back under cover of their gunboats. Every thing very quiet this morning, reports say Grant is moving away rapidly. We were on our way to Culpeper the other day, but recalled to protect Richmond. Expect we will move up in a few days towards the mountains. Give much love to dear Mother & all. May our lives be spared to meet in safety earnestly prays your affectionate son.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Barrington S King to his father.

August 17– Wednesday– Ann Arbor, Michigan– Birth of Charles Cooley, sociologist and educator. [Dies May 8, 1929.]

Charles Cooley

Charles Cooley

August 17– Wednesday– Cleveland, Tennessee– “At noon the alarm was given that, ‘The Rebels were coming.’ We were eating when the first cannon fired. We all fled to the cellar leaving the table just as it was. We then concluded that it was not safe even there & we then left. . . and went to Mr. Reeder’s, hundreds of persons joined us, (with bundles, etc.), in our march for the country. We went to Mr. Reeder’s & stayed all night. In due time Mother and the rest joined us there. I will always remember the night between 40 and 50 persons were there & nearly as many Negroes. The children and grown people laying stretched on the bare floor. I was ensconced in a large feather bed where I nearly suffocated from heat. . . Silence reigned in the direction of our lonely & deserted homes. Not more than half a dozen families remained at home. Occasionally we could hear the booming of cannon firing from the fort at the Confederates, who were peering saucily at them from thewoods beyond the fair ground. They tore up all the Rail Road & left about dark. I felt considerably disappointed, was in hopes they were going to pay us a visit of two or three days & we could get to see all our friends.” ~ Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

August 17– Wednesday– Nashville, Tennessee– “Some of the [Union] soldiers going out on the Louisville and Nashville railroad are guilty of practices which ought to be stopped, if possible. As the train passes over the bridge they steal all the hats of the foot passengers they can lay hands on. Many poor men suffer materially in this manner, and we therefore call the attention of the authorities to the subject.” ~ Nashville Dispatch.

August 17– Wednesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “This morning my old friend Reverend Mr. Taffe has left me for his Home, if an old bachelor can be said to have any home; I shall miss him much, he has been an agreeable companion for me for many days past, & such pleasant companionship I greatly need in my present lonely condition. God will however provide some other. I have much company about & in the House from the 5th & 6th Indiana Cavalry encamped about me, but I have very little to do with them, finding but little in them congenial to me either in mind or spirits. Some days ago I had a fine Cat sent to me by Mrs. McClatchy, she is very active in keeping the Rats in subjection; they have been very noisy and turbulent all summer. How anxious am I to hear something from my family & friends, but not a word have I heard . . . for near 2 months & may not be able to hear anything before I return to them, for which I am now becoming very anxious.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 17– Wednesday– near Winchester, Virginia; South Newport, Georgia; Issaquena County, Mississippi; near Pine Bluff, Arkansas– Raids and sharp firefights.

August 17– Wednesday– Sheffield, England– “Now, Sir, pardon me if I say that there were three things upon which the Parliament of England and the Government of England acted in a manner foreign to my view, and yet I am here to vindicate the course they pursued. First of these was the great schism that occurred in the model Republic on the other side of the Atlantic My feeling was to at once recognize the Confederate States of America – [calls of hear, hear] – and had I been Prime Minister it should have been done. [Loud cheers.] Though out of every twenty men I meet nineteen are sympathizers with the Confederate States. [A voice – And would recognize them.] No, no, you are wrong; though I say nineteen out of every twenty men are sympathizers with the Confederate States, still I must say that the sympathy of England went not to the point of risking war for the Confederate States. [calls of hear, hear,] Well, then, Parliament – that middle-class Parliament of which my honorable friend has made mention – taking its view, taking its cue – its command – from the kingdom over which it was destined to rule, said we will do nothing to risk the danger of a war. The ministry, following Parliament, did the same thing. I think, as a bold politician, Lord Palmerston was wrong, [calls of hear, hear and contrary calls of no, no] but he is a much older man than I, and though I do not accord with his opinion, I cannot mistake the prudence of his conduct. [Cheers.] He did what England desired he should do. He has followed what is called perfect neutrality, and we are now as we were at the beginning of that conflict.” ~ Speech of John Arthur Roebuck, Member of Parliament. [Roebuck, 1802– 1879, serves 30 years in Parliament.]

John Arthur Roebuck

John Arthur Roebuck

August 17– Wednesday– Baden-Baden, Germany– Society gossip reports that last evening in the best hotel in the city, a Confederate officer married a well-to-do young woman from Richmond, Virginia. The bride was “sumptuously attired in costume issuing from the hands of a renowned Paris modiste.” An English clergyman officiated at the ceremony. Guests were treated to a rich dinner accompanied by much fine wine. Prominent among the guests was John Slidell, Confederate representative to France.

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