The Most Grateful Satisfaction~August 1864~19th to 21st

The Most Grateful Satisfaction ~ Charles Francis Adams.

The American Minister to Great Britain extends his thanks to an abolitionist society for their support of the Lincoln Administration. Confederates still hold the city of Atlanta but for how much longer? Slowly Grant extends his hold on Petersburg. The New York Times informs an adoring American public about the most recent reports from the missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone. A Vietnamese rebel leader commits suicide to avoid capture by the French. The Russian Czar has fully crushed the rebellion in Poland. Napoleon III is in a snit with the Pope.

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August 19– Friday– Andersonville, Georgia– Confederate inspectors report to Richmond that at least 15,000 prisoners from the camp here should be transferred from the prison, and that poor leadership, combined with a lack of supplies, have left the post destitute, adding that the prison is a reproach to the Confederacy.

August 19– Friday– Dooly County, Georgia– “General Hood still holds Atlanta, though a great many think, he will have to fall back. A regular engagement is daily looked for, at that point. Heavy fighting no doubt awaits us. If the enemy is successful what a sad fate to Georgia! I fear we will suffer from Yankee raids, so long as Sherman remains in the State.” ~ Letter from Maggie Cone to her fiancé, Confederate soldier Alva Benjamin Spencer.

August 19– Friday– London, England– “I am requested to inform you that the resolutions passed by the executive of the Union and Emancipation Society, at Manchester, on the 4th of July last, which I had the pleasure to transmit to the President of the United States, have been received by him with the most grateful satisfaction. If there were need the sympathy thus manifested in quarters so evidently disinterested and just would inspire the Government and people with new resolution to rescue their institutions from the dangerous abyss which American slave-holders, aided by malevolent spirits, both abroad and at home, have conspired to open before them. Believing that in perseverance they are promoting the ultimate interests of the human race everywhere, they draw satisfaction from a cheering recognition of their labors from all worthy sources.” ~ Message from American Minister Charles Francis Adams.

Charles Francis Adams, 1867

Charles Francis Adams, 1867

August 19– Friday– Bien Hoa, Vietnam– Truong Dinh, a rebel leader against the French, dies by his own hand to avoid capture. He is about 44 years old.

Truong Dinh

Truong Dinh

August 20– Saturday– New York City– “The Czar of Russia, having crushed out the Polish rebellion and the Revolutionary Government about a year ago, is now engaged in the work of hanging the leaders of the revolt. It will be remembered that while that great rebellion was in actual progress, it maintained profound secrecy as to who were its leaders, and as to its means and agencies of operation. The ‘Revolutionary Committee,’ or ‘National Government,’ was a secret affair; secret as to its members and as to its plans, while its edicts were issued in secret and executed secretly by mysterious agents. It issued orders for the assassination of obnoxious persons, and vast numbers were suddenly and unexpectedly slain by they knew not whom. Some of its active military chiefs were of course known; but both in field and cabinet, it tried to wrap itself in mystery. It assumed for a time very formidable proportions, and had it got the assistance that was promised from England and France, it might have achieved success. But the immense armies of Russia, when fairly set in motion, soon broke it down, and reduced it to a mere guerrilla war, which also in turn was crushed out; and all the notice we now find of the late Polish Revolution is such as is conveyed in the following telegram from Warsaw, under date of the 5th instant: ‘M. Traugott, the head of the Polish National Government, together with Krajewski, Focyski, Zulinski and Jezioranski, the chiefs of the different departments, were hanged this morning on the glacis of the citadel. The sentences of death passed upon eleven officials of the National Government have been commuted in some cases to hard labor, and in the others to imprisonment in a Siberian fortress.’ And so closes the latest bloody tragedy of Polish Revolution.” ~ New York Times.

August 20– Saturday– Winchester, Virginia– “According to my promise I seat myself tonight to drop you a few lines to let you know how we are getting along since you left. We are at Winchester, where we arrived on day before yesterday evening. The only item of news is that General Bryan has resigned and will take his letter to Augusta where he waits the action of the War Department on his tender of resignation accompanied by Surgeons Certificate of Disability. It is generally thought his resignation will be accepted. Early had a fight with the enemy at this place on the evening of the 17th. Thrashed them handsomely, taking some 500 prisoners, and 6 pieces of artillery. Should this reach you give my respects to homefolks and everybody else that you see.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier W. A. Stilwell to a friend.

August 20– Saturday– Legareville, South Carolina– Federal troops burn the town.

August 20– Saturday– Cobb County, Georgia– “The foraging Wagons returned last night safe, but with little forage, I think, all the country in this vicinity being pretty much stripped of every thing. I took a short walk on the Powder Springs Road this morning, found no wagons from the country today. I stopped and had a long talk with the pickets today, men of good sense and spirits, and anxious for peace, but say there can be no peace until the government is restored, and the slave question disposed of. How this war is to be brought to a close God only knows. For 2 days past laborers have been hard at work putting in order the Rail Road in front of the House. I hear General Kilpatrick has gone on a Raid into the State. I hear that some of our Cavalry have been taking and killing some Federal prisoners near Gainesville, after they had surrendered, I am sure it cannot be true. A young soldier who had returned from the Stoneman Raid, told me that while on it, he had with him a Melodeon, & being in his way, he went up to a House & presented it to a young Lady at the door, she thanked him: the old Lady said it was more than they expected as she thought the Yankee soldiers kept their gifts for the Negro Women. I hear a foraging train had been taken near the town yesterday. I hear that about 180 deserters from our [Confederate] Army were brought into Marietta yesterday. Mr. Griffith and myself had a pleasant walk after supper this evening. How anxious am becoming to see my family at Home or even to hear from them. 1st [of] October is too far off to wait.” ~ Diary of William King.

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August 20– Saturday– Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia– Confederate troops drive off Federal cavalry who have been destroying parts of the Macon and Western Railroad but at a price. Total Confederate loss– dead, wounded, missing– is 240; total Federal loss is 237.

August 20– Saturday– London, England– John Alexander Reina Newlands, age 26, produces the first periodic table of the elements in order of their atomic weights. [Dies July 18, 1898.]

John Alexander Reina Newlands

John Alexander Reina Newlands

August 20– Saturday– Paris, France– Rumors are circulating around the city to the effect that Emperor Napoleon III is angry at Pope Pius IX to the extent that he will withdraw French soldiers from Rome where they have provided protection.

August 21– Sunday– New York City– “The expedition was sent out by the English universities, and accompanied by the excellent and devoted Bishop Mackenzie, who was so regardless of his own comfort, that there is little doubt he lost his life thereby. The Portuguese had long carefully excluded all other Europeans from the country; he himself had obtained access to it on a former occasion by entering it from the south and coming down the river, when they could not for very shame compel him to go back. This was in 1856,and on his return two years later the expedition was allowed without difficulty to enter the country . . . . On ascending the river several cataracts were encountered, which Dr. Livingstone had not seen when he came down. On this account they took the direction of the Shire River, and ascended the beautiful valley of that name. It contained a thick population, flourishing villages, and fine cultivation. Above was an elevated plateau some thousand feet above the sea, which strongly resembled the Deccan, except that it was covered with trees and grass, and which, like the valley, contained a large population. But about that time the Portuguese sold a quantity of firearms and ammunition to one of the tribes, to be paid for in slaves. The tribe, thus armed, swept the whole neighboring country like a scourge, killing the men in the villages, and carrying off women and children into slavery. This produced a terrible famine, in which large numbers of the survivors perished; and the fine valley of the Shire was transformed literally into a valley of bones. Whole villages were found without people. On another expedition they ascended the main stream of the Zambesi, passing thirty-five miles of rapids, and reached Lake Nyassa, which was 270 miles long and 60 or 70 wide. Above it was a range of hills, which proved when they had amended it to be another plateau or table land nearly 4,000 feet high, extending for many miles, and filled with villages and cultivation. . . . In reply to various questions. Dr. Livingstone, who seemed good-naturedly desirous to satisfy the curiosity of those present, stated that the cultivation by the African natives was very good, though it was entirely carried on with hand tools. They were very industrious, and while whole families worked in their gardens, which were often very large, men, women and children altogether, an infant in addition being sometimes seen deposited under a hedge. They grew beans of all kinds, pumpkins, maize and rice, but not wheat nor grain. Cotton they grew, spun and wove themselves.” ~ New York Times. [At this time Dr David Livingstone, age 51, has recently returned from an exploratory expedition which he began in March, 1858. His work as both a missionary and an explorer have gained him popularity in the United States as well as in Great Britain.]

Dr David Livingstone

Dr David Livingstone

August 21– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln authorizes the testing of an allegedly improved canon developed by Horatio Ames. [Ames, owner of an ironworks in Connecticut, is himself a giant of a man, standing 6′ 6″ tall and weighing over 300 pounds. The war will end before his canon are brought into extensive service. In a few years steel processing will make canon of iron obsolete. Ames will lose his business and his personal fortune. See, Lincoln and the Tools of War by Robert V Bruce, Chicago, Illinois, 1989.]

August 21– Sunday– along the Weldon Railroad, Virginia– Confederate efforts to gain control of this key railroad fail but they have inflicted heavy losses on the Federal forces. Total Union casualties since Thursday the 18th– killed, wounded, missing– are 4455; Confederate losses total approximately 1600. However, Grant has successfully cut one of Lee’s vital supply lines.

cavalry battle images

August 21– Sunday– Memphis, Tennessee– Confederate cavalry raid the city and occupy parts for several hours, taking some prisoners and carrying off needed supplies but fail to reach the prison where Confederate soldiers are held.

August 21– Sunday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Sabbath again. A Rainy, dirty day. This morning the encampment of the 5th & 6th Indiana Cavalry under Major Carter removed encampment to the North of town, near Mrs. Wilkins– it is the first time I can say I feel rejoiced at the removal of soldiers from me, until this command they have always contributed greatly to my enjoyment and comfort, nearly all of the officers being intelligent & gentlemanly in their deportment. I told the Chaplain that I should miss him, & a few of the officers & most of the privates greatly, but that I must candidly tell him that I was rejoiced that the Regiment was leaving me. Most of the officers were either drinking, ungentlemanly & bad principled men. I had very little to do with them & rejoiced at their departure, they afforded very little company for me, & very destructive to everything about, have done more damage to Fences & Trees than all who had preceded them combined of the Federal & Confederate Armies.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 21– Sunday– Camden County, Georgia– “Kate and family have gone to Valdosta to visit her mother. It is lonely without her. We went over yesterday for the mail, but heard nothing from the boys. It is monotonous here. I have no spirit to write. Some days we are very desponding. It seems as if we should never meet with our friends again. I hope we may have patience to wait. Mr. Linn has been home on a week’s furlough. His baby was four months old before he had a sight of it. It is a pretty child. Called Arthur Stuart. Ed Richardson’s foot is still very bad, but he is obliged to show himself in Savannah once in thirty days. He is going again tomorrow. It is two days journey to the [railroad] cars and he has nothing but a cart to go in.” ~ Diary of Julia Johnson Fisher.

August 21– Sunday– Berryville, Virginia; Charles Town, West Virginia; Middleway, West Virginia; Summit Point, Virginia; Loudon County, Virginia; Grubb’s Crossroads, Kentucky; Diamond Grove, Missouri– Firefights, melees and pitched battles.

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