Distributing It With Their Own Fair Hands~August 1864~23rd to 25th

Distributing it with Their Own Fair Hands ~ Memphis Bulletin.

As in many places throughout the war, Memphis women voluntarily provide food, coffee and water to troops on guard duty. In Georgia General Sherman imposes restrictions on trade and commerce in rebel areas. At Mobile Bay, Federal forces finish closing the harbor. Outside Richmond, Confederate and Union forces tussle hard as Lee’s soldiers try to prevent a key supply line from being cut. People on both sides express concern about prisoners held by the other side. A Federal marshal seizes a supply of arms destined for Southern sympathizers. Lincoln meets with a key newspaper editor.

General William Tecumseh Sherman

General William Tecumseh Sherman

August 23– Tuesday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “In order to carry out the provisions of the act of Congress . . . and the regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury relative to trade and intercourse with States and parts of States in insurrection, and to make the operations of trade just and fair both as to the people and the merchant, the following general rules will be observed in this military division as near as the state of the country will permit: I. All trade is prohibited near armies in the field or moving columns of troops, save that necessary to supply the wants of the troops themselves. Quartermasters and commissaries will take such supplies as are needed in the countries passed through, leaving receipts and taking the articles up on their returns. When cotton is found, and transportation is easy and does not interfere with the supplies to the army . . . the quartermaster will ship the cotton to the quartermaster at Nashville or Memphis, who will deliver it to the agent of the Treasury Department. It will be treated as captured property of an enemy and invoiced accordingly. No claim of private interest in it will be entertained by the military authorities. II. In departments and military districts embracing a country within our military control, the commanders of such departments and districts may permit a trade in articles, not contraband of war or damaging to the operations of the army at the front, through the properly appointed agents and sub-agents of the Treasury Department, to an extent proportionate to the necessities of the peaceful and worthy inhabitants of the localities described . . . . III. All military officers will assist the agents of the Treasury Department in securing possession of all abandoned property and estates subject to confiscation under the law. IV. The use of weapons for hunting purposes is too dangerous to be allowed at this time, and therefore the introduction of all arms and powder . . . or anything used in connection with fire arms, is prohibited absolutely, save by the proper agents of the United States; and when the inhabitants require and can be trusted with such things for self-defense, or for aiding in maintaining the peace and safety of their families and property, commanding officers may issue the same out of the public stores in limited quantities. V. Medicines and clothing, as well as salt, meats and provisions, being quasi-contraband of war according to the condition of the district or locality where offered for sale, will be regulated by local commanders in connection with the agents of the Treasury Department. VI. In articles non-contraband, such as the clothing needed for women and children, groceries and imported articles, the trade should be left to the Treasury agents as matters too unimportant to be noticed by military men. VII. When military officers can indicate a preference to the class of men allowed to trade they will always give preference to men who have served the Government as soldiers and are wounded or incapacitated from further service by such wounds or sickness. Men who manifest loyalty by oaths and nothing more are entitled to live, but not to ask favors of a Government that demands act and personal sacrifice.” ~ order of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman.

fighting ay Mobile Bay

fighting ay Mobile Bay

August 23– Tuesday– Mobile, Alabama– After heavy bombardment from Federal forces on land and sea, Fort Morgan, the last Confederate fortification guarding the entrance to Mobile Bay, falls to Union control. While the Confederates control the city itself, the harbor is closed to traffic and controlled by Federal forces. This leaves only Wilmington, North Carolina, as the only port useful to the Confederacy.

August 24– Wednesday– New York City– “A delegation, consisting of four Union prisoners just released from Andersonville, Georgia, will have an early interview with the President, for the purpose of presenting the case of the thirty-five thousand Union soldiers now penned up at that place as prisoners of war. The statement which these men are prepared to lay before the President is horrifying to a degree far beyond what the experience of this war has brought hitherto. In an inclosed field of thirty acres of ground . . . . they swelter and rot, or go raving mad, or find an end to it by crossing the ‘dead line,’ where the friendly rifle of the sentinel brings them final release without the aid of cartel or Commissioner. A seething, reeking pen, surcharged with horrors unimaginable. Pestilence in every form of deadly fever, scurvy and nameless disease raging with undisputed sway; and death making its daily harvest of half a hundred. Such is military prison life in rebeldom. And yet we hesitate to make a general exchange, until we shall see whether the rebels shall gain a few hundred more able-bodied men than ourselves by the transaction. Able bodied men forsooth! How many score of our brave fellows will there remain in this soldier’s pound before another moon has passed, either to return to the field or to bear witness to the atrocities of Southern despotism or repeat the story of their wrong? . . . . The duty of the military authorities is surely clear. Exchange the white prisoners man for man at least; if no better can be done for the Negro troops now, their time will come anon, unless the South is to have a monopoly of the capture of prisoners. It is doubtless true that the maddening tortures and exposures our men have to endure form parts of the rebel scheme to compel us to make an exchange. What if it is so. They will have the odds in their favor in any case, in all that is most savage in this war. But let our authorities see to the release of our brave and patriotic soldiers.” ~ New York Times.

Andersonville prison

Andersonville prison

August 24– Wednesday– New York City– Franz Muller, a fugitive from justice in England, is arrested as he arrives on the ship Victoria.

August 24– Wednesday– Johnson’s Island, Sandusky, Ohio– “After a long period of painful suspense and an extended search, I have found a trace of you. My father first announced your capture. I will not scold you for not writing, for not sending me, at all events, a message, for I know you must have good reason for your silence. I wish I had cheerful news for you. Recent experience must have taught you much self-control, at least I trust it is so. Never forget that dark, sorrowful days will not last evermore. We have reason to remember that, Ira commanded his company in the battle at Monocacy Junction, Maryland, Sanders assisting as Acting Lieutenant. Ira was wounded through the foot and calf and left with other wounded at Frederick City. Sanders fell early in the action, pierced through the heart. Our father is an officer in Georgia State Troops at Atlanta.” ~ Letter from Confederate office Henry Mc Daniel, a prisoner since the battle of Gettysburg, to one of his brothers.

Johnson Island prison

Johnson Island prison

August 24– Wednesday– Chicago, Illinois– The United States Postal Service inaugurates the first railway post office route in the United States when Chicago Assistant Postmaster George B. Armstrong authorizes the route on the Chicago and North Western Railway between here and Clinton, Iowa.

August 24– Wednesday– Memphis, Tennessee– Much has been said and written about the conduct of the disloyal ladies of the South, but the loyal ladies of the South, where they have opportunity to express their sentiments, are making a record that will yet win its way to public appreciation.On the days of the late alarm Sunday and Tuesday, the 1st regiment, Colonel Charles McDonald commanding, was posted at the bridges south of the city. On Sunday morning the boys were on duty without breakfast, on learning which fact the ladies residing near the bridge on Hernando road at the outskirts of the city, made and distributed to them coffee and food, milk, and whatever they required. Through both days they took them water at integrals, distributing it with their own fair hands. Colonel McDonald and his gallant regiment desire us to express their gratitude, and to assure the ladies near the Hernando road bridge that if real danger could come to the city, they shall have abundant and grateful protection.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.


August 24– Wednesday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Mosquitoes were very troublesome last night, I have never known them so bad here before, as they have been this summer, the Yankee blood draws them. My guard came back early this morning, after laughing at him well about his fears, I asked what was the matter? . . . . He told me that he heard that 70 or 80 of our men had fired on the pickets, & they had been driven in. I went over to Mrs. McC. & found them all better, & learnt from her & the pickets that only 4 of our men were seen who fired on the Pickets, & that a detachment of 15 Cavalry had been sent in pursuit of them, but none could be found. The frequent appearance of scouts here will tend to restrict our liberties the more; and we are so suspected already, that I am inclined to get away as soon as possible, that I may get to a community where I am better known & where I can enjoy a greater amount of Liberty. I am still at liberty to go all over the country, but not to go into town, while the town is the only place about here I wish to visit.” ~Diary of William King.

August 24– Wednesday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “You need not be alarmed about those thirty thousand veterans Lee has sent to reinforce Hood. We have not seen them yet; do not think they got very near; at all events we are not afraid of them. Sherman has a pretty big number of men here, and they are good at fighting, equal at any time to an equal number of rebels. The reports are Probably just as true as those which prevailed six weeks ago, that Johnston had sent one of his corps to Virginia. I got my commission as Colonel by today’s mail. We will see what becomes of it.” ~Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

Sherman with some of his artillery outside Atlanta

Sherman with some of his artillery outside Atlanta

August 24– Wednesday– Annandale, Virginia; Huttonsville, West Virginia; Sutton, West Virginia; Halltown, West Virginia; Claiborne, Georgia; near Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas– Hard-fought frays and bloody skirmishes.

August 25– Thursday– New York City– “After being severely repulsed in his attacks on our new position across the Weldon Railroad, Lee seems to have given that up as a bad job. . . . The peace faction grows more and more rampant and truculent. I predict that Belmont and Barlow will manipulate the Chicago convention into nominating McClellan on a non-committal platform, and that if elected, he will betray the country.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

August 25– Thursday– New York City– “[U. S.] Marshal Murray on Monday last seized thirty-two cases, containing from fifty to eighty revolvers each, of the Savage Arms Company patent. These revolvers are supposed to be part of a lot purchased in this City for the ‘Sons of Liberty’ [a/k/a “Knights of the Golden Circle’, a pro-slavery, pro-Confederacy semi-secret society] in Indiana, and were stored at No. 42 Walker-street, where the seizure took place.” ~ New York Times.

Civil  War revolvers

Civil War revolvers

August 25– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Henry Raymond, editor of the New York Times, meets with President Lincoln at the White House. The President assures Raymond that ending slavery is non-negotiable. [Raymond, age 44, a native of New York State, has served as editor since the paper’s founding in September, 1851, is a hard-working journalist with moderate political views. At the Republican convention in Baltimore which renominated Lincoln, Raymond drafted most of the party’s platform. Since the convention he serves a chairman of the Republican National Committee.]

Henry Raymond of the New York Times

Henry Raymond of the New York Times

August 25– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “The Democrats hold a party nominating convention next Monday at Chicago, which is naturally attracting a good deal of attention. There is a palpable effort to give eclat, and spread abroad a factitious power for this assemblage in advance. To this the Administration journals, and particularly those of New York, have conduced. I do not think that anything serious is to be apprehended from that convention, if Seward can keep quiet; but his management, which is mismanagement, and his shrewdness, which is frequently untowardness, will ever endanger a cause.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

August 25– Thursday– Reams’ Station, Virginia– In a surprise attack, Confederate forces temporarily halt Federal destruction along the Weldon Railroad. Total Union losses– killed, wounded, missing– amount to 2372 while total Confederate losses reach approximately 720.

August 25– Thursday– Cobb County, Georgia– “I went to see old Mr. Hutchins this morning, he was better, & then went to the Picket Station to hear the News & see if the Country Wagons could succeed in bartering their little supplies for provisions, the soldiers were annoying them much, having nothing but money to buy with, while the country people only wanted provisions in exchange, & the soldiers were troubling them much, before I left them however, guards had been sent to protect them, & Dr. Miller’s Ambulance had come up to barter with them. I left them trading after having spent near an hour with them.” ~ Diary of William King.

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