Atlanta Is Ours~September 1864~the 1st & 2nd

Atlanta is ours.~ A Union officer.

Late in the afternoon of September 1st, Confederate General Hood begins to retreat from Atlanta. When Federal troops do not enter the city right away on the 2nd the mayor goes out to Union lines under a flag of truce. By afternoon the flag of the United States flies unhindered in the city. There is some chaos and looting. Between Sherman and Hood they have handed Lincoln an electoral victory, only a day after the Democrats have nominated a rival for the presidency. In barely two more months 70% of Federal soldiers will vote for Lincoln. Activity in states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia in response to the draft suggests that Sherman and Grant will have a fresh supply of soldiers. The provinces of Canada begin discussion which will lead to confederation.

slave auction building in Atlanta, soon to be occupied by Federal troops

slave auction building in Atlanta, soon to be occupied by Federal troops

September 1– Thursday– near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– “Camp Couch is situated a little over four miles, due west of Chambersburg, in Hamilton Township, Franklin County. The camp is located on an eminence overlooking a vast tract of country. A fine mountain view is had northward and westward, (the lofty range running in a semi-circle from due north to west,) . . . . Eastward and south the view is insignificant; interspersed here and there with farm-houses or humble log dwellings, then shut out abruptly by belts of timber. At the foot of the Slate Hill on which we pitched our tents, runs a sluggish stream, the water (in which we frequently plunge, like so many porpoise,) is icy cold. . . . The rations dealt out three times a day, consist of fresh beef, salt pork, rice or bean soup, sugar, coffee and hard tack, and the men stow it away in ‘double quick’ time, for camp life gives them an appetite. . . . owing to the industry, courtesy and perseverance of our worthy Chaplain, Reverend Mr. Rakestraw, there is a decided moral and religious improvement in the regiment; as many of the soldiers are seen, when at leisure, to read over religious matter, and can be heard to sing the hymns that John Wesley, and [Francis] Asbury, and the other great lights of the Methodist Church used to sing in years gone by. . . . Our officers are all men of good breeding and education, and men of the regiment are greatly attached to them already. We anticipate a good time during our enlistment. The men are lavish in their praises of our courteous and gentlemanly young colonel.” ~ Letter from Union soldier A.H. Baum to the Pennsylvania Daily Telegraph.

September 1– Thursday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Major General A. J. Smith, commanding the right wing of the 16th Army Corps, has kindly provided the services of the magnificent band of the 178th New York volunteers, for the concert this evening, and a rich musical treat may be expected. The Park will be reserved for ladies, children and the gentlemen accompanying them. School teachers are invited to attend with their pupils. Second street and East Court street will be closed to all vehicles. Carriages will drive to the Main street entrance to the Park, which will be kept clear for ladies and families. The Provost Guard and City Police will be on hand to enforce the above regulations and preserve order.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

street in Atlanta

street in Atlanta

September 1– Thursday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Soon after Breakfast this morning I made my call on General Mc Arthur in town, the first [time] I have met [him]. I found him a very pleasant man, a Scotchman, about 40 years old. I spent over an hour very agreeably with him, but was disappointed in my hopes for Passport, he told me could not just now grant me a passport to pass the lines, that none could be granted now . . . so I must be patient, but that he would give me one to go to the North any time I desired it. My disappointment was great, relieved however, by his kindly giving me a pass to go in & out of town whenever I desired, which will be every day I know, so I am now a free man again. My loneliness here was too great for me to quietly to remain, but town Society, as small as it is, will be almost a world to me; the General says to diminish my loneliness he will also come & see me now & then.” ~ Diary of William King. [The Union “General” Arthur Mc Arthur (1845-1912) to whom Mr King makes reference will become the father of General Douglas Mc Arthur (1880-1964). At this time he is only 20 years old, not 40, a hero of several battles, holds the rank of major, not general, and is adjutant, i.e. assistant to the commanding officer of the 24th Wisconsin Regiment. He will achieve the rank of general in 1898.]

September 1– Thursday– Atlanta, Georgia– Beginning late in the afternoon, Confederate troops under General Hood evacuate the city. Unable to carry off all the supplies and ammunition, Hood orders their destruction which results in damage to railroad equipment and a number of buildings.

September 1– Thursday– Jonesborough, Georgia– After several hours of quiet, the fighting which began yesterday resumes. At nightfall Confederate forces disengage and move to join General Hood’s retreating army. Total Confederate casualties– dead, wounded, missing– amount to approximately 2350 and total Federal casualties reach 1450 for the two days of fighting.

September 1– Thursday– Dooly County, Georgia– “Sherman has abandoned his entrenchments on his left and centre, and is massing on the left of Hood, with a view not fully explained. He is either playing a trick to deceive Hood, or his retreat has commenced. Reports say General Wheeler is doing much damage to the enemy, and that Sherman’s communications have been effectively cut. I hope his whole army will soon be driven out of this state. We are very tired of his long visit, indeed we should have thanked him not to have come at all.” ~ Letter from Maggie Cone to her fiance Alva Benjamin Spencer.

atlanta siege-02

September 1– Thursday– north of Winchester, Virginia; Tipton, Missouri; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Beatty’s Mill, Arkansas; Elk River Bridge, Tennessee; near Nashville, Tennessee; near Smyrna, Tennessee– Raids, skirmishes and firefights.

September 1– Thursday– Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada– Twenty-three delegates representing Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada [a union of Upper and Lower Canada created in 1841, now roughly equal to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec] meet to open a conference to consider the first steps toward confederation and the formation of modern Canada. [See, The Road to Confederation: the Emergence of Canada, 1863-1867 by Donald Creighton, with a new introduction by Donald Wright, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2012; and The Critical Years; the Union of British North America, 1857-1873 by William Lewis Morton, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1964.]

delegates to the Charlottetown conference

delegates to the Charlottetown conference

September 1– Thursday– Dublin, Ireland– Birth of Roger Casement, diplomat, and nationalist activist. [He will be executed in London on August 3, 1916 for his part in the Irish Easter Rebellion of 1916.]

Roger Casement

Roger Casement

September 1 – Thursday– Paris, France– Barthelemy Prosper Enfantin, social reformer and utopian socialist, dies at age 68.

Barthelemy Enfantin

Barthelemy Enfantin

September 2– Friday– New York City– “The Emperor Maximilian is pursuing a conciliatory policy, and is trying to obtain the adhesion of the prominent men of all parties. He had left the capital for Guadalajara, hoping to win over to his cause the Juarist chiefs there, who, it was rumored, were disaffected. He had again urged Santa Anna to come to Mexico. . . . The French and Imperialist troops are marching simultaneously upon New-Leon, Coahulla and Tamaulipas. It is expected that Monterey and Matamoras will soon be attacked. In pursuance of his conciliatory policy, the Emperor has issued a circular, forbidding the use, in official documents or by the newspapers, of odious or irritating epithets, as applied to those Mexicans who are yet holding out against the Empire.” ~ New York Times.

September 2– Friday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “As the time for the draft approaches, the business of recruiting is going on very briskly. Yesterday about one hundred and twenty men were mustered into the service at the Provost Marshal’s office, and the number enlisted has been very large each day for several days previous.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

September 2– Friday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Two young men . . . called to see me this afternoon & spent about an hour, one a Sargent from Ohio about 20 years [of age]. I found a very intelligent & pleasant young man, he said when he came into the Army his feelings against the South was very bitter, & he thought he would willingly & cheerfully destroy any Rebel property, but after being among the people, and having intercourse with them, his feelings had undergone great change, and he now thought it too sad a War, to increase its terrors more than can possibly be avoided, & effortsought to be made to bring it to a close.” ~ Diary of William King.

September 2– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– Residents who remained and city officials expected the Union army to ride in immediately. Seeing no one, Mayor James Calhoun and a small delegation ride out toward Union lines with a white flag to surrender. When they met a contingent of Federal troops Mayor Calhoun hands them a letter for General Sherman which simply says, “Sir: The fortune of war has placed Atlanta in your hands. As mayor of the city I ask protection of non-combatants and private property.” By early afternoon, Union troops reach downtown, occupy the city hall and raise the flag of the United States which has not flown there in over three years.

Mayor James Calhoun

Mayor James Calhoun

September 2– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– “I have good news. Atlanta is ours. A strong reconnoitering party was sent out from our division this morning early and others from the other divisions of our corps and entered Atlanta without opposition. This is authentic. It is said also that a battle has been fought, resulting most disastrously to the rebels, near East Point. There was a big fire in the direction of the city last night and heavy cannonading heard. We have also heard some political news, the nomination of McClellan and Seymour at Chicago. I am rather glad McClellan was nominated. Of all the candidates before that Convention, he is certainly the most respectable and patriotic; whatever may be said of his political opinions, his antecedents and avowed principles admit of no doubt as to his loyalty to the United States and hostility to the Rebellion, and I am glad to see the majority of the Democratic party vindicate this loyalty by putting such a man in nomination. As the Union party is divided by many feuds, it must be a comfort to every one, whose partisanship and love of spoils is not stronger than his patriotism, to know that the success of the opposition will put a man like McClellan at the head of the Union.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

damaged buildings in Atlanta

damaged buildings in Atlanta

September 2– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– “About noon today the Yankees came in sure enough. A party of five or six came riding by our house. A committee of our citizens went out early and met General Slocum and got his word that private property should be respected, upon which the city was surrendered to them and in they came. The Stars and Stripes were soon floating aloft over the city. The private houses were not molested by the soldiers, and I was therefore very much surprised when I went downtown to see armsful and baskets full of books and wall-paper going up the street in a continuous stream from our store. When I reached the store, the scene would have required the pencil of [artist William] Hogarth to portray. Yankees, men, women, children and nxxxxxx were crowded into the store, each one scrambling to get something to carry away, regardless, apparently, whether it was anything they needed, and still more heedless of the fact that they were stealing! Such a state of utter confusion and disorder as presented itself to my eyes then, I little dreamed of two hours before when I left it all quiet and, as I thought, safe. The soldiers in their mad hunt for tobacco had probably broken open the door, and the rabble had then pitched in, thinking it a ‘free fight.’ At first I was so dismayed that I almost resolved to let them finish it, but finally I got them out and stood guard until after dark when I left it to its chances until morning, as I was very sleepy.” ~ Diary of a store owner.

September 2– Friday– Glass Bridge, Georgia; Big Shanty, Georgia; Darksville, West Virginia; Bunker Hill, West Virginia; along the Weldon Railroad, Virginia; near Little Rock, Arkansas; near Quitman, Arkansas; Mt Vernon, Missouri; near Union City, Tennessee; Owensborough, Kentucky– Raids and skirmishes.

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