I Will Make Georgia Howl~October 1864~9th to 11th

I Will Make Georgia Howl ~ General Sherman.

William Tecumseh Sherman advises General Grant of his plans for the next operation in Georgia. Plenty of fighting and raiding goes on in Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee. A Northern woman calls on the widow of President Polk. In the midst of election worries President Lincoln maintains his sense of humor. Canadian officials continues discussion about confederation.

refugees leaving Atlanta

refugees leaving Atlanta

October 9– Sunday– Tullahoma, Tennessee– Union General R H Milroy requests a cavalry regiment of the United States Colored Troops to deal with Confederate activity in the area of Fayetteville, Tennessee.

October 9– Sunday– Chattahoochee River, Georgia– “We have had despatches of another fight at Allatoona, in which the rebels were discomfited. General Sherman has telegraphed to General Slocum that Hood was moving south and might swing around upon him; it would seem, therefore, that the road is now clear. Then there is hope ahead, and we may at least hope, before another week passes, to be in communication with our homes. We are no longer in Atlanta I received orders on Friday night to march my regiment to the Chattahoochee River bridge and there report to Colonel Smith, commanding the 1st Brigade of our division. We came down accordingly and have just got into our new camp. There is not a board here and it is very cold; we ought to have fireplaces. We were fairly driven into bed last night by the cheerless cold at seven o’clock. To-night we will sleep in our uniforms, otherwise there is no standing it. A portion of the railroad bridge was carried off by the current about a week ago, and it has been impassable ever since; thus misfortunes multiply upon this road. The repairs will be completed today. We are in a terribly sad state of ignorance. We know that communications are now open, but beyond that, not a word. . . . We have not a grain of forage for our horses. I have sold my extra one, as I had not half enough for my Jennie, who is no longer as round as a ball. A sort of cane that grows in the marshes, leaves and sticks must keep them alive. One of our couriers was waylaid between here and Atlanta and murdered by guerrillas yesterday. His dead body was found by the wayside, rifled of his arms, with one bullet through his head and one through his breast. We have to get up at four o’clock every morning now, so as to be on the alert in case the rebels should come, but they won’t come here. What good would it do them? The destruction of a bridge so near to Atlanta will too poorly compensate Mr. Hood even for a trifling loss, and he has learned from experience that he cannot assault our fortified positions without very heavy loss.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

General Sherman in camp

General Sherman in camp

October 9– Sunday– near Allatoona, Georgia– “I can make this march, and I will make Georgia howl!” ~ Telegram from Union General William Tecumseh Sherman to General Ulysses S Grant as Sherman reveals his plan to strike southeast toward Savannah.

October 9– Sunday– Andersonville, Georgia– At the Andersonville prison camp the quartermaster establishes a factory for making shoes for the inmates, and a brewery for the production of a medical drink called corn beer, to combat scurvy, a major disease caused by a diet lacking in fresh foods.

October 9– Sunday– Boonville, Missouri; Russellville, Missouri; California, Missouri; St Francois County, Missouri; Fauquier County, Virginia; Bayou Sarah, Louisiana; Ven Wert, Georgia– Harrying, probing and assaulting.

October 10– Monday– New York City– “Cold. War news not much, but of a good sort. Sheridan seems to have harried the Valley of Virginia like a Viking.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

General Phil Sheridan

General Phil Sheridan

October 10– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “A convention of Maryland has framed a new constitution for the State; a public meeting is called for this evening at Baltimore to aid in securing its ratification by the people, and you ask a word from me for the occasion. I presume the only feature of the instrument about which there is serious controversy is that which provides for the extinction of slavery. It needs not to be a secret and I presume it is no secret, that I wish success to this provision. I desire it on every consideration. I wish all men to be free. I wish the material prosperity of the already free, which I feel sure the extinction of slavery would bring. I wish to see in process of disappearing that only thing which ever could bring this nation to civil war. I attempt no argument. Argument upon the question is already exhausted by the abler, better informed, and more immediately interested sons of Maryland herself. I only add that I shall be gratified exceedingly if the good people of the State shall, by their votes, ratify the new constitution.” ~ Letter from President Lincoln to Henry W. Hoffman.

October 10– Monday– Petersburg, Virginia– “We had a rich beef . . . just before I left the sharpshooters which I do not think I told you about. About an hour by sun one bright beautiful morning, a fine fat young cow was seen crossing the Yankee picket line, and making direct for our line, with a high head and quick step looking as wild as a buck. She halted in front of our outposts . . . but two of our boys anxious to obtain some fat Yankee beef succeeded by getting around her in forcing her to cross. They then yelled at her and on she came to our line in full tilt. Several of the boys gathered their guns, determined not to let her pass unmolested, myself among the rest. Just before she got up to our line the sharp crack of a rifle rang through the air, but as she was running, the ball missed her and the noise only made her more wild and quickened her pace. Bang! Bang! Crack! Crack! went another and another rifle but on she went or came; crossing our line and going to the rear. I shot at her about 150 yards in full speed, the ball passing just over her shoulders and entering the ground beyond, making the dust rise but getting no beef. By this time several of the Sharpshooters from each Regiment were after her. Crack! Crack! went the sharp ring of the rifles till I think about the 20th shot she fell headlong to the ground. She was immediately butchered and divided among all the Sharpshooters from the Brigade, each man getting a large hunk of tender fat beef. Now the mournful part of the tune had not come. Up to that time it was all excitement and fine fun for us. The Colonel commanding the Regiment in our rear, thinking sure we were attacked, had his men to Arms yet in the trenches wait patiently the approaching conflict as he thought. As no Yanks came he sent down to know the cause of the alarm. Learning the cause he sent for all that fired to appear before him immediately. I being Sergeant had to carry the squad up and myself with them. There were 6 of us from our Regiment being arraigned in his august presence, he called on me for full detail, which I gave, closing with a plea of defense, as we did it under excitement, etc. He gave us a long lecture, telling us he did not mind our getting the cow but the fuss we made. He sent us back and that night sent us word that he would acquit us but we must do so no more. The boys said they would not unless another cow came over.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

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October 10– Monday– Nashville, Tennessee– “Called this morning on Mrs. James K. Polk to obtain some leaves and flowers for souvenirs of the place, to arrange on paper for a Sanitary Fair. Received very cordially by Mrs. Polk, who accompanied me to the grounds and cut the leaves and blossoms for me herself. She also presented a fine photograph of the place, taken from Vine Street, and showing the tomb of the ex-president. Mrs. Polk has not entered society since the death of her husband. In person she is perhaps a trifle above the medium height, slender, with high forehead and delicate features, and bears marks of taste and refinement. Think she has passed through the ordeal of her former position with a true sense of its real worth in comparison with Christian duties and deeds of philanthropy.” ~ Journal of Elvira Powers. [Sarah Childress Polk, age 60, is the childless widow of President James Polk who died in the spring of 1849. She receives a government pension of $5,000 per year, which would equal $76,500 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index. While publicly proclaiming her neutrality, privately she has voiced pro-Union sentiments. She will have the longest widowhood of any former First Lady by the time she dies on August 14, 1891.]

Sarah Polk

Sarah Polk

October 10– Monday– Rectortown, Virginia; Thorn Hill, Tennessee; near Gallatin, Tennessee; near Valley Station, Colorado Territory; Pemiscot, County, Missouri; near Rome, Georgia; Eastport, Mississippi– Skirmishes, raids, expeditions and assaults.

October 10– Monday– Quebec City, Quebec, Canada– Delegates meet to discuss forming a Canadian confederation.

October 11– Tuesday– New York City– Union General Phil Sheridan “describes his recent operations. He says that he has destroyed, in the Shenandoah, Luray and Little Fort valleys, over two thousand barns filled with wheat, hay and farming implements, and over seventy mills filled with flour and wheat. He has obtained a very large number of horses, has driven four herds of stock before the army, and has killed and issued to it about three thousand sheep. This destruction and this spoliation are in accordance with the instructions of General Grant, who finds in these severe measures the only preventive of the enemy periodical incursions down the valley, which he is determined shall be stopped. General Sheridan says he has rendered the entire country through which he has passed untenable to the rebel army, and has made the inhabitants sick of the war, which before they were not, owing to the abundance in the midst of which they were living. These are the people, many of whom had protection papers from former commanders of our forces, who have for some time been bushwacking every Union train and small party passing along their roads. Railroad communications through from Alexandria to Strasburg will be completed in a few days. The soldiers in Sheridan’s department have suffered considerably from the cold weather of the past few days. Snow fell to the depth of three inches at Cumberland, Maryland, on Saturday last.” ~ New York Herald.

October 11– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln spends most of the evening in the telegraph office monitoring voting results from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. In between messages he reads and laughs over pages from The Nasby Papers by David Locke, a book of political satire which pokes fun at Democrats and Copperheads. Lincoln will periodically read out loud to whole room sections which he finds very funny. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton complains privately to an assistant about how Lincoln “when the safety of the Republic was thus at issue . . . could turn aside to read such balderdash and to laugh at such frivolous jests.”

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October 11– Tuesday– Harrisburg, Pennsylvania– In state-wide elections Republicans gain 3 seats in the U S House of Representatives, winning 15 of 24 seats.

October 11– Tuesday– Columbus, Ohio– In state-wide elections Republicans gain 12 seats in the U S House of Representatives, winning 17 of 19 seats.

October 11– Tuesday– Indianapolis, Indiana– In state-wide elections Republicans gain 4 seats in the U S House of Representatives, winning 8 of 11 seats.

October 11– Tuesday– New Market, Virginia– “We are off again tomorrow & I shall not be able to write to you for a day or two so I will write before I retire. I wrote you a few days ago – yours of the 4th Instant came a day after Mr. Robinson’s 2nd ‘Sunday surprise’ – I wanted to surprise you the 3rd Sunday but ‘Old Jubal’[General Early] said ‘no’ so I had to moodily submit & forgo a sweet day at home & spend a cheerless one in camp but I trust such days will not last always & that a kind Providence will permit us to spend many quiet & happy years at home – all the more happy because we have been compelled to spend so many away from each other & have been taught to appreciate the more fully each the others worth & mutual benefit. . . . It seems hard my Dear to call out [all] the . . . men, but the next 6 weeks determine our fate & every man must come out for that time & do his duty – if they do all will be well & they can then go home in peace & stay there with safety – see what the reserves did at Saltville & so they can do everywhere until this emergency is past — All must put a shoulder to the wheel & roll on to the end of this campaign & I feel that the end will then come. Our men in the field have lost none of their accustomed courage, their leaders none of their accustomed skill, but our ranks are depleted by the many bloody battles of this mighty campaign & we must have our lines lengthened to oppose those of the insolent foe that has added thousands upon thousands to his from every household in the North. The enemy is determined to do all that numbers can do this year & we must, shall , & will meet him with even numbers – no even as figures tell it, but every as moral courage & unconquerable will tell it. So say for me, to all that they must cheerfully come now, and in two months all will be well . . . . Get all your flour & eatables home as soon as you can – get Mr. Reed to get a Bushel of flour from Mr. Smith – for you. Pleasant dreams to you & may Heavenly blessings descend upon the heads of all the ‘loved ones at home.’ Write soon.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

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October 11– Tuesday– Morris Island, South Carolina– “I take this opportunity of informing you that I am Well as Present & Hope that when this Comes to your Hand it may Find you enjoying the Blessings of God. I thought that I would Let you Know that I would Not get Home this time.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Jacob Watson, a black man serving with the 54th Massachusetts, to his brother Hezekiah.

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