The Gratitude of His Country by Dying at Last~Oct 1864~11th to 14th

The Gratitude of His Country by Dying at Last ~ George Templeton Strong.

As many in the North, Strong, a lawyer, expresses satisfaction at the death of Chief Justice Roger Taney. Taney was appointed by President Andrew Jackson, served 28 years as Chief Justice and authored the infamous opinion in the Dred Scott case in which he declared that black people, free or slave, had no civil rights in the United States. Maryland adopts a state constitution which abolishes slavery. Black soldiers serve the Union cause and finally gain some of pay which is due them. State election results demonstrate significant gains by the Republicans and auger well for Lincoln’s reelection. [At this time is not yet one set day for all state and federal elections.] at least some Englishmen favor Lincoln’s reelection. A soldier informs his wife about the loss of his leg. A former slave tells his story to a Northern woman. Tennessee citizens complain about Confederate bushwhackers while another complains to Federal authorities about women he views as disloyal. An immigrant from Scotland begins his rise to fame and fortune.The French forces press hard against the legitimate Mexican government.

United States Colored Troops {USCT}

United States Colored Troops {USCT}

October 11– Tuesday– near Fort Donelson, Tennessee– A unit of 85 black Union soldiers engages and drives off a force of 250 Confederate soldiers.

October 12– Wednesday– Oberlin, Ohio– “An Inquiry Meeting, for the purpose of personal religious conversation, is held under the joint supervision of the Pastors of the First and Second Congregational Churches, on Sabbath at 6 P.M., in the Theological Society Room, Chapel building.” ~ Lorain County News.

October 12– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– Roger Taney, Chief Justice of U S Supreme Court and author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, dies at age 87. A racist and Maryland slave-holder, he has been Chief Justice for 28 years.

Roger Taney, Chief Justice U S Supreme Court

Roger Taney, Chief Justice U S Supreme Court

October 12– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Returns of the elections from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana come in to-day. They look very well, particularly the two latter. Pennsylvania does not quite come up to my expectations. The city of Philadelphia has done very well, but in too many of the counties there are Democratic gains– not such, perhaps, as to overcome the Union majorities, but will much reduce them.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 12– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Secretary of War not being in, I answer yours about election. Pennsylvania very close, and still in doubt on home vote. Ohio largely for us, with all the members of Congress but two or three. Indiana largely for us, Governor, it is said, by fifteen thousand, and eight of the eleven members of Congress. Send us what you may know of your army vote.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to General Ulysses S Grant.

October 12– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “I write you a few lines the first opportunity to ease your fears in regard to me. It is true I have happened [in] to a bad spot, but it might have been worse.For it was the hottest place I was ever in. I was first shot between the right knee and angle, nearly breaking the leg. I was hardly down when I was again short in the right knee, shattering it all to pieces in a second. I was shot in the left knee slightly. . . . I continued to suffer, until I arrived here, from moving. The doctor, after counsel, amputated my right leg just above the knee. I hope you will not take it too hard. If I live, I can make a living shoe-making. I am considered to be doing well by the doctor and everybody else. You know I am one that never says die while I can move a little. I was wounded in trying to take the second works, where they had made a desperate stand. I passed through all the first safe and was in hopes I would have my usual luck. I have never spared myself in going into a fight, as I determined long ago to get out of this war if I had to be killed out.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier to his wife in Georgia.

October 12– Wednesday– Nashville, Tennessee– “Peter’s history is not uninteresting. Here it is: ‘my master’s name was Jim Brazier, and I lived eight miles from Tullahoma. My mother was sickly a long time, and missus wouldn’t let her stop workin’ no how. An one day when she’s so weak, she let a big pitcher fall on de floor and broke it, and master sent her to de whippin-house, and she died that night. I slept wid her, an she told me when she come to bed, that she thought if she went to sleep she’d never wake. An in de morning when I waked, she was stone dead. They never said anything to me bout what killed her, they knowed very well that I knowed the reason. After de war broke out, they telled me that I mustn’t go near de Yankees, for that they ‘had horns,’ just as if I’d not sense ‘nough to know better nor that.’ . . . One morning, soon after, Dr W. announced to Peter that his former master had just been hanged as a guerrilla. The account was in the morning paper.Glad of it,’ said Peter, emphatically; ‘I’d a be glad if that there had a happened afore.’” ~ Journal of Elvira Powers recounting the story of a young escaped slave.

runaway slaves

runaway slaves

October 12– Wednesday– Taylorsville, Tennessee– “The undersigners [sic], citizens of Johnson County, Tennessee, and Southern men, in behalf of themselves and others, respectfully represent: That we are but few in number, and most of us old and infirm men; that our county is now infested with some four or five bands of robbers and bushwhackers, who are obstructing the public road, robbing Southern men, and killing them, and further, threatening to drive us all from the county, and without some additional protection we will all be forced to leave our homes and county in a few days. We, therefore, most respectfully ask you to send in a small force for that purpose, say some forty or fifty men, under a good officer. We would further state that we will have considerable surplus of corn, and some meat, that could be furnished the Government, if it can be protected until all can be saved; fully enough, we think, to justify the Government in sending the small force we ask to protect and defend us until all can be saved and got out. If not defended in that way it will all be lost to Government and individuals. There is a small force here now, about fifteen men, which we wish to retain with the others, under Lieutenant Hawkins.” ~ Petition from eight residents to Confederate General Breckinridge.

October 12– Wednesday– Chihuahua, Mexico–Retreating toward the U S border, President Juarez arrives with a small force of republican troops. The American Counsel writes that “the situation is very bad and would bring despair upon any mind less faithful and hopeful.”

Benito Juarez, President of Mexico

Benito Juarez, President of Mexico

October 13– Thursday– New York City– “The Honorable old Roger B Taney has earned the gratitude of his country by dying at last. Better late than never. . . . Even should Lincoln be defeated, he will have time to appoint a new Chief Justice, and he cannot appoint anybody worse than Taney. Chase may very possibly be the man. Curious coincidence that the judge whose opinion in the Dred Scott case proved him the most faithful of slaves to the South should have been dying while his own state, Maryland, was solemnly extinguishing slavery within her borders by voting on her new anti-slavery constitution. (There seems no doubt it has been adopted.) Two ancient abuses and evils were perishing together. The tyrant’s foot has rested so long on the neck of ‘Maryland, my Maryland’ that she has undergone an organic change of structure, making it necessary for her to continue under that pressure, or in other words, loyal to the national government. The Confederacy will have nothing to say to Maryland as a free state.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

Dred Scott, circa 1857

Dred Scott, circa 1857

October 13– Thursday– Baltimore, Maryland– In a state-wide election eligible voters approve by a narrow margin, a new state constitution which abolishes slavery. The vote is 30, 174 in favor and 29,799 in opposition.

October 13– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “The President is greatly importuned and pressed by cunning intrigues just at this time. Thurlow Weed and Raymond are abusing his confidence and good nature badly. Hay says they are annoying the President sadly.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

pro-Lincoln cartoon

pro-Lincoln cartoon

October 13– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln tells John Hay, one of his personal secretaries, that he [Lincoln] will not be in any hurry to replace the late Chief Justice, Roger B Taney.

October 13– Thursday– Rice Springs Farm, Georgia– Federal cavalry troopers tangle with a Confederate force and drive them off toward Alabama. Total Union casualties– killed, wounded, missing– are 14. Total Confederate losses are over 70.

October 14– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “The Massachusetts 54th Regiment, of colored troops, has been paid off by the government in full to August 31. The soldiers have sent back to their families and friends in this city and vicinity the sum of $45,000 and the money has been received through Adams & Co’s Express. This is a most gratifying announcement. Justice ‘long delayed through hesitating Congressional legislation’ is at last done these brave men. The large amount they so promptly and considerately send home for the relief of their suffering families, and to liquidate what debts they may owe, is highly creditable to them.” ~ The Liberator. [The $45,000 delayed wages paid to the soldiers of the 54th would equal $688,000 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.] Today’s edition also carries a letter from two Englishman who write in support of Mr Lincoln, a letter which says in part that General McClellan’s “claims to office seem to us to rest on the fact, that he will do as little good to the Negro in his civil as he has done harm to the enemy in his military capacity. Mr. Lincoln’s claims are founded on the fact that he has done more for the emancipation of your colored people in his single administration than all the other Presidents put together, and that he is conducting his country through a crisis of almost unexampled difficulty, and under storms of abuse with which up to this time only great men have been honored, if not with the genius, certainly with the pertinacity and honesty of a Cromwell. The last news which has reached this country leads us to hope that, if you are true to yourselves, and careful to repel compromises such as govern Seymour’s ‘peace-at any-price’ Democrats, and their friend the London Times, would have you make, the most disgraceful conspiracy that history records may, in its overthrow, be made to subserve her greatest triumph.”

54th Massachusetts

54th Massachusetts

October 14– Friday– New York City– “What subject of human thought and action is higher than politics, except only religion? What political issues have arisn for centuries more monentous than those dependent on this election? They are to determine the destinies– the daily life– of the millions and millions who are to live on this continent for many generations to come. They will decide the relations of the laboring man toward the capitalist in 1900 A.D., from Maine to Mexico.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

October 14– Friday– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–Andrew Carnegie, age 29, forms his first iron business, the Cyclops Iron Company. [Carnegie, born in Dunfermline, Scotland, arrived in the United States in the summer of 1848. He dies on August 11, 1919. His fortune at his death will be in excess of $350 million, equal to $4.72 billion today, using the Consumer Price Index. The literature about Carnegie is voluminous; I recommend Andrew Carnegie by Joseph F Wall (1989) and Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America by Les Standiford (2005).

Andrew Carnegie, circa 1878

Andrew Carnegie, circa 1878

October 14– Friday– Wheeling, West Virginia– A large torchlight parade and mass meeting in support of the reelection of President Lincoln takes place, the largest such demonstration the city has ever seen.

October 14– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “Seward was quite exultant over the elections; feels strong and self -gratified. Says this Administration is wise, energetic, faithful, and able beyond any of its predecessors; that it has gone through trials which none of them has ever known, and carried on, under extraordinary circumstances and against combinations such as the world has never known, a war unparalleled in the annals of the world. The death of Judge Taney was alluded to. His funeral takes place to-morrow. The body will pass from his residence at 7 a.m. to the depot; and be carried to Frederick, Maryland. . . . I have never called upon him living . . . his position and office were to be respected . . . . That he had many good qualities and possessed ability, I do not doubt; that he rendered service in Jackson’s administration is true . . . . But the course pursued in the Dred Scott case and all the attending circumstances forfeited respect for him as a man or a judge.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 14– Friday– Tullahoma, Tennessee– “Sir, the government of the United States of America should know and understand its enemies whether male or female. And treason should be made odious in both alike, I am not making war upon ‘innocent’ women; every brave man loves and respects the name of woman, but when she stoops from the high position that beautifies the character of a true woman and seeks alike, with traitors of the male gender, to undermine and sweep away the best government of earth she forfeits her claim to that high regard and becomes the most corrupt and debased of the whole human family. I repeat that I love the very name of woman, but when she unsexes herself she is a fit subject for anything. It is to them in great measure, that this country, so beautifully adapted to higher scenes and more noble purposes is made one vast scene of carnage and blood. And have they repented? No! They are doubly distilled in their fanaticism. And shall they remain here among the people they so much despise to annoy the loyal people and give information to traitors? We cannot believe it just and we are aware that it is your purpose to reward patriotism and punish treason.These rebel women express a desire to go south or for the return of the gents of

their complexion, and surely they should at least have one portion of their wish granted them, the portion that leads their minds and carcasses southward. Who says no? Not he that is tinctured with loyalty. The following is a list of applicants for a journey south and by all means they should not be disappointed in their lofty expectation. . . . They should not have the honor of living one moment more among loyal people. And justice to humanity and the interest of government requires that they be sent to Brownlow’s next Depot to the infernal regions. Other names could be mentioned but time will not admit.” ~ Letter to Union General Milroy from a man who signs himself only “KD” and names better than 15 women as rebel spies and sympathizers.

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