We Have Yet To Make Good~ October 1864~ 29th to 31st

We Have Yet to Make Good ~ Mary Chesnut.

Some Southerners remain optimistic despite Yankee depredations in the Shenandoah Valley and in Georgia. Little does the state of Georgia know that next month things will grow worse, much worse, as General Sherman strikes out for the coast with a determination to “make Georgia howl.” Authorities yet again discover two more women dressed as men serving in the army. Nevada joins the Union as a state. President Lincoln receives an ardent abolitionist at the White House. The war in Denmark concludes as the Danish government makes concessions to Germany.

October 29– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– In the White House at 8 A. M. President Lincoln meets the ardent abolitionist, feminist and lecturer Sojourner Truth, a former slave now age 67. With a courteous bow, Lincoln tells her, “I am pleased to meet you” and autographs a book for her. [Sojourner Truth dies November 26, 1883.]

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth

October 29– Saturday– Cherry Creek, Tennessee– “There is a big meeting going on not far from Mr. Hampton’s and his little son went one night and someone stole his mule bridle and saddle. Mr. Hampton does not believe in the way they carry on their big meetings, and I agree with him. I do not think I am an enemy to religion. I do not want to be, but I do not think if anything in the world requires calmness and deliberation, that is that thing. I think there are hundreds, especially the young, that are carried away by the excitement and understand nothing at all of the doctrines of religion.” ~ Diary of Amanda McDowell.

October 30– Sunday– New York City– “The following extract from a letter from a member of General Sheridan’s Staff, gives all the particulars known of the murder and the recovery of the body of Lieutenant Meigs, Chief-Engineer of the Department of West Virginia, murdered after surrender by some of the gangs which infest the Shenandoah Valley: ‘ . . . . I was very much shocked to learn that one of Lieutenant Meigs’ orderlies had just come in, bringing information that while Lieutenant Meigs was returning from Bridgewater to our headquarters, accompanied by his two orderlies, he was attacked by guerrillas, and he and one of his orderlies either captured or killed. Fearing the worst, I immediately started back with a party [of soldiers] . . . and when near the scene of his attack the night before I met a sergeant of the Provost-Guard belonging to the Army of West Virginia, who informed me that one of our officers was lying dead in the road a few hundred yards beyond where we then stood. Upon reaching the spot my worst fears were realized; poor Meigs lay dead upon the ground, his body extended at full length, one arm partially raised, the other extended by his side, his face looking upward, while his hat and cloak lay under his body. He was shot just under his right eye and in the left breast, and must have died instantly, as there was no indications of his having struggled or, in fact, stirred from the moment he fell to the earth. His revolver and all his papers had just been removed by the sergeant of the Provost-Guard, who turned them over to me. I had his body placed in a wagon, and conveyed to these headquarters at once.” ~ New York Times.


October 30– Sunday– Columbia, South Carolina– “Some days must be dark and dreary. At the mantua-maker’s, however, I saw an instance of faith in our future: a bride’s paraphernalia, and the radiant bride herself, the bridegroom expectant and elect now within twenty miles of Chattanooga and outward bound to face the foe. . . . Saw at the Laurens’ not only Lizzie Hamilton, a perfect little beauty, but the very table the first Declaration of Independence was written upon. These Laurenses are grandchildren of Henry Laurens, of the first Revolution. Alas ! we have yet to make good our second declaration of independence – Southern independence from Yankee meddling and Yankee rule. Hood has written to ask them to send General Chesnut out to command one of his brigades. In whose place?” ~ Diary of Mary Chesnut.

mary chesnut-full

October 30– Sunday– Helena, Montana Territory– A self-appointed committee of seven men meet to layout the streets, name the town and select a city government.

October 30– Sunday– Florence, Alabama; Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Bainbridge, Tennessee; Murfreesborough, Tennessee; near Fort Henry, Tennessee– Skirmishing and maneuvering.

October 30– Sunday– Copenhagen, Denmark– To secure peace, Denmark renounces all claim to Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg, which come under Prussian and Austrian administration.

October 31– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “Whereas the Congress of the United States passed an act, which was approved on the 21st day of March last, entitled ‘An act to enable the people of Nevada to form a constitution and State government, and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States;’ and, Whereas the said constitution and State government have been formed, pursuant to the conditions prescribed by the fifth section of the act of Congress aforesaid, and the certificate required by the said act and also a copy of the constitution and ordinances have been submitted to the President of the United States: Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in accordance with the duty imposed upon me by the act of Congress aforesaid, do hereby declare and proclaim that the said State of Nevada is admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States.” ~ Proclamation by President Lincoln.


October 31– Monday– New Market, Virginia– “I send William [probably a slave], he will tomorrow get to Mr. Hamilton’s & the next morning come home, then you have him do what you wish to have do . . . put away your vegetables &c &c – let him find out from Mr. Heizer where to cut wood & go & cut for about 4 or 5 days. I want him to get back by the 10th of November unless I write to the contrary. I have him ride up a horse that he can put into pasture – Mr. Geeding will let it run in his I suppose, or Dr. Wilson as it will not be more than a week . . . let him go to Mr. Hamilton’s over next Sunday & then start for here direct on the 9th. . . . Get the flour from all that I named on the list I gave you. I am trying to pay all up at Christmas – glad you got buckwheat. I am very much pleased to know, by your letter, that you are succeeding so well in getting things together. Make the most of William’s time you can now, & I hope, by & by to come home myself with him & get up a full supply of wood for winter but he can cut up a lot now & perhaps when I come with him we can get the . . . man you spoke of to help & haul up wood, with my own horses if I can do no other way. . . . I send you a copy of General Early’s address to the army – we are getting well organized & are prepared to meet any force that may come up – we have been reinforced by some Cavalry from the South West & all things wear a cheerful aspect. I do not think there is any idea of evacuating the Valley. Of course an army could be subsisted as well near Staunton as any where else, as there is Rail Road communication. Send my towel, hair brush, & white blanket by William. I hope my Saddle bags have gotten home . . . . I shall draw pay tomorrow & will send you some money. . . . All quiet. Love & blessings for you all.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

October 31– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– “Mary and Mollie Bell, two girls of eighteen or twenty, who for two years have been serving in Early’s army under the aliases of Tom Parker and Bob Morgan, were, their sex having been discovered, sent to this city in custody Friday night. They were committed to the Castle until further inquiry could be made about them and some other disposition made of them. Mary Pitt, a woman from Isle of Wight county, was arrested and sent to the Castle on Friday on the charge of being a Yankee spy. She had Yankee papers in her possession. William Minor, slave of Miss Jane Humphries, being captured in Caroline county while making his way to the Yankees, has been committed to the Castle to await the call of his owner.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

October 31– Monday– Cleveland, Tennessee– “Mrs W. told Mr D. Saturday that the Rebels were gentlemen by the side of the Yankees and they took 13 wagon loads of corn and after she bemoaned them the Yankees took all the rest. And that she wished the Rebs had taken it, that she would have given it to them willingly. That she never though of hiding from them, that the Rebs would leave enough for her family, and the Yanks left none at all. Sherman’s men took from her 21 bed quilts, 4 head of horses, 8 milk cows, 18 hogs, 100 chickens & turkeys , every knife & fork, broke the locks on all the doors, 1 bag of salt, flour, all, meal, all, took all of [her] jewelry, watch, all of Cleo’s gloves, handkerchiefs, stockings and some of her underclothing, and knocked Mrs W. down because she tried to get her shawl from him. Kicked her bureau and sewing machine to pieces. Injured her $5000.00 worth. Lovely day.” ~ Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

October 31– Monday– Boone County, Missouri– “I received you letter and was glad to hear [that] you were doing very well. I hope the others are well also. Since I last wrote to you, we have had some trouble. It appears to me like the world is full of trouble and we have to share a great portion of it. But I know there are others who have to bear more than we do. Last Friday night we were all fast asleep when a loud noise at the door awoke us. We got up as quick as we could and opened the door when in came four robbers. Oh! how it made our hearts beat when they threatened to kill Sam and burn the house if we did not give up all our money. Maggie, Sam’s wife, had the purse. She gave it to them. I never in all my life heard such oaths. We gave them all we had.” ~ Letter from Emily Hull to Thomas M. Smiley.

Archbishop William Cosmo Gordon Lang, 1910

Archbishop William Cosmo Gordon Lang, 1910

October 31– Monday– Fyvie Manse, Scotland– Birth of William Cosmo Gordon Lang who will serve as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1928 to 1942. [Dies December 5, 1945.]

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