The Impending Campaign~November, 1864~3rd to 5th

The Impending Campaign ~ Fredrick C. Winkler

Two impending campaigns, one coming to an impending close and the other about to begin, hold people’s attention. The election campaign is within days of closing. Will Lincoln win reelection? If he does what will that mean for the course of the war and the fate of the Confederacy? In Georgia, General Sherman and his soldiers are making ready to launch a new campaign. What will it mean for the Union cause and for the state of Georgia? All of these questions will soon be answered.

Irish workers support Lincoln. Abolitionists mourn the death of Charles Russell Lowell. Praise for General Phil Sheridan fills the Northern press, helping Lincoln’s campaign. Plenty of fighting goes on in Tennessee. In England the exiled German Karl Marx joins a new labor movement.

damaged buildings in Atlanta

damaged buildings in Atlanta

November 3– Thursday– Atlanta, Georgia– “The all engrossing thought and subject of speculation now is the impending campaign. I had a call from Colonel Dustin today, who has been commanding our division till within a few days, General Ward being on leave of absence. The surmises are that Atlanta will be destroyed and abandoned, the railroads leading to and from it destroyed as far as possible, a portion of Sherman’s army to demonstrate against Hood from Chattanooga, Huntsville or Rome, and the balance, including the 20th Corps, to cut loose from all communications and move deep into the enemies country, either towards Mobile or Savannah, to find a new base of operations. General Slocum has told Colonel Smith of the 1st Brigade, that he would afterwards regret if he did not participate in this campaign. It will doubtless be an interesting one, into a new country, living on the land as we go along, no hostile fires to oppose us. We will go in strong force. The enemies’ main armies will be employed elsewhere. Their cavalry may pick up our stragglers, but otherwise no evil can befall us. We may be called upon to start at any moment after the 4th of November. We have had a good long rest and must not complain. We have to send all our things away tomorrow, keep nothing but a change of clothes, blankets and writing material. I have two five dollar notes, secession money, one payable six months and one two years after the ratification of peace between the Confederate States and the United States of America. Ah! are they not elegant rags? I have today read a most eloquent speech, delivered by General Meagher at Nashville in favor of the election of Lincoln and Johnson. We will probably be cut off from communication for a long time. When you get letters again they may have to go by way of some port on the gulf or the Atlantic coast. We will probably be long on the way.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

Lincoln campaign literature

Lincoln campaign literature

November 4– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “The march of wisdom is always slow. But among the chiefs of the great party of the moderate Republicans, you have sagacious statesmen who, in effacing this foul blot from its folds, will take heed not to wipe out one star from your glorious star-spangled banner. Rally, then, as one man round the standard of that great Party for this once, if no more, on this vital issue in this critical hour, and thus preclude all danger of that dissension in the national councils which you must have observed is now the last and only hope of the patricidal rebellion. Stand together, brothers all! you have now to enhance the glory your countrymen have won by their noble military virtues in the country battle-field, winning victories for the Republic, by exercising on this occasion the more honestly but most valuable civic virtue which is deaf to the visit of party when the country calls. Accept our warmest greetings of brotherly friendship. Long live the Republic!” ~ Letter from Irish labor leaders encouraging Irish Americans to vote for Lincoln, appearing in The Liberator.

November 4– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “Colonel [Charles Russell] Lowell was the only surviving son of Mr. C.R. Lowell of Boston, and grandson of the late Rev. Dr. Lowell of Cambridge. . . . Colonel Lowell married about a year since a daughter of Francis George Shaw of Staten Island, and sister of Colonel Robert G. Shaw, the only son of his parents, who fell at the head of his regiment, the Massachusetts 54th, in the assault upon Fort Wagner. Theodore Parkman, the only son of the Rev. John Parkman, whose wife and the mother of Colonel Shaw are sisters, fell at the battle of Newborn, N.C. In these four families connected by blood and marriage, and long and intimate friendship, five sons have been killed in battle, or died within a short period, of their wounds, four of whom were only sons at the time of their deaths, and the last is the second and only remaining son, meeting death on the field. They were all of the best blood of Massachusetts; young men of the highest culture, possessing the first order of intellect; graceful and charming in person and presence; untouched by any youthful or worldly vice; entering upon life with the noblest and purest aims; sons whom mothers might be proud to have borne, and to whom fathers could transmit theirnames to be handed down to another generation without a tarnish and with new honor. They were born to fortune and to the highest social station. They were bred to luxury and ease. Their ‘lines were cast in pleasant places.’ Life to them was full of promise and hope, prosperity and high repute. An unselfish sense of duty took them to the field, to endure its hardships and its privations, and to lay down upon the altar of their country, if need be, all their youthful hopes, all their opportunities, all that the most careful education had fitted them for in peaceful paths, all the promise that birth and fortune and station gave them, all the expectations which loving parents and troops of friends had built upon their lives. And the thirsty, rebel soil of the South has drunk up the young blood of every one.” ~ from the New York Tribune and reprinted in today’s The Liberator.

Josephine Shaw Lowell & her husband, the late Charles Russell Lowell

Josephine Shaw Lowell & her husband, the late Charles Russell Lowell

November 4– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Birth of Anita Newcomb McGee, the first of the three daughters of Simon and May Hassler Newcomb. She will become a physician and founder of the U S Army Nurse Corps. [Dies October 5, 1940.]

Dr Ann Newcomb McGee

Dr Ann Newcomb McGee

November 4– Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln meets with General Grenville Dodge and approves the location of the first 100 miles of railroad track for the eastern side of the transcontinental railroad

November 4– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– “From the great popular interest manifested in the movements of the army, I am satisfied that the heart of this country is true to the Confederate cause, and will compromise with nothing short of conquering a peace, whatever individuals may suggest of other methods for the attainment of the desired boon. . . . From conversations with several leading gentlemen of Georgia since I entered the State, I derive the assurance that, whatever may float to thesurface in the shape of individual opinion or suggestion, even upon the part of distinguished men, the heart of the State is sound to the core; the success of the Confederate cause is uppermost in the minds of everybody, and nothing they desire so much as to see a hearty co-operative effort, upon the part of the Government and people, for the recuperation and support of the armies. . . . The resolutions passed at the late Convention of Governors at Augusta meet with a universal feeling of approbation; and great good, in harmonizing discrepancies of opinion rather than interest, is expected to result from it. The President’s visit south has been attended with good results, in imparting new life and hope to the cause, and in causing him to be better understood and more understandingly appreciated. I think he enjoys a higher degree of the popular confidence as a man of wisdom, purity and patriotism than ever before, for the reason that he is better understood than ever before. I cannot but indulge the wish and the hope that the country and the Congress will rally to his support in a spirit of lofty self-abnegation; the first, by willingly yielding to the cause all its resources of men and means; the last, by the exercise of a spirit of grave and earnest wisdom in its deliberations, not heretofore its prime characteristic. If they should, our cause is no longer a problem, but a success.” ~ Letter in the Richmond Times Dispatch.

November 4– Friday– Gibson County, Tennessee– “I have not done much noting for some time because so much confusion and rumors of Federal raids. I am fearful to keep my books and papers where they can find them (that is my note of account books). There have been three men shot at, at home or near their homes in [the] eastern part of Gibson county the past summer and fall, to wit, Jack Bullington, his cousin Pack Bullington and S. C. Cudd. The two Bullingtons will probably recover. They were shot by the men known as the Smith gang of Skullbone, Gibson County, Tennessee. Cudd was shot by some person in ambush about dusk and died about four o’clock next morning. I am opposed to conscription and such hiding in the weeds.” ~ Diary of Williamson Younger.

cavalry raid images

November 4– Friday– Johnsonville, Tennessee– Confederate forces shell the town and Federal gunboats and barges on the Tennessee River, causing considerable damage. Yet the damage will not hinder or stop General Sherman’s operations in Georgia.

November 4– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– “We will probably start on our campaign very soon. I am ready, it is of no use to wait; the sooner, the better.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

November 4– Friday– Terrell County, Georgia– Hundreds of refugees from the city of Atlanta and from Cobb County are living in a tent city established by the Confederate government.

November 4– Friday– London, England– “At the meeting, which was packed to suffocation (for there is now evidently a revival of the working classes taking place), Major Wolff (Thurn-Taxis, Garibaldi’s adjutant) represented the London Italian Working Men’s Society. It was decided to found a ‘Working Men’s International Association’, the General Council of which should be in London and should act as an ‘intermediary’ between the workers’ societies in Germany, Italy, France, and England. Ditto that a General Working Men’s Congress should be summoned in Belgium in 1865. A provisional committee was appointed at the meeting: Odger, Cremer, and many others, some of them old Chartists, old Owenits, etc., for England; Major Wolff, Fontana, and other Italians for Italy; Le Lubez, etc., for France; Eaccrius and I for Germany. The committee was empowered to coopt as many members as it chose. So far so good. I attended the first meeting of the committee. A subcommittee (including myself) was appointed to draft a declaration of principles and provisional statutes.” ~ Letter from Karl Marx to Frederick Engels.

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

November 5– Saturday– New York City– “The city is full of noises tonight. There is a grand McClellan demonstration in progress. . . . I have still respect for him left to believe that he must feel himself in a horribly false position. A general who commanded at Malvern Hill and Antietam in 1862 must be tempted to doubt his own identity when he hears Governor Seymour’s ‘friends’ hurrahing for him in 1864.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

November 5– Saturday– New York City– “The19th of October, first made for ever memorable by the surrender of the army of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, has received a new baptism as a day sacred to Liberty and Union in the famous Shenandoah Valley. On the 19th day of October, 1864, in that valley of many battles, a victory was gained by the Federal arms in behalf of American unity, only second in importance to that achieved eighty-three years ago in the cause of American Independence. General Sheridan, under the severest test to which the leader of an army can be subjected, has proved himself the possessor of the highest qualities of generalship. The battle of the 19th instant, with its disastrous opening and triumphant termination, is the most remarkable in all the lengthy catalogue of this sanguinary war. . . . The issue depending upon this battle of the 19th was Richmond or Washington. Had the enemy succeeded in what they had every reason to expect in the morning, the complete rout and dispersion of the Union army, we doubt not that Early would have advanced again upon our national capital. It is possible, too, that under such circumstances he might, by rapid marching, have effect a passage into the city; it is certain that, in requiring from General Grant immediate reinforcements for the defense of Washington, Richmond would have been instantly relieved. And thus another campaign might have been lost, entailing the most serious consequences upon the national cause, politically and financially, at home and abroad. But with the crushing defeat suffered by the enemy Richmond is correspondingly weakened. General Lee is not in a position to spare another reinforcement to Early in the Shenandoah valley . . . . Next came mysterious rumors of serious embarrassments to Sherman, of actual disasters in Missouri, and of some terrible impending blow in Virginia from General Lee, at some point where least expected. Manipulating all these things to suit their nefarious purposes, the gold gamblers of Wall street, with all their rebel sympathizing mercenaries, worked the market successfully in arresting the fall of gold, and in securing another rise from day to day, affecting all the business interests and classes of the community. Thus stood the issue between the worshipers of Jeff Davis and the golden calf, on the one side, and the cause of the country and the people at large, on the other side, when the tidings of Sheridan’s late victory came flashing over the wires. The price of gold instantly declined; but the operators for a rise still held a footing upon doubts and mysteries which they saw in our official reports. In a short time, however, all doubts, all drawbacks to the public confidence in the national currency, whether emanating from Virginia, Georgia or Missouri, will be at an end. In this view, to all consumers of the essentials or luxuries of life, and to all manufacturers and business men, requiring raw materials of any kind, in their various branches of industry, we would still recommend economy, and a holding up, in their purchases, as far as practicable, for the better times are that surely coming. The welcome day so long expected is at last visibly dawning, and with the rising sun of the Union redeemed, our Wall Street secession gold speculators, and their vocation in the interest of the rebellion, will be gone.” ~ Frank Leslie’s Weekly.

General Phil Sheridan

General Phil Sheridan

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