The Doom of the Rebellion and Slavery~November 1864~the 10th & 11th

The Doom of Rebellion and Slavery ~ The Liberator

Northerners, including abolitionists and soldiers, celebrate the results of the election. Serious talk about reconstruction and a constitutional amendment to ban slavery begins to circulate. Sherman’s Federal troops in Georgia begin to move, not turning around to face Confederate troops behind them but rather headed deeper into Georgia. Southerners fret or complain in various degrees.

typical Civil War era band

typical Civil War era band

November 10– Thursday– near Kernstown, Virginia– “The band at Brigade Headquarters is playing the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ in honor of the re-election of President Lincoln.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

November 10– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “The election, along with its incidental and undesirable strife, has done good, too. It has demonstrated that a people’s government can sustain a national election in the midst of a great civil war. Until now, it has not been known to the world that this was a possibility. It shows, also, how sound and strong we still are. It shows that even among the candidates of the same party, he who is most devoted to the Union and most opposed to treason can receive most of the people’s votes. It shows, also, to the extent yet known, that we have more men now than we had when the war began. Gold is good in its place; but living, brave, and patriotic men are better than gold. But the rebellion continues, and, now that the election is over, may not all have a common interest to reunite in a common effort to save our common country? For my own part, I have striven and shall strive to avoid placing any obstacle in the way. So long as I have been here, I have not willingly planted a thorn in any man’s bosom. While I am duly sensible to the high compliment of a re-election, and duly grateful, as I trust, to Almighty God, for having directed my countrymen to a right conclusion, as I think, for their good, it adds nothing to my satisfaction that any other man may be disappointed by the result. May I ask those who have not differed with me to join with me in this same spirit towards those who have? And now, let me close by asking three hearty cheers for our brave soldiers and seamen, and their gallant and skillful commanders.” ~ Remarks by President Lincoln to citizens gathered outside of the White House.


November 10– Thursday– Petersburg, Virginia– “There has been some more heavy skirmish fighting in front of Petersburg, the result of which I have not learned yet. They pitched in last night hot and heavy for about thirty minutes. Day before yesterday was the great election day. The Yanks got all drunk that day and hooped and hollered around to a great extent. Our lines are so near in some places that our boys can smell the whiskey and generally tell when a fight is going to take place by their getting whiskey. I think it time for them to quit when they have to make their men drunk to get them to fight and this has been the case during this campaign.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

November 10– Thursday– Rome, Georgia– “During the last two weeks we have been expecting ‘marching orders.’ More than a week since we received orders to prepare for a ‘long arduous & successful campaign.’ Many different opinions have been expressed as to our probable destination– Some think we will make direct for Charleston South Carolina, others that we will visit Mobile – but the most general belief is that Savannah will be the objective point. Nothing definite however is known concerning the coming movement. Received orders this evening to move at six o’clock tomorrow morning. All tents and other government property which we can not take with us to be left standing undisturbed. The 52nd Illinois is to be left behind to destroy everything and bring up the rear. The Division wagon train moved out this evening on the Kingston road accompanied by the 3rd Brigade – they will go about six mile.” ~ Diary of Union soldier Cornelius C. Platter.

November 10– Thursday– Mexico City, Mexico–General William Preston, the Confederate envoy, reports that Emperor Maximillian has declined to meet with him.

November 11– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “No Presidential Election has ever occurred at all comparable in magnitude, solemnity and far-reaching consequences to the one which came off on Tuesday last. The hosts of freedom and the powers of despotism met in a death-grapple, and the latter have been sent howling to the pit from which they emanated, while the former are singing songs of praise and thanksgiving. The doom of Rebellion and Slavery is now irrevocably pronounced. . . . [In Boston] congregated thousands united in singing, with thrilling effect, the familiar lines of the fine old hymn, ‘My native country, thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing,’ &c. The band then struck up ‘Old Hundred,’ and the vast concourse joined in signing the doxology– ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow’ – which was followed by the ‘John Brown Song,’ which was sung with immense enthusiasm. . . . A special Washington dispatch states that General McClellan has sent in his resignation to the Secretary of War. It is to his deep disgrace that he did not do this long ago. The nation has strongly put its seal of condemnation upon him. Let him shrink back into his original insignificance.” ~ The Liberator.

William Lloyd Garrison, editor of the radical The Liberator

William Lloyd Garrison, editor of the radical The Liberator

November 11– Friday– West Chester, Pennsylvania– At the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society the members adopt a series of resolutions which include, among others, “That we greatly rejoice over the result of the recent Presidential election, regarding it as vindication that the people of the North have decreed the death of American slavery, and will, therefore, make no compromises with it; and that we regard it as an especially cheering sign of promise for our country, that that class of her citizens who have periled and suffered most for her sake, during the course of the present war, have testified by their votes the strongest opposition to a dishonorable peace” and “That we will address ourselves, at once, to the work of moving Congress, at its approaching session, to adopt an amendment to the Federal Constitution, prohibiting forever hereafter the existence of slavery in the United States.”

November 11– Friday– Staunton, Virginia– “As to our business there, you have managed so long & done so nobly that I need not interfere, but just let you continue to manage as you think best I only regret that I cant be with you & relieve you from all these troubles which you were unaccustomed too as when I was at home I tried to relieve you of all outdoors management. I hope you have fully recovered your health. I fear you give yourself trouble about business matters which sometimes unnerves you & makes nervous & delicate– try & take all matters smooth & easy– do what you can & let the rest pass by. . . . The election is over & I suppose Lincoln is again President for four years– what result will be from the new election we know not but I hope a speedy peace will soon be brought about. Lay in full winter supplies & don’t stint yourself in anything there is to be had. I have a lot of [U. S.] money for you such as you can use there, which I hope to get to you soon. I will continue to get all I can of that kind of funds that you may have plenty under all circumstances.” ~ Letter from John Quincy Nadenbousch to his wife Hester at their home and farm in West Virginia.

November 11– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– “Clear and pleasant. All quiet. No doubt, from the indications, Lincoln has been re-elected. Now preparations must be made for the further ‘conflict of opposing forces.’ All our physical power must be exerted, else all is lost.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

November 11– Friday– Petersburg, Virginia– “The weather has faired off clear and pleasant. The boys overall are busy as bees now preparing their winter quarters. The skirmish fighting I wrote of yesterday amounted to nothing. They have a frolic occasionally just to keep up the times they say. They are protected so well with works on both sides that it is a rare thing that anybody is hurt. They have portholes to shoot through and unless a ball happens to hit in the hole where some fellow is shooting, it does no harm. Our boys and the yanks quit shooting the other day and commenced throwing rocks and clods of dirt at each other and had a regular fight of it that way for some time. By this you can give some idea how near each other they are. In some place, they probably are in ten paces of each other and but short distance from the main line at that. They have a deep ditch to go in to the picket posts and a long ditch out when it is necessary to go in and out from the main line.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

November 11– Friday– Rome, Georgia– Carrying out General Sherman’s order to “destroy . . . all public property not needed by your command, all foundries, mills, workshops, warehouses, railroad depots or other storehouses convenient to the railroad, together with all wagon shops, tanneries, or other factories useful to the enemy,” Federal forces burn factories, mills and most of the businesses in the city.

Federal troops on the march

Federal troops on the march

November 11– Friday– Baton Rouge, Louisiana– The pro-Union state government established by the Federal army and officials from Washington, passes a series of resolutions, including: “That our faith is unabated in the ultimate triumph of our arms, the liberation of our sister commonwealths of the South from anarchy and treason, and the final and permanent reconstruction of the National Government upon the basis of freedom and justice” and “That, therefore, Abraham Lincoln, as the Chief Magistrate is noticed to the new arising confidence of his countrymen. He may be assured of the unshaken adhesion of free Louisiana to his Government and policy, whether of the Cabinet or the Field.”

November 11– Friday– Vienna, Austria– Birth of Alfred Hermann Fried, journalist and pacifist who will win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911. [Dies May 5, 1921.]

Alfred Hermann Fried

Alfred Hermann Fried

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