The Guns Seemed to Redouble Their Efforts~ November 30, 1864

The Guns Seemed to Redouble Their Efforts ~ Lucy Virginia French.

At Franklin, Tennessee, Confederate General Hood’s efforts to disrupt Sherman’s rear come to a bloody stop. A young woman in the area describes the sounds of the battle. A friend of Whitman wishes to see him in Washington. An arms sale to Japan causes consternation in Lincoln’s Cabinet.

graveyard at Franklin, Tennessee

graveyard at Franklin, Tennessee

November 30– Wednesday– Johnson Island, Ohio– “We were very glad to hear from you, particularly to learn that you had got an outfit of clothing. I had felt uneasy about it, knowing how cold the weather becomes in this latitude during the Winter. You will find more need of constant exercise in the open air now than in Summer or Fall. Don’t lie up in your quarters too closely in good weather. I am also very glad to know you have books. You should improve your time to the uttermost, not only by reading miscellaneously, but by the study of text books if you can obtain them. No matter how simple the study, you can learn much that will be valuable in life. As to associates, you haven’t much choice, I suppose, but you can avoid intimacy with anyone with whom you would not associate at home. I am sure you will not carelessly or recklessly fall into habits which would grieve our father and relatives. I reserve my good news to the last. Ira has gone to Savannah for exchange and, I trust, is now at large in our dear old state. Be of good cheer. Your time and mine will come after awhile. And don’t forget to thank our Heavenly Father for the good fortune of our brother.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Henry Mc Daniel to one of his brothers, also in a Federal prison camp.

Henry McDaniel--circa 1883

Henry McDaniel–circa 1883

November 30– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “How I wish you were with us this beautiful day! It is so warm that I sit here with three windows wide open. I have a little fire in the stove, and the sun pours in full and strong. It is a perfect day, & seems more like May than November. How are you? & is there any hope of your coming this way this winter? I have hoped you would but I begin to despair of it, as you have not come yet, and we have not heard from you. . . . The election passed-off well, didn’t it? & I am so glad that we are to have a better Congress next time. The [Fernando] Woods out, & some others like them. This three months will soon go. We feel very hopeful about Sherman, especially as this fine weather will help him so much. Do you think Grant will do any thing this fall? . . . We wished for you on Thanksgiving day. We had a quiet day, no one with us but Charley, he dined with us, & we all wished that you were here. . . . What about your poems? Are you at work on them now? & what about publishing? Have you done any thing since we came on? Write, won’t you? I want to hear from you very much. I have spoken of writing every day since I came back, but have hardly touched a pen at all. Tell me what you hear from your brother.

I have not yet been in any hospital since I came home, but I mean to go.” ~ Letter from Ellen M. O’Connor to Walt Whitman.

November 30– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln meets with two Quakers who seek the release of three other Quakers who are being held among the Confederate prisoners at Point Lookout, Maryland.

Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles

November 30– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “There are some singular movements in regard to our relations with Japan and certain transactions connected with that people that cause me annoyance. Some two years ago, or more, our Minister or Commissioner to Japan notified the State Department or the Secretary of State that the Japanese government wanted two or three of our vessels, and had placed in his hands, or would place in the hands of such persons as he, the Minister, might select, $600,000 for the purpose. Mr. Pruyn, the Minister, accepted the trust and appointed his brother-in-law, Lansing, and Thurlow Weed to execute it. Mr. Seward addressed a note to me on the subject, submitting the letter. I advised that the government in no way should become involved in the affair, and gave offense to Weed, who, not friendly before, has intrigued against me ever since. My advice would have been the same, had any other person than Weed been named. Without regarding my suggestions, the work went on. One of the vessels is finished. I know not whether more than one has been commenced. A difference has grown up between Japan and the European powers, and, under the direction of Mr. Pruyn, our Minister, we have joined in the fight, become involved in an English and French war with Japan, although the Japanese have no quarrel with us. Now comes an inquiry to me from persons sent here by Weed, to know if the Navy Department will not examine, approve, and take this vessel, which has been built and been paid for. I am not pleased with the management or proposed arrangement. This whole proceeding on the American side had appeared to me a fraud and swindle to enrich Weed & Co. It is wicked to prostitute the government to such a private purpose, and to impose upon the Japanese, who have trusted us. I am opposed to having the Navy Department mixed up in any manner with this scheme, and have let the President know what I think of it and Seward also. Weed does not approach me on the subject. He has not been able to use the Navy Department as he wishes, and, like John P. Hale, is at enmity with me because I will not consent to be used in swindling operations. New York party politics are always more or less personal. Party organizations are considered convincing contrivances to be used by leading managers for their benefit.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

November 30– Wednesday– Franklin, Tennessee–In a terrible frontal assault on Union positions, Confederate forces under General Hood suffer a bloody defeat, sustaining 6,252 total causalities, including the deaths of six generals, while Federal casualties amount to 2,326 dead, injured and missing.

Battle of Franklin, Tennessee

Battle of Franklin, Tennessee

November 30– Wednesday– McMinnville, Tennessee– “A golden day. . . I was out in the yard the greater portion of the day—and set out some hyacinths and tulips. While at our pleasant work on this pleasant day—I would pause every now and then to listen to a dull shudder in the air, which we so well knew to be distant cannon. . . . There was a fresher breeze . . . and the cannonading sounded much louder. Towards evening . . . the guns seemed to redouble their efforts, but the sound was different. Instead of being a shudder in the air, the reports came like a thick, falling thud. Mollie had come home that day and we listed to the guns with hearts filled with varied emotions. Hope and fear, joy and sadness swayed us by turns. Towards nightfall all was quiet. Towards nightfall all was quiet.” ~ Journal of Lucy Virginia French.

Confederate graveyard, Franklin, Tennessee

Confederate graveyard, Franklin, Tennessee

November 30– Wednesday– Burton, Georgia– “The wire-grass region proper extends east to the Ogeechee River; rode all morning through or among pine forests, whose aromatic odor is delightful tome. All through this pine country there are better farms than we expected, and large stores of corn, fodder and potatoes (sweet). Railroad here at Station is say 200 to 250 yards from river bank. Very good brick station house was– that is we shall say ‘was’ after tomorrow morning– no good houses here save one frame, of old Johnny Wells, Rail Road agent here. Old man Wells came to see General [Sherman] & sat us with us all evening by camp-fire– jolly old brick, great talker, full of jokes, some coarse ones. He claims to be utterly opposed to J.D. [Jeff Davis] & Co. damns the lying editors and warlike preachers in heartiest style, says, as all we have met, almost, that a minority not only did force, but are still forcing on the war in the South. Here as everywhere same terrible stories and lies have been spread about us ‘killing everybody’ burning all houses, including dwellings, etc.” ~ Diary of Henry Hitchcock.

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