How I Hate Yankees ~ January 1865~ the 8th to 12th

How I Hate Yankees ~ Eliza Frances Andrews.

cavalry battle images

Anger and resentment simmer in Georgia. Many people are concerned not only with sick and wounded soldiers but also with the increasing number of permanently disabled veterans. The Charleston newspaper continues to criticize President Jeff Davis. Whitman prepares to return to Washington where a paying job awaits him. In Oberlin, Ohio, religious enthusiasm continues as it does in many places during the war. The Lincoln Administration investigates General Sherman’s treatment of freed slaves.

January 8– Sunday– near Macon, Georgia– “I wish to ask you what is to become of such men as I that is disabled and cannot get what is due them from the government. I cannot work for a living with one hand. Times is so no one won’t hire a overseer. And I wish to know what I am to do, if I can look to Georgia for help or have I got to turn out in the world. These times are [hard], after fighting in this cruel war until I was ruined for life, when I had nothing in the world to fight for but myself, without parents or relation or property of any kind, though I considered it my duty to fight for the country, and I did so until I was disabled. Since that time it looks like the world has forsaken me and cares not for a man no longer than he is able for the battlefield. I hope you will adopt some plan that I may draw what is due me or some plan that I may get some clothing without turning out in the world a beggar or being sent to the poor house. I will close, hoping that you will consider my condition and let me hear from you soon.” ~ Letter from a disabled Confederate soldier to Georgia Governor Joseph Brown.

veteran who lost both arms

veteran who lost both arms

January 8– Sunday– Dooly County, Georgia– “Sure enough Sherman has reached the coast. I believe he can go any where he pleases. Some predict that he will take Augusta next. I hope this letter will go through first. I’m about to despair of our ever gaining our independence. We have had so many reverses of late. I still think this spring, the struggle will be decided. Let our fate be what it may, I want to see it. I wish the suspense to be done away with.” ~ Letter from Maggie Cone to her fiancé, Confederate soldier Alva Benjamin Spencer.

Alva Benjamin Spencer

Alva Benjamin Spencer

January 9– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “I transmit herewith the letter of the Secretary of War, with accompanying report of the Adjutant-General, in reply to the resolution of the House of Representatives dated December 7, 1864, requesting me ‘to communicate to the House the report made by Colonel Thomas M. Key of an interview between himself and General Howell Cobb on the 14th day of June, 1862, on the bank of the Chickahominy, on the subject of the exchange of prisoners of war.’” ~ Message from President Lincoln to Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

January 9– Monday– Charleston, South Carolina– “The Confederacy at this moment is in much the condition of a man who, having more than once got his enemy under him, with his knee up on his breast, and his hand upon his throat, is, while in the act of dealing him his death blow, assailed from behind by one whom he had supposed to be his best friend, whilst the enemy is released from his grasp for the third or fourth time. Staggering upon his legs from repeated blows from behind, confronting his released and enraged antagonist– weakened in strength, shaken in nerve, sick at heart – his efforts all vain, his skill all vain, his success all vain, exhausted by his long struggle, stunned by the fore blows, reeling he still bears up and endeavors to summon back his ebbing energies. If conquered, he falls not by the force of the enemy in front, but by the unlooked for blows from behind. Yet, had he expected this foul play, could he at any time by one effort have felled this puny creature in his rear. Even yet he might free himself of his presence, and, retreating slowly before his antagonist in front, gradually collect his strength and hurl him back to the ground. Will he do it? or will he suffer himself to perish by this foul play?” ~ Charleston Mercury.

January 10– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, in accordance with the recommendation of the Secretary of the Treasury, do hereby declare and proclaim that the port of St. Albans, in the State of Vermont, is and shall be entitled to all the privileges in regard to the exportation of merchandise in bond to the British North American Provinces [Canada] adjoining the United States which are extended to the ports enumerated in the seventh section of act of Congress of the 3rd of March, 1845, aforesaid, from and after the date of this proclamation.” ~ Proclamation by President Lincoln.

President Jeff Davis, Confederate States of America

President Jeff Davis, Confederate States of America

January 10– Tuesday– Charleston, South Carolina– “We turn our eyes to Richmond, and the contrast [with Washington] is appalling, sickening to the heart. In the Cabinet, and in Congress, in the conduct of foreign affairs, in the military service, from the commanding generals to quartermaster clerks, everywhere there reigns a pandemonium of imbecility, laxity, weakness, failure. Not that there are not many brave and able men in the army. We have an abundance of both. But that they are so circumscribed and controlled as to produce weakness throughout. In the beginning of the war, when we had the basis upon which to have established a firm, solid financial system, all efforts were vain, all counsel vain, to have anything done with a view to a fixed, financial system. . . . It is there [in the military] where the fuming passions of Executive petty tyranny strike most directly at the heart of the Confederacy, by a corrupt and unscrupulous exercise of delegated power, in proscribing and ejecting from position, or forcing entirely out of the service, the very foremost military men in America; whilst men notoriously incompetent are made the pivots of our destinies. Nor are these remarks applicable alone to the leaders of armies; but on every side we see petty favorites lifted up to promotions and pushed into positions of importance whilst men of magnificent gallantry and accomplished minds are suffered to fight on in the ranks, or to fall in some position of inferior command. Political tools are rewarded with commissions as Brigadier and Major Generals, whilst their friends, relations and acquaintances generally fill up the lower grades of promotion. Not soldiers to lead armies are sought, but creatures to whine at the foot of the Executive; or else, honest, but incompetent men are made use of, as sticks to lay over the heads of some personal pet hatred. As an inevitable consequence, laxity and inefficiency prevails everywhere in the army. Imbeciles and good-for-naughts hold high commissions and low commissions – there is no responsibility anywhere – no discipline is enforced – men straggle and desert – even officers do the same. But favorites cannot be shot, or cashiered, and it would not do for ‘Uncle Jeff’ to make himself unpopular with the men, by allowing the penalties of military law to be executed.” ~ Charleston Mercury.

January 11– Wednesday– Bergen County, New Jersey– “My Father & Mother are smart considering their age– they are still keeping House. George has been out here since last May– he is stout– he has done considerable work for me and we have had some nice rides going to the Political meetings last fall and we have elected our Man and I hope and pray he will with God’s help settle this trouble before long. Walter I am sorry to inform you that I never got the paper you sent me and I think you better come out here yourself and give us the particulars yourself – we would be very happy to see you, we all send our best respects to you and all your friends. You will see my pen and ink are both poor and myself a poor writer so I will close by wishing you a happy New Year.” ~ Letter from Herman Storms to his friend Walt Whitman.

January 11– Wednesday– Oberlin, Ohio–”The Religious Interest manifested during the Fall Term, attending the earnest labors of President [Charles] Finney still continues, as is evidenced by the number who united with the First Church on last Sabbath. Eighteen new members were added– a good beginning for the new year. The Young People’s Meeting on Monday evening is always crowded now, and we may hope that much good is being done.” ~ Lorain County News.

January 11– Wednesday– Savannah, Georgia– Secretary of War Edwin Stanton arrives to meet with Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, not over military matters but rather in response to concerns expressed by others about Sherman’s treatment of freed slaves. Word had reached the North that during the march to the sea, a Union general, J. C. Davis, had caused the death of hundreds of freed slaves at Ebenezer Creek, when he ordered a pontoon bridge removed before the former slaves following his army could cross the creek. Few could swim, but rather than be left behind, many jumped in the water and drowned while trying to make to the other side. Also, it was rumor claimed that many of those left behind had been killed by Confederate cavalry. Stanton, a staunch abolitionist, decided to come personally to investigate. He first holds a meeting with Sherman and a group of twenty black ministers. Next, Stanton asks about enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. Then, he asks Sherman to step out of the room while he asks the ministers about Sherman’s actions toward black people. They voice support for Sherman, describing him as “a friend and a gentleman” in his treatment of black people. Stanton calls Sherman back into the room to ask about the Ebenezer Creek tragedy. Sherman replies that the incident has been blown out of proportion. No black refugees were turned back, and General Davis had removed the bridge because he needed to carry it with him. General Sherman knows of no freed slaves killed by the Confederate cavalry. Whether Stanton is convinced or not, he ends his investigation.

Edwin Stanton

Edwin Stanton

January 12– Thursday– Bridgeville Delaware– “It is with the greatest pleasure that I seat myself to give you a few lines to let you know that your most welcome letter came safe to hand and you don’t know how glad I was to hear from you– I often thought of you and could not hear what had become of you. You stated in yours that you hoped that I had not forgotten you. I never will forget you so long as life should last. Uncle I have got very near well. The wound in my chest has got nearly well. I am so that I can go about and do light duty. Also my arm is getting along nicely but there is some slight pain yet but none to stop me from writing such a kind and affectionate friend as you have been to me. May God bless you forever– I can’t find words to tell you the love there is in me for you. I hope you & I may live to meet again on this earth if not I hope we shall meet in the world where there is no more parting.” ~ Letter from William H. Millis to his friend Walt Whitman.

January 12– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “Upon reporting at this Department and passing a satisfactory examination you will be appointed to a First Class Clerkship at a compensation of twelve hundred dollars per annum.” ~ Letter from Mr William T. Otto, U. S. Department of the Interior, to Walt Whitman. [The salary would equal $17,700 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

January 12– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “[Georgia] Governor Brown has furloughed the new regiment recently organized at Macon. A correspondent of the Enquirer, writing on the 19th ultimo, says: The Governor reviewed our regiment at half-past 11 o’clock, and afterwards made us a short, but pointed, speech. I will now attempt to give a synopsis of his remarks for want of space. He sends all of us home on and after to-morrow. There was not a wet eye visible in the entire regiment. The Governor, it is thought, made many a vote by that little speech. He said we could go home now, but would remain subject to another call when the State required our services in the field. He hoped it would not be soon, however. All delinquents are to be tried by a military court-martial, to sit in Macon; and, if found guilty, the pains and penalties of desertion will be visited upon them. He complimented the Georgia militia, and said he had been assured by a distinguished Confederate general that they fought and won the bloody battle of Honey Hill, South Carolina; that the enemy’s loss there was fully one thousand; that he counted on the field one hundred dead Negroes and whites. We are to keep our organization intact, our powder dry, and to respond promptly whenever a call is made.” ~ Richmond Times Dispatch.

Union army doctors

Union army doctors

January 12– Thursday– Nashville, Tennessee– “On the 30th of December, 1864, Surgeon Brinton, superintendent of hospitals at Nashville, was directed to make use of such of the rebel surgeons as he might require in the treatment of the rebel wounded, being informed at the same time that, previous to putting them on duty, it was absolutely necessary for them to be put upon their written parole by the provost-marshal-general Department of the Cumberland. From all this it may be observed that everything was done in order to have the rebels properly cared for, both as sick men and prisoners of war. As soon as the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad shall be opened every wounded rebel in our possession whose life will not be endangered by so doing will be brought to Nashville, and not only those in the hospitals but those, too, who are scattered in the farm-houses through the country.” ~ Report from Dr George E. Cooper, U. S. Army, Medical Director.

January 12– Thursday– near Albany, Georgia– “I have a letter from Tolie; she is living in Montgomery, supremely happy, of course, as a bride should be. She was sadly disappointed at my absence from the wedding. The city is very gay, she says, and everybody inquiring about me and wanting me to come. If I wasn’t afraid the Yankees might cut me off from home and sister, too, I would pick up and go now. Yankee, Yankee, is the one detestable word always ringing in Southern ears. If all the words of hatred in every language under heaven were lumped together into one huge epithet of detestation, they could not tell how I hate Yankees. They thwart all my plans, murder my friends, and make my life miserable.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

Eliza Frances Andrews

Eliza Frances Andrews

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