Abolitionism, Fanaticism & Vandalism ~ January, 1865 ~ 13th to 15th

Abolitionism, Fanaticism and Vandalism ~ Charleston Mercury

abolitionist image used in letters, flyers & newspapers

abolitionist image used in letters, flyers & newspapers

A Charleston newspaper rants about the Northern agenda while the major abolitionist newspaper in the North supports a pioneering work in medicine for women. Federal forces assault the fort guarding Wilmington, North Carolina, thereby closing the last open Southern port city. Tennessee abolishes slavery within the state. General Sherman advises his wife of his intent to launch a new campaign. Politics simmers, North and South.

Dr Maria E Zakrzewska, founder of New England Hospital for Women and Children

Dr Maria E Zakrzewska, founder of New England Hospital for Women and Children

January 13– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “The New England Hospital for Women and Children in now established at No. 14 Warren Street, Boston. Its object is to furnish to the women of New England the ministration of their own sex, and such and peculiar care as are, in many cases, essential to successful treatment. The opinions of some of our physicians, and the fact that patients are often sent to us from the Massachusetts General Hospital, prove the need for a Hospital for the separate treatment of women. It is no longer a question whether women can become successful physicians; and public sentiment demands that women who desire it shall have the advise of their own sex. The commodious house, No. 14 Warren Street, and three smaller houses on Planet Street connected therewith, have recently been purchased for the sum of $20,000, of which $13,500 have been already raised. This is a valuable property, admirably adapted to our need, and has already enabled us greatly to extend the benefits of the Hospital. We still owe upon the properly $6,500, and we need about $4,000 to finish and fit the buildings for use. We therefore appeal, with confidence to a generous community for the sum of $10,000. During the last year, 127 patients have been admitted to the Hospital, 120 have been visited at their own homes, and 1977 have been treated in the Dispensary. About one-half the patients in the Hospital were from the various towns in New England. It is, therefore, not to Boston alone that we look for the means of carrying on the work, but to the kind-hearted throughout New England. Thousands of women in our cities and large towns have no homes in which to find refuge in sickness. Thousands of the abject poor live in damp cellars, or unfurnished, crowded, attics. Unfit habitations in health, what must they be in sickness? The wives of brave men, who have nobly laid down their lives in battle, appeal to us. Gladly we do for the soldier– shall we no also provide for those dearer to him than his own life? Give us, then, a portion of the abundance with which God has blessed you, to be used for the comfort of the suffering and the needy; and accept the assurance that whatever you may entrust to us small be dispensed with the most rigid economy.” ~ The Liberator.

New England Hospital for Women & Children

New England Hospital for Women & Children

January 13– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “Yours asking leave to come to Washington is received. You have been summoned by the Committee on the Conduct of the War to attend here, which, of course, you will do.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to Union General Ben Butler.

January 13– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– “Mr. Hill, of Georgia, offered a resolution, which was agreed to, that the Finance Committee be instructed to inquire what legislation is necessary for therelief of tax-payers residing in districts occupied or overrun by the enemy; and what legislation may be expedient for the relief of agriculturists who have been unable to comply with their bonds, required by the act of February 17, 1864, by reason of the depredations of the enemy, or by reason of the subsequent exaction of military service by the State or Confederate authorities since the execution of their bonds.” ~ Richmond Times Dispatch.

January 13– Friday– Fort Fisher, North Carolina– A Federal fleet of 59 vessels with 627 guns, commended by Admiral Porter, begins bombardment of the fort at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. While the cannonading goes on, small boats land 8,000 Union troops between the fort and the city of Wilmington.

January 13– Friday– Nashville, Tennessee– “The [Tennessee state constitutional] convention composed of more than 500 delegates from all parts of he State have unanimously adopted an amendment to the constitution forever abolishing slavery in this State and denying the power of the Legislature passing new law creating property in man. Thank God that the tyrant’s rod has been broken. This amendment is to be submitted to the people for ratification on the birthday of the Father of his Country [George Washington, February 22nd], when, without some reverse of arms, the State will be redeemed and the foul blot of slavery erased from her escutcheon. I hope that Tennessee will not be included in the bill now before Congress and be made an exception if the bill passes. All is now working well, and if Tennessee is now let alone will soon resume all functions of a State according to the genius and theory of the Government.” ~ Message from Andrew Johnson, Military Governor and Vice President-elect, to President Lincoln.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

January 13– Friday– near Albany, Georgia– “The newspapers bring accounts of terrible floods all over the country. Three bridges are washed away on the Montgomery & West Point R.R., so that settles the question of going to Montgomery for the present. Our fears about the Yankees are quieted, too, there being none this side of the Altamaha, and the swamps impassable.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

January 14– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “The week has been one of interesting incidents, incessant occupation. Admiral Farragut came a week since and called on me. After half an hour or more of conversation on affairs connected with his command, the capture of Mobile, and matters generally, I went with him to the President. In the evening, he, with Mrs. Farragut and Captain Drayton, spent the evening with us. . . . [Secretary of State] Seward fears him [General Ben Butler]. There is no love between them, and yet Seward would prefer to avoid a conflict. Butler has the reckless audacity attributed to the worst revolutionists of France, in the worst of times, but is deficient in personal courage. He is a suitable idol for Greeley, a profound philanthropist, being the opposite of Greeley in almost everything except love of notoriety. ” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

Ben Butler, 1870

Ben Butler, 1870

January 14– Saturday– Richmond, Virginia– “Cloudy and cool. The news that Goldsborough, North Carolina, had been taken is not confirmed. Nor have we intelligence of the renewal of the assault on Fort Fisher– but no one doubts it. . . . If Richmond be relinquished, it ought to be by convention and capitulation, getting the best possible terms for the citizens; and not by evacuation, leaving them at the mercy of the invaders. Will our authorities think of this? Doubtful.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

January 14– Saturday– Charleston, South Carolina– “The Wilmington Journal asks our people, all of them, to watch closely the insidious course of the enemy in towns which fall under the power of his arms. In Savannah he walks as softly as the tiger creeping on his prey. He shows only the velvet paw. The cruel claws are hidden, presently, however, to be revealed. In a few days or a few weeks, adds the Journal, orders will be issued, commanding all, even women and children, to take an oath – not simply of neutrality, not a parol not to fight against the United States, but an oath of allegiance, not alone to the Constitution of the United States, but to the unconstitutional laws which have been passed by an abolition Congress, and to the very proclamations in delegation of all law, which have been promulgated by the sovereign will and pleasure of Abraham Lincoln, or leave within a specified time, naked and destitute. If any do forswear themselves by taking an oath to support and approve abolitionism, fanaticism and vandalism, they will find themselves required, if able-bodied, to submit to the Lincoln draft – to fight against their country – their principles – their people, and their God. Let none be fooled by specious promises – let none be lulled by the siren songs of the foe, who only seeks to deceive that they may the sooner and the more surely trample upon his victims, who will find themselves despised by the very foes who have deceived them – haunted by their own consciences, and cut off from honorable association with those who have endured to the end.” ~ Charleston Mercury.

January 14– Saturday– near Albany, Georgia– Father keeps on writing for us to come home [to Washington, Georgia.]. Brother Troup says he can send us across the country from Macon in a government wagon, with Mr. Forline for an escort, if the rains will ever cease; but we can’t go now on account of the bad roads and the floods up the country. Bridges are washed away in every direction, and the water courses impassable.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

January 15– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– “Yours announcing ordinance of emancipation received. Thanks to the convention and to you. When do you expect to be here? Would be glad to have your suggestion as to supplying your place of military governor.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to Andrew Johnson.

capture of Fort Fisher

capture of Fort Fisher

January 15– Sunday– outside Wilmington, North Carolina– Federal forces launch a two-pronged assault on Confederate Fort Fisher which falls into Union hands by late evening. The victory ends Wilmington’s usefulness as a port. The Federals do not bother to assault the city, satisfied with leaving the Confederacy without any major seaport to receive blockade runners or foreign vessels.

January 15– Sunday– near Albany, Georgia– “Went to church at Mt. Enon with Albert Bacon, and saw everybody. It was pleasant to meet old friends, but I could not help thinking of poor Annie Chiles’s grave at the church door. One missing in a quiet country neighborhood like this makes a great gap. This was the Sunday for Dr. Hillyer to preach to the Negroes and administer the communion to them. They kept awake and looked very much edified while the singing was going on, but most of them slept through the sermon. The women were decked out in all their Sunday finery and looked so picturesque and happy. It is a pity that this glorious old plantation life should ever have to come to an end. Albert Bacon dined with us and we spent the afternoon planning for a picnic at Mrs. Henry Bacon’s lake on Tuesday or Wednesday. The dear old lake! I want to see it again before its shores are desecrated by Yankee feet. I wish sister would hurry home, on account of the servants. We can’t take control over them, and they won’t do anything except just what they please. As soon as she had gone, Mr. Ballou, the overseer, took himself off and only returned late this evening. Harriet, Mrs. Green Butler’s maid, is the most trifling of the lot, but I can stand anything from her because she refused to go off with the Yankees when Mrs. Butler had her in Marietta last summer. Her mother went, and tried to persuade Harriet to go, too, but she said: ‘I loves Miss Julia a heap better n I do you’ and remained faithful. Sister keeps her here because Mrs. Butler is a refugee and without a home herself.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

January 15– Sunday– Savannah, Georgia– “I will surely be off in the course of this week, and you will hear of me only through Richmond [newspapers] for two months. You have got used to it now and will not be concerned though I think the chances of getting killed on this trip about even. If South Carolina lets me pass across without desperate fighting, her fame is gone forever. . . .I would not be surprised if I would involve our government with England. I have taken all the cotton as prize of war, thirty thousand bales, equal to thirteen millions of dollars, much of which is claimed by English merchants. I disregard their consular certificates on the ground that this cotton has been notoriously employed to buy cartridges and arms and piratical ships, and was collected here for that very purpose. Our own merchants are equally culpable. They buy cotton in advance and take the chances of capture.” ~ Letter from Union General William Tecumseh Sherman to his wife Ellen.

Ellen Sherman

Ellen Sherman

January 15– Sunday– near Asker, Norway– Birth of Finn Blakstad, farmer and politician. [Dies January 24, 1941.]

Finn Blakstad, 1922

Finn Blakstad, 1922

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