They Shall Be Pardoned ~ March 1865 ~ the 11th

They Shall Be Pardoned

Federal troops

Federal troops

President Lincoln offers amnesty to all deserters who return to their units within the next sixty days. Desertion is less of a problem by this time for the Federal forces than for the Confederacy. The advantages of Federal strength are coming fully to bear. Grant and his generals have almost 1,000,000 men under arms. Lee and his generals have barely 100,000 present for duty. Grant’s headquarters at City Point looks like a small city with tons of weapons, ammunition and food arriving each day. Federal troops are on the move almost everywhere in the Confederacy. An abolitionist expresses concern about slavery in Brazil. However, slavery there will not be completely abolished until 1888 and not until 1897 on the island of Zanzibar in East Africa.

Federal supply train

Federal supply train

March 11– Saturday– Boston, Massachusetts– “I have just received a letter from . . . a leading member of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, requesting that I should send him immediately all the works pertaining to slavery that I can collect before the sailing of the English steamer from New York on the 24th of March. This last an addition to other requests of a similar character made me, when at Rio de Janeiro last autumn, by various eminent Brazilians, one of them a high official. Certain Brazilian statesmen have looked upon our struggle with Intense Interest; for while their own slavery will, by their own laws on the subject, doubtless become extinct in twenty years, yet there are a great many leading minds who desire to take measures for the extinction of bondage for the 2,000,000 slaves(there were, In 1860, 3,000,000 slaves) before a half decade shall have gone by, M.,le Chevalier Lisbon, the late Brazilian Minister to the United States, told Professor Agassiz last spring that In Brazil they were looking forward to emancipation, and the only question was, how was It to be done!” ~ Letter from Reverend J. C. Fletcher to the editor of the Boston Journal.

Brazilian slaves, 1876

Brazilian slaves, 1876

March 11– Saturday– New York City– “If there is one question of taste upon which all the world– the world of men, we mean– will agree, it is that of girls. The word is here used very tenderly, knowing that it carries with it a roughness, an aroma of the pale faced, scant clothed and badly paid worker; of the weary eyed stitcher, laboring deep into the night for the pittance that will keep soul and body in one. It is these only, perhaps, that will admit to the title, not the gay butterflies who flit upon Broadway in fine weather, and yawn away the hours in bed, and yet they are none the less of the same mold– and girls. Let us appeal to the professors if there can be any more beautiful study in nature than a beautiful girl between fifteen and twenty. She is an instrument giving out to the lightest touch the most exquisite harmony; she is a chameleon, capable of the most wondrous changes, a volume of never ending interest. What can be of more worthy seeking than the friendship of a young girl, and yet how few seek it really with a view to big-brotherhood. Not that a big brother is always a desirable possession for a young girl, simply because big brothers, endued with worldly selfishness, do not think it often worth while to sacrifice some of the attentions they pay to others, and bestow them upon sisters, who should have their perpetual care and watchfulness. It is well for a girl who has a big brother that has sense enough to see this, and to know how to really care for his sister; in such case she need have no fear of passing through perils and temptations that must otherwise beset her. If he possesses this sense, he can be her guardian and teach her where to be wary without being prudish, or in any way sacrificing her propriety. How little is this charge understood even by parents. How false is the mother’s boast who declares that the daughter she is just turning out upon the world is innocent, and that she does not even understand the meaning of an immoral word or act. Do we boast that we send a soldier forth to battle unarmed and untaught as to the enemy’s tactics or lines of approach? The safety of a girl depends upon her being taught the source of danger and the consequences of allowing it to overcome her. What safety is there for a mother who will throw herself upon the honor of men, or upon the protection which the law has provided for her daughter? What happiness ever grew out of a marriage enforced?” ~ Frank Leslies Weekly.

young woman at work in a mill

young woman at work in a mill

March 11– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “Whereas the twenty-first section of the act of Congress approved on the 3rd instant, entitled ‘An act to amend the several acts heretofore passed to provide for the enrolling and calling out the national forces and for other purposes,’ requires ‘that, in addition to the other lawful penalties of the crime of desertion from the military or naval service, all persons who have deserted the military or naval service of the United States who shall not return to said service or report themselves to a provost-marshal within sixty days after the proclamation hereinafter mentioned shall be deemed and taken to have voluntarily relinquished and forfeited their rights of citizenship and their rights to become citizens, and such deserters shall be forever incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under the United States or of exercising any rights of citizens thereof; and all persons who shall hereafter desert the military or naval service, and all persons who, being duly enrolled, shall depart the jurisdiction of the district in which he is enrolled or go beyond the limits of the United States with intent to avoid any draft into the military or naval service duly ordered, shall be liable to the penalties of this section. And the President is hereby authorized and required forthwith on the passage of this act, to issue his proclamation setting forth the provisions of this section, in which proclamation the President is requested to notify all deserters returning within sixty days as aforesaid that they shall be pardoned on condition of returning to their regiments and companies or to such other organizations as they may be assigned to until they shall have served for a period of time equal to their original term of enlistment.’ Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln. President of the United States, do issue this my proclamation, as required by said act, ordering and requiting all deserters to return to their proper posts; and I do hereby notify them that all deserters who shall, within sixty days from the date of this proclamation, viz, on or before the 10th day of May, 1865, return to service or report themselves to a provost-marshal shall be pardoned, on condition that they return to their regiments and companies or to such other organizations as they may be assigned to and serve the remainder of their original terms of enlistment and in addition thereto a period equal to the time lost by desertion.” ~ Proclamation by President Lincoln.

March 11– Saturday– outside Petersburg, Virginia– “Today I made a visit to City Point, going and coming on the railroad. . . . City Point is now a city indeed. Several large buildings have been erected and the James River is full of vessels.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

delivering supplies at City Point, Virginia

delivering supplies at City Point, Virginia

March 11– Saturday– Fayetteville, North Carolina– Federal troops under General Sherman occupy the city.

March 11– Saturday– Albany, Georgia– “Played euchre and wrote letters all the morning. Captain Rust gave me a pretty tucking-comb which he had carved himself, out of maple wood. We had an early dinner and reached Wooten’s at least half an hour before the train was due. At the depot in Albany, Albert Bacon, Joe Godfrey, Mr. Baldwin, and General Graves were waiting for us. We drove by the post office to get the mail, and there half a dozen others surrounded the carriage and took the reins from Uncle Aby so that he could not drive away. The people in the street laughed as they went by to see them buzzing round the carriage like bees, and presently Jim Chiles found Mary Leila Powers and Mrs. Bell and brought them up to add to the hubbub. Poor old Aby despaired of ever getting us out of town, and when at last we started down the street, we had not gone a hundred yards when I saw a young officer in a captain’s uniform running after us and we came to another halt. It turned out to be Wallace Brumby. He says that he left Washington [Georgia] two weeks ago, and is water-bound here, on his way to Florida, where some of his men are straggling about, if they haven’t been swallowed up by the freshets that have disorganized everything. He promised to stop at Pine Bluff on his way down, and give us the news. Then Uncle Aby grew desperate, and seeing another squad of officers coming up to join Captain Brumby, whipped up his horses and drove off without further ceremony. He was right to hurry, for the roads are so flooded that we had to travel 20 miles to get home. Everything is under water. In some places the front wheels were entirely submerged and we had to stand on the seats to keep our feet dry. It was nine o’clock before we reached home, and Mrs. Butler and Mrs. Meals had become so uneasy that they were about to send a man on horseback to see what had become of us. I found letters from home waiting for us, with permission [from her father] to go to Chunnennuggee or anywhere else we want to. Communication between here and Washington is so interrupted that I don’t suppose they have heard yet of the reported raid into Florida, and all our writing back and forth is at cross purposes. The latest news is that the Yankees have whipped our forces at Tallahassee, but the waters are so high and communication so uncertain that one never knows what to believe. At any rate, I shall not run till I hear that the enemy are at Thomasville.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

March 11– Saturday– Newberne, Mississippi– “I have only received one letter from since I came here and that was the one from Father of 20th. But I presume that you have certainly written since, and as the mail boat from the North is due here to-day I can only hope that with its arrival good news from home it will bring. The weather here has been exceedingly changeable. The rain will fall in torrents all night, and in the morning the ‘God of day’ will rise in all the splendor of the July morning with such intense heat that one would think that underclothes must be laid aside until the stormy winds of November again sets in. And before night comes rain again set in. But owing to the sandy soil the water soaks away in a very short time.” ~ Letter from union soldier William E. Tolbert to his sister Emma Tolbert.

Robert Hermann Schomburgh

Robert Hermann Schomburgh

March 11– Saturday– Berlin, Germany– Robert Hermann Schomburgk, explorer, dies at age 60.

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