Tag Archives: Belgium

June ~ Election Year 1912

Woman making American Flag

The Monroe Doctrine is alive and well as the United States intervenes in Cuba and exploits Mexico. Natural disasters and man-made accidents take lives and do damage. The Republicans spurn former president Roosevelt and nominate Taft for re-election. At the end of the month, the Democratic National Convention remains in session, looking like Speaker of the House Clark will win the nomination instead of Governor Wilson. Both parties go on record in oppopsition to corporate donations to political campaigns.The issues of working people draw attention. Law and politics make news around the world.

June 1– Saturday– New York City– Waiters from 17 major restaurants are on strike, demanding regular wages in place of tips from patrons. The strike was organized by Joseph James Ettor and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn of the Industrial Workers of the World, both key helpers to the textile workers who went out on strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, back in January of the year.


Elizabeth Gurley Flynn on the podium


June 1– Saturday– near Lake Opinicon, Ontario, Canada– Premature detonation of dynamite kills 18 men working on construction of the Canadian Northern road.

June 1– Saturday– Heidelberg, Germany– Daniel Hudson Burnham, age 65, American pioneer urban planner and architect, designer of Chicago’s Montauk Building [at 10 stories high it was the city’s first distinctly tall building] and the chief planner of the buildings for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, dies while traveling in Europe with his sons.

June 1– Saturday– Fez, Morocco– French troops open fire with artillery, killing 600 Moroccan lightly armed tribesmen who had marched to protest French presence in the country.

June 2– Sunday– Brussels, Belgium– General elections result in a victory for the Catholic Party, led by Charles de Broqueville (age 51), which wins 101 of the 186 seats in the Chamber of Representatives and 54 of the 93 seats in the Senate. [The Catholic Party gained majority control of the government in 1884 and will hold its majority until 1918.]

June 3– Monday– South Orange, New Jersey– Margaret Elizabeth Munson Sangster, author and magazine editor, dies from a cerebral thrombosis at age 74.


Margaret Elizabeth Sangster


June 3– Monday– Hampton Roads, Virginia– President Taft welcomes a visit by German warships, led by the battle cruiser SMS Moltke.

June 4– Tuesday– Boston, Massachusetts– The state becomes the first in the United States to pass a law authorizing a guaranteed minimum wage. The law will take effect on July 1, 1913, applies only to women and children, and provides that a state commission will issue regulations and the penalties for its violation are light.

June 5– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– George S. Nixon, age 52, Republican U.S. Senator for Nevada since 1905, dies from an infection following surgery.

June 5– Wednesday– Mexico City, Mexico– President Francisco I. Madero and the Standard Oil Company agreed to “one of the most one-sided business concessions imaginable” with Standard Oil being allowed to operate in Mexico tax free for ten years, and the rights to eminent domain over any private or public property it wished to obtain to support its oil fields in four Mexican states.

June 5–Wednesday– Havana, Cuba–American Marines, 570 in number, land in order to protect American interests.

U S Marines ~1912

U S Marines 1912


June 6– Thursday– Kodiak Island Borough, Alaska– The Mount Katmai volcano erupts, dumping a foot of ashes at Kodiak and killing hundreds of people, wiping out the populations of seven villages.

June 7–Friday– Gulf of Mexico– The first hurricane of the season forms. It will make landfall near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, causing minimal damage.

June 7– Friday– Rome, Italy– Pope Pius X issues an encyclical to the Catholic bishops of South America calling upon them to stop exploitation of the Indian peoples, which includes slave trade, by people motivated by “the lust of lucre”.

June 8– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– At the unveiling of a monument to Christopher Columbus President Taft eulogizes Columbus as “the greatest mariner in history” as he addresses an audience of 100,000 people, many of them members of the Knights of Columbus.

June 10– Monday– East Walpole, Massachusetts– Birth of Mary Lavin, American-born Irish novelist, short-story writer and feminist. [Dies March 25, 1996.]


Mary Lavin


June 10– Monday– New Orleans, Louisiana– Sophie Wright, educator and welfare worker, dies from heart disease at 46 years of age.

June 10– Monday– Havana, Cuba– The cruiser USS Washington and the battleship USS Rhode Island arrive to support the Marines protecting American interests.

June 10– Monday– St Petersburg, Russia– Tsar Nicholas II of Russia pardons Kate Malecka, on condition that she leave the country forever. Malecka, of Polish and British parentage, had been sentenced to four years imprisonment for aiding secessionists in Poland. The British public and elements of the British government have pressed for her release.

June 11– Tuesday– Bar Harbor, Maine– Elizabeth Kimball Hobson, philanthropist, welfare worker and advocate of educational reform, dies at 80 years of age.

June 11– Tuesday– London, England– For the first time in the Parliamentary debates over the Irish Home Rule question, the proposal is made by MP Thomas Agar-Robartes to treat northeast Ireland differently from the rest of the island. He offers an amendment to exclude the predominantly Protestant counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down and Londonderry from Home Rule.

June 12– Wednesday– Dalton, Georgia– Three people are killed and 30 others injured in the wreck of a passenger train.

June 12– Wednesday– Neuilly-sur-Seine, France– Frederic Passy, economist, author, educator, peace advocate, and co-winner, with Henry Dunant, of the first Nobel Peace Prize in1901, dies at 90 years of age.


Frederic Passy


June 15– Saturday– Kansas City, Missouri– A tornado sweeps through Bates, Johnson and Henry Counties, killing 26 people and injuring more than 50 others.

June 17– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Taft vetoes the Army appropriation bill that had been passed by Congress with cuts to defense spending. The President says, “The army of the United States is far too vital an institution to the people of this country to be made the victim of hasty or imperfect theories of legislation.” It is reported that Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson had threatened to resign if the bill was not vetoed.

June 17– Monday– Ottawa, Ontario, Canada– The Supreme Court of Canada holds that Parliament could not pass a national law governing marriage, and that mixed marriages of persons from different religious faiths solemnized by Protestant clergy can not be outlawed.

June 18– Tuesday– Chicago, Illinois– The Republican National Convention opens with incumbent President Taft having 454 ½ committed delegates, former President Theodore Roosevelt having 469 ½ committed delegates and 239 claimed by both sides. With a simple majority (513 of 1026) required to win the nomination, the awarding of the contested delegates is critical to the nomination. The Republican National Committee, controlled by Taft’s supporters, resolves the matter by finding 6 in favor of Roosevelt, and the other 233 in favor of Taft.

June 18– Tuesday– Hastings, Colorado– An explosion at the Victor-American Fuel Company mine kills twelve coal miners.


Mine explosion


June 19– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– President Taft signed into law a provision that workers on U.S. government contracts are limited to an eight-hour day.

June 20– Thursday– St Petersburg, Russia– The State Duma votes in favor of a £50,000,000 program to increase the size of the Russian Navy over the next five years.

June 20– Thursday– Chicago, Illinois– Voltairine de Cleyre, age 45, anarchist, feminist, orator and prolific writer, dies of meningitis.

June 21– Friday– Chicago, Illinois– The Republican Party finalizes its platform which favors “all measures for the establishment and protection of the peace of the world”, an international court of justice, establishment of the Federal Trade Commission, strong enforcement of laws against monopoly, continuation of tariff protections against foreign goods and foods, support of “a prompt scientific inquiry into the causes” of the high cost of living, “a sound currency and . . . safe banking methods” along with the establishment of organizations to loan money to farmers, enforcement of civil service laws and regulations, the establishment of pensions for elderly and disabled civil service workers, prohibition of corporations making campaign contributions, conservation of natural resources, establishment of a parcel post system, construction of additional warships for the Navy, improvement of rivers and harbors, an end to “the constantly growing evil of induced or undesirable immigration”, and greater efficiency in the financial affairs of government.

June 22– Saturday– Chicago, Illinois– President William Howard Taft receives the Republican Party nomination, by a vote of 561 to 107, after 344 of the delegates refused, out of protest, to participate in the vote. The aggrieved delegates are primarily supporters of former President Theodore Roosevelt. Robert M. LaFollette received 41votes and Albert B. Cummins received17. Roosevelt has left the convention and proposes to form a new Progressive Party. Hiram Johnson, Governor of California and also a progressive Republican, voices support for Roosevelt’s third party movement.

June 23– Sunday– Grand Island, New York– Over 100 people fall into the swiftly moving waters of the Niagara River when a dock collapses. Thirty-nine drown or are hurled over Niagra Falls several miles away. Three of the dead are children under 10 years of age.


victims of the dock collapse


June 24– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Taft implements the first specific regulations governing the proportions and design of the flag of the United States, with the signing of an Executive Order. The President accepted the recommendation of a committee, chaired by former Admiral George Dewey, hero of the war with Spain and now 74 years old, for the new, 48 star flag, to be arranged in six rows of eight stars each.

June 24– Monday– Paris, France– Julia Richman, American educator, author, school principal and administrator, dies at 56 years of age during a visit to Europe.

June 25–Tuesday– Baltimore, Maryland–The Democratic National Convention opens at the Fifth Regiment Armory with 1,095 voting delegates present. The main contenders are House Speaker Champ Clark of Missouri and Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey. Both Speaker Clark and Governor Wilson have won a number of primaries. Although Clark enters the convention with more pledged delegates than does Wilson, he lacks the two thirds vote necessary to win the nomination.

June 26– Wednesday– Southampton, England– The R M S Olympic, a sister ship to the Titanic, sets sail for the United States with 397 passengers on board. In response to the Titanic disaster, Olympic carries additional lifeboats.

June 27– Thursday– Baltimore, Maryland– The Democratic Party’s platform favors tariff reform, enforcement of anti-trust laws, states’ rights, prohibiting corporate contributions to political campaigns, “efficient supervision and rate regulation of railroads, express companies, telegraph and telephone lines engaged in interstate commerce”, federal appropriations for vocational education in agriculture, construction of post roads, extension of rural mail delivery, the right of workers to organize, creation of a department of labor, the development of workers’ compensation laws, conservation of natural resources, strengthening of pure food and public health laws, and rigid enforcement of civil service laws while opposing Republican high tariffs which have created excessive prices in common goods and “imperialism and colonial exploitation in the Phillippines or elsewhere.”

June 27– Thursday– Miraca, Cuba– Soldiers of the Cuban Army kill Evaristo Estenoz, leader of the uprising of Afro-Cuban rebels, in battle. His death brings an end to the uprising, which had caused the killing of 3,000 black Cubans.

June 28– Friday– Baltimore, Maryland– On the first ballot at the Democratic Party convention, former House Speaker Champ Clark received 440 ½ votes, New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson 324, Judson Harmon 148, Oscar Underwood 117 ½ and Thomas R. Marshall 31.


Champ Clark 1912


June 29– Saturday– Baltimore, Maryland– Champ Clark moves closer to the Democratic nomination for President, when a shift of votes from the New York delegation gives him 556 votes, more than all of the other candidates combined, but still short of the two-thirds (730) needed to win. However, the New York support has come through the machinations of Tammany Hall Democrats from New York City. This infuriates William Jennings Bryan who remains a leader of the progressive wing of the party. Bryan introduces a motion which says “As proof of our fidelity to the people, we hereby declare ourselves opposed to the nomination of any candidate for President who is the representative of or under any obligation to J. Pierpont Morgan, Thomas F. Ryan, August Belmont, or any other member of the privilege-hunting and favor-seeking class.” Bryan switches his support to Woodrow Wilson.

June 29– Saturday– La Crosse, Wisconsin– Birth of John Toland, historian, [Dies January 4, 2004.]

June 30– Sunday– Baltimore, Maryland– On the 30th ballot, Woodrow Wilson edges slightly ahead of Champ Clark for the first time, with 460 votes to 455 for Clark, as the Iowa delegation swings its support to Wilson.


Regina YMCA destroyed


June 30– Sunday– Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada– At about 4:50 in the afternoon green funnel clouds form and touch down south of the city, tearing a swath through the residential area between Wascana Lake and Victoria Avenue and the downtown business district. The twister kills 28 people, injures several hundreds, and leaves about 2500 people homeless. Approximately 500 buildings are destroyed or damaged. Property damage totals $1.2 million Canadian. [It remains the deadliest tornado in Canadian history.]


Keep the Rebels Constantly Engaged~August 1864~the 10th to 12th

Keep the Rebels Constantly Engaged ~ a Union officer.

Sherman’s Federals inch closer to Atlanta; soldiers and civilians of Georgia feels the pain. General Hood commands his soldiers not to steal from civilians. A Richmond paper mocks black Union soldiers. Dr Mary Walker is released in a prisoner exchange. Lincoln’s reelection campaign is in trouble. Memphis moves toward establishing a public school system. The British Parliament expresses concern about the number of males emigrating to the United States. A very limited election is held in Belgium.

atlanta siege images

August 10– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “In a batch of about ninety wounded Yankee prisoners, who were brought over yesterday evening, there were a dozen wounded Yankee Negro soldiers. They were the most villainous looking black scoundrels we ever set eyes on. Any . . . notions about Fort Pillow with which they may have gone into the fight on the 30th, have been pretty effectually taken out of them. As all of them that could walk landed from the [railroad] cars and marched off with their white brothers to the Libby, they were gazed upon with intense interest by about five hundred of our Negroes [slaves], who, we do not think, saw anything in their plight or appearance calculated to inspire a desire to go soldiering. They looked as if they had been frightened into permanent idiocy, and smelt – whew!” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

August 10– Wednesday– Atlanta, Georgia– The Federal artillery bombardment of the city escalates. Union batteries begin firing new 4 ½ -inch rifled cannon, each weapon firing every five minutes. Even so General Sherman complains of not hearing the guns fire enough, so the frequency of shelling increases even further.

August 10– Wednesday– Griffin, Georgia– “Oh, my dear. I can’t express myself to you. I am here in a helpless condition, suffering pain indescribable and no hand of a loving Wife to sooth my pain. . . . the wound is . . . so sore I can’t walk. . . . if he [their son] has not gone to my regiment, don’t let him go there. It will be a long time before I get back there. That is a hard place. If he has to go anywhere before I get home, he had better sign to the Georgia state troops. Keep him at home if you [can] until I come.” ~ Letter from a wounded Confederate soldier to his wife.

August 10– Wednesday– Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia; near Gaines’ Landing, Arkansas; Baldwin, Florida; near Stone Chapel, Virginia; on the Tallahatchie River, Mississippi– Armed contests, hard skirmishes and violent affairs.

August 10– Wednesday– Warwickshire, England– Thomas Baker, landscape painter, dies at age 55.

August 11– Thursday– near Winchester, Virginia– “We are not far from the city of Winchester which I hope to visit, for it is a famous place in the Shenandoah Valley and said to be a fine little city. Several battles have been fought there during the war.” ~ Diary of Union officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

August 11– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “Hot and dry. Dispatches from secret agents at Washington state that Grant and his staff have arrived, that half his army preceded him, and the remainder will soon follow. The campaign is considered a disastrous failure, and it is anticipated that henceforth the scene of operations is to be transferred from Richmond to Washington. They say President Lincoln’s face expresses ‘great terror’ and affairs there are in a critical condition.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

Sherman inspects artillery firing into Atlanta

Sherman inspects artillery firing into Atlanta

August 11– Thursday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Cool & pleasant this morning, how cheering it would be if I were in Savannah to take a ride with my wife out to the Bridge for the day, instead of being as I am today confined at Home, away from all who render life dear to me, but the varieties of Life are beneficial, & therefore out to be cheerfully submitted to. Mr. Shepard made me a visit this morning, nothing new.” ~ Diary of William King.

August 11– Thursday– Atlanta, Georgia– In a message to the Inspector-General for the Confederate Army in Richmond, General John Bell Hood requests the impressment of 4000 slaves “for teamsters and other services in this army” to help in the defense of Atlanta.

August 11– Thursday– Andersonville, Georgia– A hard storm washes away part of the west wall near the prison creating fear among the guards of a possible massive escape. Guards are stationed at the gap to prevent any of the nearly 33,000 inmates from fleeing and telegraph messages are sent to Richmond asking that no more prisoners be sent.

Andersonville prison

Andersonville prison

August 11– Thursday– Memphis, Tennessee– “We call the attention of individuals concerned to an advertisement we publish this morning in reference to the erection of school houses. We learn that an application has been forwarded from the School Board to the Mayor and Aldermen, asking the latter to confirm their selection of spots for building the much needed school houses. . . . It will be seen that the selections have been made in reference to the city as it will be-one of the school houses being placed in the northern, one in the southern, and the other in the eastern portion of the city. The School Board has been very industrious on this subject, and has shown an anxiety to advance the great work of education that does it infinite honor. Such actions are a benefit to mankind. The truth is too well known to be denied, that the cause of education has hitherto had but few friends in Memphis. The amount of public spirit aroused in the cause of the material advancement of the city was great, but the momentous work of the mental improvement of our citizens had few friends; the consequence was that while we put up splendid blocks of business buildings, we raised no school housed, and had not [a] public library. Thank God . . . the day of school houses and libraries come. It now remains with the Board of Aldermen to complete the work so nobly begun by the School Board. The Aldermen have been chosen to their office in a peculiar way; in no better manner can they prove the excellence of the measure by which they obtained office, than by handing their fame down to future generations, as the Board of Aldermen that built the first public SCHOOL houses in Memphis.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

August 11– Thursday– Winchester, Virginia; Newtown, Virginia; near White Post, Virginia; White Oak Creek, Arkansas; Crawford County, Arkansas; Hartville, Missouri; Kent’s Landing, Arkansas– Brawls, affairs, clashes and minor actions.

August 11– Thursday– Brussels, Belgium– In general elections held in Belgium for the Chamber of Representatives the result is a victory for the Liberal Party, which wins 64 of the 116 seats. Voter turnout is 81.0%, although only 103,717 people (2.1% of the population) are eligible to vote.

Belgian Parliament

Belgian Parliament

August 12– Friday– New York City– “In the House of Commons, July 28, Lord E. Howard rose to call attention to the subject of emigration to the United States of America, in reference to the prolongation of the war now raging in that country . . . . The noble lord said that the gravity of the subject should be his justification for bringing it forward at that late period of the session. In consequence of his position as a member of the Distress Relief Committee at Glossop, one of the towns most affected by the cotton distress, he found it became necessary to have a census made of the population in that district, and one of the elements of the census was the question of emigration. He found that a large emigration had prevailed from that district, and in the course of inquiries he found that it was also large from the cotton districts in general. In 22 towns . . . within a few months, setting aside single men, of married men alone not fewer than 1,400 had left this country for the United States of America, of whom 780 had deserted their wives and families, leaving 2,160 persons chargeable upon the rates [i.e. public assistance] . Besides that, he had the names of 14 persons who had emigrated from one locality in Manchester within three months and of these, no less than twelve had also deserted their wives and families, and probably, most of these were young and newly married men. These circumstances tended to show that there must be some deep cause at work.” ~ New York Times.

Great Britain's Parliament

Great Britain’s Parliament

August 12– Friday– Milltown, Virginia– “There is a large flour mill here owned by a Mr Hollinsworth who lives in a fine brick house with pleasant grounds. Mr Hollinsworth and wife offered me the use of a room but I preferred to sleep under the trees. The family were strong Union people and I have arranged to take my meals with them. I have taken a ride into the city [Winchester] and found many Union people. In fact we were very much surprised to be treated so kindly. Winchester is an old-fashioned sort of place, inclined to be aristocratic but its glory departed on the advent of the war. This evening myself and officers passed the evening with Mr and Mrs Hollinsworth and Mrs H gave us some good music on the piano.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

August 12– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Thurlow Weed meets with President Lincoln and advises him that “reelection is an impossibility” because the President has angered the Radical Republicans who want harsher measures approved against the South for reconstruction after the war as well as conservative members of the party who worry about the increasing cost and increasing death toll. [Weed, journalist and politician from New York, age 66 at this time, has emerged as a wheeler-dealer in the Republican Party, is opposed to the Radicals such as Charles Sumner and fears abolitionist influences on Lincoln. He favored some other candidate rather than Lincoln. Weed dies November 22, 1882 at age 85.]

Thurlow Weed

Thurlow Weed

August 12– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “This has been one of the warmest and most uncomfortable days of the season. For several days the weather has been extremely warm. A telegram from New York to-day said that ice could not be procured so rapidly as was wanted for the steamer to proceed to the squadron at Mobile to relieve the wounded and sick. I directed them to seize if necessary. Delay is not admissible at such a time.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

August 12– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– As part of a limited prisoner exchange, Dr Mary Walker, Union physician, is freed in exchange for a Confederate doctor. She is personally delighted because she, a civilian volunteer without rank, is swapped for a physician from the rebel army with the rank of major.

Dr Mary Walker

Dr Mary Walker

August 12– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– “The lawless seizure and destruction of private property by straggling soldiers in the rear and on the flanks of this army has become intolerable. It must come to an end. It is believed to be chargeable to worthless men, especially from mounted commands, who are odious alike to the citizen and the well-disposed soldier. Citizens and soldiers are, therefore, called upon to arrest and forward to the provost-marshal-general all persons guilty of wanton destruction or illegal seizure of property, that examples may be immediately made. The laws of war justify the execution of such offenders, and those laws shall govern. . . . In any cases where it is shown that an officer, high or low, has permitted or failed to take proper steps to prevent such depredations as those complained of herein, he shall be deprived of his commission. Hereafter all cavalry horses must be branded. . . . No purchase or exchange of horses will be permitted except by authority of the company and regimental commanders. . . . Citizens are warned not to purchase from or exchange horses with soldiers, except when the authority for the transaction is previously had from the company and regimental commanders. Otherwise they may lose their property and will fail to receive the support of the military authorities.” ~ Order from Confederate General John Bell Hood.

August 12– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– “Tell the Negroes to stay at home and not to be led into any difficulty, for there will apt to be hanging done. If the Negroes are unruly, tell them I have been a good master, have waited on and cared for them when sick and now they must fight for you and the children if necessary. Give them more meat than you have been giving them. There is no chance for me to be discharged. They do not even doctor rheumatic men up here.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier to his wife.


August 12– Friday– outside of Atlanta, Georgia– “I went on duty yesterday at noon and continued until daylight today. It was rather a hard tour and I cannot get a moment’s rest by day, on account of the flies. Not until night can we get the benefit of night’s sweet restorer. There is nothing new today. We keep digging, getting up closer and closer to the rebels and bringing new and heavy pieces of artillery into advantageous positions. Both armies use their artillery to a considerable extent. The enemy has nothing but our thin lines to fire at and do little damage; our artillery is certainty superior to theirs and plays into their forts and the city. There is constant firing along the picket line too, and every now and then a bullet flies into camp. Still we are enjoying a comparative rest. I rather think the plan is to keep the rebels constantly engaged and to hold them here, rather than to push vigorously for the possession of Atlanta, for upon the evacuation of Atlanta, it will be rather difficult to follow up the rebel army, and still it would hardly do to let it slip away from us elsewhere.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

The War Was Never More Popular~November 1863~13th to 18th

The War Was Never More Popular ~ Senator John Sherman

Plans are made for the dedication of a cemetery at Gettysburg. President Lincoln and others are well aware that next year is an election year. Walt Whitman comes home for a visit and a much needed rest. Soldiers write about food, the weather, God and dead comrades. The world continues to change.

November 13– Friday– Washington, D.C.– At the White House, President Lincoln meets with the new senator John Conness, age 42, Republican of California. Senator Conness presents Mr Lincoln with a cane once owned by one of Conness’s predecessors, the late David Broderick. Broderick, age 39, an outspoken anti-slavery Democrat was mortally wounded in a duel with a fellow politician in September, 1859. A newspaper account says, “The President . . . accepted the cane, and, with much emotion, replied that he never personally knew . . . Mr. Broderick, but he had always heard him spoken of as one sincerely devoted to the cause of human rights.” Mr Lincoln confides that his “proudest ambition . . . [is] to do something for the elevation of the condition of his fellow-man.”

Senator John Conness

Senator John Conness

November 13– Friday– Chicago, Illinois– “From Gettysburg. Consecration of the Soldiers’ Cemetery. The loyal citizens generally of all the States, and the charitable and benevolent associations, are most cordially invited to be present at the consecration of the Soldiers’ Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pa, on Thursday, the 19th instant, and participate in the solemn exercises of the occasion. By order of the Governors of the several States interested. David Wills, Agent for A. G. Curtin, Governor of Pennsylvania, and acting specially for the other States.” ~ Chicago Tribune.

November 13– Friday– Iago Ferry, Tennessee– “As our Cook was washing today it fell on me to get dinners and I stayed in camp on account of having no shirt to change while the other was in the wash as a good cook would do. I had dinner ready for they boys when they returned about 2 o’clock P. M. I then put on a kettle with some water peeled and sliced about half a bushel of pumpkins and boiled for some time and seasoned with salt while this cooking operation was going on James was out and luckily for the times [found] part of a box of crackers which Co. B had thrown away for bad one out of which we gathered over a pack of good pieces which was still more welcome then the pumpkins supper being ready at the usual time consisting of stewed pumpkins and beef stake sliced of the shoulders of an ox and a little coffee. Such a feed we have not had for a month it is certainly worth noting down to be remembered our Appetites being keen and sharp forced us to eat until we were scarcely to role over and still we have! a supply on hand for tomorrow who would not rejoice in our circumstances. Our Wagons that left yesterday morning for Anderson cross roads has returned this evening without rations why they were turned and sent back I have not a learned. I can also understand that gen Morgan commanding our brigade has left the cross roads if that is so we will move soon.” ~ Diary of Union soldier John Hill Fergusson.

November 13– Friday– the Isle of Man– “On Saturday last, Messrs. Gibson, McDonald, and Arnold launched from their ship-building yard at North Ramsey, Isle of Man, an iron ship of the following dimensions: Length 202 feet, beam 35 feet, depth of hold 23 feet 6 inches. A large company assembled to witness the launch. At half-past twelve o’clock the ship glided off the stocks, and was named the Euterpe by Mrs. R. H. Brown, wife of one of the owners. After the launch the company adjourned to the spacious sail-loft of the establishment, where a luncheon was provided, to which about 60 persons sat down. . . . . The Euterpe is a full-rigged ship of 1246 tons register . . . . She is the property of Messrs. Wakefield, Nash, and Co., of Liverpool, and is fitted up in the most expensive style, no pains have been spared to make her a splendid specimen of naval architecture. Her spacious poop cabin is fitted with panels of polished walnut, with moldings of maple, and is exceedingly handsome. She is built entirely of iron, and her lofty tweendecks (seven feet high) render her specially adapted for troops or passengers.” ~ A report for the Liverpool Mercury.

November 13– Friday– Auckland, New Zealand– William C Wilson begins publication of the New Zealand Herald.

November 14– Saturday– Mansfield, Ohio– “On Tuesday next I start for Gettysburg to take part in the pageant of a dedication of the battle-field as a national cemetery. From thence I shall probably go to Washington, two weeks in advance of the session. The very first thing I mean to do is to press the enforcement of the draft. . . . I notice in some of the Southern papers that a hope is entertained that the draft cannot be enforced. This is idle. The war was never more popular than at this moment. The new call will fall lightly. Ohio must send thirty-five thousand . . . . There is no lack of men or of a determination to send them. The wonderful prosperity of all classes, especially of laborers, has a tendency to secure acquiescence in all measures demanded to carry on the war. We are only another example of a people growing rich in a great war. And this is not shown simply by inflated prices, but by increased production, new manufacturing establishments, new railroads, houses, etc. . . . Indeed, every branch of business is active and hopeful. This is not a mere temporary inflation caused by paper money, but is a steady progress, and almost entirely upon actual capital. The people are prospering and show their readiness to push on the war. Taxes are paid cheerfully, and the voluntary donations for our soldiers and their families are counted by thousands.” ~ Letter from Senator John Sherman to his brother General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Gettysburg National Cemetery

Gettysburg National Cemetery

 November 14– Saturday– near the mouth of the Rio Grande River– The Confederate blockade runner Terista, carrying 298 bales of cotton and headed for European markets, is captured by the USS Granite.

November 14– Saturday– St Martens-Latem, Belgium– Birth of Leo Hendrik Baekeland, chemist and inventor. Born of poor and illiterate parents, he will earn a doctorate in science from the University of Ghent at age 21 and in 1889 emigrate to the United States where he will invent a good paper for photographic prints [which business he will sell in 1899 to George Eastman for a reported $750,000] and invent “Bakelite” in 1907-8. He is considered the founding father of the modern science of plastics.

Leo Hendrik Baekeland

Leo Hendrik Baekeland

 November 15– Sunday– Brooklyn, New York– “I had a pleasant trip that Monday from the start, & all through– clear & cool & no dust. I got home about 8 in evening, was up bright & early to the polls next morning &c. How well the election went in this state, you know. Here Brooklyn gave a stunning union vote, the biggest ever dreamed of here– Mayor, assemblymen, judges, all elected.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to his friend Ellen M. O’Connor.

November 15– Sunday– near Hazel Run, Virginia– “Last night it rained, and as the weather is cold we are far from comfortable. . . . . I bought me a fine bay horse with a white mark on his face, and he can run like a deer. I call him Old Abe.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

November 15– Sunday– on the march toward Knoxville, Tennessee– “This is the Sabbath evening and I am very lonesome. I thought I could not pass off the lonely hours better than to be writing to you, as it seems like we can never talk to each other [except] only through the medium of writing. Little did I think when we were married that I must be so soon severed from my dear Molly, but it is the common lot of all to be disappointed and now, instead of being this holy Sabbath evening with my loving family where we could read the word of God together, I am away here in the east engaged in the destruction of my fellow men, but God knows my heart. I do not desire their hurt if they would part in peace. I long to see this war close but I confess that I can not see where it can ever end but I have always thought that God would provide a peace when he thinks best. I still think so, Molly. . . . . I would give the state of Georgia for a kiss [from] you and the children. Oh, God, how long shall I suffer in the flesh? I am yours without spot or blemish until death. ~ Letter from Confederate officer William Stilwell to his wife Molly.

November 15– Sunday– Copenhagen, Denmark– The death of King Frederick VII, childless at age 55, and the succession by his distant cousin Christian IX, age 45, marks the beginning of a new crisis between Denmark and Germany over Schleswig-Holstein.

Denmark's new king

Denmark’s new king

 November 16– Monday– Nashville, Tennessee– “The burning or destroying of any property, or any of the products of the country, is a positive detriment to us and a loss to the United States Government; therefore it must be stopped. The burning of cotton-gins, cotton, and everything else, is strictly prohibited. Any of the troops detected in any of these depredations will have meted out to them the extreme penalty of the law, which, in case of burning, pillaging, or robbing, is death. This order will be read at the head of every regiment and battery of the command, and every officer is commanded to aid in carrying it out.” ~ Order of Union General Grenville Mellen Dodge.


November 16– Monday– Roswell, Georgia– “The death of your brother [Thomas Edward] . . . was a sad blow to me, but he fell on a noble cause: done with the trials of this life, & now happy forever in heaven. God above knows what will be the result of this unnatural war – we have justice on our side, but deserve sever chastisement for our sins as a nation: May we all repent of short comings on duty, and look to God for his blessings– otherwise everything dark and gloomy. Rather than submit to Yankee rule– trust the Confederacy will resist to the last: better loose everything, than our liberty. . . . There is no telling what General Bragg is after– it is said that Longstreet has gone [toward] East Tennessee to drive out Burnsides, & get supplies for the army; should Bragg fall back, this portion of our state would be overran by Vandals, & they would destroy every thing.” ~ Letter from Mr Barrington King, a prosperous businessman, to his son Confederate Colonel Barrington Simeral King.

November 16– Monday– Campbell’s Station, Tennessee– Union forces beat back a Confederate attack. Total casualties– killed, wounded, missing– are 400 for the Federals, 570 for the Confederates.


November 16– Monday– Paris, France– Louis-Rene Villerme, physician and economist who studied the health of prisoners and of child factory workers, dies at age 81


November 17– Tuesday– New York City– “Famine at Richmond seems a settled fact. . . . There is reason to believe that the famine is caused not so much by actual deficiency of hog and hominy as by the unwillingness of Virginia farmers to sell anything for which they must be paid in rebel paper. Want of lively faith in the value of rebel currency implies, of course, skepticism as to the ultimate triumph of the rebel cause.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.


November 17– Tuesday– Brooklyn, New York– “I shall return Monday or Tuesday next. The weather here the last three days is very unpleasant, sloppy & thick. I was at the opera last night, Trovatore– very, very good singing & acting. I feel to devote myself more to the work of my life, which is making poems. I must bring out Drum Taps. I must be continually bringing out poems– now is the hey day. I shall range along the high plateau of my life & capacity for a few years now, & then swiftly descend. The life here in the cities, & the objects, &c of most, seem to me very flippant & shallow somehow since I returned this time. My New York boys are good, too good– if I staid here a month longer I should be killed with kindness. The great recompense of my journey here is to see my mother so well, & so bravely sailing on amid many troubles & discouragements like a noble old ship . . . . Charley, I think sometimes to be a woman is greater than to be a man, is more eligible to greatness, not the ostensible article, but the real one.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to Charles Eldridge.November 17– Tuesday– Wheeling, West Virginia– A group of citizens meet and plan a city-wide campaign to raise financial support for the families of soldiers.