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The Horrors of War~November, 1864~22nd & 23rd

The Horrors of War ~ Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge.

One after another, Georgia plantations in the path of Sherman’s advancing troops experience the horrors of war. At Griswoldville, Georgia, a group of inexperienced militia and new recruits tangle with Sherman’s veterans and suffer a costly defeat. Sherman takes personal delight in ordering the plundering of the estate of Confederate General Cobb. There is a report that slaves are escaping to the North to avoid conscription in the Confederate army. Some in Nashville complain of an increase of crime. Andersonville, Georgia, and Johnson’s Island, Ohio, present a contrast in the condition of prisoners.

Federal troops marching through Georgia

Federal troops marching through Georgia

November 22– Tuesday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “The agitation down in Dixie, of ‘drafting’ the Negroes into the army is beginning to have its effect. The first installment of five able bodied men arrived here from Augusta County, Virginia, this afternoon. They have been employed on Governmental works of various kinds; but upon learning that there was a proposition to put them into the army, they determined to make tracks for the dominions of ‘Massa Lincoln.’ This is a fact which needs no comment and goes far towards answering the question—Will the Negroes fight for the South? Deserters from the rebel army are also pouring in along our entire front. The arrivals at this place average five per day. Early’s army has lost for the last two months, by desertions along at least a company per day. Many of them are in bad condition to begin the winter. The Chivalry must shiver these cold nights. They say that [Confederate General] Early’s army is also very poorly fed – nothing being issued but flour and meat, and short rations of that. The deserters state the they are never followed, with a view to recapture; as the authorities are afraid to send guards for them – the guards themselves usually deserting in a body when so sent.” ~ Letter from a man in New Creek, West Virginia, to the editor of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

runaway slaves

runaway slaves

November 22– Tuesday– Springfield, Illinois– Elizabeth Todd Grimsley, a cousin of the First Lady, sends a note to President Lincoln seeking appointment for herself as postmaster in the President’s hometown.

Elizabeth Todd Grimsley

Elizabeth Todd Grimsley

November 22– Tuesday– Staunton, Virginia– “I seat my self to answer yours of the 16th which is just [arrived]. I was very sorry to hear you was suffering with your old disease. I was in hopes it had got well. I hope this will reach you in due time [and] find you well [and] hearty. This leaves me well– only my bowels is not right yet. I am as hearty as a pig, I have no news of interest to write. I wrote to you the other day and give you all the news– it is very cold weather here– we have Snow at this time though I don’t feel the affects [sic] of it. I suppose the boys is seeing a very bad time– they are about 40 miles below here near New Market. I understand they are furloughing all that is not able for service – you wanted me to come home– I wold be glader than you if possible there is no one would be glader to see their family than I would at this time though my heavenly father will send me when he sees proper for I put my hole trust in him not in man. I feel but little hopes of coming home before I go to my command unless I take relapse which I think there is no danger with care.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier John Jarrett to Mary, his wife.

November 22– Tuesday– Nashville, Tennessee– “We believe the fact that our city is infested with gangs of desperate men, robbers and murderers, is generally conceded. The question now is, what ought to be done by the civil and military authorities under the circumstances? One ofour contemporaries suggests an increase in the police and the arrest of all personfound upon the streets without passes after nine o’clock at night. The pass system has been tried and proved to be one of the best arrangements for burglars ever invented. . . . Experience has proved that burglars and robbers can not only obtain passes in abundance, but the countersign also. We made a suggestion about two years ago, which was adopted, and worked admirably, making the city as quiet and safe as any city could be; it was this: That the military detail fifty or sixty men, and place them under the control of the Mayor. Detail one policeman to accompany two soldiers in patrolling the city during the night. Make the districts small, so that patrols will be within call of each other by a given signal. Arrest all suspicious characters, and all found without viable passes of existence let the strong arm of the military or civil law be laid upon him, also as to give him to understand that it might benefit his health to find honest employment or another city to ply his avocations. Hundreds of soldiers and government employees are pounced upon and robbed before they have their hard earned pay six hours in their possession. These are matters of daily occurrence and well known to our police authorities. A special guard ought to be detailed to patrol certain dangerous places, where robberies are of frequent occurrence. We respectfully submit the above for considerations of those in authority, believing their adoption would be productive of much good to the community.” ~ Nashville Dispatch.

destruction of Atanta

destruction of Atanta

November 22– Tuesday– ten miles northeast of Milledgeville, Georgia– Recognizing that the plantation here belongs to Confederate General Howell Cobb, Union General Sherman issues orders. “Of course, we confiscated his property. I sent word back to General Davis to explain whose plantation it was and instructed him to spare nothing. That night huge bonfires consumed the fence-rails, kept our soldiers warm, and the teamsters and men, as well as the slaves, carried off an immense quantity of corn and provisions of all sorts.” ~ Memoirs of William Tecumseh Sherman.

November 22– Tuesday– following one of Sherman’s columns in Georgia– “To-day we followed on and whipped about 1,000 Negroes, who were on their way to the enemy. We camped at dark.” ~ Diary of Texas Ranger Enoch John, part of a small contingent of Texas Rangers shadowing and reporting on General Sherman’s movements.

November 22– Tuesday– near Clinton, Georgia– “Ordered to march at 7.AM. but it was 10 before we left camp. Our Brigade had the rear of the Division, A very, very cold morning and continues cold and windy throughout the day. We enjoyed a snow storm in Central Georgia this morning. Roads still very heavy. Pontoon train delayed us very much. Had to halt an hour three or four different times to allow them to get out of our way. & as it was very Cold, the fences along the road had to suffer. We passed the place where General Stoneman was captured last summer. It was the intention to reach Clinton today, but the Pontoons got stuck & froze in the mud and it was impossible to go any farther. So we had to halt and go in camp 3 mile from Clinton. It was nine o’clock when we went in camp – very dark, ground frozen and very rough.” ~ Diary of Cornelius C. Platter.

November 22– Tuesday– Covington, Georgia– “After breakfast this morning I went over to my grave-yard to see what had befallen that. To my joy, I found it had not been disturbed. As I stood by my dead, I felt rejoiced that they were at rest. Never have I felt so perfectly reconciled to the death of my husband as I do to-day, while looking upon the ruin of his lifelong labor. How it would have grieved him to see such destruction! Yes, theirs is the lot to be envied. At rest, rest from care, rest from heartaches, from trouble. Found one of my large hogs killed just outside the grave-yard. Walked down to the swamp, looking for the wagon and gear that Henry [one of her slaves] hid before he was taken off. Found some of my sheep; came home very much wearied, having walked over four miles. Mr. and Mrs. Rockmore called. Major Lee came down again after some cattle, and while he was here the alarm was given that more Yankees were coming. I was terribly alarmed and packed my trunks with clothing, feeling assured that we should be burned out now. Major Lee swore that he would shoot, which frightened me, for he was intoxicated enough to make him ambitious. He rode off in the direction whence it was said they were coming. Soon after, however, he returned, saying it was a false alarm, that it was some of our own men. Oh, dear! Are we to be always living in fear and dread! Oh, the horrors, the horrors of war!” ~ Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge.

November 22– Tuesday– Griswoldville, Georgia– A division of the Georgia Militia, a force of about 3,000 irregulars, mostly young boys and old men, by chance encounter a brigade of waiting Union troops. Though instructed to avoid a direct battle, the militia leaders decide to attack. The Union force is initially outnumbered; however, the battle is not an even match. The Federals are veterans, entrenched, and equipped with repeating rifles. Near the close of combat, the Union position is reenforced by one additional regiment of infantry and two regiments of cavalry. The militia retreat. Total Confederate casualties– dead, wounded, missing– are 650 while the Federal total reaches 62. A Union officer notes afterward, “Old, gray-haired men and weakly looking men and little boys not over 15 years old lay dead or writhing in pain. I did pity those boys.”

ravine where many Confederate dead and wounded fell on top of one another

ravine where many Confederate dead and wounded fell on top of one another

November 22– Tuesday– Andersonville, Georgia– At the Andersonville prison camp the inmate population is now down to around 1500, with escapes by prisoners and desertions by guards occurring regularly. However, conditions remain quite bad, as noted by a Confederate official who visits the prison and reports that he saw the inmates scavenging and digging for roots inside the stockade in an attempt to find things to eat.

November 23– Wednesday– Johnson’s Island, Ohio– “Indeed since Hood’s evacuation of Atlanta I have had no direct intelligence from Monroe. I fear my recent letters may not have reached you. Cousin Carrie Cleveland wrote me recently that early in the Fall she and others of my friends expected me home through special exchange. I have heard nothing of the matter save in her letter. In fact exchange is a subject on which we rarely suffer our minds to dwell, we have been disappointed so often. Not that we are without hope; we merely consider speculations upon that contingency as unprofitable. In this way we strive to cheat our life of its despondent monotony. I am fortunate in being associated (in a small room) with educated men who are fond of reading. We employ our time as far as possible in study. It is not very enlivening, to be sure, but it is our best. Tonight (as usual once a week) a prayer-meeting was held in our room. The singing of familiar hymns recalled vividly to mind home scenes, the happiest of my life. It is a never failing source of pleasure and interest to think of home, of the dear one that await our coming. It is particularly pleasing to me to recall memories of you. That these are tender and true, you may rest assured.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Henry Mc Daniel to his sweetheart Hester Felker.

November 23– Wednesday– Detroit, Michigan– Birth of Henry Bourne Joy, automotive executive, social activist and early advocate for the Lincoln Highway system. [Dies November 6, 1936.]

Henry Bourne Joy

Henry Bourne Joy

November 23– Wednesday– Augusta County, Virginia– “I seat myself this evening to drop you a few lines to let you know that we are preparing a box to send you. We expect to send it to Staunton tomorrow to go down [to Richmond on] Friday. We send your overcoat, socks, flannel shirt, gloves, one chicken, some pies and ginger cakes, biscuit butter and some apple butter rolled in paper & a bottle of molasses. We could not send you a blanket this time but if you still want it let us know and we will send it to you the first opportunity. We did not know we could send a box this week or I would have send over to Pa’s and got some apples but we did not know it until this morning. Mr Spencer said he would take it down on one of his wagons for us.” ~ Letter from Ginnie Ott to Enos, her husband.

The Gratitude of His Country by Dying at Last~Oct 1864~11th to 14th

The Gratitude of His Country by Dying at Last ~ George Templeton Strong.

As many in the North, Strong, a lawyer, expresses satisfaction at the death of Chief Justice Roger Taney. Taney was appointed by President Andrew Jackson, served 28 years as Chief Justice and authored the infamous opinion in the Dred Scott case in which he declared that black people, free or slave, had no civil rights in the United States. Maryland adopts a state constitution which abolishes slavery. Black soldiers serve the Union cause and finally gain some of pay which is due them. State election results demonstrate significant gains by the Republicans and auger well for Lincoln’s reelection. [At this time is not yet one set day for all state and federal elections.] at least some Englishmen favor Lincoln’s reelection. A soldier informs his wife about the loss of his leg. A former slave tells his story to a Northern woman. Tennessee citizens complain about Confederate bushwhackers while another complains to Federal authorities about women he views as disloyal. An immigrant from Scotland begins his rise to fame and fortune.The French forces press hard against the legitimate Mexican government.

United States Colored Troops {USCT}

United States Colored Troops {USCT}

October 11– Tuesday– near Fort Donelson, Tennessee– A unit of 85 black Union soldiers engages and drives off a force of 250 Confederate soldiers.

October 12– Wednesday– Oberlin, Ohio– “An Inquiry Meeting, for the purpose of personal religious conversation, is held under the joint supervision of the Pastors of the First and Second Congregational Churches, on Sabbath at 6 P.M., in the Theological Society Room, Chapel building.” ~ Lorain County News.

October 12– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– Roger Taney, Chief Justice of U S Supreme Court and author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, dies at age 87. A racist and Maryland slave-holder, he has been Chief Justice for 28 years.

Roger Taney, Chief Justice U S Supreme Court

Roger Taney, Chief Justice U S Supreme Court

October 12– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Returns of the elections from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana come in to-day. They look very well, particularly the two latter. Pennsylvania does not quite come up to my expectations. The city of Philadelphia has done very well, but in too many of the counties there are Democratic gains– not such, perhaps, as to overcome the Union majorities, but will much reduce them.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 12– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Secretary of War not being in, I answer yours about election. Pennsylvania very close, and still in doubt on home vote. Ohio largely for us, with all the members of Congress but two or three. Indiana largely for us, Governor, it is said, by fifteen thousand, and eight of the eleven members of Congress. Send us what you may know of your army vote.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to General Ulysses S Grant.

October 12– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “I write you a few lines the first opportunity to ease your fears in regard to me. It is true I have happened [in] to a bad spot, but it might have been worse.For it was the hottest place I was ever in. I was first shot between the right knee and angle, nearly breaking the leg. I was hardly down when I was again short in the right knee, shattering it all to pieces in a second. I was shot in the left knee slightly. . . . I continued to suffer, until I arrived here, from moving. The doctor, after counsel, amputated my right leg just above the knee. I hope you will not take it too hard. If I live, I can make a living shoe-making. I am considered to be doing well by the doctor and everybody else. You know I am one that never says die while I can move a little. I was wounded in trying to take the second works, where they had made a desperate stand. I passed through all the first safe and was in hopes I would have my usual luck. I have never spared myself in going into a fight, as I determined long ago to get out of this war if I had to be killed out.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier to his wife in Georgia.

October 12– Wednesday– Nashville, Tennessee– “Peter’s history is not uninteresting. Here it is: ‘my master’s name was Jim Brazier, and I lived eight miles from Tullahoma. My mother was sickly a long time, and missus wouldn’t let her stop workin’ no how. An one day when she’s so weak, she let a big pitcher fall on de floor and broke it, and master sent her to de whippin-house, and she died that night. I slept wid her, an she told me when she come to bed, that she thought if she went to sleep she’d never wake. An in de morning when I waked, she was stone dead. They never said anything to me bout what killed her, they knowed very well that I knowed the reason. After de war broke out, they telled me that I mustn’t go near de Yankees, for that they ‘had horns,’ just as if I’d not sense ‘nough to know better nor that.’ . . . One morning, soon after, Dr W. announced to Peter that his former master had just been hanged as a guerrilla. The account was in the morning paper.Glad of it,’ said Peter, emphatically; ‘I’d a be glad if that there had a happened afore.’” ~ Journal of Elvira Powers recounting the story of a young escaped slave.

runaway slaves

runaway slaves

October 12– Wednesday– Taylorsville, Tennessee– “The undersigners [sic], citizens of Johnson County, Tennessee, and Southern men, in behalf of themselves and others, respectfully represent: That we are but few in number, and most of us old and infirm men; that our county is now infested with some four or five bands of robbers and bushwhackers, who are obstructing the public road, robbing Southern men, and killing them, and further, threatening to drive us all from the county, and without some additional protection we will all be forced to leave our homes and county in a few days. We, therefore, most respectfully ask you to send in a small force for that purpose, say some forty or fifty men, under a good officer. We would further state that we will have considerable surplus of corn, and some meat, that could be furnished the Government, if it can be protected until all can be saved; fully enough, we think, to justify the Government in sending the small force we ask to protect and defend us until all can be saved and got out. If not defended in that way it will all be lost to Government and individuals. There is a small force here now, about fifteen men, which we wish to retain with the others, under Lieutenant Hawkins.” ~ Petition from eight residents to Confederate General Breckinridge.

October 12– Wednesday– Chihuahua, Mexico–Retreating toward the U S border, President Juarez arrives with a small force of republican troops. The American Counsel writes that “the situation is very bad and would bring despair upon any mind less faithful and hopeful.”

Benito Juarez, President of Mexico

Benito Juarez, President of Mexico

October 13– Thursday– New York City– “The Honorable old Roger B Taney has earned the gratitude of his country by dying at last. Better late than never. . . . Even should Lincoln be defeated, he will have time to appoint a new Chief Justice, and he cannot appoint anybody worse than Taney. Chase may very possibly be the man. Curious coincidence that the judge whose opinion in the Dred Scott case proved him the most faithful of slaves to the South should have been dying while his own state, Maryland, was solemnly extinguishing slavery within her borders by voting on her new anti-slavery constitution. (There seems no doubt it has been adopted.) Two ancient abuses and evils were perishing together. The tyrant’s foot has rested so long on the neck of ‘Maryland, my Maryland’ that she has undergone an organic change of structure, making it necessary for her to continue under that pressure, or in other words, loyal to the national government. The Confederacy will have nothing to say to Maryland as a free state.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

Dred Scott, circa 1857

Dred Scott, circa 1857

October 13– Thursday– Baltimore, Maryland– In a state-wide election eligible voters approve by a narrow margin, a new state constitution which abolishes slavery. The vote is 30, 174 in favor and 29,799 in opposition.

October 13– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “The President is greatly importuned and pressed by cunning intrigues just at this time. Thurlow Weed and Raymond are abusing his confidence and good nature badly. Hay says they are annoying the President sadly.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

pro-Lincoln cartoon

pro-Lincoln cartoon

October 13– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln tells John Hay, one of his personal secretaries, that he [Lincoln] will not be in any hurry to replace the late Chief Justice, Roger B Taney.

October 13– Thursday– Rice Springs Farm, Georgia– Federal cavalry troopers tangle with a Confederate force and drive them off toward Alabama. Total Union casualties– killed, wounded, missing– are 14. Total Confederate losses are over 70.

October 14– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “The Massachusetts 54th Regiment, of colored troops, has been paid off by the government in full to August 31. The soldiers have sent back to their families and friends in this city and vicinity the sum of $45,000 and the money has been received through Adams & Co’s Express. This is a most gratifying announcement. Justice ‘long delayed through hesitating Congressional legislation’ is at last done these brave men. The large amount they so promptly and considerately send home for the relief of their suffering families, and to liquidate what debts they may owe, is highly creditable to them.” ~ The Liberator. [The $45,000 delayed wages paid to the soldiers of the 54th would equal $688,000 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.] Today’s edition also carries a letter from two Englishman who write in support of Mr Lincoln, a letter which says in part that General McClellan’s “claims to office seem to us to rest on the fact, that he will do as little good to the Negro in his civil as he has done harm to the enemy in his military capacity. Mr. Lincoln’s claims are founded on the fact that he has done more for the emancipation of your colored people in his single administration than all the other Presidents put together, and that he is conducting his country through a crisis of almost unexampled difficulty, and under storms of abuse with which up to this time only great men have been honored, if not with the genius, certainly with the pertinacity and honesty of a Cromwell. The last news which has reached this country leads us to hope that, if you are true to yourselves, and careful to repel compromises such as govern Seymour’s ‘peace-at any-price’ Democrats, and their friend the London Times, would have you make, the most disgraceful conspiracy that history records may, in its overthrow, be made to subserve her greatest triumph.”

54th Massachusetts

54th Massachusetts

October 14– Friday– New York City– “What subject of human thought and action is higher than politics, except only religion? What political issues have arisn for centuries more monentous than those dependent on this election? They are to determine the destinies– the daily life– of the millions and millions who are to live on this continent for many generations to come. They will decide the relations of the laboring man toward the capitalist in 1900 A.D., from Maine to Mexico.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

October 14– Friday– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–Andrew Carnegie, age 29, forms his first iron business, the Cyclops Iron Company. [Carnegie, born in Dunfermline, Scotland, arrived in the United States in the summer of 1848. He dies on August 11, 1919. His fortune at his death will be in excess of $350 million, equal to $4.72 billion today, using the Consumer Price Index. The literature about Carnegie is voluminous; I recommend Andrew Carnegie by Joseph F Wall (1989) and Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America by Les Standiford (2005).

Andrew Carnegie, circa 1878

Andrew Carnegie, circa 1878

October 14– Friday– Wheeling, West Virginia– A large torchlight parade and mass meeting in support of the reelection of President Lincoln takes place, the largest such demonstration the city has ever seen.

October 14– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “Seward was quite exultant over the elections; feels strong and self -gratified. Says this Administration is wise, energetic, faithful, and able beyond any of its predecessors; that it has gone through trials which none of them has ever known, and carried on, under extraordinary circumstances and against combinations such as the world has never known, a war unparalleled in the annals of the world. The death of Judge Taney was alluded to. His funeral takes place to-morrow. The body will pass from his residence at 7 a.m. to the depot; and be carried to Frederick, Maryland. . . . I have never called upon him living . . . his position and office were to be respected . . . . That he had many good qualities and possessed ability, I do not doubt; that he rendered service in Jackson’s administration is true . . . . But the course pursued in the Dred Scott case and all the attending circumstances forfeited respect for him as a man or a judge.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 14– Friday– Tullahoma, Tennessee– “Sir, the government of the United States of America should know and understand its enemies whether male or female. And treason should be made odious in both alike, I am not making war upon ‘innocent’ women; every brave man loves and respects the name of woman, but when she stoops from the high position that beautifies the character of a true woman and seeks alike, with traitors of the male gender, to undermine and sweep away the best government of earth she forfeits her claim to that high regard and becomes the most corrupt and debased of the whole human family. I repeat that I love the very name of woman, but when she unsexes herself she is a fit subject for anything. It is to them in great measure, that this country, so beautifully adapted to higher scenes and more noble purposes is made one vast scene of carnage and blood. And have they repented? No! They are doubly distilled in their fanaticism. And shall they remain here among the people they so much despise to annoy the loyal people and give information to traitors? We cannot believe it just and we are aware that it is your purpose to reward patriotism and punish treason.These rebel women express a desire to go south or for the return of the gents of

their complexion, and surely they should at least have one portion of their wish granted them, the portion that leads their minds and carcasses southward. Who says no? Not he that is tinctured with loyalty. The following is a list of applicants for a journey south and by all means they should not be disappointed in their lofty expectation. . . . They should not have the honor of living one moment more among loyal people. And justice to humanity and the interest of government requires that they be sent to Brownlow’s next Depot to the infernal regions. Other names could be mentioned but time will not admit.” ~ Letter to Union General Milroy from a man who signs himself only “KD” and names better than 15 women as rebel spies and sympathizers.

Establishing the Liberties of This Country~July 1864~4th to 5th

Establishing the Liberties of this Country

North and South, people observe Independence Day in their own ways. Political activity in this election year simmers.

July 4– Monday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– “Last night our men went off with our horses– it was quite an Excitement about the Rebs coming. It was A false Report– perhaps they come yet. Weather is dry and warm.” ~ Diary of Anna Mellinger.

July 4– Monday– Wheeling, West Virginia–”The statue of [George] Washington, recently captured by General Hunter at Lexington, Virginia, arrived on Saturday evening and will be on exhibition at the fair buildings today. It is the first bronze statue ever cast of Washington. It will be one of the greatest features of the exhibition today. Let every person who reveres the memory of the great and good Washington avail themselves of this opportunity to see him as he appeared in the height of his glory and usefulness. A bronze tablet accompanies the statue on which is the following inscription: ‘The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, have caused this statue to be erected as a monument of affection and gratitude to George Washington, who uniting to the endowments of the Hero, the virtues of the Patriot, and exerting both in establishing the liberties of his country, has endeared his name to his fellow citizens, and given to the world an immortal example of true glory. Done in the year of Christ 1788, and in the year of the Commonwealth the 12th.’ . . . This statue was taken down from its ancient pedestal by our troops and transported in a wagon to Webster, from which point it was brought hither on Saturday. We must confess that we see nothing in the enterprise to commend. We could not feel like congratulating the fair on Saturday night in the possession of this trophy. The bringing of it away from Lexington was an act of vandalism that must be objectionable to all right thinking people, irrespective of their hatred for the rebels who, have manifested so little appreciation of the usages of civilized war. Napoleon robbed the great galleries of Italy, stripping even the monasteries and churches of that ill-fated land of their works of art, and for so doing impartial history has severely condemned him. And so it will this act of General Hunter’s, if he, indeed, is responsible for it. We hope that the government will not endorse the act by ordering the statue to West Point, its reported destination. We have not even the poor excuse for such a performance that Napoleon had, who was waging war in a foreign people.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

Union siege weapon

Union siege weapon

July 4– Monday– outside Petersburg, Virginia– “The glorious fourth has come again, and we have had quite a celebration with guns firing shot and shell into Petersburg to remind them of the day. This day makes four 4th of Julys that I have passed in the Army. . . . . I had a party of officers to dine with me today, and we gave what seemed to me, by way of contrast, a fine dinner. This was our bill of fare: Stewed oysters (canned); Roast turkey (canned); Bread pudding; Tapioca pudding; Apple pie (made in camp); Lemonade; Cigars. Tomorrow if we march, hard tack and salt pork will be our fare.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

July 4– Monday– Petersburg, Virginia–”No doubt you are every uneasy about me. All communication has been cut off two or more weeks and now my only chance is to send this by hand to where it can be mailed. I have been off duty nearly two weeks with diarrhea very bad, but I shall go to the front this evening, having got nearly well. I do hope and pray that you and the children are well. Molly, this is 4th of July. I have not got any baked shoat nor turkey nor I haven’t got a kiss from my Molly, which would be worth more than all fine dinners. Molly, if you was here it would be heart rending to see the ladies of Petersburg. The enemy have been shelling the city for several days. The woods and all the country is filled with women, from old gray haired mothers down to the infant, driven from their homes without a change of dressing, thousands of them in the wood, without any shelter or protection.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier W. A. Stilwell to his wife Molly.

trenches at Petersburg

trenches at Petersburg

July 4– Monday– Cherokee County, Georgia– “On this anniversary, here we are under the broiling sun of Georgia. We have advanced further south since I wrote. It was ascertained yesterday that the enemy had left our front. Our forces had been massed on our right, and I have it on pretty good authority that an attack upon the enemy’s extreme left was intended to be made yesterday morning, to break it if possible and get upon the railroad in his rear. . . . he could not well be ignorant of these movements on our part and anticipated our move by evacuating. We started in pursuit at six o’clock, and marched all day in all sorts of directions and accomplished little. . . . We had to be content to move very cautiously, and when we noticed that the rebels were taking up a new line on the Nicojack Creek, we made no attempt to disturb them. We got into camp very tired late last night. . . . We are to go three miles from here and are likely to stay a little while. We took a large number of rebel deserters, straggling about yesterday, including officers. The Johnnies are demoralized.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife.

July 4– Monday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Monday morning, bright and clear in nature, but my spirits much depressed I went to town [Marietta]. Every thing looked changed, all strange faces, but few acquaintances to be found. I visited a few friends and then returned to my lonely Home, feeling solitary and deserted, cut off even from correspondence with my family and friends, and feeling as I was entirely among strangers, gave me another dull night for rest, and compelled me to indulge many painful reflections upon the sad consequences of war, and particularly this war, for which I was in no way culpable and had exerted all my powers to prevent– and from which I so sadly suffered.” ~ Diary of William King.

July 4– Monday– Clay County, Mississippi– “Today is the Anniversary of the declaration of our forefather’s independence, one year ago was a sad one for the happiness of our Southern Confederacy– Vicksburg surrendered by Pemberton to Grant. Many changes and sad days since that event, but thanks to a just and merciful God our hopes are brighter than at any time since we have been struggling for Independence. May the God of Battles defend our cause, protect our Armies from danger & disease, and crown them with glory and success. . . . We had a delightful day. . . . We saw all of our friends, too numerous to name. Major Leverson brought us home this evening.” ~ Diary of Belle Edmondson.

July 4– Monday– San Francisco, California– The Bank of California, founded by William Chapman Ralston and Darius Ogden Mills, among others, opens for business. It is the first commercial bank in the western United States.

July 5– Tuesday– New York City– Editor Horace Greeley, age 53, a critic of President Lincoln and advocating peace with the South, receives a letter from friends in Canada, asserting that Confederate representatives are available to discuss peace terms. Greeley in turn urges Lincoln to negotiate.

July 5– Tuesday– Brooklyn, New York–” I have had the misfortune to fall back a little since I wrote to you. I have had three or four pretty bad days & nights but I am feeling decidedly brighter this afternoon, & have no doubt I shall be myself again before long. The trouble has been as before, bad spells of weakness with heavy aching head– I think the throat is no worse, but it is not well. . . . I do not write much, nor do any thing hardly, but keep as quiet as possible– my physician thinks that time, with the change of locality, & my own latent recuperative power, will make me well, but says my system is probably saturated with the virus of the hospitals &c which eludes ordinary treatment. I have nothing new or interesting to write you. I intend to move heaven & earth to publish my ‘Drum-Taps’ as soon as I am able to go around.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to his friend William D. O’Connor.

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

July 5– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “Telegrams this a.m. inform us that the pirate Alabama was sunk on the 19th of June off Cherbourg by the steamer Kearsarge, Commodore Winslow, after a fight of one hour and a half. Informed the President and Cabinet of the tidings, which was a matter of general congratulation and rejoicing. Mr. Fessenden appeared at Cabinet-meeting as the successor of Mr. Chase. Although the regular day of meeting, all were specially notified, and all promptly attended. The President appeared more constrained and formal than usual.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

sinking of the CSS Alabama

sinking of the CSS Alabama

July 5– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws, do hereby declare that in my judgment the public safety especially requires that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, so proclaimed in the said proclamation of the 15th of September, 1863, be made effectual and be duly enforced in and throughout the said State of Kentucky, and that martial law be for the present established therein. I do therefore hereby require of the military officers in the said State that the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus be effectually suspended within the said State, according to the aforesaid proclamation, and that martial law be established therein, to take effect from the date of this proclamation, the said suspension and establishment of martial law to continue until this proclamation shall be revoked or modified, but not beyond the period when the said rebellion shall have been suppressed or come to an end. And I do hereby require and command as well all military officers as all civil officers and authorities existing or found within the said State of Kentucky to take notice of this proclamation and to give full effect to the same. The martial law herein proclaimed and the things in that respect herein ordered will not be deemed or taken to interfere with the holding of lawful elections, or with the proceedings of the constitutional legislature of Kentucky, or with the administration of justice in the courts of law existing therein between citizens of the United States in suits or proceedings which do not affect the military operations or the constituted authorities of the Government of the United States.” ~ Proclamation by President Lincoln.

A Retrospective of 1862~Part Two

Immigration (U.S.):
> despite the on-going war, 91,985 immigrants enter the United States:
> 30.0% come from the German states;
> 26.8% come from Great Britain;
> 25.4% come from Ireland;
> 4.8% come from France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Netherlands combined;
> 3.9% come from China;
> 3.6% come from Canada;
> 2.8% come from Sweden, Norway and Denmark combined;
> 0.8% come from Central and South America, excluding Mexico;
> 0.6% come from Italy;
> 0.5% come from Greece, Spain and Portugal combined;
> 0.2% come from Mexico;
> 0.2% come from the Austrian Empire;
> 0.1% come from Poland;
> 0.1% come from the Russian Empire;
> 0.2%% come from other regions and other countries.
> Sex and age:
> 41.6% are female;
> 58.4% are male;
> 73.0% are between 15 and 40 years of age;
> 18.0% are under age 15;
> 9.0% are over age 40.
> Occupations by major categories:
> 54.9% have no occupation–this includes children;
> 15.5% have general labor occupations;
> 10.5% have skilled craft occupations;
> 8.1% have agricultural occupations;
> 6.8% have commercial occupations;
> 3.2% have domestic work occupations;
> 0.7% have professional occupations;
> 0.3% have miscellaneous occupations

> in a move aimed at restricting Chinese immigration, California imposes a tax of $2.50 per month, per person on all people of Asian descent [this would be about $57.70 in today’s money]

Journalism:
> Samuel L Clemens begins writing for The Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada Territory;
> James Russell Lowell begins writing for The North American Review

Samuel Clemens a/k/a Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens a/k/a Mark Twain

Medicine & Health:
> in Canada, smallpox sweeps through Fort Victoria area and down the length of the northwest coast, killing an estimated 200,000 First Nation people;
> Hermann Snellen, a 28 year old Dutch opthalmologist, publishes the Snellen chart for testing visual acuity.
> ergotism, a disease cause by fungus in rye, breaks out in Finland where rye bread is a diet staple of peasants and urban poor
>Dr Louis Elsberg opens the first public clinic to treat diseases of the throat
>in France Dr Edouard Raynaud publishes a paper on the cardiovascular disorder which will come to be called by his name

Military:
> as of June 30th, 673,124 men are on active duty in the U S military;
> the writer Ambrose Bierce, only 20 years old, is commissioned a first lieutenant and joins the staff of General William Bradcock Hazen. as a topographical engineer
> in Arizona, Cochise emerges as a brilliant military leader of the Apache people and will hinder and delay settlement by European Americans for the next ten years

Religion:
>the American Bible Society of New York City distributes thousands of pocket editions of the Bible to soldiers

Science & Technology:
> Brown & Sharpe, a Rhode Island company pioneering in making modern machine tools, produce the first universal milling machine
> Alexander Borodin, age 29, the illegitimate son of a Russian nobleman, becomes professor of chemistry at the Academy of Medicine in St Petersburg, Russia, and this year publishes the results of important experiments with benzoyl chloride; [he will soon begin his career in music as well];

Alexander Borodin

Alexander Borodin

> the 30 year old Julius von Sachs, a German botanist, shows that starch is the product of photosynthesis
> the first American open-hearth furnace for use in making steel begins operation

Social Movements:
> in the tiny Kingdom of Monaco the first Monte Carlo gambling casino opens
>Swiss philanthropist Henri Dunant, age 34, publishes a pamphlet in French urging the creation of non-military volunteer societies to aid wounded on battlefields; he will become a key person in the creation of the International Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions on the Conduct of warfare

Henry Dunant

Henry Dunant

Sports and Exercise:
>trotting-style horse races continue to be popular both in the North and the South; a new race track opens in New York City

Transportation:
>the Illinois-Central Railroad with miles of track running north-south provides great help to the Union army
>Ben Holladay, age 42, Kentucky-born and living in California, buys up the bankrupt Russell, Majors and Wadell company which went broke financing the now defunct Pony Express; Holladay now controls a monopoly on carrying mail and passengers between the Pacific coast and Missouri; over the next four years he will make a fortune before selling out in anticipation of the success of railroads to cross the Great Plains; however, he will die at age27 in 1887, impoverished by the Panic of 1873

Workers and Employment:
> in Charleston, South Carolina, in late July, at a slave auction, one entire family of a man, age 28, a woman, age 24, and their child, age 6, are sold for $3,060; one man, age 24, is sold for $1,365; one woman, age 20, with her infant, are sold for $1,120; a boy, age14, brings $955 on the auction block; six men, ranging in age from 20 to 38 years and in various degrees of health and strength, average $749 each.[The family of three sold for the equivalent of $70,600 in current dollars; the six men averaged a modern value of $17,300 each.]

A Retrospective of 1862~Part One

Agriculture, Food & Drink:
>between July 1st, 1861 and June 30th, 1862, the U S exported 37,000,000 bushels of wheat, worth $43,000,000; this is a new U S record.
>in England, Crosse & Blackwell introduce canned soups
> in New York City, 19 year old Charles Gulden begins making and selling his Gulden’s Mustard
> to help finance the war, the Federal government imposes a tax on beer at $1 per barrel
> swayed by Admiral Andrew Hull Foote, the naval hero of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson & Island #10 and himself an ardent temperance advocate, the U S Navy abolishes its traditional rum ration for sailors
> Great Britain suffers major crop failures

Advertisement for Gulden's mustard

Advertisement for Gulden’s mustard

Art & Music:
>paintings
>Augustus Egg ~ Traveling Companions
>Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres ~The Turkish Bath
>Edouard Manet
~Concert in the Tuileries Gardens
~Lola de Valence
~Mlle. Victorine Meurent in the Costume of an Espada
~The Street Singer

French painter Edouard Manet

French painter Edouard Manet

>Moritz von Schwind ~ The Honeymoon
>James McNeill Whistler ~ The White Girl
>Ludwig Ritter von Kochel, an Austrian educator, scientist and musicologist, 62 years of age, publishes his Catalogue of Mozart’s Works or “The Kochel Catalog,”a pioneering scholarly work
>Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray wins the Prix de Rome in the Musical Composition category.
>The Saint Petersburg Conservatory is founded by Anton Rubinstein.
>Edvard Grieg gives his first concert in his home town of Bergen, Norway.
>Stephen Heller and Charles Halle perform Mozart’s E-flat concerto for two pianos at The Crystal Palace in London, England
>the scenes from Goethe’s Faust set to music by Robert Schumann, who died in 1856, receive a premiere performance in Cologne, Germany

Books:
>New books published this year include
>Aleardo Aleardi, Canto Politico
>Matthew Arnold’s On Translating Homer: Last Words, a reply to F. W. Newman’s Homeric Translation in Theory and Practice, 1861, itself a reply to Arnold’s On Translating Homer, published that year
>Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret
>Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Last Poems, are posthumously published in an edition prepared by her husband, Robert Browning
>The Rise, Progress and Decline of Secession by Reverend William G. Brownlow, from Kentucky, becomes a best seller in the North
>Last Poems by A. H. Clough, published posthumously with a memoir by F. T. Palgrave
>No Name by Wilkie Collins
>Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets by Thomas De Quincey
>The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky
>The History of the Intellectual Development of Europe by William Draper
>Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert
>Sister Philomene by Edmond & Jules de Goncourt
>Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

>Henrik Ibsen’s Love’s Comedy
>Julia Kavanagh’s French Women of Letters
>Henry Kingsley’s Ravenshoe
>Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn, which includes “Paul Revere’s Ride”
>George MacDonald’s David Elginbrod
>Modern Love by George Meredith
>A Chaplet of Verses by Adelaide Ann Procter and illustrated by Richard Doyle [Proctor, an unmarried philanthropist and social reformer and always in frail health will die early in 1864 at age 38; some modern scholars believe she was a lesbian]
>Goblin Market and Other Poems by Christiana Georgina Rossetti
>John Ruskin’s Unto This Last
>Elizabeth Stoddard’s The Morgesons
>William Makepeace Thackeray’s The Adventures of Philip
>Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenv;
>Artemus Ward, His Book by Artemus Ward (pen name of the humorist Charles Farrar Browne)
>John Greenleaf Whittier’s The Furnace Blast

>two novels, John Brent and Edwin Brothertoft, both by Theodore Winthrop, are published posthumously this year and become best sellers. Winthrop himself, an ardent anti-slavery man and officer in the Union Army, had been killed in battle in June, 1861; during his life no publisher was interested in his work. His sister, Laura Winthrop Johnson, will see to the publication of some of his other work and his books will do well for a decade.

>this year finds the reclusive Emily Dickinson, age 32, in her period of greatest poetic productivity; her poem “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers” under the title “The Sleeping” is published in the Springfield Republican this year; it is during this year that she first makes contact with Thomas Wentworth Higginson who encourages her to write

>Nikolai Chernyshevsky is imprisoned in St Petersburg, Russia, and begins his novel What Is To Be Done?

>Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a 37 year old German, begins writing about homosexuality under the pseudonym of “Numa Numantius”.

Business & Commerce:
>in New York City, the 59 year old Irish-American millionaire Alexander T Stewart builds and opens the largest retail store in the world. His steel-and-stone “Palace”occupies a full block at Broadway and 10th Street. The eight-storey building has a distinctive cast-iron front, glass dome skylight, central court, grand stairway leading up from the spacious ground floor and elevator cars for access to higher floors. The design and construction cost close to $3,000,000. It employs up to 2,000 people. The establishment has nineteen departments including silks, dress goods, carpets and toys.
>John Rockefeller, age 23, invests $4000 in an oil refining business which will eventually become the Standard Oil Company of Ohio [his investment would equal about $92,300 today; by 1894, Standard Oil of Ohio was worth about $41,000,000 or today about $1.11 billion]
>in Boston, several entrepreneurs found John Hancock Life Insurance Company
> the 3 year old Equitable Life Assurance Company, founded by Henry B Hyde, writes a record-breaking $2,000,000 of new life insurance policies [this would equal about 46.1 million dollars of business today]
>for the twelve months from July 1st, 1861 to June 30th, 1862, the U S government spent $394,368,100 for the War Department; $42,668,000 for the Navy Department; $853,000 for veterans’ compensation and pensions.
>in England, particularly in areas such as Lancashire, textile mills reduce production or shut down because they cannot receive shipments of Southern cotton

>in London, 18 year old Arthur Lasenby Liberty enters the employ of a merchant on Regent Street; in 1875 he will establish Liberty of London department store

Education:
>Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, introduces a gymnastics course for women;> the first female student is accepted into Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada
>New colleges founded include:
~University of Maine at Orono