Tag Archives: France

July ~ Election Year 1920


The Democrats nominate a liberal from Ohio. Palestine and Ireland are troublesome for Great Britain. Women seem to be making more gains in places other than the United States.

July 1– Thursday– Baton Rouge, Louisiana– The state legislature rejects the Nineteenth Amendment.

July 1– Thursday– Ottawa, Ontario, Canada– The Dominion Elections Act establishes uniform franchise and the right for women to be elected to parliament is made permanent.

July 1– Thursday– London, England– King George V names Sir Herbert Louis Samuel as the first British High Commissioner of Palestine.

NPG Ax39163; Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel by Walter Stoneman, for  James Russell & Sons

Sir Herbert L Samuel


July 3– Saturday–San Francisco, California– The platform of the Democratic Party favors joining the League of Nations, rules in the U S Senate “as will permit the prompt transaction of the nation’s legislative business,” revision of the tax code, reduction of tariffs, quick ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment “in time for all the women of the United States to participate in the fall election,” prohibition of child labor, vocational training in home economics, participation by women and federal and state employment services, larger appropriations for disabled veterans, improvement of roads, the use of motor vehicles to deliver the mail, improvement of inland waterways, acquisition of sources at home and abroad for petroleum and other minerals, self-government for Ireland and for Armenia, independence of the Philippines, statehood for Puerto Rico and prohibition of immigrants from Asia.

July 5– Monday– Franklin, New Hampshire– Birth of Mary Louise Hancock, politician and activist, known as the Queen Bee of the state’s politics.

July 6– Tuesday–San Francisco, California– The Democratic Convention closes after nominating James Cox for President on the 44th ballot. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is nominated by acclamation for Vice President. [Cox, age 50, a native of Ohio, is a journalist, publisher, liberal politician and served as Governor of Ohio from 1913 to 1915 and again from 1917 to 1921. Dies July 15, 1957.]


James Cox


July 9– Friday– Quebec City, Canada– Louis-Alexandre Taschereau, age 53, a lawyer and a member of the Liberal Party, becomes premier of Quebec, replacing Sir Lomer Gouin

July 10– Saturday–Wilmington, North Carolina– Birth of David Brinkley, reporter and television journalist from 1943 to 1997. [Dies June 11, 2003.]


David Brinkley


July 10– Saturday– San Francisco, California– Birth of Owen Chamberlain, physicist and advocate for peace and justice. [Wins the Nobel physics prize in1959. Dies February 28, 2006.]

July 10– Saturday– Ottawa, Ontario, Canada– Arthur Meighen, age 46, a lawyer and member of the Unionist Party, becomes prime minister, replacing Sir Robert Borden.

July 10– Saturday– Madrid, Spain– Donna Maria Eugenie de Montijo, widow of French Emperor Napoleon III, dies at age 94 while visiting family.


Donna Maria Eugenie de Montijo


July 12– Monday– Montpelier, Vermont– Governor Percival Clement, Republican, declines to call a special legislative session to vote on ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

July 12– Monday– Vicksburg, Mississippi– Birth of Beah Richards, African American actress. [Dies September 14, 2000.]

July 12– Monday– Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada– Pierre Berton, historian and author. [Dies November 30, 2004.]

July 12– Monday– Vilnius, Lithuania– Lithuania and the Soviet Union sign a peace treaty, recognizing Lithuania as an independent republic.

July 13– Tuesday– Jerusalem, Palestine– The Muslim-Christian Associations begin a two-day general strike protesting against the British mandate and the behavior of the British army.

July 14– Wednesday– Chicago, Illinois– The Farmer-Labor Party nominates Parley Christensen, a lawyer, educator and politician, age 51 [dies February 10, 1954] for President and Max Hayes for Vice President.

July 18– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– James M. Cox and Franklin Roosevelt confer with President Wilson at the White House.


July 20– Tuesday– Boston, Massachusetts– Birth of Elliot L Richardson, diplomat, lawyer and politician who will hold four different cabinet posts under Presidents Nixon and Ford. [Dies December 31, 1999.]

July 21– Wednesday– Dublin, Ireland– Reports abound that Irish Nationalist and Loyalists are engaging in fighting in several cities and towns over the issue of Irish independence from Britain, though the Loyalists are supported by 1500 British Auxiliaries and 5800 British troops.

July 21– Wednesday– Kreminiecz, Ukraine, Soviet Union– Birth of Isaac Stern, violinist and conductor. [Dies September 22, 2001.]

July 22– Thursday– Omaha, Nebraska– Prohibition Party nominates Aaron S. Watkins for president and D. Leigh Colvin for vice-president

July 23– Friday– Indianapolis, Indiana– May Eliza Wright Sewall, educator, school administrator, suffrage activist, lecturer, author and pacifist, dies at age 76 from nephritis.


July 23– Friday– London, England– British East Africa is renamed Kenya and designated a British crown colony with Major-General Edward Northey named by King George V as the first governor.

July 23– Friday– Belfast, Ireland– Fourteen die and one hundred are injured in fierce rioting.

July 24– Saturday– New York City– Birth of Bella Abzug, lawyer, social activist, feminist and member of Congress. [Dies March 31, 1998.]


Bella Abzug


July 25– Sunday– London, England– Birth of Rosalind Franklin, chemist and molecular biologist. [Dies April 16, 1958.]

July 28– Wednesday– Bristol, England– The first women jury members in England are empaneled at the Bristol Quarter Sessions.

July 30– Friday– off Queenstown, IrelandBritish military detain Irish-born Bishop Daniel Mannix, Archbishop of Melbourne, Australia, onboard the RMS Baltic and prevent him from landing in Ireland.



May ~ Election Year 1916


The world is in turmoil as the United States prepares to elect a president. Incumbent Woodrow Wilson faces challenges within his party, from Republicans and from several third parties. Most of Europe is being consumed by the Great War. Yet all is not quiet in Western Hemisphere as the United States sends troops into Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Americans express concern for peace and want to avoid involvement in the war. Britain quells rebellion in Ireland and executes Irish leaders.


Dublin’s General Post Office after the fighting


May 1– Monday– Dublin, Ireland–The Easter Rising collapses as Irish fighters, out-gunned by British forces either surrender or go into hiding. Sir John Maxwell, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces announces that all involved in the insurrection have surrendered. The dead include 82 Irish fighters, 126 British soldiers, 17 Irish police officers and 260 civilians.

May 1– Monday– The Hague, Netherlands– The German Counsel recruits a Dutch dancer and courtesan who uses the stage name Mata Hari, to serve as a spy for Germany. She has lived and worked in Paris since 1905 and has numerous friends and clients among French officials and officers.

May 3– Wednesday– New York City– The Socialist Labor Party of America concludes it five day national convention, having nominated Arthur Reimer, a Massachusetts lawyer, age 34 for president and issues its platform which calls upon working people to assume control of “industrial production.”


May 3– Wednesday– Verdun, France– The Germans begin an intense artillery bombardment of the French position known as Cote 304.

May 4– Thursday– Dublin, Ireland– British authorities execute Ned Daly, Willie Pearse, Michael O’Hanrahan and Joseph Plunkett for their roles in the Easter Rising.

May 5– Friday– Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic– Two companies of U S Marines land from the U.S.S. Prairie to protect the U.S. Legation and the U.S. Consulate, and to occupy Fort San Geronimo. Within hours, the Marines are reinforced with seven additional companies.

May 5– Friday– Berlin, Germany– In response to American protests, the German government pledges not to sink any more merchant ships without warning and to allow time for crew and passengers to abandon ship.

May 5– Friday– Verdun, France– German troops begin an assault against Cote 304.


tired French troops on Cote 304


May 7– Sunday– Waterbury, Connecticut– Mrs Ethel O’Neill and her sister Mrs Bedelia Griffen head to Washington, D.C., to call upon the State Department to have the British release their brother James Mark Sullivan whom the British government has charged with involvement in the Easter rising. [Sullivan, age 43, a lawyer born in Ireland, is a naturalized American citizen, was visiting family in Ireland and had a reputation for making anti-British public statements. He will be released by the British. He dies in Florida on August 15, 1935.]

May 8– Monday– Marathon, Texas– Units of United States cavalry set out to pursue Mexican raiders who attacked Texas towns.

May 8– Monday– Dublin, Ireland– British authorities execute Eamon Kent, Michael Mallin, Con Colbert and Sean Houston for their roles in the Easter Rising.


location where Irish prisoners were executed


May 8– Monday– Verdun, France– After three days of fierce fighting German troops capture Cote 304.

May 9– Tuesday– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania– About 15,000 workers at Westinghouse Electric plants who went out on strike April 22, return to work without winning any improvements in wages and working conditions as the company threatens to fire them all. However, the union reports that about 2,000 machinists have left the region to find work elsewhere.

May 9– Tuesday– New Haven, Connecticut– Homer S Cummings, a member of the Democratic National Committee, declares that Republican critics of President Wilson place party ahead of the best interests of the country and while attacking the current administration have offered “no definite policy indicating what alternative course the Administration could have pursued which would have more completely accorded with the dignity and traditions of America.”

May 11– Thursday– London, England– During a debate in Parliament on the Irish crisis, John Dillon of the Irish Parliamentary Party calls on the British government to end the executions of the Easter Rising leaders.

May 13– Saturday– New Hartford, Connecticut– Clara Louise Kellogg, dramatic soprano who was a popular performer in both the United States and Europe from 1863 through 1881, dies from cancer at 73 years of age.


Clara Louise Kellogg


May 13– Saturday– London, England– The government orders the call-up of married men between the ages of 36 and 41 for military service.

May 13– Saturday– Luxeuil-les-Bains, France– The Escadrille Americaine, a/k/a the Lafayette Escadrille, American pilots fighting for the French, fly their first patrol.


pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille


May 14– Sunday– New York City– In today’s New York Times Dr Abbott Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard, presents a lengthy article calling for educators to join others in building an international body of the League to Enforce Peace by utilizing arbitration, economic sanctions and an international tribunal to discourage nations from going to war. [Lowell, age 59, has been Harvard’s president since 1909. He is one of 7 children and his sisters are the poet Amy Lowell and the advocate of pre-natal care Elizabeth Lowell Putnam. He dies on January 6, 1943, ten years after leaving Harvard. On Lowell’s life and work, see Lawrence Lowell and His Revolution (1980) by Nathan M. Pusey. On the League to Enforce Peace, see Blocking New Wars (1918) by Herbert S Houston; The League to Enforce Peace (1944) by Ruhl J Bartlett; Development of the League of Nations Idea: Documents and Correspondence of Theodore Marburg (2003) edited by John H Latane.]

May 15– Monday– Waco, Texas– Jesse Washington, a teenaged black farmhand, is brutally lynched by a crowd of nearly 10,000 white people, for allegedly murdering his employer’s wife. He is mutilated, then hung and burned while photographs are taken and sold as souvenirs.

May 15– Monday– Trentino, Province, Italy– The Austrians launch a major offensive with a heavy artillery barrage which does severe damage to Italian positions.

May 16– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Speaking at the National Press Club President Wilson declares that the United States must remain out of the war in Europe so that it can, with other neutral nations, help build an impartial peace.

May 17– Wednesday– Limerick, Ireland– Thomas O’Dwyer, Roman Catholic Bishop, refuses a request to discipline two of his priests who expressed sympathies for the establishment of an Irish republic. He reminds British General Maxwell that the general has shown no mercy to those fighters who surrendered.

May 17– Wednesday– Rome, Italy– Sir Henry Howard, British Minister to the Vatican, reports that Pope Benedict XV has urged Germany to abandon submarine warfare.

May 18– Thursday– London, England– The Royal Commission established to inquire into the Easter Rising in Dublin, Ireland, begins hearings today.

May 19– Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Wilson and his wife, Edith Bolling Wilson, head by train to North Carolina to visit several towns and cities, including Salisbury, Greensboro and Charlotte.

May 20– Saturday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– This issue of the Saturday Evening Post uses the first cover with a painting by a young artist named Norman Rockwell, age 22. The picture is entitled “Boy with Baby Carriage.”

May 20– Saturday– Charlotte, North Carolina– In a speech here President Wilson says that as the United States has learned and continues to learn “that it is made up out of all the nations of the world”, it can teach other countries how “this great cataclysm of European war” may “be turned into a coordination and cooperation of elements” which will make for “peace . . . accommodation and righteous judgment.”

wilson speaks from the back of a train-WGj

President Wilson prepares to speak from the back of a train


May 23– Tuesday– New York City– The sixth annual convention of the National Council of Settlements closes. Speaking at the luncheon Lillian D Wald warns against the rising spirit of militarism which threatens peace and can derail the social work of settlement houses. [On settlement houses generally, see Settlement Houses: Improving the Social Welfare of America’s Immigrants (2006) by Michael Friedman & Brett Friedman; American Settlement Houses and Progressive Social Reform: an Encyclopedia of the American Settlement Movement (1999) by Domenica M Barbuto; Settlement Houses and the Great Depression (1975) by Judith Ann Trolander; Children of the Settlement Houses (1998) by Caroline Arnold.

May 23– Tuesday– Vienna, Austria– The Austrian government is reviewing President Wilson’s speech of May 20th.

May 27– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “If it should ever be our privilege to suggest or initiate a movement for peace among the nations now at war, I am sure that the people of the United States would wish their Government to move along these lines: First, such a settlement with regard to their own immediate interests as the belligerents may agree upon. We have nothing material of any kind to ask for ourselves, and are quite aware that we are in no sense or degree parties to the present quarrel. Our interest is only in peace and its future guarantees. Second, an universal association of the nations to maintain the inviolate security of the highway of the seas for the common and unhindered use of all the nations of the world, and to prevent any war begun either contrary to treaty covenants or without warning and full submission of the causes to the opinion of the world,—a virtual guarantee of territorial integrity and political independence. But I did not come here, let me repeat, to discuss a program. I came only to avow a creed and give expression to the confidence I feel that the world is even now upon the eve of a great consummation, when some common force will be brought into existence which shall safeguard right as the first and most fundamental interest of all peoples and all governments, when coercion shall be summoned not to the service of political ambition or selfish hostility, but to the service of a common order, a common justice, and a common peace. God grant that the dawn of that day of frank dealing and of settled peace, concord, and cooperation may be near at hand!” ~ President Woodrow Wilson speaking to the First National Assembly of the League to Enforce Peace

May 30– Tuesday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– Giving a Memorial Day speech at G. A. R Post #1, John Wanamaker, age 78, businessman, civic and political figure, asserts that the United States, as a friend to all nations, is called to emancipate the world from the scourge of war.


John Wanamaker


May 30– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “I therefore suggest and request that throughout the nation and if possible in every community the fourteenth day of June be observed as FLAG DAY with special patriotic exercises, at which means shall be taken to give significant expression to our thoughtful love of America, our comprehension of the great mission of liberty and justice to which we have devoted ourselves as a people, our pride in the history and our enthusiasm for the political program of the nation, our determination to make it greater and purer with each generation, and our resolution to demonstrate to all the world its, vital union in sentiment and purpose, accepting only those as true compatriots who feel as we do the compulsion of this supreme allegiance. Let us on that day rededicate ourselves to the nation, ‘one and inseparable’ from which every thought that is not worthy of our fathers’ first vows in independence, liberty, and right shall be excluded and in which we shall stand with united hearts, for an America which no man can corrupt, no influence draw away from its ideals, no force divide against itself,-a nation signally distinguished among all the nations of mankind for its clear, individual conception alike of its duties and its privileges, its obligations and its rights.” ~ Proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson.

May 31– Wednesday– London, England– In a letter to the Times of London, Lord Cromer asserts that the British government has no confidence in President Wilson’s ability to broker peace. “It is more than doubtful in spite of the very friendly feelings entertained toward America and Americans generally that the people of this country would under any circumstances welcome the idea that President Wilson should assume the role of mediator.”

May 31– Wednesday– North Sea, near the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark– British naval forces of 111 warships commence the first day of a two day battle with 99 warships of the German navy.

May ~ Election Year 1864


Certainly before this time, no American president had faced re-election in the midst of a difficult war, compounded by problems at home and abroad. Union military operations seemed stalled– Grant unable to reach Richmond, Sherman not yet at Atlanta. Casualties keep mounting higher and higher. A bogus proclamation appears in several New York newspapers. Black soldiers had been massacred. Radical Republicans break from the party and nominate their own candidate. A European power is meddling in the affairs of Mexico. Many fear that Lincoln cannot win again.

May 1– Sunday– New York City– “In another column we give copious extracts from our files of English journals, together with translations of notable passages from our French files, to illustrate the popular feeling abroad regarding the progress of events in Mexico. The supercilious, insulting tone in which reference is made to the disability of our Government to interfere at present with the erection of a monarchy upon the ruins of the Mexican Republic might, and perhaps would, excite our indignation, were it not for the ludicrous perplexity in which both the English and French journalists appear to be regarding what has actually been accomplished by Napoleon, and the fears which seem to haunt them unless the would-be Emperor may not after all find his path to the Mexican capital strewn with roses.” ~ New York Times

May 2– Monday– Washington, D.C.– A group of 73 women, most of them the wives of senators, congressmen, judges, clergy or military officers, form a “Ladies National Covenant” and agree to help the war effort by refraining from purchasing European goods. “For the good of our country and the honor of our sex, let us redeem ourselves from this reproach of wanton extravagance.” They agree to encourage women across the country to make the same pledge.

May 2– Monday– St Louis, Missouri– Birth of Alice Bertha Kroeger, first daughter and second child of Adolph and Eliza Curren Kroeger. She will become a librarian, author, lecturerer, advocate for suffrage, organizer and first director of the school of library science at Drexel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [Dies October 31, 1909]


Gideon Welles


May 3– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “At the Cabinet-meeting the President requested each member to give him an opinion as to what course the Government should pursue in relation to the recent massacre at Fort Pillow. The committee from Congress who have visited the scene returned yesterday and will soon report. All the reported horrors are said to be verified. The President wishes to be prepared to act as soon as the subject is brought to his notice officially, and hence Cabinet advice in advance. The subject is one of great responsibility and great embarrassment, especially before we are in possession of the facts and evidence of the committee. There must be something in these terrible reports, but I distrust Congressional committees. They exaggerate.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

May 5– Thursday– Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania– Birth of Elizabeth Jane Cochran, a/k/a Nellie Bly, journalist, author and inventor. [Dies January 27, 1922.]

May 5– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “I have written a letter to the President in relation to the Fort Pillow massacre, but it is not satisfactory to me, nor can I make it so without the evidence of what was done, nor am I certain that even then I could come to a conclusion on so grave and important a question. The idea of retaliation,– killing man for man,– which is the popular noisy demand, is barbarous, and I cannot assent to or advise it. . . . The whole subject is beset with difficulties. I cannot yield to any inhuman scheme of retaliation. Must wait the publication of the testimony.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

May 6– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “Between Mr. Bates and Mr. Blair a suggestion came out that met my views better than anything that had previously been offered. It is that the President should by proclamation declare the officers who had command at the massacre outlaws, and require any of our officers who may capture them, to detain them in custody and not exchange them, but hold them to punishment. . . . I expressed myself favorable to this new suggestion, which relieved the subject of much of the difficulty. It avoids communication with the Rebel authorities. Takes the matter in our own hands. We get rid of the barbarity of retaliation. Stanton fell in with my suggestion, so far as to propose that, should Forrest, or Chalmers, or any officer conspicuous in this butchery be captured, he should be turned over for trial for the murders at Fort Pillow. I sat beside Chase and mentioned to him some of the advantages of this course, and he said it made a favorable impression. I urged him to say so, for it appeared to me that the President and Seward did not appreciate it. We get no tidings from the front. There is an impression that we are on the eve of a great battle and that it may already have commenced.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

May 7– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “Some fragmentary intelligence comes to us of a conflict of the two great armies. A two days’ fight is said to have taken place. The President came into my room about 1 p.m., and told me he had slept none last night. He lay down for a short time on the sofa in my room and detailed all the news he had gathered.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.


May 9– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “To the Friends of the Union and Liberty: Enough is known of the army operations within the last five days to claim our especial gratitude to God, while what remains undone demands our most sincere prayers to and reliance upon Him, without whom all human efforts are in vain. I recommend that all patriots, at their homes, in their places of public worship, and wherever they may be, unite in common thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God.” ~ Proclamation by President Lincoln.

May 13– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “The army news is interesting and as well received as the great loss of life will permit. Hancock has made a successful onset and captured Edward Johnson and two other generals, with about fifty other officers and four thousand prisoners, thirty pieces of cannon, etc. General Sheridan, with his cavalry, has got in rear of Lee and destroyed about ten miles of railroad, captured two trains, and destroyed the depot of Rebel supplies at Beaver Dam. Our troops are in good heart and everything looks auspicious for the republic. Many valuable lives have been offered up for the Union, and many a Rebel has fallen.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

May 13– Friday– Morris Island, South Carolina– “We have been fighting as brave as ever there was any soldiers fought. I know if every regiment that are out and have been out would have done as well as we have the war would be over. I do really think that it’s God’s will that this war Shall not end till the Colored people get their rights. It goes very hard for the White people to think of it But by God’s will and power they will have their rights. Us that are living now may not live to see it. I shall die a trying for our rights so that other that are born hereafter may live and enjoy a happy life.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Jacob Christy, a black man, to his sister Mary Jane Demus.


May 16– Monday– near Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia– “We have had the best of the fighting so far and its my opinion that General Grant has got Lee in a pretty tight spot. We had a severe fight here on the 12th and the loss was heavy on both sides . . . . The Army is in first rate spirits and everyone seems confident and hopeful.”~ Letter from Union soldier George Whitman to his mother Louisa.

May 18– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Mr. Seward informed me that a forged proclamation had been published by sundry papers in New York, among others by the World and Journal of Commerce, imposing a fast on account of the failures of Grant and calling for a draft of 300,000 men. Seward said he at once sent on contradicting it . . . . He then had called on Stanton to know whether such a document had passed over the regular telegraph. Stanton said there had not. . . . Seward then asked if the World and Journal of Commerce had been shut up. Stanton said he knew of their course only a minute before. Seward said the papers had been published a minute too long; and Stanton said if he and the President directed, they should be suspended. Seward thought there should be no delay. Gold, under the excitement, has gone up ten per cent . . . . It seems to have been a cunningly devised scheme– probably by the Rebels and the gold speculators, as they are called, who are in sympathy with them.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

May 18– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Whereas there has been wickedly and traitorously printed and published this morning in the New York World and New York Journal of Commerce, newspapers printed and published in the city of New York, a false and spurious proclamation purporting to be signed by the President and to be countersigned by the Secretary of State, which publication is of a treasonable nature, designed to give aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States and to the rebels now at war against the Government and their aiders and abettors, you are therefore hereby commanded forthwith to arrest and imprison in any fort or military prison in your command the editors, proprietors, and publishers of the aforesaid newspapers, and all such persons as, after public notice has been given of the falsehood of said publication, print and publish the same with intent to give aid and comfort to the enemy; and you will hold the persons so arrested in close custody until they can be brought to trial before a military commission for their offense. You will also take possession by military force of the printing establishments of the New York World and Journal of Commerce, and hold the same until further orders, and prohibit any further publication therefrom.” ~ Executive order from President Lincoln to General John Adams Dix.

May 18– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Mother, I see such awful things– I expect one of these days, if I live, I shall have awful thoughts & dreams– but it is such a great thing to be able to do some real good, assuage these horrible pains & wounds, & save life even– that’s the only thing that keeps a fellow up,” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to his mother Louisa.

Whitman (2)

Walt Whitman


May 19– Thursday– New York City– “The undersigned, editors and publishers of a portion of the daily press of the city of New York, respectfully represent that the leading journals of this city sustain very extended telegraphic news arrangements, under an organization established in 1848 and known as the New York Associated Press, which is controlled by its members, acting through an executive committee, a general agent in this city, and assistant agents immediately responsible to the association at every important news center throughout this country and Europe. Under the above-named organization the rule has always been to transmit by telegraph all intelligence to the office of the general agent in this city, and by him the same is properly prepared for publication, and then written out by manifold process on tissue paper, and a copy of the same is sent simultaneously in sealed envelopes to each of the editors who are entitled to receive the same. From foregoing statement of facts Your Excellency will readily perceive that an ingenious rogue, knowing the manner in which the editors were supplied with much of their telegraphic news, could, by selecting his time and opportunity, easily impose upon editors or compositors the most wicked and fraudulent reports. . . . . the suspension by Your Excellency’s orders of the two papers last evening has had the effect to awaken editors and publishers and news agents, telegraph companies, &c., to the propriety of increased vigilance in their several duties, the undersigned respectfully request that Your Excellency will be pleased to rescind the order under which The World and the Journal of Commerce were suppressed.” ~ Message from Sidney Howard Gay of the New York Tribune, Erastus Brooks, of the New York Express, Frederick Hudson for James G. Bennett, of the New York Herald and Moses Sperry Beach, of the New York Sun to President Lincoln. [The four of them together represent a spectrum of both journalistic approaches and political views.]

May 19– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “The bogus proclamation has been the principal topic to-day. The knowledge that it is a forgery has not quieted the public mind.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

May 21– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln decides to lift publication ban on New York newspapers World and Journal of Commerce.

May 23– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “The author of the forged proclamation has been detected. His name is Howard, and he has been long connected with the New York press, but especially with the Times. . . . He is of a pestiferous class of reckless sensation-writers for an unscrupulous set of journalists who misinform the public mind. Scarcely one of them has regard for truth, and nearly all make use of their positions to subserve selfish, mercenary ends. This forger and falsifier Howard is a specimen of the miserable tribe. The seizure of the office of the World and Journal of Commerce for publishing this forgery was hasty, rash, inconsiderate, and wrong, and cannot be defended. They are mischievous and pernicious, working assiduously against the Union and the Government and giving countenance and encouragement to the Rebellion, but were in this instance the dupes, perhaps the willing dupes, of a knave and wretch.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

May 28–Saturday– Veracruz, Mexico– The nobles Maximilian, age 32, and his wife Charlotte, age 24, arrive from Europe. Maximilian has claimed the throne of Mexico at urging of and with the military support of French Emperor Napoleon III. [Maximilian will be captured by the Mexicans and executed June 19, 1867. Charlotte will flee to Europe before her husband’s capture and will eventually die in seclusion in Belgium on January 19, 1927.]


Emperor Maximilian


May 30– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “The army movements have been interesting for the last few days, though not sensational. Grant has not obtained a victory but performed another remarkably successful flank movement. Sherman is progressing in Georgia.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

May 31–Tuesday– Cleveland, Ohio–A convention of 350 Radical Republicans nominates John C Fremont for president and John Cochran of New York for vice-president. Their platform calls for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, no compromise with the Confederacy, a one term limit for the office of president, direct election of president and vice-president, a policy of reconstruction for the defeated South to be set by Congress and not the president, the plantations of Southern rebels to be given to Union veterans and no toleration of “the establishment of any anti-republican government on this continent by any foreign power.”


John C Fremont


May 31–Tuesday– Washington, D.C.–The House of Representatives defeats a resolution for a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery [which will eventually become the Thirteenth Amendment] by a vote of 55 in favor but 75 opposed.

May~Election Year 1892


american-flag-pictures-8-622x415Former president Grover Cleveland seems close to the Democratic nomination in an effort to win another term. Although the incumbent Benjamin Harrison faces some opposition within the Republican party, he seems likely to be re-nominated. The conventions are scheduled for June, the Democratic in Chicago, the Republican in Minneapolis. Violence against black people in the South has some people concerned. With thousands of Civil War veterans from both sides still living, many, including President Harrison, take a conciliatory tone.

May 2– Monday– Liege, France– A bomb damages two wealthy homes but no one is killed or injured. Officials suspect socialists, communists or foreigners.


Grover Cleveland


May 12– Thursday– New York City– The New York Times reports that with wins in three more Democratic state conventions, former president Grover Cleveland seems likely to be the Democratic candidate.

May 13– Friday– Ogdensburg, New York– Winning 49% of the vote, the Prohibition candidate wins the mayoral race against both a Democrat and a Republican.

May 13–Friday– Little Rock, Arkansas–While people lynch James Henry, a black man.


a lynching in the South


May 14– Saturday– Berlin, Germany– Conservatives and moderates continue planning to restrict the involvement of Jews in political affairs.

May 15– Sunday– Orange, New Jersey– Carpenters and joiners plan to go on strike for the eight hour day.

May 16– Monday– New York City– A survey of opinions in Democratic newspapers published in today’s New York Times indicates that former president Grover Cleveland has strong support, particularly among workingmen and farmers.

May 17–Tuesday– Clarksville, Georgia–A white mob lynches three black men.

May 19–Thursday– Nigeria–As part of British efforts to expand control of trade in the interior area, British troops, armed with a Maxim gun, defeat Ijebu infantry at the battle of Yemoja River. Hundreds of Africans are killed.


Maxim gun


May 21–Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “When you called upon me on the 13th day of May, just prior to my departure with Mrs. Harrison, I expressed myself somewhat fully to you orally upon the subject of the memorial which you submitted, and promised to respond in writing at the earliest practicable moment. Those who have read my public addresses and official papers must be aware of the fact that I have felt the reproach which lawlessness has brought upon some of our communities. I have endeavored to hold up the law as the one single admissible rule of conduct for good citizens. I have appealed against race discriminations as to civil rights and immunities, and have asked that law-abiding men of all creeds and all colors should unite to discourage and to suppress lawlessness. Lynchings are a reproach to any community; they impeach the adequacy of our institutions for the punishment of crime; they brutalize the participants and shame our Christian civilization. I have not time to explain to you the limitations of the Federal power further than to say that under the Constitution and laws I am, in a large measure, without the power to interfere for the prevention or punishment of these offenses. You will not need to be assured that the Department of Justice will let no case pass that is one of Federal jurisdiction without the most strenuous endeavors to bring the guilty persons to punishment. I will give the matter you have suggested the most serious consideration and you may be assured that my voice and help will be given to every effort to arouse the conscience of our people and to stimulate efficient efforts to reestablish the supremacy of the courts and public officers as the only proper agency for the detection arid punishment of crime and the only security of those who are falsely accused.” ~ Letter from President Benjamin Harrison to the Virginia State Baptist Convention on lawlessness in the Southern states.


Benjamin Harrison


May 23– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Harrison announces his intention to seek another term.

May 24– London, England– Queen Victoria bestows the title of Duke of York upon her grandson Prince George of Wales, age 27, making him next in line to the throne after his father, Prince Edward. [George will ascend the throne after his father’s death in 1910 and will rule until his own death on January 20, 1936.]

May 28– Saturday– San Francisco, California– The naturalist and author John Muir, age 52, forms the Sierra Club to advocate for the conservation of nature.


John Muir, circa 1902


May 30– Monday– Rochester, New York– “It took a great deal to separate the home-loving, peaceful people from their homes– these farmers and artisans and clerks and professional men. It must be a strong pull that could withdraw them from association that so closely bound their affections and their lives, but when the moment came and the dreaded war was present, with what magnificent self-denial, with what alacrity every family tie and every commercial interest were put beneath the supreme duty to save the nation and redeem the flag from dishonor. Out of this war we have brought a mutual respect that would not otherwise have been possible. Some of us fancied that the Southern people were given to vaporing– that each one of them was equal to five Northern soldiers. But the South learned that Paul Revere still rode the highways of Massachusetts, and that the man of Concord still plowed his fields. And we, on our part, learned that the spirit of the cavalier which was found in the Southern army was combined with the reserve and steadfastness of Cromwell’s Ironsides. We have found a plane of mutual respect, and I am glad of it; and not only this, but we have found a common country. I do not think– indeed, I am sure that no war ever waged in history before our civil war brought equal blessings to the victor and to the vanquished. No companies of weary, sad-eyed captives at the chariot wheel adorned our triumph and return. We brought into full participation in the glories of restored Union those who had mistakenly sought to destroy it. It gladdens my heart now to believe that the love of the old flag is so revived in these Southern hearts that they would vie with martial ardor to be in front of the charge if we should ever be called to meet a common enemy. Glorious victory and God-given and God-blessed peace! No yoke upon the defeated except that yoke which we wore, comrades, when we resumed our place as citizens– the obligation to obey the Constitution, and all laws made in pursuance of it, as the condition of peaceful citizenship.” ~ Address by President Benjamin Harrison at the dedication ceremony for the Union Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. [Harrison had served as an officer in the Union Army, commanding troops under General William Tecumseh Sherman in the drive to capture Atlanta, Georgia, in 1864. On Harrison’s life and legacy, see: Benjamin Harrison: Centennial President (2006) by Anne Chieko; Life and Public Services of Benjamin Harrison, Twenty-third President of the United States (1901) by James P Boyd.]


A Many-sided Field-day ~ March 1865 ~ 24th to 26th

A Many-sided Field-day


Talk of some type of evacuation of Richmond flourishes at many levels. Lee tries a desperate measure to relieve the siege but suffers a bitter loss. Longstreet worries about the number and morale of his soldiers. Whitman visits his brother George home now from a prison camp. Mexico struggles against the French invaders.

 march -S6R4CFQM

March 24– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– “Clear and very windy. The fear of utter famine is now assuming form. Those who have the means are laying up stores for the day of siege– I mean a closer and more rigorous siege– when all communications with the country shall cease; and this makes the commodities scarcer and the prices higher. There is a project on foot to send away some thousands of useless consumers; but how it is to be effected by the city authorities, and where they will be sent to, are questions I have not heard answered. The population of the city is not less than 100,000, and the markets cannot subsist 70,000. Then there is the army in the vicinity, which must be fed. I suppose the poultry and the sheep will be eaten, and something like a pro rata distribution of flour and meal ordered.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

March 24– Friday– Petersburg, Virginia– “I see no cause for despondency; but on the contrary, I think there is great encouragement to hope. Sherman has gone almost unopposed through the most flourishing portions of the Confederacy; but has he conquered the people? True, his progress will have a deleterious effect upon our cause abroad; but tis far from ‘crushing the rebellion.’ The repulse of our Peace Commissioners, has also produced a desirable effect, causing a greater unanimity of feeling to exist among our people than ever before. The ‘Negro’ bill has been passed, and already the Negroes are being put into the field. This will undoubtedly greatly increase our effective force, since the places of many of our troops now occupying the lines around Petersburg and Richmond can be easily filled; but I think this bill unconstitutional and violently antagonistic to the principles for which we are fighting; if however, tis reported to an act of necessity I cheerfully acquiesce. These men being relieved can operate more successfully upon the enemy’s flanks, and soon we would be ready for another foray into Pennsylvania. I know what you will say to this, since you’ve already told me, you were ‘opposed to invasion;’ but I believe that’s the only way to make the Yankees cry ‘enough.’Tis certainly better for us to enter the enemy’s country, and be fed by them, than remain in these detestable ditches poorly provided for, subject to every manner of disease and to death from the many and fiendish invasions of our foe. More men have been lost since we came south of Richmond than in the celebrated battle of Gettysburg. I’m glad to learn that Senator Hill and others are delivering addresses to the people of Georgia; for I am sorry to say I think they need some stimulus to make them do their duty, since they will not do it voluntarily. Now is the times we need their encouragement and their strongest efforts. Why do they withhold it? Surely they do expect to save anything by submission or reconstruction. On the contrary, they will lose everything, not even their home will be spared.” ~ Letters from Confederate soldier Alva Benjamin Spencer to his fiancee Maggie Cone.

March 24– Friday– Quebec, Canada– Four political leaders are appointed to negotiate Confederation in London.

March 25– Saturday– New York City– “Benito Juarez, President of Mexico, has issued a New Year’s proclamation, dated Chihuahua, in which he urges upon all Mexicans to fight out the question with the [French] invaders. He reiterates his hope that he will triumph in the end. . . . The British army and navy estimates for the year 1865-6 have just been announced. The cost of the army is $71,000,000; of the navy $51,000,000. Total estimates for the military and naval establishments for the coming year, £24,76,671; or, in American currency, $123,703,355.” ~ Frank Leslies Weekly.

President Benito Juarez

President Benito Juarez

March 25– Saturday– Vernon County, Wisconsin– The “Claywater Meteorite” explodes just before reaching ground level. Its fragments, having a combined mass of 1.5 kg, are recovered.

March 25– Saturday– Headquarters First Army Corps, Virginia– “The impression prevails amongst the Georgia troops of this command that persons at home having authority to raise local organizations are writing and sending messages to the men in the ranks here, offering inducements to them to quit our ranks and go home and join the home organizations. The large and increasing number of desertions, particularly amongst the Georgia troops, induces me to believe that some such outside influence must be operating upon our men. Nearly all of the parties of deserters seem to go home, and it must be under the influence of some promise, such as being received in the local forces. I would suggest, therefore, the publication of a general order warning all officers or persons authorized to raise local organizations against receiving such deserters or in any way harboring them, and cautioning all such parties that they shall be punished for such crimes under the twenty-second and twenty-third Articles of War. It may be well to publish the articles in the order, and to send the order South to be published in all the Southern papers. If the order is published, I would suggest that copies be sent to the Southern papers by special messenger or by parties going South who will take pains to have it published, otherwise I fear it may miscarry or be delayed by our irregular mails. Another growing evil seems to trouble us now in the shape of applications to raise Negro companies, regiments, brigades, etc. The desire for promotion seems to have taken possession of our army, and it seems that nearly all the officers and men think that they could gain a grade or more if allowed to go home. I presume that many may try to go merely because they get furloughs. I would suggest, therefore, that some regulation be published upon this subject, and it seems to me that it should require the companies to be mustered in as non-commissioned officers and privates by the enrolling officers, and that all of the officers (general, field, and company) shall be selected from the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates on duty with the armies of the Confederacy. If these matters are not speedily taken hold of by a firm hand, I fear that we shall be seriously damaged by them.” ~ Letter from Confederate General James Longstreet to Colonel W. H. Taylor.

General Longstreet

General Longstreet

March 25– Saturday– Petersburg, Virginia– In a desperate attempt to break the siege, Confederate troops launch a heavy attack against a Federal position called Fort Stedman. After day-long fighting, initial Southern success is turned into a defeat. Total casualties– dead, wounded, missing– are approximately 1400 for the Union and almost 4000 for the Confederacy.

March 25– Saturday– City Point, Virginia– “We may indeed call this a many-sided field-day: a break fast with a pleasure party, an assault and a recapture of an entrenched line, a review by the President of a division of infantry, and sharp fighting at sundry points of a front of eighteen miles! If that is not a mixed affair, I would like to know what is? It has been a lucky day, for us, and the 9th Corps, after patient waiting for eight months, have played the game of the ‘Mine’ against their antagonists. The official despatches will give you the main facts very well, but I can add some particulars. About daylight, the enemy having massed three divisions and a part of a fourth, made a sudden rush and carried Fort Stedman and about half a mile of line commanded by it. The garrisons of the forts on either side stood firm, however, and repelled a severe attack with much injury to the enemy. Meantime, General Parke had ordered that the works should be retaken, if it cost every man in the Corps; and all the scattered regiments immediately at hand were put in and checked a further advance, until General Hartranft (I m not sure about the spelling of his name) brought up the 3rd division, which had been camped in reserve. He person ally led in one brigade of it, with conspicuous gallantry, retook the whole portion lost, and captured, at one swoop, 1800 Rebels. It was just the ‘Mine,’ turned the other way: they got caught in there and could not get out. Their loss also in killed and wounded must have been severe, not only from musketry, but also from canister, which was thrown into a ravine by which they retreated. Upwards of a hundred Rebel dead lay in and round Fort Stedman alone. Our own losses in the 9th Corps will be somewhat over 800, half of whom may be reckoned prisoners, taken in the first surprise. I should guess the loss of their opponents as not less than 2600.” ~ Letter from Union officer Theodore Lyman to his wife Elizabeth.

interior section of Fort Stedman

interior section of Fort Stedman

March 25– Saturday– Mobile, Alabama– Federal forces begin a siege of the city.

March 26– Sunday– Brooklyn, New York– “I write a few lines to tell you how I find the folks at home. Both my mother & brother George looked much better than I expected. Mother is quite well, considering– she goes about her household affairs pretty much the same as ever, & is cheerful. My brother would be in what I would almost call fair condition, if it were not that his legs are affected– it seems to me it is rheumatism, following the fever he had– but I don’t know. He goes to bed quite sleepy & falls to sleep– but then soon wakes, & frequently little or no more sleep that night– he most always leaves the bed, & comes downstairs, & passes the night on the sofa. He goes out most every day though some days has to lay by. He is going to report to Annapolis promptly when his furlough is up. I told him I had no doubt I could get it extended, but he does not wish it. He says little, but is in first rate spirits. I am feeling finely & never enjoyed a visit home more than I am doing this. I find myself perplexed about printing my book. All the printers tell me I could not pick a more inopportune time– that in ten days prices of paper, composition &c will all be very much lower &c. I shall decide tomorrow.” ~ Letter from Walt Whitman to his friends William D. and Ellen M. O’Connor.

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

March 26– Sunday– Staunton, Virginia– “I am still at the Hotel & keeping it open. I have been trying hard to make some disposition of it but it seems impossible to do it & I fear the only way to save it until after the war is for me to keep it open & don’t know now who to get in it & for the present will have to stay here myself. Sometimes I think it best for you to come out here & live & when I think of the risk of all of our property I hesitate & can’t decide what is best for us all round but I think it will not be long until we will be able to judge more fully what is best & what to do. I assure you I am very anxious to be with you but I can’t ask you to abandon home with all its comforts to come here with me for my own comfort & pleasure & of course I have concluded to try & stand it longer.” ~ Letter from John Quincy Nadenbousch to his wife Hester.

March 26– Sunday– Richmond, Virginia– “I fear now it will be impossible to prevent a junction between Grant and Sherman, nor do I deem it prudent that this army should maintain its position until the latter shall approach too near.” ~ Message from Confederate General Robert E Lee to President Jeff Davis.

General Lee

General Lee

March 26– Sunday– outside Petersburg, Virginia– “I feel it my duty this pleasant Sabbath Evening to Inform you that I just came from the hospital from seeing your husband and he requested me to write you a letter to let you know how he was and what had happened him. The Rebs did make a break in through the picket line about one mile from this yesterday morning and we was called out about 5 o’clock and about 6 o’clock we was in line of battle in front of the enemy and we had just gave them two volleys when Sylvester and I was both wounded. Sylvester is wounded through the leg but I guess the bone is not fractured any at least he thinks so. He was in very good spirits to day and I think that it wont be sore very long. I got a slight tap through one of my fingers on the left hand. Mine is a very light wound but it is pretty sore to day. Sylvester was taken to the Hospital just shortly after he was wounded and I came back to camp. There was eight wounded in our Company and one killed. The rest of the boys are all out yet lying at the breast works. There was some of them had to go on picket last night but they will come in this evening but we drove the rebs back and they loosed a good many men. They had taken two or three of our forts before we got to them but we soon took them all back and the report is that we took fifteen hundred prisoners. There was over three hundred of the rebs killed and our loss don’t exceed more than three hundred killed wounded and missing. . . . Old General Lee told his men that they would go to City Point again . . . when they started but the old fellow missed that game . . . . Well I must soon bring my scribbling to a close for I will have to get at and get supper.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Jacob Shearer to Harriet A. McElheney.

Sherman Is Proving Himself a Great General ~ February 1865 ~ 21st to 22nd

Sherman Is Proving Himself a Great General ~ Gideon Welles

William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman

Lincoln’s government is pleased with General Sherman as his troops march through South Carolina, more hindered by rainy weather than by strong defense from Confederate soldiers. The Georgia legislature shows signs of contention with the government in Richmond, particularly disagreeing with the idea of drafting slaves into the army. Food supplies are so short in some Southern places that soldiers steal flour for local women to use.


February 21– Tuesday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “We learn from citizens of Wayne county who arrived yesterday, that a few days ago a guerrilla murder was committed at Ceredo, on the Ohio river in that county. It appears that a gang of men, under command of the notorious Bill Smith, came down to Ceredo and entered the house of Jack Meadows, a citizen, shot him through the heart, drove his wife and children out of doors, and set fire to the premises. Mrs. Meadows who was fortunately armed with a revolver, shot one of the guerrillas dead and seriously wounded another, but not until one of her legs had been broken by a blow with a gun in the hands of one of the rebels. The rebels having completely destroyed the house of Mr. Meadows, with all its contents, fled to their hiding places, leading their dead companion unburied. Mrs. Meadows and her children were taken to Catlettsburg, Kentucky where she still remains.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

February 21– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “We have made great progress in the Rebel War within a brief period. Charleston and Columbia have come into our possession without any hard fighting. The brag and bluster, the threats and defiance which have been for thirty years the mental aliment of South Carolina prove impotent and ridiculous. They have displayed a talking courage, a manufactured bravery, but no more, and I think not so much inherent heroism as others. Their fulminations that their cities would be Saragossas were mere gasconade, their Pinckneys and McGrawths and others were blatant political partisans. General Sherman is proving himself a great general, and his movements from Chattanooga to the present demonstrate his ability as an officer. He has, undoubtedly, greater resources, a more prolific mind, than Grant, and perhaps as much tenacity if less cunning and selfishness. In Congress there is a wild, radical element in regard to the rebellious States and people. They are to be treated by a radical Congress as no longer States, but Territories without rights, and must have a new birth or creation by permission of Congress. These are the mistaken theories and schemes of Chase, perhaps in conjunction with others.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.


February 21– Tuesday– outside Petersburg, Virginia– “We are having delightful weather and quite warm . . . . We have today glorious news– the fall of Charleston. Salutes have been fired along the entire line and the troops have cheered themselves hoarse. Thank God for the victory, for I hope it will help to end the war. The enemy still continues to desert to our lines. Last night ten came. They all tell the same story– that the Southern cause is hopeless. I begin to feel that the war is really drawing to a close, but we shall have some severe fighting yet.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

February 21– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Another bright and glorious morning. Charleston fell on Thursday night last. A large number of heavy guns fell into the hands of the enemy. The confidential telegraph operators remained with the enemy. They were Northern men; but it is the policy of those in possession of this government to trust their enemies and neglect their friends. . . . The Negro bill also passed one House [of Congress], and will pass the other to-day. . . . These measures may come too late. The enemy is inclosing us on all sides with great vigor and rapidity. A victory by Beauregard would lift up the hearts of the people, now prone in the dust.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

February 21– Tuesday– Winnsborough, South Carolina– “A rebel woman set fire to her store filled with cotton and destroyed two or three blocks before the troops entered. The Fourteenth Corps entering first put out the fire and appropriated the large amount of supplies found there.” ~ Diary of an officer serving with Union General Oliver O. Howard.

civilians fleeing before Sherman's advance

civilians fleeing before Sherman’s advance

February 21– Tuesday– Macon, Georgia– “1st. Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, That the struggle in which we have been engaged for the last four years involves not only the domestic institutions of the South, but the rights of self government and State Sovereignty, in which every State of this Confederacy as well as each State of the North, is most deeply interested; to maintain political equality and the sovereignty of the States should be an object demanding the greatest public sacrifice. 2nd, Resolved, That we do spurn with indignation due to so gross an insult, the terms on which the President of the United States has proffered peace to the people of the Confederate States. 3rd, Resolved, That the freedom with which the President [Jeff Davis] has received even unofficial commissioners from the United States, his ready response to unofficial invitations to send commissioners, and the wise and discreet choice of persons made by him, commands our highest admiration, and is proof conclusive to the world of an honest and sincere desire to adjust the differences between the two nations, and put an end to this bloody strife. 4th, Resolved, That burying all past differences of opinion as to the origin and conduct of the war, we intend to take nothing but our absolute independence, and to accomplish this Georgia pledges herself to use all the resources which Providence has placed in her power, humbly relying upon divine assistance in the defense of all that is dear to freemen. 5th, Resolved, Though having lately passed through an ordeal of blood and trial, Georgia renews her pledges to her sister States to stand by them with her army and treasury until independence is achieved and liberty won. 6th, Resolved, That our  profoundest gratitude is due to her soldiers, who on many a bloody battle field have illustrated their State by deeds of heroic valor, and that while we look to them with pride and confidence, we will see to it that their efforts are generously sustained, and that the amplest resources of the State are applied for the support and comfort of their families at home. 7th Resolved, That His Excellency the Governor, be requested to transmit a copy of the resolutions to the President of the Confederate States, the Governors of the several independent States, and to our Senators and Representatives in Congress.”


February 21– Tuesday– Albany, Georgia– “A letter from Mecca Joyner, saying she is coming to make me a visit, and I must meet her in Albany on Wednesday. Just as I had finished reading it a buggy drove up with Flora Maxwell and Captain Rust, from Gopher Hill. Flora has a great reputation for beauty, but I think her even more fascinating and elegant than beautiful. Captain Rust is an exile from Delaware, and a very nice old gentleman, whom the Maxwells think a great deal of. He was banished for helping Southern prisoners to escape across the lines. He tells me that he sometimes had as many as fourteen rebels concealed in his house at one time.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

February 21– Tuesday– Paris, France– The painter Constant Troyon dies at 54 years of age.

Cattle Drinking by Troyon

Cattle Drinking by Troyon

February 21– Tuesday– Melbourne, Victoria, Australia– A Royal Commission into the origin and nature of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (a cattle disease) presents its final report to the Parliament of Victoria.

February 22– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “As your life has been faithfully devoted to the cause of humanity, the abolition of slavery and the welfare of the freedman, I am sure you will be interested in all facts and questions relating to the condition of those in any part of the country whom the rebellion has made free. I went from Ohio to New Orleans in the summer of 1863, and since, then, most of the time, have resided there, participating in and observing the effect of the new order of things which the slaveholders’ war has inaugurated. From what I have seen in Northern papers, I think the true condition and relation of those who were formerly slaves, in the State of Louisiana, have not been fully understood. . . . Slavery, I trust, is forever abolished in Louisiana; and if, in the future, her lawgivers secure equal rights to all her citizens; her fertile lands and genial climate, producing figs, rice, corn, tobacco, sugar and cotton; her orange groves, bending and yellow with ripening fruit; and her thousands of miles of navigable rivers and bayous, furnishing ample, cheap, convenient and expeditions means of conveying the products of her soil to market, will invite capital and labor from every civilized country and clime. She will then learn to her advantage that ‘righteousness exalteth’ a State. But if, in the future as in the past, a majority of her laborers are oppressed and disfranchised, she will learn, at her cost that injustice ‘is a reproach to any people.’” ~ Letter from John Hutchins to William Lloyd Garrison.

February 22– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– General Robert E. Lee, now commander of all Confederate armies, issues Special Order No. 3, naming General Joseph E. Johnston commander the Army of Tennessee and of all troops in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Privately, Lee telegraphs Johnston with instructions: “Concentrate all available forces and drive back Sherman.” Quickly, Johnston telegraphs back: “It is too late to expect me to concentrate troops capable of driving back Sherman. The remnant of the Army of Tennessee is much divided. So are other troops. Is any discretion allowed me? I have no staff.”

General Robert E Lee

General Robert E Lee

February 22– Wednesday– Frankfort, Kentucky– The legislature rejects the Thirteenth Amendment.

February 22– Wednesday– Nashville, Tennessee– The state adopts a new state constitution which includes a prohibition of slavery.

February 22– Wednesday– McMinnville, Tennessee– “Some Yanks came– wanting milk– they said. I met them at the backdoor, spoke pleasantly but held the door knob in my hand. I saw they were preparing to come in but I did not invite them and bolting the door, directed them to [a slave] Mammy’s house to get the milk. They went-dreadfully dissatisfied and grumbled to the servants [slaves] that I had not asked them to come in the house. They were gentlemen, had been raised, never had been in any place before but what they were asked in the house, if they had been officers she would have asked them in, if they had been secesh etc. etc. etc., until Mammy and Puss [both slaves] said they thought both were born fools. The servants [slaves] told them I never asked soldiers in the house soldiers did not expect it and have no right to expect it—they usually come to get something and if I had it I gave it and they went away—if they expected to be invited in they mostly come with some friend to introduce them etc. etc. Finally they commenced about killing chickens, the Negroes got them out to if—then they wanted milk which was brought—then walnuts—these also were furnished—some wanted bread and this was handed over also—then they went off after examining all the outhouses, etc. carefully—for what I do not know. Just as dinner was on the table and we sitting down to it here they came again—whiz! Bang! Went the rocks everywhere. They were after the chickens, and they carried them off in triumph. Not all satisfied however, for they came back 3 times after more but failed to catch them. Mammy was so mad she was fit to fly and Puss was quite as much exasperated.” ~ Journal of Lucy Virginia French

Lucy Virginia French

Lucy Virginia French

February 22– Wednesday– Macon, Georgia– “Whereas, We are informed that the Confederate Government contemplates and are making efforts, to enlist in the military service of the Confederate States, the male slaves of the State, within certain ages, first paying the owners their value, and then setting them free at the end of the war. 1st. Resolved, By the Senate and House of Representatives of Georgia, That it is our opinion, that this measure if carried out, will be a violation of the Constitution of the Confederate States. 2nd. Resolved, That independent of the constitutional difficulty, in the opinion of this General Assembly, the policy of employing this class of persons in the army, will be pre-judicial in the extreme and will result in the destruction of the slave interest of the South, as well as the ruin of our army. 3rd. Resolved, That the Governor of Georgia, be requested to transmit a copy of these resolutions to the President of the Confederate States, and to the Governors of each of the Confederate States.”

February 22– Wednesday– Athens, Georgia– “We understand that some soldiers belonging to [Confederate General] Hood’s army, at home on furlough, made a ‘raid’ on the Commissary store in Hartwell last Thursday, and helped themselves to what they wanted. They afterwards went to McMullen’s mill, where the Government grain was ground, and distributed to about fifty females a sack of flour each.” ~ The Southern Banner.

February 22– Wednesday– Albany, Georgia– “I . . . brought Mecca Joyner and Jim Chiles home with me. I took dinner with Mrs. Sims and met several friends, whom I invited to our picnic. Sister had a large company to spend the evening, and they stayed so late that I grew very sleepy. I am all upset, anyway, for letters from home have come advising us to stay here for the present, where there is plenty to eat, and less danger from Yankees now, than almost anywhere else. It must be perversity, for when I thought I had to go home I wanted to stay here, and now that father wants me to stay, I am wild to go. I have written him that he had better order me back home, for then I would not care so much about going. Now that the Yanks have passed by Augusta and are making their way to Columbia and Charleston, I hope they will give Georgia a rest.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

Eliza Frances Andrews

Eliza Frances Andrews

A Shock to the Framework of Southern Society ~ January 1865 ~ 30th & 31st

A Shock to the Framework of Southern Society ~ Gideon Welles

slave auction

slave auction

After weeks of contentious debate, the House of Representatives passes the resolution for the Thirteenth Amendment to the U S Constitution, an amendment abolishing slavery which had passed the Senate some time ago, in April of 1864. This creates a dramatic change in a society where race-based slavery has existed since 1619. West Virginia takes steps to rehabilitate rebels . . . or else. Tennessee, Georgia and Kentucky continue to reel from fighting, both military and political. South Carolina prepares as best it can for the Yankee invaders.


January 30– Tuesday– Covington, Georgia– “As the moon has changed, Julia [the slave cook] has gone to making soap again. She is a strong believer in the moon, and never undertakes to boil her soap on the wane of the moon. ‘It won’t thicken, mistress – see if it does!’ She says, too, we must commence gardening this moon. I have felt a strong desire today that my captured boys might come back. Oh, how thankful I should feel to see them once more safe at home!” ~ Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge.

January 30– Tuesday– Franklin County, Tennessee– “I reside about six miles below Winchester in Franklin County Tennessee. I am married. My husband’s name is Luke Kelly. On or about sundown of the 20 of January1865 two men named Reagan and Sam Nance rode up to the house dismounted and entered the house by the back door said they wanted to see Kelly to induce him to go see Mr. Gillespie to induce him to intercede for them to see if they could get out of bushwhacking. I told them Kelly my husband would not be at home that night. They said they were going to stay at my house. I answered they could not that my husband was not at home. They said they would stay. After Kelly came home they requested him to intercede for them in order that they might return to their home. They then laid down by the fire and remained in that position until the Federal soldiers arrived a little before day. They surrounded the house and told me to make a light. They then come in the house and asked if any Bushwhackers were in the house. I told them there is and they inquired where. I said the next room. The Lieutenant asked me if I had taken the Oath [of allegiance to the United States government]. I stated I had not. The men who were in the house made some show of resistance but were overpowered by the soldiers. After doing this Federal soldiers asked if I could fix breakfast for them. I said I thought I could if they would help me. They assisted me in fixing the fire and such and that is all the conversation I recall at present as passing between myself and the soldiers mentioned. As soon as they took breakfast they left with their prisoners. They brought my husband and myself along with them. They asked me after I stated that Kelly was not at home for the Bushwhackers being there. That is all I remember of the conversation.” ~ Sworn testimony of Matilda Jane Kelly.

George Whitman, Walt's soldier brother

George Whitman, Walt’s soldier brother

January 31– Tuesday– Brooklyn, New York– “I received your letter to day glad to hear that you was getting along so nicely and feeling so well. I hope you will write me often I feel very sad and downhearted to-night. I have just been reading about the prisoners as detailed before the committee on the conduct of the war– isn’t it perfectly awful? . . . Poor mother reads about the treatment of prisoners and will set with her head in her hand for an hour afterward– she seems to feel it much more for the last few days than she did . . . . Mother is quite well but downhearted. Mattie and the children are very well and the young ones grow like everything. Last night Morris Roberts– a friend of George’s and Andrew’s– died of spotted fever– you of course remember him– he was superintendent of the poor– he caught it somehow connected with his business. I understand that there is a great deal of it in the city some 9 cases in Johnson street near [the] Navy [Yard]. No news to tell– write me– all send love.” ~ Letter from Jeff Whitman to his brother Walt.

January 31– Tuesday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “A bill is now before the House of Delegates which provided that any person who shall have heretofore borne arms or who shall hereafter bear arms against the government of the United States, or of this State, shall be required within thirty days after the passage of this act to take and subscribe an oath that they will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of West Virginia, to be filed in the office of the recorder of the county where such person resides. Any person failing to comply with the requirements of the law shall be liable to fine or imprisonment, or both, at the discretion of the Circuit Court of the county where such person resides. The bill also provides that from and after thirty days from the passage of the act no contract or obligation entered into with any such person as is embraced in the law, shall be binding or obligatory upon any one, either in law or equity; and it shall be a sufficient bar to any action, either in law or enforce the same has either borne arms, or held or accepted office, as named in the first section of this act. Any person liable to the penalties imposed by the act, who shall refuse within six months from its passage to take the oath prescribed shall be compelled to leave the State.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

January 31– Tuesday–Washington, D. C.– “I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of War, covering papers bearing on the arrest and imprisonment of Colonel Richard T. Jacobs, lieutenant-governor of the State of Kentucky, and Colonel Frank Wolford, one of the Presidential electors of that State, requested by resolution of the Senate dated December 20, 1864.” ~ Message from President Lincoln to the Senate. [Jacobs and Wolford had supported General McClellan in the presidential election, for which the governor of Kentucky, Thomas Bramlette, had them arrested. Lincoln secures their release.]

Thomas Bramlette, Governor of Kentucky

Thomas Bramlette, Governor of Kentucky

January 31– Tuesday–Washington, D. C.– The House of Representatives finally passes the resolution for the Thirteenth Amendment. “1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

excitement in the House of Representatives after the adoption of the proposed 13th Amendment

excitement in the House of Representatives after the adoption of the proposed 13th Amendment

January 31– Tuesday–Washington, D. C.– “I made a short stay at Cabinet to-day. The President was about to admit a delegation from New York to an interview which I did not care to attend. The vote was taken to-day in the House on the Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery, which was carried 119 to 56. It is a step towards the reestablishment of the Union in its integrity, yet it will be a shock to the framework of Southern society. But that has already been sadly shattered by their own inconsiderate and calamitous course. When, however, the cause, or assignable cause for the Rebellion is utterly extinguished, the States can and will resume their original position, acting each for itself. How soon the people in those States will arrive at right conclusions on this subject cannot now be determined.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

January 31– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Accounts of refugees from Savannah, heretofore published in this paper, concur in stating that General Sherman has publicly declared that he may not be able to restrain his troops when he invades South Carolina, and he does not know that he shall attempt to. Every-one knows what the rank and file of invading armies are most composed of. They are, in general, the refuse of society, the scum of the nations, outcasts, outlaws and Pariahs of the earth. Even the few of them who before were respectable citizens, become demoralized by their removal from the social and moral influences of home and the evil associations and temptations of their new mode of life. That the Yankee armies are no exception to this rule, is manifest from the hideous crimes and hard track of desolation which, even when professedly restrained by their commanders, have signalized their march through the South. What human imagination can compass the horrors which the removal of all restraint from such armies means? It means the burning of every house, the dishonor of every woman, the indiscriminate murder of old and young from one end of South Carolina to the other. That is what it means; nothing more, nothing less. General Sherman need not say that he cannot restrain his troops. If he cannot, he is unfit for his position. Any general, who chooses, has at his disposal ample means of enforcing discipline and good behavior. When Sherman intimates his doubts whether he shall attempt to restrain his soldiers, he gives us the only reason why he cannot. It remains to be seen whether our own military authorities will be able, or be inclined, to restrain the vengeance with which such dispositions should be resisted and punished.” ~ Richmond Times Dispatch.

Federal cavalry

Federal cavalry

January 31– Tuesday– somewhere in southeastern South Carolina– “We are well-situated in our present camp. But the Yanks are advancing, and it will not be long until this will all be over. And the campaign will open and then South Carolina will be overrun by the foul invader. We have a great many reports through camps, and one is that there is a Union flag flying from the courthouse at Hamilton, which reports I do not believe. But one I know that there was great many secessh about there, and if they have changed as much as the secessh of this state, they are willing to do anything to save their state. They were first for war, and they think it right to be first for peace. But I tell them they know nothing about war as yet, and they must wait until the yanks get full possession of the state and then they can be to realize what war is and not till then. I am very anxious to have peace, if we can have it in the proper way. And if not, my voice is still for war, but it seems to me that we have had war long enough to have peace on good terms.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier to his wife.

January 31– Tuesday– Albany, Georgia– “Sister and I spent the morning making calls. At the tithing agent’s office, where she stopped to see about her taxes, we saw a battalion of Wheeler’s cavalry, which is to be encamped in our neighborhood for several weeks. Their business is to gather up and take care of broken-down horses, so as to fit them for use again in baggage trains and the like. At the postoffice a letter was given me, which I opened and read, thinking it was for me. It began ‘Dear Ideal’and was signed ‘Yours forever.’ I thought at first that Captain Hobbs or Albert Bacon was playing a joke on me, but on making inquiry at the office, I learned that there is a cracker girl [a poor white] named Fanny Andrews living down somewhere near Gum Pond, for whom, no doubt, the letter was intended; so I remailed it to her. As we were sitting in the parlor after supper, there was another lumbering noise of heavy feet on the front steps, but it was caused by a very different sort of visitor from the one we had Sunday night. A poor, cadaverous fellow came limping into the room, and said he was a wounded soldier, looking for work as an overseer. He gave his name as Etheridge, and I suspect, from his manner, that he is some poor fellow who has seen better days. Sister engaged him on the spot, for one month, as an experiment, though she is afraid he will not be equal to the work.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

cartoon depicting Georgia "crackers"

cartoon depicting Georgia “crackers”

January 31– Tuesday– Paris, France– Birth of Henri Desgrange, sports journalist, bicycle racer and founder of the Tour-de-France. [Dies August 16, 1940.]

Henri Desgrange

Henri Desgrange

Fight For Charleston! ~ January 1865 ~ 21st to 24th

Fight for Charleston!

Dozens of women in Charleston, South Carolina, call on their men to fight the Yankees to the death. An exchanged Confederate prisoner reports that morale is high among rebel soldiers in Northen prison camps. Yet another soldier writes to his wife that desertions from the Confederate ranks are increasing and morale is low. A Tennessee woman notes that the war is demoralizing every body. Like other Northerners, George Templeton Strong sees the end of slavery as necessary to re-establishment of the Union. Whitman has a job in Washington.

slave auction

slave auction

January 21– Saturday– outside Petersburg, Virginia– “It has been a long time since I have seen or heard from you, and I suppose that you have nearly forgotten me, but if you will think back you will remember a man by my name, whom you met in Carver Hospital Washington D. C. where we met then the first time. I never expected to be able to write you a line in the year 1865, but I have been spared for some other purpose I suppose. And now you will please accept my thanks for all the favors that you have shown me while lying then unable to help myself. Lieutenant Babcock has this morning recd a letter from Lieutenant Caldwell. Caldwell and all the rest of our officers are in Danville Military Prison Virginia, he mentions Major Wright, Captain Whitman . . . [and others] they are all doing well, & all they ask for is for something to eat, Hard Bread and Pork, or anything that can be sent them, and as it is impossible for us to get them anything how I hope some of you good people at home will try and do something for them. Lieutenant Babcock has shown me a memorial of the Old 51st and if you could possibly send me a few copies I would be very much obliged to you for your trouble. Once more allow me to thank you for your kindness toward me while in Hospital.” ~ Letter from Union officer Aaron Smith to Walt Whitman with news of Whitman’s brother George.

January 21– Saturday– Richmond, Virginia– According to an article in today’s Richmond Times Dispatch the state of Georgia had16,000 slaves in 1776 and 381,682 slaves in 1850.

January 21– Saturday– Charleston, South Carolina– “From Colonel M. L. Woods, of the 46th Alabama regiment, who has just returned from imprisonment in the North, in which he remained for twenty months, we learn that there are now in the prison camp on Johnson Island, three thousand Confederate officers and two hundred private soldiers. For the first six or eight months after Colonel Weeds reached Johnson island, the prisoners were treated well. . . . What is most important, however, concerning our prisoners, is the spirit which animates them. They were never more enthusiastic in their patriotism, and were never more determined to fight through the war than now. They authorized Colonel Woods to say to the President and the Confederate Congress that, in the reorganization of the army, which they anticipated, any claims which they might have as officers should be entirely disregarded. They are perfectly willing to shoulder their muskets and march in the ranks of the army. The general spirit of Confederate prisoners – privates as well as officers – throughout the North, was undaunted and determined; and whilst a large number of soldiers are reported to have taken the oath of allegiance to the United States, Colonel Woods knows that the number is not only grossly exaggerated, but that a large number who do take the oath only do so to enable them to get out of the clutches of their keepers and return to the Confederacy.” ~ Charleston Mercury.

johnson island index01

January 21– Saturday– somewhere in southeast South Carolina– “I see the citizens of Savannah has held a Union meeting and passed resolutions in favor of going back into the Union. They say they are going to send one copy to the Mayor of Augusta, one to the Mayor of Atlanta, one to Macon, one to Columbus and one to the President of the United States. I suppose they treat them very well in Savannah! I had the chance of [a] lieutenant position the other day and would not accept it. All I want is to get out of this war. Sallie, when you write me let me know the people’s notions at home about the war. Let me know what your notions are. I will tell you what mine are: I am whipped. Sallie, we are a ruined people. There is no chance for us. Good many of our regiments are deserting. They are in low spirits. Tom Sanders from our county has deserted, but I don’t think I will ever desert. I will stay with them until the war ends or they kill me. I think the best thing we can do is to go back into the Union. The Negroes are certain to be set free. Sallie, we have done all that we can. That’s my notion, Sallie. Remember me in this dark hour of trial.” ~ Letter from a Confederate soldier to his wife Sallie.

Federal ambulances

Federal ambulances

January 21– Saturday– Albany, Georgia– “I never in all my life knew such furious rains as we had last night; it seemed as if the heavens themselves were falling upon us. In addition to the uproar among the elements, my slumbers were disturbed by frightful dreams about Garnett. Twice during the night I dreamed that he was dead and in a state of corruption, and I couldn’t get anybody to bury him. Colonel Avery and Captain Mackall were somehow mixed up in the horrid vision, trying to help me, but powerless to do so. In the morning, when we waked, I found that Metta also had dreamed of Garnett’s death. I am not superstitious, but I can’t help feeling more anxious than usual to hear news of my darling brother. The rain held up about dinner time and Mrs. Sims determined to return to Albany, in spite of high waters and the threatening aspect of the sky. We went five miles out of our way to find a place where we could ford Wright’s Creek, and even there the water was almost swimming. Mett and I were frightened out of our wits, but Mrs. Sims told us to shut our eyes and trust to Providence, and Providence and Uncle Aby between them brought us through in safety. At some places in the woods, sheets of water full half a mile wide and from one to two feet deep were running across the road, on their way to swell the flood in Flint River. Sister sent a Negro before us on a mule to see if the water-courses were passable. We had several bad scares, but reached town in safety a little after dark.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

January 21 – Saturday– Paris, France– Joseph Xavier Boniface Saintine, novelist and dramatist, dies at age 66.


January 21– Saturday– Helsinki, Finland– The painter Johan Erik Lindh dies at 71 years of age.

January 22– Sunday– New York City– “I have faith in Uncle Abe’s sagacity and honesty and in Stanton’s vindictiveness. They favor no pacification that leaves the sources of this war still open and the Slaveocracy in existence to recover its strength and rebel a second time. They know that peace and union cannot be secured without utterly squelching slavery and slaveholders.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

January 22– Sunday– Bolivar, Tennessee– “The war seems to be demoralizing every body. . . . Some of the very nicest girls of this county are throwing themselves, their honor and good name away, losing control over fiendish passions, ruining themselves forever in the eyes of the world. Oh will people never be brought to their senses!” ~ Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.

January 22– Sunday– Albany, Georgia– “The rains returned with double fury in the night and continued all day. If ‘the stars in their courses fought against Sisera,’ it looks as if the heavens were doing as much for us against Kilpatrick and his raiders. There was no service at St. Paul’s, so Mrs. Sims kept Metta and me in the line of duty by reading aloud High Church books to us. They were very dull, so I didn’t hurt myself listening. After dinner we read the Church service and sang hymns until relieved by a call from our old friend, Captain Hobbs.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

January 22– Sunday– Schwerin, Germany– Birth of Friedrich Paschen, educator and physicist. [Dies February 25, 1947.]

Friedrich Paschen

Friedrich Paschen

January 23– Monday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, That our senators in congress be instructed, and our representatives requested, to cast their votes in favor of the proposed amendment to the constitution of the United States for the abolishment of slavery.” ~ Resolution passed by the state legislature.

January 23– Monday– Paris, France– The painter Joseph Desire Court dies at 67 years of age.

woman on a couch by Joseph Desire Court

woman on a couch by Joseph Desire Court

January 24– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “Several members of the Cabinet, with myself, considered the question, to-day, as to the time of your coming on here. While we fully appreciate your wish to remain in Tennessee until her State government shall be completely re-inaugurated, it is our unanimous conclusion that it is unsafe for you to not be here on the 4th of March. Be sure to reach here by that time.” ~ Telegram from President Lincoln to Andrew Johnson.

January 24– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “You are hereby appointed to a Clerkship of the first class in the Office of Indian Affairs, of this Department, the salary of which is $1200 per annum, to commence when you have subscribed the enclosed oath, and entered upon duty.” ~ Letter from William T. Otto to Walt Whitman.

January 24– Tuesday– Charleston, South Carolina– “We beg, through your columns, to address, the General commanding South Carolina, and the Governor of this State. We, women of Charleston, not enthusiastic girls, but women whose hair has whitened through the anguish of this awful war, whose husbands, sons, brothers, have died for South Carolina and Charleston, entreat to be heard. We would say that we have listened, with grief and horror inexpressible, to the hints of abandoning to our foes, without a struggle, the city of our love. We urge, by all our titles to regard; we implore, as the greatest boon, fight for Charleston! Fight at every point – fight for every inch, and if our men must die, let them die amid the blazing ruins of our homes, their souls rising upward on the flames which save our city from the pollution of our enemy. Send out the women and children yet in the city. Thousands of Charleston women scattered through the land will share with them their all. They shall not starve. But let them be no excuse for deserting the sacred homes of us and our ancestors. . . . By the rain of blood and tears, which has fallen upon our hearts, never quenching, but brightening the flame of patriotism there, do not utterly crush those true hearts by this blow. We know, each of us, our husbands, our brothers, our sons, are not shrinking now. They are chafing at this fatal policy of retreat. They who have won their fame from the Savannah river to Charleston harbor, they ask but leave to fight on as they have fought. Do you but lead them on, not keep them back. We call upon the Commanding General to stand by us, to fight with us, heart and soul. We call upon our Governor, sworn to defend Carolina and her honor, to defend it here. Let the mantle of the dictator fall upon him, and if Charleston, defended to the hour, must then fall amidst her burning edifices and her homes – either to the sound of guns of our forts, as they send out their last defiance to the baffled foe.” ~ Letter signed by dozens of women to the editor of the Charleston Mercury.

Confederate women

Confederate women

January 24– Tuesday– Albany, Georgia– “Mr. and Mrs. Welsh spent the evening with us. Jim Chiles came last night and sat until the chickens crowed for day. Although I like Jimmy and enjoy his budget of news, I would enjoy his visits more if he knew when to go away. I never was so tired and sleepy in my life, and cold, too, for we had let the fire go out as a hint. When at last we went to our room I nearly died laughing at the way Metta had maneuvered to save time. She had loosened every button and string that she could get at without being seen, while sitting in the parlor, and had now only to give herself a good shake and she was ready for bed. We spent the morning making calls with Mrs. Sims, and found among the refugees from South Carolina a charming old lady, Mrs. Brisbane. Though past fifty, she is prettier than many a woman of half her years, and her manners would grace a court. Her father was an artist of note, and she showed us some beautiful pictures painted by him. After dinner we enjoyed some Florida oranges sent by Clinton Spenser, and they tasted very good, in the absence of West India fruit.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

Spirit is Wanting Amongst Our Leaders ~ January 1865 ~ 18th and 19th

Spirit Is Wanting Amongst Our Leaders ~ Charleston Mercury

Union soldiers celebrate the news of Sherman's march to the sea

Union soldiers celebrate the news of Sherman’s march to the sea

Increasingly worried by General Sherman’s moves into South Carolina, the leading Charleston newspaper adopts an hysterical tone, calling for resistance and denouncing the government in Richmond. The Davis government makes a quiet overture to the Lincoln administration about peace, a move which some in the Confederate Congress vehemently deny. Lincoln writes quietly to General Grant. Sherman reports to the War Department. Walt Whitman is returning to Washington and his friends are excited.


January 18– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “You having shown me Mr. Davis’s letter to you of the twelfth instant, you may say to him that I have constantly been, am now, and shall continue, ready to receive any agent whom he or any other influential person now resisting the national authority may informally send to me with the view of securing peace to the people of our one common country.” ~ Letter from President Lincoln to Francis P Blair, authorizing Blair to pursue behind the scenes negotiations for peace.

Francis P Blair

Francis P Blair

January 18– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Mr. Lester, of Georgia, moved to suspend the rules to allow him to introduce the following: ‘Whereas, On the 14th day of this month there appeared in the columns of the Richmond Sentinel a correspondence over the signature of Q, and headed with the words, Treason, Treason, Treason printed in conspicuous capitals, and marked with points of exclamation, in which the writer announces that it is rumored on the street that there was a resolution before Congress in secret session to open irregular intercourse, through commissioners, with Lincoln, for peace; and asserted that such a proceeding was not only treason, but, under the circumstances, treachery of the most infamous character, and avowing that the people of Virginia certainly, and, in the opinion of the writer, of the Confederate States generally, would not allow themselves to be sold by traitorous Congressman after this fashion; and whereas, said correspondence was accompanied by a brief editorial, characterized by the same tone and spirit as the correspondence; and whereas, said correspondence and editorial comment as aforesaid are calculated to mislead the public judgment, and in their temper and spirit impute to Congress folly, disloyalty, treason and treachery. Be it therefore resolved, That so far as the statement and imputation contained in the said correspondence and editorial are intended to apply to this branch of Congress, they are false in fact and inference, and an infringement on the privileges of its members, and merit the emphatic rebuke of this House.’” ~ Richmond Times Dispatch.

January 18– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Cloudy and cool. Cannon heard down the river. No war news. But blockade-running at Wilmington has ceased; and common calico, now at $25 per yard, will soon be $50. The stupor in official circles continues, and seems likely to continue. . . . Flour is $1250 per barrel, to-day. General Lee writes that he thinks the crisis (starvation in the army) past. Good. In South Carolina we hear of public meetings of submission, etc.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

January 18– Wednesday– Memphis, Tennessee– “T. B. Johnson, a recent Confederate deserter, found himself at the Recorder’s Court. Maggie Montgomery ‘a lady of easy virtue’ testified that Johnson had called at her house on a recent occasion, drank wine, and shared her bed, and departed without paying her claim for services rendered. She claimed that in as much as houses of the stamp kept by her are licensed by the city, it is the duty of the city to prevent and punish imposition on the keepers of said housed, as practiced by the defendant, and she therefore looked for redress. . . . His honor, however, failed to see the case in that light, and informed the exasperated nymph that it was not within his jurisdiction. That being the case Ms. Montgomery preferred charges of drunkenness and disorderly conduct against Johnson. The judge fined him $18.00, and he was happy to have an end to the affair. It was rumored also that Johnson had not paid the hack who took him to and from Montgomery’s bordello.” ~ Memphis Bulletin. [The $18 fine would equal $266 in current dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.

January 18– Wednesday– Charleston, South Carolina– “‘He that hath not a stomach for the fight – let him depart; Let crowns of carrols be put into his purse.’ – Shakespeare. In God’s name let him depart – and that quickly. It is a grievous and most melancholy reflection to every man here who has stood up upon this line of defense from Savannah to Charleston for now four years, against all comers, who have defended the State and the cause, against all odds in numbers, never fighting less than four to one, and whipping the enemy almost invariably, and under all circumstances – withstanding all the force of mechanical science – unappalled by their then new iron monsters, their three hundred pounder rifle shot, and their fifteen inch guns first tried here; undaunted in the midst of temporary disaster; three times at Pocotaligo, and once there with odds of 26 to 1; once at Secessionville, with odds of 10 to 1; at Batteries Gregg and Wagner, against their whole fleet, their land batteries right in front, and their infantry four to one, whilst every shot fired by us had to be carried in a row boat by night to the beach, and from thence singly by the hand a half mile to the gun – every drop of water transported by night in a row boat to Morris Island, and carried from the beach in like manner, and all under fire, at Sumter amidst its crumbling walls, with every shot from the fleet on our side, and the land batteries of the enemy on the other, ploughing straight through the fort as through a pasteboard – whilst their mortar shell fell from above – standing up to their post amidst all ruin and peril, and disaster – standing there unmoved, unyielding; it is most melancholy, most grievous, most disheartening, most utterly disgusting to us, now to look upon the present aspect of our affairs within our own lines. Here we have stood and held the enemy by the throat, and tramples him under our feet, and kept him there crouching upon the belt of the sea for four years. And here we are today, under a new regime of men – to abandon all without one fair blow – all our efforts here to be vain – all skill and science expended here to be flung away – all heroism displayed here in vain – all to be abandoned, and no leader to have made a forlorn hope at the point of fight! Paralyzed, our lines are allowed to be broken. The new regime has succeeded, where to fight means to calculate how not to get killed. The game cock spirit that has so long sustained us here, is wanting amongst our leaders.” ~ Charleston Mercury .

January 19– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “Please read and answer this letter as though I was not President, but only a friend. My son, now in his twenty-second year, having graduated at Harvard, wishes to see something of the war before it ends. I do not wish to put him in the ranks, nor yet to give him a commission, to which those who have already served long are better entitled and better qualified to hold. Could he, without embarrassment to you, or detriment to the service, go into your military family with some nominal rank, I, and not the public, furnishing his necessary means? If no, say so without the least hesitation, because I am as anxious and as deeply interested that you shall not be encumbered as you can be yourself.” ~ Private letter from President Lincoln to Union General Ulysses S. Grant.

General Grant

General Grant

January 19– Thursday– Washington, D. C.– “I am rejoiced at the prospect of your being in Washington once more, & it seems that at last there really is a good chance of it. I saw your letter to Mr. Ashton which he got yesterday, telling him that you should probably be here about the 24th. William got your letter last week, and we were all glad that you felt like coming to try the position in the Interior. It will be so good to see you once more. . . . Dear Walt I cannot tell you how deeply I sympathize with you all in your anxiety about your brother George. I have hoped that you would get some good news from him, and I pray that you may soon. It must be very wearing to your good mother. My heart is torn and my sympathies roused as never by anything before at the way our prisoners are treated. I am very sorry to hear that you have been sick, what was it? any return of the old trouble? I hoped that you were really well now, but you will have to keep away from [visiting] the hospitals for some time I think. . . . Your letter to William about your books interested us deeply, be sure to bring your perfect copy of “Drum-taps” won’t you? You know that I never had the reading of any of those poems, though you meant that I should. I long to see you, & we shall be very glad to have you here once more. We are all very well, I am much better than I was last winter, my summer at the sea-shore & the sea-bathing has done wonders for me. It was a good investment every way. . . . Remember me to your mother. I hope that she & all are well at home, the babies too.” ~ Letter from Ellen M. O’Connor to her friend Walt Whitman.

January 19– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “When the proposal of separate State action was first mooted, it appeared to me so impracticable, so void of any promise of good, that I gave no heed to the proposal; but upon its adoption by citizens whose position and ability give weight to the expression of their opinions, I was led to a serious consideration of the subject. My first impressions have not been changed by reflection. If all the States of the two hostile federations are to meet in convention, it is plain that such a meeting can only take place after an agreement as to the time, place and terms on which they are to meet. . . . Various other considerations suggest themselves, but enough has been said to justify my conclusion that the proposal of separate State action is unwise, impracticable, and offers no prospect of good to counterbalance its manifold injurious consequences to the cause of our country.” ~ Letter from President Davis to the members of the Georgia delegation regarding state peace efforts, printed in today’s Richmond Times Dispatch.

marching soldiers-images

January 19– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “Clear and frosty. Among the rumors, it would appear that the Senate in secret session has passed a resolution making [Robert E.] Lee generalissimo. . . . We have nothing further from Wilmington. Bad enough. Sherman is said to be marching on Charleston. Bad enough, too! Our papers have glowing accounts of the good treatment the citizens of Savannah received from the enemy.” ~ Diary of John Jones.

General Lee

General Lee

January 19– Thursday– Charleston, South Carolina– “The cause of South Carolina, and the cause of the Confederacy, as involved in the fight here needs now of all things two essentials – courage and tenacity, – courage to dare, to risk, to brave – tenacity to hold, to fight, to dispute every inch. There is a great cause, and a grand fight can be made here. But men and leaders must summon up every energy, must rouse themselves to great thoughts and aspirations. Let them shake off past lethargy, and despondency. Let our leaders brace themselves for great and desperate undertakings. Let them fling from their hearts the pail of apprehension as to the future. Let that thing take care of itself. Let them put it behind them. Let them take care of the present. The same tenacity and daring which has held Charleston and the Savannah line for four years, can hold Charleston now, if brought to bear upon the emergency. The same tenacity, had it been need, could have held the line at Pocotaligo four weeks ago, when the Yankees were permitted, through mere want of nerve, to erect their batteries and break the road. The same tenacity could have held for many days the line at Coosawhatchie, but lately so ingloriously abandoned. To be whipped, is to be whipped. No one can always prevent it. There is no ignominy in being fairly whipped, after a manly struggle. A man, or a body of men can but do their best. But this thing of being whipped without a fight worthy of the name, upon a metaphysical or mathematical calculation that you may, or can, or should be whipped, Providence permitting, and all other circumstances favoring, is a sort of fighting that never saved a brave man honor yet, and can never save the liberties of a people. Let those men and those officers who do not want to fight, who are disheartened or cowed, let them go to the rear, and be promptly ordered, to the rear. Let men who are unwhipped, and who have an interest and a pride in the cause here, go to the front. Strip the front line of every cowed man. Give a chance to men who will fight for the old State – to strike a blow for her.” ~ Charleston Mercury.

January 19– Thursday– near Albany, Georgia– “I suffered a great disappointment to-day. Mrs. Stokes Walton gave a big dining – everybody in the neighborhood, almost everybody in the county that is anybody was invited. I expected to wear that beautiful new dress that ran the blockade and I have had so few opportunities of showing. All my preparations were made, even the bows of ribbon pinned on my under-sleeves, but I was awakened at daylight by the pattering of rain on the roof, and knew that the fun was up for me. It was out of the question for one just up from an attack of measles to risk a ride of twelve miles in such a pouring rain, so I had to content myself to stay at home with the two old ladies and be edified with disquisitions on the Apostolic Succession and Baptism by Immersion. They are both good enough to be translated, and I can’t see why the dear little souls should be so disturbed about each other’s belief. Once, when Mrs. Meals left the room for some purpose, Mrs. Sims whispered to me confidentially: ‘There is so little gentility among these dissenters – that is one reason why I hate to see her among them.’ I could hardly keep from laughing out, but that is what a good deal of our religious differences amount to. I confess to a strong prejudice myself, in favor of the old church in which I was brought up; still I don’t think there ought to be any distinction of classes or races in religion. We all have too little ‘gentility’ in the sight of God for that. I only wish I stood as well in the recording Angel’s book as many a poor Negro that I know. About noon a cavalryman stopped at the door and asked for dinner. As we eat late, and the man was in too big a hurry to wait, sister sent him a cold lunch out in the entry. It was raining very hard, and the poor fellow was thoroughly drenched, so after he had eaten, sister invited him to come into the parlor and dry himself. It came out, in the course of conversation, that he was from our own part of Georgia, and knew a number of good old Wilkes County families. He was on his way to the Altamaha, he said, and promised to do his best to keep the raiders from getting to us.” ~ Journal of Eliza Frances Andrews.

fashionable dresses, 1865

fashionable dresses, 1865

January 19– Thursday– Savannah, Georgia– “I avail myself of the opportunity also to enclose [for] you copies of all my official orders touching trade and intercourse with the people of Georgia, as well as for the establishment of the Negro settlements. Delegations of the people of Georgia continue to come in and I am satisfied that, with a little judicious handling and by the little respect being paid to their prejudices we can create a schism in Jeff Davis’ dominions. All that I have conversed with realize the truth that slavery as an institution is defunct, and the only question that remains is, what disposition shall be made of the Negroes themselves. I confess myself unable to offer a complete solution of this question, and prefer to leave it to the slower operations of time. We have given an initiative and can afford to await the working of the experiment.” ~ Letter from Union General William Tecumseh Sherman to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

Sherman entertained by loyalist in Savannah

Sherman entertained by loyalist in Savannah

January 19– Thursday– Paris, France– Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, philosopher, political activist and anarchist, dies at age 56.

January 19– Thursday– St Petersburg, Russia– Birth of Valentin Serov, painter. [Dies Descember 5, 1911.]

Pierre Joseph Proudhon

Pierre Joseph Proudhon

Savannah Surrenders ~ December 1864 ~ 21st & 22nd

Savannah Surrenders

With Confederate troops gone, the mayor of Savannah surrenders the city to General Sherman and his Federal army. Many parts of Georgia continue to suffer from the ravages of Sherman’s march to the sea. Conditions in southern prison camps deteriorate. Cold weather and scarcities bother many, soldiers and civilians alike.


December 21– Wednesday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “Mr. Dillon yesterday received a letter from Lieutenant Melvin Richards, of Carlin’s battery, who was captured by the rebels on the Hunter raid and who has since been confined in different Southern prisons. . . . says the prisoners have nothing to eat but meal, rice and Sorghum which they are not even allowed to prepare to suit their tastes. . . . The prisoners have had no meat or lard or any animal food of any kind issued to them since October last. . . . Lieutenant Richards has never received any of the money sent him by his friends. He has received several letters but the money sent in them had been abstracted from the envelope. Captain Craig of the 1st West Virginia Infantry received a letter a short time ago which had been broken open and the money abstracted. The only way prisoners can get money is to have it secreted in a box, which may be done in various ways, one of the best of which is to knock the box apart at the end. Then bore a three-eighth hole with the grain of the wood, put in ten gold dollars, plug up and nail together, putting a drop of ink or some such significant mark on the spot.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

December 21– Wednesday– Moffett’s Creek Virginia– “Have not had a letter from you of later date than September 15th. Heard through J Hanger. Have looked long and anxiously for letters but disappointed until we have almost ceased to expect a letter, but know it is not your fault that we do not hear. Wrights, Beards & ourselves started a box to you. Hope will have received it. There was a suit of clothes apiece for you and H Wright, also some eatables. Aunt Lizzie had a ham to send but wasn’t room for it. Beards sent a box [of] tobacco and [a] pair [of] socks. Nothing of much interest transpiring. Friends of the boys well so far as I know. We are all in good health at present– pa suffered very much a couple of weeks from severe pain in breast could not rest at nights but is relieved of that now. How Houston died of wound received a few days before, sometime last month. Miss N Emerson was buried Monday. Mr Bill Steele and Miss Annie McNult are to be married to- morrow. Both nearly old enough for such a step. . . . Oh, how I wish you were here.” ~ Letter from Mary A. Smiley to her brother Thomas, a Confederate soldier.


December 21– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Intelligence of the death of Mr. Dayton, our Minister to France, creates some commotion among public men. The event was sudden and his loss will be felt. . . . I had a light and pleasant acquaintance with him when in the Senate some fifteen or eighteen years ago, and we had some correspondence and one or two interviews in the Fremont campaign in 1856, when he was pleased to compliment me, on comparing Connecticut and New Jersey, with having done much to place my own State in a right position. We met again in the spring of 1861. He was a dignified and gentlemanly representative, not a trained diplomat, and unfortunately not acquainted with the language of the French Court. A numerous progeny has arisen at once to succeed him. John Bigelow, consul at Paris, has been appointed Charge, and I doubt if any other person will be selected who is more fit.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

December 21– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Henry Richards, alias C. Smith, came into our lines on Monday and represented himself as a Yankee deserter. He was recognized and identified as a deserter from the 21st Mississippi Regiment. He was sent to the Castle. W. T. Jones, Company C, 17th Mississippi, was sent to the Castle yesterday from the Jackson hospital, charged with larceny.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

December 21– Wednesday– outside Petersburg, Virginia– “A wet stormy day and nothing going on to report. We are glad to stay in our huts and keep dry and warm.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

December 21– Wednesday– Savannah, Georgia– “The city of Savannah was last night evacuated by the Confederate military and is now entirely defenseless. As chief magistrate of the city I respectfully request your protection of the lives and private property of the citizens and of our women and children. Trusting that this appeal to your generosity and humanity may favorably influence your action, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant.” ~ Letter from Savannah Mayor R. D. Arnold to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman. In his memoirs Sherman wrote, “General Hardee had crossed the Savannah River by a pontoon-bridge, carrying off his men and light artillery, blowing up his iron-clads and navy-yard, but leaving for us all the heavy guns, stores, cotton, railway-cars, steamboats, and an immense amount of public and private property.”

General Sherman

General Sherman

December 21– Wednesday– Savannah, Georgia– “To the Citizens of Savannah: By the fortunes of war we pass today under the authority of the Federal military forces. The evacuation of Savannah by the Confederate army, which took place last night, left the gates to the city open, and General Sherman, with his army will, no doubt, to-day take possession. The Mayor and Common Counsel leave under a flag of truce this morning, for the headquarters of General Sherman, to offer the surrender of the city, and ask terms of capitulation by which private property and citizens may be respected. We desire to counsel obedience and all proper respect on the part of our citizens, and to express the belief that their property and persons will be respected by our military ruler. The fear expressed by many that General Sherman will repeat the order of expulsion from their homes which he enforced against the citizens of Atlanta, we think to be without foundation. He assigned his reason in that case as a military necessity, it was a question of food. He could not supply his army and the citizens with food, and he stated that he must have full and sole occupation. But in our case food can be abundantly supplied for both army and civilians. We would not be understood as even intimating that we are to be fed at the cost of the Federal Government, but that food can be easily obtained in all probability, by all who can afford to pay in the Federal currency. It behooves all to keep within their homes until General Sherman shall have organized a provost system and such police as will insure safety in persons as well as property. Let our conduct be such as to win the admiration of a magnanimous foe, and give no ground for complaint or harsh treatment on the part of him who will for an indefinite period hold possession of our city. In our city there are, as in other communities, a large proportion of poor and needy families, who, in the present situation of affairs, brought about by the privations of war, will be thrown upon the bounty of their more fortunate neighbors. Deal with them kindly, exercise your philanthropy and benevolence, and let the heart of the unfortunate not be deserted by your friendly aid.” ~ front page of the Savannah Republican.

December 21– Wednesday– Ballynure, County Antrimi, Ireland– Birth of James Whiteside Mc Cay, who will become a Lieutenant General in the Australian Army, and a member of the Australian Parliament. [Dies October 1, 1930.]

December 22– Thursday– New York City– “Shakespeare uses words as nobody but Beethoven has ever used musical notes, conveying the most intense impressions in the most accountable way. . . . Details come in of Sherman’s grand adagio movement through Georgia, and most interesting they are. That seems to have been among the best and boldest conceptions of the war and to have been most triumphantly executed. Savannah is fully invested now by land and water. Rebel newspapers have not the least misgivings as to safety of that city.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

December 22– Thursday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “We have received a note from several members of Carlin’s Battery, now stationed at Fort Boreman, Parkersburg, requesting us to state for the information of friends in this city who may desire to visit the boys about Christmas, that they intend to give a grand ball on the evening of the 23rd.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

December 22– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “Clear and cold. We have nothing from below. From Wilmington, we learn there is much commotion to resist the armada launched against that port. General Lee is sending troops via the Danville Road in that direction. The wire has been cut between this and Gordonsville, by the scouts of the raiders launched in that direction. We breakfast, dine, and sup on horrors now, and digest them all quite sullenly. I am invited to a turkey dinner to-day (at Mr. Waterhouse’s), and have some hesitation in accepting it at a time like this. Ought I to go? He is a skilled artisan and has made money, and no doubt the turkey is destined to be eaten by somebody. . . . There were some commissaries and quartermasters present, who are supposed to have stolen much from the government, and desire to exchange the currency they have ruined for imperishable wealth [exchanging almost worthless Confederate paper money for gold and silver]. They, too, will run away the first opportunity. The sun shines brightly this beautiful cold day; but all is dark in Congress. The Tennessee members say Hood’s army is destroyed, that he will not get 1000 men out of the State, for the Tennesseans, Kentuckians, etc. refuse to retire farther south, but straggle and scatter to their homes, where they will remain. I am told we have but a thin curtain of pickets on the north side of the James River, between us and 15,000 Negro troops.” ~ Diary of John Jones.


December 22– Thursday– near Duck River, Tennessee– “I have come through so far all safe. I was in the charge the two first days in front of Nashville. All the boys came out safe that went down from out section. It has been raining and snowing ever since we left Nashville and has been very hard traveling. It is very cold here now. We are waiting to get across the river.We may cross today and go to Columbia about two miles from here. We have taken many prisoners and pieces of artillery. I don’t know how many. I suppose you know more about it than I do as we have not had any mail for several days. Our brigade captured six pieces of artillery [on] the first charge and I helped to haul them off the field. I will send my fine shirt by first mail. I fixed it up to send the day before we left Nashville but did not get to send it out. I will write again as soon as I can get the chance. I have to write this laying on my belly and am getting very cold so no more this time. Take care of yourself and the babies. Kiss them for me.” ~ Letter from Union soldier John C. Seibert to his wife Rachel.

December 22– Thursday– Covington, Georgia– “Tuesday, the nineteenth of the month, I attended Floyd Glass’s [daughter’s] wedding. She was married in the morning to Lieutenant Doroughty. She expected to have been married the week after the Yankees came, but her groom was not able to get here. Some of the Yankees found out in some way that she was to have been married, and annoyed her considerably by telling her that they had taken her sweetheart prisoner; that when he got off the train at the Circle they took him and, some said, shot him. The Yankees found Mrs. Glass’s china and glassware that she had buried in a box, broke it all up, and then sent her word that she would set no more fine tables. They also got Mrs. Perry’s silver.” ~ Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge.