Tag Archives: Mexico

August ~ Election Year 1912


With former President Teddy Roosevelt its candidate, the Progressive Party adopts a liberal, reform-minded platform but as a gesture to the South, keeps Southern blacks from the convention. Invoking the Monroe Doctrine, the U S mends in Latin American affairs. President Taft takes away Native American lands while getting Congress to pass some important legislation. Trouble is brewing in Mexico and in the Balkans.

August 1– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– The Progressive Party announces that it will not allow African Americans from Southern states to be delegates at its organizing convention in Chicago, a statement made with the approval of former President Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt emphasizes that from Northern states, “there would be a number of Negro delegates; more, in fact, than ever before figured in a National convention.”


August 2– Friday– Washington, D.C.– The Senate votes 51-4 to extend the Monroe Doctrine to protect the Americas, both North and South, from foreign corporations.

August 4– Sunday– Corinto, Nicaragua– One hundred U.S. Marines and sailors arrive on the USS Annapolis to protect American interests.

August 4– Sunday– Lidingo Municipality, Sweden– Birth of Raoul Wallenberg, diplomat and humanitarian who will rescue tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II, then disappear into Soviet custody in 1947 and subsequently be presumed dead.

August 5– Monday– Chicago, Illinois– The Progressive Party, nicknamed the “Bull Moose” Party to rival the Republican elephant and Democrat donkey, opens its founding convention.


August 6– Tuesday– Chicago, Illinois– The Progressive Party presents a 16 page booklet detailing the platform which includes establishing limits and disclosure requirements ob campaign contributions, registration of lobbyists, establishment of a national health service, social insurance for the elderly and disabled, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, mandatory reporting of industrial accidents, a minimum wage for working women, an eight-hour workday, conversation of natural resources, establishment of a federal securities commission, establishment of a department of labor, regulation of interstate corporations, downward revision of tariffs, establishment of an inheritance tax, financial aid to farmers, pensions for veterans and their widows and children, use of the new Panama Canal to break the monopoly of the railroads, woman suffrage, direct election of senators, maintaining a strong military yet working for international agreements on limiting naval forces.


Woodrow Wilson


August 7– Wednesday– Sea Girt, New Jersey– Speaking to a crowd of 6,000 supporters, Woodrow Wilson formally accepts the Democratic nomination.

August 7– Wednesday–Chicago, Illinois– The Progressive Party nominates Theodore Roosevelt as its candidate for President of the United States and California Governor Hiram Johnson for vice-president. [Johnson, age 46, a reform-minded lawyer, was elected governor in 1910. He will continue to serve as governor until 1917 and then as U S Senator from California from 1917 until his death on August 6, 1945. On his life and work, See: Hiram Johnson: Political Revivalist (1995) by M Weatherson and H Bochin; A Bloc of One: the Political Career of Hiram W Johnson (1993) by R C Lower.


Hiram Johnson


August 8– Thursday– Mt Juliet, Tennessee– Ross Winn, age 40, American anarchist and newspaper publisher, dies from tuberculosis, “the poor people’s disease.”

August 9– Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Taft issues a proclamation opening parts the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana for public sale as of October 21, 1912.

August 10– Saturday– Beijing, China– The Republic’s provisional government enacts its election law, creating a lower house of parliament, and limiting voting rights to male citizens who were at least 21 years of age, have at least two years residency in their district, and meet certain property and educational restrictions.

August 11– Sunday– near Mexico City, Mexico– Zapatista rebels attack a train, killing 35 soldiers and 20 civilians.


August 12– Monday– City of Uskub (now Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia)– An army of 15,000 Kosovar Albanians march into the city, one of the European outposts of the Ottoman Empire, and expel the Turkish administrators and Serbian residents.

August 13– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– The Radio Act of 1912 is enacted, providing for all American radio broadcasters to be licensed by, and assigned a specific frequency, by the federal government.

August 14– Wednesday– London, England– Octavia Hill, social reformer, dies at age 73 from cancer.

August 15– Thursday–Pasadena, California– Birth of Julia Carolyn Mc Williams Child, chef, author and television personality.[Dies August 13, 2004.]


August 16– Friday– Providence, Rhode Island– Theodore Roosevelt opens his campaign for the presidency, with an speech detailing his plans.

August 16– Friday– Richmond, Virginia– Sixteen-year-old African-American Virginia Christian is executed for the March 18th murder of her employer, Mrs Ida Belote, in Hampton, Virginia, despite pleas for clemency made to Governor William Hodges Mann, age 69, a Democrat and veteran of the Confederate Army. Miss Christian is listed as “the first woman to be put to death in the electric chair in Virginia.”


Virginia Christian in her jail cell


August 17– Saturday– Los Angeles, California– Clarence Darrow, the famous trial lawyer, receives a verdict of acquittal in his own criminal trial. Darrow had been charged with having attempted to bribe a juror in the Los Angeles Times bombing case.

August 17– Saturday–Piedmont, California– Cloe Annette Buckel, physician whose career included care of Union soldiers from August, 1863 through May, 1865, dies of arteriosclerosis eight days before her 79th birthday.

August 20– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– President Taft signs into law the Plant Quarantine Act, giving the federal government the power to regulate the importation and interstate shipment of plant products that might carry with them insects and diseases. The law will prove effective in curtailing the spread of the gypsy moth beyond the New England area, where the population of the pest had significantly increased over the previous seven years.

August 20– Tuesday– London, England– Reverend William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, dies at age 83.


William Booth


August 23–Friday– Washington, D. C.– The Pure Food and Drug Act is amended to prohibit drug manufacturers from making false claims on the labels of medication.

August 24–Saturday– Washington, D.C.–Congress gives final approval to the creation of the parcel post system.

August 25– Sunday–Beijing, China– The Kuomintang political party, also referred to as the Nationalist Chinese Party, is founded by former President Sun Yat-sen. [Under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek, the Kuomintang will be the ruling political party of mainland China until 1949, and of Taiwan since then.]

August 27– Tuesday– Veracruz, Mexico– Birth of Gloria Rubio Alatorre Guinness, who will become a well-known socialite in the Americas and in Europe. A fashion icon, she will write for and edit Harper’s Bazaar (1963-1971). [Dies November 9, 1980.]

August 29– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Claims made by entrepreneur Clarence Cunningham, to the coal fields of the Territory of Alaska, are cancelled by the Department of the Interior.

August 29– Thursday– Memphis, Tennessee– Robert R. Church, African-American entrepreneur and philanthropist, dies at age 72 after a brief illness.


Robert R Church


August 30– Friday– Colonia Morelos, Sonora, Mexico– Rebel Mexican General Jose Inez Salazar begins a campaign to force American residents to leave Mexico, ordering the residents of the American Mormon settlement to leave the country within two weeks.


June ~ Election Year 1920

Woman making American Flag

The Republicans nominate a dark horse who likes women to whom he is not married. Henry Ford’s newspaper carries anti-Semitic articles. The Democratic National Convention opens at the end of the month. The propose Nineteenth Amendment is not yet ratified and the Republicans are not doing much do complete ratification.

June 1– Tuesday– Washington, D. C.– United States Supreme Court rules that state referenda are not part of the federal constitutional amendment process.

June 1– Tuesday– Mexico City, Mexico– Adolfo de la Huerta becomes president of Mexico.


Adolfo de la Huerta


June 2– Wednesday– Dover, Delaware– The state legislature refuses to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment.

June 3– Thursday– New York City– The American Jewish Committee telegraphs automaker Henry Ford, age 58, protesting the anti-Semitic nature of the series entitled “The International Jew” which Ford has been running in the Dearborn [Michigan] Independent, a newspaper he owns.

June 5– Saturday– New York City– The Literary Digest poll puts Warren G. Harding eighth among Republican presidential candidates, below even Calvin Coolidge and William Howard Taft.

June 7– Monday– New York City– Harding visits his younger mistress, 23 year old Nan Britton.


Chicago Coliseum


June 8– Tuesday– Chicago, Illinois– The Republican National Convention opens at the Coliseum with 984 voting delegates present. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, age 70, delivers the keynote address.

June 11– Friday– Chicago, Illinois– The Republican National Convention has adopted a platform which favors continuing intervention in Mexico, reduced taxation so as to not “needlessly repress enterprise and thrift,” protective tariffs, conservation of natural resources, exclusion of Asian immigrants, reducing the number and types of immigrants granted admission, denying free speech to aliens, the construction of highways, an end to lynching, quick ratification of the Woman Suffrage [Nineteenth] Amendment, enforcement of civil service laws, vocational and agricultural training, restriction of child labor and limitation on the hours of women working “in intensive industry,” no additional appropriations for disabled veterans, and which opposes the League of Nations, recognition of an Armenian state, and strikes by labor. It accuses the outgoing Wilson Administration of being unprepared for war and equally now unprepared for peace.

June 12– Saturday– Chicago, Illinois– The Republican National Convention closes, having taken ten rounds of balloting to nominate Warren G Harding for President. The decision on Harding as the choice was literally made in the early hours of the morning in a smoke-filled hotel room by party leaders, including six senior U S Senators. Harding, a native of Ohio, is 54 years old, a journalist, businessman and a member of the U S Senate since 1915. In the primaries he won only 4.54% of the total votes cast. While privately a heavy drinker, he publicly supports prohibition, favors big business and high protective tariffs, opposes the League of Nations and voted against the nomination of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Married to Florence King De Wolfe, he has liaisons with two other women, one of whom– Nan Britton– bore his daughter in 1919.


June 12– Saturday– Chicago, Illinois– “Ours is not only a fortunate people but a very common-sensical people, with vision high, but their feet on the earth, with belief in themselves and faith in God. Whether enemies threaten from without or menaces arise from within, there is some indefinable voice saying, ‘Have confidence in the Republic! America will go on!’ Here is a temple of liberty no storms may shake, here are the altars of freedom no passions shall destroy. It was American in conception, American in its building, it shall be American in the fulfillment. Sectional once, we are all American now, and we mean to be all Americans to all the world. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, my countrymen all: I would not be my natural self if I did not utter my consciousness of my limited ability to meet your full expectations, or to realize the aspirations within my own breast, but I will gladly give all that is in me, all of heart, soul and mind and abiding love of country, to service in our common cause. I can only pray to the Omnipotent God that I may be as worthy in service as I know myself to be faithful in thought and purpose. One can not give more. Mindful of the vast responsibilities, I must be frankly humble, but I have that confidence in the consideration and support of all true Americans which makes me wholly unafraid. With an unalterable faith and in a hopeful spirit, with a hymn of service in my heart, I pledge fidelity to our country and to God, and accept the nominations of the Republican Party for the Presidency of the United States.” ~ Letter from Warren G Harding, accepting the Republican nomination.

June 13– Sunday– Chicago, Illinois– Seymour Stedman, a lawyer, age 49, opens the campaign of the Socialist Party. He is the Party’s nominee for Vice-President. Eugene V Debs, the candidate for President, is in federal prison for speaking out against American entry into the European war in 1917.


Debs campaign button


June 20– Sunday– Chicago, Illinois– Violence erupts between white and black people. Grover Cleveland Redding, a black man, is arrested on various charges, including murder.

June 21– Monday– Marion, Ohio– Alice Paul, feminist and suffrage activist, meets with Warren G Harding, the Republican nominee for President. [Paul, 1885-1977, a native of New Jersey, is a lawyer, feminist, activist and organizer, founder of the National Woman’s Party, and served time in jail for a 1917 protest in front of the White House.]

June 22– Tuesday– Marion, Ohio– The Harding campaign announces that its slogan is “Back to Normal.”

June 23– Wednesday– New York City– Charles F Murphy, age 62, political boss of Tammany Hall, is indicted along with five others on federal charges.

June 25– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– Governor Calvin Coolidge, age 48, Republican nominee for Vice-President, announces that he will not pressure Vermont and Connecticut to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment.

June 26– Saturday– Dearborn, Michigan– The Dearborn Independent, owned by Henry Ford, begins publication of another series of anti-Semitic articles.

June 27– Sunday– Chicago, Illinois– Republican National Committee Chairman Will Hays meets privately with Carrie Fulton Phillips, a mistress of Warren G Harding. In return for annual payments from the Republican Party, Mrs Phillips agrees not to make public her love letters to and from Republican candidate Harding. [On July 29, 2014, approximately 1,000 pages of these letters are made public by the Library of Congress.] About Harding’s fondness for women Senator Boies Penrose Penrose, Republican from Pennsylvania, has said to other Republican leaders, “No worries about that! We’ll just throw a halo around his handsome head and everything will be all right.”


Carrie Fulton Phillips, one of Harding’s mistresses


June 27 – Sunday– Washington, D.C.– William Gibbs McAdoo, age 56 and married to Woodrow Wilson’s daughter, declares that he will accept the Democratic nomination for President if it is offered to him.

June 28– Monday– San Francisco, California– The Democratic National Convention opens in the Civic Auditorium with 1,091 voting delegates in attendance. It is the first time that a convention of either major party is held west of the Rocky Mountains. Almost 30% of the delegates arrive unpledged.


San Francisco Civic Auditorium


June 29– Tuesday– Albany, New York– Dudley Field Malone, age 38, graduate of Fordham Law School and a liberal activist, is nominated by New York State branch of the Farmer-Labor Party for governor of the state.

June 29– Tuesday– London, England–Edward M House, age 62, foreign affairs advisor to President Wilson, tells British reporters that Harding and the Republicans may lose the election due to overconfidence, that if the Nineteenth Amendment is soon ratified it will send fifteen to twenty million women into the pool of voters, the next administration will ratify the Versailles Treaty, and any Republican or Democratic public support for the independence of Ireland “certainly would be unpleasant to Great Britain.”


Edward M House


June 30– Wednesday– San Francisco, California– Franklin Delano Roosevelt places Al Smith in nomination for the Democratic standard bearer in the up-coming presidential race.

June 30– Wednesday– Jaffa, Palestine– British soldiers shoot and kill two Arab demonstrators.

June ~ Election Year 1912

Woman making American Flag

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

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


Elizabeth Gurley Flynn on the podium


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

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

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

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

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


Margaret Elizabeth Sangster


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

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

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

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

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

U S Marines ~1912

U S Marines 1912


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

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

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

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

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


Mary Lavin


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Frederic Passy


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

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

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

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

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


Mine explosion


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

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

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

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

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

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


victims of the dock collapse


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Champ Clark 1912


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

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

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


Regina YMCA destroyed


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

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.

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.

Christmas Gift for President Lincoln ~ December 1864 ~ the 22nd to 24th

Christmas Gift for President Lincoln

Sherman presents the city of Savannah to the President and issues orders for the occupation. A Canadian urges support for the Union cause. French forces suffer a defeat in Mexico. The coming year holds the promise of action on an amendment to ban slavery. War time shortages and problems abound. The world goes on.

Fort McAllister outside Savannah

Fort McAllister outside Savannah

December 22– Thursday– Savannah, Georgia– Having accepted a citizen’s offer to use his luxurious house as headquarters, Union General Sherman there meets with a U.S. Treasury agent, who requests that the Treasury Department be allowed to claim all cotton, rice, and public buildings in the city. General Sherman agrees to turn over what his soldiers do not need. The agent mentions that a ship is about to depart Savannah for Fort Monroe and asks if Sherman wants to send a Christmas message to President Lincoln. Quickly, Sherman grabs a piece of paper and writes as follows: “I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.”

December 22– Thursday– Montreal, Quebec Province, Canada– “We have no desire to quarrel with the Free States of the North. They are our neighbors and natural friends, bound to us, as we to them, by the reciprocal ties of amicable commercial intercourse. With them, as with us free labour is respected, and the honest tiller of the soil has the status of a man and a citizen. With them, and with us, the word liberty has the same meaning, involving the right of poor and rich, black and white alike, to the disposal of their own persons, of their personal ability and exertion, and of the fruits thereof. In the vocabulary of the Slave States, when they cry for liberty and independence, we know that they mean only license to hold the poor in bondage, and rob the tiller of their soil of his first rights as a man. The traditions and policy of our mother country have been steadily on the side of personal liberty. And this, which is one of her most glorious distinctions, has been a cause of constant hostility towards her by statesmen and people of the Slave States.” ~ Public address by Reverend John Cordner.

December 22– Thursday– San Pedro, Mexico– Mexican forces defeat the French and their aristocratic Mexican allies.

Henry Clarke Wright, radical abolitionist

Henry Clarke Wright, radical abolitionist

December 23– Friday– Barnstable, Massachusetts– “Notice is hereby given, that the bill providing for the prohibition of slavery by an amendment of the Constitution will be taken up January 6th.Should the amendment be adopted, and sent to the people, and by them ratified, in the course of the spring, as I doubt not it would be, if it is adopted by Congress, then, so far as the Federal Government is concerned, slavery has no legal existence in the United States; the black spot on our national character is wiped out, so far as legislative enactments can wipe it out. Slavery is not only legally abolished, but also forever prohibited within the limits of the Republic. Slavery being legally abolished, and forever prohibited so far as it can be by the Constitution and by statute, law, what more have we to do as Abolitionists? Our great work, the abolition of chattel slavery, is done. No power will exist in any State to perpetuate or to establish it. No new State can come in, and no old State can remain in, with a slave. So far as organic and statute law can do it, this sum of all villainy,’ this consummation of all meanness, theft, robbery and piracy, is at an end in this nation. Only the debris of that temple of blood and tears remains to be removed. Its removal will be a colossal work. To educate and elevate the redeemed slaves will require the energies of philanthropy for years to come. In this work hundreds of thousands will join with us, who have not only taken no part in the abolition of slavery, but who have strenuously and persistently opposed it, by whatever ecclesiastical, political, social, commercial or literary power they possessed. With these we can unite our efforts to secure to the emancipated their domestic, social, political, educational and industrial rights. Equality as to natural rights, without regard to color, country or condition! This must be the watchword of the Nation’s future. To remove all obstructions which the churches, the State Governments, and the mean and base prejudices of society throw in the way of the intellectual, social and moral elevation and happiness of the Negro will require great integrity and firmness of purpose, and great wisdom and energy of action. . . . Equality of Natural Rights must be written on every pulpit, on every ballot-box, over the door of every school-house and college, home and nursery. On the practical recognition of this self-evident truth must the Republic exist, or it cannot long exist at all. . . . Would to God that our great work could have been finished without the shedding of any blood but our own! But it was not so to be. On whom rests the responsibility of these rivers of blood shed to destroy slavery, the Future will ask of those who, twenty-five years ago, had the power to abolish it without bloodshed, but who would not and did not use it. . . . Let all do what they can to back up and urge on Congress and the President to do this great work. Slavery is not dead. Any State may, if it choose, establish slavery. In God’s name, let as have the Constitutional Prohibition! Then, in all coating time, not a slave shall clank a chain, nor shed a tear, on our broad domain.” ~ Letter from Henry Clarke Wright to William Lloyd Garrison.

December 23– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “The Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln, freeing three millions of bondmen, will rank as one of the great edicts of history. It therefore eminently deserves the attention of artistic genius, and we are gratified to know that a competent hand has put on canvass the scene when the remarkable document was first brought to light. Carpenter’s picture of ‘The Emancipation Proclamation before the Cabinet,’ now on exhibition at Williams & Everett’s, 234 Washington Street, is an admirable representation of the meeting at which President Lincoln had his proclamation before the members of the Cabinet. The President and his constitutional advisers are grouped around the council board in thoughtful, yet unconstrained attitudes, and the large size of the figures gives to them a life-like appearance otherwise unattainable. The likenesses are excellent. The features of the President. Secretary Seward, Chase, Stanton, Blair, Welles, Bales and Smith are delineated with great clearness, and their individuality is unmistakable. The accessories of the picture are literal, it having been painted in the Cabinet room of the White House, and the furniture represented is that introduced in Jackson’s time, and now familiar to all visitors to the national ‘sanctum sanctorum.’ The picture is well worth seeing, not only as the representation of a great event, but as a work of art.” ~ The Liberator.

Emancipation Proclamation painting by Carpenter

Emancipation Proclamation painting by Carpenter

December 23– Friday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “Miss Annie Murphy, one of the female prisoners committed to the Atheneum a couple of weeks ago, died yesterday morning of typhoid fever. The deceased formerly resided in Braxton county and was arrested upon the charge of tearing down government telegraph poles and acting as a spy for the enemy. . . . The jail of this city which has got to be quite an important institution since it has been converted into a state penitentiary, has lately been improved and rendered more safe than heretofore. A large massive iron door has lately been placed at the entrance of the building on Fifth street, at the expense of Adams’ Express company, in order more thoroughly to secure the safety of Risley, Marks, and Meredith, the three men charged with robbing the company’s office at Grafton not long since. With the late improvement the jailor has no doubt of his ability to keep his pets until called for by the courts. ” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.


December 23– Friday– Nashville, Tennessee– “The military order fixing the price of milk is likely to deprive us of this important article entirely, unless our dairymen are allowed to receive at least as much for their milk as will enable them to pay expenses. We respectfully submit the following facts given us by one of our leading dairymen, to the consideration of General Miller and the Military Board. Before the war, the price of milk was forty cents a gallon, the price of feed being from $3 to $15 per ton. The price fixed by the Military Board, is 60 cents per gallon, while the price of bran per ton is $60, oats and hay scarcely to be had at any price. The dairyman alluded to above has thirty cows, which at this season of the year yield less than twenty gallons of milk per day, the actual product of last week being $70, while the actual cost of feeding amounted to $85 to say nothing of labor, board of hands, wear and tear of materials, etc. Unless the Board make some change, we are informed that dairymen will be compelled to sell out their stock, and retire from the business until feed can be procured at more reasonable prices.” ~ Nashville Dispatch.

December 23– Friday– Covington, Georgia– “Just before night Mrs. Robert Rakestraw and Miss Mary drove up to spend the night with me. They had started down into Jasper County, hoping to get back their buggy, having heard that several buggies were left at Mr. Whitfield’s by the Yankees. Nothing new! It is confidently believed that Savannah has been evacuated. I hear nothing from my boys. Poor fellows, how I miss them!”~ Diary of Dolly Sumner Lunt Burge.

December 23– Friday– Savannah, Georgia– “Savannah, being now is our possession, and the river partially cleared out, and measures have been taken to remove all obstructions, will at once be made a grand depot for future operations. 1. The chief-quartermaster, General Easton, will, after giving the necessary orders touching the transports in Ogeechee River and Ossabaw Sound, come in person to Savannah, and take possession of all public buildings, all vacant store-rooms, warehouses, &c., that may be now or hereafter needed for any department of the army. No rents will be paid by the Government of the United States during the war, and all buildings must be distributed according to the accustomed rules of the quartermaster’s department, as though they were public property. 2. The chief commissary of subsistence, Colonel A. Beckwith, will transfer the grand depot of the army to the city of Savannah, secure possession of the needful buildings and offices, and give the necessary orders, to the end that the army may be supplied abundantly and well. 3. The chief engineer, Captain Poe, will at once direct which of the enemy’s forts are to be retained for our use and which dismantled and destroyed; and the chief ordnance officer, Captain Baylor, will, in like manner, take possession of all property pertaining to his department captured from the enemy and cause the same to be collected and carried to points of security. All the heavy sea-coast guns will be dismounted and carried to Fort Pulaski. 4. The troops, for the present, will be grouped about the city of Savannah, looking to convenience of camps . . . . 5. General Howard will keep a small guard at Forts Rosedale, Beaulieu, Wimberly, Thunderbolt, and Bonaventura, and he will cause that shore and Skidaway Island to be examined very closely, with a view to finding many and convenient points for the embarkation of troops and wagons on sea-going vessels.” ~ Orders from General William Tecumseh Sherman.

James Bronterre O'Brien

James Bronterre O’Brien

December 23– Friday– London, England– James Bronterre O’Brien, Irish Chartist leader, reformer and journalist dies at age 59 after a long illness.

Princess Zorka

Princess Zorka

December 23– Friday– Cetinje, Montenegro– Birth of Princess Zorka, eldest child of the reigning monarch, Nicholas. [She will marry the heir to the throne of Serbia and die on March 16, 1890, giving birth to her fifth child in six years.]

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

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

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

United States Colored Troops {USCT}

United States Colored Troops {USCT}

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

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

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

Roger Taney, Chief Justice U S Supreme Court

Roger Taney, Chief Justice U S Supreme Court

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

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

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

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

runaway slaves

runaway slaves

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

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

Benito Juarez, President of Mexico

Benito Juarez, President of Mexico

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

Dred Scott, circa 1857

Dred Scott, circa 1857

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

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

pro-Lincoln cartoon

pro-Lincoln cartoon

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

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

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

54th Massachusetts

54th Massachusetts

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

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

Andrew Carnegie, circa 1878

Andrew Carnegie, circa 1878

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

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

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

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

Safely & Steadily Through the Most Desperate Perils~ October 1864~the 1st & 2nd

Safely and Steadily Through the Most Desperate Perils~ John Bright.

A British MP praises Lincoln’s leadership. Readers of Godey’s Lady’s Book, the magazine with the largest circulation in the country at the time, receive an update on the plans for Vassar College. Mexican troops prove more loyal to the Union than Texans. A Confederate spy and agent dies in the service of the Confederacy. A Confederate officer and a Federal officer provide interesting views of affair in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Walt Whitman’s brother George has been captured by the rebels.


October– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– “We have before us the Circular of the Trustees [of Vassar College], issued at the Third Annual Meeting, January 26, 1864. It begins by stating that, owing to the present derangement in business affairs, and the magnitude of the object, it has been found best to postpone the opening of this College until the autumn of 1865. The Trustees remark: ‘The erection of a college edifice of such vast dimensions– five hundred feet in length and one hundred and seventy in depth, four stories high– embracing five independent dwelling-houses for resident officers, besides accommodations for the board, lodging, and study of three hundred young ladies, and their teachers, with full suites of class, lecture, music, and drawing-rooms, chapel and refectory, and suitable apartments for library, art-gallery, philosophical apparatus, chemical laboratory, cabinets of natural history, and all the other appurtenances of a College, the whole pervaded by a perfect system of arrangements for heating by steam, lighting by gas, and supplying with water on the most liberal scale and by the most recent and approved methods; this, of itself, and under the most favorable circumstances, was an immense task, requiring not energy and vigor alone, but extreme vigilance and caution, and a liberal allowance of time, to insure thoroughness in the work, and to avoid needless and wasteful expenditure.’ We think all who seriously consider the subject will feel that the delay was indispensable, and, as the Report suggests, may be made of much advantage to those young ladies who are hoping to enjoy the privileges of this noble institution. . . . We seriously advise every young lady who intends to become a candidate for Vassar College to prepare herself as thoroughly as possible. The Christian Founder has proved himself, in his munificent donations and just views, the true friend of woman. Every feminine heart should bless him, and every young lady who enjoys the opportunities of improvement Vassar College will bestow should endeavor to do him honor.” ~ Godey’s Lady’s Book. [Matthew Vassar, 1792– 1868, is a wealthy brewer and merchant who, at the request of a niece, donated 200 acres of land and $408,000 to build a college for women. His monetary gift would equal $6,240,000 today, using the Consumer Price Index.]

Matthew Vassar

Matthew Vassar

October 1– Saturday– New York City– “Grant and Sheridan seem doing well, thank God. May they continue to proper. The rebels have fought the battles of the last ten days without much sign of vigor. Can it be their rank and file are discouraged and demoralized?” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

October 1– Saturday– New York City– “A somewhat remarkable episode of the war took place lately on the Rio Grande. September 6 the Imperialists moved upon Matamoras. They were met at White Ranche by General Cortinas and severely repulsed. The French fell back and Cortinas pursued. Brownsville is just opposite Matamoras in Texas, and was held by a Confederate force under Ford, who sent troops across the river to operate against Cortinas in the rear. Cortinas, disposing of the French army in his front, turned upon the Confederates and drove them to Brownsville: pursuing them across the river, he occupied Brownsville and erected the United States colors.” ~ Harpers Weekly.

October 1– Saturday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “General Milroy was serenaded last evening at the McLure House. The band played the Star Spangled Banner and a spirited march, after which, loud calls were heard for ‘General Milroy’ and ‘Old Grey Eagle.’ Governor Peirpoint then stepped forward and introduced the General. General Milroy said he was nothing but a plain Western Hoosier. He would almost as soon attempt to storm a battery as to make a speech. He had received the credit of acting very promptly but would never, acquire any honor as a talker. . . . General Milroy said he believed that slavery was the cause of this war. The cause of contention ought to be removed, and he was glad that the signs of the times looked to the accomplishment of this great object.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

Union General Milroy

Union General Milroy

October 1– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “The President yesterday made inquiry of me as to the disposition made of Farragut. Informed me that General Canby wanted him to remain at Mobile, and that F. preferred doing so to coming to Wilmington. I told him Farragut was relieved of the latter duty, and he could remain as long as he pleased in the Gulf. This morning the President called at the Navy Department and made further inquiry. Said that . . . Sherman had some movements on hand, and the War Department also, and would like to know if F. could remain. I told him he could. Shortly after he left, two dispatches from Admiral Farragut came on to my table, received by this morning’s mail, in which he expressed decided aversion to taking command at Wilmington. . . . Seward and Stanton both endeavor to avoid Cabinet consultations on questions of their own Departments. It has been so from the beginning on the part of the Secretary of State, who spends more or less of every day with the President and worms from him all the information he possesses and can be induced to impart. A disposition to constantly intermeddle with other Departments, to pry into them and often to control and sometimes counteract them, has manifested itself throughout, often involving himself and others in difficulty.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

October 1– Saturday– near Wilmington, North Carolina– The British blockade runner Condor, with the USS Niphon in hot pursuit, runs aground. On board is the Confederate spy and agent for Confederate interests in Europe, Rose O’Neal Greenhow, age 49, with secret dispatches and $2,000 in gold. Fearing capture, she leaves the Condor in a small boat which capsizes in the storm-tossed surf. Weighed down by the gold concealed on her person, she drowns.

grave of Rose O'Neal Greenhow

grave of Rose O’Neal Greenhow

October 1– Saturday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Gabriel and Ned, black gentlemen, staked $50 aside on a game of ‘seven up. Officer Smith came upon them, like the unwelcome guest, and lodged them in jail. A lawyer undertook their defense, and mustered for the occasion all the eloquence and rhetoric of which he was master. In the course of his argument he held that gambling was only a slight offense, and too trifling to demand punishment. He considered it so trifling, in fact, and so innocent, he occasionally indulged in it himself, and had tried his luck only the night before. At this the Court smiled, the City Attorney laughed. The eloquent counsel had make a good hit, and, in appreciation thereof, the accused were released on paying the trifling fine of $10 each and cost. It was quietly suggested to our reporter that the legal gentleman was considerably more than ‘half primed’ [intoxicated].” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

October 1– Saturday– Athens, Alabama; Huntsville, Alabama; Carter’s Creek Station, Tennessee; Union, Missouri; Franklin, Missouri; Lake Springs, Missouri; Laurel Gap, Tennessee; salt Springs, Georgia; Peebles’ Farm, Virginia– Raids, assaults and skirmishes.

October 1– Saturday– Rochdale, England– “All those who have deplored the calamities which the leaders of secession have brought upon your country, who believe that slavery weakens your power and tarnishes your good name throughout the world, and who regard the restoration of your Union as a thing to be desired and prayed for by all good men, so far as I can judge, are heartily longing for the reelection of Mr. Lincoln. Every friend of your Union, probably, in Europe, every speaker and writer who has sought to do justice to your cause since the war began [hope that] Mr. Lincoln may be placed at the head of your executive for another term. . . . To us, looking on from this distance, and unmoved by the passions from which many of your people can hardly be expected to be free – regarding his Presidential path with the calm judgment which belongs rather to history than to the present time, as our outside position enables us, in some degree, to regard it – we see in it an honest endeavor faithfully to do the work of his great office, and, in the doing of it, a brightness of personal honor on which no adversary has yet been able to fix a stain. I believe that the effect of Mr. Lincoln’s reelection in England, and in Europe, and indeed throughout the world, will be this: It will convince all men that the integrity of your great country will be preserved, and it will show that republican institutions, with an instructed and patriotic people, can bear a nation safely and steadily through the most desperate perils. I am one of your friends in England who have never lost faith in your cause. I have spoken to my countrymen on its behalf; and now, in writing this letter to you, I believe I speak the sentiments and the heart’s wish or every man in England, who hopes for the freedom and greatness of your country. Forgive me for this intrusion upon you; but I cannot hold back from telling you what is passing in my mind, and I wish. if possible, to send you a word of encouragement.” ~ Letter from John Bright, member of Parliament, to Horace Greeley. [Bright, 1811– 1889, is a Quaker, fervent abolitionist and serves as a Member of Parliament for over 30 years in the course of his life.]

John Bright, MP

John Bright, MP

October 2– Sunday– Mt Sidney, Virginia– “We are again after the enemy, moved yesterday from Waynesboro to this place & today we are resting. Keeping the Sabbath for once – so I hope good may come of it. We routed the Yankee Cavalry at Waynesboro, quite handsomely & they retreated pell mell through Staunton . . . . I send Mr. Robinson over to take my coat & look after other things – I send you $50, by him. Have Miss Susan make my coat as soon as possible & write me when I can send for it – the one I have is coming to pieces rapidly – have the coat lined throughout, deep and strong pockets . . . . Please send my Jacket to me by Mr. R. he will tell you all the news. . . . Get all your flour home as soon as you can – I fear it is going to be scarce, so much wheat was burned. Ask Mr. Geeding if he cannot spare me a load of his hay – the government will get it all any way & I will pay him the same. . . . The Yanks burned J. C. Roler’s barn & stable – I hope we shall soon be able to turn the tide on them. I would come home today but I have only one horse to ride & it needs rest & we are so busy now & the General depends on me for routes &c in this region so I cannot leave just now, but hope to get home again before long– the Lord hasten the time when I may be able to stay there – I send you a fine Spencer Rifle – a present from Mr. Robinson– just what you have wanted – be careful of it & keep it hid – don’t let it be known that you have it. . . . God bless your dear soul.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

October 2– Sunday– Winchester, Virginia– “Today Captain Bowen, Surgeon Smith and myself attended the Episcopal Church, it being the only one in use, the others having been taken for hospitals. The church has a fine organ and a choir. The music was good, and we enjoyed it but the sermon was a little rebellious. The rector was trying to prove that people should receive all afflictions as from the hand of god and stated that no matter how diabolical the agents sent might be, the people should remember that the Lord sent them. (How are you, diabolical Yanks?) He prayed for all Christian rulers. I hope this included Jeff Davis, for he certainly is in need of prayer. . . . Most of the ladies were dressed in black, and it seemed almost like a funeral.” ~ Diary of Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

October 2– Sunday– outside Petersburg, Virginia– Federal efforts to lengthen their lines to the left since September 30th have resulted in 2,889 total casualties, including dead, wounded, and missing. Confederate total casualties amount to 1,239. The Union siege lines have been extended by 3 miles, drawing Confederate defenses yet thinner.

October 2– Sunday– Petersburg, Virginia– “Here I am perfectly well and unhurt, but a prisoner. I was captured day before yesterday with Major Wright, Lieutenants Pooley, Cauldwell, Ackerson, Sims, and nearly the entire Regiment that was not killed or wounded Lieutenant Butler was badly wounded I am in tip top health and Spirits, and am as tough as a mule and shall get along first rate, Mother please don’t worry and all will be right in time if you will not worry I wish Walt, or Jeff would write to Lieutenant Babcock of our Regiment (who is with the Regiment) and tell him to send my things home by express, as I should be very sorry to lose them.” ~ Letter from Union officer George Whitman to his mother Louisa.

George Whitman

George Whitman

October 2– Sunday– Atlanta, Georgia– “We get no mail; no trains have gone north from Chattanooga for some time. We get no information as to the actual state of things and have to be contented as best we may. Last night we had a grand concert in Atlanta. It is said that this week is to be distinguished by a ball.” ~ Letters from Union Officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

October 2– Sunday– Big Shanty, Georgia; Fairburn, Georgia; Sand Mountain, Georgia; near Powder Springs, Georgia; Saltville, Virginia; Mount Crawford, Virginia; Bridgewater, Virginia; near Columbia, Tennessee; Washington, Missouri; Marianna, Florida– Run-ins, engagements, brouhaha and confrontations.

Atlanta is Ours and Fairly Won~September 1864~the 3rd

Atlanta Is Ours and Fairly Won~ General Sherman.

By telegraph, the electronic and social medium of its day, the news spreads quickly throughout the North– Atlanta has fallen into Federal hands. President Lincoln issues a number of celebratory orders and proclamations. Gideon Welles laments partisan politics. A Democratic leader offers guidance to McClellan on how to craft his acceptance of the nomination. Richmond responds too slowly to the crisis in Georgia. Southern soldiers feel relief and hope that the nomination of McClellan means a quick truce and early peace. Mexico’s minister assures the United States that President Juarez has not fled his country. In Sweden the brother of Alfred Nobel dies in an explosion and that trauma will guide the rest of Alfred’s life.

General William Tecumseh Sherman

General William Tecumseh Sherman

September 3– Saturday– Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia– “Atlanta is ours and fairly won.” ~ Telegram from General Sherman to President Lincoln and the War Department.

September 3– Saturday– New York City– “Glorious news this morning– Atlanta taken at last!!! It comes in official form, seemingly most authentic, but there are doubters who distrust it, and the appearance of no additional intelligence since morning gives certain plausibility to their skepticism. So I suspend all jubilation for the present. If it be true, it is (coming at this political crisis) the greatest event of the war.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

September 3– Saturday– New York City– “With many thanks for the sympathy for the cause of my country, so kindly manifested by the Press of the United States, I have to request the favor that you will state, from me, that President Juarez has not arrived in this country; that he has not left Mexico; that he has no intention of leaving the Republic, and that there is not, has not been, nor is there likely to be, any necessity for such a proceeding. A daughter of President Juarez is married to a gentleman of New Orleans, and has arrived in that city with her husband, and was accompanied by her mother and younger sisters, in pursuance of a long-entertained purpose. This is, doubtless, the origin of the report so incorrectly circulated that President Juarez had arrived in this country. It will be seen, on the contrary, that he is now only the more free to act with vigor, celerity and determination. Republican institutions are not yet destined to be overthrown either in Mexico or in the United States.” ~ Letter from Matias Romero, Mexico’s Minister to the United States, published in today’s New York Times.

President Benito Juarez of Mexico

President Benito Juarez of Mexico

September 3– Saturday– New York City– “It is absolutely necessary that in your letter of acceptance you place yourself squarely and unequivocally on the ground that you will never surrender one foot of soil and that peace can only be based upon the reconstruction of the Union. In other words cessation of hostilities can only be agreed upon after we have sufficient guarantee from the South that they are ready for a peace under the Union.” ~ Letter from August Belmont to General George McClellan.

August Belmont

August Belmont

September 3– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “Ordered, first. That on Monday, the 5th day of September, commencing at the hour of 12 o’clock noon, there shall be given a salute of 100 guns at the arsenal and navy-yard at Washington, and on Tuesday, the 6th of September, or on the day after the receipt of this order, at each arsenal and navy-yard in the United States, for the recent brilliant achievements of the fleet and land forces of the United States in the harbor of Mobile and in the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan. The Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy will issue the necessary directions in their respective Departments for the execution of this order. Second. That on Wednesday, the 7th day of September, commencing at the hour of 12 o’clock noon, there shall be fired a salute of 100 guns at the arsenal at Washington, and at New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Newport, Ky., and St. Louis, and at New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, Hilton Head, and New Berne the day after the receipt of this order, for the brilliant achievements of the army under command of Major-General Sherman in the State of Georgia and the capture of Atlanta. The Secretary of War will issue directions for the execution of this order.” ~ Executive order from President Lincoln

September 3– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “New York City is shouting for McClellan, and there is a forced effort elsewhere to get a favorable response to the almost traitorous proceeding at Chicago. As usual, some timid Union men are alarmed, and there are some . . . who falter, and another set, like Greeley, who have an uneasy, lingering hope that they can yet have an opportunity to make a new candidate. But this will soon be over. The Chicago platform is unpatriotic, almost treasonable to the Union. The issue is made up. It is whether a war shall be made against Lincoln to get peace with Jeff Davis. Those who met at Chicago prefer hostility to Lincoln rather than to Davis. Such is extreme partisanism [sic]. . . . We have to-day word that Atlanta is in our possession, but we have yet no particulars. It has been a hard, long struggle, continued through weary months. This intelligence will not be gratifying to the zealous partisans who have just committed the mistake of sending out a peace platform, and declared the war a failure. It is a melancholy and sorrowful reflection that there are among us so many who so give way to party as not to rejoice in the success of the Union arms. . . . This is the demon of party– the days of its worst form– a terrible spirit, which in its excess leads men to rejoice in the calamities of their country and to mourn its triumphs. Strange, and wayward, and unaccountable are men. While the facts are as I have stated, I cannot think these men are destitute of love of country; but they permit party prejudices and party antagonisms to absorb their better natures.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

September 3– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “The signal success that Divine Providence has recently vouchsafed to the operations of the United States fleet and army in the harbor of Mobile, and the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan, and the glorious achievements of the army under Major General Sherman, in the State of Georgia, resulting in the capture of the city of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgment to the Supreme Being in whose hands are the destinies of nations. It is therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all places of worship in the United States, thanksgivings be offered to Him for His mercy in preserve our national existence against the insurgent rebels who have been waging a cruel war against the Government of the United States for its overthrow, and also that prayer be made for Divine protection to our brave soldiers and their leaders in the field who have so often and so gallantly periled their lives in battling with the enemy, and for blessings and comfort from the Father of mercies to the sick, wounded, and prisoners, and to the orphans and widows of those who have fallen in the service of their country, and that He will continue to uphold the Government of the United States against all the efforts of public enemies and secret foes.” ~ Proclamation by President Lincoln.

President Lincoln

President Lincoln

September 3– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “The national thanks are tendered by the President to Major-General William T. Sherman and the gallant officers and soldiers of his command before Atlanta for the distinguished ability, courage, and perseverance displayed in the campaign in Georgia, which, under divine favor, has resulted in the capture of the city of Atlanta. The marches, battles, sieges, and other military operations that have signalized this campaign must render it famous in the annals of war, and have entitled those who have participated therein to the applause and thanks of the nation.” ~ Executive order from President Lincoln.

September 3– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– “The national thanks are tendered by the President to Admiral Farragut and Major-General Canby for the skill and harmony with which the recent operations in Mobile Harbor and against Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan were planned and carried into execution; also to Admiral Farragut and Major-General Granger, under whose immediate command they were conducted, and to the gallant commanders on sea and land, and to the sailors and soldiers engaged in the operations, for their energy and courage, which, under the blessing of Providence, have been crowned with brilliant success and have won for them the applause and thanks of the nation.” ~ Executive order from President Lincoln

September 3– Saturday– Stephenson’s Depot, Virginia– “Yours of the 27th came to hand in two days – the first late news I have had from you in a long time – so you know it must have been very welcome – the more so that it contained good news – that is news of your good health & spirits & the good rains & prospects of something to eat &c. . . . We learn by the late papers that McClellan & Pendleton are the nominees of the Chicago Convention – I have not seen the Platform – but think it must be a peace one – Pendleton is a southern man in principle & it is thought he will be for peace – everything indicates a strong peace movement in the North & they may succeed in electing their candidates.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer Jedediah Hotchkiss to his wife Sara.

September 3– Saturday– Cobb County, Georgia– “I went to town this morning, & learnt that Hood had evacuated Atlanta the night before last & it was occupied by the Federal Army, the notice posted in the street was ‘Atlanta is ours! Glory to God!’ I heard there had been heavy fighting on the Macon Road, particulars I could not learn. How anxious do I feel about my little Boy, if I could only hear that he was safe & well, how grateful would I feel. What sad anguish & anxiety does this needless political war occasion. What a curse to a Nation are these professional Politicians.” ~ Diary of William King.

September 3– Saturday– Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia– “Move all the stores forward from Allatoona and Marietta to Atlanta. Take possession of all good buildings for Government purposes, and see they are not used as quarters. Advise the people to quit now. There can be no trade or commerce now until the war is over. Let Union families go to the North with their effects, and secesh families move on. All cotton is tainted with treason, and no title in it will be respected.” ~ Orders from Union General William Tecumseh Sherman to General Henry W Slocum.

Sherman and his staff

Sherman and his staff

September 3– Saturday– Augusta, Georgia– “This morning I received a note from Mr. Thomas about day telling me that a dispatch had just been sent through him to General Wright from President Davis and General Bragg to send every armed man to Atlanta. Mr. Thomas expects he will have to go but I trust that his company will remain for the defense of Augusta. Oh these are troublous times. I leave Belmont not knowing what an hour may bring forth. I carry all the children with me. In case of a nearer approach of the Yankees I will remain in town. I wish to carry something with me and don’t know what to take. I will carry the Confederate Bonds and silver spoons and forks. Perhaps the Yankees may make a raid here before I return. I do not form an idea of what the issue of this fight may be.” ~ Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas.

September 3– Saturday– Stockholm, Sweden–An explosion in a factory kills five people, including 21 year old Emil Nobel, younger brother of Alfred Nobel. This increases Alfred’s determination to develop safe yet powerful explosives. [Alfred is 31, a brilliant chemist and engineer, works in the family business which produces munitions and explosives.]

young Alfred Nobel

young Alfred Nobel

Atlanta Is Ours~September 1864~the 1st & 2nd

Atlanta is ours.~ A Union officer.

Late in the afternoon of September 1st, Confederate General Hood begins to retreat from Atlanta. When Federal troops do not enter the city right away on the 2nd the mayor goes out to Union lines under a flag of truce. By afternoon the flag of the United States flies unhindered in the city. There is some chaos and looting. Between Sherman and Hood they have handed Lincoln an electoral victory, only a day after the Democrats have nominated a rival for the presidency. In barely two more months 70% of Federal soldiers will vote for Lincoln. Activity in states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia in response to the draft suggests that Sherman and Grant will have a fresh supply of soldiers. The provinces of Canada begin discussion which will lead to confederation.

slave auction building in Atlanta, soon to be occupied by Federal troops

slave auction building in Atlanta, soon to be occupied by Federal troops

September 1– Thursday– near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– “Camp Couch is situated a little over four miles, due west of Chambersburg, in Hamilton Township, Franklin County. The camp is located on an eminence overlooking a vast tract of country. A fine mountain view is had northward and westward, (the lofty range running in a semi-circle from due north to west,) . . . . Eastward and south the view is insignificant; interspersed here and there with farm-houses or humble log dwellings, then shut out abruptly by belts of timber. At the foot of the Slate Hill on which we pitched our tents, runs a sluggish stream, the water (in which we frequently plunge, like so many porpoise,) is icy cold. . . . The rations dealt out three times a day, consist of fresh beef, salt pork, rice or bean soup, sugar, coffee and hard tack, and the men stow it away in ‘double quick’ time, for camp life gives them an appetite. . . . owing to the industry, courtesy and perseverance of our worthy Chaplain, Reverend Mr. Rakestraw, there is a decided moral and religious improvement in the regiment; as many of the soldiers are seen, when at leisure, to read over religious matter, and can be heard to sing the hymns that John Wesley, and [Francis] Asbury, and the other great lights of the Methodist Church used to sing in years gone by. . . . Our officers are all men of good breeding and education, and men of the regiment are greatly attached to them already. We anticipate a good time during our enlistment. The men are lavish in their praises of our courteous and gentlemanly young colonel.” ~ Letter from Union soldier A.H. Baum to the Pennsylvania Daily Telegraph.

September 1– Thursday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Major General A. J. Smith, commanding the right wing of the 16th Army Corps, has kindly provided the services of the magnificent band of the 178th New York volunteers, for the concert this evening, and a rich musical treat may be expected. The Park will be reserved for ladies, children and the gentlemen accompanying them. School teachers are invited to attend with their pupils. Second street and East Court street will be closed to all vehicles. Carriages will drive to the Main street entrance to the Park, which will be kept clear for ladies and families. The Provost Guard and City Police will be on hand to enforce the above regulations and preserve order.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

street in Atlanta

street in Atlanta

September 1– Thursday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Soon after Breakfast this morning I made my call on General Mc Arthur in town, the first [time] I have met [him]. I found him a very pleasant man, a Scotchman, about 40 years old. I spent over an hour very agreeably with him, but was disappointed in my hopes for Passport, he told me could not just now grant me a passport to pass the lines, that none could be granted now . . . so I must be patient, but that he would give me one to go to the North any time I desired it. My disappointment was great, relieved however, by his kindly giving me a pass to go in & out of town whenever I desired, which will be every day I know, so I am now a free man again. My loneliness here was too great for me to quietly to remain, but town Society, as small as it is, will be almost a world to me; the General says to diminish my loneliness he will also come & see me now & then.” ~ Diary of William King. [The Union “General” Arthur Mc Arthur (1845-1912) to whom Mr King makes reference will become the father of General Douglas Mc Arthur (1880-1964). At this time he is only 20 years old, not 40, a hero of several battles, holds the rank of major, not general, and is adjutant, i.e. assistant to the commanding officer of the 24th Wisconsin Regiment. He will achieve the rank of general in 1898.]

September 1– Thursday– Atlanta, Georgia– Beginning late in the afternoon, Confederate troops under General Hood evacuate the city. Unable to carry off all the supplies and ammunition, Hood orders their destruction which results in damage to railroad equipment and a number of buildings.

September 1– Thursday– Jonesborough, Georgia– After several hours of quiet, the fighting which began yesterday resumes. At nightfall Confederate forces disengage and move to join General Hood’s retreating army. Total Confederate casualties– dead, wounded, missing– amount to approximately 2350 and total Federal casualties reach 1450 for the two days of fighting.

September 1– Thursday– Dooly County, Georgia– “Sherman has abandoned his entrenchments on his left and centre, and is massing on the left of Hood, with a view not fully explained. He is either playing a trick to deceive Hood, or his retreat has commenced. Reports say General Wheeler is doing much damage to the enemy, and that Sherman’s communications have been effectively cut. I hope his whole army will soon be driven out of this state. We are very tired of his long visit, indeed we should have thanked him not to have come at all.” ~ Letter from Maggie Cone to her fiance Alva Benjamin Spencer.

atlanta siege-02

September 1– Thursday– north of Winchester, Virginia; Tipton, Missouri; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Beatty’s Mill, Arkansas; Elk River Bridge, Tennessee; near Nashville, Tennessee; near Smyrna, Tennessee– Raids, skirmishes and firefights.

September 1– Thursday– Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada– Twenty-three delegates representing Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada [a union of Upper and Lower Canada created in 1841, now roughly equal to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec] meet to open a conference to consider the first steps toward confederation and the formation of modern Canada. [See, The Road to Confederation: the Emergence of Canada, 1863-1867 by Donald Creighton, with a new introduction by Donald Wright, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2012; and The Critical Years; the Union of British North America, 1857-1873 by William Lewis Morton, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1964.]

delegates to the Charlottetown conference

delegates to the Charlottetown conference

September 1– Thursday– Dublin, Ireland– Birth of Roger Casement, diplomat, and nationalist activist. [He will be executed in London on August 3, 1916 for his part in the Irish Easter Rebellion of 1916.]

Roger Casement

Roger Casement

September 1 – Thursday– Paris, France– Barthelemy Prosper Enfantin, social reformer and utopian socialist, dies at age 68.

Barthelemy Enfantin

Barthelemy Enfantin

September 2– Friday– New York City– “The Emperor Maximilian is pursuing a conciliatory policy, and is trying to obtain the adhesion of the prominent men of all parties. He had left the capital for Guadalajara, hoping to win over to his cause the Juarist chiefs there, who, it was rumored, were disaffected. He had again urged Santa Anna to come to Mexico. . . . The French and Imperialist troops are marching simultaneously upon New-Leon, Coahulla and Tamaulipas. It is expected that Monterey and Matamoras will soon be attacked. In pursuance of his conciliatory policy, the Emperor has issued a circular, forbidding the use, in official documents or by the newspapers, of odious or irritating epithets, as applied to those Mexicans who are yet holding out against the Empire.” ~ New York Times.

September 2– Friday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “As the time for the draft approaches, the business of recruiting is going on very briskly. Yesterday about one hundred and twenty men were mustered into the service at the Provost Marshal’s office, and the number enlisted has been very large each day for several days previous.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

September 2– Friday– Cobb County, Georgia– “Two young men . . . called to see me this afternoon & spent about an hour, one a Sargent from Ohio about 20 years [of age]. I found a very intelligent & pleasant young man, he said when he came into the Army his feelings against the South was very bitter, & he thought he would willingly & cheerfully destroy any Rebel property, but after being among the people, and having intercourse with them, his feelings had undergone great change, and he now thought it too sad a War, to increase its terrors more than can possibly be avoided, & effortsought to be made to bring it to a close.” ~ Diary of William King.

September 2– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– Residents who remained and city officials expected the Union army to ride in immediately. Seeing no one, Mayor James Calhoun and a small delegation ride out toward Union lines with a white flag to surrender. When they met a contingent of Federal troops Mayor Calhoun hands them a letter for General Sherman which simply says, “Sir: The fortune of war has placed Atlanta in your hands. As mayor of the city I ask protection of non-combatants and private property.” By early afternoon, Union troops reach downtown, occupy the city hall and raise the flag of the United States which has not flown there in over three years.

Mayor James Calhoun

Mayor James Calhoun

September 2– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– “I have good news. Atlanta is ours. A strong reconnoitering party was sent out from our division this morning early and others from the other divisions of our corps and entered Atlanta without opposition. This is authentic. It is said also that a battle has been fought, resulting most disastrously to the rebels, near East Point. There was a big fire in the direction of the city last night and heavy cannonading heard. We have also heard some political news, the nomination of McClellan and Seymour at Chicago. I am rather glad McClellan was nominated. Of all the candidates before that Convention, he is certainly the most respectable and patriotic; whatever may be said of his political opinions, his antecedents and avowed principles admit of no doubt as to his loyalty to the United States and hostility to the Rebellion, and I am glad to see the majority of the Democratic party vindicate this loyalty by putting such a man in nomination. As the Union party is divided by many feuds, it must be a comfort to every one, whose partisanship and love of spoils is not stronger than his patriotism, to know that the success of the opposition will put a man like McClellan at the head of the Union.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife Frances.

damaged buildings in Atlanta

damaged buildings in Atlanta

September 2– Friday– Atlanta, Georgia– “About noon today the Yankees came in sure enough. A party of five or six came riding by our house. A committee of our citizens went out early and met General Slocum and got his word that private property should be respected, upon which the city was surrendered to them and in they came. The Stars and Stripes were soon floating aloft over the city. The private houses were not molested by the soldiers, and I was therefore very much surprised when I went downtown to see armsful and baskets full of books and wall-paper going up the street in a continuous stream from our store. When I reached the store, the scene would have required the pencil of [artist William] Hogarth to portray. Yankees, men, women, children and nxxxxxx were crowded into the store, each one scrambling to get something to carry away, regardless, apparently, whether it was anything they needed, and still more heedless of the fact that they were stealing! Such a state of utter confusion and disorder as presented itself to my eyes then, I little dreamed of two hours before when I left it all quiet and, as I thought, safe. The soldiers in their mad hunt for tobacco had probably broken open the door, and the rabble had then pitched in, thinking it a ‘free fight.’ At first I was so dismayed that I almost resolved to let them finish it, but finally I got them out and stood guard until after dark when I left it to its chances until morning, as I was very sleepy.” ~ Diary of a store owner.

September 2– Friday– Glass Bridge, Georgia; Big Shanty, Georgia; Darksville, West Virginia; Bunker Hill, West Virginia; along the Weldon Railroad, Virginia; near Little Rock, Arkansas; near Quitman, Arkansas; Mt Vernon, Missouri; near Union City, Tennessee; Owensborough, Kentucky– Raids and skirmishes.