Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31, 1862

July 31, 1862: In Chattanooga, Tennessee, Gen. Bragg has now combined his 35,000 men, all transferred by train, with Gen. Edmund Kirby-Smith’s 20,000. The two generals are uncertain as to commande protocol, however: neither one, it seems, has authority to assume command over the other’s troops, being from two separate departments.

—Robert Knox Sneden, of the III Corps staff of the Army of the Potomac, still penned in at Harrison’s Landing on the James River in Virginia, writes in his journal:

Raining most of the day, with thunder and lightning storm in the afternoon. We had the same kind of weather yesterday after 7 p.m., and are now used to discomfort and getting wet. Fresh beef and fresh wheat bread is now daily issued to the army, while the sutlers furnish pickles, cheese, sardines, and cheap brandy for a high price. . . . At about 12:30 midnight, all were started from their sleep by rapid and heavy artillery firing on the James River at Westover Landing [opposite the Union army camp]. . . . The long roll beat in the camps near us. Divisions and brigades turned out in line and awaited orders. . . . A thousand rounds were fired. The sonorous roar of the gunboats, now rapidly firing, was heard above the others. I climbed a tall pine tree, and as we were not more than two and a half miles from the river, saw the trail of the fiery shells bursting in the woods on the horizon, as the night was very dark and lowering the flashes of the guns lit up the plain for miles in our front. . . . The enemy had opened on us with artillery from forty-three pieces simultaneously!

—George Templeton Strong writes in his journal, complaining of the summer’s heat:
We still stew. If I have shed no blood in the country’s service, I have been liberal with another secretion, sweat, with which I have bedewed the streets and sprinkled my papers, so that I was obliged to protect them with umbrelloid blotting paper. Don’t wonder that the national cause, so prosperous in February and March, goes "all agley" in this weather, or rather in that intensified form of summer that now reigns and roasts alive below the Potomac. How can honest Northern men fight when the very marrow of their bones is oozing out at every pore of their bodies? . . .

—William Lyon, an officer in the Union army in northern Mississippi, writes home to his wife Adelia a heartfelt affirmation of his beliefs in the war’s purposes:
Camp Clear Creek, Miss., July 31, 1862—You are mistaken in supposing that we are meeting with reverses out here. These raids of guerillas have no significance, whatever. A few of them pitch into an unprotected town of no consequence, rob, steal and burn, and then skedaddle. They have not taken a single place occupied by our troops, of any value to us, except Murfreesboro in Tennessee, and that was retaken in a very few days. So don’t let your heart be troubled when you read all these sensational dispatches about guerilla operations. They serve one good purpose, however, and that is to encourage enlistment at the North.

I think this gigantic rebellion will be put down without resorting to a draft, every soldier of the 1,000,000 who aids in doing it being a volunteer. History furnishes no parallel to this. The whole policy of the Government is now changed, and war from henceforth is to be war. Where the army of the Union goes, there slavery ceases forever. It is astonishing how soon the blacks have learned this, and they are flocking in considerable numbers already in our lines. The people here will learn before this war is over that ‘The way of the transgressor is hard.’

Tell our Canada friends, many of whom seem to be groping in the darkness in regard to us, that this is a war for civil and religious liberty, for civilization, for Cristianity, on the part of this Government against crime, oppression and barbarism; and that all of their sympathies ought to be with us. But whether foreign nations comprehend the true bearings of this struggle or not, as sure as there is justice on earth or a God in heaven, we shall triumph. I shall not think of leaving the service so long as I have an arm to wield a sword or a voice to encourage my men to fight in so holy a cause. But I find I am making a stump speech, so I close.

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30, 1862

July 30, 1862: Eastern Theater - Gen. Halleck now being installed as General-in-Chief of the U.S. Army, he begins to hint to McClellan that the Army of the Potomac ought to do something. But Little Mac is still convinced that he is outnumbered by 200,000 Confederate troops to his 100,000, even though he knows that Jackson has already moved to the northwest with nearly 30,000 troops. McClellan insists that he must have more reinforcements, and that the Confederates are receiving massive reinforcements on almost a daily basis. He never offers any evidence for these assertions.

—Gen. John C. Breckinridge is sent by Gen. Van Dorn south from Mississippi on the railroad with two small divisions of Confederate troops to re-invade Louisiana and to re-take Baton Rouge, the state capital. Breckinridge believes the city to be militarily worthless, and nearly impossible to defend, but dutifully deploys his troops and steps off to advance on Baton Rouge.

Gen. John C. Breckinridge, CSA

—On the Mississippi River, the steamer Sallie Wood, used for transporting supplies and wounded men, is fired upon from several masked Rebel batteries until its boiler is pierced and it loses steam. The wood is beached on Island No. 84, and eventually the Rebels come to take possession of it. Only the captain of the boat and a few soldiers escape capture. The USS Carondelet steams upriver to find out what happened, and shells each one of the battery positions, and rescues the handful of sick men who have escaped capture.

—In Paris, Kentucky, bushwhackers under Joe Thompson raid the Unionist town, imprisoning the Sheriff and town officials, plundering the townspeople of their cash and specie, forcing the Court Clerk to issue indictments against citizens of the town, and then forcing the townsfolk to cook a great dinner for he and his guerillas, which eventually swells to nearly 400 before the day was over. They loot the stores in town, loading a wagon with the plunder. Soon after Thompson rides out of town, the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry arrives, under command of Lt. Col. James, and gives chase. They soon overtake the guerillas, killing 27 and capturing 39 (30 of whom had been wounded and left behind by the fleeing Secesh).

—Sergeant Alexander Downing of the 11th Iowa Infantry writes in his journal of his regiment’s movements in northern Mississippi:
Wednesday, 30th—We camped on a large "secesh" plantation last night. The owner of it being a general in the rebel army, we made ourselves at home, killing all the cattle that we wanted and taking all the honey that we could carry away with us. We started at 8 o’clock this morning and marched fourteen miles, when we bivouacked for the night.
—In New York City, George Templeton Strong—a Wall Street lawyer, a key figure in the NYC Republican Party, and a leading force for the Sanitary Commission—muses on the possibility of using black soldiers:
I greatly fear that we are on the eve of some vast calamity. Why in the name of anarchy and ruin doesn’t the President order the draft of one million fighting men at once and the liberation and arming of every able-bodied Sambo in Southronia? We shall perish unless the government begin singing in that very key. . . .
George Templeton Strong

—A soldier of the 3rd New York Artillery Regiment writes home to the hometown newspaper in Seneca County of the dangerous situation with Rebel guerillas and bushwhackers near the Union-occupied town of Newbern, North Carolina:
A few nights since, the guard stationed in that position of the city most inhabited by fisherman and the poorer classes, was fired upon and severely wounded. The house was immediately surrounded, and its inmates, (seven men,) arrested and lodged in jail. The following day a strict search was instituted, which resulted in finding in it, and the adjoining houses, a quantity of fire arms, and a keg of powder. The buildings were soon demolished by the soldier mob. Since then all suspicious houses, have been searched, and over one hundred different styles of fire arms, found. One of the men arrested, acknowledges he fired the shot and has been recognized as a paroled soldier taken at Roanoke. Rumor says he is to be hung.

For a long time a roving band of guerrillas have been prowling about the country in the vicinity of our camp. (Bachelor’s Creek, seven miles west of Newbern, on the lines of the A.A.N.C.R.R.) and committing lawless depredations on the property of men known Union proclivities. The commanding officer of the post, after making several applications to Gen. FOSTER, received an order to "clean them out." . . . We were now in the vicinity of the "Rebs," and much caution was necessary. We had not proceeded far, when turning a short bend in the road, we came suddenly upon the post of the outer piquet. He was a brave fellow, and very cooly aimed his carbine at the Cavalry Sergeant, but the cap snapped without igniting the powder. . . . The house near by – the reported headquarters of the band – was surrounded and searched, but the bird had flown. An old man, however, was taken, who informed us that at the house of one French, a notorious rebel, two miles further up the road, were quartered a detachment of the 2d N.C. Cavalry. . . . Again we took up our lines of march at a rapid rout step, until within one hundred rods of the house, when Lieut. RANDOLPH, commanding the artillerymen, (then acting as infantry,) proceeded to the rear, while the cavalry and remaining infantry took the front.The attack was admirably planned, and reflects credit upon the officer in command. I venture to say men were never more surprised then were they when our cavalry and infantry came down upon them with one of those "awful yells," at a double quick. . . . many of them were run down by our cavalry, while the most obstinate ones were either killed, or wounded, but few escaping unharmed. The rout was complete as appearances at the house would indicate. . . .

The prisoners taken are withal, well informed men, and expressed no little surprise at the kind treatment they received at our hands. They are now in jail, and have, I understand, declined taking the oath of allegiance.

—An editorial entitled "Stand Together" appears in the Valley Spirit, a newspaper of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, reflecting the broad base of contention on the slave issue and the Cause of the war, appearing even in the politics of small towns, especially as the mid-term elections of Fall 1862 begin to loom on the horizon. The editors offer a conservative view of the government’s cause—that it is Union, and not the negro, that we are fighting for:
The united effort of the loyal men of the nation is needed to meet and suppress this Rebellion. What tends to preserve the Union is salvation to the country, but what tends to break in upon it, is fraught with danger! The sole common bond of the Union is the Constitution.

If we look at the border line of this terrible struggle--to Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri, there is really but one opinion among the Union men. They ask nothing of the General Government but fidelity to the national compact; absolutely nothing but what every United States officer is sworn to observe. Eighty thousand men in the field; the Home Guard larger still, to keep at bay the secession tiger that prowls about their homes; the language of their Representatives and Senators in Congress--all attest the sincerity of their unionism. All speak of a patriotism worthy of the olden time; and implore an infatuated radical majority, in the name of all that is dear to country, to desist from the atrocious and bloody revolutionary programme of emancipating the four millions of slaves at the point of the bayonet; but, in good faith, to stand solidly by the Constitution, and thus restore the Union as it was: that is, revive the social, commercial, religious, political intercourse that endeared our several political communities in the sacred relations of one nation. . . . If there be one principle settled distinctly by the Constitution, it is that to the States exclusively belong the determination of their local institutions. All this, however, goes for nothing with the radicals. They seem to care nothing for fundamentals. Now, of themselves, they are of little account. But the Secessionists at the South, at this hour get hold of this Abolition stuff, and reproduce it in their newspapers and speeches, falsely magnify it, charge it on the whole north, and thus succeed in arraying the Southern people in solid phalanx against what they term the "Abolition Lincolns." This is the constant testimony from the South. . . .

Now, the remedy for all this is only in the people and through the ballot-box. The good and true men of the country must unite against the reckless demagogues who seek to destroy confidence in all but Abolition Generals, like Fremont, and the abolition plan of emancipation; and must insist that their public servants, sinking the negro question, shall address themselves to the sole work of meeting and suppressing this rebellion. . . .

July 29, 1862

July 29, 1862:  Western Theater - By this date, the bulk of Braxton Bragg’s army has arrived by tedious railroad stagings in Chattanooga, and the Federals are realizing that their advance on this crucial Appalachian rail junction has been blocked.  Gen. Rosecrans, in command of Pope’s (formerly) Army of the Mississippi, has been advancing eastward from Corinth, and Rosecrans’ recently-promoted cavalry chief, Brig, Gen. Philip Sheridan, is leading raids into Confederate country.  On the 28th, Sheridan captures a Confederate officer in possession of papers that establish Bragg’s design of concentrating at Chattanooga in order to work in concert with Gen. Kirby-Smith in Knoxville.  Meanwhile, Gen. Sterling Price, with several Confederate divisions, begins maneuvers in northern Mississippi.

---Trans-Mississippi Theater:  Unionist guerillas (also known as Jayhawkers) attack Confederates at Moore's Mills, Missouri in what becomes a rather savage fight for involving fairly small units.  The Jayhawkers lose 16 men killed and 30 wounded, while the Rebels lose 62 dead and 100 wounded.

---The state of Kansas begins to call for black volunteers for the “First Regiment of Kansas Zouaves d’Afrique”, arguably the first black regiment in the Union army. 

---Union Army surgeon Alfred L. Castleman, with the Army of the Potomac camps at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, notes mysterious movements in the army:

Some mysterious movements are going on in this army. At night we look over a large flat covered with tents, lighted by camp fires, resonant with the sounds of living soldiers. In the morning that same flat is deserted and still, as if the angel of death had enjoyed a passover. What has become of the busy actors of the night, none who dare speak of it can conjecture.

---Mersey River, England:  A most significant event takes place on this date in the John Laird shipyards in Birkenhead, when a vessel commissioned by the Confederate States of America (known up to this point only as Hull No. 290) is launched and---despite the best diplomatic efforts of Ambassador Charles Francis Adams, Sr.---is allowed to leave Liverpool harbor as the S.S. Enrica.  At sea, the ship is outfitted with cannons and equipment and re-commisioned the CSS Alabama, which will make history as the most successful and destructive ship in the Confederate Navy, capturing and destroying a huge amount of Yankee shipping and driving much of the Northern merchant shipping from the seas.

---Confederate War Department clerk John Beauchamp Jones notes the effect of the Yankee Gen. Pope and his policies:

JULY 29TH.—Pope’s army, greatly reinforced, are committing shocking devastations in Culpepper and Orange Counties. His brutal orders, and his bragging proclamations, have wrought our men to such a pitch of exasperation that, when the day of battle comes, there will be, most be terrible slaughter.

---Sarah Morgan of Baton Rouge writes in her journal of the sufferings of the Union soldiers in the malarial summer heat of Louisiana:

These poor soldiers are dying awfully. Thirteen went yesterday. On Sunday the boats discharged hundreds of sick at our landing. Some lay there all the afternoon in the hot sun, waiting for the wagon to carry them to the hospital, which task occupied the whole evening. In the mean time these poor wretches lay uncovered on the ground, in every stage of sickness. . . . All day our vis-à-vis, Baumstark, with his several aids, plies his hammer; all day Sunday he made coffins, and says he can’t make them, fast enough. Think, too, he is by no means the only undertaker here! Oh, I wish these poor men were safe in their own land! It is heartbreaking to see them die here like dogs, with no one to say Godspeed. The Catholic priest went to see some, sometime ago, and going near one who lay in bed, said some kind thing, when the man burst into tears and cried, “Thank God, I have heard one kind word before I die!” In a few minutes the poor wretch was dead.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 28, 1862

July 28, 1862:  Col. John Hunt Morgan of the Confederate Cavalry reports on his successful raid throughout Kentucky, detailed the several actions fought by his men.  Morgan points out that although he began the raid with 900 men, and suffered some casualties, he returns with over 1,200 men.  He apparently has garnered recruits from Southern-leaning Kentuckians.

---In a letter to Cuthbert Bullitt, Pres. Lincoln says this, in discussing the state of Louisiana’s re-admission, contraband slaves, and the cost of the war: 

The truth is, that what is done, and omitted, about slaves, is done and omitted on the same military necessity. It is a military necessity to have men and money; and we can get neither, in sufficient numbers, or amounts, if we keep from, or drive from, our lines, slaves coming to them. . . .

The people of Louisiana who wish protection to person and property, have but to reach forth their hands and take it. Let them, in good faith, reinaugurate the national authority, and set up a State Government conforming thereto under. . . . This is very simple and easy.

If they will not do this, . . . it is for them to consider whether it is probable I will surrender the government to save them from losing all. If they decline what I suggest, you scarcely need to ask what I will do. What would you do in my position? Would you drop the war where it is? Or, would you prosecute it in future, with elder-stalk squirts, charged with rose water? Would you deal lighter blows rather than heavier  ones?  Would you give up the contest, leaving any available means unapplied.

I am in no boastful mood.  I shall not do more than I can, and I shall do all I can to save the government, which is my sworn duty as well as my personal inclination.  I shall do nothing in malice. What I deal with is too vast for malicious dealing.

---Governor Lubbock of Texas, along with Rector of Arkansas, Moore of Louisiana, and Jackson of Missouri, write a letter to Pres. Davis reaffirming their commitment to the Confederate cause, and pleading for troops and war materiel to help them beat back Yankee invasions.

---In St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, a pro-secession mob attacks and destroys the newspaper offices of the pro-Union St. Croix Herald.  St. Stephen lies on the border between Canada and Maine.

---William Lyon, a Union army officer, answers in a letter home his wife’s concerns about his morale:

Camp Clear Creek, Miss., July 28, 1862.—So you fear my good spirits are assumed. Nary a bit of it. With an appetite that enables me to eat two rations. with physical vigor that keeps me free from an ache or a pain and lets me sleep on the hard earth as soundly and sweetly as I ever did on the softest bed, with a tolerably good looking, middle aged wife and two cute children ‘up North,’ with the consciousness of doing my duty, and an increasing habitual reliance upon the protection of Divine Providence, why shouldn’t I be in good spirits!

July 27, 1862

July 27, 1862:  Gen. John Pope’s Orders:  Gen. John Pope has issued orders, on July 10, that the local Virginian populace shall be “held responsible for any injury lone to the track, line, or road, or for any attacks upon trains or straggling soldiers by bands of guerrillas in their neighborhood.”  The usual humane rules of warfare for non-coimbatants do not apply to those who “commit outrages disgraceful to civilized people and revolting to humanity.”  In addition, for any damage done to these the local populace shall be turned out in mass to repair the damage, and shall, beside, pay to the United States in money or in property, to be levied by military force, the full amount of the pay and subsistence of the whole force necessary to coerce the performance of the work during the time occupied in completing it.”  If anyone fires on Union soldiers, the dwellings shall be razed to the ground, and the persons caught “shall be shot, without awaiting civil process.”  Further orders on July 23 stipulate that persons who refuse to take the oath of loyalty to the government will be sent into exile behind Confederate lines and, if found again behind Union lines, will be shot as spies.  Anyone who takes the oath and then engages in sabotage activity will be summarily shot and their property confiscated.  Pope had a habit of concluding dispatches saying that his “headquarters are in the saddle.”  Wits in response said that his headquarters were where his hindquarters ought to be.  This sort of behavior and rhetoric from Pope leads Gen. Lee to label him a “miscreant.”

---Gen. Lee sends the following dispatch to Gen. Stonewall Jackson (whose advance has taken him into central Virginia to thwart Pope) to inform him of substantial reinforcements headed his way, and of the necessity that Pope be “suppressed”:

July 27, 1862.

Commanding Valley District:

GENERAL: I have received your dispatch of 26th instant.* I will send A. P. Hill's division and the Second Brigade of Louisiana Volunteers to you. Stafford's regiment (Ninth Louisiana) need not, therefore, be sent here, as directed in Special orders, Numbers 163. These troops will exceed 18,000 men. Your command ought certainly to number that amount. What has become of them? I heard they were coming
to you from the valley. Do not let your troops run down if it can possibly be avoided by attention to their wants, comforts, &c., by their respective commanders. This will require your personal attention; also consideration and preparation in your movements. I want Pope to be suppressed. The course indicated in his orders, if the newspapers report them correctly, cannot be permitted and will lead to retaliation on our part. You had better notify him the first opportunity. The order of Steinwehr must be disavowed, or you must hold the first captains from his army for retaliation. They will not be exchanged. A. P. Hill you will, I think, find a good officer, with whom you can consult, and by advising with your division commanders as to your movements much trouble will be saved you in arranging details, as they can act more intelligently. I wish to save you trouble from my increasing your command. Cache your troops as much as possible till you can strike your blow, and be prepared to return to me when done, if necessary. I will endeavor to keep General McClellan quiet till it is over, if rapidly executed.
Very respectfully and truly,

R. E. LEE,

---Skirmishes erupt across Missouri on this date, in Carroll, Ray, and Livingston counties.  There is also skirmishing between Federal troops and Confederates and their Cherokee allies near Fort Gibson in what is now Oklahoma.

---Lt. Charles Wright Wills, in the 7th Illinois Infantry regiment, writes in his journal of the hazards of garrison duty while deep in enemy territory:

We’re guarding about 100 miles of railroad from Iuka to Decatur, and it promises to be pretty rough work. Day before yesterday a guerilla party swooped down on a station 24 miles east of here where General Thomas had 160 men and captured all but 20 of them. We are relieving General Thomas’ command from duty here, but the Rebels saved us the trouble of relieving that party. We sent out a force yesterday of three companies and the Rebels surprised and killed and captured 20 of them. I have just heard that there has been a fight eight miles south of here to-day, between our cavalry and the Rebels, no particulars yet. ‘Tis the 3d Michigan that has suffered so far. The 7th Illinois are out now after the party that surprised the Michiganders yesterday, but have not heard of them since they started yesterday p.m.

Friday, July 27, 2012

July 26, 1862

July 26, 1862:  Gen. Halleck consents to send Gen. McClellan the 20,000 reinforcements that Little Mac has requested, but now McClellan asks for 55,000 more troops.

---In General Franz Sigel’s advance, near Madison Court House, Virginia, the 1st Connecticut Cavalry Regiment skirmishes with Rebel cavalry under Beverley Robertson, and drives the Rebels from the town.

---In  Patten, Missouri, troops of the 10th Battalion of state militia fight a close-fought skirmish with about 200 Rebel bushwhackers, or irregular cavalry.  The Rebels are beaten and driven off, suffering 25 killed and wounded.  The Unionists incur only 3 men wounded.

---Alexander G. Downing, an infantryman in the 11th Iowa Infantry Regiment, Army of the Tennessee, writes in his diary about the issuing and quality of rations:

During this hot weather the regular army rations are drawn, but the men use very little of the salt bacon. But the bacon being issued, the company cook takes care of it and now has a wagon load of it stacked up beside his tent, anyone being permitted to go and help himself to it. At noon the company cook prepares the bean soup and cooks the pickled beef, after which he calls out for every man to come and get his portion. All the other rations are issued every five days, each man carrying his portion in his haversack. We haven [sic] had no Irish potatoes issued for eight months now, but fresh beef we draw, sometimes twice a week, and it is cooked for us by the company cook. The rations are all of good quality with the exception of crackers, which at times are a little worm-eaten.

---In answer to his family’s inquiries, Oliver Willcox Norton of the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry tries to describe to them his feelings and thoughts while in battle:

At other times I would have been horror-struck and could not have moved, but then I jumped over dead men with as little feeling as I would over a log. The feeling that was uppermost in my mind was a desire to kill as many rebels as I could. The loss of comrades maddened me, the balls flew past me hissing in the air, they knocked my guns to splinters, but the closer they came they seemed to make me more insensible to fear. I had no time to think of anything but my duty to do all I could to drive back the enemy, and it was not duty that kept me there either, but a feeling that I had a chance then to help put down secession and a determination to do my best. My heart was in the fight, and I couldn’t be anywhere else. I told you it was hard to describe one’s feeling in a battle, and it is. No one can ever know exactly till he has been through it.

---The Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes this rather dry but witty discourse on the origins of the Yankee term “skedaddle” (i.e., retreat), while playing on popular Southern prejudices on the subject of education amongst the Yankees (which is odd, considering that the literacy rate amongst Southerners was much lower than amongst Northerners).  Notice also the witty allusion to the recent Union defeats and the now-notorious military euphemism coined by McClellan on the occasion of his retreat from Richmond:

Origin of the Yankee phrase “Skedaddle.”

A friend of ours says that this phrase, apparently invented by the Yankees, in a prophetic spirit, to describe their own predestined performances in that part of the drill which is inaugurated by the command “right about face,” is certainly derived from “skedase,” the future tense of the Greek verb “skedonnumi,” signifying “to disperse. ” This verb, in some of its tenses, is frequently used by Homer to describe that manoeuvre called by McClellan”a change of base,” or “a strategic movement,” and known by others, not so conversant in military operations, as “a headlong flight.”

We found some difficulty in accounting for the manner in which the Yankee soldiers had contrived to pick up so much Greek; but our classical friend had a solution ready for the occasion. He thinks the phrase was not invented by the soldiers, but by some wild college boy, who used it to express the scattering of a company of boys engaged in some mischievous prank when a professor suddenly appears in their midst. From the college it passed into multitude and was thus drawn into general use. The genealogical tree of “skedaddle” is quite respectable, if such be the proposetus. Whether it be or not, we leave to the consideration of scholars and antiquaries. The theory has at least the merit of being very ingenious.

---Also posted in the Daily Dispatch on this date: an ad offering reward for returnin escaped slaves:

Two hundred dollars reward

The above reward, or a proportionate rate for any of them, will be paid for the apprehension of the following slaves and their confinement in jail so that I get them again, or their delivery to me, at Petersburg or Maiden's Adventure, Powhatan county:
Daniel about 30 years old; black; about 5 feet inches high; no marks recollected.

Charles, about 25 years old; black; about 6 feet high; no marks recollected.

Ned, about 21 years old; black; about 5 feet 8 inches; no marks.

David, about 40 years old; black; about 5 feet 6 inches; no marks.

Ann, about 32 years old; black; about 5 feet 2 inches; no marks.

Eliza, about 14 years old; black.

Matthew, about 25 years old; black; 5 feet 8 inches.

Richard, black; about 5 feet 8 inches; no marks recollected.

Gilbert, black; about 5 feet 6 inches; no marks recollected.

All except two of the above negroes having lived in Surry county, at Hog Island, were removed to Maiden's Adventure, Powhatan county, and are doubtless endeavoring to make their way back to Hog Island, with a view to escaping to the enemy.

Also, Joe, hired at the American Hotel, Richmond. R. Y. Jones.

Petersburg, July 16, 1862. jy 19--1w.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25, 1862

July 25, 1862: The Confederate armies in the Western Theater are divided up into fragmentary departments, as are the Union forces there. Braxton Bragg commands the Army of Mississippi, Earl Van Dorn commands the garrison of Vicksburg, and there are 20,000 men under Edmund Kirby-Smith at Knoxville. Bragg has sent 9,000 to garrison Mobile, 14,000 to Vicksburg, and 11,000 under Sterling Price to harass the Yankees at Corinth and Memphis, which left Bragg with only 30,ooo for operations. But Bragg begins to move his troops by train down through Mobile and up to Chattanooga, to head off Buell’s Army of the Ohio. The Rebels fear Buell’s incursion toward Chattanooga, but have not quite realized that between the raids of Forrest and Morgan, and Buell’s practice of slowly repairing railroads and garrisoning every point across central Tennessee and northern Alabama, that his army has been frittered away to the point of bringing the Yankee advance to a halt.

—Gen. Bragg gives orders to hold a court-martial investigating Gen. George B. Crittenden’s reported drunkenness at the Battle of Mill Springs (a Southern defeat) in late March.

—Gen. John Pope issues another of his infamous orders, to the effect that Federal troops would no longer be used to protect the property of Virginians (which, to most observers, was tantamount to giving the Federal soldiers free hand at foraging and looting):

No. 13.
Washington, July 25, 1862.
Hereafter no guards will be placed over private houses or private property of any description whatever. Commanding officers are responsible for the conduct of the troops under their command, and the Articles of War and Regulations of the Army provide ample means for restraining them to the full extent required for discipline and efficiency.
Soldiers were called into the field to do battle against the enemy, and it is not expected that their force and energy shall be wasted in protecting private property of those most hostile to the Government.
No soldier serving in this army shall hereafter be employed in such service.
By command of Major-General Pope:

Colonel and Chief of Staff

—In the July issue of Atlantic Monthly, Nathaniel Hawthorne, noted novelist and former U.S. Consul in Liverpool, publishes "Chiefly on War Matters," an essay of his only visit to the war front. He includes a description of a young Federal officer, and ventures some analysis of the effects of war on the youth of America:
While we drove onward, a young officer on horseback looked earnestly into the carriage, and recognized some faces that he had seen before; so he rode along by our side, and we pestered him with queries and observations, to which he responded more civilly than they deserved. He was on General McClellan's staff, and a gallant cavalier, high-booted, with a revolver in his belt, and mounted on a noble horse, which trotted hard and high without disturbing the rider in his accustomed seat. His face had a healthy hue of exposure and an expression of careless hardihood; and, as I looked at him, it seemed to me that the war had brought good fortune to the youth of this epoch, if to none beside; since they now make it their daily business to ride a horse and handle a sword, instead of lounging listlessly through the duties, occupations, pleasures—all tedious alike—to which the artificial state of society limits a peaceful generation. The atmosphere of the camp and the smoke of the battlefield are morally invigorating; the hardy virtues flourish in them, the nonsense dies like a wilted weed. The enervating effects of centuries of civilization vanish at once and leave these young men to enjoy a life of hardship, and the exhilarating sense of danger. . . .
—A Wisconsin officer with Buell’s army in northern Alabama writes home to his wife, showing how the Confiscation Acts had not yet permeated the consciousness of certain Federal commanders, who were still following the letter of the Fugitive Slave Law:
Woodville, on the M & C. R. R.
Alabama, July 25, 1862
That infernal Slave order is enough to make one curse the government that allows it to be issued. A few days ago a rebel came here with an order to take away his slave–The order was given by Gen. Rousseau who now commands our Division– I was away from camp at the time, but the captain in command allowed the master to take his slave away
To-day, a notorious rebel lawyer came here, wishing to hunt through camp for his slave — but I refused to allow him to do so, and told him, if the slave were in camp, he should not have have him, if, as I supposed, we had received informations from him.
He told me he had been assured that he could go through our lines and into our camps to find his property– I assured him he could not go through mine. He will go to Huntsville, and probably report me, when I may be arrested. If so, I will give the whole pro-slavery, hunting crew a fight– I will appeal to the President. If not arrested, I will resign, rather than disobey orders.
Poor Miles, who was so badly wounded about three weeks ago, died day before yesterday — and yet, one of the gang that killed him and Capt. Moore, whom we arrested and sent to Huntsville, was released by Gen. Buell, and an order given for his horse– Oh, such conduct makes my blood boil!
---Daniel L. Day, of the 25th Massachusetts Infantry, is still in garrison duty in coastal North Carolina. He writes of one of the incidents that cheer up a soldier’s heart from the drudgery of the daily routine:

Gen. Foster has his wife and daughter with him here, which must make it very agreeable for him. Mrs. Foster is engaged in works of love and mercy around the hospitals, while Miss Foster, a young lady of some 16 or 17 years, is pretty much engaged in horseback ridding and having a good time generally. She is quite a military character, as we notice that when she and the general ride past here, she always returns the salutes from the sentinels as gracefully as the general. She frequently rides past here alone, and the sentinels along the street take great pride in honoring her with a present arms, a compliment which she never fails to acknowledge, by a graceful wave of her hand and her face wreathed with smiles.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 23, 1862

July 23, 1862:  Gen. Buell, in a more intense panic mode than two days ago, fires off the following dispatch to Gen. Halleck in Washington:


July 23, 1862-1.30 a.m.                                  

General HALLECK, or
General THOMAS, Adjutant-General:

I cannot err in repeating to you the urgent importance of a large cavalry force in this district. The enemy is throwing an immense cavalry force on the 400 miles of railroad communication upon which this army is dependent for supplies. I am building stockades to hold from 30 to 100 men at all bridges, but such guards at best only give security to certain points and against a small force. There can be no safety without cavalry enough to pursue the enemy in large bodies. Twice already our roads have been broken up by their formidable raids, causing great delay and embarrassment, so that we are barely able to resist from day to day. I am concentrating all the cavalry I can spare to operate actively in force. I don’t pretend to know whether you have cavalry that you can spare elsewhere, but, if so, it can find abundant and very important service here.

Major-General, Commanding.

---Gen. John Pope issues orders that provide for arresting all males in northern Virginia who do not take the loyalty oath to the United States.  All who do may stay at home; all who do not take the oath are to be arrested and sent south behind Confederate lines, and if they return to be treated as spies.  He also gives orders to seize all horses and mules that are not absolutely necessary for farmers to maintain their farms.  These orders, in addition to orders to allow his men to live by foraging freely from the locals, convince Southerners that Pope is a barbarian and not a gentleman.

July 22, 1862

July 22, 1862: President Lincoln calls an impromptu meeting of his Cabinet, and surprises them by presenting a draft of an Emancipation Proclamation.  The Cabinet members are shocked: Secretary Chase even suggests that it goes too far.  Secretary of State William Seward suggests that Lincoln not issue the document until later---to “postpone its issue, until you can give it to the country supported by military success, instead of issuing it, as would be the case now, upon the greatest disasters of the war! [McClellan's failed Peninsula Campaign]”.

—The Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes an editorial about the rapid rise of Abolitionist sentiment and rhetoric in Northern newspapers—even the New York Herald, which had been moderate on the slave question in the past:

There is nothing in the recent uncontrolled and uncontrollable away of the Abolitionists at the North to alarm the South. Since the war began it has been virtually one of robbery. The daily journals North and South have furnished the daily evidence of this. The Federal invaders have never spared the property of the Southern people. The slaves were always taken when they could be transported, or when they could be induced to leave their homes. None of them have ever been returned. All other property has been appropriated to the uses of the Yankees wherever they have gone. None but those traitors who took the oath of allegiance to the North were allowed to retain anything that Yankee cupidity or appetite, or Yankee malignity, desired to possess or wished to destroy.

---Gen. Edmund Kirby-Smith, commander of the Confederate troops at Knoxville, Tennessee, writes a poignant heart-felt letter home to his wife:

Knoxville July 22nd

Darling Wife, I am quite tired but fore going to bed I will write you a few lines. My health is quite restored and I am ready for active service; it is fortunate I went to the mountains. My system reacted and I recovered my strength so rapidly, they say I am fatting and am looking better than I have done for months. Dearest Wife, I do so long for peace and quiet and for a release from my responsibilities. . . . My own precious wife I do so miss you, and do so long to see you once more. it seems I never know how much I love you and how dear you are to me till I lose. it may be that God thus [?] and strengthens our affections. I know darling when away your image fills my mind, and thoughts of you will cheer & comfort me in my labors. Darling you will not think me foolish, you will not any less love me, that I make so much of you. I can not help it, and I love, cherish and spoil you, if making so much of you will spoil. . . . Buel is fast concentrating for attack, Forrest’s operations in middle Tenn. have delayed him as I intended they should, I expected Gen. Bragg to have had time to have cooperated with me by [?] delay, he was to have moved up into Middle Tenn. He telegraphed me now that he cannot move that way, but will send reenforcements via Mobile. God grant they arrive in time. Wife I feel that all will be well with me here, I have the assurance that I have [spared no exertions?], all is in Gods hands & in him is my trust. Pray for me my darling & may he in his mercy watch over and bless you prays

your devoted husband

July 21, 1862

July 21, 1862: Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. Green Clay Smith pursues Morgan south toward Richmond, Kentucky.  As the Rebels arrived in Somerset, Kentucky, they find and capture a 150-wagon train of supplies for the Union army: Morgan’s men take all that they can carry and burn the rest.  Morgan decides to end his raid and heads his riders south toward Tennessee.

—Gen. Don Carlos Buell of the Army of the Ohio sends a frustrated dispatch to Secretary Stanton about the Rebel cavalry raids in his rear areas: Forrest in Tennessee and Morgan in Kentucky.  Operations toward Chattanooga have been suspended.  Buell points out that small garrisons cannot withstand the Rebel raids, and posting larger guards would have the effect of scattering his main force.  Buell asks for more troops and then makes this strange political evaluation: “I am compelled to ascribe the greater part of our annoyance from guerrilla bands to the spirit of hate and revenge which has been inspired in this quarter by an unwise policy and personal wrongs.”  To what he refers is unclear, although it is known that Buell, like McClellan, is pro-Union and pro-slavery, and looks askance on elements in the government who want to make the war into a crusade for human liberty.

—William Lyon, an officer in the Union army in northern Mississippi, writes home to his wife, with comical awareness of the flies and poignant longing for his wife

To Mrs. Lyon.

Camp Clear Creek, Miss., Monday, July 21, 1862.

—Yesterday I was Field Officer of the Day (the officer who has charge of the pickets and outside posts), and I was in the saddle nearly all day and tramping a good deal of the night, so I feel stupid today.

I keep your picture hanging in my tent, where I can lie on my bed, that is, on the ground, and gaze at it and get sentimental, and fight flies. Speaking of flies, the Egyptian plagues, although they had locusts, and lice, and frogs, I believe, were a failure, because they did not have flies. Such swarms of them as infest our camps, drawn here by the debris of a great army, you can not conceive of. They are the common house fly and, like everything else here, are dull and stupid— don’t know enough to go when you tell them to. So much for flies.

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 20, 1862

July 20, 1862: Gen. Braxton Bragg, with the Confederate Army of Mississippi, has marched out of Tupelo, Mississippi and headed for northern Alabama, where he intends to organize his army for an invasion northward. Left in northern Mississippi are Confederate troops under Sterling Price and Earl Van Dorn, threatening Corinth, which is under the watchful eye of Gen. William S. Rosecrans, who now commands the Union Army of the Mississippi, formerly Pope’s command.

—Gen. Gideon Pillow, of the Confederate Army, writes home to his brother about the North’s prospects and problems with getting volunteers, and prophesies the eventual use of black troops in the Yankee army:
The Northern Gov’t is alarmed— the people there are not volunteering as they expected. I am satisfied they will ultimately adopt the policy of seizing our Negro men wherever they can be had—with the aid of their Army—that they will arm these Negroes and place them in their Army. I am not afraid of these Negroes in the Field, but all Negroes so taken off will be lost forever to us. That this Policy is certain to be adopted in the future I entertain in no sort of doubt. I think our only safety for our men is to bring them to the Interior of the South. . . .

—C.J. Hardaway, a Union soldier with McClellan’s army at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, writes home to his mother, and reveals a soldier’s impressions of the battles lately fought contrasted with the public’s impressions:
Dear Mother

I received your kind letter and tea all sound night before last. The letter was first rate and so is the tea and it has done me a good deal of good so quick it is worth ten times what it cost to get it here. . . . The descriptions of the battles in that are the nearest the truth of any paper that I have seen yet. The most of the corespondents [sic] will lie so that they spoil the whole thing as near as I can find out there was not a great many of them on the field when the late battles were fought they thinking it was safer to stay a good distance in the rear a good many of them jumped aboard the boats and I guess they have not stoped [sic] yet. Everything here now is very quiet and I hope it will continue so for some time at least long enough for the army to get over the efects [sic] of the late disasters. I should think from the way the papers talk that they were not getting volunteers verry [sic] fast. I guess the people have found out that there is no fun in being a soldier when they get where they have to fight. Have you begun haying yet? I think I would like to be there and work in the field a little while some fine day about this season of the year. . . .

—Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest of the Confederate Cavalry, having captured Murfreesboro, Tennessee on his raid, and driving away the small garrison, is a cause of great concern to Gen. Buell, whose Army of the Ohio is moving slowly westward to take Chattanooga. Buell reluctantly diverts some of his troops under Brig. Gen. William Sooy Smith to re-take Murfreesboro. Forrest, in the meantime, pushes on to capture Lebanon, Tennessee.

—A yet-unknown Lieutenant John S. Mosby of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, awaiting a train to take him to Gen. Jackson, is captured by Yankees of the 2nd New York Cavalry, led by the then-unknown Judson Kilpatrick. Mosby is taken to Washington, D.C., where is he is soon paroled.

—Sarah Morgan of Baton Rouge writes in her diary of the disorder in the streets (and in her heart) as a threat of a Confederate attack on the Union-held town stirs the army and populace into a panic:
If I was a man — oh, would n’t I be in Richmond with the boys! . . . What is the use of all these worthless women, in war times? If they attack, I shall don the breeches, and join the assailants, and fight, though I think they would be hopeless fools to attempt to capture a town they could not hold for ten minutes under the gunboats. How do breeches and coats feel, I wonder? I am actually afraid of them. I kept a suit of Jimmy’s hanging in the armoir for six weeks waiting for the Yankees to come, thinking fright would give me courage to try it (what a seeming paradox!), but I never succeeded. Lilly one day insisted on my trying it, and I advanced so far as to lay it on the bed, and then carried my bird out — I was ashamed to let even my canary see me; — but when I took a second look, my courage deserted me, and there ended my first and last attempt at disguise. I have heard so many girls boast of having worn men’s clothes; I wonder where they get the courage.

—August Belmont, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, writes to Thurlow Weed, a noted and influential operator in New York City, in an attempt to affect policy. After bemoaning the lack of recruiting and the lack of pursuing the war vigorously, Belmont still wistfully hopes for a negotiated peace:
What frightens me more than the disasters in the field, is the apathy and distrust which I grieve to say I meet at every step, even from men of standing, and hitherto of undoubted loyalty to the Union. . . . It may appear almost hopeless to attempt to bring the South back to the Union by negotiation. Men and women alike, in that distracted portion of our country, have become frantic and exasperated by the teachings of unprincipled leaders and the miseries of civil war. Still, I cannot bring myself to the belief that the door to a reconciliation between the two sections is irrevocably and forever shut. The losses and sufferings which have befallen us have been felt tenfold in the revolted States, and the thinking men of the South must see that a continuation of the war must end in the utter destruction of their property and institutions. The frightful carnage of many a battle-field must have convinced each section of the bravery of its opponents, and how much better it would be to have them as friends than foes.

While I am convinced that the President would be willing to see the South in the lawful possession of all its Constitutional rights, I have not lost all hope, that with these rights guaranteed, a re-union of the two sections might be accomplished. In any event, it seems to me that an attempt at negotiation should be made, and that the time for it has not entirely passed away.

July 19, 1862

July 19, 1862: Gen. Stonewall Jackson and his 11,000 men arrive in Gordonsville, after a swift march, and thus place themselves athwart the intended invasion route of Gen. John Pope and his Federal forces. Gen. Hatch of the Union Cavalry approaches Gordonsville cautiously, with 3,000 troopers and a few infantry, having failed in his assignment to conduct a swift raid and take Gordonsville before the Rebels arrive. Pope demands answers, and Hatch’s corps commander Nathaniel Banks has no answers.

---Brig. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, in command of Lee’s cavalry, sends a young lieutenant on a special scouting mission at the young man’s own request. Thus begins the legend of the Gray Ghost of the Confederacy, John Singleton Mosby. Stuart writes a letter of introduction to Stonewall Jackson, whose troops are nearing the Federal positions:


July 19, 1862. Major General T. J. JACKSON,
Commanding Army of the Valley:

GENERAL: The bearer, John S. Mosby, late first lieutenant, First Virginia cavalry, is en route to scout beyond the enemy's lines toward Manassas and Fairfax. He is bold, daring, intelligent, and discreet. The information he may be obtain and transmit to you may be relied upon, and I have no doubt that he will soon give additional proofs of his value. Did you receive the volume of Napoleon and his Maxims I sent you through General Charles S. Winder's orderly?

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Cavalry.
John Singleton Mosby, late in the war