Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 24, 1862

September 24, 1862:  Gen. Halleck dispatches an aide, Col. Hibbin, with orders to relief Buell of command of the Army of the Ohio and to give Gen. Thomas orders to assume command of that army in Buell’s stead.  Halleck tells Hibbin not to give these orders if “if General Buell should be found in the presence of the enemy preparing to fight a battle, or if he should have gained a victory, or if General Thomas should be separated from him so as not be able to enter upon the command of the troops operating against the enemy.”

---Today, Pres. Lincoln issues an order that the writ of habeas corpus may be suspended for people who are suspected of being engaged in treasonous activity.  He also orders that “all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting military drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice affording aid and comfort to the rebels against the authority of the United States, shall be subject to martial law, and liable to trial and punishment by courts-martial or military commission.”

---Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard assumes command of the Department of  South Carolina and Georgia on this date.

---Sec. of the Navy Gideon Welles  records in his diary a disturbing instance of attitudes in High Command that are counter to the Presidents’ policies:

September 24, Wednesday. Secretary Smith called this morning. Said he had just had an interview with Judge- Advocate Turner, who related a conversation which had taken place between himself (T.) and Colonel Key, one of Halleck’s staff. T. had expressed to K. his surprise that McClellan had not followed up the victory last week by by pursuing the Rebels and capturing them or cutting them in pieces. That, said K., is not the policy. Turner asked what, then, was the policy. Key said it was one of exhaustion; that it would have been impolitic and injudicious to have destroyed the Rebel army, for that would have ended the contest without any compromise, and it was the army policy at the right time to compel the opposing forces to adopt a compromise.[1]

Smith assures me that Turner made to him this communication. It is most extraordinary, yet entirely consistent with current events and what Wilson and others have stated. While I can hardly give credit to the statement, the facts can be reconciled with every action or inaction, — with wasted energies, fruitless campaigns, and barren fights. . . .

[1] Major John J. Key was summarily railed upon by the President to account for his language, stingingly rebuked, and forthwith discharged from the service.


---Sarah Morgan of Louisiana writes in her journal about the privations civilians suffer, with some humor:

September 24th.

Yesterday the General saluted us with “Young ladies, if you will ride in a Confederate carriage, you may go to dress parade this evening.” Now, in present phraseology, “Confederate” means anything that is rough, unfinished, unfashionable, or poor. You hear of Confederate dresses, which means last year’s. Confederate bridle means a rope halter. Confederate silver, a tin cup or spoon. Confederate flour is corn meal, etc. In this case the Confederate carriage is a Jersey wagon with four seats, a top of hickory slats covered with leather, and the whole drawn by mules. We accepted gladly, partly for the ride and sight, partly to show we were not ashamed of a very comfortable conveyance; so with Mrs. Badger as chaperon, we went off in grand style. I must say I felt rather abashed and wished myself at home as we drove into town, and had the gaze of a whole regiment riveted on us. . . .  We three girls sat in our rough carriage as comfortable as could be, dressed — well, we could not have been dressed better and looking our very best.

No comments:

Post a Comment