Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 1, 1862

October 1, 1862:  In northern Mississippi, Gen. Earl Van Dorn, now in command of the expanded Army of West Tennessee (Price's army added to his) of 22,000 is now moving northward, trying to deceive Grant into thinking that Van Dorn is headed up into West Tennessee.  Van Dorn’s plan is to turn and hit Corinth from the rear.  Grant is not fooled, and he sends two added divisions to Rosecrans, in Corinth, to bring his army up to 23,000.  Rosecrans is ready to meet Van Dorn. 

---Pres. Lincoln, on his tour of the army’s position in Maryland, arrives in Harper’s Ferry, and reviews some of the men of the II Corps in the field.

---Frederick Douglass, in his newspaper Douglass’s Monthly, writes an editorial, making some sense of Lincoln’s strange Emancipation Proclamation:

The careful, and we think, the slothful deliberation which he has observed in reaching this obvious policy, is a guarantee against retraction. But even if the temper and spirit of the President himself were other than what they are, events greater than the President, events which have slowly wrung this proclamation from him may be relied on to carry him forward in the same direction. . . . No, Abraham Lincoln will take no step backward. His word has gone out over the country and the world, giving joy and gladness to the friends of freedom and progress wherever those words are read, and he will stand by them, and carry them out to the letter. If he has taught us to confide in nothing else, he has taught us to confide in his word. . . . The President doubtless saw, as we see, that it is not more absurd to talk about restoring the union, without hurting slavery, than restoring the union without hurting the rebels. . . .

The effect of this paper upon the disposition of Europe will be great and increasing. It changes the character of the war in European eyes and gives it an important principle as an object, instead of national pride and interest. It recognizes and declares the real nature of the contest, and places the North on the side of justice and civilization, and the rebels on the side of robbery and barbarism. . . .

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