Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19, 2012

October 19, 1862: General Henry W. Halleck, in command of all U.S. armies, urges Gen. Buell to push into East Tennessee, a strongly Unionist area, to liberate it from the Confederacy. Halleck mentions that Pres. Lincoln is ordering Buell to occupy East Tennessee before the autumn season is over—which has long been a pet project of the President’s. Halleck, however, is inclined to return to the comforts of Nashville, since the city is being threatened by the Rebels—just which Rebels, he does not say, since there is no significant rebel force in central Tennessee or central Kentucky.

Meanwhile, Gen. John Hunt Morgan, who spanked the Yankee cavalry at Lexington and occupied the city, much to the consternation of the scattered forces of Federal troops throughout Kentucky, has ridden southeast and now occupies the city of Richmond, Kentucky, just northeast of Buell’s army at Crab Orchard—a good, safe distance from the armies of Bragg and Kirby-Smith, who are nearing their escape hatch of Cumberland Gap in the southeast corner of the state. Morgan’s goal is to ride around Buell’s army, as Stuart has done to McClellan. On this date, Morgan’s men capture a 150-wagon supply train for Buell’s men, which they loot and then destroy, with the exception of two wagons, since Morgan is traveling light.

—Gen. George B. McClellan of the Army of the Potomac submits a letter to Gen. Halleck 00which offers not a plan or calendar, but a vague discussion of possible objectives, and more reasons why he will be unable to move until the Spring. In this letter, he assures the Army that "this project of extensively fortifying Harper's Ferry, and constructing a permanent bridge at that point, involves a very considerable expenditure of money, a larger garrison, and a long delay, perhaps extending into winter, before Harper's Ferry can be made a prepared base for, at best, an exterior line of operations upon our proper objective point-Staunton, Lynchburg, or Richmond."

—William A. Collins, a former divinity student and currently a soldier in the North Carolina 48th Infantry Reg., writes home to his parents in North Carolina about his condition and wound he received at the Battle of Antietam:
Richmond, Oct. 19th

Dear & Beloved Father & Mother,

It is by the mercies of an Almighty God that I am once more permitted to take my pen in hand though it is with a heavy and sorrowful heart, to inform you that I am at Richmond, wounded & am also in bad health but it is seems only to be the diarea and I think I am likely to get better of that soon. I was wounded the 17th ult. of last month at the Battle of Antietam in my left leg in the back part opposite the knee by by a piece of a burn shell but the wound has nearly heald up but my knee is very stiff yet but I can go on crutches. I will inform you that I was a prisoner with the Yankees untill [Oct.] 16th when we were brought acros our lines to Richmond. We were brought round from Baltimore on water to [?] landing and thence to Rich. they have a large number of our wounded that was not able to come. Dear Father and Mother the horrors of that days battle I shall not attempt to describe. Our Regt. was badly cut up. . . . I know you have all nearly dispaird of ever hearing from me, but I hope and trust to God you may get this letter and it may releive you of your trouble once more I hope & trust to God that I will get to start home in a few days or at least the doctor says we will get to go. O that I only was at home now where I could get your kind treat ment but I will patiently wait may God grant my desire and wish. I am getting so tired I will have to close for this time by asking you all to ask God to bless and keep me under his protection. God is still my trust.

May he bless you all is my prayr for Christ sake amen.

Write to me as soon as you get this and fail not.

Wm A. C., Co. C. [?]
William Collins will die of gangrene from his wound on Dec. 14 in Richmond.


–Lincoln appoints his friend David Davis, a Federal Circuit Court judge, as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.


—Gen. John A. McClernand, who had served under Grant at Shiloh, has obtained leave from the army and visits Lincoln, a long-time friend from Illinois. Since Grant appears to be busy chasing Van Dorn and Price all over the borderlands of Mississippi, McClernand convinces Lincoln to appoint himself head of a new army, which McClernand says he will raise in Illinois, specifically for the task of taking Vicksburg. Lincoln gives him the requested appointment.


—Luman Harris Tenney, of the Union Army of the Frontier, at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, writes in his journal as he goes out foraging and ends up flirting with some of the local girls, who flirt back while insisting that they are die-hard Rebels:

Went through to the town, 100 of our Indians there.* Called at two houses and had very pleasant and spicy chats with two girls, one pleasant lady. Southern officers left their "regards" for any "Feds" that might call. Believed the south right. Would fight if a man. Got back to camp at dark and found good letter from home and Fannie. Pleased with the whole trip and incidents. Quite a laugh with the captain. Like Arkansas first rate considering—good farms and orchards—pretty girls.

(* Native American troops raised by Gen. James Blunt in Kansas for the Union.)


—In the coastal waters of North Carolina, the Federal gunboat U.S.S. Ellis captures a British steamer, the Adelaide, as it tries to run the blockade from Wilmington to England with a cargo of cotton and turpentine. Lt. William D. Cushing, whose fame is yet to be made, commands the Ellis. The Adelaide, with its cargo of cotton and turpentine

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