Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 7, 1862

October 7, 1862:  Buell’s Army of the Ohio, over 80,000 strong, is heading toward Perryville, where there is water, as well as several highways to facilitate concentrating the troops.  but they are not certain of where the Rebels are, except that they know some are in Perryville.  Bragg is likewise uncertain as to where the Yankees are heading, and as orders fly around central Kentucky, some commanders obey and some do not.  The picture seems to change every hour as Gen. Wheeler’s cavalry probed Union positions and told Bragg that a large force of Yankees was headed toward Perryville---but Bragg ignores this, convinced that the Yankees are going to attack toward Frankfort.  By midnight, most of his army, 16,000 men, are concentrated at Perryville, and 55,000 of Buell’s men---three corps under Alexander McCook, Thomas Crittenden, and Charles Gilbert---are due to attack at dawn.  By the end of the day, Gen. George Thomas and his corps are also considering heading that way.  This afternoon, Gilbert’s troops are approaching the Chaplin River near Perryville, and his advance units clash with Wheeler’s cavalry.  The divisions of Mitchell, Schoepf, and Sheridan are deployed in line of battle as Gilbert finds the Rebels deployed on the facing ridge.

 ---In the upcoming elections across the country, the Republicans are fearfully anticipating losing many seats in Congress.  In New York, James Wadsworth is running for Governor against Horatio Seymour, the incumbent Democrat.  The New York Times  features an editorial which addresses loyal men who are thinking of voting for Seymour---portraying Seymour as disloyal and sympathetic with the Confederacy:

Now, these men [those upset with Lincoln's administration], assuming them to be loyal In heart, show a most extraordinary want of logic in the conclusion to vote for SEYMOUR, which they draw from their premises. Granted that the Administration has erred, has been too Pro-Slavery, or too Anti-Slavery, has been too energetic or not enough so, the conclusion to vote for SEYMOUR is a non sequitur. It is as if a man, because doctors are guilty of malpractice sometimes, should help a vessel with the yellow fever on board to run the Quarantine. It is as if burglars should break into our house, and one of the inmates, being dissatisfied with the actions of the Police, should join with the thieves and trip up the officers’ heels.

Now, all these three classes of men are excessively indignant at being told that they are aiding and abetting the rebels. But this is the fact, and it is no answer for them to say that they have given their money and sent their sons to the war. ARNOLD gave his money and his blood for the country, but none the less did he help the enemy when he offered to give up West Point. And so the men who seek the election of SEYMOUR, whether they mean it or not, are helping the rebels, no matter what they have done before to hurt them. We wish that every one who proposes to vote for SEYMOUR would ask himself the question, What would JEFF. DAVIS advise me to do, if I were to ask him? Which vote would do most to please FLOYD and BENJAMIN, and TOOMBS and WISE, and LETCHER and the whole gang of thieving, perjured rebels, who have brought the country to this pass? Which vote would win for me the approbation of the I Richmond newspapers? Which vote would gratify most and encourage most the rebel Generals? No honest man can answer these questions in any way but one. A vote for SEYMOUR will insure to any one the applause of the whole rebel crew. It is enough for us, and it seems to us that it must be enough for any man who loves his country, to know that this is so to insure our supporting WADSWORTH with all our energies. Show us what the rebels would have us do. We want nothing else to send us in the opposite direction.

---Rosecrans’ army pursues Van Dorn and Price who are retreating; the Federals are taking many prisoners.

---John Beauchamp Jones, a clerk in the Confederate War Department, comments on the sharp inflation reflected in the prices of ordinary commodities in Richmond:

This evening Custis and I expect the arrival of my family from Raleigh, N. C. We have procured for them one pound of sugar, 80 cents; one quart of milk, 25 cents; one pound of sausage-meat, 37½ cents; four loaves of bread, as large as my fist, 20 cents each; and we have a little coffee, which is selling at $2.50 per pound. In the morning, some one must go to market, else there will be short-commons. Washing is $2.50 per dozen pieces. Common soap is worth 75 cents per pound.

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