Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 13, 1862

November 13, 1862:   Cavalry under the command of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant occupy the town of Holly Springs, Mississippi today. The 7th Kansas Cavalry under Col. Albert Lee spars with a rear guard left by the Confederates, who apparently have abandoned the town. The Rebel cavalry evacuates, and Lee’s troopers then dash into Holly Springs and capture about 100 prisoners, although most of them are convalescents in the military hospital. However, since this is only a reconnaissance mission, Grant orders Lee to pull back.

—On the Calhoun River, Kentucky, 400 Union troops under command of a Colonel Shanks attack a Rebel encampment, where they scatter the Rebel fighters and capture a large amount of horses and camp equipment.

—George Templeton Strong of New York City writes in his journal reflecting the anxieties that many in the North are feeling about the War, including the thought (anticipating Pres. Lincoln) that much of the blame for the conflict lies with the North:
The war languishes. We are slowly invading Virginia, but there is nothing decisive or vigorous done there ore elsewhere. I’ve a dim forebodi ng of a coming time when we shall think of the war not as "languishing" and too slow to satisfy our appetite for excitement, but as a terrible, crushing, personal calamity to every one of us; when there shall be no more long trains of carriages all along Fifth Avenue bound for Central Park, when the wives and daughters of contractors shall cease to crowd Stewart’s and Tiffany’s, and when I shall put no burgundy on my supper table. Much of the moral guilt of this terrible, murderous convulsion lies at our doors. South Carolina would never have dared to secede but for our toadyism, our disposition to uphold and justify the wickedness of Southern institutions. The logic of history requires that we suffer for our sins far more than we yet have suffered. "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins." It is impossible this great struggle can pass without our feeling it more than we have yet felt it. It is inevitable, but in what particulr way we shall be visited I cannot foresee.

—John Beauchamp Jones, of the Confederate War Department, notes in his journal of the change in command over the Northern troops. It is interesting to observe how thoroughly McClellan has also persuaded the Southern populace as well as the North that he was the best general the North had:
A gentleman, arrived to-day from Maryland, reports that Gen. McClellan has been removed, and the command given to Burnside! He says, moreover, that this change has given umbrage to the army. This may be our deliverance; for if McClellan had been let alone two weeks longer (provided he ascertained our present condition), he might have captured Richmond, which would be holding all Eastern and much of Central Virginia. This blunder seems providential.

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