Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6, 1862

November 6, 1862: In accordance with Gen. Robert E. Lee’s recommendations, on this date, Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet are both promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General, and Lee makes official the organization he has been using for some time: that the Army of Northern Virginia is organized into two Corps—the I Corps (Longstreet) and the II Corps (Jackson).
Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, CSA

Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, CSA

—Commodore Renshaw, of the U.S. Navy, sails into the harbor of Galveston, Texas, and demands the surrender of the city. All C.S. troops abandon the town, as does the Mauyor and city officials. A Mayor Pro Tem is selected by the townspeople to negotiate with the Yankees. Later in the day, a force of 150 Marines and sailors (which include some black sailors) land and go ashore, repossess the U.S. Custom House and raise the U.S. flag over it. Galveston is now in Federal hands.

—Ruffin Thompson, a soldier in the 18th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, writes home to his family, and gives an unusually detailed account of the behavior of his personal slave, which offers us a window into the lives of slaveowners in the Confederate Army who had body-servants with them in the field:
Press [Preston] is a fine marcher, never lagged in the least, though he carried my baskets and his own. He went all through Maryland with the army, was at Harpers Ferry and saw the surrender. He had been left in Emmett Butler’s care by Harris – Emmett got him a pair of shoes at Harpers Ferry which have been doing him good service. He is short of clothing, as is the case with all here, white as well as black. Press left his clothing at Rapidan with the regimental baggage as the army passed up, and I guess we will get his carpet sack sometime today, as wagons have just gone after everything. Press is a faithful servant to me considering the chances he has. I am satisfied with him.

—George Michael Neese, a Virginian in the artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia, gives a somewhat humorous account of the attempt of himself and comrades to make a shelter for the night:
November 6 — Last night was very cold, with a little rain. Six of us made a sort of sheltering shed out of rails and covered it with a tarpaulin. About midnight a horse ran over our house and played thunder with the roof. It tore a ruinous rent in the tarpaulin and came very near trampling on some of us. I never saw such crawling out of bed and house before as when the horse came through the roof.

—William Thompson Lusk, a young officer from Connecticut now with the Army of the Potomac in Virginia, writes home to his mother and comments on the relative inaction of the army:
I hardly can give you any hint of the intentions of the Army. We do not see the papers often enough to study the general movement of our troops, and cannot even make conjectures. We all hope , though, that we are engaged on some earnest and important undertaking. We feel that it is vital to act, and wish to act successfully. . . . With my present experience, I would not have leaped blindly as I did at the commencement of the war. I have had a hard struggle with pride and duty to make me persist, but a little of the caution displayed by most of my friends would have saved me many difficulties. If my friends have generally been more successful than I, I can at least feel consoled by the thought that what I have gained has been won by my own exertion. There, that is pretty egotism! Little boy blue, come blow your horn!

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