Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14, 1863

February 14, 1863

—The USS Queen of the West, under Col. Charles Ellet, is ascending the Red River in Louisiana, and has intercepted a steamer delivering provisions, called the Era No. 5. The Federals capture this vessel. As the Queen approaches Fort Taylor, she comes under fire from the fort and the CSS Webb. As the Queen maneuvers, the pilot (whose loyalties have been under suspicion) drives her on a sandbar, and she is stuck. One of Ellet’s officers is wounded, and cannot be moved, so as the Confederate fire increases, the crew is forced to abandon ship; because of the wounded man, Ellet does not burn it. The Rebels capture the Queen virtually intact, and the South has gained a powerful weapon. Ellet and his crew take the captured Era No. 5 downstream to the Red’s junction with the Mississippi, where Porter’s orders had placed them in the first place, and there was run aground again. The DeSoto had been damaged also, and was burned.

---Rebel War clerk John Beauchamp Jones records in his journal his worry over the lack of rations for the army, or any food, for that matter. The scarcity is beginning to affect the civilian population, too, as he ironically notes—and highly inflated prices are only making the situation worse:

Gen. Lee is urging the department to have the meat at Atlanta brought to his army without delay. It is here the army will be wanted.
I saw pigs to-day, not six weeks old, selling in market at $10 a piece.
I met Col. Bledsoe to-day, on a visit to the city, who told me Fenelon never tasted meat, and lived to be ninety years old. I am no Fenelon, but I shall probably have to adopt his regimen. I would barter, however, some of his years for a good supply of food. We must have peace soon, or a famine.

—U.S. Patent clerk Horatio Nelson Taft writes in his journal aboiut the lack of war news and his penchant for collecting old books: a habit that persists with some folks in our time:
Washington Saturday Feb 14th 1863.
Another fine day but a little cooler than yesterday. . . . I was on the Ave after leaving the office an hour or two reading in Book Store and looking over an old Library of Books for sale tonight at McGuires Auction Rooms. This is a great City for old books and sometimes rare old Books can be obtained cheap. Old private Libraries are sent over from England every year and sold at auction. I do not consider myself Safe at a Book Auction as it is very difficult for me to resist the temptation to buy more than I can afford. I used to take pride having a select Library of books in my house. But I have been shifting about so much for the past dozen years that my books have got scattered a good deal, but I think that I have got now as many as I ever had, perhaps more. Genl "Tom Thumb" and Lady have left the City. Genl Fremont is here requesting a Command again. No War news of any importance, all is quiet as yet. I called at Mr Schrams again tonight, his Mother expects to leave for home Monday. Called also at Maj Williamss. Mrs W. is geting better. Aleck Tower has been released from Richmond, was here, went home yesterday.
Union soldiers of the U.S. Colored Troops regiments

—In today’s issue of Harper’s Weekly, the editors publish an editorial arguing against the unreasonable bias against having negroes in the army:
THE question that every body has seen from the beginning of the war must be answered has at last been asked. Shall there be colored soldiers? It is a question upon which there need be no loss of temper. If a man says that he is willing to see the Government lost rather than maintained by such allies, he must answer the question whether, then, he cares enough for the Government to fight for it. He must then answer the other question, why it is not as shameful to save the Government by bribing men by enormous bounties to be soldiers, while men who have the most vital interest in the success of the war are ready to fight. If saving the Government is a matter of pride and not of principle, and the most earnest conviction of the necessity of its salvation, that pride may be gratified in any whimsical way. . . . Indeed, if you make your point of honor any thing short of the salvation of the Government and nation, by all fair warlike means and at all costs, you have already virtually relinquished the contest.

The Government is waging a fierce war with a wicked rebellion. It wants all the soldiers it can muster. . . .

Granting that the facts are as stated, we have reached a point in the rebellion when, as an expedient of war, that is made possible which was not so in peace. Emancipation is declared. The exigency demands and therefore justifies it. The late slaves know that our lines are the lines of liberty. Thus hundreds of thousands of able-bodied men are made dependent upon the guidance of the Government, which requires, and will long require, a large military force. The men so dependent are trained to obedience. They are by nature docile and brave. They have every thing to fight for, and they know it. The war has the same desperate earnestness to them that it has to their late masters. One side fights for property: the other for life and liberty.

Is not the solution providential? Do we absolutely insist upon rejecting such soldiers because of some absurd theory of occiput and shin-bones? They are not of the same race. True; and neither are the French and the Irish; but we do not reject them; we are heartily grateful to get them. . . .
Graveyard in an Army Camp

—In today’s issue of Harper’s Weekly, these advertisements, among others, appear on the back page:

PHYSIOGNOMYOr, "Signs of Character, and How to Read them"—Ethnology; or, the Races of Men—Physiology, Phrenology, and Psychology—are given, in extenso, in THE PHRENOLOGICAL JOURNAL for 1863. $1 a year. Address - FOWLER & WELLS, No. 308 Broadway, N. Y.

TO CONSUMPTIVES.—You will get the Recipe for a sure cure for Coughs, Colds, Consumption, and all lung complaints, by sending to D. Adee, 381 Pearl St., N. Y. He sends it free. Write for it.—It has cured thousands.

CONFEDERATE [REBEL] MONEY. Fac-Simile Confederate Treasury Notes.
So exactly like the genuine that where one will pass current the other will go equally well. $5000 in Confederate Notes of all denominations, sent free by mail on receipt of $5, by W. E. HILTON, 11 Spruce Street, New York.

GREAT TRIUMPHSteinway and Sons, Nos. 82 and 84, Walker Street, N. Y., were awarded a first prize medal at the late Great International Exhibition, London. There were two hundred and sixty-nine pianos from all parts of the world entered for competition. The special correspondent of the New York Times says: "Messrs. Steinways' endorsement by the Jurors is emphatic, and stronger and more to the point than that of any European maker."

. Dr. Riggs' Hard Rubber Truss challenges the severest criticisms. Water-proof, cleanly, and indestructible. This truss and a Varicocele Instrument may be seen at Dr. Riggs' Office, No. 2 Barclay St., N. Y. Send for Trade-List, revised Jan. 25, 1863.

Wheeler & Wilson's Sewing Machines
Highest Premium.
International Exhibition, London, 1862.
See the recent Improvements.
Office 505 Broadway, New York.

Agents and Soldiers, in camp or dischaarged, can make easily $15 per day selling our GREAT NEW and WONDERFUL UNION PRIZE AND STATIONERY PACKAGES, NOVEL AND UNEQUALED, and unlike all the old styles; containing all New Articles, and of fine quality. Writing Materials, Games, Useful and Fancy Articles, Likenesses of Heroes, Camp Companions (for the Army), rich gifts of Jewelry, &c., &c., altogether worth over $1, for ONLY 25c. They are just the thing for a present to your friend the Army. No family should be without one. Profits immense, sales quick. Soldiers in camp can act as Agents, and make money fast. A SPLENDID WATCH, warranted as a perfect time-keeper, presented free to all Agents. Packages in endless variety and at all prices. Fine Jewelry and Watches at low prices. Send for NEW Circulars for 1863, containing EXTRA inducements. S. C. RICKARDS & CO., 102 Nassau Street, New York, largest and oldest Prize Package House in the World.
Happy Valentines Day

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