Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February 26, 1863

February 26, 1863

---The Cherokee Nation had made an alliance with the Confederate States, and the war was going badly for the Southern armies as well as the civilians in that area. Under command of Gen. James Blunt, a brigade of Unionist Indian troops (mostly Cherokee) crosses back into the Indian Territories. The Cherokee Nation helds a tribal council on the question back on February 4, at the Cherokee capital in Talequah. On Feb. 21, a document was adopted and a vote on this date made it official. The Declaration dissolved the Cherokee alliance with the Confederacy and reaffirmed its loyalty to the United States, it repudiated any tribal members under arms against the United States, and it freed all slaves un Cherokee territory. Many Cherokees were planters and slaveholders. This ordinance also granted citizenship and suffrage to former male slaves. The Cherokee are the first group of slaveholders to voluntarily emancipate their slaves. The Cherokees are still deeply divided, however, and Gen. Stand Watie, in command of a mounted brigade of Cherokee Confederates, is headed with his troops back to Cherokee land.

—Julia LeGrand of New Orleans writes in her journal of a new novel by William P. Thackeray, the great English novelist, and how she loves Thackeray for telling the truth about human beings, especially has her views of reality during the war, and the rascality of people have taught her to think differently:
Thackeray is no favorite here; I find few of my friends here who will even try to comprehend him. To me he is the first of English writers. "Vanity Fair" gave me a great shock. I do not think I could ever have been quite so happy again, after having read that book, even if life had not gone hard with me. It taught me to look under the veil, and I have been looking under it ever since. And my God, what have I not seen! Indeed I do not love the world, but I have met with some really good and pure people. Thackeray’s books are magnificent protests against the social life of England. I wish we had such a man. We would not take our lashing and dissection from a stranger. I sometimes think that even one of us could not tell the whole truth to our country people. They love flattery, it must be confessed. The Northern people have sickened me with boasting. I hope ours will adopt a system of inciting and elevating to a high state of things rather than claiming it without an effort. Let there be truth-telling in all things. Thackeray really holds up a glass to his country-folk, and to humanity at large. He is not popular, because people do not like the real cut of their features.

—Judith White McGuire, of Richmond, writes in her journal of the news and expectations of the Confederate commerce cruisers Alabama and Florida:
26th.—In the city again yesterday. B. improving. The morning papers report firing upon Vicksburg. Several steamers have arrived lately, laden for the Confederacy. Blockade-running seems to be attended with less danger then it was, though we have lately lost a most valuable cargo by the capture of the "Princess Royal." The "Alabama" continues to perform the most miraculous feats, and the "Florida" seems disposed to rival her in brilliant exploits. They "walk the water," capturing every thing in their way, and know no fear, though many vessels are in pursuit.

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