Friday, February 8, 2013

February 8, 1863

February 8, 1863

---In responding to the speech by Clement Vallandigham, a Democrat Congressman from Ohio in the U.S. House, the Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes an editorial wherein they applaud Vallandigham’s distaste for the war and the North’s folly in pursuing it, but chides him for making the "great mistake of supposing this to be a civil war. It is not a civil war. It is a sectional war." The editors then denounce the idea that this great territory could ever be occupied by one unified country in peace (for instance, much like the U.S. is today):
The lines of demarcation arise from the character of the people. If they are hostile to each other they do not want waters or mountains to separate them. If they are not, waters and mountains can not keep them asunder. The idea that this whole continent is to be occupied by one nation is simply preposterous. In five thousand years the world has never seen such a thing as 200,000,000 of people speaking the same language and enjoying free institutions, all under the same Government. It is a dream of Utopian folly to suppose that it ever can exist. The separation has begun, and it will continue. America, like the Old World, is to be settled by many nations. Such is its destiny.
Rep. Clement Vallandigham, (D-Ohio)

—James Kendall Hosmer, a Union soldier, writes in his journal about a scourge of diseases passing throught the army camps. It is significant to note that twice as many soldiers died of disease as by battle:
I saw three bodies lying together on the roof of the veranda of the building, overlooking the street. . . . The chaplain was sick the day of the funeral: so I conducted the service for these two at one time, after dark, under the moon. We were forced to bury them hurriedly, for it was late; and I fear with less of a feeling of solemnity than we once had at such occasions. I believe it is true, that the edge of sensibility grows dull through use, even in the case of these sad experiences. Funerals have been so frequent of late, sometimes three or four a day, that they lose their impressiveness in part. Pray Heaven the sickness is spending itself! There are signs that it is so. It has raged, for the most part, among the youths under twenty, whose immature fibre appears to afford more congenial harbor for the pestilence than the frames of the older men. Almost all the deaths have been among the boys. The death-list is really not as large as is often the case in camps.

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