Saturday, March 2, 2013

March 2, 1863

March 2, 1863

---Some miles out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a Federal expedition consisting of troops from the 15th, 16th, 18th, and 19th U.S. Infantry Regiments ran into a strong Rebel cavalry force, resulting in a hot skirmish that consisted of several Southern attacks against the Federal Regulars.  The end result was the quick retreat of the Rebels, whose casualties were reported as “considerable.”

---Union cavalry surprises some of John Mosby’s guerilla cavalry, in a rare case, near Aldie, Virginia, resulting in the capture of 30 Rebels.

---George Templeton Strong, of New York City, writes in his journal about budget struggles in a Congress about to recess, in a vein that sounds very much as if it could have been written today:

No public news of any moment today.  This Congress has little more than twenty-four hours of life left it, and a vast deal of most weighty work to finish up.  If the Copperheads undertake to filibuster and retard legislation, they can do fearful mischief before the next midnight; they can paralyze the Administration and kill the country.  But I do not think they will try to do it.

---William H. Green, a young soldier in the 33rd New York Infantry, writes home to his father, and includes details about Gen. Hooker’s better treatment of the soldiers in regard to rations, and a rather stirring discourse on Green’s own patriotism:

March 2d, 1863.

Dear Father: – Your kind letter came to hand yesterday and was read with all pleasure. You asked me about my food and the quantities of rations; I will say that they are as good as one would ask for. “Old Joe” has ordered that we shall have four rations of fresh soft bread per week, two of fresh potatoes, and two of desicated vegetables, or potatoes instead; as good coffee as any one can wish for and enough of it; plenty of good fresh and salt beef, and as good pork as any farmer in old Seneca can produce. But I will leave that subject. . . .

You wish to know how I stand on the war, the Administration, &c. I am in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war. I am not in favor of peace, – that is, I am opposed to all ideas of peace, unless it is a restoration of the Union and a downfall of the so-called Confederacy. I am opposed to all manner of compromises, all foreign intervention, whether by mediation or otherwise. I believe that we are able to settle our own difficulties, and believe that we have some man who is able to command this army. . . .  The Union must be preserved at all hazards. I cannot believe that this, the greatest and best Government that ever existed has gone or or is going to ruin, as some writers from home write to their friends in the army. Such things have a bad influence upon the army in the field, and no man breathing the spirit of a true lover of his country will do it. Now the idea seems very foolish indeed, to think the great America has lost all, everything, home and integrity, and only been to war two years. As for my part, I am not afraid. I will trust the old ship and stand by her a while yet. Considering the direct and bad discouragement of a considerable portion of them and the indirect influence of bad example to which all have been exposed, the real wonder is that the general morale has fallen no lower. . . .  Father, I am for the Government as it was handed down to us by our forefathers. I have enlisted for this Government, not for two years, but during my natural life. One thing must be done; treason must be punished.

The U.S. Postal wagon at Union Army camp, Falmouth, Virginia

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