Saturday, April 27, 2013

April 27, 1863

April 27, 1863

---Grierson’s Raid – On this date, Grierson’s raiders send a small detachment of troopers in Rebel butternut uniforms to seize the ferry crossing at the Pearl River.  The raiders then ride into Hazelhurst, where they sack the railroad yard and set a string of boxcars on fire.  The sparks spread to the houses in the town, and the Federal troopers find themselves fighting the fires alongside the townsfolk. 

Grierson makes the cover of Harper's Weekly

---On this date, by Hooker’s orders, the V, XI, and XII Corps are on the March toward the Rappahannock fords, and the Campaign is begun.

---Lt. Col. Fremantle continues his account of his travel:

I left San Antonio by stage for Alleyton at 9 P.M. The stage was an old coach, into the interior of which nine persons were crammed on three transverse seats, besides many others on the roof. I was placed on the centre seat, which was extremely narrow, and I had nothing but a strap to support my back. An enormously fat German was my vis-a-vis, and a long-legged Confederate officer was in my rear.

Our first team consisted of four mules; we afterwards got horses.

My fellow-travellers were all either military men, or connected with the Government.

Only five out of nine chewed tobacco during the night; but they aimed at the windows with great accuracy, and didn’t splash me. The amount of sleep I got, however, was naturally very trifling.

---Col. Elisha Franklin Paxton, a Virginian in the Army of Northern Virginia, writes home to his wife, filled with dark thoughts about the Confederate cause and his own spiritual condition:

The future, ever a mystery, is more mysterious now than ever before. Our destiny is in the hands of God, infinite in his justice, goodness and mercy; and I feel that in such time as he may appoint he will give us the blessings of independence and peace. We are a wicked people, and the chastisement which we have suffered has not humbled and improved us as it ought. We have a just cause, but we do not deserve success if those who are here spend this time in blasphemy and wickedness, and those who are at home devote their energies to avarice and extortion. Fasting and prayer by such a people is blasphemy, and, if answered at all, will be by an infliction of God’s wrath, not a dispensation of his mercy.

The future, as you say, darling, is dark enough. Though sound in health and strength, I feel that life to many of us hangs upon a slender thread. Whenever God wills it that mine pass from me, I feel that I can say in calm resignation, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.” In this feeling I am prepared to go forward in the discharge of my duty, striving to make every act and thought of my life conform to his law, and trusting with implicit faith in the salvation promised through Christ. How I wish that I were better than I feel that I am; . . .  May God give me strength to be what I ought to be—to do what I ought to do! And now, darling, good-bye. When we meet again, I hope you will have a better husband— that your prayer and mine may be answered.

---Gen. Grant prepares to make a move on Grand Gulf, the proposed landing spot on the east bank of the Mississippi River, from where he might launch his land campaign against Vicksburg.


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