Sunday, April 7, 2013

April 3, 1863

April 3, 1863

---The New York Times publishes a notice for a public rally against “Copperheadism”---that is, Northerners who tended to favor the South and oppose the Union war efforts:


The Young Men’s Republican Central Committee inaugurate to-night a series of Anti-Copperhead meetings at their headquarters, corner Broadway and Twenty-third-street. E. DELAFIELD SMITH, United States District Attorney, and other well-known speakers, will address the audience.

---James Henry Gooding, a soldier in the new 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, one of the first black regiments, writes to a Boston-area paper about camp life and the training of the men:

Camp Meigs, Readville, April 3

Messrs. Editors:‚

—The 54th progresses daily. This week past the men who have been in camp the longest time have been practicing in the manual of arms. It really makes one’s heart pulsate with pride as he looks upon those stout and brawny men, fully equipped with Uncle Sam’s accoutrements upon them, to feel that these noble men are practically refuting the base assertions reiterated by copperheads and traitors that the black race are incapable of patriotism, valor or ambition. Officers of distinction, whose judgements are not warped by prejudice, pronounce this regiment to be the nucleus of an army equaling in discipline and material the Imperial Hosts of Europe. I, for one, hope their liberal assumptions will in the end prove true—and it is merely a question of time to make it so. Our first dress parade took place this afternoon, and those who know say the men behaved admirably, for so short a period in drilling. . . .

---James Kendall Hosmer, of the Union Army, writes of his experiences in southern Louisiana, and of the other-worldly paradise that must have moved many a Yankee to such rhapsodies:

Seldom does an army march under circumstances so delightful. The miles were not weary ones; for the same really remarkable conditions made our progress comparatively easy from first to last, — a bright sky and sun, but a cool northern breeze, and a road, for the most part, in perfect condition to receive the soldier’s foot-fall. On one side rose the slope of the Levee; ten or twelve feet high from the road, two or three from the water on the other side. When the column halted, we could run up the slope, then stoop to the cool bayou to drink, or to wash face, hands, and feet. On our right, as we marched, we passed, now houses of moderate size, bare of elegance — sometimes even squalid in appearance; now, again, mansions of comfortable look; and, not unfrequently, beautiful seats, set up high to preserve them from danger in case-of a crevasse, with colonnades ornamented tastefully with orange-groves and the glorious live-oak, with trees full of roses instead of bushes.


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