Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June 11, 1863

June 11, 1863

---Siege of Vicksburg, Day 20

---Siege of Port Hudson, Day 15

—The Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes today this remarkable editorial—not only for the keen awareness the Southerners had of the social turmoil caused by massive immigration in the North, but the stupendous lack of awareness demonstrated by their own lack of self-awareness when it comes to race and creed The editorial essay comments upon the recriminations heaped upon the Federal XI Army Corps, having a large percentage of German regiments in it, and their having given way in the face of Stonewall Jackson’s flank attack at Chancellorsville:
A suggestive item of Yankee news has been published in this paper, which states that the Germans of New York have held a meeting and passed resolutions declaring "the continued abuse of the 11th Army corps, composed of Germans, which stampeded at Chancellorsville, to be chiefly attributed to the feeling of Know Nothingism, which prevails to a great extent in both Northern and Southern States."

The Germans of the North, like the Irish, are beginning to find out that, at the bottom of their hearts, their Yankee taskmasters have no love for them, but only desire to use them for their own base purposes, and would have no hesitation in making them and other foreigners the victims of their intolerance and bigotry if the South were only out of their way. The ridicule heaped upon the retreating Germans at Chancellorsville is a significant indication of the real estimation which they are held in the North. Why is nothing said of the retreating Yankees? Were the Germans the only soldiers whom the resistless charge of our gallant troops drove from the field? So far from this is the fact, that in that battle, as well as every other Yankee defeat, from Manassas down, the Yankees have run not only faster than the Germans, but than any other people under the sun. The German and Irish troops have been the very best in their service, and if these were once out of the way, the Yankees would never be able to make another fair and square stand-up fight with the Southern Confederacy.

The Germans of New York are quite right in attributing the attack upon their soldiery to the feeling of Know Nothingism in the North; but they do not know what they are talking about when they say that it prevails to a great extent in the South as well as the North. It was the South which gave Know Nothingism its quietus, and, which saved the Germans and Irish from political and religious subjugation. That they should permit themselves to be made the instruments of subjugating their deliverers was both a crime and a blunder, and we trust their eyes will, ere long, be awakened to the fact. The South, which they are invading, has never proscribed any man on account of his creed or race; it has never rode priests on rails, or sacked churches or convents; nor does it intend to permit itself to be visited with impunity with outrages and wrongs from which it has protected others.

—David Schenk of Lincoln County, North Carolina, writes this gloomy entry in his diary, fearful of the recent upsurge in desertions from North Carolina regiments as well as the grim outlook for Vicksburg:
"Gloomy Crisis"

June 11th 1863

This crisis in our revolution seems to be the most gloomy, which has yet befallen us – it is true that victory has crowned our arms but but at such fearful loss that like those of Pyrrhus, They would soon destroy us __

Gen Lee still stands threatened by a vastly superior force on the Rappahamock and while battle decimates our army! still another alarming element has exhibited itself – Desertion – news from all quarters is that desertion is progressing to an alarming extent and disloyalty is every where increasing and growing bolder – women and mothers advise their brothers and sons to desert; and protect and harbor them at home. There is no power at home to take them – The militia officers have not the force and are not sustained by the people at home. It has almost fallen into disuse and the country is getting full of deserters _ In the disloyal counties formerly Unionist – in Yadkin and Wilkes They number hundreds and are committing depredations on person and property. This evil has been greatly stimulated by the various decisions of Chief Justice Pearson, who has been discharging conscripts and deserters on almost every pretext; until this class of persons expect (and with some reason) protection from him for every offence __ This evil I say is alarming to every patriot __

Misfortune in Mississippi valley has almost ruined us. Grant by a bold and vigorous campaign has driven Genl Pemberton within the walls of Vicksburg where he is closely besieging him on every side. The enemy have laid the country waste and are inciting the negroes to the most atrocious crimes. Our only hope is in the skill and resources of Genl Jos E. Johnston who is collecting his forces to raise the siege __ The struggle for the great river must soon take place; if we are defeated then nothing but endless war or ruinous submission awaits us. God only knows the event __ He will decide it according to the inscrutable designs of his own counsel and we must abide the issue

Until now I have never doubted our ultimate success but with heavy heart I confess I feel much doubt as to the result. I shall trust in God whatever may be the event __

—Jenkin Lloyd Jones, an artilleryman in the 6th Battery, Wisconsin Artillery, writes in his journal of the daily life of the artillery units in besieging Vicksburg:
Before Vicksburg, Thursday, June 11. Pleasant day. The air light and balmy. Dust settled by the rain of yesterday. Very steady and heavy cannonading all day. A nine-inch gun was brought into position on our right to-day and busily engaged in battering down the rebel wall. Its huge missiles would bury deep in the earth, then explode, tearing up many trees.

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