Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 28, 1863

---Chattanooga Campaign:  Gen. Rosecrans and the Army of the Cumberland (U.S.) have nearly completed bridges across the Tennessee River at three locations in northeastern Alabama, downstream from the city of Chattanooga.

---A letter co-authored by H.R. Donnell, Speaker of the House in the North Carolina legislature, and F.B. Satterthwaite, president of the Governor’s Council in that state---and with the approval of Gov. Vance---identifies and condemns the apparently false pretenses by which the “fire-eaters” and Secessionists used to bring the Southern states into rebellion.  This letter concludes that a peace based on mutual separation is no longer possible, due to recent reverses, and advocates a convention of the various Southern states in order to seek out any honorable peace:

So far from the wars ending in six months, as they said it would, should it ensue, it has already lasted more than two years, and if their policy is to be pursued, it will last more than two years longer; and notwithstanding their predictions, the Yankees have fought on many occasions with a spirit and determination worthy of their ancestors of the revolution. . . .

England and France have not recognized us–have not raised the blockade–have not shown us any sympathy, nor is there any probability that they ever will–and that cotton is not the king is now universally acknowledged. And Maryland has not joined the confederacy, nor has Kentucky or Missouri ever really been with us. Slavery has not only not been perpetuated in the states, nor extended into the territories, but Missouri has passed an act of emancipation, and Maryland is ready to do so rather than give up her place in the Union, and the best hope of obtaining one foot of the territories for the purpose of extending slavery has departed from the confederacy forever.

. . . So far, the Yankees have never failed to hold every place of importance which they have taken, and present indications are that Charleston will soon be added to the number. The campaign of Gen. Lee into Pennsylvania has undoubtedly proved a failure, and with it the last hope of conquering a peace by a successful invasion of the enemy’s country. Our army has certainly been very much weakened and dispirited y this failure and the fall of Vicksburg, and how long even Richmond will be safe, no one can tell.  As the Richmond Enquirer said some time ago, ‘They are slowly but surely gaining upon us, acre by acre, mile by mile,’ and unless Providence interposes in our behalf–of which I see no indications–we will, at no great distance of time, be a subjugated people.

---Sergeant Downing, of the 11th Iowa, adds in his journal of the expedition to Monroe, Louisiana, and how the Rebels did not put up a fight---and the comical results of a “foraging” expedition:

Friday, 28th—We had company inspection this morning and then started out for Monroe, expecting to have a little fight in taking the town. But upon reaching the place we found that the rebels had withdrawn, leaving at 6 o’clock in the morning. . . . Monroe is a nice town, well situated, and has some fine buildings. Strict orders had been given us not to kill any livestock on this expedition; all persons caught in the act were to be arrested. But some of the boys of our regiment had killed a hog and were in the act of cutting it up when the general of our division came riding along with his staff. The boys were caught in the very act. General Stephenson halted, and wanting to know by what authority they had killed the hog, he was going to have them arrested on the spot. But they had one fellow equal to the occasion, who explained that they had killed a wild hog. They were out in the timber getting wood with which to build fires, when some wild hogs there made a charge upon them, and in self-defense they had killed the boldest one; they then thought that as they had killed it they might as well bring it in and have some fresh pork. The general rode on.

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