Thursday, January 16, 2014

December 30, 1863

December 30, 1863

---Kate Cumming, Confederate Army nurse, writes bitterly of the effects of Lincoln’s decision to discontinue prisoner exchanges:

Lincoln has again refused to exchange prisoners. I do think this is the cruelest act of which he has been guilty, not only to us, but his own men. He is fully aware that we can scarcely get enough of the necessaries of life to feed our own men; and how can he expect us to feed his. Human lives are nothing to him; all the prisoners we have might die of starvation, and I do not expect they would cost him a thought, as all he has to do is to issue a call for so many more thousands to be offered up on his altars of sacrifice. How long will the people of the North submit to this Moloch. He knows that every one of our men is of value to us, for we have not the dregs of the earth to draw from; but our every man is a patriot, battling for all that is dear to him.

---Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, in command of the 23rd Ohio Infantry Regiment, writes in his journal of his marriage anniversary, and of the challenges to getting more of his regiment to re-enlist:

December 30, [1863]. — Eleven years ago married. Lucy and I talked of it and lived it over on this eleventh anniversary. A happy day.

[In the] evening, spoke to the men again about re-enlisting as veterans. I want three-fourths of the present. We have two hundred and fifty-five. Our present total five hundred; of these we deduct officers twenty-five, invalids fifteen, recruits having more than one year to serve seventy-five — total one hundred and fifteen, [leaving] three hundred and eighty-five. Three-fourths [would be] two hundred and eighty-eight.

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