Monday, January 27, 2014

January 24, 1864

January 24, 1864

---George Michael Neese, a Confederate artilleryman serving in Chew’s Battery from Virginia, writes in his journal about a soldier’s Sabbath in winter:

January 24 — I was at preaching to-day at Ivy church, in the country about two miles west of camp. The church is of an antique appearance and almost in a thorough readiness for ruins, and is small, low, and built of hewn logs. The windows are very small, with paper as a substitute for glass, which tempers the light most too severely and renders the church rather dark and gloomy; the walls inside are papered with newspapers.

In striking contrast to the dim, shadowy light in the little church, brilliant strain after strain of burning eloquence flashed and flowed from the unassuming little pulpit, as the preacher delineated and depicted how the beauties of truth, the virtues of unfeigned charity, and the unswerving practice of right and justice shed a sweet, golden, and unfading radiance on the pathway of the truly righteous and those that are Christians indeed, in worthy acts and honest deportment. He preached from the fifth chapter and twentieth verse of second Corinthians.

---John Beauchamp Jones, a clerk in the War Department of the Confederate government, writes in his journal of a householder’s worries in the severely depleted economy and lack of basic commodities in inflation-strapped Richmond:

JANUARY 24TH.—For some cause, we had no mail to-day. Fine, bright, and pleasant weather. Yesterday Mr. Lyons called up the bill for increased compensation to civil officers, and made an eloquent speech in favor of the measure. I believe it was referred to a special committee, and hope it may pass soon.
            It is said the tax bill under consideration in Congress will produce $500,000,000 revenue! If this be so, and compulsory funding be adopted, there will soon be no redundancy of paper money, and a magical change of values will take place. We who live on salaries may have better times than even the extortioners—who cannot inherit the kingdom of Heaven. And relief cannot come too soon: for we who have families are shabby enough in our raiment, and lean and lank in our persons. Nevertheless, we have health and never-failing appetites. Roasted potatoes and salt are eaten with a keen relish.

---On this date, Gen. Grant writes to Gen. Foster about the feasibility of Federal forces kicking Longstreet out of Tennessee:

CHATTANOOGA, January 24, 1864 – 3 p. m.
Major-General FOSTER:

Can you not now organize a cavalry force to work its way past Longstreet south of him, to get into his rear and destroy railroad and transportation, or cannot Willcox do this from the north? Either this should be done or battle given where Longstreet now is. Let me know what you think about this.


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