Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 25, 1864

January 25, 1864

---Pres. and Mrs. Lincoln, along with Sen. Charles Sumner, attend a performance of Gamea at Grover’s Theater.

---General Samuel Sturgis, commanding the cavalry corps in the Army of the Ohio, serving in East Tennessee, writes to headquarters concerning the horrific suffering imposed on the local people by two large armies foraging for supplies in the winter in a sparsely populated area:

I do not know that it can be avoided, but I may say that it is a pity that circumstances should compel us to entirely exhaust the country of these loyal people. If we remain here long they must suffer, and it will be impossible for them to raise anything next year. The necessity for pressing supplies leads to immediately to plundering that soldiers find no difficulty in taking the step from the one to the other, and in spite of all I can do to the contrary. It is distressing to witness the sufferings of these people at the hands of the friends for whom they have been so long and so anxiously looking. You cannot help it; neither can I, and I only refer to it because my heart is full of it.

---Gen. Foster and Gen. Longstreet begin to maneuver their troops again, looking for an opening.  Grant has told Foster that he wants Longstreet driven out of Tennessee, and Longstreet is still looking for the Federals to make a mistake—and he has not yet ruled out another attack against Knoxville, if he can find the opportunity.

---Charles H. Lynch, a Federal soldier in the 18th Connecticut Infantry Regiment, writes in his journal about the tedium and squalor in the soldier’s day-to-day routine:

January 18th-25th. Rain, sunshine, snow, very windy, has been the weather for the past week. At times very disagreeable. Target practise has taken the place of drilling. Daily routine does not change very much from day to day. Many are ill at this time, in hospital. Occasional death takes place.

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