Thursday, February 6, 2014

February 5, 1864

February 5, 1864

---Sherman’s troops are moving eastward toward the town of Clinton, facing two brigades of cavalry under Adams and Starke.  Federal troops loop around behind the town and attack Adams from the rear.  Gen. Polk, in command of the department, scrambles to bring up more troops, but is unable to get his reserves there in time.  The Confederates pull pack, hoping to attack the Federals in flank.  Sherman’s troops are on the outskirts of Jackson by nightfall.

---An editorial in the Richmond Daily Dispatch argues the South’s error in not promoting more industrial and commercial production, thus lessening their dependence—political and economic—on the North or Britain:

Among the most cunning devices of Yankee legislation to render the South forever a helpless tributary, was that system of policy by which the North managed to monopolize manufactures, and cajoled the South into the belief that the cultivation of the soil was the only species of labor which would remunerate her enterprise. . . . Let us trust that, in severing the last link of our connection with the United States, we are entering a career not only of nominal but of real independence. We must not be dependent hereafter upon. New England or Old England for any production of human hands that human necessities require. We must not dream of giving even our carrying trade to foreign powers. There was a time when, in our anxiety for friends abroad we were proffering our future commerce to England or France, but they have been deaf to all those blandishments. This, which some among us have considered an evil for tune, may prove the best of all fortunes.–Certainly it will if it leads us to depend upon ourselves. We shall have no friends to reward, for the excellent reason that we have no friends. We have been left alone to struggle with a colossal foe, and alone, we should reap the fruits of that struggle. We have the greatest natural facilities for becoming a great commercial and manufacturing people, as well as mechanical labor. We must learn to exalt and dignify labor, and make it honorable in every branch of human enterprise. . . . We should not import the degraded manufacturing labor of Europe, but raise up artisans among our own people, manufacture our own clothing, furniture, and agricultural implements, build our own ships, and man them with our own seamen. Congress and the State Legislatures should encourage Mechanics’ Institutes, like that which was established in Richmond before the war and similar associations in England, which the aristocracy of that country have wisely assisted by their counsels and means, and cheered by their personal presence and co-operation at the annual celebrations.–We shall never again have such a war as this on our hands if we learn to provide by our own labor for our own wants. The sword has achieved our independence, but it is only the industry’ of the artisan and the agriculturist which can make it secure.

---Sarah Morgan of New Orleans receives the news she has dreaded---that her favorite brother Gibbes is dead:

Not dead! not dead! O my God! Gibbes is not dead! Where — O dear God! Another?

Only a few days ago came a letter so cheerful and hopeful —we have waited and prayed so patiently — at my feet lies one from Colonel Steadman saying he is dead. Dead! Suddenly and without a moment’s warning summoned to God! No! it cannot be! I am mad! O God, have mercy on us! My poor mother! And Lydia! Lydia! God comfort you! My brain seems afire. Am I mad? Not yet! God would not take him yet! He will come again! Hush, God is good! Not dead! not dead!
O Gibbes, come back to us!
Sarah Morgan

---Jenkin Lloyd Jones, a Union artilleryman, writes in his journal in a melancholy mood:

Huntsville, Friday, Feb. 5. Rainy day, consequently no drill. Laid in quarters all day reading papers received from home. No mail, no news. Poor fare makes such days as these hang heavily and moodily, and I found it uncommon hard to keep a cheerful face upon it. All the disagreeable things seemed to be heaped up for my particular benefit. But I did not allow my feelings much sway and amused myself in reading, which always has a charm for me, and went to bed at night with a satisfied but a homesick heart.

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