Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 19, 1864

March 19, 1864

---The State Legislature of Georgia meets in Milledgeville, the state capital, and issues a resolution giving a vote of confidence to Pres. Jefferson Davis and a call to offer a peace proposal to Washington after each Confederate victory, but only on the basis of guaranteed Southern independence.

---In Alexandria, Louisiana, Banks’ advance guard, a column of cavalry, arrives there at the rendezvous.  On the Rebel side, Col. William Vincent, in command of the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry Regiment, probes the lines around Alexandria, scouting, and reports to his superiors that the Yankees are, so far, at a strength of 10,000 men.

---The Richmond Daily Dispatch editorializes on Lincoln’s promise of amnesty to former Confederates along with his plan for re-admitting former Rebel states into the Union.  The Dispatch vows eternal resistance regardless of the outcome of the war:

What then are the terms which Abraham Lincoln offers? He excepts from his amnesty a host of the best citizens of the South in the army and in civil life. To others he offers a free pardon upon condition that they will take an oath not only of allegiance to the United States but of obedience to all the proclamations of Abraham Lincoln, and to all the abolition decrees of his Black Republican Congress. And these terms he offers not to acknowledged rebels but to sovereign States, not to a crushed rebellion but to a powerful Government, which has in the field an army so strong that, after calling for more than two millions of men to crush it, and failing in the effort, he is now calling for half a million more in the same breath that he professes to treat the Confederacy as a conquered people.

Is it not evident upon the mere statement of the case that Lincoln’s amnesty was never expected or designed by himself to have any other effect than irritation and insult to the Southern people? No one, however, knows better than Abraham Lincoln that any terms he might offer the Southern people which contemplate their restoration to his bloody and brutal Government would be rejected with scorn and execration. If instead of devoting to death our President and military and civil officers he had proposed to make Jeff. Davis his successor, Lee commander-in-chief of the Yankee armies, and our domestic institutions not only recognized at home but re-adopted in the Free States, provided the South would once more enter the Yankee Union, there is not a man, woman or child in the Confederacy who would not spit upon the proposition. We desire no companionship upon any terms with a nation of robbers and murderers. The miscreants whose atrocities in this war have caused the whole civilized world to shudder, must keep henceforth their distance. They shall not be our masters, and we would not have them for our slaves.

---The Lynchburg Virginian offers a description a traveler gives of General Lee, who as traveling by railroad:

–A friend who travelled with the General on his way down from Gordonsville to Richmond, says he has a very hail and vigorous appearance and looks as though there were a dozen or more good campaigns in him yet. He is a man of fine commanding six feet or upwards in height, and weighs probably the rise of one hundred and eighty. But for his white beard, which he wears entire, but trimmed short, and his silvery hair, he would be comparatively a young looking man, barely more than in the prime of life. The General is affable, polite, and unassuming, and shares the discomforts of a crowded railroad coach with ordinary travellers. He travels without staff or other attendant. He is first to rise and offer his seat to ladies, if any difficulty occurs in seating them. He talks freely about affairs generally, but had little to say, at the time we write of concerning the army and the country. At one station where an eager crowd were gazing at him he suddenly remarked: “I suppose these people are speculating as to what is on foot now.” He speaks quickly, sometimes brusquely, and with the tone of one who is accustomed to command. His countenance is one indicative of more that and caste than his habitual tolerance and amiability would lead one to expect. He looks the stern soldier. The General is as unostentatious and unassuming in dress as he is in manners. He were a Colonel’s coat, (three stars without the wreath) a good deal faded, blue pantaloons, high top boots, blue cloth and high felt hat, without adornment save a small cord around the crown. Thus appeared our great chieftain, our hero patriot, our Christian soldier, our beloved Robert E Lee, as a railroad traveller. Lynchburg Virginian.

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