Friday, April 4, 2014

April 3, 1864

April 3, 1864

---On this date, as Gen. Frederick Steele’s Army of Arkansas (U.S.) marches southeast towards Shreveport, Rebels from the command of Gen. John Marmaduke march west from Camden and strike at several places along Steele’s column, in a series of confused skirmishing that accomplishes little and leaves both commanders with little idea of the enemy’s locations.


---John Beauchamp Jones of Richmond records his thoughts in his journal:

April 3d.—The snow has disappeared; but it is cloudy, with a cold northwest wind. The James River is very high, and all the streams are so much swollen that no military operations in the field are looked for immediately. It is generally believed that Grant, the Federal lieutenant-general, will concentrate an immense army for the capture of Richmond, and our authorities are invoked to make the necessary dispositions to resist the attempt. . . .

So no diminution of prices is yet experienced. It is now a famine, although I believe we are starving in the midst of plenty, if it were only equally distributed. But the government will not, it seems, require the railroads to bring provisions to the exclusion of freight for the speculators. Certain non-combating officers of the government have abundance brought them by the Southern Express Co., and the merchants have abundance of goods brought hither by the same company for the purposes of speculation. Well, we shall see the result! One is almost ready to believe that the government declines to fill the depots here, harboring the purpose of abandoning the city. That would be abandonment of the cause. Nearly all who own no slaves would remain citizens of the United States, if permitted, without further molestation on the part of the Federal authorities, and many Virginians in the field might abandon the Confederate States army. The State would be lost, and North Carolina and Tennessee would have an inevitable avalanche of invasion precipitated upon them. The only hope would be civil war in the North, a not improbable event. What could they do with four millions of negroes arrogating equality with the whites?

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