Wednesday, October 8, 2014

June 8, 1864

June 8, 1864


---The National Union Party, a coalition party of Republicans and pro-war Democrats, convened in Balitmore yesterday.  Today, by a large majority, they nominate Abraham Lincoln for President.  In an unusual move, however, they do not re-nominate Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, but Andrew Johnson of Tennessee (currently governor of Tennessee) for Vice President.


--Gen. Sherman strengthens his position on the Western and Atlantic railroad, but feels restrained by the vast resources he must expend to guard his ever-lengthening supply line.  Still smarting from large losses at the battles of Dallas, Ezra Church, and Pickett’s Mill, the Federals use maneuver and the weight of numbers to outflank the Rebels; in nearly every case, it has failed.


---Meanwhile, at Mount Sterling, Kentucky, far behind Union lines, Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate raiders captures the Union garrison there, and appropriate $18,000.00 from the local bank.

---Charles H. Lynch, of the 18th Connecticut Vol. Infantry, writes in his diary of the campaign in the Valley with Gen. Hunter, after the Battle of Piedmont:

June 8th. Again routed out early. Into line on the march through town to continue our work of destruction. Piling up ties, place the rails on top, set fire to the ties. When the rails become hot in the center, they warp or bend, making them useless. The march out of town, along the railroad, destroying it, makes very hard work for us, as we put in a long day, and not very much food. We manage to pick up some corn meal and a little flour, which we make into pan-cakes, called by the boys, ToeJam. Some of the boys received bruises and jams in the work on the railroad. There is much kicking over the hard work.

In camp tonight, talking over the events of the day, wondering what the morrow has in store for us. Many buildings and much property in town have been destroyed by fire, by order of General Hunter. Many of the women look sad and do much weeping over the destruction that is going on. We feel that the South brought on the war and the State of Virginia is paying dear for her part. The loss of our good boys brings us many sad hours. We cannot help think, and wonder who will be the next one to give his life for our country.


---In Georgia, as part of Sherman’s campaign to take Marietta on the way to Atlanta, Sergeant Alexander Downing, of the 11th Iowa Infantry, writes in his journal:

Wednesday, 8th—We moved forward early this morning, marching twelve miles to the little town of Ackworth, where we went into camp. We are now with Sherman’s army, our corps being placed on the left in front of Atlanta. Our front is about twenty-five miles north of the city, while my division is back about ten miles farther. Sherman’s forces now number about one hundred and fifty thousand men and it is thought that the rebels under Johnston have seventy-five thousand. Our army, in the main, is lying still today, though there is some skirmishing in the front. The rebels have fallen back about ten miles. The health of our men is excellent; they are in fine spirits and anxious for a fight.


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