July 23. Wednesday. — Marched four companies to Bluestone; bathed. A good evening drill.

Last evening I fell into a train of reflection on the separation of the regiment, so long continued, so unmilitary, and so causeless, with the small prospect of getting relief by promotion or otherwise in the Twenty-third, and as a result pretty much determined to write this morning telling brother William [Platt] that I would like a promotion to a colonelcy in one of the new regiments. Well, this morning, on the arrival of the mail, I get a dispatch from W. H. Clements that I am appointed colonel of the Seventy-ninth, a regiment to be made up in Hamilton, Warren, and Clinton Counties. Now, shall I accept? It is hard to leave the Twenty-third. I shall never like another regiment so well. Another regiment is not likely to think as much of me. I am puzzled. If I knew I could get a chance for promotion in the Twenty-third in any reasonable time, I would decline the Seventy-ninth. But, then, Colonel Scammon is so queer and crotchety that he is always doing something to push aside his chance for a brigadiership. Well, I will postpone the evil day of decision as long as possible.

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Written from the Sea islands of South Carolina.

[Diary] July 23.

Nelly was busy all day cleaning and rigging her guns. The men on the place seemed overjoyed at their arrival.

I packed boxes for the Edisto refugees and counted up the produce of the sales. I have on hand over four hundred dollars. Mr. Ruggles stayed last night in place of Mr. Hooper as our protector. He brought us a present of sweet potatoes, watermelons and green apples. We had an apple pie!

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By July 22 [Colonel] Joe [Howland] could not be kept away from the army, and only half well, he started back, probably in a hospital return boat, to the regiment at Harrison’s Landing. It was, however, only to break down again. The Historical Sketch of the 16th, prepared for their reunion at Potsdam in 1886, says: “Colonel Howland visited the regiment for the first time since the battle of Gaines’ Mill, His suffering was plainly seen, and the men showed their love for him by going to his tent and relieved each other’s guard, so that everyone might take him by the hand.”

Eliza writes him from Astoria, July 23:—

Dear Joe: It is the dull twilight of a dull November-like day and I am afraid you have had a cold, dreary passage. Once at Harrison’s Landing, however, cold weather will be better and healthier for you than hot. I suppose you must have arrived to-day. . . Georgy and I drove out yesterday with Robert, found Mary well and the children asleep. To-day we have had the full benefit of them within doors and have fought with the little rebel Bertha and played with the strange child Una, and studied the fascinations of the little new baby, most of the time. Georgy is an unusually sweet, bright little baby, and Una is a real beauty. Bertha’s affectionate greeting was : “I throw you in the bushes, and pull your head off for me dinner.”

. . . The Elizabeth at Harrison’s Landing is the Sanitary Commission store boat and has plenty of hospital clothing and supplies, and the Medical Director’s boat has plenty of farinaceous food, farina, arrowroot, etc. . . .

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July 23d. This morning I was surrounded by all hands, anxious to hear the news from civilization, and to look at a man that had actually had a leave of absence. They tell me the corps’ review yesterday was a great success; the Fifty-seventh had the extreme right of the line and looked superb. It mustered exactly four hundred and forty-seven officers and men present for duty; showing a loss of almost forty-one per cent within nine months. Poor food, exposure, and hard work account for some of the loss, but the regiment has had a great many killed and wounded in action. The weather to-day was delightful, a fine shower falling about five o’clock, cooling and refreshing the air.

Heintzleman’s corps was reviewed to-day. I rode over to see it; thought it not equal to ours in any way.

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Camp near Gordonsville, July 23, 1862.

I reached here on yesterday, and now hold the place which I had when I left—volunteer aide to Gen. Jackson. The position is very agreeable, and the only objection to it is that I draw no pay and pay my own expenses. I feel quite at home, and am entirely satisfied to spend the rest of the war in this position. Everything here seems so quiet. The troops are drilling, and there is every indication that the troops will rest here for some time. Considering the severe hardships through which they have passed since the war began, it is very much needed. Everything has a happy, quiet appearance, such as I have not seen in the army since we were in camp this time last year after the battle of Manassas.

I am sorry to have left you with so much work on hand, but hope you may bear it patiently. There is more need now than ever that as much should be made from the farm as possible, as I am drawing no pay. And now, darling, good-bye. I will write you frequently and let you know how I am getting along. I hope you will be as contented and happy as possible, and manage matters just as you please, and I will be satisfied.

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This morning there was a most painful scene. Annie’s father came into Vicksburg, ten miles from here, and learned of our arrival from Mrs. C.’s messenger. He sent out a carriage to bring Annie and Max to town that they might go home with him, and with it came a letter for me from friends on the Jackson Railroad, written many weeks before. They had heard that our village home was under water, and invited us to visit them. The letter had been sent to Annie’s people to forward, and thus had reached us. This decided H., as the place was near New Orleans, to go there and wait the chance of getting into that city. Max, when he heard this from H., lost all self-control and cried like a baby. He stalked about the garden in the most tragic manner, exclaiming:

“Oh! my soul’s brother from youth up is a traitor! A traitor to his country!”

Then H. got angry and said, “Max, don’t be a fool!”

“Who has done this?” bawled Max. “You felt with the South at first; who has changed you?”

“Of course I feel for the South now, and nobody has changed me but the logic of events, though the twenty-negro law has intensified my opinions. I can’t see why I, who have no slaves, must go to fight for them, while every man who has twenty may stay at home.”

I, also, tried to reason with Max and pour oil on his wound. “Max, what interest has a man like you, without slaves, in a war for slavery? Even if you had them, they would not be your best property. That lies in your country and its resources. Nearly all the world has given up slavery; why can’t the South do the same and end the struggle? It has shown you what the South needs, and if all went to work with united hands the South would soon be the greatest country on earth. You have no right to call H. a traitor; it is we who are the true patriots and lovers of the South.”

This had to come, but it has upset us both. H. is deeply attached to Max, and I can’t bear to see a cloud between them. Max, with Annie and Reeney, drove off an hour ago, Annie so glad at the prospect of again seeing her mother that nothing could cloud her day. And so the close companionship of six months, and of dangers, trials, and pleasures shared together, is over.

______

Note: To protect Mrs. Miller’s job as a teacher in New Orleans, the diary was published anonymously, edited by G. W. Cable, names were changed and initials were often used instead of full names — and even the initials differed from the real person’s initials.
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July 23.—General Pope issued an order directing the generals in his command to seize all the horses, mules and stores within their lines, except such as were absolutely needed by the inhabitants, especially in Culpeper County, Va. He also issued an order for the arrest of all disloyal male citizens within the lines of his command. Those who were willing to take the oath of allegiance and provide security for its observance were permitted to remain at their homes. Those refusing to be so sworn would be sent South beyond the National pickets.—(Doc. 104.)

—A fight took place near Florida, Mo., between a company of Union cavalry under the command of Major Caldwell and Porter’s band of rebel guerrillas, numbering three hundred, which resulted in the retreat of the Nationals with a loss of twenty-six killed, wounded and missing.

—A fight took place near the North Anna River, Va., between a body of Union troops under the command of Colonel Kilpatrick, and a force of the rebels, resulting in the complete rout of the latter. After the defeat of the rebels the Nationals cut the telegraph-wire, burned a railroad train loaded with grain, wagons, tents, baggage, commissary and medical stores, and other valuable property, and returned to Fredericksburg)), whence they started two days previous.—(Doc 156.)

—A large and enthusiastic meeting was held in Trenton, N. J., to promote enlistments into the army under the call of the President for three hundred thousand more troops. Resolutions strongly supporting the Government in the prosecution of the war, and recommending the raising of money for the purpose of paying bounties, was unanimously adopted. About five thousand dollars were subscribed at the meeting. Several persons were arrested in Fredericksburgh, Va., by order of Major-General Pope, and held as hostages for certain Union men seized by the rebels some months previous.

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July 23, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

THE UNDERSIGNED, ACTING AT PRESENT under instructions from the Government, will pay the highest market price for the following articles, the product of this year’s crop: SEEDS OF THE CASTOR OIL BEAN, BLACK AND WHITE MUSTARD, FLAX, RAPE, POPPY, WHITE OR BLACK. To those who will take the trouble to procure them, Seven Dollars a bushel will be paid for Castor Oil Seeds. Druggists in the Confederate States are requested to act as Agents for the purchase of the Seeds mentioned above.

The attention of Planters in the Confederate States is invited to the above, and the public interests will be served by those who will communicate to the subscriber (at present at Stateburg, S.C.), what amount each one will probably supply.

Those who have the Red or White Poppy growing may contribute materially to the supply of Opium, by making incisions in the ripe capsules, and collecting the gum, which exudes after it has become hardened.

F. PEYRE PORCHER,

Surgeon C. S. A.

The Columbia South Carolinian, Southern Field and Fireside, Augusta Constitutionalist, Savannah Republican, Montgomery Mail, will insert once a week for two months, and send marked copies to subscriber. Communications will reach him, if sent to Stateburg, S.C.

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July 23, 1862, The New York Herald

During the present week there has been an extraordinary Cabinet consultation or two at the White House, including several generals, and the first official result of these consultations appears in the important general order from the War Office which we publish this morning.

This order, framed in compliance with the late Confiscation and Militia acts of Congress, exhibits in a strong light the wise and sagacious ruling mind of President Lincoln. A large margin of discretion has been left to him in the Confiscation and Militia acts in reference to the appropriation of the property of rebels, and the employment and emancipation of their slaves, and in regard to the pains and penalties otherwise decreed against traitors and rebels. He is thus authorized to enforce these laws with a remorseless and sweeping severity, or to soften them down in their practical application to the last degree of forbearance consistent with a vigorous prosecution of the war; and this is the policy which he has adopted.

He proclaims that private property, real and personal, in the States of Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, so far as may be necessary or convenient for the subsistence of our army, or in aid of its operations, may be appropriated; but accounts are to be kept of all such appropriations of private property, in order to secure compensation to deserving persons, and nothing is to be maliciously seized or destroyed. This is a liberal application of the law, and, as we think, eminently wise and proper. But mark the discrimination between the Southern States named in the premises and those omitted. The exempted States which might have been included under this order are North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. The first named is still over head and ears involved in this rebellion; the second although we occupy its capital and nearly all its territory, and have a Military Governor presiding over it, is still infested with rebel military bands and conspiracies; and the third and fourth are still harassed by predatory guerillas in almost every direction.

Why, then, this discrimination exempting these States from the plains and penalties applied to those specified in this general order? We think the proper explanation will at once suggest itself to the intelligent reader. The President desires to show to the people of Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee, for example, that he does not consider the stringent measures indicated necessary to restore them to the side of the Union. Kentucky and Missouri have steadfastly adhered to the Union. He recognizes this loyalty in their favor. Tennessee has been substantially reconquered, and he wishes to show her erring people that he has confidence in their complete repentance. The same consideration will, to some extent, apply to North Carolina. The full force of these war measures is applied only to those intractable rebellious States which can be reached in no other way; and the effect will doubtless be that decided and decisive stand of a portion of the South against this rebellion which the President believes the only sure and safe way for putting it down.

Next, with regard to the employment of blacks in the army. They are only to be engaged as laborers – another wise and human discrimination against that disorganizing abolition idea of a general arming of the slaves of Southern rebels. In a word, throughout this general order the President adheres to the landmarks and the integrity of the Union. His policy is to save it, and not to destroy it; and the army and the country will cheerfully co-operate to carry out this saving policy. With the arrival of General Halleck in Washington we look for some additional army orders, and are confident that they will be adopted to meet the public expectation of a rigorous, harmonious and successful prosecution of the war. President Lincoln is the man for the crisis, and our abolition disorganizers may as well give up their struggle to make the cause of the Union secondary to the cause of negro emancipation while Honest Abraham Lincoln is at the helm.

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July 23, 1862, The New York Herald

Our latest news from the army on James River is up to five o’clock on Monday afternoon, at which time everything was quiet there and going on well. The correspondence which we publish today from Harrison’s Landing and Fortress Monroe will give our readers an excellent account of the way affairs are proceeding at those points.

Morgan’s guerillas in Kentucky do not seem to be progressing so favorably as was supposed. Reports via Maysville yesterday state that our cavalry had overtaken Morgan’s band on the road to Owensville from Mount Sterling. After an hour and a half’s fight Morgan’s forces were completely scattered, and the cannon and horses captured by him at Cynthiana were retaken, as was also a large portion of the stolen property. The rebels lost twenty-five killed. Our loss is twenty killed.

The rebel guerrillas in the vicinity of Memphis were also worsted within a few days past by Colonel McNeil.

The President’s wise and humane order under the Confiscation act will be found in another column. It is a further exhibition of Mr. Lincoln’s sagacity and moderation.

The official account of the exploits of the rebel ram Arkansas, near Vicksburg, published in another column, puts a different phase upon the affair. It appears that the rebel gunboat did not accomplish much; and, although she ran the gauntlet of our fleet and reached the batteries at Vicksburg, she had a hard time of it with our gunboats and was seriously injured.

Our European correspondence and files by the New York and City of Washington are dated to the 10th of July.

Although the news has been anticipated, the letters and papers reveal the fact that the rebel sympathizers in England and France, backed by a large portion of the cotton manufacturing interest of both countries, were making the most strenuous efforts to impress the Cabinets and people with the belief that the Union cause was almost lost by the three days’ fighting before Richmond, of which they had heard by the Etna. There is little doubt but they had succeeded to some extent, in consequence of the jealousy of the war power of the United States which now exists in most of the countries of the Old World. General McClellan is assailed in London with respect to his strategy, his despatches and the taking up of his first position near Richmond.

The new tariff of the United States is attacked at every point – both in intent and enactment – by the London Times and some of the Paris newspapers. The Dublin Freeman’s Journal of the 10th instant – the latest paper – sums up the expression of feeling towards the measure thus:- “The new United States tariff is universally condemned throughout England and France. Journalists whose specialty has been matters of the economic and commercial class pronounce it to be simply a perfect prohibition on the importation into, at least, the North American States of all European goods; but, as against England, it applies with especial severity and harshness. The undoubted effect of this new arrangement will be that, almost immediately on its coming into operation on the first of next month, the prices of nearly all English and French manufactured goods will be doubled – in some instances, trebled.”

The cotton manufacturers of Rouen had sent a deputation to the Emperor Napoleon, to represent to him that from the excessively high price of the raw material, and the falling off in the demand for cotton goods, they must before long close their mills, and that some amongst them will have to suspend payment. Similar representations have been made from Lille, where many of the manufacturers are represented to be in a critical state and the Emperor helped them with a loan.

The Liverpool Courier of the 9th of July, speaking on the cotton crisis, says: – “There is in stock 200,000 bales. From all sources except America, which is now a consumer, not a producer, may expect 600,000 bales.” At the rate of 30,000 bales per week, this quantity would last us about twenty-six weeks, or until the end of December.”

Mr. Lindsay, M.P., had adjourned the Parliamentary motion, for the recognition of the South by England, a second time. It was to come up again on the 18th of July.

The Paris Constitutionnel has an article ostensibly to contradict the rumor that France intended to give Mexico to the Archduke Maximillian in exchange for the cession of Venice to Italy, and renews the declaration that the object of the expedition is to obtain satisfaction for French interests, and to establish order. The London Post seems to urge Napoleon to act in the same direction.

Mr. Adams, United States Minister in London wrote a letter to the committee of the “Fourth of July” banquet in that city, which we publish today.

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July 23, 1862, The New York Herald

Our Vicksburg Correspondence.

COMMODORE DAVIS’ FLOTILLA.

BEFORE VICKSBURG, Miss., July 10, 1862.

The siege of Vicksburg, like that of Island No. Ten and Fort Pillow, bids fair to continue a long time. It could hardly be expected that a place so strong by nature and art, and guarded by nearly twenty thousand infantry, could be forced into capitulation in one or two weeks. It is vexatious to have the passage of the Mississippi blockaded at a single point, while elsewhere there are no obstructions; but we must suppress our wrath and make the best of a bad matter. If the canal across the peninsula proves a success, we may be able shortly to pass this point with steamboats between New Orleans and the upper cities. But the country must not be too sanguine. The river is low, and it will take time to make a passage across the narrow neck of land that intervenes between the location of Commodore Davis’ flotilla and that of Porter’s mortar fleet. Till then, or till Vicksburg falls, the blockade is effectual.

IDLENESS OF THE BESIEGERS.

The activity consequent upon our arrival here was not of long duration. We threw shells into Vicksburg, and Porter did the same. Eight of the steam vessels of Farragut’s fleet passed the batteries during a warm engagement, and since then they have been as quiet as possible for well behaved boats. Their commanders wish themselves back again below the defences of Vicksburg, and it is quite likely that they may run the blockade on some dark night. They have found that it is impossible to silence the upper or bluff batteries by guns from the boats, and have abandoned all hope of taking the city by an attack from the navy, unsupported by a strong land force. The storeships being below the city, these upper vessels are somewhat inconvenienced.

STRAITS OF THE REBELS.

Deserters and prisoners from Vicksburg represent affairs there as quite gloomy. Al the inhabitants moved away several weeks ago, and the falling shells have caused considerable injury to the town. Several houses have been torn to pieces, and in others numerous huge holes bear testimony to the accuracy of our fire. It has not been the design to destroy the place, and our commanders have been reluctant to inflict any injury that might fall upon innocent heads. Had we wished to lay Vicksburg in ashes, we could have done so long since by the use of incendiary shells, or by planting a battery on the point of land opposite, and less than a thousand yards distant. It is quite probable that before the rebel works fall into our hands there will be but little of the city left.

SCARCITY OF FOOD.

The deserters from the rebel army say that they are badly off for food, and that unless they can speedily retake Memphis or some other prominent supply point they will have to give up the contest for want of something to eat. It is a matter of speculation what the rebel army in the Mississippi valley will do for supplies. The line they are at present holding lies south of the northern boundary of Mississippi and Alabama and east of the Mississippi river. The corn and pork producing district in the Southern States has hitherto been that portion now in our possession, and the region over which the rebel flag yet waves has been devoted to the culture of cotton and sugar. The large amount of corn planted in these States this season, in lieu of cotton, promised very well upon paper; but the climate was found unpropitous for the cereal, and a large portion of it has already died before arriving at maturity. “Man cannot live by bread alone,” and corn bread at that, with any more facility now than he could eighteen hundred years ago. The rebel rulers, while they admonished the people to plant a sufficiency of corn, neglected to give similar instructions with reference to pork. In consequence of this neglect there is a great scarcity of bacon, and the planters, as well as the quartermasters, find it impossible to afford proper sustenance to their dependents. The negroes now at work on the canal say that for several months past they have seen but little pork, and sometimes have been destitute of it for weeks together. The commodity is at present rated at forty cents a pound, and is difficult to procure even at that price.

CONSCRIPTS.

Another cause of depression among the troops back of Vicksburg is the recently enforced conscription act. Several regiments raised by this law have lately arrived at Vicksburg, where they are […..] as desertions from the ranks, and the camp is almost continually in a condition bordering upon mutiny. Day before yesterday nine men who had deserted from one of the new regiments were apprehended a few miles from Vicksburg and taken back to the camp. They arrived within the lines about nine A. M., and were at once tried for desertion and speedily convicted. Sunset of the same day was appointed for their execution, and at the designated time they were taken outside of the camp and shot, in presence of their own and several other conscript regiments. The officers at first proposed to make a draft from the conscript regiments to execute the order of the court martial; but on such a detail being made the men positively refused to shoot their own comrades. The commanders foresaw trouble in case they should attempt to carry out their designs, and wisely concluded to drop the matter where it was and make an execution detail elsewhere. The men to shoot the deserters were accordingly drawn from a Louisiana regiment, and when all was ready the guilty conscripts were placed in line, and at the word of command shot, with their backs towards their executioners. A strong force of Louisiana and Alabama volunteers was kept close at hand to suppress any outbreak that might occur among the drafted men; but the affair passed off without any demonstrations of consequence on the part of the latter. There are many escaped conscripts lurking in the bushes in Northern and Central Mississippi who are afraid to show themselves for fear of arrest. In some parts of the State they have taken all the able-bodied men between sixteen and sixty, without regard to any ties that may make their going to the army a matter of serious inconvenience. In several instances as high as three thousand dollars was offered for substitutes. My informant says that he has frequently heard threats against the officers whenever an engagement shall occur.

MORTAR FLEET GOING BELOW.

It is probable that operations before Vicksburg will cease for the present, and that the troops now holding it will enjoy the dog days with comparative freedom from molestation. Captain Porter’s mortar fleet is to suspend its action here and reserve its shells for other localities.

As I am now writing (nine A.M. ) the preparations are being completed for an immediate departure. Twelve of the mortar boats are to go in tow of the Clifton, Westfield, Miami, Jackson, Owasco and Harriet Lane. The Octorara, Capt. Porter’s flagship, precedes them, and will remain at a convenient point until they arrive, after which they will proceed direct to their destination, while the steamers that tow them are to return to Vicksburg, unless Farragut’s fleet should go elsewhere. At present the latter movement appears quite probable, as the coming low water in the Mississippi will be likely to inconvenience the deep draught vessels. Four of the mortar boats remain here, and all vessels of Farragut’s fleet that I have not named above have as yet no orders for moving. The steam vessels that are going are at this moment making up their tows, and are expected to be off by two or three o’clock P. M. to-day. It is possible that the plan may be changed before departure, and even that a boat now momentarily expected from above will countermand the order for leaving. We suppose that the reverse before Richmond, and the falling back upon the James river of which we have just heard, furnishes the reason for removing this part of our fleet. With these mortar boats away the siege of Vicksburg will diminish to an affair of minor importance, and the flotilla from above and the fleet from below be reduced to the necessity of patiently awaiting the arrival of troops we operate on land.

THE CUT-OFF ON THE PENINSULA.

The great canal across the neck of the peninsula does not progress rapidly. River men who know the Mississippi as a jockey knows the fine points of a horse say that a channel to work effectually must start at some point where the current strikes forcibly against the bank. The engineers who laid out the canal have located the upper end in a deep curve in the bank, where there is no current, but where, on the contrary, there is a slight eddy setting against the course of the river. This is a sad oversight, and one that may delay the rush of the water through the ditch. Yesterday the level of the river was reached and the canal opened; but the water refused to run. A sternwheel boat was moored at the upper end of the canal, and by rapid revolutions of its wheel an attempt was made to fill the channel with water, but without success. The only alternatives now left are to dig deeper or wait for a rise in the river. The first measure will probably be adopted, and in its failure the second will be effectual. The next flood of the Mississippi will occur early in 1863, and if we are then before Vicksburg we shall see the channel made across the point and the city become an inland locality. In high water it takes but a short time to cut through a neck of land. When the Raccourci cut-off was made a few years ago, a small ditch was dug two feet wide and a foot below the water level. A pilot on one of the boats told me yesterday that he was passing the upper end of the ditch just as the water was let in. An hour and a half later, as he found the lower end, the torrent was rushing through a channel half as wide as the main stream and with a depth sufficient to float the largest boats. The river was full of floating timber and debris from the land, and as he looked up the new made channel he could see the tall cypress, sycamore and cottonwood trees toppling and falling into the rushing stream like stalks before a reapersickle. Twenty-four hours later the cut-off became the route for steamers. The Raccourci bend was twenty- four miles long, while its cut off does not exceed half a mile. At Milliken bend, twenty-five miles above Vicksburg, the river flows twenty miles and comes back to within three hundred yards of the commencement of the bend. A gang of negroes will be sent up in a few days to make a canal across this point and thus shorten the distance to Memphis and other places above.

REFITTED GUNBOATS EXPECTED.

The gunboats Bragg and Sumter are expected here to-day. The former will be commanded by Lieutenant Bishop, who displayed so much gallantry in her capture, and will be used as a police boat along the river. […..] said to be one of the fastest steamers in the service. The butternut colored paint with which the boats were daubed at the time they were taken has been covered with a respectable dress of black, and the boats are now far better and more effective than they were on the day when they fell into the hands of the Yankees.

ABANDONING THE MISSISSIPPI SHORE.

It is quite likely that we shall be obliged to remove the land force on the Mississippi shore as soon as the fleet starts down the stream. This will be of but little importance to us, as the position has been held merely as a matter of convenience to the gunboats.

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JULY 22D.—Today Gen. Winder came into my office in a passion with a passport in his hand which I had given, a week before, to Mr. Collier, of Petersburg, on the order of the Assistant Secretary of War—threatening me with vengeance and the terrors of Castle Godwin, his Bastile! if I granted any more passports to Petersburg where he was military commander, that city being likewise under martial law. I simply uttered a defiance, and he departed, boiling over with rage.

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July 22d, Tuesday.

Another such day, and there is the end of me! Charlie decided to send Lilly and the children into the country early to-morrow morning, and get them safely out of this doomed town. Mother, Miriam, and I were to remain here alone. Take the children away, and I can stand whatever is to come; but this constant alarm, with five babies in the house, is too much for any of us. So we gladly packed their trunks and got them ready, and then news came pouring in.

First a negro man just from the country told Lilly that our soldiers were swarming out there, that he had never seen so many men. Then Dena wrote us that a Mrs. Bryan had received a letter from her son, praying her not to be in Baton Rouge after Wednesday morning, as they were to attack to-morrow. Then a man came to Charlie, and told him that though he was on parole, yet as a Mason he must beg him not to let his wife sleep in town to-night; to get her away before sunset. But it is impossible for her to start before morning. Hearing so many rumors, all pointing to the same time, we began to believe there might be some danger; so I packed all necessary clothing that could be dispensed with now in a large trunk for mother, Miriam, and me, and got it ready to send out in the country to Mrs. Williams. All told, I have but eight dresses left; so I’ll have to be particular. I am wealthy, compared to what I would have been Sunday night, for then I had but two in my sack, and now I have my best in the trunk. If the attack comes before the trunk gets off, or if the trunk is lost, we will verily be beggars; for I pack well, and it contains everything of any value in clothing.

The excitement is on the increase, I think. Everybody is crazy to leave town.

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We lay here two or three days taking in coal, &c., and it was finally arranged that the iron-clad Essex should run down by the batteries, with a prospect of destroying the ram, and of relieving the wooden ships which had already been ordered down the river. Accordingly, on the morning of the 22d we got under way, and awaited the appearance from above, ready to attack the ram or assist the Essex, as the case might require. At six o’clock firing commenced, and soon the Essex appeared, followed by a small wooden ram, and proceeded down through the batteries, giving the rain a broadside as she passed her, while the whole rebel line opened upon her. I here witnessed a most sublime picture in naval operations,—a lone vessel running the gauntlet of some thirty cannon placed in the hillside, raining a shower of shot and shell thickly around her. She escaped, however, with the loss of one man killed, and a single shot through her armor.

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Written from the Sea islands of South Carolina.

the old penn school

The Old Penn School

[Diary] July 22.

Our guns have come! Captain Thorndyke brought over twenty and gave Nelly instructions. Commodore Du Pont was here this afternoon. The people came running to the school-room — “Oh, Miss Ellen, de gunboat come!” I believe they thought we were to be shelled out. Ellen, Nelly, and I went down to the bluff and there lay a steamboat in front of Eina’s house, and a gig was putting off with flag flying and oars in time. Presently a very imposing uniformed party landed, and, coming up the bluff, Commodore Du Pont introduced himself and staff. We invited him in. He said he had come to explore the creek and to see a plantation. They stayed only about ten minutes, were very agreeable and took leave. Commodore Du Pont is a very large and fine-looking man. He invited us all to visit the Wabash and seemed really to wish it.

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Somewhere about July 14, ’62, Charley and G. must have gone home from Harrison’s Landing, probably in a returning hospital ship. The record is lacking—Sarah Woolsey’s letter of July 22 being the first mention of it. She had been serving all this time at the New Haven Hospital.


Sarah Chauncey Woolsey to Georgeanna Woolsey.

New Haven.

At The Barrack Hospital, July 22.

When the family leave you a little gap of time, write me one line to make me feel that you are really so near again. I cannot help hoping that if you go back, there may be a vacancy near you which I can fill. The work here is very satisfactory in its way, but is likely to come to an end before long if the decision about “Hospitals within military limits” is carried out. . . .

This is Sunday, and I have been here since half past nine—it being about 5 P. M. now . . . It has not been very Sunday-like, as I’ve mended clothes, and given out sheets, and made a pudding, but somehow it seems proper. Mary would laugh if she knew one thing that I’ve been doing—distributing copies of “A Rainy Day in Camp” to sick soldiers, who liked it vastly. I had it printed in one of our papers for the purpose. To-morrow I am going to change employments—take Miss Young’s place in the kitchen, and let her have a day’s rest, while Mrs. Hunt supplies mine here. Meantime as a beginning I must go and heat some beef tea for a poor fellow who hates to eat, and has to be coaxed into his solids by an after promise of pudding and jelly. . . .

P. S —Have come back from service and administered the beef tea, though it was an awful job. The man gave continual howls, first because the tea was warm, then because I tried to help him hold a tumbler, then because I fanned him too hard, and I thought each time I had hurt him and grew so nervous that I could have cried. Beside, there is a boy in that tent—an awful boy with no arms, who swears so frightfully (all the time he isn’t screeching for currant pie, or fried meat, or some other indigestible), that he turns you blue as you listen.

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July 23d. [22d] Returned to camp after a delightful and refreshing little jaunt. The sail down the river was magnificent. There were few passengers, mostly invalided officers, but a very agreeable lot of fellows, of course. The ship carried at her cross trees, boiler iron nests, in which riflemen were stationed, watching the shore all along the route. Her guns were shotted and run out ready for instant work, and all about one tended to a delightful exhilaration. I sat well forward, and was in ecstasy to find myself on the water again. The James is a beautiful river, with fine commanding banks, abrupt in many places, and mostly wooded to the water’s edge. It is considered a dangerous route, and everyone is on the alert for a concealed enemy along the shores. We met scores of transports, gunboats, and troop ships; and there was plenty to occupy one’s attention. Arriving at the fort, I went to dine at the hotel, and sat down to a regular dinner, at a regular table, for the first time in over a year. The situation was embarrassing at first, but I found myself, as an officer from the front, of considerable importance, which was equally unexpected and agreeable. I met many civilians, who were all anxious to talk about the war. I made myself agreeable, and did as little boasting perhaps as the situation allowed.

They told me General Sumner was considered one of the principal heroes of the last campaign. After dinner I looked over the fortress, which is the largest regular work, I think, in the United States. It is surrounded by a moat full of water and has a fine array of mounted guns peeping over the ramparts. When I went to my room at night, the first sight of a regular bed almost took away my breath, and I was strongly tempted to take the floor in preference. I got in after some hesitation and found it comfortable, but very strange. The next day I visited the negroes’ quarters, bought various articles for the colonel and myself; sent the diary home, also a rebel officer’s sword, captured at Savage’s Station, and then went on board a transport, bound back to the camp. The return sail was equally agreeable. I felt like returning home from a strange country; the regiment is now, in fact, my home, where all my interests center.

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July 22.—Major-General Sherman assumed command at Memphis, Tenn. Four hundred citizens took the oath of allegiance, and one hundred and thirty were provided with passes to go to the South.—General Dix, on the part of the United States, and Gen. D. H. Hill, for the rebel government, made an arrangement for an immediate and general exchange of prisoners.—(Doc. 103.)

—President Lincoln issued an order in reference to foreign residents in the United States. The ministers of foreign powers having complained to the government that subjects of such powers were forced into taking the oath of allegiance, the President ordered that military commanders abstain from imposing such obligations in future, but in lieu adopt such other restraints as they might deem necessary for the public safety.

—The steamer Ceres was fired into by the rebels at a point on the Mississippi, below Vicksburgh, Miss., killing Capt Brooks, of the Seventh Vermont regiment, besides inflicting other injuries.

—Governor Gamble, of Missouri, in view of the existence of numerous bands of guerrillas in different parts of that State, who were engaged in robbing and murdering peaceable citizens for no other cause than that such citizens were loyal to the Government under which they had always lived, authorized Brig.-Gen. Schofield to organize the entire militia of the State into companies, regiments, and brigades, and to order into active service such portions of the force thus organized as he might judge necessary for the purpose of putting down all marauders, and defending peaceable citizens of the State.

—The effect on the Yankee soldiers of General Pope’s recent orders to the “Army of the Rappahannock” is already being felt by the citizens of Culpeper. The party who burned the bridge over the Rapidan on the thirteenth took breakfast that morning at the house of Alexander G. Taliaferro, Colonel of the Twenty-first Virginia regiment. On their approach the Colonel was at home, and was very near being captured; but, by good management, contrived to escape. After they had breakfasted, the Yankee ruffians searched the house, took possession of the family silver, broke up the table-ware and knives and forks, eta, and actually wrenched from Mrs. Taliaferro’s finger a splendid diamond ring of great value.— Richmond Examiner, July 23.

—President Lincoln issued an order directing military commanders within the States of Virginia, North-Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, to seize and use any property, real or personal, which might be necessary or convenient for their several commands, for supplies or for other military purposes.—(Doc. 155.)

—A band of rebel guerrillas entered Florence, Ala., and burned the warehouses containing commissary and quartermaster’s stores, and all the cotton in the vicinity. They also seized the United States steamer Colonna; and after taking all the money belonging to the vessel and passengers, they burned her. They next proceeded down the Tennessee River to Chickasaw, then to Waterloo and the vicinity of Eastport, and burned all the warehouses that contained cotton.— A band of about forty rebel guerrillas attacked a Union wagon-train near Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., and captured sixty wagons laden with commissary and quartermaster’s stores.

—An unsuccessful effort to sink the rebel ram Arkansas, lying before Vicksburgh, was made by the Union ram Queen of the West, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel A. W. Ellet. The Arkansas was hit by the Union ram, but with very little injurious effect The fire of the rebel shore batteries was to be diverted by the gunboats under Commodore Farragut, but by some mistake they failed to do so, and the Queen of the West in making the attack was completely riddled by shot and shell from the shore batteries and the Arkansas.—(Doc. 152.)

—A party of rebel troops, who were acting as escort to the United States post surgeon at Murfreesboro, Tenn., who was returning under a flag of truce to the lines of the Union army, were fired upon when near Tazewell, Tenn., by a body of National troops belonging to General Carter’s brigade, killing and wounding several of their number.

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July 22, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

Twenty-two pieces of artillery, part of the eighty pieces taken by the English from the Russians at the battle of Inkerman, and presented to the Confederacy by British merchants (brought over in the Nashville), have arrived at Macon. They bear evidence of having seen service. With some alterations, they will hereafter speak for themselves. Some thirty-eight pieces more are expected at the same place.

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