Wednesday, 25th—The weather is very hot today and our camp is becoming very dry and dusty. Twenty-seven men were detailed this morning to clean up our camp for general inspection.
Headquarters ist Division,
Battery Island, June 25th, 1862.
My dear Mother:
I have received your kind letters with their urgent requests from both you and Lilly to be present at the great affair which is to take place in July. How I would like to be there you can well divine, yet the fates never seem to favor my leaving my post. With all quiet in Beaufort I had my hopes; with all in turmoil here my chances seem but small, and yet there are some who have not been half the time in the service I have, who have visited their homes once, twice, and are now going home again. That is a sort of luck some people have, a sort of luck which does not favor me. Yet there will be a time, I suppose, when it will be pleasant to remember I was never absent from duty, though I cannot see that strictness in such respects is held in any special honor now. You must tell Lilly I will think of her with all a brother’s feeling of love when the day comes. I will see that I am properly represented at the table which bears her marriage gifts. I will dream of the orange flowers that bind the brow of the bride and will wish them — the bride and groom— God speed. I will wish them a brave career, and will rejoice that they do not fear to face the future together. I have no patience with that excessive prudence which would barter the blessings of youth and happiness and love for some silly hope of wealth, and the happiness wealth can give to hearts seared with selfishness and avarice. If misfortunes come, will they be heavier when borne together? And are men less likely to prosper when they have something more than themselves for which to toil? And when one man and one woman are brave enough to show they have no fear, but are willing to trust, “Bravo!” say I, “and God grant them all that they deserve.”
My coat and pants have come. All very well, only the coat is about six inches bigger round the waist than I am. There are tailors around the camp, though, who can remedy so excellent though rather ungraceful a fault.
I have had a letter from Hall lately, who seems quite happy. On this island, dear Mother, there are secret, hidden, insidious foes which undermine one’s happiness. We are truly in the midst of enemies which give no quarter, whose ruthless tastes blood alone can satisfy. Now I am not alluding to the human “Seceshers” — they are only mortal — but the insect kingdom. What a taste they have for Union blood! Mosquito bars are useless. They form breaches, and pierce every obstruction imagination can invent, when they once scent Union blood. Flies march over one in heavy Battalions — whole pounds of them at a time. Mosquitoes go skirmishing about and strike at every exposed position. Sandflies make the blood flow copiously. Fleas form in Squadrons which go careering over one’s body leaving all havoc behind. Ticks get into one’s hair. Ants creep into one’s stockings. Grasshoppers jump over one’s face. You turn and brush your face. You writhe in agony. You quit a couch peopled with living horrors. You cry for mercy! — In vain. These critters are “Secesh.” They give no quarter. You rush wildly about. You look for the last ditch. Until utterly exhausted you sink into unrefreshing sleep. Then begins a wild scene of pillage. Millions of thirsty beings, longing for blood, drink out one’s life gluttonously. Enough! Why harass you with these dismal stories?
Benham has been sent home under arrest. The last thing he did on leaving Hilton Head was to lie. He doubtless has not discontinued the practice since.
My love to Mary and Lilly, the little boys (how I would like to see them), and all my dear friends. I have been several times with a flag of truce to the enemy, concerning our prisoners in their hands. In all these interviews I heard of Sam Lord. I wished to see him very much, but permission was not granted. I was allowed, however, to write him concerning Miss Alice Mintzing’s welfare. The Colonel of his Battalion — Lamar — was badly wounded in our late engagement. Genl. Stevens has mentioned me handsomely in his official report of the fight, but he has done the same to all his staff-.
Very affec’y, your Son,
Ditto, Ditto, June 25, 1862. Wednesday. — Dined with General Cox. He has a plan of operations for the Government forces which I like: To hold the railroad from Memphis through Huntsville, Chattanooga, Knoxville [and] southwest Virginia to Richmond; not attempt movements south of this except by water until after the hot and sickly season. This line is distant from the enemy’s base of supplies; can therefore by activity be defended, and gives us a good base.
June 25th. Issued the remainder of the ten days’ rations taken along. Received a letter from home.
25th.—All in the hospital having been made comfortable, we set to work yesterday to take care of ourselves. Arranged our tents, and to-day find ourselves a band of contented Surgeons, assistants and nurses, willing now to remain where we are. The above lines were written at noon, and before the ink dried, an orderly rode up with a note, the first line of which read: “Surgeon, you will report for duty with your regiment, without delay.” So the fat of my content is all in the fire. I suppose there is another hospital to be organized. This constant change from newly established order and organization, to unorganized, chaotic confusion, is very trying. To establish a large field hospital, provision it and put it in good condition for the comfort of sick and wounded, in the short time allowed and with the disentangling of the red tape, is a big work, which I have been so frequently called on to perform, that I am heartily sick of it. No sooner do I get all comfortable, and become interested in the men under my care, than we must separate, perhaps, never to meet again.
On receipt of order to join my regiment, immediately mounted my horse in obedience, leaving behind me my tent, trunk, books, mess chest—everything but a case of surgical instruments, and reported at headquarters on the Richmond side of the Chickahominy. Found all quiet on the surface, but there was underneath a strange working of the war elements, which I could not comprehend. Officers spoke to each other in whispers—there was a trepidation in everything. There was “something in the wind.” But it blew no definite intelligence to me. I received no order for duty; only to hold myself in readiness for whatever might be assigned me.
Eliza Woolsey Howland’s Journal.
. . . June 25th. General Van Vliet says that if I want to go to the front at any time and will send him word, he will have his wagon meet me and take me over to J’s camp. This morning Dr. Bigelow came back to our boat from the front.
June 25—Reported fighting near Richmond.
June 25th. The wind blew terrifically all day long. Early detailed six companies for picket duty. Shortly after they left camp the firing along the lines grew fast and furious, and at eight o’clock, we, with the other regiments of the brigade, were ordered to Seven Pines, to man the works in front of Heintzleman’s corps. We took position on the site of the original camp of Casey’s division, now transformed into a formidable fortress. Heintzleman moved forward through a heavy piece of timber to a clearing in front and met with determined opposition. All the forts and redoubts belched forth their murderous fire over the heads of the advancing columns, and thus assisted, they drove the enemy before them and got within four miles of Richmond. If they had remained there, and we had all marched forward, it would have amounted to something, but towards evening the whole force returned, and reoccupied their works, and we returned to our own camp. There was an immense expenditure of powder and shot, but little good resulted from it.
From Library of Congress:
1862 ca. June 25 – July 1
Signed lower right: Alf R. Waud. Title inscribed below image
1 drawing on light brown paper : pencil and Chinese white ; 18.3 x 26.0 cm. (sheet).
Part of Morgan collection of Civil War drawings. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Record page for this image: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004660821/
June 25th.—I forgot to tell of Mrs. Pickens’s reception for General Hampton. My Mem dear, described it all. “The Governess” (“Tut, Mem! that is not the right name for her—she is not a teacher.” “Never mind, it is the easier to say than the Governor’s wife.” “Madame la Gouvernante” was suggested. “Why? That is worse than the other!”) ” met him at the door, took his crutch away, putting his hand upon her shoulder instead. “That is the way to greet heroes,” she said. Her blue eyes were aflame, and in response poor Wade smiled, and smiled until his face hardened into a fixed grin of embarrassment and annoyance. He is a simple-mannered man, you know, and does not want to be made much of by women.
The butler was not in plain clothes, but wore, as the other servants did, magnificent livery brought from the Court of St. Petersburg, one mass of gold embroidery, etc. They had champagne and Russian tea, the latter from a samovar made in Russia. Little Moses was there. Now for us they have never put their servants into Russian livery, nor paraded Little Moses under our noses, but I must confess the Russian tea and champagne set before us left nothing to be desired. “How did General Hampton bear his honors?” “Well, to the last he looked as if he wished they would let him alone.”
Met Mr. Ashmore fresh from Richmond. He says Stonewall is coming up behind McClellan. And here comes the tug of war. He thinks we have so many spies in Richmond, they may have found out our strategic movements and so may circumvent them.
Mrs. Bartow’s story of a clever Miss Toombs. So many men were in love with her, and the courtship, while it lasted, of each one was as exciting and bewildering as a fox-chase. She liked the fun of the run, but she wanted something more than to know a man was in mad pursuit of her; that he should love her, she agreed, but she must love him, too. How was she to tell ? Yet she must be certain of it before she said “Yes.” So, as they sat by the lamp she would look at him and inwardly ask herself, “Would I be willing to spend the long winter evenings forever after sitting here darning your old stockings?” Never, echo answered. No, no, a thousand times no. So, each had to make way for another.
June 25.—The division of the army of the Potomac under command of General Hooker, this day advanced in the vicinity of the Chickahominy River, with a view of occupying a new position. The advance was resisted with great determination by the rebels. They fought for seven hours, when they retreated with great loss, leaving the Unionists in the position desired. The loss of the Union army was about two hundred in killed and wounded. This battle was the first of a series of conflicts, lasting over seven days, and resulting in the retreat of the Army of the Potomac, under the command of Major-General McClellan, to the James River, under the protection of the fleet of Union gunboats.—(Docs. 77 and 78.)
—Yesterday the United States steamer Monticello, Lieut. Commanding D. L. Braine, picked up at sea, in an open boat, eight contrabands from Little River Inlet, South-Carolina, from whom information was obtained that two schooners were preparing to run the blockade, laden with cotton and turpentine, and that the cargo was already in the warehouse, near the wharf, ready for shipment. This evening Captain Glisson ordered an expedition to be fitted out, to consist of an armed boat from each vessel, and ordered Lieutenant Braine, of the Monticello, to proceed to the Inlet with the boats and send the expedition in.
The duty was ably performed by Lieutenants Braine and Bunce, with the officers and men under them, the reports of whom show that the town was entirely deserted. The schooners were found at the wharf, and were not considered worth the trouble of bringing away. They found at the wharf and in warehouses two hundred barrels of turpentine, sixty bales of cotton, and fifty-three barrels rosin, the whole of which was destroyed by fire.—Capt. Glisson’s report. .
— General Butler ordered, that “all the property in New-Orleans belonging to General D. E. Twiggs, and of his minor son, the income of which he has received, and under the charge of his agent, H. W. Palfrey, Esq., consisting of real estate, bonds, notes of hand, treasury notes of the United States, slaves, household furniture, etc., is hereby sequestered, to be held to await the action of the United States Government.”
— The Union ram fleet arrived off Vicksburgh, Miss., yesterday, and to-day communicated with Commodore Farragut, commanding fleet of gunboats.
— A large body of rebel cavalry under Jackson, this day visited a number of plantations in the vicinity of Memphis, Tenn., on the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, burning great quantities of cotton and arresting all persons found purchasing that staple. — Memphis Avalanche, June 27.
—A Union force, under the command of Gen. Williams, consisting of four regiments of infantry and nearly two batteries of artillery, left Baton Rouge, La., on the twentieth, and arrived at Vicksburgh, Miss., this day.—(Doc. 142.)
— A train of cars on the Memphis and Ohio Railroad, laden with a company of Union troops, eighty mule-teams with provender, etc., was this day captured by a large force of rebel cavalry, in the vicinity of Germantown, Tennessee. The rebels destroyed the locomotive, burned the cars, and killed ten men.
June 25, 1862, The
Our readers will remember the sensation created last February a year ago by the news of President Lincoln’s mysterious journey, by the light of the moon, in his “Scotch cap and long military cloak,” from Harrisburg, Pa., via Baltimore, to Washington. Yesterday, however, the unlooked for intelligence that the President, in the best time ever made, had passed from Washington, through New York in the night, to West Point, gave rise to as many conjectures and speculations as his successful and wisely executed strategical journey to our national capital.
But what means this Northern journey at this crisis? What can it be that has brought the President, travelling all night, on this post haste visit to
First , then, General Scott is at
Since the derangement in that quarter of the original plans of General Scott and General McClellan, our “Onward to
Al these things, and many more that we have not touched upon, indicate some confusion in our military operations and among our many generals of the
In this connection we understand that it is not alone by his late brilliant achievements in the West that General Pope has attracted the attention of the President. The President and the General are from the same State, and it appears that the personal friendship which had previously been cultivated between them was strengthened by certain rebuffs and rebukes administered to General Pope by the late administration, in consequence of some friendly act or acts of his toward Mr. Lincoln as our President elect. However this as may be, our readers may rest assured that it is no holiday amusement that has carried President Lincoln between a late dinner and a very early breakfast from Washington to West Point. This mission, we believe, can only relate to the campaign in
We hear some whispers of a possible breeze in the Cabinet; but, independently of anything of that sort, the subject is sufficiently interesting for the present. Strange and extraordinary as this
June 25, 1862, The
We hear of no new military operations of importance on the islands below the city. All is quiet.
It seems that the Yankees no longer rest under the hallucination that
‘Mr. Pierce, Government Superintendent of the cotton lands in
‘The Confederate forces in
‘When Mr. Pierce left it was the opinion of Com. DuPont that our attack could not safely proceed until we had a stronger force.
‘There was heavy firing from the enemy during a part of Tuesday, but no apprehension of danger from an attack on our troops.’
June 25, 1862, The
The inhabitants of the Confederate States number about ten millions, belonging to two different races of men, and to two different classes of society. About six millions are Caucasian and free citizens. About four millions are African and slaves. Slavery is the best condition for the African; for he is incapable of rising above pupilage, and, in his master, he obtains a permanent and interested guardian. And this fixed and regulated contact of the dominant race with the servile necessarily brings out in the white man those qualities fitted for predominance. Men adapt themselves to their position and circumstances, and the effect of habit and education, however gradual and insensible, are marked and effective upon character. Whether in the military commandant, the political governor, the civic judge, the husband, parent or master, the tendency and effect is similar in kind, though not in degree.
The condition of the white race at the South is different from what it is at the North or in
Associating with inferiors, taking precedence and giving law, the aspirations are moved in all the white race. Not occupying here the place of the domestic, the menial, the dependent, but enfranchised and uncontrolled, all can feel and appreciate the superiority of the breed to which they belong, and of the social status they occupy. Respectability, credit, repute, are easily within reach. A spirit of manly pride is cultivated, and the sentiment of honor is everywhere seen and felt as the grand pervading principle of the Southern people. Its influence tells in every position of duty, and on every occasion of trial. It is more influential than the love of ease, more potent than the love of grain. Whether in the forum or on the field of battle, the sense of honor and the habit of command tone the Southern people to stern emulation and to noble achievement.
June 25, 1862, The
We yesterday published the rates of duty imposed by the Tax bill as it finally passed Congress. This morning we give the sections of the bill relating to the machinery for collecting the taxes imposed, those defining the duties of the officers to be appointed, and those stating the obligations of persons on whom a tax is laid. The great importance of this bill has induced us to yield a very large portion of our space for its publication. Every one will be interested in it in some way, either as a taxpayer, an office seeker, or a political economist.
To carry the act into effect a small army of officers will be appointed, over whom a Commissioner of Internal Revenue is to be placed. The salary of this official is fixed at $4,000 per annum. The officers under his direction, and their duties, will be, in brief, as follows, namely: —
First — a collector for each collection district, to be appointed by the President, with the consent of the Senate, whose duties will be to collect for the government the taxes to be paid in said district. The compensation for his services is in the form of commissions on the amounts collected.
Second — An assessor for each assessment district, to be also appointed by the President, whose duty it will be to furnish the collector with a list of the persons to be taxed and the articles on which the taxes are levied. His salary is to be three dollars per diem when engaged in preparation, and five dollars when in the actual performance of his duties as assessor. He is also to receive a commission of one dollar for each hundred names on the tax list.
Third — Deputy collectors, to be appointed and paid by collectors. Their duties are to be to act as assistants.
Fourth — Assistant assessors, to be appointed by assessors. Their salary is fixed at three dollars per day, in addition to which they will receive the same commission as assessors.
Fifth — Inspectors of liquors, &c., to be appointed by collectors, whose duties will be to measure and examine the proof of liquors removed for sale, for which they are to receive frees from the owner thereof, the extent of which is to be fixed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
The officers above classified are to carry into effect the provisions of the bill, and are to be held strictly accountable for their actions. Collectors, through whose hands must pass very large sums of money, will be required to give heavy bonds for an honest performance of their duties. In some districts it is probable that bonds to the extent of $200,000 or $300,000 will be required. Our readers will find all the information in respect to the Tax bill that they may desire by consulting our issues of yesterday and today.
June.—Anna and I had a serenade last night from the Academy Glee Club, I think, as their voices sounded familiar. We were awakened by the music, about 11 P.M., quite suddenly and I thought I would step across the hall to the front chamber for a match to light the candle. I was only half awake, however, and lost my bearings and stepped off the stairs and rolled or slid to the bottom. The stairs are winding, so I must have performed two or three revolutions before I reached my destination. I jumped up and ran back and found Anna sitting up in bed, laughing. She asked me where I had been and said if I had only told her where I was going she would have gone for me. We decided not to strike a light, but just listen to the singing. Anna said she was glad that the leading tenor did not know how quickly I “tumbled” to the words of his song, “O come my love and be my own, nor longer let me dwell alone,” for she thought he would be too much flattered. Grandfather came into the hall and asked if any bones were broken and if he should send for a doctor. We told him we guessed not, we thought we would be all right in the morning. He thought it was Anna who fell down stairs, as he is never looking for such exploits in me. We girls received some verses from the Academy boys, written by Greig Mulligan, under the assumed name of Simon Snooks. The subject was, “The Poor Unfortunate Academy Boys.” We have answered them and now I fear Mrs Grundy will see them and imagine something serious is going on. But she is mistaken and will find, at the end of the session, our hearts are still in our own possession.
When we were down at Sucker Brook the other afternoon we were watching the water and one of the girls said, “How nice it would be if our lives could run along as smoothly as this stream.” I said I thought it would be too monotonous. Laura Chapin said she supposed I would rather have an “eddy” in mine.
We went to the examination at the Academy today and to the gymnasium exercises afterwards. Mr. Noah T. Clarke’s brother leads them and they do some great feats with their rings and swings and weights and ladders. We girls can do a few in the bowling alley at the Seminary.
JUNE 24TH.—Gen. Lee’s plan works like a charm! Although I have daily orders from Mr. Randolph to send persons beyond our lines, yet the precautions of Lee most effectually prevent any spies from knowing anything about his army. Even the Adjutant-General, S. Cooper, don’t know how many regiments are ordered into Virginia, or where they are stationed. Officers returning from furlough, cannot ascertain in the Adjutant-General’s office where their regiments are! They are referred to me for passports to Gen. Lee’s headquarters. No man with a passport from Gen. Winder, or from his Provost Marshal, can pass the pickets of Gen. Lee’s army. This is the harbinger of success, and I predict a career of glory for Lee, and for our country
There are some vague rumors about the approach of Stonewall Jackson’s army; but no one knows anything about it, and but few believe it. Recent Northern papers say he is approaching Winchester, and I see they are intrenching in the valley to guard against his terrible blows. This is capital! And our people are beginning to fear there will be no more fighting around Richmond until McClellan digs his way to it. The moment fighting ceases, our people have fits of gloom and despondency; but when they snuff battle in the breeze, they are animated with confidence. They regard victory as a matter of course; and are only indignant at our long series of recent reverses, when they reflect that our armies have so seldom been led against the embattled hosts of the enemy.
Tuesday, 24th—Our camp was inspected today by the brigade commander. Colonel Hare arrived in camp today. The boys were very glad to see him come back to the regiment.
To Mrs. Lyon.
June 24, 1862.—Although I have considerable to do, yet the duties of one day are so much like those of another that life is monotonous. I will tell you how we spend the time. Drill from 5:30 to 7 a. m.; recitation in army regulations at 10, in tactics at 2 p. m. and drill from 5:30 to 7 p. m.; the intervals filled up in study, doing company business (of which there is considerable), eating, sleeping and smoking, are the pursuits and occupations of a day. The routine is broken about one day in eight by grand guard duty, which sends us to the woods about a mile from camp for twenty-four hours, and in pleasant weather is a great relief.
24th. Tuesday. Arose before sunrise 3:45 A. M. Took the horses out to graze. Archie and I went with horses to an oat field up on a hill beyond the pickets. Good feed for the horses. Detachment went ahead to Neosho at 7 A. M. Entered N. and encamped a little after noon on the ground where the militia was surprised. An alarm in the night. False.
Tuesday, 24th.—Brother J. H. has permission to take us home with him to Mouse Creek. Left Knoxville 11 A. M. ; arrived Mouse Creek 2 P. M.
(Note: picture is of an unidentified Confederate soldier.)
June 24—We had a drill to-day, and went to town to see some friends.
From Library of Congress:
Fair Oaks, Va., vicinity. Capt. James M. Robertson (third from left) and officers.
Photographed by James F. Gibson
Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, the Peninsular Campaign
Civil War glass negative collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Record page for this image:
Officers of Combined Batteries B & L, 2nd U.S. Artillery. L-R: Wilson, Vincent, Robertson, Woodruff.
The Horse Artillery Brigade of the Army of the Potomac was a brigade of various batteries of horse artillery during the American Civil War.
Made up almost entirely of individual, company-strength batteries from the Regular Army’s five artillery regiments, the Horse Artillery operated under the command umbrella of the Cavalry Corps. The Horse Artillery differed from other light artillery (also known as “mounted” artillery) in that each member of the unit traveled on his own horse, rather than the traditional light artillery practice of some riding horses, while others rode on the limbers and caissons, with still others traveling on foot.
Written from the Sea islands of South Carolina.
[Diary] June 24, Tuesday.
We had a serenade last night. It was given by Holbrook, Fuller, and others. They spoke about it at breakfast and General Hunter laughed heartily as they wanted to know why it was not appreciated by the household. We had a very cosy, sociable, pleasant meal. Mrs. Dibble, or Dibbil, the wife of an officer on Morris Island, who stays with Mrs. Hunter, shared her room with me, and after the serenade we slept well. I had another long talk with General and Mrs. Hunter. I told him of the assault upon Mr. Pierce, and the cotton agents’ evil doings generally. He says he shall burn Charleston if he ever has a chance to take it, but that he has no chance now, for all his troops are withdrawn except barely enough for defence. He is a generous but too impulsive man, kind to a fault to his soldiers, and more anti-slavery than I expected. He wore a loose undress coat made of white cassimir and a straw hat, when walking on the piazza. His manner is very quick and decided, and to his wife, attentive and as if he were much attached to her. He told me how she went with him on all his campaigns and how impossible it was for him to do without her; and she told me how he had suffered with the cut across the cheek and wound in the ankle which he received at Ball’s Bluff, I think, or Bull Run. I spoke of Fremont admiringly, and he blazed up. “I admire his anti-slavery,” I said, “and his proclamation.” “That was well,” he replied, “but his military operations were ridiculous and he came near losing Missouri;” and he said, I think, that he was not trustworthy.
“There’s that guard asleep again,” he said once. “Let him sleep, David,” urged his wife. “How would you like to stand and walk about so long uselessly with a heavy gun on your shoulder in the hot sun? Let him sleep, David.” “Oh, you would keep pretty order in my camp,” he said, laughingly, and let the man sleep.
Mr. French took me back, in the Locust Point, to Beaufort.
24th.—To-day General Hooker advanced his picket lines about one mile nearer to Richmond, and the incessant roar of artillery, with the constant volleys of musketry and the cheers of fighting men, wafted to us from beyond the Chickahominy, tell that it is being done, not without cost of the blood and suffering of brave and good men. At night we hear that Hooker’s movement has been a success, crowned with a victory. General Hooker rarely undertakes a thing which he does not accomplish; but I fear our loss has been heavier than is now admitted. These frequent reports from our Commander-in-Chief, of great victories with little loss, subsequently contradicted by the real facts, begin to shake the confidence of a large portion of the army in his infallibility.