American Civil War Chronicles Stepping through the war with news, diary and journal entries, and more. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:00:00 +0000 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.

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War Letters of William Thompson Lusk. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 18:30:00 +0000 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,


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Diary and Letters of Rutherford B. Hayes. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 18:30:00 +0000 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.

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War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 18:30:00 +0000 June 25th. Issued the remainder of the ten days’ rations taken along. Received a letter from home.

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Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 16:11:00 +0000 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.

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Woolsey Family during the War. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 15:43:00 +0000 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.

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Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier by Louis Léon Sun, 25 Jun 2017 13:10:00 +0000 June 25—Reported fighting near Richmond.

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“All the forts and redoubts belched forth their murderous fire over the heads of the advancing columns…” –Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 10:30:11 +0000 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.

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McClellan reconnoitering the Turnpike to Richmond from the Peach Orchard at Mechanicsville. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 09:13:00 +0000 McClellan reconnoitering the Turnpike to Richmond from the Peach Orchard at Mechanicsville

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:

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A Diary From Dixie Sun, 25 Jun 2017 07:00:28 +0000 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.

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A Diary of American Events. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 07:00:00 +0000 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.

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President Lincoln at West Point — Something in the Wind. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 06:00:45 +0000 June 25, 1862, The New York Herald


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 West Point? We have no official or semi-official information on the subject; but by putting this and that together we think a plausible and somewhat satisfactory conclusion may be reached.

First , then, General Scott is at West Point. Secondly, General Pope has arrived at Washington — that splendid young officer, whose great achievements in Northern Missouri and at New Madrid, at Island No. 10, and at Corinth, have made his name among our loyal people as in their mouths as Household words. He has been called from the West; and what for? After the return of the President to Washington we expect to learn. Meantime, we conjecture that this visit of President Lincoln to West Point is for the purpose of a military consultation with General Scott, and that the special object in view is the appointment of General Pope to some important command in Virginia.

Since the derangement in that quarter of the original plans of General Scott and General McClellan, our “Onward to Richmond” movement has been embarrassed in every possible way. We have suffered the costly humiliation of the expulsion of General Banks from the Shenandoah valley, and the War Office, in repairing this disaster, has not succeeded as well as could be desired. The rebel General Jackson has slipped through the snares that were contrived to catch him, and among our numerous generals now in the Shenandoah valley service some unpleasant disagreements have taken place. Thus we hear that General Blenker is to be superseded by General Carl Schurz, and that General Shields has fallen from grace, while General McDowell, from an unfortunate accident, is on the list of the sick or disabled. At the same time it is given out that the rebel General Jackson has been heavily reinforced, and that, to be on the safe side, General Fremont is falling back down the valley for a junction with General Banks and General Sigel.

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 Shenandoah valley. We all known, too, that the repulse of General Banks has operated very much to delay the decisive conflict with the main rebel army at Richmond, in delaying the reinforcements which were required by General McClellan. In a word, we apprehend that the present posture of the campaign in Virginia has carried the President to West Point, and that with his return to Washington, or shortly thereafter, we shall hear of some comprehensive modifications on the military chessboard in Virginia, including an important command to General Pope.

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 Virginia; and while, in regard thereto, General Scott is sought for counsel, General Pope has been summoned for active service.

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 West Point journey may be regarded, we only see, in view of the exigencies of this crisis, that it brings out into full and bold relief the careful, vigilant, active and decisive business habits of President Lincoln. He has gone upon this mission himself, because he alone is equal to its delicate requirements. He goes rapidly, because his time is precious; and we are sure that this journey will soon become as remarkable for its decisive results as it is now for the wonder and the mystery in which it is enveloped.

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The Defence of Charleston. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 06:00:27 +0000 June 25, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

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 Charleston, like Nashville and New Orleans, is to fall into their hands without a desperate struggle. From deserters they have obtained an inkling of the reception that awaits them, and a foretaste of which they received the other day at the Secessionville outworks. A special despatch, dated Washington, June 13, and published in the New York Evening Post, contains the following:

‘Mr. Pierce, Government Superintendent of the cotton lands in South Carolina, arrived here this morning. He left Charleston harbor on Tuesday, and brings the latest intelligence from the Federal expedition under Gen. Benham. Our forces had occupied James Island, under the protection of our gunboats.

‘The Confederate forces in Charleston had been greatly augmented. Deserters stated that 35,000 from Beauregard’s Corinthian army had reached there within a few days, and that every preparation was making for a stubborn defence of the city.

‘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.’

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The Effect of Nobility of Race and the Sense of Honor of the South. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 06:00:03 +0000 June 25, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

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 Europe. Exalted above the inferior race, he is here the peer and nobleman of the land, with independence for his birthright, and a sense of the superiority of his blood to stimulate the development of his higher characteristics. Authority and the exercise of command tend strongly to engender self-respect, dignity, decision of character, and the feeling of self-reliant power.

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.

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The Tax Bill — The Machinery for Collecting the Taxes. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 06:00:01 +0000 June 25, 1862, The New York Herald

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.

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Village Life in America. Sun, 25 Jun 2017 03:00:34 +0000 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.

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Rebel War Clerk Sun, 25 Jun 2017 00:12:00 +0000 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.

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Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 20:00:00 +0000 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.

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Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 19:00:00 +0000 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.

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War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 18:30:00 +0000 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.

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Robert M. Magill—Personal Reminiscences of a Confederate Soldier Boy. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 14:52:00 +0000 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.)

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Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier by Louis Léon Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:10:00 +0000 June 24—We had a drill to-day, and went to town to see some friends.

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Officers of Combined Batteries B & L, 2nd U.S. Artillery Sat, 24 Jun 2017 12:14:00 +0000 Fair Oaks, Va., vicinity. Capt. James M. Robertson (third from left) and officers

From Library of Congress:

Fair Oaks, Va., vicinity. Capt. James M. Robertson (third from left) and officers.

June 1862

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:

From Wikipedia:

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.

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Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 11:45:00 +0000 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.

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Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 11:11:00 +0000 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.

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How well the men care for their muskets.–Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 10:30:07 +0000 June 24th. Almost every man in the regiment got a thorough drenching last night; their arms, too. The colonel ordered fires lighted to dry the blankets and clothing, and on the color line at break of day every ball cartridge was withdrawn and the men ordered to clean their muskets. After breakfast the regiment fell in, and arms were carefully inspected, then reloaded. It is extraordinary how little the men require looking after in regard to their muskets! There are few men who do not keep them in perfect order all the time.

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A Diary From Dixie Sat, 24 Jun 2017 07:00:21 +0000 June 24th.—Mr. Chesnut, having missed the Secessionville¹ fight by half a day, was determined to see the one around Richmond. He went off with General Cooper and Wade Hampton. Blanton Duncan sent them for a luncheon on board the cars,—ice, wine, and every manner of good thing.

In all this death and destruction, the women are the same—chatter, patter, clatter. “Oh, the Charleston refugees are so full of airs; there is no sympathy for them here!” “Oh, indeed! That is queer. They are not half as exclusive as these Hamptons and Prestons. The airs these people do give themselves.” “Airs, airs,” laughed Mrs. Bartow, parodying Tennyson’s Charge of the Light Brigade. “Airs to the right of them, Airs to the left of them, some one had blundered.” “Volleyed and thundered rhymes but is out of place.”

The worst of all airs came from a democratic landlady, who was asked by Mrs. President Davis to have a carpet shaken, and shook herself with rage as she answered, “You know, madam, you need not stay here if my carpet or anything else does not suit you.”

John Chesnut gives us a spirited account of their ride around McClellan. I sent the letter to his grandfather. The women ran out screaming with joyful welcome as soon as they caught sight of our soldiers’ gray uniforms; ran to them bringing handfuls and armfuls of food. One grayheaded man, after preparing a hasty meal for them, knelt and prayed as they snatched it, as you may say. They were in the saddle from Friday until Sunday. They were used up; so were their horses. Johnny writes for clothes and more horses. Miss S. C. says: “No need to send any more of his fine horses to be killed or captured by the Yankees; wait and see how the siege of Richmond ends.” The horses will go all the same, as Johnny wants them.


¹ The battle of Secessionville occurred on James Island, in the harbor of Charleston, June 16, 1862.

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News from the Peninsula. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:00:57 +0000 June 24, 1862, The New York Herald

Our Special Army Correspondence.

FAIR OAKS, Va., June 19, 1862.

Yesterday the Sixteenth Massachusetts regiment, Col. Wyman, has a severe skirmish with the enemy in front, resulting in a loss of seventeen killed, twenty-five wounded and fourteen missing, but driving the enemy back a distance of a mile, with a loss double that of the Sixteenth.

For the past two days and nights our pickets have observed an unusual commotion in the rebel camp, indicating a movement of some kind.

Large bodies of troops have been seen moving to the left of us, in the direction of James river, with bands playing, and work was being done in their camp all night, which sounded like packing up camp equipage and the moving of stores. Wishing to ascertain their whereabouts and what was going on, General Hooker concluded to send out a regiment, and drive in their pickets. He selected for this most important duty the Sixteenth Massachusetts regiment, which is one of the largest now on the peninsula, and most nobly did they perform the duty.

The regiment was drawn up in line of battle in front of the camp occupied by General Casey at the time he was attacked, and ordered to advance through the woods in front, and find out where the main body of the enemy were. They were under the immediate command of Colonel Wyman, about whom, it will be remembered, Governor Andrew and General Butler had some difficulty, but were also accompanied part of the distance by General Grover.

The loss of the regiment is undoubtedly larger than it would have been had they deployed as skirmishers instead of marching through in close line of battle, as they presented in this way a splendid target for the enemy, with very little chance of missing some of them. Within five minutes after entering the woods they encountered the advance pickets of the enemy, who fired and fell back upon the reserves, who in turn fired and fell back until they had received reinforcements of a full brigade.

The regiment steadily advanced, with unbroken lines, meeting and driving back this brigade of the enemy, and also receiving the fire of a battery, until they had gone at least a mile, when they came in sight of the main body of the enemy and accomplished what it was intended for them to do — viz: ascertain the exact location and force of the rebels.

This being accomplished, they returned in good order to camp, bringing with them three prisoners.

While this was being performed by the regiment one of our batteries was pouring into the woods on the left of them a perfect shower of grape and canister, which, according to the story of a captured prisoner, did terrible execution, killing and wounding about six hundred of this brigade, who were in exact range of our guns.

The Sixteenth went near enough to their battery to have captured it had their force been a little larger.

A private by the name of Alonzo Sibley, of Company C, became separated from the regiment, and secreted himself in a thick clump of bushes, remaining there all night and till ten o’clock next day, within forty yards of the rebel battery. His account of his night’s experience is very amusing. The mosquitoes troubled him so much that he could get no peace, and, to add to his discomforts, he found himself in very close proximity to a large rattlesnake, which kept up an incessant rattle. He concluded, however, that he preferred to take his chances with the rattlesnake and mosquitoes rather than with the rebels. He says that about midnight the battery left at double quick, supposing our troops to be advancing. He could distinctly hear the officers urging the men to hurry, as the damned Yankees were right upon them.

He remained there concealed till ten o’clock the next day, when, beginning to feel hungry, he concluded to try and make his escape, although he was uncertain whether the men at the battery had retired or not. Thinking he would be safer without his gun, he stopped boldly out and hallooed in the direction of the battery, inquiring where his regiment was, but, receiving no reply concluded they had left and that he would try and get through the picket lines, which he finally succeeded in doing, after being twice shot at, one of the balls passing through his coat.

Gen Grover sent for him upon his return […..].

The Sixteenth is undoubtedly destined to be one of the star regiments of this army, and to add still more to the glory of old Massachusetts. The bodies of the killed have been handsomely buried by the regiment, in the rear of their camp. The funeral services were performed by the chaplain, Rev. A. B. Fuller, in the most touching and appropriate manner, General Grover being present.

How soon the decisive battle for the possession of Richmond is to take place it is of course impossible to tell. The rebels are evidently a good deal uneasy at General McClellan’s movements in front of them.

There is one thing certain; if they attack us again they will not get off as easily as they did before.

Although correspondents are not allowed to tell what we are doing preparatory to the final struggle, I presume it will not be considered contraband to say that our forces are hard at work preparing for the great event, and a battle is liable to take place at any moment.

Our position is now all that could be desired, and our success, I think, sure. The troops are improving in health and are in fine spirits.

General McClellan has the unbounded confidence of the whole army, and they will fight under him to the death.

As the facts in relation to the battle of Fair Oaks become known, it is conceded by all that the division under General Casey fought much better than they had the credit of doing, and that they held their position against a force at least six times greater than their own for more than an hour, and only retreated when they were completely surrounded by the enemy, and being cut to pieces by a murderous flank fire. Gen. McClellan, with his accustomed sense of right and justice, has already modified his first despatch sent to the War Department, and will, undoubtedly, do full justice to all in his official report of the battle. The following is a correct list of the killed, wounded and missing of the Sixteenth Massachusetts regiment in their skirmish with the enemy on the afternoon of Wednesday, the 18th of June, in front of Richmond: —



J. Sparkman, Co. B.
Asa W. Brooks, Co. C.
Thos. Wilson, Co. C.
Thos. Weldon, Co. D.
John Barrry, Co. D.
John McMahon, Co. D.
Fred. S. Richards, Co. E.
First Lieut. Chas O’Hara, Co. G.
Chas. Jones, Co. G.
Robt. Wilson, Co. G.

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Important from Charleston. — Bloody Engagement at Secessionville, on James Island. — Rebel Newspaper Accounts. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:00:48 +0000 June 24, 1862, The New York Herald


(From the Charleston Courier, June 16.)

The enemy have erected a battery of three rifled Parrott guns near Rivers’ plantation, and about eight hundred yards from Col. Lamar’s battery at Secessionville. While the battery was in course of erection the men were hidden from view and protected by a large clump of woods in front. On Saturday they suddenly cleared the wood off from the battery and opened fire. Several shots were fired at Col. Lamar’s battery, and several at gunboat No 2, having on board Mathews’ artillery. Our battery and the gunboat replied with telling effect. Col. Lamar made some excellent shooting.

We have learned of but one casualty. Private Jno. H. Andrews, of the Charleston Light Infantry, Captain Thomas Y. Simons’ company, was instantly killed in his tent, about six o’clock Saturday afternoon. While reclining in the tent, and reading, a shell ricochetted [….] entered, exploded, tearing the tent to pieces, and a large fragment struck young Andrews on the right side of the head. His body was brought to the city Sunday morning, in charge of a comrade, on board the steamer Gen. Clinch, and delivered over to his relatives. He was a young man and had just reached his maturity, being twenty-one years of age only a few days previous to his death.

Both parties were again engaged in shelling Sunday afternoon, but with what result we were unable to ascertain. It is reported that two men were slightly wounded. There was no infantry fighting.

(From The Charleston Mercury, June 17.)

A little before noon yesterday our city was thrown into a state of feverish excitement by the vague tidings that there had been bloody work at Secessionville, on James Island. From the first the news was of an encouraging character, inasmuch as we were assured that more [….] handful of our brave troops had repulsed a heavy column of the enemy thrown forward to assault the battery at Secessionville, manned by a portion of Colonel Lamar’s regiment of artillery, South Carolina Volunteers. From the various accounts which we have received, we have collated the following facts in relation to the battle:—


About dawn yesterday morning our pickets in front of Lamar’s battery were driven in, and almost simultaneously the enemy’s column was seen some four hundred yards off, advancing with the bayonet, at double quick, to the assault. Our troops within the battery had been hard at work the evening before in throwing up another battery, and were almost worn out with fatigue. The first round that was fired at the Yankees was by Colonel T. G. Lamar himself. His men hastened with alacrity to their pieces, and were soon pouring grape and canister against the rapidly approaching enemy. At each discharge great gaps were visible in the Yankees ranks, but still they came on without firing a single volley. It was afterwards ascertained that their muskets were empty, and that they had actually hoped to carry the battery with the bayonet alone. But the rapid and fearful cannonade and fusillade kept up against them was too severe for their nerves, and when close to our intrenchments they wavered, reeled and finally fled in disorder.


But a very short time elapsed before the enemy’s column, reinforced by infantry and artillery, reformed, and again came forward. This time they did not disdain the use of cartridges, but poured heavy volleys against our battery as they advanced. But again the terrible discharges of grape and canister mowed down the approaching line; and, notwithstanding the remonstrances of their officers, again the Yankees broke and retreated pellmell from the field. A third time the enemy formed its line and advanced in a last desperate effort to gain the battery, but again in vain. The assailants had reached the ditch, and some of them succeeded in mounting the embankment, but they paid for their rashness with their lives; and their comrades behind, taking warning from their fate, fled once more — this time not to be rallied to direct charge. Our men all bear witness to the obstinate bravery of the enemy on this occasion.

Between the charges which proved so disastrous to the Yankees, a galling fire was kept up against our battery from three gunboats in the creek, about 1,700 yards east of our position. A cross fire was also steadily maintained against us from the land batteries which the enemy had erected — one on the edge of the wood in which the fight with the Forty-seventh Georgia regiment occurred last week, and another between that point and the position occupied by the gunboats. Sherman’s famous field battery also took part in the engagement, being divided into two sections, which played upon different parts of our works.


It had now become evident to the enemy that the men who held our battery had no idea of yielding it, and the plan of attack from the front was given up.

Flanking bodies were thrown forward to assault our works from the direction of the marshes which skirted our battery on either side. On the east side of the battery the movement was speedily frustrated, and the few bold men who ventured close enough to pour their fire into the post soon fell. No less than seventeen were killed outside the ditch, and one who had mounted the parapet fell on the top, pierced by eight balls. FLANK ATTACK ON THE NEW YORK SEVENTY-NINTH (HIGHLANDERS.)

On the west side of the battery the attack was more serious. The famous New York Seventy-ninth regiment took up a position so as to enfilade our guns, and kept up a constant and effective fire of musketry to drive off our gunners. They were met by the Charleston battalion and the Eutaw regiment. For a time, the fight was desperate, but the Louisiana battalion, under Lieutenant Colonel McHenry, came up at the critical moment in gallant style and the repulse of the Highlanders was no longer doubtful. The enemy was, for the last time, forced back with great slaughter, and the day was won.


The list of casualties is given by the Mercury. Among them is the name of Colonel Lamar, of the battery, who was wounded, but continued to fight with his guns. Capt. Samuel J. Reed, Lieut. Humbert, Lieut. J. J. Edwards and Lieut. R. W. Greer are among the officers killed, and Capt. H. C. King was mortally wounded.


Our total loss, as nearly as we can ascertain, was about forty killed and one hundred wounded. The enemy’s was far heavier. We buried yesterday one hundred and forty dead Yankees left upon the field. We say Yankees, using the designation as one common to the whole army of invaders, but in truth, the men who did the fighting against us yesterday were nearly all Europeans, and in the lineaments of the dead the Scottish type was markedly predominant. We captured seventy prisoners. As for the number of the enemy wounded no correct estimate can be made. Glad to get rid of the unwelcome task of caring for maimed vandals, our men suffered the enemy ambulances to approach within point blank range of their guns, and to carry off the wounded, who must have numbered three hundred at least.

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The Way to Peace. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:00:43 +0000 June 24, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

We have no idea that the South will now be recognized as a Confederacy of Independent States so long as the United States continues to conquer, or until we manifest, by signal and material victories, some ability to achieve and maintain the position we claim. Moral victories, followed by retreats, however brilliant; temporary checks ending in the abandonment of important cities and great railroads and magnificent States, however they be necessities, will never establish our cause, or bring us power and peace. There is no royal road to learning. There is no path to security for the Confederate States, but one of bloody victory over bloodthirsty foe. The task before us is one where doubt cannot interpose, timidity cannot shrink, humanity cannot soften. Failure is destruction. We must [….] our way through with a bloody axe. All that, as a people, we are and have and hope in this life, is at stake; and the shortest, cheapest, easiest mode of self-preservation is to fight with desperation. We cannot submit to a despotism of the Northern mob, with personal degradation and pecuniary ruin. We cannot submit to amalgamation with the negro. This is no ordinary war. It is a war for existence. Temporising, casting about, waiting for exterior assistance, postponing the struggle for more favorable circumstances and events, have served but to weaken our cause. We have already permitted our enemy to drill his unmilitary people and to prepare his weapons on a great scale. We have, by his partial successes thus achieved, shaken the opinions of the civilized world in our capacity. The folly of our past management is palpable and beyond prevention. There is, however, a remedy for our present case, and but one — to wage this war with inflexible vigor and unpitying firmness — to meet the foe in more than the spirit in which it is ruthlessly brought to our homes — to inflict retribution for our deep, immedicable wrongs — to bring the enemy to his senses by punishment. The sense of justice and humanity can be inspired by the stern lessons of the sword and bayonet. This is the instruction which alone will inform those with whom we have to deal. It is surely a dear and dreadful business, but we cannot avoid it; and the sooner and faster we teach it, the less costly, the more effective.

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Running the Blockade — Arrival of a Splendid Steamship. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:00:39 +0000 June 24, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

The British steamship Memphis, Captain CRUIKSHANK, from Liverpool, via Nassau, N.P., arrived here yesterday. She has on board a most valuable cargo of British goods, being precisely such as we most sorely need at the present juncture. The Memphis had the misfortune, while coming into port on Monday, to get ashore on the beach of Sullivan’s Island, where she remained several hours, but was finally towed off by the steamers Marion and Etiwan. When she first got aground she was approached by one of the blockaders, which fired a number of shells, most of which struck on Sullivan’s Island, but none of them hit the ship. The Yankee gunboat was finally driven off by a rifled gun on Fort Beauregard, which discharged but one shot at her, when she retired. The Memphis is a new iron ship, on her first voyage, and was built at Dumbarton, on the Clyde, is a most sightly vessel, of good speed, about 800 tons register, but is capable of carrying the cargo of many a vessel of 1200 tons. She made the passage from Liverpool to Nassau in 16 1/2 days, and was boarded off Abaco by the Yankee steamer Quaker City. Left at Nassau, on the 19th inst., the steamships Hero, Herald, Nashville (now Thos. L. Wragg), Lloyds, Kate and others. The Cecile had left Nassau some days previous to the 19th inst. for an unknown port. The Yankee cruisers keep up quite a sharp blockade off Nassau, and board nearly all vessels bound in or going out. The Hon. Mr. WARD, late Minister to China, and Major BATEMAN, came passengers in the Memphis.

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News from the Peninsula. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:00:27 +0000 June 24, 1862, The New York Herald

Our Special Army Correspondence.

The camp is unusually quiet today. Usually, however, there is more or less firing along some part of the lines, so that quietness and silence are more noticeable here than skirmishing. The hoarse voice of artillery continually alternates with the clatter of musketry, while every now and then a wounded or dead man is brought in from the front. The evening of the 18th inst, there was quite a brisk skirmish in the division to the left of this one, and the boys with the flags were ready, with the rest, to in […..] if the enemy gave them a chance. The rebel skirmishers retired, however, without bringing on a general battle. They got decidedly the worst of the skirmish.

Many are the rumors now current in the camp in reference to the plans of the rebels. It is the impression of some that they will […..] Richmond without a fight if McClellan be sufficiently reinforced in time. Some strange manoeuvres have taken place in the enemy’s camp here recently, and it is universally believed that the new positions taken up by our artillery have rendered the enemy’s batteries in many cases untenable. A strange piece of information came in here yesterday. One of our men, who had been lying in front of a rebel battery the night previous so close that he could distinctly hear the conversation of those within, reported that both it and the next fort to it were evacuated the night before by the enemy. He heard the officers giving the orders to evacuate. Our man got there by missing his way in the excitement of the skirmish, in which he participated the evening previous.

General McClellan and his staff rode through this camp on Wednesday evening last, and he was received with tremendous cheers by every regiment in the division. The enthusiasm was real and unmistakable. He was accompanied by his entire staff, and rode to the front while the skirmishing was progressing.

The enemy dare not attack any part of our line. Like an old woman scolding, they prefer to stand off and keep up a musketry or artillery battle.

The noise of artillery has commenced, and I hasten forward to discover what it means.

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Hot Work at Charleston — The Great Campaign in Virginia — Rebel Views of Rebel Blunders in the West. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:00:18 +0000 June 24, 1862, The New York Herald

From the brief account which we publish this morning from rebel sources of the sanguinary battle on Monday last on James Island, within four miles of Charleston, we have every reason to believe that it resulted in a substantial Union victory, and that the apprehensions of The Charleston Mercury in reference to the rebel army on the island and the safety of the city were well founded.

With the island in our possession, our land forces can be advanced within easy shelling distance of the city across the Ashley river, and five or six miles above Sumter, Moultrie and their supporting forts and batteries. Our gunboats and land forces, in working their way through the obstructions in the channel and the shore batteries of the Stono Inlet, have turned all those solid formidable fortifications of the broad seaway to Charleston, just as a fleet of hostile gunboats would turn our heavy forts at the Narrows by going around Staten Island. We expect, therefore, soon to hear of the capitulation of Charleston, and in season to cut off the retreat of the rebel army from Richmond in that direction, should it escape from the beleaguering army of Gen. McClellan. Whatever may be the main object of the government in this active movement against Charleston, simultaneously with the advance upon Richmond, its effect will be to cut off the retreat of Jeff. Davis and his followers by the seaboard, and to push them into the interior and among the elevated regions of North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, where our Northern troops may prosecute the active work of a summer campaign without the slightest fear of the pestilential summer exhalations of our Southern seacoast section. In this view the importance of the timely capture of Charleston can hardly be overestimated.

On the other hand, so transcendantly important do we regard the decisive investment of Richmond, that we believe a complete success to our army in that quarter will put an end to this war —

from the centre all round to the sea — and that with the fall of Richmond, Charleston, if not sooner taken, and Savannah and Mobile, and every other remaining place of any consequence, menaced by our land or naval forces, will come by default into our possession. This supreme importance of Richmond is in every way confessed by the rebels themselves. They are weakening their extremities on every side to strengthen this great vital central point. Beauregard, for instance, may have been called to Richmond to explain his evacuation of Corinth; but that he has been also summoned there, with some portions of his Corinth army, to assist in the defence of the rebel capital, we have no doubt. Excepting Vicksburg, the rebels appear to have abandoned or surrendered the defence of the Mississippi valley for the desperate enterprise of maintaining their foothold in Virginia. Strange rumors to this end are afloat — such as this: that another reinforcement of Jackson is going on, sufficient to enable him to sweep out again all obstructions from the Shenandoah valley, and to cross the Potomac this time, and descend, like an avalanche, upon Washington, through Maryland.

We must stay, however, that since the late repulse of General Banks, and the stirring events which have followed his return to Winchester, we cannot apprehend for a moment that the War Department will again be caught napping in reference to the Shenandoah valley. We have men enough to supply any requisition in that quarter, and men enough, at the same time, to meet all the demands of General McClellan; and we dare say that the War Office is so industriously reinforcing our army in front of Richmond and in the rear of Washington as to leave no ground for apprehending another disaster in our front or rear to the end of this grand Virginia campaign.

Meantime it appears that the Macon (Ga.) Beacon had discovered that Jeff. Davis and his Congress have made some terrible blunders in the Northwest — that they have lost the Mississippi river by shutting it up against the Northwest, when they should have declared it a free sea, according to the idea of Mr. Calhoun; that the rebellious South, in adopting this idea and absolute free trade, would have secured the support of our Northwestern States against the new England Yankees their high protective tariffs and their abolition abominations; and that it is only by adopting these principles of a free Mississippi, free trade, &c. that the South can ever secure her independence.

It cannot be denied that there is something like philosophy in these views; and in the remarkable difference which this Georgia editor points out between the conservative ideas of the people of the Northwest and the violent abolition excesses of our New England States on the slavery question the intelligent reader can appreciate the wisdom and patriotism which have dictated the conservative policy of President Lincoln. A Northwestern man himself, he understands fully the popular sentiment of that section, and no other policy but that which he has pursued would have given us our splendid victories in the Mississippi valley. The same conservative policy had advanced our armed forces to Charleston and Richmond; and it is only by policy, after crushing the armies of this rebellion, that we can restore integrity of the Union.

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The Battle of the Seven Pines — Gen. Johnston’s Official Report. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:00:15 +0000 July 25, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

RICHMOND, June 24, 1862.

Gen. S. Cooper, Adjand InspGen:

SIR — Before the 30th May, I had ascertained from trusty scouts, that Keyes’ corps was encamped on this side of the Chickahominy, near the Williamsburg road. On that day Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill reported a strong body immediately in his front. On receiving this report, I determined to attack them next morning — hoping to be able to defeat Keye’s corps completely in its more advanced position before it would be reinforced. — Written orders were despatched to major general Hill, Huger, and G. W. Smith. General Longstreet, being near my headquarters, received verbal instructions. The receipt of the orders was acknowledged. General Hill, supported by the division of General Longstreet (who had the direction of operations on the right), was to advance by the Williamsburg road to attack the enemy in front; General Huger, with his division, was to move down the Charles City road, in order to attack in flank the troops who might be engaged with Hill and Longstreet, unless he found in his front force enough to occupy his division, General Smith was to march to the junction of the New Bridge road and the Nine Mile road, to be in readiness either to fall on Keyes’ right flank or to cover Longstreet’s left. They were to move at daybreak. Heavy and protracted rains during the afternoon and night, by swelling the stream of the Chickahominy, increased the probability of our having to deal with no other troops than those of Keyes. The same cause prevented the prompt and punctual movement of the troops. — Those of Smith, Hill, and Longstreet were in position early enough, however, to commence operations by 8 o’clock, a.m.

Major General Longstreet, unwilling to make a partial attack, instead of the combined movement which had been planned, waited from hour to hour for Gen. Huger’s division. At length, at 2 o’clock, p.m. he determined to attack without those troops. He accordingly commenced his advance at that hour, opening the engagement with artillery and skirmishers. By 3 o’clock it became close and heavy.

In the meantime, I have placed myself on the left of the force employed in this attack, with the division of Gen. Smith, that I might be on a part of the field where I could observe, and be ready to meet, any counter movements which the enemy’s General might make against our centre or left. Owing to some peculiar condition of the atmosphere, the sound of the musketry did not reach us. I, consequently, deferred giving the signal for Gen. Smith’s advance till about 4 o’clock, at which time Major Jasper Whiting, of Gen. Smith’s staff, whom I had sent to learn the state of affairs with Gen. Longstreet column, returned, reporting that it was pressing on with vigor. Smith’s troops were at once moved forward.

The principal attack was made by Major General Longstreet, with his own and Major General D. H. Hill’s division — the latter mostly in advance. Hill’s brave troops, admirably commanded and most gallantly led, forced their way through the abattis which formed the enemy’s external defences, and stormed their entrenchments by a determined and irresistible rush. Such was the manner in which the enemy’s first line was carried. The operation was repeated with the same gallantry and success as our troops pursued their victorious career through the enemy’s successive camps and entrenchments. At each new position they encountered fresh troops belonging to it, and reinforcements brought on from the rear. Thus they had to repel repeated efforts to retake works which they had carried, but their advance was never successfully resisted.

Their onward movement was only stayed by the coming of night. By nightfall they had forced their way to the ‘Seven Pines,’ having driven the enemy back more than two miles, through their own camps, and from a series of entrenchments; and repelled every attempt to recapture them with great slaughter. The skill, vigor, and decision with which these operations were conducted by Gen. Longstreet are worthy of the highest praise. He was worthily seconded by Major General Hill, of whose conduct and courage he speaks in the highest terms.

Major General Smith’s division moved forward at four o’clock — Whiting’s three brigades leading. Their progress was impeded by the enemy’s skirmishers, which, with their supports, were driven back to the railroad. At this point, Whiting’s own, and Pettigrew’s brigade, engaged a superior force of the enemy. Hood, by my order, moved on to cooperate with Longstreet. General Smith was desired to hasten up with all the troops within reach. He brought up Hampton’s and Hatton’s brigades in a few minutes.

The strength of the enemy’s position, however, enabled him to hold it until dark.

About sunset, being struck from my horse, severely wounded by a fragment of a shell, I was carried from the field, and Major General G. W. Smith succeeded to the command.

He was prevented from resuming his attack on the enemy position next morning by the discovery of strong entrenchments, not seen on the previous evening. His division bivouacked, on the night of the 31st, within musket shot of the entrenchments which they were attacking, when darkness stayed the conflict. The skill, energy, and resolution with which Maj. Gen. Smith directed the attack, would have secured success if it could have been made an hour earlier.

The troops of Longstreet and Hill passed the night of the 31st on the ground which they had won. The enemy were strongly reinforced from the north side of the Chickahominy on the evening and night of the 31st. The troops engaged by Gen. Smith were undoubtedly from the other side of the river.

On the morning of the 1st of June, the enemy attacked the brigade of Gen. Pickett, which was supported by that of Gen. Pryor. The attack was vigorously repelled by these two brigades, the brunt of the action falling on Gen. Pickett. This was the last demonstration made by the enemy.

Our troops employed the residue of the day in securing and bearing off the captured artillery, small arms, and other property; and in the evening quietly returned to their own camps.

We took ten pieces of artillery, six thousand (6,000) muskets, one garrison flag, and four regimental colors, besides a large quantity of tents and camp equipage.

Major General Longstreet reports the loss in his

command as being about ……………………3,000

Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith reports his loss at …..1,283

Total …………………………………. 4,283

That of the enemy is stated in their own newspapers to have exceeded ten thousand — an estimate which is, no doubt, short of the truth.

Had Major General Huger’s division been in position and ready for action, when those of Smith, Longstreet and Hill moved, I am satisfied that Keyes’ corps would have been destroyed, instead of being merely defeated. Had it gone into action even at 4 o’clock, the victory would have been much more complete.

Major Generals Smith and Longstreet speak in high terms of the conduct of their superior and staff officers.

I beg leave to ask the attention of the Government especially to the manner in which Brigadier Gens. Whiting and R. H. Anderson, and Cols. Jenkins and Kemper and Hampton, exercising commands above their grades, and Brig. General Rhodes, are mentioned.

This, and the captured colors, will be delivered by Major A. H. Cole, of my staff.

I have been prevented, by feebleness, from making this report sooner, and am still too weak to make any but a very imperfect one.

Several hundred prisoners were taken, but I have received no report of the number. Your obedient servant,

(Signed) J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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The Situation. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:00:08 +0000 June 24, 1862, The New York Herald

From despatches received at the War Department yesterday afternoon from General McClellan’s headquarters, nothing of importance occurred in the army of the Potomac yesterday. General Halleck sends the same information from his command on the Mississippi. Our correspondence from the army in front of Richmond, however, is worthy of close attention. Our pickets returning to camp represent that indications of some important movement of the rebels in Richmond were observed. The heavy rumbling of trains and wagons were heard late at night, and the sound of martial music receding from the city. The impression seemed to be that an evacuation was taking place, but it is just as likely that reinforcements were arriving.

We have information from our correspondents on the Chickahominy that the desertions from the rebel army amount to a regiment a week. The principal desertions are from the Louisiana and North Carolina troops, whose States are restored to the protection of the United States government; and the temptation to return to their homes, where they hope to escape from the tyranny of rebeldom, and enjoy once more peace and comfort, is no doubt the motive which impels them to abandon the ranks of the rebel army.

From rebel sources exclusively — that is to say, the papers of Richmond and Charleston — we have accounts of a terrible battle fought near Charleston, on James Island, within four miles of that city, on Monday last, in which a body of Union troops and some gunboats were engaged. Judging from the statements of these journals, which we publish in another column, we think that there can be little doubt that the battle at James Island was a great Union victory, which will result in the capture of Charleston before long. It is true that The Charleston Mercury, in recounting the story of this battle, represents it as an utter defeat of the Union troops; but we need hardly remind our readers that such account hardly tallies with the lachrymose articles from the same paper relative to the […..] of trial, which we give today, nor with its avowed determination in view of the final fall of the city of Charleston, which it predicts, to remove its printing apparatus to Columbia, South Carolina.

Our news from the South is interesting. The city authorities of Memphis have been compelled to take the oath of allegiance. General Mansfield Lovell has retired with his staff to Meridian. Information comes from Mississippi that the negroes in Oktibbeha county were arming themselves, and were about to make an attack on the white population.

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Enemy Activity Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:00:05 +0000 June 24, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

THE ACTIVITY OF THE ENEMY seems to have been suddenly transferred from the neighborhood of Savannah to that of Charleston. Lieut. T.F. HOOPER, of Company B, 29th Georgia, with a detachment of twelve men, visited Wilmington Island, below Savannah, on Friday, and, after a diligent search, was unable to find a Yankee on the island. There are indications of Yankee troops having recently been there, but it is the opinion of Lieut. H. that they have entirely abandoned the island. Many head of fine fat cattle and hogs were seen running at large.

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A Visit to Calliwassee Island. Sat, 24 Jun 2017 06:00:01 +0000 June 24, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

We have, from a trustworthy source, the following narrative of a recent excursion to this locality — formerly the estate of General JAMES HAMILTON, now owned by C.B. KIRK, Esq. It seems that at the time of the Yankee invasion last November, Mr. KIRK hurried to the Island and destroyed all his cotton, intending to return and save such other property as might be of value. Constant service in the field prevented this, and it was left to Capt. John Mickler, of the Hamilton Guards, 11th Regiment S.C.V., to exhibit an instance of […..] which reflects great credit on himself and the thirty comrades who shared with the him the dangers of the bold enterprise.

Some ten days ago Capt. Mickler determined to explore the Island for Yankees and other contrabands. With Gen. Drayton authority, he arranged his expedition and effected a landing unobserved. A glance at the map will show Calliwassee Island, between the Colleton and Chechessee rivers, a few miles east of Hardeeville, and within hearing of the Yankees’ reveille and tattoo. After secreting the boats, Capt. Mickler threw out his skirmishers, and began reconnoitering, hoping to catch some of the Yankees, who were in the habit of visiting the place for supplies of cattle and corn. In this, however, he was not successful, and he at once turned his attention to the next best thing to be done, i.e., the saving of the grain and the cattle. He found in the barn about 500 bushels corn, and in order to render its transportation more convenient, put his men to shelling and bagging it. His next move was to drive up all the cattle (some 81 head, in splendid condition,) from the rich pastures which the island afforded. The corn was deposited in the boats, and, not having accommodation for so many our four-footed passengers, he drove the cattle before him into the river, and, after great labor in keeping his boats between them and the shore, finally succeeded in making them work their way to Hasel’s Point, on the Okatee river, where the whole party disembarked, after an absence of nearly two days, having conducted their hazardous expedition to a most successful conclusion.

The corn and three mules soon found their way to the Quartermaster, and 81 beeves were purchased by the Commissary at a good round price.

We record these incidents with pleasure, for we are sure that, if opportunity is afforded to our young men from the seashore, whose lives have been spent near the creeks and sounds which skirt our shore, and with every point of which they are familiar, the Yankees will soon find their sojourn in this portion of Sunny South as perilous and unpleasant as it ought to be.

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Rebel War Clerk Sat, 24 Jun 2017 00:12:00 +0000 JUNE 23D.—And Gen. Johnston, I learn, has had his day. And Magruder is on “sick leave.” He is too open in his censures of the late Secretary of War. But Gen. Huger comes off scot-free; he has always had the confidence of Mr. Benjamin, and used to send the flag of truce to Fortress Monroe as often as could be desired.

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Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:00:00 +0000 Monday, 23d—Nothing of importance. I went out to the branch a mile from camp to do my washing. Burtis Rumsey of our company has been sick for about two weeks and he begged me to take two of his shirts along and wash them for him, so I did. I used a small camp kettle which the company cook has set aside for boiling clothes. Some of the boys in the company hire colored women to wash their clothes. I prefer to do my own washing.

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War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:30:00 +0000 23rd. Monday. According to orders started for Neosho at 6 A. M. Up early and flew around to get chores done. Our road lay mostly through the woods. After 8 miles ride, mail came. A letter from good Fannie. Met Co. “A” and “D” from Sherwood, three miles north of Neosho. Met some Kansas Sixth who had fallen in with a band of 400 rebels on the road to Granby. Council of War—Burnett wanting to go on with 200 men—Ratcliff not thinking it best. Bivouacked for the night in open air.

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Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:11:00 +0000 Written from the Sea islands of South Carolina.

[Diary] June 23, Monday.

General Hunter drove us out to the camp of the black regiment, which he reviewed. After our return I saw Mr. McKim and Lucy off, the steamer being crowded with the wounded and sick from the battle of Edisto. Then Mr. French advised my returning to General Hunter’s. Mrs. H. had asked me to stay all night, but I had declined. Now, however, it was too late to go back to Beaufort in the little steamer and there was no other chance but a sail-boat, so after waiting and hesitating a long time, I consented to the intrusion, and Mr. French escorted me back again, explaining to General and Mrs. Hunter my predicament. They were cordial in their invitation, and I had a long talk with them about plantation matters, sitting on their piazza, the sentry marching to and fro and members of the staff occasionally favoring us with their company.

The regiment is General Hunter’s great pride. They looked splendidly, and the great mass of blackness, animated with a soul and armed so keenly, was very impressive. They did credit to their commander.

As we drove into the camp I pointed out a heap of rotting cotton-seed. “That will cause sickness,” I said. “I ordered it removed,” he said, very quickly, “and why hasn’t it been done?” He spoke to the surgeon about it as soon as we reached Drayton’s house, which is just beside the camp. The men seemed to welcome General Hunter and to be fond of him. The camp was in beautiful order.

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Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:11:00 +0000 (This month was the one in which commenced the retreat, or “change of base,”) from before Richmond. The constant call on my time, from the last date to the 25th, prevented my keeping a full journal of events, and I therefore state, generally, that after having been compelled, for three weeks, to witness an amount of unnecessary suffering, which I cannot now contemplate without a shudder, I at last succeeded, by the efficient and cordial aid of my Assistant Surgeons, Dickinson, Tuttle, Freeman and Brett, (the last two named coming in at a late date) and by my ” insufferably insolent demands” on my superior officers, in getting the hospital well supplied with provisions, stores, bedding, &c. The Assistant Surgeons named above, have my acknowledgements and my grateful thanks for their ever willing and well-timed support of me in my efforts to relieve the sufferings of brave men under our care. I wish, too, to make my acknowledgement to Medical Director Brown, for his courteous and cordial support of my efforts. Nor can I pass here without bearing testimony to the ever-ready and humane efforts of the Sanitary Commission to aid, by every means in its power, in the proper distribution of comforts for the sick and wounded. On arriving at Washington, shortly after entering the service of the United States, I became much prejudiced by statements made to me against this organization, but it required but a short time to satisfy me that my prejudices were groundless. I have uniformly found the members both courteous and humane, and am satisfied that the privations of the soldiers would have been incomparably greater but for the aid received through them. From this Commission we received, about the 15th June, amongst other things, a generous supply of bed sacks. These, by the aid of the convalescents in hospital, were filled with the fine boughs of the cedar, pine and other evergreens, which made very comfortable beds, and in a few days after this every man was comfortably bedded and between clean, white sheets.[1] About the time of this change in the condition of the hospital, patients unable to be moved to the rear began to be sent in here from other hospitals. The removing of convalescents to the rear, and the breaking up numbers of hospitals and massing their very sick in one general field hospital, always indicates some active army operations. ‘Twas so in this case. But the condition of the patients sent in was shocking in the extreme, and a disgrace to the officers by whom such things are permitted. Poor fellows, wounded in battle, had been neglected till their wounded limbs or bodies had become a living mass of maggots. Legs were dropping off from rottenness, and yet these poor men were alive. Yet if the Surgeons had have protested against these things, perhaps they would have been threatened, as I was, with dismissal, and have been told that it was ” bad enough that this should be, without having it told to discourage the army.” There is no necessity for it, and the Surgeon who will submit to being made the instrument of such imposition on the soldiers, without a protest, deserves dismissal and dishonor. I must be permitted to insert here my most solemn protest against the action of any Governor, in promoting, at the request of (7×9) party politicians, (and in defiance of the remonstrance of those acquainted with the facts,) officers, and particularly surgeons, whose only notoriety consists in their ability to stand up under the greatest amount of whisky; and also against their re-appointing surgeons under the same influence who, after examination, have been mustered out of the service for incompetency. Under such appointments humanity is shocked, and a true and zealous army of patriots dwindle rapidly into a mass of mal-contents.

[1] A little incident here. Amongst the loads of hospital supplies furnished by the U. S. Sanitary Commission, were many articles of clothing and bedding marked with the names of the persons by whom they were donated. After the new beds were all made and severally assigned to those who were to occupy them, I was supporting a poor, feeble Pennsylvanian to his bed. As he was in the act of getting in he started back with a shriek and a shudder, accompanied by convulsive sobs so heart-rending that there was scarcely a dry eye in the ward. He stood fixed, staring and pointing at the bed, as if some monster was there concealed. As soon as he became sufficiently calm to speak, I asked what was the matter? With a half-maniacal screech he exclaimed—his finger still pointing—” My mother!” Her name was marked upon the sheet. Three days after the poor fellow died with that name firmly grasped in his hand. The sheet was rolled around him, the name still grasped, and this loved testimonial of the mother’s affection was committed with him to his last resting place. This circumstance was published at the time, in a letter from myself and I have seen it also stated in several papers, extracted from letters written to friends by soldiers in the hospital.

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Woolsey Family during the War. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:43:00 +0000 Eliza Woolsey Howland’s Journal.

Wilson Small, June 23.

A very anxious day. An orderly from Brigade Headquarters brought word from Captain Hopkins that Joe was ill and unable to write. I at once put up a basket of stores for him—bedsack, pillows, sheets, arrowroot, etc., etc., to go by the orderly, and Charley telegraphed Generals Slocum and Franklin to know the truth, while Mr. Olmsted arranged with Captain Sawtelle for a pass to take me to the front to-morrow morning. My mind was relieved, however, by the telegraphic answers and better accounts, and I have given up the idea of going out.

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Robert M. Magill—Personal Reminiscences of a Confederate Soldier Boy. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:52:00 +0000 Saturday, 23d.—Feel some better this morning. Brother J. H. Magill came up from Mouse Creek to see me to-day. In afternoon, regiment passed through Knoxville, and Brother Tom is sent to this hospital, sick. J. H. got him in the same room with me. Got two letters to-day; one from Cousin Fannie Lowry, the other from 3, 3, 1.

(Note: picture is of an unidentified Confederate soldier.)

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Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier by Louis Léon Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:10:00 +0000 June 23—Moved our camp two miles up the road toward Richmond. It is a very bad camp—low ground and muddy. But there is a factory here, and plenty of girls to make up for the damp ground.

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“I was awakened by the tent blowing down on top of me…,” .–Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:30:29 +0000 June 23d. Hot during the day, nothing important to note. In the course of the night it rained and blew terrifically. I was awakened by the tent blowing down on top of me and was obliged to crawl out and run to the guard house for assistance. Puffy, the quartermaster, who tents with me crawled out too, on the other side, swearing like a Dutch trooper. After a considerable struggle we succeeded in getting it up again and making the pegs hold; the difficulty is the ground is all sand and when it rains hard the pegs will not hold, and, consequently, the tent must come down. We got a famous bath by the operation.

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A Diary of American Events. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:00:00 +0000  


June 23.—The London Times, of this date, said that whatever might be the result of the civil war in America, it was plain that it had reached a point at which it was a scandal to humanity. It had become a war of extermination. Utter destruction might be possible, or even imminent, but submission was as far off as ever. Persons who listened to the excited railers on either side might think that there was no alternative but to let a flood of blood pass over the land; but, at that calm distance, it might perhaps be wisely calculated that such voices did not represent the mind of the American people. Both parties ought by this time to be tired of the strife. There had been blood enough shed, fortunes enough made, losses enough suffered, and wrongs enough inflicted and endured. The opportunity ought to be either present or at hand when some potent American voice, prudently calling, “Peace,” might awaken an universal echo.

—Martial law was proclaimed in the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va., by order of Brig. General E. L. Viele, Military Governor.

— Brigadier- General Schofield, Military Commandant District of Missouri, this day issued a General Order from his headquarters, St Louis, warning the rebels and rebel sympathizers in Missouri that he would hold them responsible in their property and persons for any damages that might thereafter be committed by the lawless bands of armed men which they had brought into existence, subsisted, encouraged, and sustained up to that time.

—The Third battalion, Fifth Pennsylvania cavalry. Col. Campbell, stationed at Gloucester Point, made a reconnoissance under the command of Major Wilson, into the counties of Gloucester and Mathews, Va., for the purpose of capturing a body of rebel cavalry, who were overrunning those counties, arresting deserters, and impressing others into their service who were unwilling to volunteer.

On arriving at Mathews’s Court-House, Major Wilson found he was a day too late. The rebel cavalry had been there, and arrested twenty-four men as being deserters from their army.

Samuel Wylie Crawford (Wikipedia) was the surgeon on duty at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, during the Confederate bombardment in 1861, which represented the start of the Civil War. Despite his purely medical background, he was in command of several of the artillery pieces returning fire from the fort.

A month after Fort Sumter, Crawford decided on a fundamental career change and accepted a commission as a major in the 13th U.S. Infantry. He served as Assistant Inspector General of the Department of the Ohio starting in September 1861. He was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on April 25, 1862, and led a brigade in the Department of the Shenandoah, participating in the Valley Campaign against Stonewall Jackson, but the brigade saw no actual combat.

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The Situation. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:00:57 +0000 June 23, 1862, The New York Herald

The latest news from the army in front of Richmond reports that everything was remarkably quiet yesterday — something new for a Sunday’s operations. On Saturday brisk skirmishing was going on, and it appeared exceedingly likely towards nightfall that a general engagement was imminent. During the day the rebels kept up a continuous shower of shells on our lines, but did little damage. The object appeared to be to force our troops into a fight, but the attempt was not successful, doubtless for good reasons on the part of General McClellan.

An important change has been made in the Medical Staff of the Army of the Potomac by the appointment of Surgeon Litterman, a skillful physician, as Medical Director of General McClellan’s army. We are compelled to admit that heretofore the medical department of the army has not been as effective as was desirable. We hope that under the new direction our poor follows suffering from wounds and sickness will feel the blessings of prompt and careful attention.

The Richmond papers of Saturday published a despatch from Montgomery, Alabama, dated the 17th inst., stating that General Beauregard and his staff had arrived there on his way to Richmond, and that a large portion of the army of the Mississippi was to follow him, leaving a considerable force behind under General Bragg. Whether General Beauregard will arrive at Richmond in time to effect anything for the cause of rebeldom remains to be seen.

General Schofield has taken stringent measures to repress the guerillas in Missouri, as we learn by a despatch from St. Louis. He has issued an order holding the rebel sympathizers in that State responsible in their property and persons for all damage done to citizens by marauding parties. He announces that $5,000 will be exacted for every Union soldier, or loyal citizen killed, and from $1,000 to $5,000 for every one of either class wounded by any guerilla party. The full value of all the property destroyed will be assessed and collected from the secessionists residing in the locality where the outrage may be committed. This measure will, no doubt put a stop to guerilla warfare.

Our news from New Orleans today will be read with great interest. General Butler is managing things there with the greatest firmness and discretion. Not only is he putting down with a strong hand all rebel sympathizers, but he is sheltering the loyal citizens from outrage and annoyance. While at one moment he sends obnoxious rebels to Fort Jackson to work at hard labor, at the same time he condemns some of his own troops to be hung for pillaging the houses of the citizens. Thus the Union sentiment, under such management, naturally grows stronger and stronger, and we are not surprised to see Union meetings getting up in all quarters of the city of New Orleans. So far has Gen. Butler won upon the feelings of the people by his generous and just course that he was serenaded at the St. Charles Hotel on the 14th inst., and made a speech in response, in which he declared that his feelings towards the South were friendly and fraternal; but that at the same time he was resolved, as a matter of duty inexorably imposed upon him, to carry out the laws of the United States under all circumstances.

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Army Enlistments Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:00:47 +0000 June 23, 1862, The New York Herald

In accordance with the resolution that recently passed Congress, Secretary Stanton issued a proclamation on Saturday announcing that hereafter a premium of two dollars would be paid for each and every accepted recruit. Any person who obtains a recruit is entitled to that sum when he is accepted, under this order. It will no doubt prove an incentive to the recruiting officer, as well as to others who may wish to labor for the premium by prevailing upon men to enlist. The really important feature of this order of the Secretary of War is the announcement that every person who may hereafter enlist, either in the regular army or the volunteer force, for three years or during the war, shall receive, immediately upon the mustering of his company into service, the first month’s pay in advance. Heretofore many men have been deterred from enlisting by the fear of leaving their families without any support until they had served long enough to receive pay from the government. The payment of the first month in advance is a decided improvement, and calculated to encourage men to enlist. We rejoice to see its adoption, although at the eleventh hour.

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The Reorganization of the Hampton Legion. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:00:42 +0000 June 23, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

The Richmond Examiner says: Col. WADE HAMPTON, formerly commanding the Hampton Legion, of South Carolina, one of the most distinguished and gallant corps in the service, has been promoted to a Brigadier Generalship. In the reorganization of the Legion, Lieutenant J. HARVEY DINGLE, of the Manning Guards, was elected Major, and Captain M.W. GARY, of the Watson Guards, Lieutenant Colonel. Captain GARY won a famous name at Manassas, his company having captured two of the enemy batteries, and his own personal gallantry having been conspicuous on that celebrated battle field. The compliment of his election was increased by the circumstances, that it was without opposition.

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Origin of the Bad Feeling in the South Against the North. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:00:34 +0000 June 23, 1862, The New York Herald

It has puzzled many a wise head to account for the apparantly deep and bitter enmity of the Southern mind in general against the people inhabiting the regions north of Mason and Dixon’s line. The bad feeling alluded to dates back in its origin to the time of the famous John Randolph, of Roanoke, as he delighted to be called. He was a man who, if not a good lover, was certainly a great hater — extending his passion for hating almost to the whole race of mankind, including even friends as well as foes, if he can be said to have had many, if any, of the former, except his devoted Juba. Randolph was a man of singular and extraordinary genius, exercising no little power over the minds of the men of his age, more, it is to be believed, by the fear which his great powers of sarcasm and repartee inspired than from any of those great and commanding qualities of heart and mind which produce respect and admiration. He was a man who, if not like Shakespeare’s Yorick, capable of setting a table in a roar, was possessed of such infinite powers of reproach and sarcasm that he was well able to inspire contempt and excite ridicule against any section or people whom he chose to attack. Educated as an aristocrat, proud of his ancient and royal descent — claiming a princess, no less than the celebrated Pocahontas, as one of his progenitors — he looked down with infinite contempt upon all whom he considered his inferiors in birth and station. Born, as it were, a feudal lord, accustomed from early life to command and dictate, he could not brook association with those whose claims to distinction rested upon the foundation of individual merit, and who, even if their fortunes were equal with his own, owed them to individual or commercial talents rather than to aristocratic birth and rank. All these his antecedents, made him — we may almost say naturally — an enemy to Northern men; and he possessed powers of wit, reproach and bitter invective capable of communicating his own feelings to the classes and people among whom he associated, and in whose eyes he was a being of superior order. He it was who first set in motion the practice of inveighing against the commercial North: in fact he despised us as much as an English nobleman despises the peasant that works upon his estate, and as much as the French noblesse of the ancient regime despised the ignoble tradesman or merchant.

It is said of him that, having been appointed chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, through the influence of President Jefferson, the ignorance which he betrayed in that high position, of all financial and commercial subjects, was such as, if not to disgust all the other members of the committee, at least to disgust him with his fellow committeemen. So great indeed was his vanity and self-conceit that we may well imagine that, by himself, his own ignorance was viewed as a superiority, and their superior knowledge and ability in everything relating to finance and commerce was looked upon by him as something low, degrading and inferior. At all events, his connection with the business men of the North had no tendency to beget in him an admiration for business or a love for those whose pride and glory consisted in business talents. From the influence of such a man as Randolph it is easy to conceive how his neighborhood, and even his State, was easily led to suppose that vituperation of the North was an essential constituent of patriotism, and that a supreme contempt of the greater portion of a great people constituted absolute superiority.

This great but erratic genius, having first sown the seeds, did not live long enough to witness the rapid growth of the crops and its baneful harvest. John C. Calhoun followed closely in the wake which John Randolph had opened in the masses of the South. With a deliberate purpose of separation and secession, he availed himself of the most powerful means of dividing a people which unquestionably are the industrious dissemination of hatred by the indulgence of incessant vituperation, crimination and reproach. The tariff was at first the great machine employed to give imaginary substance to the numerous grievances which the South was represented as suffering from the North. Mr. McDuffie, a violent man and an unscrupulous generalizer, joining hand in with Mr. Calhoun actually succeeded in persuading the people that they were robbed by the North of a whole bale of cotton in every four bales, by the action of the tariff. Thus the evil spirit of malignant hatred began to spread and take root, until it became a mater of faith among the leading men of the South that they were robbed, plundered, abused and shamefully ill-treated by the North. When once the mind of any public is brought to such a pitch, and worked up by such delusions to jealousy and hatred, a people may be said to be like a magazine of powder, which only wants the torch and the firebrand to be thrown into it to produce a universal explosion.

Abolitionism finally presented and industriously applied this firebrand, and at once kindled into a flame these inflammable materials. The hot fanaticism with which the emissaries of abolition preached against the South succeeded in giving, as it were, substance and reality to causes of dislike and jealousy purely imaginary and political. We say political, for there can be no doubt that the system of inflaming the Southern mind against the Northern section of the country was in a great measure adopted by the popular leaders as a political means of riding into power. We need not expatiate upon this subject: how the torch of abolitionism kindled the South into a flame, how that flame spread far and wide, how it made two people of those who had been one, are known to everybody and can be disputed by none.

So great, however, was the exasperation of the Southern mind produced by this latter cause, operating as it did upon excitable minds already roused to fear, jealousy and hatred by interested politicians, that, even if this war had not come on when it did, it must have come on at some time or other. It was but a question of time. Let us hope that its results will open the eyes of the South, and convince the […..], not only that we are not so contemptible as they were taught to believe, but that they also are not so immensely superior as they were led to imagine. Let us hope that the delusions and divisions between brethren of the same nation, color and blood will be dissipated by this war, and that the people of the South, seeing to what a condition their flatterers and deceivers have reduced them, will henceforth lay hold of the hand of friendship which the North has ever extended, and put down forever among them the proud and insolent fire-eaters and factious demagogues, who, for their own advancement and political exaltation, have not scrupled to plunge their country into all the horrors and miseries of a civil and fratricidal war.

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The Lines about the City. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:00:22 +0000 June 23, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

Since our last issue all has been quiet along our lines on James’ Island. The situation of affairs there, however, is such that another conflict may happen at any moment.

About three o’clock on Saturday afternoon one of the enemy’s gunboats, composing the blockading squadron off this port, crossed the bar at or near the Ship Channel, and steamed up along the beach of Morris Island, keeping up a rapid fire of shell towards the ridge of sand hills on which our batteries were planted during the siege of Fort Sumter. After firing about twenty rounds, the gunboat turned about and went to sea. Taken in connection with the frequently reiterated threats of an early demonstration against Charleston, this gunboat reconnoissance of Morris Island is significant.

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Captures by the Enemy. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:00:21 +0000 June 23, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

Before daylight, on Friday, the 20th inst., two Yankee barges, containing about thirty men, went up the Santee river to the Steam Pounding Mill, and captured the schooner Louisa and crew, with a cargo of 147 bales cotton; the steam tug Treaty (a small propeller boat used for towing on the Santee river), and two lighters, belonging to the mill, partly loaded with rough rice. There was one negro man in the steam tug. They then took their prizes out to the blockading fleet, leaving the Steam Mill unharmed. The Captain of the Louisa escaped by being at the residence of Mr. TILTON, about 600 yards from the mill.

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Grand Movements in Progress. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:00:07 +0000 June 23, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

The Richmond papers state that reliable information has been received from Washington, that Gen. HALLECK has moved from Corinth to Maryland, and that arrangements have been made for the transfer of his army to him within two weeks. It is a very important movement. The object evidently is, by a rapid transportation of troops, to overwhelm JACKSON first, and to take Richmond afterwards.

But if JACKSON has, as asserted, an army of seventy-five thousand men, and if Richmond is secure against McCLELLAN’S army, as it is said, then we do not see why Gen. BEAUREGARD should not make an attempt on Cincinnati in the West, like that of JACKSON on Baltimore or Philadelphia in the East.

HALLECK, with transportation and command down the Tennessee river, and with railroad connection from St. Louis to Wheeling and Harrisburg and Baltimore, can doubtless move a large portion of his army in a short space of time. BEAUREGARD, having lost the connection with Virginia via the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, could hardly confront HALLECK in season by transferring his immense force via Mobile and Montgomery. But such a movement on the part of HALLECK exposes whatever forces are left in Tennessee and Kentucky to destruction by BEAUREGARD’S army, with the redemption to the Confederate States of an immense territory, comprising two of their best fighting States. It exposes Cincinnati to capture, if the Confederate General only exhibits as much boldness and activity as HALLECK does. The army is already mobilised for rapid movement and ready fighting. It is stript for action. It should, with generalship, be able either to occupy HALLECK’S forces and retain them in the West, or to retake Tennessee and Kentucky, if they are conveyed away to Maryland. Oh, for another JACKSON in the West, to march miles by the hundred and win victories day after day in rapid succession! BONAPARTE in four days marched his army sixty miles and fought three pitched battles, gaining them all. Let him be an example for imitation. The South has now great need of military genius. We cannot expect to get from the North terms and positions where our Generals are certain of victory. Generals need never expect to have everything ready as desired. Our prospects in fighting do not improve usually by declining to accept those offered us.

We often lose proportionally by delay. Enterprise on the part of the Generals, and confidence in the spirit of the troops, must make up the odds of gunboats, artillery, &c.

Much now depends upon the decision and movements of the grand army under Gen. BEAUREGARD. JACKSON cannot fight and whip everybody, while Gen. LEE’S army, in a stage of siege, observes McCLELLAN, and Gen. BEAUREGARD’S army effects nothing observable. We hope for something astonishing soon. All our troops want is a fair chance in their management.

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Village Life in America. Fri, 23 Jun 2017 03:00:07 +0000 June. — There was great excitement in prayer meeting last night, it seemed to Abbie Clark, Mary Field and me on the back seat where we always sit. Several people have asked us why we sit away back there by old Mrs Kinney, but we tell them that she sits on the other side of the stove from us and we like the seat, because we have occupied it so long. I presume we would see less and hear more if we sat in front. To-night just after Mr Walter Hubbell had made one of his most beautiful prayers and Mr Cyrus Dixon was praying, a big June bug came zipping into the room and snapped against the wall and the lights and barely escaped several bald heads. Anna kept dodging around in a most startling manner and I expected every moment to see her walk out and take Emma Wheeler with her, for if she is afraid of anything more than dogs it is June bugs. At this crisis the bug flew out and a cat stealthily walked in. We knew that dear Mrs Taylor was always unpleasantly affected by the sight of cats and we didn’t know what would happen if the cat should go near her. The cat very innocently ascended the steps to the desk and as Judge and Mrs Taylor always sit on the front seat, she couldn’t help observing the ambitious animal as it started to assist Dr Dagget in conducting the meeting. The result was that Mrs Taylor just managed to reach the outside door before fainting away. We were glad when the benediction was pronounced.

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War Diary and Letters of Stephen Minot Weld. Thu, 22 Jun 2017 21:54:00 +0000 Headquarters 5th Prov. Army Corps,
Camp near New Bridge, June 22, 1862.

Dear Father, — Why don’t they send us reinforcements? From present appearances, we shall stay here all summer sweltering under this powerful sun, our ranks daily .decreasing from sickness and exposure, all from want of reinforcements. Unless we are attacked by the enemy, or unless General McClellan gets some very favorable chance to attack them, there will be no fighting for some time, and in case of a battle the result, to say the least, is extremely doubtful. They greatly outnumber us, and are daily throwing up trenches and batteries right opposite our army. In the face of all these facts, and notwithstanding McClellan’s frequent and earnest appeals for more troops, the Government at Washington refuses us any reinforcements. The Abolitionists in Congress have a great deal to do with this, and are purposely protracting the war in order to render emancipation necessary, and are so endangering our existence as a nation united and whole. It is decidedly disagreeable to sit down here and see things go on so, and feel that we are liable to be whipped at any time, when victory could be made certain for us. McDowell holds hack as long as he can, and would be glad to see McClellan defeated. If he were anything of a general he could defend Washington or the Rappahannock, with 20,000 men and let the rest come here. At the end of the war, I think that a history of these facts will come out, which will fully vindicate McClellan, and show up Stanton and Co. in their true light. By the way, I heard of a remark he made when coming into office. “McClellan organizing the army? It is the Democratic party he is organizing I’ll clip his comb for him.” Now General McC. would not accept of the Presidency if it were offered him, according to the most positive assertions of his friends. He has a complete copy of all telegrams, etc., received from Stanton, which his friends will let out at the proper time. All this, of course, is to be kept for yourself and no one else.

I called on Colonel Barnes the other day and had a very kind reception from him. I also saw my captain. I don’t think there will be any chance for my promotion unless it comes in the regular order from vacancies arising in my regiment which will push me along.

I have got some things which I am going to send home. One is a club which I got from Sayres’s house where Mrs. General Lee was imprisoned. The family have all left, leaving the place in charge of negroes. One of the women, who let me in the house, said the club was one which belonged to John Brown, and which was taken from him at Harper’s Ferry. Then I have some fossils, etc., which I took from a pretty collection there called the Marlborne collection. Also a book which I found in the house, everything except the cabinet being taken away. Also a shell which the rebels fired at us a day or two ago from the other side of the Chickahominy. . . .

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Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing. Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:00:00 +0000 Sunday, 22d—We had company inspection at 5 o’clock this evening. Our chaplain, John S. Whittlesey, died of diphtheria on May 11th at Durant, Iowa, and our regiment has no chaplain at present. We have no services on Sunday now, except that some of the companies occasionally have prayer meetings.

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Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese. Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:00:00 +0000 June 22 — We had preaching in camp to-day again, and we are getting in a goodly supply of heavenly ammunition from the arsenal of truth — in double doses, preaching in the morning and prayer meeting at night. The ammunition is fixed and ready to fire at all times and under all circumstances, and I hope that we may all pack at least some of it away in the cartridge box of fortitude for immediate and constant use, and not act like the great majority of the world, both saints and sinners, who use it all up in empty ceremonials on Sunday, having not enough left on Monday morning to make a decent skirmish against the inroads of wrongdoing, hypocrisy, and rascality.

This evening at dusk our chaplain held a prayer meeting in camp. It was in a beautiful part of the woods where his tent stood, and the quartermaster pro tern, of Heaven was standing in the door of his tent and issued with lavish supply the rations of holy manna from the Sacred Receptacle that was stocked by Moses, David, and Christ in the dim ages of long ago. Two little tallow candles stuck against the black bark of a rough oak tree, with vacillating and flickering gleam, was the grand chandelier that furnished the light. Mother Earth strewn and carpeted with last autumn’s brown leaves provided vast and ample seating accommodations for the sun-tanned warriors that rode and fought with Ashby through storms of shot and shell, but now had sheathed their trusty blades, and in reverence received their holy rations of moral rectitude in perfect silence and with good behavior, without the least murmur or complaint of who was to have first choice.

Bright stars that flashed their silvery light from the silent dome of the temple here and there peeped through the little interstices in the thick foliage of the overarching forest trees. A solitary cricket not far away chirped its vesper hymn in measured cadences in the same tone and strain that its kindred chanted in the crevices of the old brick fireplace around the hearthstone at home when I was a child. Oh, how nimbly and vividly thought plays on the harp of memory when its sleeping strings are touched by the fingers of the past!

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Diary and Letters of Rutherford B. Hayes. Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:30:00 +0000 “Same as before,” June 22, 1862. Sunday. — A warm, beautiful, Sunday morning; all things bright and cheerful. Inklings and hints of matters before Richmond are more encouraging. But these delays of McClellan are very wearisome.

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War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney. Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:30:00 +0000 22nd. Sunday. Major Purington started at 5 for Ohio on 30 days furlough. Carried lots of money for the boys. We boys sent to Wilson Dodge, former Q. M,, to get the Major a ring worth $10. Got our pay. Commissary and Q. M. received alike this time.

Issued some rations and drew enough from Brigade Com’y for ten days.

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