American Civil War Chronicles http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog Stepping through the war with news, diary and journal entries, and more. Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:26:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/george-michael-neese-127/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/george-michael-neese-127/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:26:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9556 August 21 — This morning we went down the railroad and had a very spirited and warmish fight with a Yankee battery. They had the advantage of us both in the number of pieces and position, but we stuck to our position for a while, under a hot and well directed fire, and for about forty minutes gave them in return the best work we could furnish at short notice, then cried enough and withdrew under fire.

After the fight we moved up to the Hazel River, crossed it and went nearly to the Rappahannock, then moved back a little distance and camped near the Hazel River.

At dusk this evening we heard heavy cannonading and some musketry down the Rappahannock. The whole country around here seems to be full of Yankees. We will tree some of them before long; perhaps tomorrow.

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A Confederate Girl’s Diary http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/sarah-morgan-dawson-71/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/sarah-morgan-dawson-71/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:25:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=7637 August 21st.

Miriam and mother are going to Baton Rouge in a few hours, to see if anything can be saved from the general wreck. From the reports of the removal of the Penitentiary machinery, State Library, Washington Statue, etc., we presume that that part of the town yet standing is to be burnt like the rest. I think, though, that mother has delayed too long. However, I dreamed last night that we had saved a great deal, in trunks; and my dreams sometimes come true. Waking with that impression, I was surprised, a few hours after, to hear mother’s sudden determination. But I also dreamed I was about to marry a Federal officer! That was in consequence of having answered the question, whether I would do so, with an emphatic “Yes! if I loved him,” which will probably ruin my reputation as a patriot in this parish. Bah! I am no bigot! — or fool either. . . .

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Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/journal-of-surgeon-alfred-l-castleman-194/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/journal-of-surgeon-alfred-l-castleman-194/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 20:11:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9027 21st.—Camped last night in sight of Big Bethel, and left this morning at 5 o’clock. After a brisk march of four hours, we reached Hampton, (12 miles.) As we reached the summit of a ridge and the Roads, and the shipping two miles off suddenly burst upon the view, how intensely did I realize the feeling of a scarred leader in a ten year’s war, when, on his return he caught the first glimpse of his native land—

“Italiam, primus conolamat Achates.”

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Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/alexander-g-downing-375/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/alexander-g-downing-375/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 20:00:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=6339 Thursday, 21st—There is one train a day over the railroad. It is a combination train, and comes in at 6 p. m. and departs at 8 o’clock in the morning. The train does not run at night for fear the track might be torn up, as the rebels are so near.

Some very hot weather now. We get all the fruit that we want here, and have plenty of other rations at this camp. We have fresh pork and sweet potatoes. The potatoes we either boil in kettles or bake in ashes.

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War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/luman-harris-tenney-276/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/luman-harris-tenney-276/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 18:30:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=7221 21st. Thursday. Went with two Company F men and got breakfast at a farmhouse. Some of the boys had had nothing to eat for 36 hours. Ham and corn bread. Borrowed 20 cents and paid. They asked nothing but we preferred to pay them. Major Burnett, with detail of five started for Fort Scott. Several of us contrived to go too. Got breakfast out three miles, milk and honey. A man came up. We frightened him so he swore he was secesh and made himself ridiculous generally for a union man. Had a secesh horse, taking care of it. Brought him in. In the morning put a rope around a boy’s neck and made him take the oath with some meaning. Letters from Minnie, Melissa and Fannie.

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Bridge building over the Rappahannock. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/bridge-building-over-the-rappahannock/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/bridge-building-over-the-rappahannock/#comments Mon, 21 Aug 2017 14:34:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=11591 1862 August Fauquier Sulphur Springs, Va., vicinity. Troops building bridges across the north fork of the Rappahannock

Troops building bridges across the north fork of the Rappahannock in the vicinity of Fauquier Sulphur Springs, Va., by Timothy H. O’Sullivan in August 1862.

It is highly likely that the fellow on the right is the photographer, O’Sullivan.  This is the fifth photo I’ve found in this period of time – July and August 1862 – where he appears in the image.

Library of Congress image.

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The four other images from the summer of 1862 with images that include O’Sullivan were published in the following posts:

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Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier by Louis Léon http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/louis-leon-17/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/louis-leon-17/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 13:10:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=8607 August 21—Left at 4 A.M. and arrived in Richmond at 6 P.M. Marched to Camp Lee, two miles from the city, and put up any tent we could get hold of, as it was raining very hard and too dark to see. We are all O. K. now.

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Rebel War Clerk http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rebel-war-clerk-471/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rebel-war-clerk-471/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 12:46:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=10048 AUGUST 21ST.—Some apprehensions are felt by a few for the safety of this city, as it is supposed that all the troops have been withdrawn. This is not so, however. From ten to fifteen thousand men could be concentrated here in twenty-four hours. Richmond is not in half the danger that Washington is.

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“General McClellan, it is rumored, has been removed…,” –Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/josiah-marshall-favill-128/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/josiah-marshall-favill-128/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 10:30:17 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=3435 August 21st. Marched bright and early, arriving at Yorktown about noon and put up our tents on the identical spot occupied by us while awaiting shipment to West Point, in the spring; felt quite at home. As soon as the camp was established, all hands were dismissed for a swim, and the waves were quickly whispering lullabys in the ears of the dusty and weary warriors of the first division. Got a lot of gossip here. It seems the army is being transferred as speedily as possible by transports, from both this place and Newport News, to Alexandria and Washington, to head off Lee, who is really in front of the army of Virginia, under Pope somewhere on the Rapidan. The coast here is covered with troops awaiting transportation, and are loading night and day; but it is a big undertaking to transport by ships one hundred thousand men, together with their material, and it takes a good deal of time. General McClellan, it is rumored, has been removed, or is to be, on dit; that the President is disgusted with him; his want of success and very disagreeable relations with the government, constantly throwing all the blame on Washington for his failure, is a little too much, even for our long-suffering and patient President.

After a capital swim, several of us rode through the quaint, slow, old town, which we found just as dirty as ever, the pigs still running at large, feeding on the filth from the tumble down houses; received orders to be ready to march early in the morning for Newport News, as transports were awaiting us; weather magnificent.

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A Diary of American Events. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/a-diary-of-american-events-412/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/a-diary-of-american-events-412/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=8343 hancock_w_s

August 21.—Jeff Davis issued an order from Richmond, directing that Major-Gen. Hunter and Brig.-Gen. Phelps should no longer be held and treated as public enemies of the rebel States, but as outlaws; and that in the event of the capture of either of them, or that of any other commissioned officer of the United States employed in drilling, organizing, or instructing slaves, with a view to their armed service in the war, he should not be regarded as a prisoner of war, but held in close confinement for execution as a felon, at such time and place as Jeff Davis might order. —To-day the Union army, under Gen. Pope, and the rebel army, under Gen. Lee, faced each other on the Rappahannock, the former on the north and the latter on the left bank of the river. An attempt was made on the part of the rebels to cross the river at Kelly’s Ford, for the purpose of turning the position of the Unionists, but it was foiled by General Reno, who opened fire with his batteries, and then followed it with a cavalry charge, which put them to flight, and determined them to make no more attempts to cross at Kelly’s Ford.—(Doc. 104.)

—A war meeting was held at Southficld, Staten Island, N. Y. —Thomas Shultzer, one of the editors of the Maryland News Sheet, was released from Fort McHenry, on taking an oath not to engage in newspaper business, nor do any thing to aid and abet rebellion during the continuance of the war. Carpenter and Neilson, the responsible editors and publishers of the same paper, refused to take the oath.

—The rebel schooner Eliza, loaded with salt and other contraband goods, was captured off Charleston, S. C, by the United States steamer Bienville.

—The Union pickets on Pinckney Island, near Hilton Head, S. C, were attacked by a superior force of rebel troops, and thirty-two of their number taken prisoners, three killed and three wounded.—A very large and enthusiastic war meeting was held at St. Louis, Mo., in the Mercantile Library Hall, at which Gov. Gamble made the principal speech. He recommended a most vigorous war policy in the State, and deprecated the disposition to find fault with the policy of the Federal Government. He recommended the extermination of the guerrillas in the State, and would make the secessionists pay for the protection they received from the Government. He would drive South all non-combatants who denounced the Government. The military authorities held bonds from the rebels to the amount of over a million of dollars, and he advised all broken bonds to be collected at once. The speech was received with tremendous applause.

—A severe fight took place at Gallatin, Tenn., between a body of Union troops under the command of General R. W. Johnson, and an inferior force of rebel cavalry, under Col. John H. Morgan, resulting in a rout of the Unionists with great loss.—(Doc. 187.)


Winfield Scott Hancock (February 14, 1824 – February 9, 1886) was a career U.S. Army officer and the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 1880. He served with distinction in the Army for four decades, including service in the Mexican-American War and as a Union general in the American Civil War.

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Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/diary-of-a-southern-refugee-128/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/diary-of-a-southern-refugee-128/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 02:30:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=11526 Lynchburg, August 20.—Mr. _______ and myself arrived here last night, after a most fatiguing trip, by Clarksville, Buffalo Springs, then to Wolfs Trap Station on the Danville road, and on to the Southside Railroad. The cars were filled with soldiers on furlough. It was pleasant to see how cheerful they were. Poor fellows! it is wonderful when we consider what the next battle may bring forth. They were occupied discussing the late battle at Cedar Run, between General Jackson and a portion of Pope’s army, commanded by Banks. It was a very fierce fight, and many casualties on both sides; but we won the day—the Lord be praised! Lynchburg is full of hospitals, to which the ladies are very attentive; and they are said to be very well kept. I have been to a very large one to-day, in which our old home friends, Mrs. R. and Miss E. M., are matrons. Every thing looked beautifully neat and comfortable. As a stranger, and having so much to do for my patient at home, I find I can do nothing for the soldiers, but knit for them all the time, and give them a kind word in passing. I never see one without feeling disposed to extend my hand, arid say, “God bless you.”

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Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/george-michael-neese-128/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/george-michael-neese-128/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:26:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9555 August 20 — This morning at three o’clock we renewed our march, and from all appearances through a poor country. At about nine o’clock we crossed the Rapidan at Mitchell’s Ford, which landed us in Culpeper County and in a beautiful level plain and good land. We marched on in a northeastern course, crossed the Culpeper and Fredericksburg road, and still pressed toward the Rappahannock. When we halted we were only about a mile from the Yankee lines. While we halted some of our cavalrymen brought in a few Yankee prisoners that had just been captured, who reported that the enemy was strongly posted not far ahead and was preparing to charge us; but these same prisoners lied.

However, on the strength of the report, General Stuart formed a line of battle in a beautiful level grassy field and splendid fighting ground for cavalry. Captain Pelham’s battery was in position on the right of the line.

There were about three thousand horsemen drawn up in line, all with drawn sabers, ready to receive a charge or make one. A glance over the field and along the battle line was at once grand, magnificent, and inspiring. Three thousand burnished sabers glittered in the sunlight, ready to be wielded by determined men whose steady and silent gaze to the front, where the enemy was supposed to lurk, pre-signified that every man was spellbound, fascinated, and inspired by the splendor of the sheen and the grandeur of the warlike martial array that was as gorgeous as a dress parade. Yet every man was ready and expecting to receive the shock of battle. We remained in battle line about two hours, waiting for the Yankee charge they did not make; and now I am confident that the Yankee prisoners wilfully lied to-day when they said that their cavalry was preparing to charge General Stuart’s in that particular locality, because the Yankee cavalry is not so awfully chargy when they find something a little dangerous to charge. After General Stuart found that the Yankee charge was a myth we were ordered to move up toward the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. In moving up we passed through a little hamlet called Stevensburg. When we passed there I saw some of General Hill’s infantry marching toward the Rappahannock. We struck the railroad a few miles below Culpeper Court House, then moved down the railroad to Brandy Station, which is about six miles below the Court House.

Our cavalry had a fight with the Yanks this afternoon, and repulsed them, below Brandy Station.

We fell back about three miles toward Culpeper Court House and camped for the night. The country around Brandy is beautiful. Looking east and south the land is as level as a lake.

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A Confederate Girl’s Diary http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/sarah-morgan-dawson-73/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/sarah-morgan-dawson-73/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:25:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=7636  

August 20th.

Last evening, after hard labor at pulling molasses candy, needing some relaxation after our severe exertions, we determined to have some fun, though the sun was just setting in clouds as watery as New Orleans milk, and promised an early twilight. All day it had been drizzling, but that was nothing; so Anna Badger, Miriam, and I set off, through the mud, to get up the little cart to ride in, followed by cries from the elder ladies of “Girls! Soap is a dollar and a half a bar! Starch a dollar a pound! Take up those skirts!” We had all started stiff and clean, and it did seem a pity to let them drag; so up they went —you can imagine how high when I tell you my answer to Anna’s question as to whether hers were in danger of touching the mud, was, “ Not unless you sit down.”

The only animal we could discover that was not employed was a poor old pony, most appropriately called “Tom Thumb,” and him we seized instantly, together with a man to harness him. We accompanied him from the stable to the quarter where the cart was, through mud and water, urging him on with shouts and cries, and laughing until we could laugh no longer, at the appearance of each. The cart had been hauling wood, but that was nothing to us. In we tumbled, and with a driver as diminutive as the horse, started off for Mr. Elder’s, where we picked up all the children to be found, and went on. All told, we were twelve, drawn by that poor horse, who seemed at each step about to undergo the ham process, and leave us his hind quarters, while he escaped with the fore ones and harness. I dare say we never enjoyed a carriage as much, though each was holding a muddy child. Riding was very fine; but soon came the question, “How shall we turn?” — which was not so easily solved, for neither horse nor boy understood it in the least. Every effort to describe a circle brought us the length of the cart farther up the road, and we promised fair to reach Bayou Sara before morning, at that rate. At last, after fruitless efforts to dodge under the harness and escape, pony came to a standstill, and could not be induced to move. The children took advantage of the pause to tumble out, but we sat still. Bogged, and it was very dark already! Would n’t we get it when we got home! Anna groaned, “Uncle Albert!” Miriam laughed, “the General!” I sighed, “Mrs. Carter!” We knew what we deserved; and darker and darker it grew, and pony still inflexible!

At last we beheld a buggy on a road near by and in answer to Morgan’s shouts of “Uncle! Uncle! come turn our cart!” a gentleman jumped out and in an instant performed the Herculean task. Pony found motion so agreeable that it was with the greatest difficulty we prevailed on him to stop while we fished seven children out of the mud, as they pursued his flying hoofs. Once more at Mr. Elder’s, we pitched them out without ceremony, and drove home as fast as possible, trying to fancy what punishment we would receive for being out so late.

Miriam suggested, as the most horrible one, being sent to bed supperless; Anna’s terror was the General’s displeasure; I suggested being deprived of rides in future; when all agreed that mine was the most severe yet. So as we drove around the circle, those two set up what was meant for a hearty laugh to show “they were not afraid,” which, however, sounded rather shaky to me. I don’t think any of us felt like facing the elders; Miriam suggested anticipating our fate by retiring voluntarily to bed; Anna thought we had best run up and change our shoes, anyway; but at last, with her dare-devil laugh, Miriam sauntered into the room, where they all were, followed by us, and thrusting her wet feet into the fire that was kindled to drive away the damp (followed also by us), commenced a laughable account of our fun — in which we, of course, followed, too. If I had fancied we were to escape scot free, we would most surely have got a scolding. It is almost an inducement to hope always for the — worst! The General did not mention the hour! did not prohibit future rides!

While we were yet toasting, a negro came in with what seemed a bank-note, and asked his master to see how much it was, as one of the women had sold some of her watermelons to the three soldiers of the morning, who had given that to her for a dollar. The General opened it. It was a pass! So vanish all faith in human nature! They looked so honest! I could never have believed it of them! But it looked so much like the “shinplasters” we are forced to use, that no wonder they made the mistake. To discover who had played so mean a trick on the poor old woman, the General asked me if I could decipher the name. I threw myself on my knees by the hearth, and by the flickering light read “S. Kimes. By order of C! H!! Luzenberg!!! Provost Marshal!!!! Onolona, Miss.,” with a gasp of astonishment that raised a burst of laughter against me. Thought he was taken prisoner long ago! At all events, I did n’t know he had turned banker, or that his valuable autograph was worth a dollar!

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Diary of Gideon Welles. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/diary-of-gideon-welles-9/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/diary-of-gideon-welles-9/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 20:11:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9096 August 20, Wednesday. Memo. Soon after hostilities commenced, in the spring or summer of 1861, a letter from William D. Porter to his son was published. The son had joined the Rebels, and so informed his father, who wrote him he thought he had committed a mistake. But, having taken this step, he advised him to adhere and do his duty. At that time W. D. P. was on duty in the Pacific. I immediately detached and ordered him home. He reported to me in great distress; disavowed the letter; said it was a forgery, that his son and himself were on bad terms and the letter had been written and published to injure him. There was, he informed me, much disagreement in the family; his son had been alienated from him, and, like David, sympathized with the Secessionists, while he (W.) had taken the opposite course. David, he remarked, was the intimate friend of Jefferson Davis and the Rebel conspirators, and he had expected that he would act with them, and he had no doubt that David’s course had injured him; confounding him with D., he was made accountable for D.’s acts. David said he had no doubt that Bill wrote the letter, and I was of that opinion.[1] William had, not without reason, the reputation of being very untruthful, — a failing of the Porters, for David was not always reliable on unimportant matters, but amplified and colored transactions, where he was personally interested especially, but he had not the bad reputation of William. I did not always consider David to be depended upon if he had an end to attain, and he had no hesitation in trampling down a brother officer if it would benefit himself. He had less heart than William.

Had a conversation with the President in relation to W. D. Porter, who was the efficient officer that attacked and destroyed the Rebel armored ram Arkansas. Porter is a bold, brave man, but reckless in many respects, and unpopular, perhaps not without reason, in the service. He has been earnest and vigorous on the Mississippi, and made himself. The Advisory Board under the late law omitted to recommend him for promotion. It was one of the few omissions that I regretted, for whatever the infirmities of the man I recognize his merits as an officer.

His courage in destroying the Arkansas was manifest. Both the flag officers were delinquent in the matter of that vessel at Vicksburg, and I so wrote each of them. Admiral Farragut cannot conceal his joy that she is destroyed, but is not ready to do full justice to Porter.

I canvassed the whole question, — the law, the proceedings, the difficulties, the man, the officer, the responsibility of promoting him and of my advising it, — yet I felt it a duty, if service rendered in battle and under fire were to govern. The President conversed with me most fully, and said,” I am so satisfied that you are right generally, and in this case particularly, that I say to you, Go ahead, give Porter as you propose a Commodore’s appointment, and I will stand by you, come what may.”

Sent a letter of reproof to Colonel Harris and also one to Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds of the Marine Corps, between whom there is a bitter feud. Almost all the elder officers are at loggerheads and ought to be retired. Reynolds had been tried by court martial on charges preferred by Harris, and acquitted, though by confessions made to me personally guilty. But a majority of the anti-Harris faction constituted the court, and partisanship, not merit, governed the decision. I refused to approve the finding. In his turn, Reynolds brought charges against Harris, and of such a character as to implicate others. To have gone forward would have been to plunge into a series of courts martial for a year to come.

McClellan’s forces have left the banks of James River several days since. Their exodus I think was not anticipated at Richmond, nor believed until after all had left and crossed the Chickahominy. We are beginning to hear of the arrival of the advance guard at Acquia Creek, Alexandria, and Fredericksburg. In the mean time Pope is being heavily pressed at Culpeper by Stonewall Jackson and the whole accumulated forces from Richmond, which has compelled him to fall back on the left bank of the Rapidan, his policy being to keep the enemy in check until McClellan’s forces can unite with him.


[1] I some years later, and after William’s death, learned from Admiral Farragut and Mrs. Farragut that they knew the letter to be a forgery and that it was got up for mischievous purposes. — G. W.

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Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/journal-of-surgeon-alfred-l-castleman-193/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/journal-of-surgeon-alfred-l-castleman-193/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 20:11:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9026 20th.—These men, who were yesterday worn out and abused, who needed all the rest they could get, were ordered up this morning at half-past 2, to march at 4, and then, after being formed into line, were kept waiting till 6. The Surgeons dare not say, “General, permit me to suggest that this is rapidly exhausting the nervous energies of the men, and that last night, we had to leave over sixty, overcome by the fatigue of the day.” It would have been deemed insolent and insubordinate in a Surgeon to have suggested that the two hours which the soldiers spent on their feet, waiting for their officers to get ready, might have been spent with great benefit to their health and energies, in bed, and the Surgeons must be dumb and the men sick.

We are to-day passing over some of the places of our former defeats—Big and Little Bethel, and the localities of some of our unsuccessful skirmishes.

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Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/alexander-g-downing-374/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/alexander-g-downing-374/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 20:00:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=6338 Wednesday, 20th—Nothing of importance.

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Woolsey Family during the War. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/woolsey-family-during-the-war-67/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/woolsey-family-during-the-war-67/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 15:43:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=8985 On the 14th of August—McClellan’s attempt to reach Richmond via the Chickahominy swamps having proved a disastrous failure—the transfer of the army to Washington began.

Lieutenant Robert Wilson of J. H.’s regiment wrote home at the time a letter which might easily have come from any regiment in the Army of the Potomac. “Six days’ march,” he says, “to Newport News, choking with dust, parched with thirst, melting by day and freezing by night, poorly fed and with nothing but the sky to cover us. You can judge of our exhausted condition when I tell you that six miles before we reached the camp at Newport News the 16th Regiment, N. Y. Vols., numbered only 184 men in the ranks, though men straggled in, so that there were 400 in the morning, and the 16th is no straggling regiment. Next day embarked on transports and arrived at Alexandria, sorrowful and humiliated when looking back over a year and finding ourselves on the same ground as then. The debris of the Grand Army had come back to its starting place with its ranks decimated, its men disspirited, its morale failing, while the thousands who sleep their last sleep on the Peninsula demand the cause of their sacrifice.”

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Village Life in America. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/village-life-in-america-92/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/village-life-in-america-92/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:41:38 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=1732 August 20. — The 126th Regiment, just organized, was mustered into service at Camp Swift, Geneva. Those that I know who belong to it are Colonel E. S. Sherrill, Lieutenant Colonel James M. Bull, Captain Charles A. Richardson, Captain Charles M. Wheeler, Captain Ten Eyck Munson, Captain Orin G. Herendeen, Surgeon Dr Charles S. Hoyt, Hospital Steward Henry T. Antes, First Lieutenant Charles Gage, Second Lieutenant Spencer F. Lincoln, First Sergeant Morris Brown, Corporal Hollister N. Grimes, Privates Darius Sackett, Henry Willson, Oliver Castle, William Lamport.

Dr Hoyt wrote home, “God bless the dear ones we leave behind; and while you try to perform the duties you owe to each other, we will try to perform ours.”

We saw by the papers that the volunteers of the regiment before leaving camp at Geneva allotted over $15,000 of their monthly pay to their families and friends at home. One soldier sent this telegram to his wife, as the regiment started for the front: “God bless you. Hail Columbia. Kiss the baby. Write soon.” A volume in ten words.

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Diary of David L. Day. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/david-l-day-93/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/david-l-day-93/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:00:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=6977 I Get On The Retired List.

August 20. Until recently I have been quite a popular commander of Sunday church parties. The boys would get-up their parties and get me a pass to take them into town to church. I would take them in and, halting on some convenient corner, would deliver myself of a little speech. I would say, “Boys, I have always believed in the largest tolerance in matters of religion and politics, and as much as I should like to have you attend church with me, if you have any preferences you are at liberty to enjoy them; far be it from me to impose my authority on your feelings or conscience. I shall expect you on the corner at the appointed time that we may report back in camp in season for dress parade.” Now, if they couldn’t have had a tolerably good time under those conditions, it certainly was no fault of mine. But this, like every other good thing, could not always last. One Sunday afternoon, when we gathered on the corner, one of the party failed to put in an appearance. After waiting beyond a reasonable time, he was defaulted and we returned to camp. About night he came in, showing unmistakable signs of having been on the hardest kind of fatigue duty. Instead of going to his quarters as he was told to, he thought it was his duty to interview the captain. That interview resulted in a court martial, before which I was ordered to appear. I was asked numerous questions, all of which I answered to the lest of my knowledge and belief, and my evidence not only convicted the prisoner but reflected somewhat on myself, for in summing it up, they somehow fixed it up in such a way as to make it appear that 1 was in the practice of taking parties into town on Sundays, ostensibly to church and then letting them go wherever they pleased, and inquired of me if that was not about the true solution of the problem. Wishing to avoid controversy, I assented. I was then told that I could retire from that august presence, a privilege of which I availed myself immediately, but what I noticed as being rather singular, after that little interview I was in command of no more Sunday parties.

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Robert M. Magill—Personal Reminiscences of a Confederate Soldier Boy. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/robert-m-magillpersonal-reminiscences-of-a-confederate-soldier-boy-43/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/robert-m-magillpersonal-reminiscences-of-a-confederate-soldier-boy-43/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 13:58:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=11727 Wednesday, 20th.—Company F sent out as reserve pickets. Feds made as though they would charge our picket line with cavalry.

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Rebel War Clerk http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rebel-war-clerk-470/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rebel-war-clerk-470/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 12:46:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=10047 AUGUST 20TH.—We have now a solution of the secret of Pope’s familiarity with the country. His guide and pilot is the identical Robt. Stewart who was sent here to the Provost Marshal—a prisoner. How did he get out? They say money did it.

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August 1862.–Near Manassas. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/august-1862-near-manassas/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/august-1862-near-manassas/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:37:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=11589 1862 August Manassas Junction, Va. Soldiers beside damaged rolling stock of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad

Manassas Junction, Va. Soldiers beside damaged rolling stock of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad; photograph taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan.

Library of Congress image.

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“After an hour’s halt the column marched three miles northeast of the town, passing over the battlefield, where Haincock gained renown.” –Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/josiah-marshall-favill-127/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/josiah-marshall-favill-127/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:30:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=3434 August 20th. At 7 A. M. were en route again, and at noon entered the ancient city of Williamsburg, halting just on the outskirts of the town. Colonel Parisen, Doctor McKim, and I rode over the place, which is interesting on account of its antiquity and the college buildings; the bricks used in the buildings were sent over from England; they are very plain and substantial, but not particularly imposing; there are many quaint colonial houses now deserted on streets that are grass grown, and save for a few chattering darkies, utterly deserted. Melancholy, indeed, is the fate of this once flourishing town, now simply a monument of past generations. After an hour’s halt the column marched three miles northeast of the town, passing over the battlefield, where Haincock gained renown. The earthworks are still standing, just as the rebels left them, except that nature, always generous, has spread a graceful mantle of green about them, making them look less suspicious to the soldier’s eye.

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Confederates absent without leave. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/confederates-absent-without-leave/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/confederates-absent-without-leave/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:21:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=11329 AWOL 001dr

(click on image to view larger version)

Head Quarters,
DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH-WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Salt Sulphur Springs, August……….1862.

GENERAL ORDERS, No.

By direction of the General Commanding is hereto appended a list of those absent without leave from the 2nd Brigade of this Command. All such absentees are ordered to report to their respective Regiments, Battalions or Companies within ten days from the publication of this order. Those so reporting within this period will be assigned to duty without further trial. Those failing to report within the prescribed limit of time will be proceeded against as deserters. The absentees from Maj. Jackson’s Battalion of Cavalry will be allowed fifteen days to report.

By Order of
August 20th, 1862.

  • Maj. Gen. W. W. LORING.
  • W. B. MYERS, A. Adjt. General.
  • A List of Men absent from the 8th Va. Cavalry.
  • B. F. Aiken,
  • John P. Aiken,
  • J. W. Anderson,
  • W. Anderson,
  • J. Anderson,
  • D. W. Bean,
  • J. H. Copenhaver,
  • S. M. Copenhaver,
  • Wm. E. Copenhaver,
  • W. W. Thompson,
  • J. Park,
  • Thomas Copenhaver,
  • A. B. Cook,
  • A. P. Cole,
  • John J. Hester,
  • S. T. Morrison,
  • L. G. Maupin,
  • J. M. Saunders,
  • J. L. Thomas,
  • James R. Evans,
  • James Nuckles,
  • Thomas Smith,
  • John C. Hite,
  • James W. Mathews,
  • R. B. Diggs,
  • Kinser,
  • Smith,
  • Spencer,
  • Coleman,
  • Kidd,
  • Peerry,
  • Thornhill,
  • Fitzpatrick,
  • Ferguson,
  • Stewart,
  • Jones,
  • Staples,
  • Ballon,
  • Spencer,
  • Joseph Faber,
  • H. A. Bourn,
  • J. D. Pickett,
  • J. Austin,
  • William Austin,
  • Martin Nelson,
  • Henry Nelson,
  • M. Honk,
  • E. W. Greer,
  • Andrew Greer,
  • Henry Davis,
  • Stephen F. Jones,
  • D. A. Taylor,
  • C. Wesley,
  • J. Cossett,
  • Wm. M. Boone,
  • J. W. Bowyer,
  • Wm. R. Thornton,
  • A. J. Woodall,
  • H. Davidson,
  • Fletcher,
  • Muse,
  • A. B. Nash,
  • J. D. Morton,
  • J. B. Perdue,
  • S. W. Sinclair,
  • Ely,
  • Thompson,
  • A. P. Handley,
  • P. M. Russel,
  • J. V. Ralson,
  • J. E. Shelton,
  • A. Page,
  • William Lacy,
  • Sampson Simmons,
  • J. B. Beckwith,
  • Simonton,
  • W. W. Hamilton,
  • J. Ralsin,
  • T. R. C. Blankinship,
  • W. H. Russel,
  • A. Hornbert,
  • Edwin Lambert,
  • Paul C. Smith,
  • J. W. Harman,
  • Wm. C. Sogner,
  • J. E. Maurice,
  • M. B. Ranbirne,
  • William Stevens,
  • J. Strader,
  • J. J. Stafford,
  • A. T. Snyder,
  • P. R. Snyder,
  • W. G. Panley,
  • J. P. Lambert,
  • T. P. Hereford,
  • William A. Smith.
  • J. M. CORNS,
    Col. 8th Va. Cavalry.
  • A. C. BAILEY,
    Adjt. 8th Regt. Va. Cavalry.

D. A. ST. CLAIR’S POWER PRESS, WYTHEVILLE, VA.

 

Library of Congress

Broadsides, leaflets, and pamphlets from America and Europe

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A Diary of American Events. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/a-diary-of-american-events-413/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/a-diary-of-american-events-413/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=8340 Auguet 20.—British subjects who had declared their intentions to become citizens of the United States, being apprehensive that they might be drafted into the militia, Secretary Seward informed them, through the British Charge d’ Affairs at Washington, that none but citizens were liable to military duty in the United States.— Secretary Seward’s Letter.

—E. Kirby Smith, the rebel General, from his headquarters in East-Tennessee, issued the following address to the citizens of Knox County, and the adjacent counties in Kentucky:

“Finding that you have been deceived by the misrepresentations of our enemies, and have been induced by them not only to leave your homes, but also to resort to the cowardly practice of bushwhacking, I now promise you that, if you return quietly to your homes and lead orderly lives, you will not be disturbed, but will be protected in your rights.

“If, on the contrary, you persist in firing upon my soldiers from the woods, you will be hung when you are caught, and your houses and property will be destroyed.”

—To-day the Union army, under Gen. Pope, reached the Rappahannock River, in its retreat from the Rapidan, closely followed by the rebel army, under Gen. Lee. At Brandy Station the two armies came within sight of each other, and the rear-guard of the Nationals, supposing the advance of the rebels to be a mere skirmishing party, turned for the purpose of driving them back; but on charging upon them, they discovered their error, for after receiving two or three volleys, which thinned their ranks considerably, they retreated to the bridge at the station, closely pursued by the rebels. Here the Unionists were supported by two batteries of artillery, which opened fire on the rebels with great effect, compelling them to fall back undercover of the adjacent woods.— (Doc. 104.)

—A fight took place at Edgefield Junction, Tenn., between a small number of the Fiftieth Indiana volunteers and a superior force of rebel guerrilla cavalry belonging to Col. John H. Morgan’s command, resulting in a retreat of the latter, with a loss of seven men killed and twenty wounded.

—A fight took place near Union Mills, Mo., between a force of National troops, under the command of Major Price, and a party of rebel guerrillas. The Nationals did not discover the rebels until they were fired upon from an ambush; but, notwithstanding this disadvantage, they charged upon them and put them to flight, capturing sixteen horses, a number of guns and swords, and a quantity of lead and powder. Four of the rebels were taken prisoners and one killed. Four of the Union party were killed and three wounded.—St. Louis Democrat, August 23.

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“Paine is going to clean out the country and make it Union if there is nothing but desert left.”–Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, Charles Wright Wills. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/charles-wright-wills-85/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/charles-wright-wills-85/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:39:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=4037 Note: This letter—a document written in 1862—includes terms and topics that may be offensive to many today.  No attempt will be made to censor or edit 19th century material to today’s standards.

Tuscumbia, Ala., August 19, 1862.

Tis the old, old, story, burning railroad bridges, skirmishing between our scouts and theirs, etc. They opened on a new program by firing into a train, two days since, wounding five men only, though they put 200 shots into the engine and cars. They are burning cotton in very good style. Night before last eight fires were visible from our headquarters, and last night four. They destroyed about $300,000 in the two nights. They’re getting scared about their negroes, and are carrying them off to the mountains as fast as possible. The blacks are scrambling in this direction to a very lively tune. Over 100 came in on one road within the last 24 hours. About 50 can be used in a regiment to advantage, but I am thoroughly opposed to receiving any more than we have work for within our lines. You have no idea what a miserable, horrible-looking, degraded set of brutes these plantation hands are. Contempt and disgust only half express one’s feelings toward any man that will prate about the civilizing and christianizing influence of slavery. The most savage, copper savage, cannot be below these field hands in any brute quality. Let them keep their negroes though, for we surely don’t want our Northern States degraded by them, and they can’t do the Southerners any good after we get them driven a few degrees further down. These nigs that come in now, say that their masters were going to put them in the Southern Army as soldiers. I’m sure the Southerners are too smart for that, for a million of them aren’t worth 100 whites. General Paine is gobbling up these secesh here and starting them North kiting. How they are shaking in their boots. Paine is going to clean out the country and make it Union if there is nothing but desert left. There are a number of very fine people here, such men as Jacob H. Bass, highly honorable, conscientious, etc., but strong believers in State sovereignty, and because their State has seceded, they are secessionists, and for no other reason. Paine is going to make them walk the plank with the rest. It looks a little hard to me, as they are willing to be paroled, but I’ll never say stop when anybody is pounding the secesh.

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Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford – From the Personal Journal of Wm. C. Holton http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/flag-ship-hartford-58/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/flag-ship-hartford-58/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:03:53 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=6649 We sailed August 13th from New Orleans, and reached Forts Jackson and St. Philip, where we remained over night, and received a salute for the Admiral. We got under way on the following morning, and proceeded to Pilot Town. We found several fine U. S. ships here, among them the U. S. ship Pampero, with which we slightly collided, doing little damage. We here took in our spare spars and rigging, which we had stripped off on entering the river, and also removed the chain cable from our ship’s side.

On the 16th we left for Ship Island, getting aground on the bar as we went out, and arrived off Ship Island on the same evening. We went into port on the following morning, and found lying here the U. S. frigate Potomac, and U. S. sloop-of-war Richmond. The Rhode Island arrived on the 19th, and we left the same day for Pensacola, via Mobile Bay. On arriving off Mobile we found on the blockade the U. S. frigate Susquehanna, with several gunboats. We received and returned a salute from the Susquehanna, and passed on to Pensacola. We arrived off the place in the evening, and went into the harbor on the following morning, and moored the ship off the Navy Yard.

 

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War Diary and Letters of Stephen Minot Weld. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/stephen-minot-weld-88/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/stephen-minot-weld-88/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:54:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=6902 Headquarters 5th Army Corps, Camp at Newport News, August 19.

Dear Hannah, — I have had no chance to write since my first letter to Father as the army has been in motion since that time. We left Harrison’s Landing on Thursday, 8 P.M., and reached Barrett’s Ford on the Chickahominy, a distance of twenty miles, by 7 o’clock the next morning. We crossed the Chickahominy on the pontoon bridge just constructed, 2000 feet in length, and camped on this side. Saturday at 4 A.M. we started for Williamsburg, about 12 miles distant, and made our headquarters in the President’s house at William and Mary’s College. Williamsburg is an old-fashioned city of 4000 inhabitants, although now mostly deserted. Sunday at 6 P.M. we started for Yorktown, 14 miles off, and from there pushed on to Newport News, 28 miles, reaching here at 8 o’clock yesterday morning. The whole army is now across the Chickahominy and the bridge taken up. I am somewhat tired, but in other respects perfectly well.

Prison life did not leave any bad effects upon me, except the natural one of weakness. I was well all the time, with the exception of some slight eruption, which broke out on my body, probably a mild form of scurvy. My chief annoyance was from the lice. Every morning for over six weeks I looked over my clothes carefully, and as regularly found two or three of the disgusting old fellows, besides any amount of nits and young ones. The building was full of them and whenever any one hammered on the floor above, down came the lice. I have always had a great horror of them, and found them rather hard to bear. All the officers were in the same condition. Our life was the same from one day’s end to another. Our mess (No. 2) took breakfast at 7.30. We had sour bread, coffee made from rye and bought (75 cts. lb.) by ourselves. Then we would read or play cards or go to sleep during the forenoon until 1 o’clock, when we dined on bread and greasy soup. The afternoon was spent in much the same way as the morning. Supper we took at 6, and at 9 went to bed.

I don’t want Father to send my horse on. I shall buy one on here. As soon as I can get a chance I shall have my things sent on to me, but at present I don’t know where to have them sent to. I think we shall go to Aquia Creek. We probably go on board to-night.

I have not heard from home yet and do not know why letters do not come. I hope you are all well. I was very anxious while in prison until I heard from the general that Father was well and relieved of all anxiety about me. . . .

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Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/george-michael-neese-126/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/george-michael-neese-126/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:26:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9554 August 19 —Last night just as we were getting into sleep deep enough to feel good, that confounded old bugle bleated out for us to get up and get ready to march at eleven o’clock. Soon afterwards found us on the march through pitchy darkness, stumbling slowly down the Fredericksburg road. We marched till four o’clock this morning, halted about two hours, countermarched, and went back again over the same road, picketing within one mile of Orange Court House. We remained there until two o’clock this afternoon, then moved back again to where we halted this morning, which is thirteen miles east of Orange Court House. This seems to be see-saw day in the marching business. We did not halt there more than about fifteen minutes, then marched on toward Fredericksburg. We followed the main road about five miles, then turned off to the left and moved about four miles in a northerly course. We marched until two hours after dark.

The road we passed over this morning is hilly and rough and creeps snake-like through a dense pine thicket. The Lord only knows where we are camped to-night — I don’t — but I believe we are somewhere in the northeastern part of Orange County. This morning at daylight the First Regiment of Virginia Cavalry passed us. It is General J. E. B. Stuart’s old regiment. This morning was the first time I saw it.

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A Confederate Girl’s Diary http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/sarah-morgan-dawson-72/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/sarah-morgan-dawson-72/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:25:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=7635 August 19th.

Yesterday, two Colonels, Shields and Breaux, both of whom distinguished themselves in the battle of Baton Rouge, dined here. Their personal appearance was by no means calculated to fill me with awe, or even to give one an idea of their rank; for their dress consisted of merely cottonade pants, flannel shirts, and extremely short jackets (which, however, is rapidly becoming the uniform of the Confederate States).

• • • • • • • • • • •

Just three lines back, three soldiers came in to ask for molasses. I was alone downstairs, and the nervous trepidation with which I received the dirty, coarsely clad strangers, who, however, looked as though they might be gentlemen, has raised a laugh against me from the others who looked down from a place of safety. I don’t know what I did that was out of the way. I felt odd receiving them as though it was my home, and having to answer their questions about buying, by means of acting as telegraph between them and Mrs. Carter. I confess to that. But I know I talked reasonably about the other subjects. Playing hostess in a strange house! Of course, it was uncomfortable! and to add to my embarrassment, the handsomest one offered to pay for the milk he had just drunk! Fancy my feelings, as I hastened to assure him that General Carter never received money for such things, and from a soldier, besides, it was not to be thought of! He turned to the other, saying, “In Mississippi we don’t meet with such people! Miss, they don’t hesitate to charge four bits a canteen for milk. They take all they can. They are not like you Louisianians.” I was surprised to hear him say it of his own State, but told him we thought here we could not do enough for them.

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Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/journal-of-surgeon-alfred-l-castleman-192/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/journal-of-surgeon-alfred-l-castleman-192/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 20:11:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9025 19th.—Moved at 7 this morning. Marched to-day over much of the same ground which we travelled over on our way to Richmond. But strange! There was scarcely a spot which I could recognize. Heretofore my memory of places has been almost wonderful. Why could I not now recognize? Has age impaired my memory, or was my mind at the time of passing so occupied with weightier matters that ordinary scenes and circumstances made no impression!

At 12 M. to-day we reached Yorktown. How wonderfully our minds deceive us in estimates of places and things associated with great events! Whoever heard of Yorktown, that city on the banks of the noble York River, on the sacred soil of the great State of Virginia? The famous city where Lord Cornwallis took his stand to crush out the American rebellion—the city in which was fought the last great battle for American independence—the mother of a nation, and which lives to have witnessed the growth of that nation through youth to maturity, from the feeble efforts of infancy to the power of a giant, and still lives to look on her offspring: sent by the convulsive struggles of its own strength, perhaps to final dissolution. I ask what mind can contemplate a city associated with all these events and recollections, without being possessed of ideas of its vastness and its splendor? But what the reality? Yorktown is a little dilapidated old village, which never contained a population of over 200 or 300, and at the commencement of this war not over 150. When I look on its insignificance, or rather on its significant littleness, I find it difficult not to detract from the ideas of greatness, associated with the great men who figured there. How wonderfully have the great advantages which nature has lavished on this State been prostituted to the one great idea of maintaining her peculiar institution, which she has nursed and defended against the approaches of the world, as she would protect and encourage the whims and weakness of a sickly girl.[1]

A circumstance occurred to-day so painful that I should like to forget it, yet so suggestive of the trials of this army and of the discouragements which has occasioned much of their indifference to events, that I feel it a duty to record it, that it may not be forgotten. On the late retreat from Richmond, most of the men found it necessary to throw away everything which impeded their progress, even their canteens. During our stay at Harrison’s Point they had not been fully replaced. This morning we started early. The day has been intensely hot, the dust almost insufferable. Gen. H—— was in command of his brigade. We had made a rapid march of about ten miles. The men were fatigued, foot-sore and thirsty. In many instances, two or three having to depend on one canteen, it was soon emptied, and when we stopped to rest after the ten mile march, we were in sight of a large spring of beautiful cold water. But the General ordered that not a man should leave the ranks to fill his canteen. It was hard to bear, but the men submitted in patience till they saw the soldiers from other brigades passing from the spring with their canteens filled. This was too much, and they commenced crying out “Water, water.” Immediately the General dashed amongst them, proclaiming “mutiny,” and demanding the offenders. Of course no one could tell who they were. He then turned upon the Regimental and Company officers, “damned them to hell,” and spent some time in consigning the soldiers to the same comfortable quarters. After he had got them all labeled for that kingdom, he told them that their officers were “not worth a G—d d—n,” and having exhausted his vocabulary of gentlemanly expletives, calculated to encourage subordination, he called the men into line and put them through the evolutions of a brigade drill for about half an hour, and thus were they rested to resume the march. These men—this remnant of a fine army, who had been dragged through the putrid swamps of the Chickahominy till they were more like ghosts than men, were thus rested, thus drilled, thus marched, thus abused. Surely the end is not yet.


[1] I think that all the towns on this noble river, from its source to its mouth, will not amount in the aggregate to a population of 2,000 souls! And the same may be said of the James River, from Richmond to its outlet; and yet these rivers pass through one of the finest agricultural regions in the world. There is not a spot of earth, the wheat from which can compete in market with that of the James River.

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Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/alexander-g-downing-372/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/alexander-g-downing-372/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 20:00:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=6337 Tuesday, 19th—We received orders that two companies are to go out every three days about four miles east of the camp, to guard the railroad at the deep cut. On the third day they are to be relieved by two other companies from the regiment. It is a dangerous place to be on picket.

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War Letters of William Thompson Lusk. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/war-letters-of-william-thompson-lusk-53/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/war-letters-of-william-thompson-lusk-53/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 18:30:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=6061 Headquarters Stevens’s Div.
9th Army Corps,

Fredericksburg, Aug. 19th, 1862.

My dearest Mother:

Here we are, occupying a fine house in the pleasant town of Fredericksburg, with the thermometer standing ever so high in the shade among a people whose glances are at zero in the hottest of this summer sunshine. I have seen nothing like this before, except in the single City of Venice., where the feeling is so intense toward the German soldiery. Yet it is not strange when one thinks that there are few left beside women. The men are away fighting in the pride of sons of the Old Dominion, and many a family here is clad in sombre colors for the loss of dear friends who have lost their lives at the hands of “Yankee Invaders.” So a military occupation of a disaffected town is less pleasant than the tented field. We will not remain a great while, though. We are now on the eve of great events. God only knows what the morrow has in store for us. I cannot say where I may be when I next write, but continue to direct to Stevens’ Division, 9th Army Corps, and the letters will reach me. I am sick at heart in some respects, and utterly weary of the miserable cant and whining of our Northern press. It is time that we assumed a manlier tone. We have heard enough of rebel atrocities, masked batteries, guerillas, and other lying humbugs. Pope’s orders are the last unabatable nuisance. Are we alone virtuous, and the enemy demons? Let us look at these highly praised orders of Pope which are to strike a death-blow at rebellion. We are henceforth to live on the enemy’s country, and to this, as a stern military necessity, I say “Amen!” But, mother, do you know what the much applauded practice means? It means to take the little ewe-lamb — the only property of the laborer — it means to force from the widow the cow which is her only source of sustenance. It means that the poor, and the weak, and the helpless are at the mercy of the strong — and God help them! This I say is bad enough, but when papers like the _____, with devilish pertinacity, talk of ill-judged lenity to rebels and call for vigorous measures, it makes every feeling revolt. We want vigorous measures badly enough to save us in these evil times, but not the measures the _____ urges. The last thing needed in our army is the relaxing of the bands of discipline. And yet our Press is urging our soldiers everywhere to help themselves to rebel property, and, instead of making our army a glorious means of maintaining liberty, would dissolve it into a wretched band of marauders, murderers, and thieves. If property is to be taken, let the Government take it. That is well — but I would have the man shot who would without authority steal so much as a fence rail, though it were to make the fire to cook his food. I would have no Blenkers and Sigels with their thieving hordes, but a great invincible army like Cromwell’s, trusting in God and marching on to victory.

Well, Mother, it is late. I am thankful we are under a commander who is a noble, high-minded, chivalrous man. Honor to Burnside! He is as generous as he is brave! Honor to my own dear commander, too, who has a heart to pity as well as the nerve to strike.

Kisses and love in liberal doses, prescribed in liberal doses to his absent loving friends,

By your most Affec.

Dr. Lusk.

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Diary and Letters of Rutherford B. Hayes. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rutherford-b-hayes-468/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rutherford-b-hayes-468/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 18:30:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=8875 On Steamer Monitor, Kanawha River,
August 18, [1862]. Evening.

Dear Wife : — I am four hard days’ marching, and a few hours’ travel on a swift steamer nearer to you than I was when I last wrote you, and yet I am not on my way home. You will see in the newspapers, I suppose, that General Cox’s Division (the greater part of it) is going to eastern Virginia. We left our camps Friday, the 15th, making long and rapid marches from the mountains to the head of navigation on this river. We now go down to the Ohio, then up to Parkersburg, and thence by railroad eastwardly to the scene of operations. My new regiment fills slowly, I think, and it may be longer than I anticipated before I shall be called for at Cincinnati, if at all. There is talk of an order that will prevent my going to the new regiment, but I think it is not correctly understood, and the chance, it seems to me, is that I shall go home notwithstanding this change of plan.

Our men are delighted with the change. They cheer and laugh, the band plays, and it is a real frolic. During the hot dusty marching, the idea that we were leaving the mountains of west Virginia kept them in good heart.

You will hereafter direct letters to me “General Cox’s Division, Army of Virginia.”

August 19. Evening. Same steamer on the Ohio River. —

Dearest : — We have had a particularly jolly day. The river is very low, and at many of the bars and shoals we are compelled to disembark and march the troops around. In this way we have marched through some villages, and fine farming neighborhoods in Meigs County. The men, women, and children turned out with apples, peaches, pies, melons, pickles (Joe took to them), etc., etc., etc., in the greatest profusion. The drums and fifes and band all piped their best. The men behaved like gentlemen and marched beautifully. Wasn’t I proud of them? How happy they were! They would say, “This is God’s country.” So near you and marching away from you! That was the only sad point in it for me. Only one man drunk so far; his captain put him under arrest. He insisted on an appeal to me, and on my saying, “It’s all right,” he was sober enough to submit, saying, “Well, if the colonel says it’s right, it must be right,” so he made no trouble.

I shall write daily until we get to Parkersburg — that is on the line of railroad to Chillicothe, I believe. No more tonight.

[R. B. Hayes.]

Mrs. Hayes.

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War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/luman-harris-tenney-254/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/luman-harris-tenney-254/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 18:30:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=7220 19th. Tuesday. Breakfasted at Johnstown. As usual boys went for chickens, corn and anything to eat. People have felt our march through their country. Report came that the enemy were at Osceola, 30 miles southeast. Continued our march Osceolaward. Stopped two or three miles from Johnstown and fed mules and ourselves—three hours. Moved on. Report came that Cloud’s advance was fighting with rear guard of the enemy. One man killed on the prairie, just buried. Changed our course towards Stubbleville. Reached that place in the morning, sunrise. In the afternoon my horse troubled me so getting away that I got on bareback. Got a saddle and rode all night. Very sleepy. Slept on my horse. Major Miner fell from his horse. Pat Collopy fell twice. It was almost impossible for the rear guard to get the sleeping ones awake and along.

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A sutler’s tent near H.Q. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/a-sutlers-tent-near-h-q/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/a-sutlers-tent-near-h-q/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 13:29:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=11586 1862 August A sutler's tent near H.Q.

Library of Congress image.

Detailed sketch of the interior of a sutler’s tent, with several full-length portraits of unidentified officers drinking at a bar in the foreground, drawn in August 1862, byArthur Lumley.

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Rebel War Clerk http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rebel-war-clerk-469/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rebel-war-clerk-469/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 12:46:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=10046 AUGUST 19TH.—Day and night our troops are marching; they are now beyond the right wing of Pope, and will soon be accumulated there in such numbers as to defy the combined forces of Pope, Burnside, and McClellan!

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“Went into bivouac early in the afternoon and remained all night.” –Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/josiah-marshall-favill-126/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/josiah-marshall-favill-126/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 10:30:30 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=3433 August 19th. By 7 A. M. we were in, line, tents struck, wagons loaded, and commenced the march in first-class condition. The country improves the further we go, and to-day’s eight miles march was through a paradise, compared to the region of Manassas and the Chickahominy. Went into bivouac early in the afternoon and remained all night. There are plenty of excellent springs about this country, in addition to numerous other good things, and the campaigning reminds me all the time of Charles O’Malley’s experience in the Spanish peninsula.

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A Diary of American Events. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/a-diary-of-american-events-411/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/a-diary-of-american-events-411/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=8339 August 19.—The steamer Swallow was burned by the rebels, at a point on the Mississippi River, twenty-five miles below Memphis, Tenn.—A skirmish took place near Rienzi, Miss.

— The following order was issued from the War Department at Washington:

The Department of the Ohio, hereby created, will be composed of the States of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky, East of the Tennessee River, and including Cumberland Gap, and the troops operating in its vicinity. Major-General H. G. Wright is assigned to the command of the Department of Ohio.

— A large and enthusiastic war meeting was held in Brooklyn, N. Y. A series of patriotic resolutions were adopted, and speeches made by Generals Crooke, Walbridge, Sickles and Spinola, Admiral Paulding, Rev. Dr. Cox, and others.

—A force of Union cavalry from New-Madrid, Mo., under the command of Captain Frank Moore, while on an expedition to Charleston, attacked a rebel camp on White Oak Ridge, near Hickman, killing four and taking nineteen of the rebels prisoners, including three captains. They also captured twenty-seven horses and about one hundred stand of arms. Captain Moore and one private were wounded.

— The Board of Supervisors of Rensselaer County, N. Y., assembled at Troy, appropriated seventy-five thousand dollars as bounty money, to be paid to volunteers enlisting into the army under the call of the President.

— The Sioux Indians destroyed the United States Agencies at Yellow Medicine and Red Wood, and partially destroyed New-Ulm, Minn., killing and brutally mutilating more than a hundred persons, men, women, and children.

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Civil War Diary of Charles H. Lynch http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/charles-h-lynch-3/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/charles-h-lynch-3/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:57:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=10909 August 18th. Monday. Regiment mustered into the United States service, William G. Ely, Colonel, having been promoted from Lieutenant-Colonel of the 6th Connecticut Regiment. A resident of Norwich. The remaining days in camp brought many visitors and peddlers. Those were sad and very exciting days while we were preparing for the life of a soldier. The weather hot and dry in camp.

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Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/george-michael-neese-125/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/george-michael-neese-125/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:26:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9553 August 18 — Last night we had our blankets to sleep under again, which was the first time since the night of the 7th. To-day we moved a mile southeast from town, to cook three days’ rations. This evening Captain Chew paraded the company and issued haversacks, in which we were ordered to put three days’ rations immediately, and were also ordered to load all our household effects on our wagons, so that if an alarm or order should break in on us during the night we could be ready to march in thirty minutes.

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Diary of Gideon Welles. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/diary-of-gideon-welles-8/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/diary-of-gideon-welles-8/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:11:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9095 August 18, Monday. Had a call to-day from an old schoolmate at Cheshire, now a chaplain in the army, Joseph H. Nichols. Invited and had him to tea with me and talked over school-boy days. It is thirty-five years or over since we have met, though not unfrequently in the same place.

Sent Commodore Wilkes a dispatch to hold his ground and await events. Will send him specific orders when developments justify. He is a troublesome officer in many respects, unpopular in the Navy and never on good terms with the Department, yet I have thus far got along with him very well, though in constant apprehension that he will commit some rash act. He is ambitious, self-conceited, and self-willed. The withdrawal of the army from before Richmond disconcerts him, and to make his mark he may do some indiscreet, rash, and indefensible act. But I trust not. He has abilities but not sound judgment, and is not always subordinate, though he is himself severe and exacting towards his subordinates.

Had a letter from Fox at Portsmouth. Says there are traitors even there. It will be necessary that the Government should be felt as a power before this Rebellion can be suppressed. The armored boats, to which he was to give some attention, are progressing as well as can be expected. . . .

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Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/journal-of-surgeon-alfred-l-castleman-191/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/journal-of-surgeon-alfred-l-castleman-191/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:11:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9021 18th.—Left camp this morning at 6 o’clock, on the Williamsburg road, and at 12 to 1, passed in retreat over the scenes of our first hard fight, where my regiment, by its firm and unyielding bravery, won the promise that it “should have Williamsburg inscribed on its banner;” a promise richly merited but never fulfilled.

When passing through Williamsburg I, in company with Surgeon Frank H. Hamilton, stepped aside to take a stroll through the halls and rooms of old William and Mary, the oldest college, I believe, except Yale, on this continent. There still stood the students’ desks and seats, at which Virgil and Ovid and Horace had kindled whatever spark they possessed of poetic fire, and Livy had evoked many a curse at his dry detail. There were the black-boards on which the mysteries of Euclid were solved into the unwavering language of distance and of measure, and there was the old chapel, with the benches still in situ, from which for more than a century, hopeful youths had sat and listened to prayers for their usefulness and prosperity, whilst they laid plans of mischief against the supplicators for their good. But the places of the Professors were now filled with the inevitable Commissary and his aids, with their barrels and their boxes, whilst the benches of the students were crowded with clamors for their bacon, beef and beans. I mused for awhile over thoughts of the learned men who had passed forever from these ancient halls, and of the influences they have left behind them.

.

“Their heads may sodden in the sun,
Their limbs be strung to city gates and walls;
But still their spirits walk Abroad.”

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They certainly do not walk here. The sight would be too painful for sensitive and sensible spirits to bear. But these thoughts were dissipated as I looked again on the places where for the first time any number of our regiment had met death on the battle field, and on which it won laurels which shall be green forever!

At 2 o’clock we encamped on the east bank of King’s Creek, a small stream about three miles from Williamsburg, on the banks of which repose the bodies of thousands of the Federal army—of those brave men, who, flushed with hope and patriotic enthusiasm, rushed boldly to the contest, and were permitted to be swept away by hundreds, unsupported by commanders, who, with their hosts unengaged, stood calmly watching the slaughter.

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Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/alexander-g-downing-367/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/alexander-g-downing-367/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:00:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=6336 Monday, 18th—We are having some very hot weather. Since coming to Bolivar, each man is permitted to cook his rations in his own way, and so every man has a frying pan of some sort, and a tin peach can in which to boil his coffee. One man in our company, “Long John,” as the boys have nicknamed him, is a great coffee drinker. He carries a two-quart peach can strapped to his haversack, and every day buys up one or two rations of coffee from the boys who do not use much.

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War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/luman-harris-tenney-275/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/luman-harris-tenney-275/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:30:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=7219 18th. Monday. After the moon rose, so that the teams could pick their way, we started on. Moved back on the same road we went up. Col. Cloud and Warren’s forces took another route and went faster than we. Passed through “Index” and “Rose Hill” and stopped after passing the big mill. Awful place for baggage to cross. Got a little supper. Hard bread and coffee, then moved on— the dismounted men and infantry on foot. The report came in that Cloud met the enemy at Johnstown—so Blunt hastened. Mules and horses tired out. As we marched boys would fall asleep, walk on and frequently tumble down. Major Burnett said he rode the whole length of train and every mule driver but two were asleep—most in their wagons. Train moved on well.

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Robert M. Magill—Personal Reminiscences of a Confederate Soldier Boy. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/robert-m-magillpersonal-reminiscences-of-a-confederate-soldier-boy-42/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/robert-m-magillpersonal-reminiscences-of-a-confederate-soldier-boy-42/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:55:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=11726 Monday, 18th.—Took position in line of battle this A. M. Pickets skirmishing a little. Reported that General Ledbetter is on the other side of the mountain, and the Yanks are hemmed in.

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Timothy H. O’Sullivan. — A Photographer at Manassas. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/timothy-h-osullivan/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/timothy-h-osullivan/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:42:07 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=11580 1862 August Bull Run, Va. New bridge built by McDowell's engineers

Bull Run, Va. New bridge built by McDowell’s engineers; photographer’s wagon at left.

Library of Congress image.

Photo taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan, August, 1862.

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O’Sullivan appears to have included himself in some of his photos.  I remembered having seen this particular wagon in another image recently, which turned out to have been taken in the Manassas area on July 4.

Our photographer at Manassas - Timothy H. O’Sullivan

Our photographer at Manassas.

Library of Congress image.

Photo taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan, July 4, 1862.

 

O’Sullivan also appears to have included himself in 2 other images that have already been published here:

Locomotive on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad in Virginia – in foreground with back to camera, dressed the same as in the top image.

Federal battery fording a tributary of the Rappahannock – on right side of image next to the same wagon as is in the above two images.

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Rebel War Clerk http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rebel-war-clerk-468/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rebel-war-clerk-468/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:46:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=10045 AUGUST 18TH.—From Texas, West Louisiana, and Arkansas, we shall soon have tidings. The clans are gathering, and 20,000 more, half mounted on hardy horses, will soon be marching for the prairie country of the enemy. Glorious Lee! and glorious Jackson! They are destined to roll the dark clouds away from the horizon.

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“…pitched tents upon a splendid plantation and remained until the next morning.” –Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/josiah-marshall-favill-125/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/josiah-marshall-favill-125/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:30:22 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=3432 August 18th. Reveille at daylight. Immediately after breakfast the troops received several days’ rations, and at 7 A. M. marched out of bivouac, going only four miles, and then for some reason not stated, pitched tents upon a splendid plantation and remained until the next morning. Poultry, fruits, and vegetables were in abundance, and we not only enjoyed a superb rest, but the best of catering. A spread at Delmonico’s could not surpass the dainties of the Fifty-seventh’s mess on this pleasant route. The country is delightful, and riding at the head of one’s regiment in company with so many good fellows, day after day, is simply glorious; a most agreeable change from camp life.

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A Diary of American Events. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/a-diary-of-american-events-410/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/a-diary-of-american-events-410/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=8338 August 18.—The following orders were issued from the War Department at Washington: “Hereafter no appointments of Majors-General or Brigadiers-General will be given except to officers of the regular army, for meritorious and distinguished services during the war, or to volunteer officers who, by some successful achievement in the field, shall have displayed the military abilities required for the duties of a general officer.

“No appointment to such grades will be issued by the War Department till an examination is made to ascertain if there are any charges or evidence against the character, conduct or fitness of the appointee, and if there should be any such charges or evidence a special report will be made to the President.”

— The One Hundred and Twenty-fifth and the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh regiments of Pennsylvania arrived at Washington, D. C.

— The National pickets were fired on at Romney Road, Va., and one man mortally wounded. A force sent in pursuit overtook a party of bushwhackers near North River Mills, attacked them, and killed the notorious guerrilla, Bob Edwards. The rest escaped to the mountains. — Colonel Michael Corcoran, of the Sixty-ninth New-York militia, was appointed a Brigadier-General in the volunteer service of the United States.

— The Congress of the rebel States reassembled at Richmond, Va., when Jeff Davis delivered his annual message, addressed “to the Senate and House of Representatives of the confederate States.”—See Supplement.

— The steamers Skylark and Sallie were burned by guerrillas, at the mouth of Duck Creek, fifty miles above Fort Henry, Tenn. The Skylark was heavily laden with government stores. She got aground and an officer unloaded a portion of her stores when he was attacked by thirty rebels. The crew, being unarmed, were compelled to surrender. The guerrillas, after removing the furniture and silver ware, set fire to both the boats. The crews were released on parole.

— The rebel Colonel John H. Morgan, issued a proclamation from Hartsville, Tenn., in which he said that in consequence of the Federal Government causing his friends to pay for property destroyed by him, he would thenceforth put the law of retaliation in full force, and act upon it with vigor. For every dollar exacted from his Southern fellow-citizens, he would have two from men of known Union sentiments, and would make their persons and property responsible for the payment

— Clarksville, Tenn., garrisoned by a small number of Union troops, under command of Col. Mason, was this day surrendered to Col. Woodward and a superior force of rebel guerrilla troops, without firing a shot.—(Doc. 186.)

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Dummies and Quakers. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/dummies-and-quakers/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/dummies-and-quakers/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 01:27:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=11575 1862 August Soldier's dummies and quakers, left in the works at Harrison's landing

Library of Congress image.

Title: Soldier’s dummies and quakers, left in the works at Harrison’s landing.

Alfred Waud, the artist, wrote on the back, “The soldiers tell me there was a number of these bogus guns and figures, and their appearance kept the enemy from the camp for some time after it was evacuated. The photographer has a picture of these sham guns, but it was taken before the figures were set up.”

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Civil War Diary of Charles H. Lynch http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/charles-h-lynch-2/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/charles-h-lynch-2/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:55:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=10908 August 17th. Sunday in camp. Most of the members of the regiment were allowed to leave camp and visit homes and the city. It would be our last Sunday in the state. I was detailed for guard duty and could not leave camp. Many visitors in camp during the day. I was on duty two hours and off four during the day and night.

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Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/george-michael-neese-124/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/george-michael-neese-124/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:26:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9552 August 17 — This morning another load of soldiers came in from Gordonsville. I think old Stonewall is fixing to go on a big hunt before many days roll by. All the indications point that way.

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A Confederate Girl’s Diary http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/sarah-morgan-dawson-70/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/sarah-morgan-dawson-70/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:25:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=7634 August 17th.

Another Sunday. Strange that the time, which should seem so endless, flies so rapidly! Miriam complains that Sunday comes every day; but though that seems a little too much, I insist that it comes twice a week. Let time fly, though; for each day brings us so much nearer our destiny, which I long to know.

Thursday, we heard from a lady just from town that our house was standing the day before, which somewhat consoled us for the loss of our silver and clothing; but yesterday came the tidings of new afflictions. I declare we have acted out the first chapter of Job, all except that verse about the death of his sons and daughters. God shield us from that! I do not mind the rest. “While he was yet speaking, another came in and said, ‘Thy brethren and kinsmen gathered together to wrest thine abode from the hand of the Philistines which pressed sore upon thee; when lo! the Philistines sallied forth with fire and sword, and laid thine habitation waste and desolate, and I only am escaped to tell thee.’” Yes! the Yankees, fearing the Confederates might slip in unseen, resolved to have full view of their movements, so put the torch to all eastward, from Colonel Matta’s to the Advocate. That would lay open a fine tract of country, alone; but unfortunately, it is said that once started, it was not so easy to control the flames, which spread considerably beyond their appointed limits. Some say it went as far as Florida Street; if so, we are lost, as that is a half-square below us. For several days the fire has been burning, but very little can be learned of the particulars. I am sorry for Colonel Matta. Such a fine brown stone front, the finest in town. Poor Minna! poverty will hardly agree with her. As for our home, I hope against hope. I will not believe it is burnt, until somebody declares having been present on that occasion. Yet so many frame houses on that square must have readily caught fire from the sparks.

Wicked as it may seem, I would rather have all I own burned, than in the possession of the negroes. Fancy my magenta organdie on a dark beauty! Bah! I think the sight would enrage me! Miss Jones’s trials are enough to drive her crazy. She had the pleasure of having four officers in her house, men who sported epaulets and red sashes, accompanied by a negro woman, at whose disposal all articles were placed. The worthy companion of these “gentlemen” walked around selecting things with the most natural airs and graces. “This,” she would say, “we must have. And some of these books, you know; and all the preserves, and these chairs and tables, and all the clothes, of course; and yes! the rest of these things.” So she would go on, the “gentlemen” assuring her she had only to choose what she wanted, and that they would have them removed immediately. Madame thought they really must have the wine, and those handsome cut-glass goblets. I hardly think I could have endured such a scene; to see all I owned given to negroes, without even an accusation being brought against me of disloyalty.[1] One officer departed with a fine velvet cloak on his arm; another took such a bundle of Miss Jones’s clothes, that he had to have it lifted by some one else on his horse, and rode off holding it with difficulty. This I heard from herself, yesterday, as I spent the day with Lilly and mother at Mr. Elder’s, where she is now staying. Can anything more disgraceful be imagined? They all console me by saying there is no one in Baton Rouge who could possibly wear my dresses without adding a considerable piece to the belt. But that is nonsense. Another pull at the corset strings would bring them easily to the size I have been reduced by nature and bones. Besides, O horror! Suppose, instead, they should let in a piece of another color? That would annihilate me! Pshaw! I do not care for the dresses, if they had only left me those little articles of father’s and Harry’s. But that is hard to forgive.


[1] The Act of July 16th, 1862, authorized the confiscation of property only in the cases of rebels whose disloyalty was established. — W. D.

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Diary of Gideon Welles. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/diary-of-gideon-welles-7/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/diary-of-gideon-welles-7/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:11:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9094 August 17, Sunday. Called this morning on General Halleck, who had forgotten or was not aware there was a naval force in the James River cooperating with the army. He said the army was withdrawn and there was no necessity for the naval vessels to remain. I remarked that I took a different view of the question, and, had I been consulted, I should have advised that the naval and some army forces should hold on and menace Richmond, in order to compel the Rebels to retain part of their army there while our forces in front of Washington were getting in position. He began to rub his elbows, and, without thanking me or acknowledgment of any kind, said he wished the vessels could remain. Telegraphed Wilkes to that effect. Strange that this change of military operations should have been made without Cabinet consultation, and especially without communicating the fact to the Secretary of the Navy, who had established a naval flotilla on the James River by special request to cooperate with and assist the army. But Stanton is so absorbed in his scheme to get rid of McClellan that other and more important matters are neglected.

A difficulty has existed from the beginning in the military, and I may say general, management of the War. At a very early day, before even the firing on Sumter and the abandonment of Norfolk, I made repeated applications to General Scott for one or two regiments to be stationed there. Anticipating the trouble that subsequently took place, and confident that, with one regiment well commanded and a good engineer to construct batteries, with the cooperation of the frigate Cumberland and such small additional naval force as we could collect, the place might be held at least until the public property and ships could be removed, I urged the importance of such aid. The reply on each occasion was that he not only had no troops to spare from Washington or Fortress Monroe, both of which places he considered in great danger, but that if he had, he would not send a detachment in what he considered enemy’s country, especially as there were no intrenchments. I deferred to his military character and position, but remonstrated against this view of the case, for I was assured, and, I believe, truly, that a majority of the people in the navy yard and in the vicinity of Norfolk were loyal, friends of the Union and opposed to Secession. He said that might be the political, but was not the military, aspect, and he must be governed by military considerations in disposing of his troops.

There was but one way of overcoming these objections and that was by peremptory orders, which I could not, and the President would not, give, in opposition to the opinions of General Scott. The consequence was the loss of the navy yard and of Norfolk, and the almost total extinguishment of the Union sentiment in that quarter. Our friends there became cool and were soon alienated by our abandonment. While I received no assistance from the military in that emergency, I was thwarted and embarrassed by the secret interference of the Secretary of State in my operations. General Scott was for a defensive policy, and the same causes which influenced him in that matter, and the line of policy which he marked out, have governed the educated officers of the army and to a great extent shaped the war measures of the Government. “We must erect our batteries on the eminences in the vicinity of Washington,” said General Mansfield to me, “and establish our military lines; frontiers between the belligerents, as between the countries of Continental Europe, are requisite.” They were necessary in order to adapt and reconcile the theory and instruction of West Point to the war that was being prosecuted. We should, however, by this process become rapidly two hostile nations. All beyond the frontiers must be considered and treated as enemies, although large sections, and in some instances whole States, have a Union majority, occasionally in some sections approximating unanimity.

Instead of halting on the borders, building intrenchments, and repelling indiscriminately and treating as Rebels — enemies — all, Union as well as disunion, men in the insurrectionary region, we should, I thought, penetrate their territory, nourish and protect the Union sentiment, and create and strengthen a national feeling counter to Secession. This we might have done in North Carolina, western Virginia, northern Alabama and Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, and in fact in large sections of nearly every seceding State. Instead of holding back, we should be aggressive and enter their territory. Our generals act on the defensive. It is not and has not been the policy of the country to be aggressive towards others, therefore defensive tactics, rather than offensive have been taught, and the effect upon our educated commanders in this civil war is perceptible. The best material for commanders in this civil strife may have never seen West Point. There is something in the remark that a good general is “born to command.” We have experienced that some of our best-educated officers have no faculty to govern, control, and direct an army in offensive warfare. We have many talented and capable engineers, good officers in some respects, but without audacity, desire for fierce encounter, and in that respect almost utterly deficient as commanders. Courage and learning are essential, but something more is wanted for a good general, — talent, intuition, magnetic power, which West Point cannot give. Men who would have made the best generals and who possess innately the best and highest qualities to command may not have been so fortunate as to be selected by a Member of Congress to be a cadet.

Jackson and Taylor were excellent generals, but they were not educated engineers, nor were they what would be considered in these days accomplished and educated military men. They detailed and availed themselves of engineers, and searched out and found the needed qualities in others.

We were unused to war when these present difficulties commenced, and have often permitted men of the army to decide questions that were more political than military. There is still the same misfortune, — for I deem it such.

From the beginning there was a persistent determination to treat the Rebels as alien belligerents, — as a hostile and distinct people, — to blockade, instead of closing, their ports. The men “duly accredited by the Confederate States of America” held back-door intercourse with the Secretary of State, and lived and moved in ostentatious style in Washington for some weeks. Thus commencing, other governments had reason to claim that we had initiated them into the belief that the Federal Government and its opponents were two nations; and the Union people of the South were, by this policy of our Government and that of the army, driven, compelled against their wishes, to be our antagonists.

No man in the South could avow himself a friend of the Union without forfeiting his estate, his liberty, and perhaps his life under State laws of the Confederates. The Federal Government not only afforded him no protection, but under the military system of frontiers he was treated as a public enemy because he resided in his own home at the South.

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Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/journal-of-surgeon-alfred-l-castleman-186/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/journal-of-surgeon-alfred-l-castleman-186/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:11:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=9020 17th.—Left Charles City at 5 1-2 o’clock this A. M. Beautiful day; clear, windy and cool, but terribly dusty. At 3 P. M., crossed the Chickahominy near the mouth, on a pontoon bridge.[1] * Pontoon bridges are a success. To-night we lie at the mouth of the Chickahominy, under protection of our gun boats. What a commercial world this State of Virginia should be. Its navigable waters are nearly equal to that of all the Free States combined; yet there are single cities in the North which have a larger commerce than the whole of the Slave States. Why is this? Has the peculiar institution any thing to do with it? If so, God, nature— everything speaks aloud against it as a curse. The ground which we now occupy is one of the most beautiful, as well as one of the most desirable sites for a city in America, high and dry, with an easy ascent from the water, presenting three fronts to the navigable rivers, with fine water views in all directions, as extensive as the range of vision, with business amounting to one house and a few cords of dry pine wood, which seems to be the article of export from this part of the State.

There is no longer a doubt that we are leaving the Peninsula. What now becomes of the statement that our retreat was only “a change of base?”


[1]A pontoon bridge is thus built: Narrow, flat-bottomed boats, about twenty-five feet long, are anchored in the stream. They lie side by side, from ten to fifteen feet apart, so as to make a row of boats from one bank to the other. From one to the other, clear across the stream are tied stringers, on which are laid down heavy planks, about sixteen feet long, which makes the bridge, and which is sufficient to bear up any number of teams which can be crowded on it.

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Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/alexander-g-downing-369/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/alexander-g-downing-369/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:00:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=6335 Sunday, 17th—Nothing of importance. We had company inspection early this morning. Because of the hot weather, all men not on duty stay close to their tents in the shade.

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War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/luman-harris-tenney-274/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/luman-harris-tenney-274/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:30:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=7218 17th. Sunday. Breakfasted and under way at 5 A. M. Passed through Rose Hill, a very pretty little town. Hugh Watson and I went ahead and got apples, watermelons, plums and wild grapes. Had a good time. Passed through “Index,” another little town. Major rode with us in the wagon all day, good time. Reached “Lone Jack,” where the enemy were, at sundown an hour before. A man came up and reported 1500 enemy in our rear. Major Purington with rear guard, watched them and kept near them. Fired a good deal and tried to detain them. Proved to be the enemy retreating the way we had come. Major sent word for reinforcements. Some went but did not follow fast enough till dark set in. Commenced to rain. Command moved. Baggage soon could not go, it was so dark. So the enemy escaped us, so slickly through the gap. General Salomon had advised and entreated Blunt to keep flankers and scouts out through the woods near “Lone Jack.” They had intelligence from Warren that they were surely there, and we were passing within a mile. The ground was favorable for their retreat from the town—unseen. They kept a large picket about town and thus fooled our men. Warren could not believe that they had gone. So they left us, as a mouse from a trap. All the officers were enraged and disgusted with Blunt’s mistake, still hoped to overtake them. I went out a mile and got an old mare to ride. The history of the fight of the day previous was as follows: The day before, Quantrell, with 1200 men burned Independence and then skedaddled; Capt. Burns from Kansas City, with two companies of cavalry, four of infantry and two pieces of artillery, followed; at night overtook them and shelled their camp. They ran. The next morning Quantrell met Coffee and turned back. Lay in the brush and waited for them, coming through a lane. When the Feds came along they rose up and poured volley after volley into them. They hurried back to the village and there fought desperately. Finally overpowered, spiked one of the guns, destroyed the ammunition and ran. Warren, who had followed Coffee from Butler, watched them here that and the next day, till we came up confident that they would stand a fight. About 60 killed and many wounded on each side. Rebels burned ten of our wounded men in a house used as a hospital.

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Robert M. Magill—Personal Reminiscences of a Confederate Soldier Boy. http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/robert-m-magillpersonal-reminiscences-of-a-confederate-soldier-boy-41/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/robert-m-magillpersonal-reminiscences-of-a-confederate-soldier-boy-41/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:51:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=11725 Sunday 17th.—At 9 A. M., we were in three miles of Cumberland Gap, when the Federals began shelling us; continued slowly throughout the day; one man slightly wounded; after dark fell back half mile.


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

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Rebel War Clerk http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rebel-war-clerk-467/ http://www.cw-chronicles.com/blog/rebel-war-clerk-467/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:46:00 +0000 http://dotcw.com/?p=10044 AUGUST 17TH.—We have also news from Missouri of indications of an uprising which will certainly clear the State of the few Federal troops remaining there. The draft will accelerate the movement. And then if we get Kentucky, as I think we must, we shall add a hundred thousand to our army!

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