War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney.

War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney.

Thursday, 27th. Up at 3 A. M. and ready to march at sunrise. Went as advance of whole division. I had charge of advance, 20 men. Moved south till within a mile of Rhea’s Mills. Fed ourselves and horses at Gin. and went on. The scouts were in advance most of the time, saw no enemy. Got some nice apples at a house. Went into camp on the hill and went out as picket on the road to the south. Slept without fires.

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An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones.

An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones, 6th Battery, Wisconsin Artillery.

Moscow, Thursday, Nov. 27. Our boys returned in the afternoon having been out to Collierville, eighteen miles distant, burned a bridge, came upon a party of rebs, capturing three. Weather cold and clear. Health improving.

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A Diary of American Events.

The Rebellion Record—A Diary of American Events; by Frank Moore

November 27.—Colonel Kirk, commanding the Fifth brigade of General Sill’s division, made a reconnoissance from Nashville toward La Vergne, Tenn., with two companies of the Third Indiana cavalry, and that portion of his brigade not on picket-duty. He came upon the rebel outposts of cavalry three quarters of a mile beyond Scrougesville. The rebels fired a few rounds and fled, until they fell in with their other outposts on the right and left of the road, when they made a stand at a church three fourths of a mile beyond. Here they discharged several rounds at the Union advance, slightly wounding Lieutenant Colonel Hurd, of the Thirtieth Indiana, who was bravely leading his men. This regiment, under lead of Colonel Dodge, quickly drove the guerrillas from their position, who retreated until they reached their artillery, which was planted on a hill. They fired a few rounds and continued retreating. The National troops chased them some two miles beyond La Vergne, when the rebels fled so fast, that they soon became invisible. Several of the rebels were killed and wounded, a number of them being seen to fall. They were carried off by their friends. The Nationals had ten privates wounded; none killed. A guerrilla, who was captured, stated that General Wheeler, who was in command, was wounded. — Nashville Union, November 29.

—A Union cavalry force, two thousand five hundred strong, under the command of Brigadier General C. C. Washburne, left Helena, Ark., this afternoon, on an expedition into the State of Mississippi.—(Doc. 61.)

—Political prisoners were released from Fort Warren, Mass. —At Louisville, Ky., General Boyle issued the following order: “All commanding officers serving in this district are ordered not to permit any negroes or slaves to enter the camps, and all officers and privates are forbidden to interfere or intermeddle with the slaves in any way.”—The schooner Mary E. Mangum, while entering the port of Roseau, Dominica, was fired into by the rebel steamer Alabama, without damage.—This morning the United States forces consisting of the Ninth Illinois and part of the Fourteenth Missouri regiments, under the command of Colonel Mersey, evacuated Rienzi, Miss., carrying away all the government stores and property. This movement was made in anticipation of an attack upon Corinth by the rebels, who were reported to be advancing in two heavy columns upon that place, respectively from the south and cast—Missouri Democrat.

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Rebel War Clerk

A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, By John Beauchamp Jones

NOVEMBER 27TH—Some of the late Secretary’s friends are hinting that affairs will go amiss now, as if he would have prevented any disaster! Who gave up Norfolk? That was a calamitous blunder! Letters from North Carolina are distressing enough. They say, but for the influence of Gov. Vance, the legislature would favor reconstruction!

Gen. Marshall writes lugubriously. He says his men are all barefoot.

Gen. Magruder writes that Pemberton has only 20,000 men, and should have 50,000 more at once—else the Mississippi Valley will be lost, and the cause ruined. He thinks there should be a concentration of troops there immediately, no matter how much other places might suffer; the enemy beaten, and the Mississippi secured at all hazards. If not, Mobile is lost, and perhaps Montgomery, as well as Vicksburg, Holly Springs, etc.

One of our paroled men from Washington writes the President that, on the 6th instant, Burnside had but seventy regiments and the President seemed to credit it! The idea of Burnside advancing with seventy regiments is absurd. But how many absurd ideas have been entertained by the government, and have influenced it! Nous verrons.

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Kate Cumming: A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Kate Cumming: A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

November 27. [Chattanooga] —W. H. Williams, one of Hardee’s body-guard, died on the 25th. Had one case of small-pox, which has been sent to the pest-house. I am told the disease is of a mild type, and very few die of it.

The enemy are preparing to give battle to the Tennessee army; Rosecrans, their ablest general, is in command. News of a battle is daily expected.

Two ladies of this place, Mrs. Brooks and Mrs. Brewer, called on us to-day. I was much pleased with them.

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Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

November 26 — Moved camp to-day. We passed through Winchester, and are now camped one mile west of town.

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Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

Diary of Alexander G. Downing; Company E, Eleventh Iowa Infantry

Wednesday, 26th—Nothing of importance. The boys had the laugh on our commanding general this afternoon when we were returning from drill; he was riding at the head of the division and when crossing the creek at a rocky ford he was thrown from his horse. The boys declared that the horse was O. K., but that perhaps the real cause of his ducking was Southern rum.

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Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon.

Reminiscences of the Civil War, William and Adelia Lyon

To Mrs. Lyon.

Fort Henry, Nov. 26, 1862.—We have had no mails for several days. The last mail brought one letter from you. It bears date of August 16th, redirected and forwarded by Bartlett from Corinth. The uncertainty of mails is very annoying.

I write today, as I am detailed to act as President of a general Court-Martial which convenes here tomorrow, and I shall probably not have any leisure again for a few days. Our Major, Bigney, has just joined us, and relieves me from some duty. He is very much of a gentleman, besides being a good officer.

I showed my black folks all of your pictures today. Jerry was much taken with Willie, saying: ‘He will make a bully man if nothing happens.’ They are faithful, excellent people, but they put on some airs because they wait on the Colonel. Minerva is now cooking for some officers who live with the Lieutenant-Colonel when he is here. She is in a great hurry for you to come, so that she can get out of that arrangement and wait on you. I am going to build a log house in the rear of my tent for them to live and cook in.

We have battalion drill every afternoon, but tomorrow being Thanksgiving Day at home I give the boys a holiday. I should be happy to eat fried oysters with you on the occasion, but I suppose I shall be obliged to go on with the Court-Martial.

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War Letters of William Thompson Lusk.

War Letters of William Thompson Lusk.

Near Falmouth,

Nov. 26th, 1862.

My dear Mother;

I have selected the most inviting of the paper Nellie sent me to write you to-day — such nice paper I thought it would be to write a love-letter on, to some dainty little lady. I have lighted a real good cigar, and fancy I might be delightfully sentimental, but nearly five years absence from home has left me, alas! with no dainty little lady acquaintances, time having changed them into interesting matrons. So as my own mother is the most interesting matron of my acquaintance, I find myself writing to her.

To-morrow will be Thanksgiving Day. The manner in which it is supposed to be observed in camp you will find interestingly pictured in last week’s “Frank Leslie.” I suppose we will dine in reality to-morrow on coffee and crackers and fried beefsteak. Still these things satisfy the appetite, and are even capable of producing dyspepsia, notwithstanding the popular notion that such an evil is confined to the pampered denizens of cities. You must take Sam Elliott’s descriptions of camp-life cum grano salis, remembering what wonderful descriptive powers he possesses. I do not doubt he pictures the horrors so vividly that the hearers suffer far more from listening to his accounts, than the actual victims do from experiencing the reality.

You will see Wm. Elliott I suppose. Tell him then that I must have written authority from him to collect the money for his lost horse. I wish to serve him, but need the writing to enable me to act. My special friend, Lt.-Col. Morrison, played me another amiable trick tonight, having appointed More Major of the Regiment, subject to the approval of the Governor of New-York. This was in the first place unnecessary, as More has not yet reported for duty. Then it was a thing he had no special power to do, Col. Farnsworth (so he writes me) having already recommended me to the Gov. for the position. But it was a cunning trick, as, should my appointment occur in the face of his own published to the Regiment, endless troubles could easily be made to result. Yet Morrison to my face is the sweetest, most amiable among the artificers of brasses for andirons.

Capt. _______,who so flatteringly presented my prospects and deserts to Uncle Phelps, was at the same time, Farnsworth writes me, the bitterest of my opponents, and using his best efforts to ruin me in New-York and Albany. They are a sweet set among whom I have fallen. They owe Elliott and myself an old grudge for the favor Stevens showed us, which they now have an opportunity to repay. They have fixed Elliott’s case for him, and they are busy settling mine. However, have recovered my amiability, and1 no longer feeling any hope of escape, am not a little amused at the trouble they take regarding me. I tell them everything candidly, so that they need be at no pains on my account, but they, not supposing it possible for a man to be staightforward, exhaust any amount of useless cunning to gain their ends. And the best of it all is, that while all this working is going on, we are all such capital friends that it is really delightful to see brethren live in such harmony together.

With regard to the intended Army movements we are all utterly in the fog, the time passing and the mud growing deeper, while batteries are being built by the enemy under our very noses. What’s the use of questioning? Time will show.

I shall think of you feasting merrily to-morrow, mindful of the absent son and brother, and wish you all joy.

I am wearing the stockings you sent me and find them glorious. I am generally quite comfortable now, from the contents of the box my friends prepared and sent me. You must thank all those to whom I am indebted, in my name. I shall send this letter to New-York direct, supposing it may reach you sooner so. Love to Lilly, Mary, Hunt, Tom, and the Infant Department.

Affec’y.,

Will.

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War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney.

War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney.

Wednesday, 26th. Capt. Welch came up with 15 men and Capt. Greenough with 50 men, increasing our force to 180. At daylight moved on south. Passed through Cane Hill and followed the Division train, which we supposed the rebs were after. Officers feared that they had run into the rebel camp at Dutch Mills. Found them on 3 or 4 miles. Went on with them 3 or 4 miles, then went on alone till within a mile of the mills. Then Major and Capt. Greenough went on alone and discovered two regiments in direction of Cane Hill moving north at a trot. We turned back by untraveled roads and reached camp at 9 P. M.

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An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones.

An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones, 6th Battery, Wisconsin Artillery.

Moscow, Wednesday, Nov. 26. Cold and chilly. Troubled with diarrhea; felt rather bad.

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The Color Guard, A Corporal’s Notes, James Kendall Hosmer.

The Color Guard, A Corporal’s Notes, James Kendall Hosmer

Nov. 26. — To-day is wretched enough. All night long, whenever I woke up, it was pitter-patter on the canvas; and this morning it is a drizzle, which turns the clay outside into puttyish mud, — mud which plays Damon; my boot-soles appearing in the rôle of Pythias, — I earnestly hope, for this occasion only; for the friendship is too fervent. No fire, or prospect of any; for the load of hard wood which was pitched off in front of the tents yesterday is too wet to be kindled. We have heaped the straw up to the sides of the tent, and covered it with blankets. It makes a good seat for us; and four or five of us are writing here, our feet in the central space. The whole thing is only a little larger than an old-fashioned four-post bedstead. Our feet are dove-tailed in among one another; the boots all buff, clear above the ankles, with sloppy clay.

Our guns were issued to us the other day, beautiful pieces, of the most improved pattern, — the Springfield rifled musket of 1862. Mine is behind me now, dark black-walnut stock, well oiled, so that the beauty of the wood is brought out, hollowed at the base, and smoothly fitted with steel, to correspond exactly to the curve of the shoulder, against which I shall have to press it many and many a time. The spring of the lock, just stiff and just limber enough; the eagle and stamp of the Government pressed into the steel plate; barrel, long and glistening, — bound into its bed by gleaming rings, — long and straight, and so bright, that when I present arms, and bring it before my face, I can see nose and spectacles and the heavy beard on lip and chin, which already the camp is beginning to develop. Then the bayonet, straight and tapering, dazzling under a sun-ray, grooved delicately, — as if it were meant to illustrate problems in conic sections, — smooth to the finger as a surface of glass, and coming to a point sharp as a needle.

We have dress-parades now; and, the other afternoon, I was a spectator instead of taking part. The Fifty-second is formed four deep. I have often seen them in line at Camp Miller; but now we have our arms, and look more like soldiers. Four deep, and how long the line is! They are still as men can be at the parade rest. Now, from the right flank, come marching the drums down the line; slow time; every eye to the front; the colonel, hand upon sword-hilt, facing them all,—tall, straight, soldierly, his silver eagles on each shoulder. The drums have reached the end of the line, and turn. First a long, brisk roll, thrice repeated; then back along the line with quicker time and step, round the right flank again, past the adjutant; the thrice-repeated roll again sounding muffled, as it comes to me through the now intervening line of men, —a peculiar throb, as if it were inside of the head. It is the adjutant’s turn. He is at his place in front of the line. “First sergeants to the front and centre!” Ten soldiers, strait, sash at waist, march forward, and, one by one, report. It is Ed.’s turn now, tall, fine, bright-eyed soldier that he is. His gloved hand gives the salute; and I hear him, through the music of other regiments, “Fourth company all present or accounted for.” Buttoned up to the chin he is, in his dress-coat; his sash, with bright revolver belt, outside; his gun at his shoulder with true martial poise. “First sergeants to your posts!” It is the turn of the commissioned officers. They step out to the front, in full-dress uniform, a fine-looking row of men; then march forward, with brave, unanimous step, in a brilliant, glittering line. It is over, and visitors near step up to me to inquire about the regiment. I feel proud of the men, proud of the colonel, proud of the brilliant officers who have marched forward to salute in concert,—the white-gloved hands simultaneously at the visor. Back go the companies into the streets of the camp, under the first sergeants. I am proud to see how Ed. gets his company by the flank, and promptly manœuvres them.

We have had a flag presented to us; but it is too splendid and heavy for actual service. Our real flag, for service, is more modest, and yet handsome; of silk, floating from a staff of ash; the name of the regiment printed in gold upon one of the crimson stripes. As the wind comes off the bay to us at battalion-drill, the heavy silk brushes my cheek. We shall know each other well during these coming months. I take off my bayonet, *and invert it, that it may not wound the flag it is to defend. So does jovial Bias Dickinson, the corporal who is my file leader, and the rest of the guard. We have also the white flag of Massachusetts, the Indian and uplifted sword upon a snowy field; plain enough, when the breeze smooths it out, for the senior captain to see from his post on the right flank, and Sergt. Jones, right general guide, whose post is still farther off. When drill is over, we must guard our charge to the colonel’s tent, roll the crimson and azure folds carefully about the staff, and put them under shelter; then our day’s work is done.

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The Color Guard, A Corporal’s Notes, James Kendall Hosmer.

The Color Guard, A Corporal’s Notes, James Kendall Hosmer

Nov. 23, 1862.—I propose to keep a diary of my soldiering, and am now making my first entry. Brother Ed. and I are going to the war together. He is nineteen, and leaves a clerk’s desk in an insurance-office. I am older, and leave a minister’s study. It is the 52d Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers. I am in our little tent at Camp N. P. Banks, not far from Jamaica, in Long Island. The tent is perhaps eight feet square, and meant for seven soldiers. A leg of ham partly devoured, with gnawed loaves of bread and some tin cups, lies just at my right foot. Corporal Buffum, six feet and two or three inches tall, is writing home, just at the other foot. Joseph McGill is sleeping, wrapped up in his rubber blanket. The floor of the tent, at the sides, is covered with knapsacks, blankets, and soldiers’ furniture. Silloway, a black-whiskered, fine-looking soldier, puts his head in, but, to my relief, does not enter; for where could I put him while I write?

We left Camp Miller, where the Fifty-second organized, two or three days ago. For the first time, the knapsacks, full-loaded, were packed on, the canteens were filled, the haversacks were crammed with two days’ rations. It was a heavy load as we set off in a cold November rain, nearly a thousand of us, bending over, and with pants rolled up. It rained harder and harder: but Greenfield streets were filled with people; and the nearer we came to the depot, the thicker the crowd. Then came the last parting and hand-shaking: eyes were full, and lips on a tremble. The heart came out grandly in some of the fellows.

At midnight we reached New Haven. Ed. had been on guard at the car-door in the drizzle, and now came off duty. We trundled on to the steamboat-wharf, climbed out, and formed in two lines; many of the boys turning round for their first sight and sniff at salt-water. The “Traveller” was at hand, aboard which, rank after rank, we marched,—on top, between decks, into cabin below, and saloon above.

The morning was gray and wet. It poured as we stood on the forward deck; but my rubber blanket shed the rain, and my havelock, of the same material, kept it off head and neck. On upper deck and lower deck, and through every window, one could see the crowding hundreds,—curious faces, bearded and smooth; dripping blankets and caps; the white string of the canteen crossing the band of the haversack upon the breast. Stout fellows they were, almost all; the pick, for spirit and strength, of two counties. You would not think men were scarce; but I remembered the poor old village, and its Shakspeare Club of fifteen young girls, and only one young fellow available as a beau.

Past great ships, past iron-clads fitting out at the Novelty Works, past the Navy Yard, now down between the two great cities and around the Battery, and stop at a North-river pier, — haversack on one shoulder, canteen on the other. “Now, Silas Dibble, hook on my knapsack, and I will hook on yours;” rubber blanket over all; then helmet, with the long flap down on the shoulders. The march begins. Dirty and hungry we go through the muddy streets. I tread, almost, in old tracks of mine; no longer in broadcloth and patent leathers, but with the iron heel of war well greased with neat’s-foot. Halt in the Park.

The boot-blacking business is stagnant. The “Astor” is gray, hard, and inhospitable like the heavens. “Times,” “Tribune,” and “World” look at us through all their windows, as if they were hungry for an item. It pours and pours. We wind in a long string across the Park; then, in a long string, back again; then, at the end of all the purposeless winding, we come to a purposeless halt.

Ankle-deep, at last, through the mud into the Park Barracks, to breakfast on coarse but wholesome soup. Did any thing ever relish so? Then they take pity on us, and let us go into the City Hall, whose stone corridors we swarm through; and before long the regiment, in good part, is asleep. I go off with my back against a marble pillar. By and by we must fall in again. Ed. is irreverently screaming, “Fall in, Company D!” at the top of his voice, through that echoing marble centre of metropolitan splendor and dignity. The regiment marches up Broadway, is cheered, and, I believe, praised; and climbs, at last, into the great barracks in Franklin Street.

Next day we have a march before us of eight or nine miles,—through Broadway and Grand Street, over the Ferry, into the suburbs; through filth and splendor, mud in the street, brown stone and marble at the side. The drums at the head of the column hardly sound midway down the regiment, through the roar; but we keep our step, and dress across in a tolerable line. Past factories, where sooty faces crowd to the doors; past sugar-refineries, where men, stripped to the waist, come to the windows; past Dutch groceries by the hundred; into a district of cabbage-gardens at last; then into a chaos of brick-kilns, rope-walks, and desolate graveyards.

We tramp in over the old Union race-track at length, upon the enclosed grassy space, and are at our campground. Dreary, dismal, miserable. No overcoats; all perspiration with our march under the burden; no chance for tea or coffee, or any thing warm: a sorry prospect, boys, for comfort to-night. But never mind. Behold how the Yankee will vindicate himself in the face of the worst fortune! Fences are stripped of rails; and we have blazing fires in no time, which make the inhospitable, leaden sky speedily blush for itself. Rubber blankets are tacked together, and tents extemporized. Corporal Buffum, Ed., and I, strike a solemn league. We find two sticks and a long rail. We drive the sticks into the ground for uprights, then lay the rail on top. Buffum and I tack our blankets together with strings through the eyelet-holes. We place the joining along the cross-timber, letting the blankets slope away, roof-fashion, on each side toward the ground, fastening them at the edges with pegs, and strings straining them tight. Then we spread Ed.’s rubber on the ground underneath, put our luggage at one end, and crowd in to try the effect. We have to pack in tight, big Buffum and Ed. not leaving much room for me; but the closer the better. The north-wind blows, and the air threatens snow. We survey our wigwam with great admiration. I lie down for the night with revolver and dirk strapped one on each side, unwashed, bedraggled, and armed like Jack Sheppard himself. We freeze along through the hours. We get into one another’s arms to keep warm as we can, and shiver through till daylight.

When morning comes, all is confusion. The regiment looks as if it had rained down. It is clear, but raw. No chance to wash now, nor all day long. Our tents come. We pitch them in long rows, well ordered; floor them from fences near by; and carpet them with straw and marsh hay. Six or seven of us pack in here like sardines in a box, lying on our sides, “spoonfashion.”

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Rebel War Clerk

A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, By John Beauchamp Jones

NOVEMBER 26TH.—No fighting on the Rappahannock yet, that I hear of; and it is said the enemy are moving farther down the river. Can they mean to cross? Nothing more is heard of Gen. Corcoran, with his Irish bogtrotters, on the Peninsula.

The government has realized 50,000 pounds of leather from two counties in Eastern North Carolina, in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy. This convinces me that there is abundance of leather in the South, if it were properly distributed. It is held, like everything else, by speculators, for extortioners’ profits. The government might remedy the evils, and remove the distresses of the people; but instead of doing so, the bureaus aggravate them by capricious seizures, and tyrannical restrictions on transportation. Letters are coining in from every quarter complaining of the despotic acts of government agents.

Mr. J. Foulkes writes another letter to the department on his cotton scheme. He says it must be embraced now or never, as the enemy will soon make such dispositions as would prevent his getting supplies through their lines. The Commissary-General approves, and the late Secretary approved; but what will the new one do? The President is non-committal.

What a blunder France and England made in hesitating to espouse our cause! They might have had any commercial advantages.

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A Diary of American Events.

The Rebellion Record—A Diary of American Events; by Frank Moore

November 26.—A fight took place at Cold Knob Mountain, Va., between the Second Virginia volunteer cavalry, Colonel J. C. Paxton, and a force of rebel troops, in which the latter were routed, with the loss of over one hundred of their number taken prisoners, with their horses, etc.—(Doc. 49.)

—Between two and three o’clock this morning, a gang of twenty or thirty rebel guerrillas, led by Evan Dorsey, crossed into Maryland and visited the village of Urbanna, seven miles south-east of Frederick, on the road leading to Washington. They made a descent upon the store of Thomas A. Smith, the Postmaster at Urbanna, and, after robbing the store, made Smith and a young man named Harris, the assistant postmaster, mount two of Smith’s horses, with the design of carrying them off as prisoners. Smith, who was a resolute man, watched his opportunity, and gave them the slip in the darkness of the night. The rebels fired three or four shots after him, but missed him. Thinking Harris might also escape, one of the gang shot him through the body, saying: “We’ll make short of you, before you try on the same game.” They then rode away, leaving him for dead by the roadside.—National Intelligencer.

—A Successful reconnoissance was made this morning by a detachment of Union troops, under the command of General Geary, from Harper’s Ferry, along the Shenandoah to the vicinity of Berryville, Va. They captured a number of prisoners, destroyed a rebel cloth factory, which cost over one hundred thousand dollars, and obtained some valuable information concerning the numbers and position of the rebel forces.

—The Seventh Illinois cavalry attacked a force of rebel troops encamped near Summerville, Miss., and captured twenty-eight of their number, including a captain and two lieutenants, with their horses, arms, etc.

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Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War by Judith White McGuire

November 25.—Just from the depot. The cars have gone to Richmond, filled with non-combatants from Fredericksburg—ladies, with their children, many of whom know not where to go. They will get to Richmond after dark, and many propose staying in the cars this cold night, and seeking a resting-place to-morrow. The feeling of desolation among them is dreadful. Oh, how I wish that I had even one room to offer! The bombardment has not commenced, but General Lee requested last night that the women and children who had not gone should go without delay. This seems to portend hot work.

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Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

November 25— A large lot of tobacco that was stored in Winchester was destroyed to-day by the order of General Jackson. I do not know who stored it or for what purpose, but it was destroyed to keep it from eventually passing into the hands of the Yanks and gratifying our late friends who are after us with guns. We are camped about a mile from where the tobacco was burned, but I smelled the burning sacrifice all day, and this evening at dusk I went to the great funeral pyre, which was beyond the southern limits of town near a group of weeping willows not far from the Front Royal pike. There was a large stock of fine-looking tobacco burning, when I saw it after dark, and many a glorious quid had then already gone up in the curling aromatic smoke from the fire that was burning all day. The sacrificial flame shot its dancing light through the dusky shadows of night and its golden lances were caught by the drooping branches of the willows that were weeping over the funeral pyre. A strong guard of soldiers were standing around the fire, with fixed bayonets, to keep sacrilegious sinners from snatching with irreverence the incense from the glowing censer. I heard to-night that the tobacco destroyed to-day was worth about seventy-five thousand dollars.

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Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

Diary of Alexander G. Downing; Company E, Eleventh Iowa Infantry

Tuesday, 25th—Division drill in the forenoon and battalion drill in the afternoon, as usual. We had a practical demonstration during our division drill of the difficulty of drilling on uneven ground. While our column was advancing in line of battle by right flank, up hill and down hill, and across ravines and gullies, the line at times became badly broken; men occasionally fell into the gullies and had to be helped out; it became pretty exciting and even quite laughable, for there was always some one struggling to stay in his place in the line.

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War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney.

War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney.

Tuesday, 25th. Went over to see secesh but they had gone. Shattuck went on detail as chief of commissary. Capt. Seward said I must make out morning reports after this. Major Purington received orders to proceed at once with his command to Evansville. Blair’s Battery practised with artillery—shell. Major and detachment started out on a scout, an odd old genius on a white horse as guide. Went by a byroad. When 4 or 5 miles from Cincinnati, crossed a byroad where 400 or 500 had passed. I had charge of advance. Before going a half mile, saw two “butternuts.” Wheeled and ran like fun. Followed about a mile and learned from a family that 4 or 5 had passed not more than ten minutes before. Reported back. Followed most of the time at a trot. When we had gone two miles, we struck the main road and here the rebels fired at us from the brush. I had 20 men. All wheeled but 3 men. Soon rallied. Moved on a few rods and saw 15 or 20 in line by the bushes ready to fire. They fired and we in line fired in return. Soon Major sent word to reload. While reloading the rebels crossed the byroad to the main road. We followed a few hundred rods and were ordered to halt. Soon some of the 3rd Wis. came up, and passed dismounted. When 5 or 6 rods ahead a volley was poured into them, wounding two. Two days after, we heard that they were 400 of Quantrell’s men and that they ran to Cane Hill, also that 4,000 went over the mountains. Also that we killed two men. Bivouacked without fires.

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An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones.

An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones, 6th Battery, Wisconsin Artillery.

Moscow, Tuesday, Nov. 25. Orders were sent to Captain to have two best non-commissioned officers to report at Colonel Powell’s headquarters by 8 A. M. Sergt. A. J. Hood and Corporal Hauxhurst were sent, acting as orderlies. Tent moved back. The whole camp policed. 2 o’clock the howitzers (3rd and 5th pieces) were ordered out on picket duty without caissons, one extra horse.

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A Substitute for Shoes

Civil War

Southern Banner (Athens, Ga), November 25, 1862

An old and experienced citizen has called our attention to the subject of the use of cowhide moccasins as a substitute for shoes. He states that when he moved to the Mississippi, fifty-two years ago, no shoes were to be had for the negroes, and they made their own out of this material, which answered the purpose as well as the more elaborately made article, and in some respects better. The process is simple: take a green cowhide, or one well soaked, with the hair onwhich is to go next to the foot“put the foot down firmly” upon it, and cut out the pattern desired, make the necessary holes along the edges, and lace it with a thong of the same material at the heel and up the instep. Let it dry upon the foot, and it accommodates itself perfectly to the shape of the latter, while it is sufficiently substantial for all kinds of traveling, and its elasticity is preserved by use. Socks should be put on when it is made, though it can be worn without, and such allowance be made for shrinking so as to avoid too tight a fit. The moccasin, it is scarcely necessary to observe, adapts itself to the shape of the foot, and the fit is perfect. It outwears, breathes, and is not hard, as some might suppose, but quite the reverse. If desired, it can be half soled with the same material. The hair lining gives the advantage of warmth, so that socks, when not to be had, can be better dispensed with when moccasins are used than if shoes were worn.
The gentleman to whom we are indebted for the suggestion says that he has mentioned the subject to soldiers, who are very much pleased with it, and say there is no reason why soldiers should go barefoot while so many hides are thrown away in camps.
We think the idea a valuable one, and would be glad that every newspaper in the Confederacy would lend its aid in giving it circulation.Mobile Register.

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Rebel War Clerk

A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, By John Beauchamp Jones

NOVEMBER 25TH.—Fredericksburg is not shelled yet; and, moreover, the enemy have apologized for the firing at the train containing women and children. Affairs remain in statu quo—the mayor and military authorities agreeing that the town shall furnish neither aid nor comfort to the Confederate army, and the Federals agreeing not to shell it—for the present.

Gen. Corcoran, last year a prisoner in this city, has landed his Irish brigade at Newport News. It is probable we shall be assailed from several directions simultaneously.

No beggars can be found in the streets of this city. No cry of distress is heard, although it prevails extensively. High officers of the government have no fuel in their houses, and give nearly $20 per cord for wood for cooking purposes. And yet there are millions of tons of coal almost under the very city!

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To Baron LIONEL de ROTHSCHILD

A Few Letters and Speeches of the Late Civil War by August Belmont (DNC Chairman)

London.

New York, November 25, 1862.

The Arabia’s news from Liverpool to the 16th inst. is telegraphed from Cape Race, giving us the outline of M. Drouyn de l’Huys’ circular on mediation, and the reply of Lord Russell, declining for the present to join in any overtures of that nature to our government.

The course pursued by your government is the only wise and politic one at this moment, and it is to be regretted that the French cabinet should have adopted this public mode of calling upon the European governments to interfere in our affairs. It has the appearance of a determination to force mediation upon the American government and people whether they want it or not. This will, I fear, produce a bad effect, and make mediation very unacceptable hereafter.

From the tenor of the European advices in general, it is evident that there exists a misapprehension, both in England and France, with regard to the intentions of the conservative party of the North, which has just carried the elections.

This party, while opposed to the ultra and arbitrary spirit of the administration, and while willing to secure to the South her rights guaranteed by the Constitution, within the Union, will not accept of any compromise which has not the reconstruction of but one government over all the thirty-four States for its basis. I have seen Governor Seymour, and many of the leaders of the Democratic party, and I am sure that this is the general programme laid down as the guide of their future action.

A national convention for the purpose of modifying our Constitution, in order to take away from the ultra men, South and North, the power of future mischief, and by a better defined limitation of Federal and State power, prevent the re-occurrence of the calamities which have now befallen us, can alone restore lasting peace and prosperity to this country. Toward such a result the efforts of mediation of friendly powers might be directed—any other solution is impossible.

Under the same date, a letter to the same purpose was written to Baron James de Rothschild of Paris.

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A Diary of American Events.

The Rebellion Record—A Diary of American Events; by Frank Moore

November 25.— J. W. Shirk, of the gunboat Lexington, had a skirmish with a body of rebels at a plantation on the Mississippi River, twenty miles below Helena, Ark. The gunboat was fired upon by a party of infantry, assisted by a piece of artillery, without damage, however, except to the wood-work of the vessel. Captain Shirk brought his guns to bear on the attacking party, and soon compelled them to retreat, leaving behind several killed and wounded. He afterward landed a party of sailors, who captured and carried off twenty contrabands, and sixteen bales of cotton.—Official Report.

—James Buchanan, in the National Intelligencer of this day, closed a controversy between General Winfield Scott and himself, on subjects growing out of the rebellion.—The Eighth and Fifty-first regiments of Massachusetts volunteers, under the command of Colonels Coffin and Sprague, embarked from Boston for Newbern, N. C.

—This morning at daylight, a body of rebel cavalry entered Poolesville, Md., seized the government telegraph operators stationed there, paroled them, and then permitted them to telegraph to the authorities at Washington an account of what had befallen them.—Colonel Dodge, with two battalions of mounted rifles and one howitzer, had a spirited but short engagement with the rebels at Zuni, on the Backwater River, Va., resulting in the rout of the rebels, with the wounding of one private on the National side.

—Henderson, Tenn., was captured by the rebel cavalry, who burned the railroad station at that place, and made prisoners of a company of Union troops.—The rebel guerrilla Burke was killed at Shepherdstown, Md., by a party of the Second Massachusetts regiment, under the command of Captain Cogswell.—Baltimore American.

—A party of rebel guerrillas, who were making a raid in Crawford County, Mo., robbing the farmers of their fire-arms, horses, harness, clothing, negroes, etc., were to-day overtaken in the vicinity of Huzza River, Iron County, by a company of volunteers, under the command of Captain N. B. Reeves, and dispersed, with the loss of all their plunder, two of the party being killed.—(Doc. 69.)

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Army life in Virginia by George Grenville Benedict.

Army life in Virginia by George Grenville Benedict, 12th Regiment Vermont Volunteers.

Losses By Death—An Abortive Review.

Camp Vermont,
Fairfax Co., Va., Nov. 24, 1862.

Dear Free Press:

Death has again invaded the circle of our company and has taken one of our best. We miss William Spaulding much. We did not expect to bring back all we took away from Burlington, but if asked which would probably be of the first to yield to the exposures of army life, who would have pointed out that fine handsome boy? It seems hard that such should be sacrificed to the demon of rebellion. He had in him the making of a first rate soldier and a useful man. The regularity with which he performed all his military duties, from the day of his enlistment till disabled by sickness, was matter of remark; and his tall figure and pleasant face, in the first file of the company, was always a pleasant sight. He began to lose flesh and strength without any apparently sufficient reasons, and finally went into the regimental hospital; grew better, was placed on guard at a private house near here, where he had the shelter of a roof, caught cold, and died from congestion of the lungs. Captain Page, Lieutenant Wing, the chaplain and surgeon, did all they could for him. He received calmly the intelligence that he must die, said he was ready, sent words of parting remembrance and admonition to his friends, and passed away quietly. His death has cast a shadow over the company, and we ask ourselves, “who will be the next?”

One of the line officers of the regiment, Lieutenant Howard of the Northfield company, died in the hospital on Friday, from inflammation of the brain. The two deaths were made the occasion of some impressive remarks by Chaplain Brastow, at divine service yesterday.

Many as are the contrasts between our life in the army and that we lead at home, there is none greater than that between our Sabbaths there and here. As we stood at regimental service yesterday, our chapel a vacant spot before the colonel’s tent, our heads canopied only by the grey clouds drifting swiftly to the southwest, and the chill November wind blowing through our ranks, I could not but cast back a thought to the quiet and comfortable New England sanctuaries many of us have been wont to worship in. But we were better off than most of the regiments in the army, for but few of them, probably, had any Sabbath service at all.

We have had four days of rain and I have the facts for an essay on Virginia mud, whenever I get time to write it, and I assure you it is a deep subject.

Orders were out on Thursday for a grand review at Fort Albany, six miles from here, of all the forces on this side of the river. It was the third and hardest day of the storm. A countermand was expected; but none came, and the Twelfth, with three other regiments, took up its line of march. The mud varied from a thin porridge of one part red clay to three parts water, to a thick adhesive salve of three parts clay to one of water—there or thereabouts—I may not give the proportions exactly. It was a hard march. The foot planted in the red salve alluded to, is lifted with some difficulty, and comes up a number of sizes larger, and three or four pounds heavier. A mile or two of such marching tries the sturdiest muscles. The march of our boys was that of a host of conquering heroes. They took the whole country—along with them, on their soles. In the lack of any affection on the part of the inhabitants, it was delightful to find such a strong attachment on the part of the “sacred soil.” These were the only compensations. We couldn’t see, somehow, the connection between this tramp through the mud, and the business of crushing out the rebellion; and when, a mile beyond Alexandria, a courier met the column with orders to return to camp, the suspicion that all might just as well have staid in camp, became general. The substance of the proceeding was that four thousand men had a march of eight miles in a storm which made the bare idea of a review an absurdity—that was all. Perhaps “somebody blundered.”

The winter quarters of this regiment are to be long huts, one for a company, made of logs set endwise in the ground, on which a roof of boards will be placed. They make slow progress. The truth is this brigade has a good deal to do. Our regiments have a picket line of six miles to guard, the nearest point of which is five or six miles from camp. They furnish a thousand men daily, in good weather, to dig in the trenches of Fort Lyon. They have to cut the timber for their winter quarters and construct the same, and they have to fill up the interstices of time with drill. If Uncle Sam’s $20 a month is not pretty generally earned, so far, in this brigade, some of us are much mistaken.

The picket service is becoming arduous. The pickets are out 48 hours. At many of the stations no fire is allowed, and especial vigilance is enjoined, so that little sleep can be obtained; and with all precautions there is a chance of meeting a shot from some of the rebel spies and straggling guerrillas who hover around the outer circle of our lines. Saturday night a couple of the boys in our company were thus fired on. Add to these inconveniences the special discomforts of rain and deep mud, and picket service becomes anything but romantic.

A sad event occurred on Wednesday on the picket line. A corporal of the Fourteenth regiment while instructing a soldier how to halt and cover with his piece any suspected enemy approaching the station, fired off his gun, shooting the man through the breast. The wound was a terrible one, and I am told the man must die.

I noticed in a letter from the Thirteenth regiment, printed in the daily Times a week or more ago, a statement that but few of the articles sent from home for the comfort of sick soldiers ever reach them, owing to the fact that the officers appropriate them to their own use. There may be individual cases of that sort, take the army through; but that such theft from sick men, of the things they prize most, is customary down here, I do not believe. I know that in the hospital of the Twelfth the things sent in for the soldiers are put to their proper use. I am a frequent visitor at the hospital and have been glad to note the improvements added daily. Its area has been enlarged, while the number of patients has decreased. It is floored and boarded up on the sides. Neat iron bedsteads have been supplied, and the sick men sleep between sheets furnished by the Ladies’ Relief Association of Washington. It is to the credit of Surgeon Ketchum that his hospital is comfortable far beyond the average. Mr. S. Prentice, of the Committee of the Vermonters’ Relief Association, Washington, is a frequent visitor, and brings supplies of needed articles.

The visit of the Committee of the Ladies of Burlington, Mrs. Dr. Thayer and Mrs. Platt, to our camp yesterday, accompanied by Mrs. Chittenden and Dr. Hatch, was a most agreeable surprise. It was a double pleasure to see faces from home, and ladies’ faces, which are novelties in camp.

The weather has come off fine, clear and frosty after the storm.

Yours, B.

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