Robert M. Magill—Personal Reminiscences of a Confederate Soldier Boy.

Robert M. Magill—Personal Reminiscences of a Confederate Soldier Boy, 39th Georgia Regiment of Infantry

Thursday, 13th.—Brother Harvey and Cousin James Magill came to see us. Brother Tom detailed as train guard, Eastern Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad. He left for Knoxville, at 6 P. M.

0 comments

Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford – From the Personal Journal of Wm. C. Holton.

Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford–Wm. C. Holton

November 13th. To-day the French Admiral came on board. Saluted him as he was leaving, with thirteen guns, which the French steamer returned.

0 comments

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

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

November 13 — To-day we moved back to Linden, to picket, so as to be In rear and command of the Flint Hill road. This is the highest picketing we ever did, and the view from here is grand and extensive. Looking east the eye skips from hilltop to hilltop until the sight is arrested by the dim outline of Bull Run mountain pictured against the eastern sky. Looking north and west the beautiful valley of the Shenandoah is spread out, a variegated map, interspersed with towns and villages, woodland and farms, hills and dales, all scattered indiscriminately over the panoramic picture that glows in the morning and evening sunshine like a vast sheet of gorgeous tapestry — the Valley bounded in the distance by the North Mountain, looking like an enormous blue wave ready to dash over the enchanting display.

0 comments

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

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

Thursday, 13th—The railroad is repaired now and the cars came through today to Grand Junction from Corinth, loaded with provisions. Our tents and knapsacks also arrived. We pitched our tents, drew rations this evening, and commenced to live again. It looks like home once more. Three new recruits for our company arrived today from Iowa.

0 comments

War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney.

War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney.

Thursday, 13th. Felt most sick. Had a slight chill—I suppose—afterwards feverish. Moved camp late in the afternoon on account of a report by an old man who came in with two conscript deserters to join our army, that a force of cavalry of 9,000 were moving north, then at Cane Hill. Before midnight orders came to join our commands. Got breakfast and saddled at 2 A. M.

0 comments

Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne.

Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne

Written from the Sea islands of South Carolina.

[Diary] Thursday, November 13.

Aunt Phyllis is laughing and chuckling over the prowess of our soldiers. She says “Dey fought and fought and shot down de ‘Secesh,’ and ne’er a white man among ’em but two captains.”

Two colored companies have gone on another expedition to Florida under Captains James and Trowbridge.

0 comments

An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones.

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

Grand Junction, Thursday, Nov. 13. Lieutenant Simpson went in search of the Battery early and left us to unload and guard the baggage. The teams arrived from the Battery 3 P. M. We loaded and started out about three miles and encamped where the team that left Corinth on the 8th had bivouacked for the night.

0 comments

Rebel War Clerk

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

NOVEMBER 13TH.—The President has rebuked the Secretary of War in round terms for ordering Gen. Holmes to assume the command on this side the Mississippi. Perhaps Mr. Randolph has resolved to be really Secretary. This is the first thing I have ever known him to do without previously obtaining the President’s sanction—and it must be confessed, it was a matter of some gravity and importance. Of course it will be countermanded. I have not been in the Secretary’s office yet, to see if there is an envelope on his table directed to the President marked “Immediate.” But he has not been to see the President—and that may be significant, as this is the usual day.

A gentleman, arrived to-day from Maryland, reports that Gen. McClellan has been removed, and the command given to Burnside! He says, moreover, that this change has given umbrage to the army. This may be our deliverance; for if McClellan had been let alone two weeks longer (provided he ascertained our present condition), he might have captured Richmond, which would be holding all Eastern and much of Central Virginia. This blunder seems providential.

We learn, also, that the Democracy have carried Illinois, Mr. Lincoln’s own State, by a very large majority. This is hailed with gladness by our people; and if there should be a “rebellion in the North,” as the Tribune predicts, this intervention of the Democrats will be regarded altogether in our favor. Let them put down the radical Abolitionists, and then, no doubt, they will recover some of our trade. It will mortify the Republicans, hereafter, when the smoke clears away, to learn that Gen. Butler was trading supplies for our army during this November, 1862—and it will surprise our secessionists to learn that our government is trading him cotton!

0 comments

A Diary of American Events.

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

November 13.—Earl Russell replied, officially, to the circular of Drouyn De Lhuys, proposing mediation in the affairs of the United States of America, dissenting from the French proposition for the reasons, that “there is no ground, at the present moment, to hope that the Federal Government would accept the proposal suggested, and a refusal from Washington, at the present time, would prevent any speedy renewal of the offer of the government.”—See Supplement.

—The Fifteenth regiment of New-Hampshire volunteers, under the command of Colonel John W. Kingman, left Concord, for the rendezvous of General Banks’s expedition, on Long Island, N. Y.—Governor Brown, of Georgia, sent a message to the General Assembly of that State, in reference to the raids of negroes in Camden County.—(Doc. 44.)

—At seven o’clock this morning, Colonel Lee, chief of cavalry on the staff of General Hamilton, took possession of Holly Springs, Miss., after a slight skirmish, in which four rebels were killed and a number taken prisoners.—President Lincoln issued an order dirccting that the Attorney-General of the United States be charged with the superintendence and direction of all proceedings under the Conscription Act, and authorizing him to call upon the military authorities to aid him in carrying out its provisions. —Lieutenant-colonel Beard, of the Forty eighth New-York regiment, in command of one hundred and sixty of the First South-Carolina (colored) volunteers, left Beaufort, S. C, on an expedition to the Doboy River, Ga., where he succeeded in loading the U. S. steamers Ben Deford and Darlington with about three thousand feet of lumber.—(Doc. 48.)

Colonel Shanks, with four hundred men, attacked a camp of rebel guerrillas, above Calhoun, Ky., on Green River, a few nights since. The rebels broke and ran in every direction, leaving their horses, arms and all their camp equipage to fall into the hands of the Union forces.—Governor Letcher, of Virginia, issued a proclamation informing the people that he had reason to believe that the volunteers from that State, in the rebel army, were not provided with the necessary supply of shirts, drawers, shoes, stockings, and gloves, and appealing to them to furnish such of these articles as they might be able to spare for the use of the troops.—(Doc. 53.)

0 comments

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

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

Camp Miller, Greenfield, Mass., Nov. 13, 1862.

Dear P——, — To-night there are in the tent at least fifteen men. There are three sets of men playing cards. I sit at one end of our table, close under the shelving edge of the tent, with head bent over to get rid of the slant of the canvas. My seat is a heap of straw, covered with a blanket. A kerosene lamp gives light to me on one side, and to a set at whist on the other. It is cold out of doors; but the tent is in a sweat, with its stove, and crowd of men. Slap go the cards on to the table. Every moment comes up some point for debate. Throughout the tent there is loud and constant talking, sometimes swearing; generally good-natured, sometimes ill-natured.

You want to know why I have left my pulpit and parish, and enlisted. I had several reasons; all plain, simple, and sensible enough. I have believed in the war from the first. The cause of the North, briefly, is, to me, the cause of civilization and liberty. To help this, I have preached, made speeches, and talked in private. Ought I not to practise what I preach? Ought I to shrink from encountering perils and hardships which I have urged others to encounter?

Then, again, having no family, I can go better than many others in our village,— men liable to be drafted, whose means are straitened, and who have wives and children to support. These are my main reasons; but, besides these, I confess to a love for adventure. Moreover, I hope to gain new robustness from the exposure. I own, also, to something of a military spirit. In every honorable war since the settlement of the country, I believe, some member of the stock from which I am descended has taken part. Generally, these ancestors of mine have been in very humble positions; although my great-grandfather held an important command among the militia at Concord Bridge, and did much toward keeping the “embattled farmers” firm on that day before the British volleys. In our family traditions he is an illustrious character, together with his brother, “Uncle Ben,” a sturdy husbandman, who fought faithfully that day throughout the long pursuit, and afterward carried a heavy old blunderbuss in many a hard campaign. I own, it is a sort of fame I covet, —to have my name go down in our modest family annals as the parson, who, in his generation, went with rifle on shoulder to Texas or Louisiana or the Carolinas ; doing his duty in honorable fields, as did great-grandfather and “Uncle Ben” of old.

I trust that the motives I have put first were the ones that influenced me for the most part; but these last, too, have had their weight.

Ed., my young brother, you know, has been made first sergeant of the company. He goes round, therefore, with a broad stripe down each leg, and a blue diamond, with a triple underscoring, upon each arm, — insignia upon which we poor privates and corporals look with reverence. I am now one of the eight corporals whose duty it is to guard the colors. I have a narrow stripe running down each pantaloon, and a double bar, or chevron, on each arm. Ed and I button up to the chin in our blue and brass; and are a brilliant pair, I assure you.

There seems to be no doubt now about our going with Gen. Banks. We hope it will be soon; for, although we are decently comfortable here, we should prefer some sweet-potato patch for a camp-ground, to this pumpkin field.

Yours very truly,

The “Corporal.”

0 comments

Bombardment of Port Lavaca. Withdrawal of the Federals.

Civil War

Austin State Gazette, November 12, 1862

From the Houston Telegraph.

The following account of the bombardment of Lavaca is quite incomplete, but it shows the gist of the matter, which is that the Federals attacked and bombarded the town and didn’t take it. Nobody hurt.

S_______ I_______, Near Texana,
November 2d, 1862

Dear SirLeft Lavaca at half-past twelve yesterday. At twenty-five minutes past one p.m., the tow steamer ceased to fire, and hauled off, taking the small schooner in tow. By 12 m., they had passed Gallinipper Point, and have evidently left us for the season. . . . From 1/4 past 3 p.m. on Friday, the expiration of the one and a half days grace, to 6 p.m., they fired into the town 168 shells and shot; and from 8 o’clock to 10 a.m. yesterday, 74. Some of their guns were of the largest size, the shells weighing 104 lbs., and throwing them two miles beyond the town. Nobody hurt. Most of the stores on Front street were struck, completely demolishing some of them inside. Gutted, as it were by the explosion of shell, and showing almost cellars dug by the force. Many of the dwelling houses also were more or less injured. . . . Instead of being everywhere, looking after the defense of important and exposed points, San Antonio, 140 miles from the scene of danger, seems to be the only place having any attraction for our generals. Truly, they have deserved well of Texas, and should be waited upon by a committee of our gallant ladies, and presented with leather medals and swords of like material. A single rifles gun of fair range, and we could have sunk the miserable old New York ferry-boats that attacked our town, fired upon our women, children, and sicksome of them dying with yellow feverand which vessels will doubtless return and finish their work of destruction. Our officers and men behaved gallantly, and will sustain the honor of our flag. N’IMPORTE.

Since the above was in type, we learn that the enemy came up on the 31st within five miles of the town of Lavaca, and sent yards ashore demanding the surrender. Maj. Shea refused.

They then gave notice that an hour and a half would be allowed for the removal of the women and children and sick.

Promptly at the expiration of the time they opened fire, throwing about 50 shot that day. Next day the firing was continued heavily as is detailed above.

0 comments

Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

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

12th.—Spent yesterday at the hospital—very few patients. Our army in the Valley falling back; and the two armies said to be very near each other, and much skirmishing. Our dear W. B. N. had his horse shot under him a few days ago. This is fearful. Our country is greatly afflicted, and our dear ones in great peril; but the Lord reigneth—He, who stilleth the raging of the seas, can surely save us from our enemies and all that hate us—to Him do we look for help.

A Baltimore paper of the 11th gives an account of McClellan having been superseded by Burnside. We are delighted at this, for we believe McC. to be the better general of the two. It is said that he was complained of by Halleck for not pushing the army on, and preventing the capture of Harper’s Ferry and the 11,000. McC. knew it could not be done, for he had General Jackson to oppose him! His removal was an unexpected blow to the North, producing great excitement. Oh that the parties there would fight among themselves! The Northern papers are insisting upon another “On to Richmond,” and hint that McC, was too slow about every thing. The “Young Napoleon” has fallen from his high estate, and returns to his family at Trenton! The Yankees are surely an absurd race, to say the least of them. At one moment extolling their generals as demi-gods, the next hurling them to the dust—none so poor as to do them reverence. “General McClellan is believed to have passed through Washington last night,” is the announcement of a late Yankee paper, of the idol of last week.

0 comments

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

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

November 12— This morning we went on picket one mile below Linden. Our post is in the edge of Fauquier County and on the summit of the Blue Ridge right in Manassas Gap. The general aspect of the locality and country here on the mountain top is wildly grand and picturesque. Lofty peaks here and there lift their crests toward the clouds and bathe their breezy heights in the rosy tints of morning while yet the dusky breaking shadows of night still linger in the valley below. The Manassas Gap Railroad creeps in serpentine style around the mountain hills for a few miles along the summit, then plunges windingly down the western slope of the Ridge to the bright murmuring waters of the Shenandoah. We had a regular mountain storm last night from the south, with a little rain mixed in. It howled over the mountain top and swept fiercely around the wooded peaks with a force and velocity hardly ever assumed in the low-lying valleys. It gave us a fair specimen of how the storm king travels in its royal department when it roams untrammeled through the boundless realms of its native home.

0 comments

A Confederate Girl’s Diary

A Confederate Girl’s Diary by Sarah Morgan Dawson

November 12th, Wednesday.

Once more a cripple and consigned to my bed, for how long, Heaven only knows. This is written while in a horizontal position, reposing on my right arm, which is almost numb from having supported me for some sixteen hours without turning over. Let me see if I can remember how it happened.

Last evening we started out to see Gibbes, just Miriam and Anna in one buggy, and Mrs. Badger and I in the other. Gibbes proper, that is, the Captain, and the General both approved, but neither could accompany us. It is useless to say how much I objected to going without a gentleman. Indeed, when we reached the road which formed the fourth side of the square formed by Colonel Breaux’s, Captain Bradford’s, and Captain Fenner’s camps, I thought I should die of terror on finding myself in such a crowd of soldiers on parade. My thick veil alone consoled me, but I made a vow that I would not go through it again, not if I never saw Gibbes, Jr., again on earth.

His camp lay far off from the road, so that we had to drive out to it between the other two, and asked a soldier to tell him that we were there. Presently he came up, looking so pleased that I was almost glad that we had come; and then Captain Fenner appeared, looking charmed, and Lieutenant Harris, who looked more alarmed and timid than I. Captain Fenner exerted himself to entertain us, and seeing how frightened I was, assured me that it was an everyday occurrence for young ladies to visit them in parties without gentlemen, and that it was done all through the Confederacy; which, however, did not comfort me for the hundreds of eyes that were looking at us as our small party stood out in front of the encampment around a cannon. I think he can throw more expression into his eyes than any one I ever saw. Miriam suggested sending Gibbes to the Provost to get our pass in order to avoid the crowd that might be there. Eager to leave the present one for a more retired spot, I exclaimed, “Oh, no! let us go ourselves! We can’t get in a worse crowd!” I meant a greater; but Captain Fenner looked so comically at me that I could scarcely laugh out an apology, while he laughed so that I am sure he did not listen to me. What a comical mouth! I liked him very much, this time. He promised to come out to-day or to-morrow, and have a game of “Puss wants a corner” in the sugar-house. But now I can’t join in, though it was to me the promise was made.

But to the catastrophe at once.

As we left, we insisted on taking Gibbes to get our pass, and made him get into Miriam’s buggy, where there was space for him to kneel and drive. I was to carry out my promise to Mr. Enders. We had to pass just by the camp of the First Alabama, Colonel Steadman’s, where the whole regiment was on parade. We had not gone thirty yards beyond them when a gun was discharged. The horse instantly ran off. I don’t believe there could be two cooler individuals than Mrs. Badger and I were. I had every confidence in her being able to hold him so long as the bridle lasted. I had heard that there was more danger in jumping at such moments than in remaining quiet, so I sat still. There was nothing to hold to, as it was a no-top, or what I call a “low-neck,” buggy; so my hands rested quietly in my lap. Presently I saw the left rein snap close to the horse’s mouth. I knew all was over then, but did not utter a word. Death seemed inevitable, and I thought it was as well to take it coolly. The horse turned abruptly; I felt that something impelled me out, followed the impulse, saw Mrs. Badger’s white cape fluttering above me, received a blow on the extremity of my spine that I thought would kill me before I reached the ground, landing, however, on my left hip, and quietly reclining on my left elbow, with my face to an upset buggy whose wheels spun around in empty air. I heard a rush as of horses; I saw men galloping up; I would have given worlds to spring to my feet, or even to see if they were exposed; but found I could not move. I had no more power over my limbs than if they were iron; only the intense pain told me I was still alive. I was perfectly conscious, but unable to move. My only wonder was why Miriam, who was in front, did not come to me.

My arm was giving away. Dimly, as through a haze, or dream, I saw a soldier bending over me, trying to raise me. The horse he had sprung from rushed up to his master, and reared up over me. I saw the iron hoofs shining above my body; death was certain this time, but I could not move. He raised his arm and struck him, and obedient to the blow the animal turned aside and let his feet fall without crushing me. Mrs. Carter, when she heard it described, offered a fabulous sum for a correct drawing of that most interesting tableau, the gallant Alabamian supporting a helpless form on one arm, while he reined in a fiery charger with the other. I was not aware of the romance; I was conscious only of the unpleasant situation.

Dozens crowded around, and if I had been a girl for display, here was an opportunity, for thirty pair of soldier arms were stretched out to hold me. “No! Gibbes! Gibbes!” I whispered, and had the satisfaction of being transferred from a stranger’s to my cousin’s arms. Gibbes trembled more than I, but with both arms clasped around me, held me up. But for that I would have returned to my original horizontal position. “Send for the doctor!” cried one. “A surgeon, quick!” cried another. “Tell them no!” I motioned. I was conscious of a clatter of hoofs and cloud of dust. One performed a feat never heard of before. He brought a glass of water at full gallop which I instantly drained by way of acknowledgment. I think I felt the unpleasant situation more than the pain. Not being accustomed to being the centre of attraction, I was by no means pleased with the novel experience. Miriam held my hand, and questioned me with a voice tremulous with fear and laughter. Anna convulsively sobbed or giggled some question. I felt the ridiculous position as much as they. Laughing was agony, but I had to do it to give them an excuse, which they readily seized to give vent to their feelings, and encouraged by seeing it, several gold-band officers joined in, constantly endeavoring to apologize or check themselves with a “Really, Miss, it may seem unfeeling, but it is impossible” — the rest was lost in a gasp, and a wrestle between politeness and the desire to laugh.

I don’t know what I was thinking of, but I certainly paid very little attention to what was going on. I only wanted to get home, away from all those eyes; and my most earnest wish made me forget them. The first remark I heard was my young Alabamian crying, “It is the most beautiful somerset I ever saw! Indeed, it could not be more gracefully done! Your feet did not show!” Naïf, but it was just what I wanted to know, and dared not ask. Some one ran up, and asked who was hurt, and I heard another reply, “I am afraid the young lady is seriously injured, only she won’t acknowledge it. It is worth while looking at her. She is the coolest, most dignified girl you ever saw”; and another was added to the already too numerous audience. Poor Mrs. Badger, having suffered only from torn clothing, received very little sympathy, while I got more than my share. I really believe that the blow I received was from her two hundred and forty pound body, though the Alabamian declares he saw the overturning buggy strike me as I fell.

To her and others I am indebted for the repetition of many a remark that escaped me. One bold soldier boy exclaimed, “Madame, we are all warriors, but we can’t equal that! It is braver than any man!” I had to laugh occasionally to keep my spirits up, but Miriam ordered me to quit, saying that I would go off in hysterics. I had previously repeatedly declared to the Doctor that I was not hurt, and seeing him idle, and hearing Miriam’s remark, the Alabamian — I am told — cried, “O Doctor! Doctor! can’t you do something? Is she going to have hysterics?” “Really,” said the Doctor, “the young lady objects to being examined; but as far as I can judge, she has no limbs broken.” Everybody ordered me to confess at once my injury; but how was I to inform a whole crowd that I had probably broken the tip of my backbone, and could not possibly sit down? So I adhered to my first affirmation, and made no objection when they piled the cushions up and made Gibbes put me down; for I knew he must be tired.

I am told I remained there an hour. I know they talked to me, and that I answered; but have not an idea of the subject. A gentleman brought a buggy, and offered to drive me home; but a Captain Lenair insisted on running after the ambulance. Arrived there, Mr. Enders says he rushed in, crying, “For God’s sake, General Beale, lend me the ambulance! There is a dreadful accident, and I am afraid the young lady will die!” Coming back he exclaimed, “By Jove! boys, if you want to see a sight, run down and see her hair! The prettiest auburn (?) you ever looked at, and sweeps the ground! I would n’t mind such a fall if I had such hair to show. Come look at it, do!” Mr. Enders says he was sure that it was I, as soon as hair was mentioned, and started out as soon as he had finished a duty he had to perform. My garter, a purple silk ribbon, lay in the centre of the ring. By the respectful silence observed, I saw they recognized its use, so, unwilling to leave such a relic behind, I asked aloud for my “ribbon,” whereupon Anna says the officers pinched each other and smiled. Up came the ambulance, and I was in imminent danger of being carried to it, when with a desperate effort I regained my feet with Gibbes’s help, and reached it without other assistance. Beyond, I could do no more.

Captain Lenair got inside, and several others lifted me up to him, and I sank motionless on the floor. All bade me good-bye, and my little Alabamian assured me that he was proud of having been the first to assist me. President Miller whispered to Mrs. Badger for permission to accompany us, which she readily granted, and raising me on the seat, he insisted on putting his arm around me to hold me up. It was useless to decline. “Now, Miss Morgan, I assure you I am an old married man! I know you are suffering! Let me have my way!” and the kind old gentleman held me so comfortably, and broke the force of so many jolts, that I was forced to submit and acknowledge that had it not been for him I could not have endured the rough road. At the gate that leads to General Beale’s headquarters, I saw half a dozen figures standing. One was Frank Enders, who hailed the driver. “Hush!” said one I recognized as Captain Lenair. “The young lady is in there, and the Provost, too!” “I don’t care if it is Jeff Davis, I’ll find out if she is hurt!” he answered. Miriam and Anna recognized him, as they followed behind us, and called to him. Without more ado, he jumped into their buggy, finding them alone, and drove them home. He asked me something as he passed, but I could not answer.

The road was dreadful. Once the driver mistook it and drove us within two steps of an embankment six feet high, but discovered the mistake before the horses went over.

What I most dreaded was explanations when we should arrive. Miriam stepped out an instant before, and I heard her telling the accident. Then everybody, big and little, white and black, gathered around the ambulance. The Provost thought himself privileged to carry me, Gibbes insisted on trying it with his one arm, when the General picked me up and landed me on the gallery. He wanted me to lie down in old Mrs. Carter’s room, but confident that once there I could not get up, and feeling that perhaps the gentlemen would take advantage of its being on the ground floor to suggest calling on me, I struggled upstairs with Helen’s assistance. A dozen hands undressed me, and laid me on my face in bed, which position I have occupied up to the present, 3 p.m. . . . Unable to turn, all night I lay awake, lying on my face, the least comfortable of positions; but though the slightest motion tortured me, I had to laugh as we talked it over.

Of course, this has been written in scratches, and in my same position, which will account for many blots. This morning I was interrupted by mother’s unexpected arrival, she having come with Dellie and Morgan to spend the day. Of course, she is horrified at the accident of that “unfortunate Sarah”!

0 comments

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

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

Wednesday, 12th—Nothing new. The weather is quite cool. This makes our eighth day on short rations, but the quartermaster assured us today that he would have some provisions for us tomorrow. New troops are arriving every day and passing on out to the front.

0 comments

Diary and Letters of Rutherford B. Hayes.

Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Cincinnati, November 12, 1862.

Dear Uncle: — Your letter, also the apples, came safely to hand. The apples were finer than usual. The family are settled down with a girl that starts off well. The elections don’t worry me. They will, I hope, spur the Administration to more vigor. The removal of McClellan and the trial of Buell and Fitz-John Porter, the dismissal of Ford, and substituting Schenck for Wool, all look like life. General Burnside may not have ability for so great a command, but he has energy, boldness, and luck on his side. Rosecrans, too, is likely to drive things. All this is more than compensation for the defeat of a gang of our demagogues by the demagogues of the other side. As to the Democratic policy, it will be warlike, notwithstanding Vallandigham and others. Governor Seymour has made a speech in Utica since his election indicating this. Besides, that party must be, in power, a war party.

I expect to return next week, middle or last of the week. My arm does well, but is not of much use. If I find anything injurious or difficult in campaigning, I will get assigned to some light duty for a few months.

Sincerely,

R. B. Hayes.

S. BIRCHARD.

0 comments

Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon.

Reminiscences of the Civil War, William and Adelia Lyon

To Mrs. Lyon.

Fort Henry, Tenn., Wed. p. m., Nov. 12, 1862—We have but just arrived from our expedition. The mail is just going out and I have but time to say that I am well, having improved in strength rapidly since I have been gone. I got so I could ride on horseback all day. Morgan gave us the slip, but we ran upon Woodward, who has a band out there. There were 15 of their men killed. Our loss, two killed and a few slightly wounded. The killed were cavalry; the wounded, our men. The 13th are good fighters.

We marched 180 miles, went to Canton, La Fayette, Hopkinsville, Garretsburg (where the fight occurred), and Fort Donelson.

0 comments

War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney.

War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney.

Wednesday, 12th. Lay around most of the day, feeling most sick. Went into the mill. Capt. returned and Bushnell and several boys for a visit. Said Major Purington sent his love at three different times to me. Made me feel good. Sky clear again. Yesterday cloudy and cold.

0 comments

Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman.

Journal of Surgeon Alfred L Castleman.

12th.—Quiet in camp all day. It seems hard that we must lose this beautiful weather, when winter is so near at hand; but I suppose it is necessary to allow the new Commander-in-Chief to perfect his plans. General Fitz-John Porter re-arrested to-day, and taken to Washington, on charge of disobedience of General Pope’s orders, at the battle of Bull Run, on the 29th of August. That the defeat of Pope’s army there, the slaughter of thousands of our true and loyal men, the escape of Lee’s and Jackson’s commands from capture or destruction, was the result of treason, there is not a shadow of doubt. If Porter is proven to be the traitor—hang him, hang him; for God’s sake hang him; and if a traitor at the instigation of a higher in command, hang him too. We have had enough of this thing of staking the lives of our men, by whole brigades, on political chess games. Hang a few of the traitors to save the sacrifice of true and honest men.

0 comments

An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones.

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

Grand Junction, Tenn., Wednesday, Nov. 12. It having rained during the night, the dust was converted to mud. Ate a breakfast of cold beef and bread, filled our canteens with water, when we scrambled on top the freight cars in order to., procure transportation. It was raining, and when the train was in motion the smoke and cinders were torturing. Arrived at Jackson at 1 P. M. Waited an hour for dinner, then took Mississippi Central R. R. for Grand Junction. Remained at Medon Station till 6 P. M. when G. M. Spencer and I spread our blankets and laid down; awoke at Grand Junction at 3 A. M.

0 comments

Diary of David L. Day.

David L Day–My diary of rambles with the 25th Mass

The Tarboro March.

Nov. 12. On the morning of Oct. 30, Major Pickett, with six companies (the other four being on picket up the Trent road), left Newbern, embarking on the steamer Highlander for Washington on the Pamlico river. Here we joined Gen. Foster’s expedition for a raid up the country. The force consisted of the 17th, 23d, 24th and 25th Massachusetts and 10th Connecticut regiments of three years’ troops, and the 3d, 5th and 44th Massachusetts regiments of nine months’ troops, with five batteries of the 3d New York artillery, Capt. Belgers’ Rhode Island battery and seven companies of the 3d New York cavalry, besides a heavy wagon and ambulance train.

On Sunday morning Nov. 2, the expedition left Washington for a march across the country to the Roanoke river. The 23d and 25th were detailed as guard over the wagon and ambulance train. We marched through a poor and sparsely populated section of country without interruption or anything to create excitement, until about the middle of the afternoon, when we heard firing on the advance. They had reached a swamp of considerable width, with a small creek running across and overflowing the road for quite a distance. At this point two regiments of the enemy disputed the passage of the swamp, and a brisk infantry and artillery fire commenced, which lasted with short intervals for an hour or more, when the cavalry and two batteries charged across. The enemy beat a precipitate retreat, greatly accelarated by shells from the batteries. Our loss was small, not over a dozen killed and wounded, and most of these were from the 44th Massachusetts, which behaved nobly.

During this skirmish the wagon train made slow progress, advancing a short distance and then halting. It was late in the evening when we reached the swamp. All the troops were on the other side, but we got orders to halt where we were over night. The mules were fed and we made a supper of cold meat, hardtack and coffee, after which we lay down by the side of the fence to sleep.

Miles in a Mudhole.

Next morning the mule teams commenced the passage of the swamp and mudhole. Hearing a great noise and shouting, I went down to see what was up. I mounted the rude foot bridge at the side, improvised for the benefit of pedestrians, and walked along until I was near the middle of the mudhole and where the creek crossed the road. Here was a file of men on each side of the road, armed with hoop-poles and standing in mud and water from six inches to three feet deep. When a team was driven in, it received all necessary encouragement from the hoop-poles and strong lungs of the men while running the gauntlet. If the pilot was skilful and kept on the corduroy, the passage would he made before the mules would get discouraged. Sometimes the mules would get off the corduroy, but if the wagon kept on, the mules would manage to flounder back and go on. After a spell a careless driver ran his wagon off the corduroy and down it went to the axle. Here was a pretty fix. The mules couldn’t haul it out and no other team could get by. It was decided to unload the wagon, so the mules could pull it out. The load, consisting of beef and hardtack, was dumped into the creek, but the mules knew nothing of this arrangement, they only knew they were hopelessly stuck, and when they were appealed to to haul out the wagon, they obstinately refused; bracing out their forelegs and sticking their ears straight up in the air, they seemed to proclaim themselves a fixture. No amount of swearing and belaboring them with hoop-poles had the slightest effect. Capt. Schenck, who was standing by watching the fun, told them he would hitch on one of his teams and haul them out. The captain had a battery of 20-pounder Napoleon guns, with teams of eight heavy horses. He ordered in one of the teams and told them to hitch onto the mules, and when all was ready, he would give the order. When all was ready, the captain yelled, “Forward, march!” The horses, understanding the order, stepped smartly off; while the mules, not understanding it, did not keep step with the horses, but standing there braced out, the heels of three or four of them went up in the air, and they came down on their heads; in this way, sometimes under water and sometimes out, kicking and floundering, trying to regain their feet, they were dragged out through the mudhole, to the great delight and amusement of the captain and all other spectators.

This place is known as Rawls’ Mills creek, and that a grateful posterity may better understand the situation, I quote from Longfellow or some other fellow:

Then the muels strove and tugged

Up the hillsides steep and rugged,

Till they came unto a mudhole;

This was nary a common puddle;

One it was without a bottom,

Into which the muels, rot ’em,

Got so very far deluded,

Nothing but their ears protruded,

Picturing in a situation

Uncle Abe’s administration.

Darkies And Mules.

All the teams across, the march was resumed through a much better country, and we reached Williamston on the Roanoke river, about noon. Our teams are four horse and six mule teams. Some of the mule teams are driven by darkies, who sit on the nigh hind mule and pilot the craft by means of a single line running to the leaders, called a jerk line. With this line and their peculiar mule dialect, they handle the team admirably. Darkies and mules work together naturally; they understand each other perfectly and have the same dialect. Take a mule team that a white man can do nothing with, and let a darky come along and speak to them; in a minute they are entirely different animals and as docile as a kitten. They seem to have a love for him and are perfectly cognizant of all his actions and movements. If a darky while driving falls asleep, the mules know it in a minute and will stop. The leaders will face about and commence tangling themselves up in the chains and gearing of the next pair, and that will go on until some one hits the nigger on his head with a pine knot or lump of clay, waking him up. He will give the line a few jerks and call out to the mules in their language, and they will untangle themselves, straighten out and go on as though nothing had happened. Niggers and mules are a great institution.

Williamston is a pretty little town of about 1200 or 1500 inhabitants, nearly all of whom had left, leaving it to the tender mercies of an army; of course what was left lying around loose was gobbled up. When the wagon train marched through, the boys were frying the chickens and pigs in the streets, and probably the houses and stores contributed to their wants. The train halted just outside the town till about 4 p. m., when we again resumed the march, going up the Hamilton road. We went up this road about ten miles, and bivouacked in a large field of corn about 10 p. m. This afforded abundant forage for our horses and mules, also good beds and fires for ourselves. This day’s march was through a fine section of country and without opposition. A great quantity of corn was yet unharvested and a few barnsful of harvested corn which we found was set on fire, as being the best and quickest way to market it.

Plantation Dance.

Soon after we got into camp, a few darkies were seen lurking around, not knowing exactly whether it would do to come too near. But their fears were soon dispelled by a few darkies who were with us, telling them “de Yankees are our frien’s,” and to come right along. They soon began to flock into camp, and in a little while a hundred or more had come in. After the boys had their suppers, large fires were kindled, around which 200 or 300 of the boys formed a ring and getting thirty or forty of these darkies, men and women, inside, set them to dancing. They were free then and seemed anxious to do anything to please the boys and keep on good terms with them. Three or four of them, would pat the time and the rest would dance. They seemed to enjoy the fun as much as the spectators. Here was a genuine plantation dance in costume; men and women were dressed in well-worn garments of gunny cloth or Kentucky jeans, with enormous brogan shoes of russet leather, some of them looking as though they had a whole tannery on their feet. Some of the old ones were a little lame and would try to get rid of dancing by saying they didn’t know how, but the boys would tell them they did and that they must go in. It was great sport to watch the antics they cut up trying to dance. The next morning this field of corn comprising nearly or quite fifty acres, was nicely harvested. I don’t think ten bushels could have been saved from it.

Rainbow Bluff.

On the march at sunrise; just before noon we came out of the woods into an open country and in full view of the famous Rainbow bluff of which we had heard so much. The batteries were soon in position and skirmishers were sent out to examine the situation. After a time word came back that no enemy was near, the batteries limbered up and the march resumed. We were soon on the bluff, which was well fortified on the river and east sides but quite defenseless in the rear; it would have been an easy matter to have shelled out an enemy had there been one there. Here we found our gunboat fleet which had come up and was going to keep us company higher up the river. After destroying these works we moved on, reaching the little town of Hamilton about 2 p. m., and halted just outside. Here we were to stop three or four hours for rest and dinner.

A Private Dinner Party.

I suggested to Doctor Ben that it would be a good plan to forage our dinner; to this he assented and said if I could find some sweet potatoes he would furnish the chicken or pig. We started out, going up town; here we separated, each one to obtain his share of the dinner and then meet again on the corner. I was not long in finding a garden in which grew the potatoes; making a break in the fence I soon filled my haversack, and returning to the corner’ waited for the doctor. Great was my surprise to soon see him coming down the street with a hen dangling by the legs, and in charge of an officer of the guard, going in the direction of the general’s headquarters, on the veranda of which he and his staff were sitting. Being an interested party, I thought I would attend the conference. The officer preferred his charges, and Capt. Dan, the provost marshal, commenced the trial. He did not seem to get very much interested in it, and the doctor was getting along nicely with it, until the general began a cross examination by asking him if he had not heard the order in regard to foraging? The doctor admitted that he had. “How then does it happen that you do not observe it?” This was a pretty close question and I began to tremble for him, but he proved equal to the emergency; after waiting a moment he looked up and said, “General, this rebellion has got to be crushed if it takes every hen in North Carolina.” A smile lit up the face of the general, who asked, “Where is your regiment?” “Just beyond here, sir.” “Go to it, my boy, and get your dinner and be ready to march in a couple of hours or so.” We started, congratulating each other over the fortunate turn affairs had taken. We had a good dinner, and were well rested when the order came to march, about 6 p. m.

Burning of Hamilton.

This was a small town about half as large as Williamston, and like all other southern towns I have seen was built all in a heap. The inhabitants all left on our approach, and exhibited a bad feeling by cutting their well ropes and filling the wells with rubbish. This so incensed the boys that on leaving they set the town on fire, and we marched away by the light of it. A tramp of five or six miles up the Weldon road brought us to a plantation on which was a big cornfield. Into this we filed and put up for the night. Here again was forage for the team and cavalry horses and material for beds and fires. Our force of darkies was greatly augmented; they came in by hundreds, and after we had our supper the plantation dance was in order.

The Gunboats Thundering Up the River.

The gunboats had come up the river, and were now working their way towards Halifax, causing, I presume, the people of that town a terrible fright. They would fire an occasional shot as an advance notice of their coming, and on the still night air the boom of the big guns far up the river was wafted back to our camp.

Not Seeking a Fight.

They were expecting us at Halifax and Weldon and were making preparations to receive us, but the general was not up in that part of the country looking for a fight. A battle up there would have been without results to us, unless it was the loss of men. He was up there simply looking over the country, picking up a few horses and mules and helping the planters do their harvesting. The general, not caring to go where they were expecting him, the next morning turned his course across the country towards Tarboro, a town on the Tar river, some twenty miles west, hoping to reach there before the enemy could concentrate their forces against him.

A Rich Country.

This day’s march was through a rich and fertile section of country, abounding in large, rich plantations, affording plenty of luxuries for the boys and a great many horses and mules for the use of the army. The contrabands flocked in droves to our standard, and were very useful in carrying our blankets, filling canteens, foraging chickens and pigs, toting rails for the fires, and in many other ways. We harvested a large field of corn at noon and burned several barnfuls during the day, reaching camp late in the evening, some five or six miles from Tarboro. A heavy northeast rain storm set in during the night, and we could hear the cars running, bringing troops into Tarboro. Scouting parties were sent out to reconnoitre the enemy’s force and position, and reported they were in force and fortified between us and the town. As the general’s errand up through this part of the country was more for observation than fight, he thought with his small force of infantry (and a part of that new troops) and with a cumbersome wagon train, he had better act on the defensive, and early the next morning ordered a retreat.

The Retreat.

The morning was dark and dreary. With a heavy northeast rain storm blowing, the enemy in force in front of us and expecting an attack on our rear, when the retreat commenced our prospects were anything but flattering. Quietly the order was given for the wagons to start and make the time as short as possible back some eight miles to an old church and cross roads, past which we had come the day before, and there await further orders. Three companies of cavalry preceded us as an advance guard. The road was very muddy and the traveling hard, but that made no difference; the teams were urged forward and the boys exhibited remarkable enterprise in getting over the road. I thought I had never seen our boys more interested in anything than they were in this. Not even applejack nor all the luxuries that lay scattered along their pathway had any charms for them. Their whole souls seemed centered on the old church, and they were thorougly absorbed in their efforts to reach it. I don’t believe they ever took half so much interest before in going to a church. The old church and cross roads were reached before noon, and we anxiously awaited the arrival of the general. Not hearing any firing in the rear we concluded they were lying for us at some other point, if they were intending an attack on us. The cavalry informed us that the bridge across the creek out in the swamp, over which we crossed the day before, was taken up and things looked as though somebody might be waiting for us on the other side. The troops were now coming up, and a couple of batteries dashed past us, down the road into the swamp. The general soon came up and seemed quite pleased that he had gained this point without opposition, and thought there would be no further trouble.

The commander is a practical engineer, and can map with his eye the country as he passes through it, picking out the strong and weak positions, moving his troops in this or the other direction, holding such roads and positions as he thinks will give him an advantage, and when a movement is ordered, it is entered on by his troops with full confidence of success. Two roads branched from the one we were on, one taking a north-easterly direction,, the other a north-westerly. Up these roads the cavalry were sent to make a reconnoissanee. The pioneer corps was ordered down to the creek, over which the bridge had been take up, and commenced felling trees as though they intended to rebuild it. After an hour’s ride, the cavalry returned and reported everything all right. A part of the infantry and artillery now took the advance, going up the north-easterly road, followed by the wagon train, while the balance of the troops brought up the rear. While this was going on, the sharp ring of the axes could be heard out in the swamp as though that was the intended route, but after the column had got well under way, the pioneers abandoned their job and followed along. The route lay through an open country, easy of defence, and if anybody was waiting for us on the other side of the swamp (as we have since learned there was), they got nicely fooled. About night we reached the site where two days, before stood the town of Hamilton. Nothing remained but a few scattered rookeries on the outskirts occupied by negroes. There was, however, one small two story building standing a little apart from the others, which was saved, and into this went company B, taking the up-stairs tenement, while the lower one was occupied by a company of the 5th Massachusetts. The night was cold and stormy, snowing quite heavily, and the little army was obliged to stand it or find shelter as best they could. I reckon the boys who set the fires bitterly repented of their acts, as they must have suffered much, and a good many of them were worn down and sick from the long march.

By morning the storm had abated, but there were about two inches of soft snow or slush, and some of the boys were barefoot, having worn out their shoes, and a good many were nearly or quite sick. The surgeons looked over their regiments, sending; the sick and bare-footed aboard the gunboats for Plymouth, for which place the troops were bound.

The order of exercises for today was a march back to Williamston, which I very much regretted not being able to do, as I rather enjoy these rambles through the country and feel disappointed when 1 cannot go, but I had been a little under the weather for a day or two and was sent with the others aboard the little gunboat Hatzel, where we were greatly sympathized with by the marines, who seemed to think we had had a pretty hard time of it, and who showed us every favor and indulgence that lay in their power. The boats steamed slowly down the river, keeping along with the army, and arriving at Plymouth on the afternoon of the 10th, having made a two weeks’ excursion.

The Result.

I reckon the landed nobility up the country through which we traveled will never care to see another excursion of the same kind. They probably by this time begin to think that war is not so pretty a pastime, and the Confederate commissariat can mourn the loss of many thousand bushels of corn. We made a desolation of the country through which we passed, and that proud aristocracy can now look over their desolate fields, and in vain call the roll of their slaves; can sit down and make a nice calculation of how much better off they are under their Confederacy than they would have been had they remained loyal to the old flag. We cleaned up pretty much everything there was, bringing back with us upwards of 1000 negroes and several hundred horses and mules.

Coming down the river we ran past what appeared to be a large cotton plantation, when some 40 or 50 negroes came running down to the shore and begged to be taken aboard. They were the most forlorn and wretched looking beings I had ever seen; their clothing was little else than fags, scarcely covering their nakedness. Some of them followed us nearly a mile down the river, begging piteously to be taken aboard. I pitied the poor creatures, but was powerless to help them, and the thought .occurred to me that if God cares for all his creatures, he surely must have forgotten these.

0 comments

Rebel War Clerk

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

NOVEMBER 12TH.—The heavy firing heard did no execution. Letters from Gen. Lee indicate no battle, unless the enemy should make an egregious blunder. He says he has not half men enough to resist McClellan’s advance with his mighty army, and prefers manœuvring to risking his army. He says three-fourths of our cavalry horses are sick with sore-tongue, and their hoofs are falling off, and the soldiers are not fed and clad as they should be. He urges the sending of supplies to Gordonsville.

And we have news of a simultaneous advance of Northern armies everywhere; and everywhere we have the same story of deficiency of men and provisions. North and south, east and west of us, the enemy is reported advancing.

Soon we shall have every one blaming the Secretary of War for the deficiency of men, and of quartermaster and commissary stores.

The Commissary-General, backed by the Secretary of War, made another effort to-day to obtain the President’s permission to trade cotton with “Butler, the Beast.” But the President and Gov. Pettus will manage that little matter without their assistance.

Major Ruffin’s (Commissary’s Bureau) statement of the alarming prospects ahead, unless provisions be obtained outside of the Confederacy (for cotton), was induced by reports from New Orleans. A man was in the office to-day exhibiting Butler’s passport, and making assurances that all the Yankee generals are for sale—for cotton. Butler will make a fortune—and so will some of our great men. Butler says the reason he don’t send troops into the interior is that he is afraid we will burn the cotton.

It is reported that a fleet of the enemy’s gun-boats are in the James River.

0 comments

A Diary of American Events.

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

November 12.— General Hooker assumed command of the Fifth corps of the army of the Potomac.—The British schooner Maria was captured, while endeavoring to evade the blockade at Sabine Pass, Texas.

—A Cavalry engagement took place near Lamar, Miss., between a detachment of the Second Illinois and a company of the Seventh Kansas regiments, under the command of Major John J. Mudd, and a force of rebels, resulting in an utter route of the latter with great loss.—Missouri Democrat.

0 comments

Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman.

Journal of Surgeon Alfred L Castleman.

 

11th—In camp all day. Beautiful and clear but windy. Heavy firing towards night some twelve or twenty miles to the southwest.

McClellan relieved, and to-day Burnside succeeds. Surely,

“De kingdom’s comin’,

And de day ob jubelo.”

Some of the army depressed to-night in consequence of the change. Natural enough, but it will be all right in a few days, or I am no prophet.

To all the claims to greatness for Gen. McClellan, the question will obtrude: With the best army on the continent, of two hundred thousand men, what has he accomplished in the fifteen months during which he has been in command? “Whilst on the other hand, another question comes up: Why, if he has accomplished nothing, and is not a great man, is he the most popular man, with his army, in the United States? My own solution is this: There is a tendency in armies, to love and venerate their Commander. General McClellan has been at the head of the armies. In addition, his friends hold him up as a political aspirant. He, then, who shall accomplish most for McClellan’s popularity, stands first in the list of promotions! Every Major and Brigadier General feels it to be his own personal interest to eulogise McClellan, and the struggle amongst his followers, is not for who shall distinguish himself most in the service of his country, but who shall stand highest on the list of friends to him who is soon to wield both the civil and military power of the country. The soldiers know nothing against him, because they know nothing of him. He is rarely seen by them, and the encomiums of his sycophantic eulogists, such as Porter, Franklin, Hancock, ” et id omne genus conspiratorum,” is taken as true, whilst such men as Kearney, Reno, Couch and Burnside, must be sacrificed for being in the way of others, who substitute intrigue for genius.

0 comments

Helping Themselves.

Civil War

Weekly Columbus Enquirer (Georgia), November 11, 1862

We were informed yesterday evening that a party of ladies went into a store at Cartersville and appropriated a small stock of goods, such as they said they were in pressing need of. They represented that they were driven by necessity to that course.

The people who are able to help the poor, should bear proportionate shares in the matter, and by concerted action, supply their real necessities, without waiting for them, especially helpless women, to be driven to such an extremity.

Atlanta Conf.

0 comments