Friday, July 28, 2017

James Hervey Otey

OTEY, James Hervey, P. E. bishop, b. in Liberty, Bedford co., Va., 27 Jan., 1800; d. in Memphis, Tenn., 23 April. 1863. His father, Isaac Otey, was a farmer in easy circumstances, and frequently represented his count in the house of Burgesses. James was one of the younger children in a family of twelve. He early evinced a love of study and of general reading, and after attending an excellent school in his native county, was sent in his seventeenth year to the University of North Carolina, where he was graduated in 1820. He received honors in belles-lettres, and was immediately appointed tutor in Latin and Greek. In 1823 he took charge of a school in Warrenton, N. C. There his attention was turned to the ministry, and he was ordained both deacon and priest in the Protestant Episcopal church by Bishop Ravenscroft. In 1827 he removed to Tennessee and settled in the town of Franklin, but he changed his residence to Columbia in 1835, and finally to Memphis. On 14 Jan., 1834. he was consecrated bishop of Tennessee. Next to the duties of his episcopate the bishop’s heart was most engaged with the work of Christian education. It seemed to be a passionate desire with him to establish in the southwest a large institution in which religion should go hand-in-hand with every lesson of a secular character, and young men he prepared for the ministry. Accordingly, after establishing with the assistance of Rev. Leonidas Polk, a school for girls, called the “Columbia Institute,” he devoted a great part of his laborious life to the realization of his ideal. For full thirty years (1827-’57) he failed not, in public and in private, by night and by day, to keep this subject before the people of the southern states, until the successful establishment of the University of the south at Suwanee, Tenn., in which he was also aided by Bishop Leonidas Polk. The life of Bishop Otey was one of hard and unceasing labor. He lived to see the few scattered members of his church in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida, as well as Tennessee, organized into dioceses and in successful operation. He was known throughout the south and southwest as the Good Bishop. Though he was strongly opposed to secession, he wrote a letter to the secretary of state, remonstrating1 against coercion. The reply to this letter change his views on the subject. and he declined to attend the general convention of his church in the seceding states that was held in Georgia soon afterward. In person the bishop was of a commanding stature, being six feet and two inches in height, and of fitting proportions. He published many addresses, sermons, and charges, and a volume containing the “Unity of the Church” and other discourses (Vicksburg, 1852).

SOURCE: James Grant Wilson & John Fiske, Editors, Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 4, p. 604

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Jefferson Pipkins to William Still, September 28, 1856

Sept. 28, 1856.

To WM. STILL. Sir:— I take the liberty of writing to you a few lines concerning my children, for I am very anxious to get them and I wish you to please try what you can do for me. Their names are Charles and Patrick and are living with Mrs. Joseph G. Wray Murphysborough Hartford county, North Carolina; Emma. lives with a Lawyer Baker in Gatesville North Carolina and Susan lives in Portsmouth Virginia and is stopping with Dr. Collins sister a Mrs. Nash you can find her out by enquiring for Dr. Collins at the ferry boat at Portsmouth, and Rose a coloured woman at the Crawford House can tell where she is. And I trust you will try what you think will be the best way. And you will do me a great favour.

Yours Respectfully,
Jefferson Pipkins.

P. S. I am living at Yorkville near Toronto Canada West. My wife sends her best respects to Mrs. Still.

SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 137

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Speech on Affairs in Kansas, at the Kansas Relief Meeting in Cambridge Massachusetts, Wednesday Evening, September 10, 1856

I regret, with all this company, the absence of Mr. Whitman of Kansas, whose narrative was to constitute the interest of this meeting. Mr. Whitman is not here; but knowing, as we all do, why he is not, what duties kept him at home, he is more than present. His vacant chair speaks for him. For quite other reasons, I had been wiser to have stayed at home, unskilled as I am to address a political meeting, but it is impossible for the most recluse to extricate himself from the questions of the times.

There is this peculiarity about the case of Kansas, that all the right is on one side. We hear the screams of hunted wives and children answered by the howl of the butchers. The testimony of the telegraphs from St. Louis and the border confirm the worst details. The printed letters of the border ruffians avow the facts. When pressed to look at the cause of the mischief in the Kansas laws, the President falters and declines the discussion; but his supporters in the Senate, Mr. Cass, Mr. Geyer, Mr. Hunter, speak out, and declare the intolerable atrocity of the code. It is a maxim that all party spirit produces the incapacity to receive natural impressions from facts; and our recent political history has abundantly borne out the maxim. But these details that have come from Kansas are so horrible, that the hostile press have but one word in reply, namely, that it is all exaggeration, It is an Abolition lie. Do the Committee of Investigation say that the outrages have been overstated? Does their dismal catalogue of private tragedies show it? Do the private letters? Is it an exaggeration, that Mr. Hopps of Somerville, Mr. Hoyt of Deerfield, Mr. Jennison of Groton, Mr. Phillips of Berkshire, have been murdered? That Mr. Robinson of Fitchburg has been imprisoned? Rev. Mr. Nute of Springfield seized, and up to this time we have no tidings of his fate?

In these calamities under which they suffer, and the worse which threaten them, the people of Kansas ask for bread, clothes, arms and men, to save them alive, and enable them to stand against these enemies of the human race. They have a right to be helped, for they have helped themselves.

This aid must be sent, and this is not to be doled out as an ordinary charity; but bestowed up to the magnitude of the want, and, as has been elsewhere said, “on the scale of a national action.” I think we are to give largely, lavishly, to these men. And we must prepare to do it. We must learn to do with less, live in a smaller tenement, sell our apple-trees, our acres, our pleasant houses. I know people who are making haste to reduce their expenses and pay their debts, not with a view to new accumulations, but in preparation to save and earn for the benefit of the Kansas emigrants.

We must have aid from individuals, — we must also have aid from the State. I know that the last Legislature refused that aid. I know that lawyers hesitate on technical grounds, and wonder what method of relief the Legislature will apply. But I submit that, in a case like this, where citizens of Massachusetts, legal voters here, have emigrated to national territory under the sanction of every law, and are then set on by highwaymen, driven from their new homes, pillaged, and numbers of them killed and scalped, and the whole world knows that this is no accidental brawl, but a systematic war to the knife, and in defiance of all laws and liberties, I submit that the Governor and Legislature should neither slumber nor sleep till they have found out how to send effectual aid and comfort to these poor farmers, or else should resign their seats to those who can. But first let them hang the halls of the State House with black crape, and order funeral service to be said there for the citizens whom they were unable to defend.

We stick at the technical difficulties. I think there never was a people so choked and stultified by forms. We adore the forms of law, instead of making them vehicles of wisdom and justice. I like the primary assembly. I own I have little esteem for governments. I esteem them only good in the moment when they are established. I set the private man first. He only who is able to stand alone is qualified to be a citizen. Next to the private man, I value the primary assembly, met to watch the government and to correct it. That is the theory of the American State, that it exists to execute the will of the citizens, is always responsible to them, and is always to be changed when it does not. First, the private citizen, then the primary assembly, and the government last.

In this country for the last few years the government has been the chief obstruction to the common weal. Who doubts that Kansas would have been very well settled, if the United States had let it alone? The government armed and led the ruffians against the poor farmers. I do not know any story so gloomy as the politics of this country for the last twenty years, centralizing ever more manifestly round one spring, and that a vast crime, and ever more plainly, until it is notorious that all promotion, power and policy are dictated from one source, — illustrating the fatal effects of a false position to demoralize legislation and put the best people always at a disadvantage; — one crime always present, always to be varnished over, to find fine names for; and we free-statesmen, as accomplices to the guilt, ever in the power of the grand offender.

Language has lost its meaning in the universal cant. Representative Government is really misrepresentative; Union is a conspiracy against the Northern States which the Northern States are to have the privilege of paying for; the adding of Cuba and Central America to the slave marts is enlarging the area of Freedom. Manifest Destiny, Democracy, Freedom, fine names for an ugly thing. They call it otto of rose and lavender, — I call it bilge water. They call it Chivalry and Freedom; I call it the stealing all the earnings of a poor man and the earnings of his little girl and boy, and the earnings of all that shall come from him, his children's children forever.

But this is Union, and this is Democracy; and our poor people, led by the nose by these fine words, dance and sing, ring bells and fire cannon, with every new link of the chain which is forged for their limbs by the plotters in the Capitol.

What are the results of law and union? There is no Union. Can any citizen of Massachusetts travel in honor through Kentucky and Alabama and speak his mind? Or can any citizen of the Southern country who happens to think kidnapping a bad thing, say so? Let Mr. Underwood of Virginia answer. Is it to be supposed that there are no men in Carolina who dissent from the popular sentiment now reigning there? It must happen, in the variety of human opinions, that there are dissenters. They are silent as the grave. Are there no women in that country, — women, who always carry the conscience of a people? Yet we have not heard one discordant whisper.

In the free States, we give a snivelling support to slavery. The judges give cowardly interpretations to the law, in direct opposition to the known foundation of all law, that every immoral statute is void. And here of Kansas, the President says: “Let the complainants go to the courts;” though he knows that when the poor plundered farmer comes to the court, he finds the ringleader who has robbed him, dismounting from his own horse, and unbuckling his knife to sit as his judge.

The President told the Kansas Committee that the whole difficulty grew from “the factions spirit of the Kansas people, respecting institutions which they need not have concerned themselves about.” A very remarkable speech from a Democratic President to his fellow citizens, that they are not to concern themselves with institutions which they alone are to create and determine. The President is a lawyer, and should know the statutes of the land. But I borrow the language of an eminent man, used long since, with far less occasion: “If that be law, let the ploughshare be run under the foundations of the Capitol;” — and if that be Government, extirpation is the only cure.

I am glad to see that the terror at disunion and anarchy is disappearing. Massachusetts, in its heroic day, had no government — was an anarchy. Every man stood on his own feet, was his own governor; and there was no breach of peace from Cape Cod to Mount Hoosac. California, a few years ago, by the testimony of all people at that time in the country, had the best government that ever existed. Pans of gold lay drying outside of every man’s tent, in perfect security. The land was measured into little strips of a few feet wide, all side by side. A bit of ground that your hand could cover was worth one or two hundred dollars, on the edge of your strip; and there was no dispute. Every man throughout the country was armed with knife and revolver, and it was known that instant justice would be administered to each offence, and perfect peace reigned. For the Saxon man, when he is well awake, is not a pirate but a citizen, all made of hooks and eyes, and links himself naturally to his brothers, as bees hook themselves to one another and to their queen in a loyal swarm.

But the hour is coming when the strongest will not be strong enough. A harder task will the new revolution of the nineteenth century be, than was the revolution of the eighteenth century. I think the American Revolution bought its glory cheap. If the problem was new, it was simple. If there were few people, they were united, and the enemy 3,000 miles off. But now, vast property, gigantic interests, family connections, webs of party, cover the land with a network that immensely multiplies the dangers of war.

Fellow Citizens, in these times full of the fate of the Republic, I think the towns should hold town meetings, and resolve themselves into Committees of Safety, go into permanent sessions, adjourning from week to week, from month to month. I wish we could send the Sergeant-at-arms to stop every American who is about to leave the country. Send home every one who is abroad, lest they should find no country to return to. Come home and stay at home, while there is a country to save. When it is lost it will be time enough then for any who are luckless enough to remain alive to gather up their clothes and depart to some land where freedom exists.

SOURCE: The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume 11: Miscellanies, p. 241-7; Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 500

Salmon P. Chase to Messrs Milton and C. E. Sutliff,* Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio, April 30, 1849

Cin. Apl. 30, 1849.

Gent. Your note by your nephew Saml. was recd. this morning. As I know nobody in California, the best I could do for him was to give him a letter of general introduction, which I did in such terms as I thought would do him most service.

The Whig Papers keep up their attacks on me and my friends, and I keep on never minding. I am satisfied that what was done last winter in the way of martial cooperation between Freesoilers and Democrats was right, and will be attended by the happiest consequences to the great cause, to which eight of the last years of my life have been devoted. I care little therefore for the railing of the Taylorites, or even of the Beaver & Chaffee Freesoilers, so called. The worst that I wish to these last, or even indeed to the first, is that their eyes may be opened, and their hearts purged of the old leaven of Whigism, that they may sec the truth of Free Democracy & love it.

I have sometimes thought of writing an exposition of my position and action, but have been withheld by considerations akin to those which influenced Dr. Beecher under similar circumstances. You know the story, perhaps; but lest you may not have heard it I will tell it to you. On one occasion the Doctor was going home to Walnut Hills and saw a suspicious looking animal by the roadside. The Dr. is a little abstracted, and, the sight of the animal stirring up his combative propensities, he, at once, launched at it a quarto volume which he was carrying under his arm. The skunk returned the salutation with compound interest, and the Doctor was glad to beat a hasty retreat. Soap and water did their best for him and his garments, but some time elapsed before either he or they were tolerable again. Years, afterwards, the Doctor was asked why he did not reply to some scurrilous pamphlet put forth against him. “I have learned better,” was his pithy reply: “I once issued a whole quarto against a skunk and got the worst of it.”

Give my best regards to our friends in Warren, particularly, Judge King & Hoffman & Hutchins & believe me
_______________

* Original lent by Mr. Homer E. Stewart, of Warren, Ohio. These brothers, Milton and C. E. Sutliff, were among the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society,

SOURCE: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 170-1

Diary of Gideon Welles: Saturday, August 15, 1863

Certain persons in Boston have an innate conviction that they can improve the administration of the Navy Department. They are never united among themselves as to how this is to be effected, but all are fond of criticism. They always claim that they expected this thing would fail or that would succeed after the event occurred. I must do them the justice to say, however, that with all their grumbling and faultfinding they have generally given me a fair support. In special cases, where I have been lectured, I have invariably found there was an axe to grind, a purpose to be accomplished. Some one, or more, important personage has had suggestions to make, and for a consideration — never omitting that — would consent to help along the work of putting down the Rebellion. These have been the captious ones.

A man by the name of Weld has written a long letter to Governor Andrew. He wants the Governor to aid the Navy Department by writing to the President to form a Naval Board in Massachusetts, with authority to build vessels, fast steamers, such as Massachusetts can build, steamers which will capture or destroy the Alabama, and allow the Massachusetts Board to commission the officers. If there is no appropriation, says good Mr. Weld, take the necessary funds from the Secret Service money. Mr. Weld informs Governor Andrew he is ready to be employed. Governor Andrew indorses over the letter. He also indorses Mr. Weld, who is, he says, one of the most eminent shipbuilders in Massachusetts, and he (Governor A.) is ready to cooperate with Mr. Weld in his patriotic suggestions, etc., etc., etc. This is Boston all over. I have had it from the beginning and periodically. The Welds, etc., from the commencement of hostilities, have prompted and promised almost anything, only requiring the Government to give them power and foot the bills.

I had to-day a very full and interesting account of the campaign and fall of Vicksburg from General F. P. Blair, who has done good service in the field and in politics also. He was a fearless pioneer in the great cause of the Union and breasted the storm in stormy Missouri with a bold front. Of the factions and feuds in St. Louis I pretend to no accurate knowledge, and am no partisan of or for either. Frank is as bold in words as in deeds, fearless in his utterances as in his fights; is uncalculating, — impolitic, it would be said, — rash, without doubt, but sincere and patriotic to the core. I detect in his conversation to-day a determination to free himself from personal and local complications, and if possible to reconcile differences. It is honorable on his part, but I apprehend he has materials to deal with that he cannot master.

G. W. Blunt came to see me. Ridicules Barney and all the government officials in New York but Wakeman. Says old General Wool made himself ridiculous in the mob difficulties. Calls him a weak old man. If weak, it is from age, for there is no one more patriotic. At eighty he was not the proper man to quell an outbreak. Blunt and others are sore over the removal of General Harvey Brown. He is earnest to have the draft go forward, but says it will be followed by incendiarism. It may be so. Blunt is ardent, impulsive, earnest, and one-sided.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 404-6

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Saturday, December 20, 1862

Burnside has retreated across the Rappahannock. The Rebels can now set off the battle of Fredericksburg against the battle of Antietam. They retreated back across the Potomac. But I suspect they have a great advantage in having suffered much less than we have. They fought behind entrenchments. When will our generals learn not to attack an equal adversary in fortified positions? Burnside will now perhaps have to yield to McClellan. It looks as if in the East neither army was strong enough to make a successful invasion of [the territory of] the other. If so conquest of [the] Rebellion is not to be. We have now the Emancipation Proclamation to go upon. Will not this stiffen the President's backbone so as to drive it through? Desperate diseases require desperate remedies.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 376-7

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: June 9, 1864

It is said that a grand break will occur soon, and nearly the whole prison engaged in the plot. Spies inform the rebels of our intentions. Rains yet.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 65

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: June 16, 1863

The city has been gladdened by the reception of this dispatch from Gen. Lee:

june 15th, 1863.
“His Excellency, Jefferson Davis.

“God has again crowned the valor of our troops with success. Early's division stormed the enemy's intrenchments at Winchester, capturing their artillery, etc.

“(Signed) R. E. Lee, General.

Subsequent reports to the press state that we captured some 6000 prisoners, Gen. Milroy among them, 50 guns, and a large amount of stores. If we caught Milroy, the impression prevails that he was hung immediately, in accordance with the President's order some time since, as a just punishment for the outrages inflicted by him on our helpless old men, women, and children.

A sealed envelope came in to-day, addressed by the President to the Secretary of War, marked “Highly important and confidential,” which, of course, I sent to the Secretary immediately without breaking the seal, as it is my duty to do to all letters not private or confidential. I can as yet only conjecture what it referred to. It may be of good, and it may be of bad import. It may relate to affairs in the West; or it may be a communication from abroad, several steamers having just arrived. Can it be from the Government at Washington? I care not what it is, if we hold Vicksburg.

The Commissary-General reports that he has some 8,000,000 pounds of bacon, and quite as much salt and fresh beef at the various depots, besides some 11,000 head of cattle. This is not a large amount for such armies as we have in the field; but in the fall we shall have 10 per cent. of all the products in the Confederate States as tax in kind. The Commissary-General, however, recommends the following reduction of rations: for men in garrison or batteries, a quarter pound of bacon per day; in camp, one-third of a pound; and marching, half a pound.

Mr. James Spence, our financial agent in England, gives a somewhat cheering account of money matters. He recommends the shipping of $1,000,000 worth of cotton per week, which appears to be practicable. He also advises the shipment of the few millions of gold the government holds in this country to England; and Mr. Memminger approves it — in boxes weekly, containing $75,000. If this were known, it could hardly be accomplished, for such is the distrust of several members of the cabinet that the people would revolt. They would believe the cabinet meant soon to follow the gold. And some of our military commanders have no better opinion of them than the people. Beauregard once stopped some bullion ordered away by Mr. Memminger.

There is a rumor that Gen. Wise had a combat yesterday on the Peninsula. But the operations beyond the Rappahannock, and approaching the capital of the United States, must relieve Richmond of all immediate danger.

Mr. Lincoln says he is “making history;” forgetful of the execrable figure he is likely to be in it. Our papers to-day contain the following:

Yankee Cruelty; Forly-three Negroes Drowned. — One of the most atrocious incidents of the whole war was yesterday related to us by a gentleman of this city, who obtained the facts from Capt. Jas. G. White, of King William County, who vouches for the accuracy of the statement. Some days ago, when the Yankees made their raid to Aylett's, they visited the place of Dr. Gregg, living in the neighborhood, and took from their comfortable homes forty-three negroes, who were hurried off to York River and placed on board a vessel bound Northward. Along with these negroes, as a prisoner, was a gentleman named Lee, a resident and highly respectable citizen of King William, who has since been released and allowed to return to his home. He states that when the vessel arrived in Chesapeake Bay, the small-pox made its appearance among the negroes, that disease having existed to some extent among the same family before they were dragged from their homes in King William. The captain of the Yankee vessel and his crew were greatly alarmed at the appearance of the disease on board, and very soon determined to rid the vessel of the presence of the negroes. Without attempting to make the shore, and not considering for an instant the inhumanity of the cruel deed, the whole negro cargo was thrown into the bay, and every one left to perish by drowning. Not one, perhaps, escaped the cruel fate visited upon them by those who profess to be their earnest friends and warmest sympathizers.”

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 350-2

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Saturday, November 26, 1864

Reported at the Examiners' room at 9.30 o'clock a. m.; was ordered to report at 9.30 o'clock a. m. Monday; have been up town today; very dilapidated looking place and dull; hardly know what to do with myself. Three more officers have been assigned to my room tonight. There are quite a number of officers here from my Division.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 232-3

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: August 3, 1862

Tuscumbia, Ala., August 3, 1862.

In the last 15 days I have only written you once; partly because I have been so busy, more, because of my laziness. There is but little save rumors that can be of any interest to you from here, and shall not inflict any of them on you, for the newspapers have certainly surfeited everyone's taste for that article. All this blowing and howling we have in the papers of raids everywhere, and overwhelming forces of the enemy confronting us at all points, is, I candidly believe, part of the plan to raise volunteers. It certainly is one grand humbug as far as this field is concerned. Every officer here that knows anything about the condition of the enemy, their positions and numbers, believes that if our army were concentrated and set at the work, we could clear out all the enemy south of this and west of Georgia in a short two months. The soldiers are all anxious to begin, all tired of inaction, all clamoring for the war to be ended by a vigorous campaign, we running our chances of being whipped by the enemy, instead of waiting until next spring, and then being forced by bankruptcy to abandon our work. The way we are scattered in this country now the enemy can take 1,000 or 2,000 of us just any morning they may feel so disposed, and their not doing it lowers them wonderfully in my opinion. There are about 6,000 of us stationed at nine points along 75 miles of railroad, and there is no point that 4,000 men could not reach and attack, and take before assistance could be afforded. But the Rebels don't show any more dash or spirit than we do, so we all rest perfectly easy in our weakness, confiding in their lack of vim, which we gauge by our own. A line drawn through Fulton, Miss., Warrenton, Ala. and thence to Rome, Ga. (at which last place we think the enemy are concentrating) will give you the route over which the enemy are now moving in considerable bodies, while whole brigades of their numerous cavalry pass nearer us, through Newburg, Moulton and Somerville, Ala. ’Twould be so easy for them to detach a division and send it up to this line of road. Buell, with a very respectable force, is near Stephenson in northeastern Alabama moving so slowly that no one can tell in which direction. I wish they'd give Grant the full control of the strings. He would be sure to have somebody whipped, and I'd rather ’twould be us than live much longer in this inactivity. People are most outrageously secesh here, generally, although there are said to be some settlements very Union. I saw two men yesterday who were raising the 1st Union Alabama Regiment. They have two full companies they say, but I'll never believe it until I see the men in blue jackets. This is the most beautiful valley that I ever saw. It lies between the Tennessee river and a spur of the Cumberland mountains, which are craggy and rough, and rocky enough to disgust an Illinoisan after a very short ride over and among them. Howwever, they form a beautiful background for the valley, and are very valuable in their hiding places for the guerrillas who infest them, and sally out every night to maraud, interfere with our management of this railroad and to impress what few able bodied butternuts there are left in their homes. They either cut the wires or tear up a little road track for us every night. We have guards too strong for them at every culvert, bridge and trestle. This country was entirely out of gold and silver until our cotton buyers came in with the army, and every man of money had his little 5-cent, 50-cent, etc., notes of his own for change. Mitchell's men counterfeited some of them and passed thousands of dollars of their bogus on the natives. I send you a couple of samples of what is known here as Mitchell money. The man I got these of had been fooled with over $20 of it. The boys couldn't get the proper vignette so, as you will observe, they used advertising cuts of cabinet warehouses and restaurants. Many of our men have passed Mustang Liniment advertisements on the people, and anything of the kind is eagerly taken if you tell them it is their money; of course I refer to the poor country people, who, if they can read, don't show their learning. This man with $20, like that which I send you, is a sharp, shrewd-looking hotel keeper. His house is larger than the “Peoria House.” General Morgan, who is in command of the infantry here, is a fine man, but lacks vim or something else. He isn't at all positive or energetic. The weather still continues delightful. I have’nt used any linen clothing yet, although I believe there is some in my trunk. We ride down to the Tennessee river every night and bathe, and 'tis so delightful. I don't believe anybody ever had a nicer place than I have, or less reason to be dissatisfied. Well, I do enjoy it; but don't think I'd worry one minute if sent back to my regiment or further back to my old place in the 8th. I believe I have the happy faculty of accommodating myself to cirumstances, and of grumbling at and enjoying everything as it comes. I am still desperately “out” with these secesh, but borrow books from them to while away my spare time. These people, safe in the knowledge of our conciliatory principles, talk their seceshism as boldly as they do in Richmond. Many of our officers have given up all hope of our conquering them and really wish for peace. For myself, I know its a huge thing we have on our hands, but I believe I'd rather see the whole country red with blood, and ruined together than have this 7,000,000 of invalids (these Southerners are nothing else as a people) conquer, or successfully resist the power of the North. I hate them now, as they hate us. I have no idea that we'll ever be one nation, even if we conquer their armies. The feeling is too deep on both sides, for anything but extermination of one or the other of the two parties to cure, and of the two, think the world and civilization will lose the least by losing the South and slavery.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 119-121

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: June 20, 1863

Awakened at 4 A. M. and ordered to take 3 days' rations, forage and provisions on horse and 3 in wagon. Marched at 6. Thede and I went together. Passed the 103rd at the river. Followed us to Monticello. Took the Albany road. Went five miles and camped. Cool day for marching. Saw Lt. Case at Capt. West's, doing well. Got dinner there, some coffee, green oats.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 74

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

James G. Tyler’s Advertisement for the Return of William N. Taylor, a Fugitive Slave, June 9, 1857

ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD. — Ran away from Richmond City on Tuesday, the 2d of June, a negro man named WM. N. TAYLOR, belonging to Mrs. Margaret Tyler of Hanover county.

Said negro was hired to Fitzhugh Mayo, Tobacconist; is quite black, of genteel and easy manners, about five feet ten or eleven inches high, has one front tooth broken, and is about 35 years old.

He is supposed either to have made his escape North, or attempted to do so. The above reward will be paid for his delivery to Messrs. Hill and Rawlings, in Richmond, or secured in jail, so that I get him again.

Jas. G. Tyler, Trustee for Margaret Tyler.

June 8th &c2t—
Richmond Enquirer, June 9, 57.

SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 134

Franklin B. Sanborn to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, March 4, 1859

March 4.

Brown was at Tabor on the 10th of February, with his stock in fine erudition, as he says in a letter to G. Smith. He also says he is ready with some new men to set his mill in operation, and seems to be coming East for that purpose. Mr. Smith proposes to raise one thousand dollars for him, and to contribute one hundred dollars himself. I think a larger sum ought to be raised; but can we raise so much as this? Brown says he thinks any one of us who talked with him might raise the sum if we should set about it; perhaps this is so, but I doubt. As a reward for what he has done, perhaps money might be raised for him. At any rate, he means to do the work, and I expect to hear of him in New York within a few weeks. Dr. Howe thinks John Forbes and some others not of our party would help the project if they knew of it.1
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1 Dr. Howe gave me the following letter at New York, Feb. 5, 1859 : —

JoHn M. FOrBES, ESQ.

Dear Sir, — If you would like to hear an honest, keen, and veteran backwoodsman disclose some plans for delivering our land from the curse of slavery, the bearer will do so. 1 think I know him well. He is of the Puritan militant order. He is an enthusiast, yet cool, keen, and cautious. He has a martyr's spirit. He will ask nothing of you but the pledge that you keep to yourself what he may say.

Faithfully yours,
S. G. Howe.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 493

Salmon P. Chase to Joshua R. Giddings,* April 4, 1849

April 4, [1849.]

My Dear Sir, I have just received your kind note of the 3rd March inviting me, in default of being able to obtain lodgings on my arrival at Washington, to share yours. It was left for me at Coleman's I suppose, & I never saw it until to day. I wish I had arrived in season to avail myself of it.

I have recd. since my return on Saturday last (31st ult) yr. 2 letters of the 14th & 28th March. I wish I could agree with you in the sentiment, “let by gones be by gones”: & in view of it I do. Let us arrange a satisfactory basis of future action & I will cordially respond to the sentiment But is it not manifest what has past must be reviewed, in some measure, in order to determine on this basis? It is clear to me that the question growing out of the division of this County ought to have been settled this winter by the repeal of the clauses effecting the division. In my judgment also the apportionment law, (so called,) should have been modified by the disjunction of counties improperly joined; & I held junction improper, if not unconstitutional, in all cases, where the counties, if separated, would be respectively entitled to a member. I am very sure that had the Representatives of the Free Democracy in the Senate and House last winter been willing to have done justice in these particulars to the old Democracy, not only might all division in our own ranks have been avoided, but the democrats, propitiated by this action, would have cheerfully aided the Free Soilers not only in the repeal of the Black laws, but in the enactment of suitable laws against kidnapping & prohibiting the use of state jails & the aid of State officers to the pursuers of fugitive slaves, & generally in carrying through our distinctive Free Soil Measures.

These consequences would have flowed naturally & inevitably from the state of feeling which always springs up among men, who find themselves in the relative positions occupied by the Free Democrats and the Cass Democrats & act justly & liberally towards each other.

A different line of conduct was resolved on, & the results of the winter session are far less complete, in my judgment, than they would otherwise have been: & we are now embarrassed by the question What shall be done with the division of Hamilton County? I do not see how we can keep this question out of the elections next fall: nor, in my judgment, is it now desirable to do so. I quite agree with you that “standing as we must in opposition to the administration necessity will compel the democrats & free soilers to act together on all matters touching the administration”: & I would add to this that there being a substantial agreement between the platform of State policy adopted by the Free Democratic State Convention last winter, & that of the old Democracy, it seems to me, that the same general harmony of action may be easily secured as to State matters. If such harmony can be secured without the sacrifice of principle, & without the sacrifice of the independent organization of the Free Democracy, the result cannot fail to be auspicious to the cause of Freedom & to its maintainers. Such harmony, resulting in a triumph of the Democrats & Free Democrats in the State election, would strengthen, infinitely, your position in the House & my position in the Senate, & give complete ascendency to our principles & measures in the Senate. The harmonious cooperation cannot be had, I apprehend, without a definition of its position by the Free Democracy on the Hamilton County question:1 &, therefore I say that it does not seem to me desirable to avoid it. In fact I should have brought the question forward in our State convention had I felt assured that the clauses would be repealed before the end of the session & therefore yielded to the suggestions of several, & waived the introduction either into the Committee or into the Convention of a resolution which I had prepared.

But if it were desirable to keep this question out of the canvass could we do it? It must be decided by the next house & the next senate. The Democrats will elect, in this county representatives for the whole county on a single ticket. The Free Democracy will vote in the same way in all probability. The Whigs will vote by Districts. The democrats will have a majority in the first eight wards of Cincinnati, which they claim to be a district. The two sets of representatives will again present themselves at Columbus claiming seats. The free soilers, in all probability, will again have the question to decide between the claimants. How can we avoid the enquiry, How will the Candidates proposed by the Free Democratic Conventions vote on the question? If we should avoid it & elect men ignorant of their views on this question, does not the experience of last winter clearly shew that its decisions will divide the Free Soilers? I think then, that the Hamilton County question must be met & settled in our primary conventions.

My views in relation to it are fixed. I thought last winter & still think that the division clauses are not warranted by the constitution but that these clauses having been regarded as binding by a large proportion though a decided minority of the voters, the election held, partly under them & partly in disregard of them, should be set aside, the clauses repealed, & the election sent back to the people. I did not, however, regard it as the absolute duty of the Legislature to set aside the election in every event. On the contrary the Democratic Claimants to be entitled, stricti juris, to their seats. & therefore when it became impossible to send the election back to the people with the clauses repealed, through the refusal of Whig Freesoilers to vote for the repeal of them, I did not hesitate to approve the determination of Mess. Morse & Townshend to admit them to their seats, as constitutionally elected. I think, of course, that the candidates of whatever party they may be, having the highest number of votes cast in the whole county, next fall, will be entitled to seats in the House. So fixed is this opinion in the minds of the Democrats, that I do not doubt  that they will refuse to sit in a House from which the members from Hamilton County shall be excluded.

It seems to me, therefore, that the question of the Constitutionality & validity of the divisions — clauses, as well as the validity of the pretended enactment of the apportionment law should be fairly discussed in our conventions. I believe the result of such a discussion will be general acquiescence in the opinions, which I, in common with nearly all Liberty men, & Democratic Freesoilers & not a few Whig Free Soilers, confidently hold. If such be the result, it seems to me certain that we can achieve a most important victory next fall.

I have thus given you my views freely, I shall be glad to know they strike you. I learn that Briggs has repeated the charge of one of the Taylor Papers, here, that before the meeting of the Legislature I expressed an opinion in favor of the Constitutional of the division, & changed it afterwards to effect my purpose. This is simply false: & I should think Mr. Briggs must have known it to be so: & I am mistaken greatly if I did not express the opinion I now hold, in one or more letters to Cleveland before the meeting of the Legislature not so fully perhaps as I should now, for I had not so fully considered the subjects involved but substantially the same.

As to all personal attacks, however, I shall content myself with a simple appeal to the whole tenor of my past life & leave my vindication to Time & Public Reason. 1 enclose a statement of the popular vote on the question of annexation the southern part of Mill Creek to the city a bill for which purpose was so strenuously resisted by the Whigs in the Legislature last winter & was defeated by a tie vote in  the Senate. Hunker Whiggism musters in Whig Cincinnati only 1092 votes. The Democrats & Free Soilers united with the Whig annexationists & elected also an annexation council carrying every ward but one.

With very great regard,
[Salmon P. Chase.]
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* From letter-book 6, pp. 133 and 174-175.
1 See T. C. Smith Liberty and Free Soil Parties, 161.

SOURCE: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 166-70

Diary of Gideon Welles: Friday, August 14, 1863

Had a call from Governor Tod of Ohio, who says he is of Connecticut blood. Governor Tod is a man of marked character and of more than ordinary ability; has a frank and honest nature that wins confidence and attaches friends.

General Meade called at the Executive Mansion whilst the Cabinet was in session. Most of the members, like myself, had never met him. Blair and he were classmates at West Point, but they have never met since they graduated until to-day. He has a sharp visage and a narrow head. Would do better as second in command than as General-in-Chief. Is doubtless a good officer, but not a great and capable commander. He gave some details of the battle of Gettysburg clearly and fluently. Shows intelligence and activity, and on the whole I was as well or better pleased with him than I expected I should be, for I have had unfavorable impressions, prejudiced, perhaps, since the escape of Lee. This interview confirms previous impressions of the calibre and capacity of the man.

Seward leaves to-day for a rambling excursion with the foreign ministers. Stanton did not come to the meeting whilst I remained. Chase left early, followed by Mr. Bates and myself.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 403-4

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Friday, December 19, 1862

Captain Bottsford and his father stayed with me this evening; a pleasant time. Captains Zimmerman and Rice, also from Mahoning County, helped drink an egg-nog of Mr. Bottsford's mixing.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 376

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: June 8, 1864

More new prisoners. There are now over 23,000 confined here, and the death rate 100 to 130 per day, and I believe more than that. Rations worse.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 65

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: June 16, 1863

We have nothing from the West to-day. But it is believed that Hooker is retiring toward Manassas — that fatal field — where another (and the third) battle may be fought. Lee's army is certainly on the march, and a collision of arms cannot be averted many days. It is believed Gen. Ewell, successor of Jackson, has beaten Milroy at Winchester.

But, while terrible events are daily anticipated in the field, all the civilians seem to have gone wild with speculation, and official corruption runs riot throughout the land. J. M. Seixas, agent of the War Department, writes from Wilmington that while the government steamers can get no cotton to exchange abroad for ordnance stores, the steamers of individuals are laden, and depart almost daily. This is said to be partly the work of the “Southern Express Company,” believed to be Yankees (a portion of them), which contracts to deliver freight, and bribes the railroads and monopolizes transportation. This is the company on whose application Judge Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War, granted so many exemptions and details! It takes a great number of able-bodied men from the army, and then, by a peculiar process, absolutely embarrasses, as Gen. Whiting says, the conduct of the war.

Judge Dargan, of Alabama, writes that private blockade-runners are ruining the country — supplying the enemy with cotton, and bringing in liquors and useless gew-gaws.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 350

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Friday, November 25, 1864

Arrived at Baltimore about 9 o'clock a. m.; remained at the Eutaw House until 4.40 o'clock p. m.; arrived at Annapolis at about 8 o'clock p. m.; reported to the surgeon in charge at once who ordered me to report to the Board of Examiners tomorrow morning; am in a room with two other officers.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 232

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: Sunday, July 27, 1862

Headquarters, 1st Brigade Cavalry Division,
Tuscumbia, Ala., July 27, 1862 (Sunday).

We received orders for our brigade to march on the 19th, and started the 21st. We only made Jacinto that night, when the colonel and myself stayed with Gen. Jeff. C. Davis, who is a very approachable, pleasant and perfectly soldier-like man. There is a strong sprinkling in him, though, of the Regular Army and West Point. Next day we rejoined the command and marched 15 miles, camped at Bear Creek, 22 miles west of this place and just on the Mississippi and Alabama line. Thursday we joined General Morgan's division and that night the brigade camped within four miles of Tuscumbia, and the headquarters came on into town. This is a perfect little Eden. Houses for 2,200 people with only 1,200 living here at present. We stayed at the hotel Thursday night, and the old negro who lighted me to my room amused me considerably with his account of General Turchin's proceedings here. Turchin brought the first federal force across the Tennessee in Alabama, and I guess he “went it loosely.” The old Negro said that he only had 1,200 men and brought no luggage, knapsacks or anything else with him, but went away with 300 wagons, and everything there was in the country worth taking. That his men made the white women (wouldn't let the colored women) do their cooking and washing, and that although they only brought one suit of clothes, they put on a new one every morning and always looked as though they had just stepped from a bandbox. People here hate General Mitchell's whole command as they do the d---1, and many of them more. Well, we've settled once more, and I'll be contented if allowed to stay here for sometime. We're guarding about 100 miles of railroad from Iuka to Decatur, and it promises to be pretty rough work. Day before yesterday a guerilla party swooped down on a station 24 miles east of here where General Thomas had 160 men and captured all but 20 of them. We are relieving General Thomas' command from duty here, but the Rebels saved us the trouble of relieving that party. We sent out a force yesterday of three companies and the Rebels surprised and killed and captured 20 of them. I have just heard that there has been a fight eight miles south of here to-day, between our cavalry and the Rebels, no particulars yet. 'Tis the 3d Michigan that has suffered so far. The 7th Illinois are out now after the party that surprised the Michiganders yesterday, but have not heard of them since they started yesterday p. m. We are quartered in the house of a right good secesh, and are enjoying his property hugely. His pigs will be ripe within a week, and we'll guard them after our style. The old fashion is played out as far as this brigade is concerned. We take what is necessary and give vouchers, which say the property will be paid for at the close of the war, on proof of loyalty. This valley is 60 or 80 miles long, 15 miles wide and the most beautiful country imaginable. It is now one vast cornfield. The residences in this town are superb, and the grounds most beautifully ornamented and filled with shrubbery. There is a spring here that throws out 17,000 cubic feet of water each minute. It supplies the town. General Thomas, whom we relieved, has gone to Huntsville to join Buell. I think they are going to Chattanooga then. People are intensely secesh here, and whine most mournfully when compelled to take the oath, or even to give their parole of honor not to give information to the enemy. Our headquarters is a mile from any troops, just for the quiet of the thing. Peaches are just in season now, and there are oceans of them here. Blackberries are still to be found, and we have plenty of apples.

The weather is beautiful, not too warm and still require my double blanket every night, and often cool at that. We have information that Hardee with a force is marching on this place, and it is the most probable rumor that I have heard since the evacuation. Time will tell.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 117-9

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: June 19, 1863

Felt miserable in the morning. Hospital moved to the brick church. Col. Dod and Bob worked at the old wagon. Thede and Mike went for cherries for a cherry pie tomorrow. Byerley came over. Read some in "Barnaby Rudge." In the evening got a letter from Lucy Randall. Wrote a letter to Fannie.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 74

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Diary of William Howard Russell: June 19, 1861

It is probable the landlord of the Gayoso House was a strong Secessionist, and resolved, therefore, to make the most out of a neutral customer like myself — certainly Herodotus would have been astonished if he were called upon to pay the little bill which was presented to me in the modern Memphis; and had the old Egyptian hostelries been conducted on the same principles as those of the Tennessean Memphis, the “Father of History” would have had to sell off a good many editions in order to pay his way. I had to rise at three o'clock A. M., to reach the train, which started before five. The omnibus which took us to the station was literally nave deep in the dust; and of all the bad roads and dusty streets I have yet seen in the New World, where both prevail, North and South, those of Memphis are the worst. Indeed, as the citizen, of Hibernian birth, who presided over the luggage of the passengers on the roof, declared, “The streets are paved with waves of mud, only the mud is all dust when it's fine weather.”

By the time I had arrived at the station my clothes were covered with a fine alluvial deposit in a state of powder; the platform was crowded with volunteers moving off for the wars, and I was obliged to take my place in a carriage full of Confederate officers and soldiers who had a large supply of whiskey, which at that early hour they were consuming as a prophylactic against the influence of the morning dews, which hereabouts are of such a deadly character that, to be quite safe from their influence, it appears to be necessary, judging from the examples of my companions, to get as nearly drunk as possible. Whiskey, by-the-by, is also a sovereign specific against the bites of rattle-snakes. All the dews of the Mississippi and the rattle-snakes of the prairie might have spent their force or venom in vain on my companions before we had got as far as Union City.

I was evidently regarded with considerable suspicion by my fellow passengers, when they heard I was going to Cairo, until the conductor obligingly informed them who I was, whereupon I was much entreated to fortify myself against the dews and rattle-snakes, and received many offers of service and kindness.

Whatever may be the normal comforts of American railway cars, they are certainly most unpleasant conveyances when the war spirit is abroad, and the heat of the day, which was excessive, did not contribute to diminish the annoyance of foul air — the odor of whiskey, tobacco, and the like, combined with innumerable flies. At Humbolt, which is eightytwo miles away, there was a change of cars, and an opportunity of obtaining some refreshment, — the station was crowded by great numbers of men and women dressed in their best, who were making holiday in order to visit Union City, forty-six miles distant, where a force of Tennessean and Mississippi regiments are encamped. The ladies boldly advanced into carriages which were quite full, and as they looked quite prepared to sit down on the occupants of the seats if they did not move, and to destroy them with all-absorbing articles of feminine warfare, either defensive or aggressive, and crush them with iron-bound crinolines, they soon drove us out into the broiling sun.

Whilst I was on the platform I underwent the usual process of American introduction, not, I fear, very good humoredly. A gentleman whom you never saw before in your life, walks up to you and says, “I am happy to see you among us, sir,” and if he finds a hand wandering about, he shakes it cordially. “My name is Jones, sir, Judge Jones of Pumpkin County. Any information about this place or State that I can give is quite at your service.” This is all very civil and well meant of Jones, but before you have made up your mind what to say, or on what matter to test the worth of his proffered information, he darts off and seizes one of the group who have been watching Jones's advance, and comes forward with a tall man, like himself, busily engaged with a piece of tobacco. “Colonel, let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Russell. This, sir, is one of our leading citizens, Colonel Knags.” Whereupon the Colonel shakes hands, uses near the same formula as Judge Jones, immediately returns to his friends, and cuts in before Jones is back with other friends, whom he is hurrying up the platform, introduces General Cassius Mudd and Dr. Ordlando Bellows, who go through the same ceremony, and as each man has a circle of his own, my acquaintance becomes prodigiously extended, and my hand considerably tortured in the space of a few minutes; finally I am introduced to the driver of the engine and the stoker, but they proved to be acquaintances not at all to be despised, for they gave me a seat on the engine, which was really a boon, considering that the train was crowded beyond endurance, and in a state of internal nastiness scarcely conceivable.

When I had got up on the engine a gentleman clambered after me in order to have a little conversation and he turned out to be an intelligent and clever man well acquainted with the people and the country. I had been much impressed by the account in the Memphis papers of the lawlessness and crime which seemed to prevail in the State of Mississippi, and of the brutal shootings and stabbings which disgraced it and other Southern States. He admitted it was true, but could not see any remedy. “Why not?” “Well, sir, the rowdies have rushed in on us, and we can't master them; they are too strong for the respectable people.” “Then you admit the law is nearly powerless?” “Well, you see, sir, these men have got hold of the people who ought to administer the law, and when they fail to do so they are so powerful by reason of their numbers, and so reckless, they have things their own way.”

“In effect, then, you are living under a reign of terror, and the rule of a ruffian mob?” “It's not quite so bad as that, perhaps, for the respectable people are not much affected by it, and most of the crimes of which you speak are committed by these bad classes in their own section; but it is disgraceful to have such a state of things, and when this war is over, and we have started the confederacy all fair, we'll put the whole thing down. We are quite determined to take the law into our own hands, and the first remedy for the condition of affairs which, we all lament, will be to confine the suffrage to native-born Americans, and to get rid of the infamous, scoundrelly foreigners, who now overrule us in our country.” “But are not-many regiments of Irish and Germans now fighting for you? And will these foreigners who have taken up arms in your cause be content to receive as the result of their success an inferior position, politically, to that which they now hold?” “Well, sir, they must; we are bound to go through with this thing if we would save society.” I had so often heard a similar determination expressed by men belonging to the thinking classes in the South, that I am bound to believe the project is entertained by many of those engaged in this great revolt — one principle of which indeed, may be considered hostility to universal suffrage, combining with it, of course, the limitation of the immigrant vote.

The portion of Tennessee through which the rail runs is exceedingly uninteresting, and looks unhealthy, the clearings occur at long intervals in the forest, and the unwholesome population, who came out of their low shanties, situated amidst blackened stumps of trees or fields of Indian corn, did not seem prosperous or comfortable. The twists and curves of the rail, through cane brakes and swamps exceeded in that respect any line I have ever travelled on; but the vertical irregularities of the rail were still greater, and the engine bounded as if it were at sea.

The names of the stations show that a savant has been rambling about the district. Here is Corinth, which consists of a wooden grog-shop and three log shanties; the acropolis is represented by a grocery store, of which the proprietors, no doubt, have gone to the wars, as their names were suspiciously Milesian, and the doors and windows were fastened; but occasionally the names of the stations on the railway boards represented towns and villages, hidden in the wood some distance away, and Mummius might have something to ruin if he marched off the track, but not otherwise.

The city of Troy was still simpler in architecture than the Grecian capitol. The Dardanian towers were represented by a timber-house, in the veranda of which the American Helen was seated, in the shape of an old woman smoking a pipe, and she certainly could have set the Palace of Priam on fire much more readily than her prototype. Four sheds, three log huts, a saw-mill, about twenty negroes sitting on a wood-pile, and looking at the train, constituted the rest of the place, which was certainly too new for one to say, Troja fuity whilst the general " fixins " would scarcely authorize us to say with any confidence, Troja fuerit.

The train from Troy passed through a cypress swamp, over which the engine rattled, and hopped at a perilous rate along high trestle work, till forty-six miles from Humbolt we came to Union City, which was apparently formed by aggregate meetings of discontented shavings that had travelled out of the forest hard by. But a little beyond it was the Confederate camp, which so many citizens and citizenesses had come out into the wilderness to see; and a general descent was made upon the place whilst the volunteers came swarming out of their tents to meet their friends. It was interesting to observe the affectionate greetings between the young soldiers, mothers, wives, and sweethearts, and as a display of the force and earnestness of the Southern people — the camp itself containing thousands of men, many of whom were members of the first families in the State — was specially significant.

There is no appearance of military order or discipline about the camps, though they were guarded by sentries and cannon, and implements of war and soldiers' accoutrements were abundant. Some of the sentinels carried their firelocks under their arms like umbrellas, others carried the but over the shoulder and the muzzle downwards, and one for his greater ease had stuck the bayonet of his firelock into the ground, and was leaning his elbow on the stock with his chin on his hand, whilst sybarites less ingenious, had simply deposited their muskets against the trees,, and were lying down reading newspapers. Their arms and uniforms were of different descriptions — sporting rifles, fowling pieces, flint muskets, smooth bores, long and short barrels, new Enfields, and the like; but the men, nevertheless, were undoubtedly material for excellent soldiers. There were some few boys, too young to carry arms, although the zeal and ardor of such lads cannot but have a good effect, if they behave well in action.

The great attraction of this train lay in a vast supply of stores, with which several large vans were closely packed, and for fully two hours the train was delayed, whilst hampers of wine, spirits, vegetables, fruit, meat, groceries, and all the various articles acceptable to soldiers living under canvas were disgorged on the platform, and carried away by the expectant military.

I was pleased to observe the perfect confidence that was felt in the honesty of the men. The railway servants simply deposited each article as it came out on the platform — the men came up, read the address, and carried it away, or left it, as the case might be; and only in one instance did I see a scramble, which was certainly quite justifiable, for, in handing out a large basket the bottom gave way, and out tumbled onions, apples, and potatoes among the soldiery, who stuffed their pockets and haversacks with the unexpected bounty. One young fellow, who was handed a large wicker-covered jar from the van, having shaken it, and gratified his ear by the pleasant jingle inside, retired to the roadside, drew the cork, and, raising it slowly to his mouth, proceeded to take a good pull at the contents, to the envy of his comrades; but the pleasant expression upon his face rapidly vanished, and spurting out the fluid with a hideous grimace, he exclaimed, “D——; why, if the old woman has not gone and sent me a gallon of syrup.” The matter was evidently considered too serious to joke about, for not a soul in the crowd even smiled; but they walked away from the man, who, putting down the jar, seemed in doubt as to whether he would take it away or not.

Numerous were the invitations to stop, which I received from the officers. “Why not stay with us, sir; what can a gentleman want to go among black Republicans and Yankees for?” It is quite obvious that my return to the Northern States is regarded with some suspicion; but I am bound to say that my explanation of the necessity of the step was always well received, and satisfied my Southern friends that I had no alternative. A special correspondent, whose letters cannot get out of the country in which he is engaged, can scarcely fulfil the purpose of his mission; and I used to point out, good-humoredly, to these gentlemen that until they had either opened the communication with the North, or had broken the blockade, and established steam communication with Europe, I must seek my base of operations elsewhere.

At last we started from Union City; and there came into the car, among other soldiers who were going out to Columbus, a fine specimen of the wild filibustering population of the South, which furnish many recruits to the ranks of the Confederate army — a tall, brawny-shouldered, brown-faced, black-bearded, hairy-handed man, with a hunter's eye, and rather a Jewish face, full of life, energy, and daring. I easily got into conversation with him, as my companion happened to be a freemason, and he told us he had been a planter in Mississippi, and once owned 110 negroes, worth at least some 20,000l.; but, as he said himself, “I was always patrioting it about;” and so he went off, first with Lopez to Cuba, was wounded and taken prisoner by the Spaniards, but had the good fortune to be saved from the execution which was inflicted on the ringleaders of the expedition. When he came back he found his plantation all the worse, and a decrease amongst his negroes; but his love of adventure and filibustering was stronger than his prudence or desire of gain. He took up with Walker, the “gray-eyed man of destiny,” and accompanied him in his strange career till his leader received the coup de grace in the final raid upon Nicaragua.

Again he was taken prisoner, and would have been put to death by the Nicaraguans, but for the intervention of Captain Aldham. “I don't bear any love to the Britishers,” said he, “but I'm bound to say, as so many charges have been made against Captain Aldham, that he behaved like a gentleman, and if I had been at New Orleans when them cussed cowardly blackguards ill-used him, I'd have left my mark so deep on a few of them, that their clothes would not cover them long.” He told us that at present he had only five negroes left, “but I'm not going to let the black Republicans lay hold of them, and I'm just going to stand up for States' rights as long as I can draw a trigger — so snakes and abolitionists look out.” He was so reduced by starvation, ill-treatment, and sickness in Nicaragua, when Captain Aldham procured his release, that he weighed only 110 pounds, but at present he was over 200 pounds, a splendid betefauve, and without wishing so fine a looking fellow any harm, I could not but help thinking that it must be a benefit to American society to get rid of a considerable number of these class of which he is a representative man. And there is every probability that they will have a full opportunity of doing so.

On the arrival of the train at Columbus, twenty-five miles from Union City, my friend got out, and a good number of men in uniform joined him, which led me to conclude that they had some more serious object than a mere pleasure trip to the very uninteresting looking city on the banks of the Mississippi, which is asserted to be neutral territory, as it belongs to the sovereign State of Kentucky. I heard, accidentally, as I came in the train, that a party of Federal soldiers from the camp at Cairo, up the river, had recently descended to Columbus and torn down a, secession flag which had been hoisted on the river's bank, to the great indignation of many of its inhabitants.

In those border States the coming war promises to produce the greatest misery; they will be the scenes of hostile operations; the population is divided in sentiment; the greatest efforts will be made by each side to gain the ascendency in the State, and to crush the opposite faction, and it is not possible to believe that Kentucky can maintain a neutral position, or that either Federal or Confederates will pay the smallest regard to the proclamation of Governor Magoffin, and to his empty menaces.

At Columbus the steamer was waiting to convey us up to Cairo, and I congratulated myself on the good fortune of arriving in time for the last opportunity that will be afforded of proceeding northward by this route. General Pillow on the one hand, and General Prentiss on the other, have resolved to blockade the Mississippi, and as the facilities for Confederates going up to Columbus and obtaining information of what is happening in the Federal camps cannot readily be checked, the general in command of the port to which I am bound has intimated that the steamers must cease running. It was late in the day when we entered once more on the father of waters, which is here just as broad, as muddy, as deep, and as wooded as it is at Baton Rouge, or Vicksburg.

Columbus is situated on an elevated spur or elbow of land projecting into the river, and has, in commercial faith, one of those futures which have so many rallying points down the centre of the great river. The steamer which lay at the wharf, or rather the wooden piles in the bank which afforded a resting place for the gangway, carried no flag, and on board presented traces of better days, a list of refreshments no longer attainable, and of bill of fare utterly fanciful. About twenty passengers came on board, most of whom had a distracted air, as if they were doubtful of their journey. The captain was surly, the office keeper petulant, the crew morose, and, perhaps, only one man on board, a stout Englishman, who was purser or chief of the victualling department, seemed at all inclined to be communicative. At dinner he asked me whether I thought there would be a fight, but as I was oscillating between one extreme and the other, I considered it right to conceal my opinion even from the steward of the Mississippi boat; and, as it happened, the expression of it would not have been of much consequence one way or the other, for it turned out that our friend w«s of very stern stuff. “This war,” he said, “is all about niggers; I've been sixteen years in the country, and I never met one of them yet was fit to be any thing but a slave; I know the two sections well, and I tell you, sir, the North can't whip the South, let them do their best; they may ruin the country, but they'll do no good.

There were men on board who had expressed the strongest Secession sentiments in the train, but who now sat and listened and acquiesced in the opinions of Northern men, and by the time Cairo was in sight, they, no doubt, would have taken the oath of allegiance which every doubtful person is required to utter before he is allowed to go beyond the military post.

In about two hours or so the captain pointed out to me a tall building and some sheds, which seemed to arise out of a wide reach in the river, “that's Cairey,” said he, “where the Unionists have their camp,” and very soon stars and stripes were visible, waving from a lofty staff, at the angle of low land formed by the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio.

For two months I had seen only the rival stars and bars, with the exception of the rival banner floating from, the ships and the fort at Pickens. One of the passengers told me that the place was supposed to be described by Mr. Dickens, in “Martin Chuzzlewit,” and as the steamer approached the desolate embankment, which seemed the only barrier between the low land on which the so-called city was built, and the waters of the great river rising above it, it certainly became impossible to believe that sane men, even as speculators, could have fixed upon such a spot as the possible site of a great city, — an emporium of trade and commerce. A more desolate woe-begone looking place, now that all trade and commerce had ceased, cannot be conceived; but as the southern terminus of the Central Illinois Railway, it displayed a very different scene before the war broke out.

With the exception of the large hotel, which rises far above the levee of the river, the public edifices are represented by a church and spire, and the rest of the town by a line of shanties and small houses, the rooms and upper stories of which are just visible above the embankment. The general impression effected by the place was decidedly like that which the Isle of Dogs produces on a despondent foreigner as he approaches London by the river on a drizzly day in November. The stream, formed by the united efforts of the Mississippi and the Ohio, did not appear to gain much breadth, and each of the confluents looked as large as its product with the other. Three steamers lay alongside the wooden wharves projecting from the embankment, which was also lined by some flat-boats. Sentries paraded the gangways as the steamer made fast along the shore, but no inquiry was directed to any of the passengers, and I walked up the levee and proceeded straight to the hotel, which put me very much in mind of an effort made by speculating proprietors to create a watering-place on some lifeless beach. In the hall there were a number of officers in United States uniforms, and the lower part of the hotel was, apparently, occupied as a military bureau; finally, I was shoved into a small dungeon, with a window opening out on the angle formed by the two rivers, which was lined with sheds and huts and terminated by a battery.

These camps are such novelties in the country, and there is such romance in the mere fact of a man living in a tent, that people come far and wide to see their friends under such extraordinary circumstances, and the hotel at Cairo was crowded by men and women who had come from all parts of Illinois to visit their acquaintances and relations belonging to the State troops encamped at this important point. The salle a manger, a long and lofty room on the ground floor, which I visited at supper time, was almost untenable by reason of heat and flies; nor did I find that the free negroes, who acted as attendants, possessed any advantages over their enslaved brethren a few miles lower down the river; though their freedom was obvious enough in their demeanor and manners.

I was introduced to General Prentiss, an agreeable person, without any thing about him to indicate the soldier. He gave me a number of newspapers, the articles in which were principally occupied with a discussion of Lord John Russell's speech on American affairs: Much as the South found fault with the British minister for the views he had expressed, the North appears much more indignant, and denounces in the press what the journalists are pleased to call "the hostility of the Foreign Minister to the United States." It is admitted, however, that the extreme irritation caused by admitting the Southern States to exercise limited belligerent rights was not quite justifiable. Soon after nightfall I retired to my room and battled with mosquitoes till I sank into sleep and exhaustion, and abandoned myself to their mercies; perhaps, after all, there were not more than a hundred or so, and their united efforts could not absorb as much blood as would be taken out by one leech, but then their horrible acrimony, which leaves a wreck behind in the place where they have banqueted, inspires the utmost indignation and appears to be an indefensible prolongation of the outrage of the original bite.

SOURCE: William Howard Russell, My Diary North and South, p. 322-32