Friday, December 9, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 29, 1862

We have a dispatch from Vicksburg at last. The enemy, 25,000 strong, were repulsed three times yesterday, and finally driven back seven miles, to their gun-boats. It was no battle, for our loss was only 30, and that of the enemy 400. It will be fought to-day, probably.

It is said an attempt will be made this week on Weldon, as well as Charleston.

Our Morgan has been in Kentucky again, and captured 1200 men. Glorious Morgan!

The accounts from the United States are rather cheering. The Herald proposes a convention of all the “loyal States,” that reconstruction may be tried in that way. A dispatch from Tennessee says, even the New York Tribune expresses the opinion that our independence must be recognized. The Philadelphia Press proposes another route to Richmond via the rivers, and thinks Richmond may be taken yet, and the rebellion crushed.

The surgeon in charge of the Howard Hospital reports that the small-pox is greatly on the increase, and terminating fatally in almost every case. He says men die of it without eruptions on the surface, the disease striking inward. It is proposed to drive away the strangers (thousands in number), if they will not leave voluntarily. There are too many people here for the houses, and the danger of malignant diseases very great.

My vaccination was not a success; very little inflammation and a small scab being the only evidences. But I have a cough, and much lassitude.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 226

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: March 26, 1864

At about noon of this day on board the steamboat Illinois we left our good old home at the fort in Donaldsonville and steamed up the broad Mississippi river for Alexandria, Louisiana. We had passed so many happy days in that old fort that it had come to seem very much like home to the First Louisiana and so far as I was concerned I did not leave it without some regrets: but war is war and I consoled myself by looking forward to the time when the victory would be gained and we could enjoy the fruits of it with the loved ones at home.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 91

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: March 27, 1864

We passed Baton Rouge and Port Hudson entering the mouth of Red river at about noon. On the way up two men hailed us from the shore in the woods. We took them in and found they were deserters from the gun boats at Fort De Russey. Poor fellows, they could get nothing to eat along that river but aligators: and I guess the hard tack and salt junk tasted good to them. They were turned over to the Essex when we arrived at the fort and what happened to them after that we never stopped to learn.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 91

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Thursday, June 16, 1864

About 5 o'clock a. m. a small force including our regiment, moved down within about three quarters of a mile of the James river, formed line of battle and threw up rifle pits; remained here until about 4 o'clock p. m. when we were relieved by General Burnside's Division of colored troops. We then marched down to the river and took transports for Point of Rocks; the Tenth Vermont was favored by going on the dispatch boat; had plenty of room and a fine time. The quiet moonlight night and cool river breeze were delightfully enchanting after such war experiences as we had passed through. It seemed heavenly! I withdrew to a lonely corner by myself and gave myself up to reflection and feelings of thankfulness; has been hot all day. It is reported that General W. F. Smith has taken the outer works of Petersburg, Va., captured sixteen pieces of artillery and twenty-five hundred prisoners. I hardly believe it. I know what such fighting means too well. Such victories don't grow on bushes to be plucked by every one passing.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 83-4

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Wednesday, October 8, 1862

Commenced drizzling in the morning and kept it up all day. I was detailed to act as Sergt. Major, which pleased me much. Went with picket detail and reported to Stewart at Salomon's headquarters. Went down and saw Battery boys, and Archie, Reeve, Brooks, and Mason. Good time. In the P. M. Major Burnett with detail started back to Fort Scott. Major sick. Our cook among the detail, so we boys had to commence cooking ourselves. Kept raining all night. Battery paid off and very noisy.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 36

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Saturday, January 28, 1865

Inft in camp all day, forage party find plenty. 9. Wis Party bring in two prisoners Col Mackey & 3 of staff with guard of 50 cav cross river to get news of cav. Pantoon boats canvass. Fagan with 2500 reported at Montocello

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 572

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Diary of Gideon Welles: Thursday, January 1, 1863

The New Year opens with a bright and brilliant day. Exchanged congratulations at the Executive Mansion with the President and colleagues, at eleven this morning. The usual formalities. Officers of the Army and Navy came in at half-past eleven. I left before twelve.

The Emancipation Proclamation is published in this evening's Star. This is a broad step, and will be a landmark in history. The immediate effect will not be all its friends anticipate or its opponents apprehend. Passing events are steadily accomplishing what is here proclaimed.

The character of the country is in many respects undergoing a transformation. This must be obvious to all, and I am content to await the results of passing events, deep as they may plough their furrows in our once happy land. This great upheaval which is shaking our civil fabric was perhaps necessary to overthrow and subdue the mass of wrong and error which no trivial measure could eradicate. The seed which is being sown will germinate and bear fruit, and tares and weeds will also spring up under the new dispensation.

Blair mentioned at my house a few evenings since that General McClellan assumed command of the Army of the Potomac last September without orders; that, finding military affairs in a disordered and confused condition, he sought an interview with the President, Stanton, and Halleck respectively, and also called to see him (Blair), but he was absent; that he then called his staff and left, but met me, to whom alone he communicated whither he was going and his purpose. This, Blair tells me, is the statement made by McClellan to Governor Dennison, who has been stopping with Blair. I well remember meeting him at that time, but my understanding has been that McC. received command of the Army by order of the President on recommendation of Halleck.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 212-3

Diary of John Hay: August 28, 1861

I went West and passed several days in St. Louis. Saw very much of Frémont and his wife. He was quiet, earnest, industrious, imperious. She very much like him, though talking more and louder.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 40; Tyler Dennett, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letters of John Hay, p. 26.

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes, Wednesday, May 21, 1862

Camp Flat Top. — A warm, windy, threatening day. Drilled the regiment this morning; marched to the summit of Flat Top, thence along the summit to the Raleigh Road, and so back to camp. Men looked well. Companies A, E, and K, under Major Comly, with a howitzer, marched to Packs Ferry to hold it, build boats, and the like. They take about twenty carpenters from the Twenty-third, also six cavalrymen and a howitzer.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 275

Diary of Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett: Tuesday, August 23, 1864

Another day gone without incident. Holden, who has been in charge of the hospital here, a private in Twenty-third Va., has gone home on a furlough. I must remember him, he has been very friendly. Waters is now in charge. Beat Pat two games chess to-day. I am out of reading. Have taken the Bible. I find it interesting, “Joshua.” Herman Viertel, my Dutchman, washed my pants and handkerchiefs to-day. I have sat in deshabille meantime. Kanna, a man of West Virginia, a prisoner, has been entertaining me with some accounts of his adventuring. If I had paper I would write down things that I hear and see from day to day. It would make a very interesting book. I must try to remember them all. I fear I shan't do justice to some of them.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 130

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 28, 1862

We have no news to-day from the West. If the great battle has been fought at Vicksburg, we ought to know it to-day or to-morrow; and if the enemy be beaten, it should be decisive of the war. It would be worse than madness to continue the contest for the Union.

Several fine brass batteries were brought down from Fredericksburg last night, an indication that the campaign is over for the winter in that direction.

If we should have disasters in the West, and on the Southern seaboard, the next session of Congress, to begin a fortnight hence, will be a stormy one.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 225-6

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: December 2, 1863

Relieved from recruiting service in New Orleans.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 90

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: December 10, 1863

Rejoined regiment.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 90

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: March 16, 1864

During the winter nothing of importance occured, except building barracks for the men and making two outworks to strengthen the fort. Received marching orders.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 90

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Wednesday, June 15, 1864

Weather quite warm all day; about 9 o'clock a. m. changed positions to the left; remained till night, and then moved still further to the left and finally camped for the night. A part of the regiment has gone on picket. I am not going; no news to-day. I have been thinking quite seriously that I will go home this winter and fit myself for a profession — not that I am getting tired of military life but think it for my interests in the long run; am undecided what I will do. I don't believe I shall be a quitter, though, for I am not weak that way. No patriot resigns in the face of the enemy when his country needs his services.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 83

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Tuesday, October 7, 1862

Commenced a letter to Fannie after the morning work. Went to the river and washed some shirts with Sergt. Smith, Co. K., a boy whom I like much from short acquaintance. Mail arrived about noon, letters from Fannies A. and H., Sarah Felton, Fred and George Ashman. Went to 9th Kansas surgeon to get medicine for Sturtevant. Finished good Fannie's letter. Sick with carbuncle and I with boils afflicted. I am so disappointed that I can not see her and home friends this fall. Bunked with Capt. N., Co. K. tent. Read part of a letter from Melissa, good sister. Read the late Cleveland papers. We lay and talked about boy and girl friends.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 36

Diary of 1st Sergeant John S. Morgan: Friday, January 27, 1865

Not so cold. prospect of rain, road muddy, marching hard. Mount Ebby at 2. P. M. camp at river at 3.30, after marching 18 miles, from Cav in camp, had killed one and captured 15, of Webs band. 1st Mo lost 1. Killed Pontoon laid cav with 2 days rations cross at 4. to ride all night to scare at Camden some of prisoners Haskells Employees

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 572

Friday, December 2, 2016

Diary of Gideon Welles: Wednesday, December 31, 1862

We had an early and special Cabinet-meeting, convened at 10 A.M. The subject was the Proclamation of to-morrow to emancipate the slaves in the Rebel States. Seward proposed two amendments, — one including mine, and one enjoining upon, instead of appealing to, those emancipated, to forbear from tumult. Blair had, like Seward and myself, proposed the omission of a part of a sentence and made other suggestions which I thought improvements. Chase made some good criticisms and proposed a felicitous closing sentence. The President took the suggestions, written in order, and said he would complete the document.

I met General Burnside on the portico of the White House this A.M. He was about entering his carriage, but waited my coming. Says he is here a witness in Fitz John Porter's case.

The year closes less favorably than I had hoped and expected, yet some progress has been made. It is not to be denied, however, that the national ailment seems more chronic. The disease is deep-seated. Energetic measures are necessary, and I hope we may have them. None of us appear to do enough, and yet I am surprised that we have done so much. We have had some misfortunes, and a lurking malevolence exists towards us among nations, that could not have been anticipated. Worse than this, the envenomed, relentless, and unpatriotic spirit of party paralyzes and weakens the hand of the Government and country.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 210-1

Diary of John Hay: August 22, 1861

A long hiatus! The nights have been too busy for jottings.

. . . . We went over to Seward’s, found him comfortably slippered, and after talking about consular nuisances, went over to McClellan’s. Everything seems going right. Discipline is perfecting. The Dry Tortugas have squelched mutiny. The drills and reviews keep the men alive. Hunter is soon to go to Illinois as they need a head. At first he wanted to take McDowell but Scott objected. Regiments are constantly coming in, and arms for them. McClellan is growing jolly. Seward is in better humor than I have lately seen him.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 40; Tyler Dennett, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letters of John Hay, p. 25.

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, Tuesday, May 20, 1862

Camp On Flat Top Mountain,
May 20, (Tuesday), 1862.

Dearest: — Here we are “back again” — fifty or sixty miles in rear of the advanced position we had taken. The short of it is, since the Rebel disasters in eastern Virginia they have thrown by the railroad a heavy force into this region, forcing us back day by day, until we have gained a strong position which they are not likely, I think, to approach. I do not think there is any blame on the part of our leaders. We were strong enough to go ahead until recent events changed the plans of the enemy, and made it impossible [for us] to reinforce sufficiently. I was much vexed at first, but I suspect it is all right. We have had a great deal of severe fighting — fragmentary — in small detachments, but very severe. We have had narrow escapes. My whole command was nearly caught once; the Twenty-eighth barely escaped. General Cox and staff got off by the merest chance. Colonel Scammon's brigade was in close quarters, etc., etc. And yet by good luck, we have had no serious disaster. We have lost tents and some small quartermaster stores, but nothing important. In the fighting we have had the best of it usually. The total loss of General Cox's command is perhaps two hundred to three hundred, including killed, wounded, prisoners, and missing. The enemy has suffered far more. In my fight at Giles, the enemy had thirty-one killed and many wounded; our total casualties and missing, about fifteen. We shall remain here until reinforced or new events make it possible to move.

I see the Thirty-third, not the Twenty-third, gets the credit of taking Giles. Such is fame. No Thirty-third in this country. [The papers also said] Major Cowley not Comly, and so on. Well, all right. General Fremont complimented me for “energy and courage” and the Twenty-third for “gallantry” to this division. So it is all right.

Jim is here in our brigade (the Twelfth Regiment) looking very well. Dr. Joe well. Adjutant Avery is to take this to Raleigh only twenty miles off. We are connected by telegraph with you too, so we are near again for a season.

Affectionately,
R.
Show this to Steve [Stephenson].

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 274-5

Diary of Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett: Monday Evening, August 22, 1864

Mark off another day; one day nearer home and liberty. Read “Villette;” don't like it much. My friend Jones brought me some nice beans for dinner from the garden. I gave him some sugar in return. To-night he brought me some peaches. Rumors of fighting going on. Oh, what wouldn't I give for a New York or Boston paper to-night, or a letter. If I had two legs, I would not stay here long. Played chess to-day with Pat. He beats me. I cannot get interested in it. He beats me at checkers too. I believe I am getting stupid. I must get where I can have somebody congenial to talk with. I dread the journey to Columbia, two days. What are they doing at home to-night? I wish I could look in, invisible.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 129

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 27, 1862

The successes in the West have been confirmed. Morgan captured 2000 and Van Dorn 1500 prisoners at Holly Springs. They likewise destroyed a large amount of stores.

We have intelligence of a great armament, under Gen. Sherman, sailing from Memphis against Vicksburg. At the last accounts the President was at Vicksburg; and he may be witness of this decisive struggle for the possession of the Mississippi River, the result of which involves immense interests. We await with much anxiety the issue of the naval operations during the ensuing month. We are content with the land achievements of this year; and if we should be equally successful in resisting the enemy's fleets, we shall deem ourselves fortunate indeed.

The agents of the Commissary and Quartermaster-General make grievous complaints against Lieut.-Gen. Pemberton, at Grenada, Mississippi; they say he interferes with their arrangements to procure supplies — for cotton; and it is intimated that he has some little arrangements of his own of that nature. This illicit trade is very demoralizing in its nature.

Oh, that peace would return! But with Independence!

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 225

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: October 8, 1863

Mustered into service as Second Lieutenant by John Hamilton Second Lieutenant V. S. Infantry, Muster to take effect September 25, 1863.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 90

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Tuesday, June 14, 1864

Very cool and comfortable for this season; marched about six miles this morning and went into camp; have remained here all day and possibly shall tonight; hope to at any rate for I am very tired and need rest; was ordered back to take command of Company D this morning; am not much sorry for the change for it's my Company. We are only a short distance from the James river; can hear the steamboats whistle plainly. It does seem so good not to hear musketry and picket firing, but from force of habit I hear both in my sleep nights. Our army excepting the First and Third Divisions of our Corps crossed the river here to-day on a pontoon bridge. It took one hundred pontoons to construct the bridge which is held in place by large vessels at anchor above and below the bridge, especially during the ebb and flow of the tide which is about four feet. For the last ten miles before reaching here we passed through a fine country and community with fine old plantations and houses surrounded with lovely flowers and beautifully embowered.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 82

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Monday, October 6, 1862

Got all ready to start. Ordered to lie still for a day or two for train supply to arrive. Went out on forage detail under Welch and Shattuck, four miles, got plenty of sweet potatoes and apples and honey. Sergt. Smith, Sturtevant and I got up a good meal. Had a good visit with the boys — very warm day. Shattuck said I had been reserved to stay in the regiment. Most of the boys mustered out. A regular officer, a captain, is to be our Colonel.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 35-6

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Diary of 1st Sergeant John S. Morgan: Thursday, January 26, 1865

Night cold. ice 2 inches off. at 7. road bad 4 miles slow, rest of march fast. 1 pris. taken. 25 Rebs seen by scout. Make 12 miles, troops from Pine Bluffs with us 106th & 126th Ill. Inft & 1 sec of Negro battery

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 572

Diary of Gideon Welles: Monday, December 29, 1862

We had yesterday a telegram that the British pirate craft Alabama captured the Ariel, one of the Aspinwall steamers, on her passage from New York to Aspinwall, off the coast of Cuba. Abuse of the Navy Department will follow. It will give the mercenaries who are prostituted correspondents, and who have not been permitted to plunder the Government by fraudulent contracts, an opportunity to wreak vengeance for their disappointments.

I am exceedingly glad it was an outward and not a homeward bound vessel. It is annoying when we want all our force on blockade duty to be compelled to detach so many of our best craft on the fruitless errand of searching the wide ocean for this wolf from Liverpool. We shall, however, have a day of reckoning with Great Britain for these wrongs, and I sometimes think I care not how soon nor in what manner that reckoning comes.

A committee has been appointed by the Legislature of Connecticut, of eight persons, to visit Washington and urge the selection of New London for a navy yard. Twelve hundred dollars are appropriated to defray their expenses. There has been no examination by the Legislature of the question, or investigation of the comparative merits of this and other places, or whether an additional yard is needed, or what the real interest of the country requires; but there is, with excusable local pride, a speculating job by a few individuals and a general idea that a government establishment for the expenditure of money will benefit the locality, which controls the movement. As I am a citizen of Connecticut, there is a hope that I may be persuaded by personal considerations to debase myself,—forget my duty and make this selection for that locality regardless of the wants or true interests of the country. I have proposed to transfer the limited and circumscribed yard at Philadelphia to League Island, where there is an abundance of room, fresh water, and other extraordinary advantages. We do not want more yards, certainly not east of the Hudson. We do need a government establishment of a different character from any we now have, for the construction, repair, and preservation of iron vessels. League Island on the Delaware combines all these required advantages, is far in the interior, remote from assault in war, and is in the vicinity of iron and coal, is away from the sea, etc., etc. New London has none of these advantages, but is located in my native State. My friends and my father's friends are there, and I am urged to forget my country and favor that place. A navy yard is for no one State, but this the Legislature and its committee and thousands of their constituents do not take into consideration; but I must.

The six members of the Cabinet (Smith absent) to-day handed in their respective opinions on the question of dividing the old Commonwealth of Virginia and carving out and admitting a new State. As Stanton and myself returned from the Cabinet-meeting to the Departments, he expressed surprise that I should oppose division, for he thought it politic and wise to plant a Free State south of the Ohio. I thought our duties were constitutional, not experimental, that we should observe and preserve the landmarks, and that mere expediency should not override constitutional obligations. This action was not predicated on the consent of the people of Virginia, legitimately expressed; was arbitrary and without proper authority; was such a departure from, and an undermining of, our system that I could not approve it and feared it was the beginning of the end. As regarded a Free State south of the Ohio, I told him the probabilities were that pretty much all of them would be free by Tuesday when the Proclamation emancipating slaves would be published. The Rebels had appealed to arms in vindication of slavery, were using slaves to carry on the War, and they must be content with the results of that issue; the arbitrament of arms to which they had appealed would be against them. This measure, I thought, we were justified in adopting on the issue presented and as a military necessity, but the breaking up of a State by the General Government without the prescribed forms, innate rights, and the consent of the people fairly and honestly expressed, was arbitrary and wrong. Stanton attempted no defense.

At the meeting to-day, the President read the draft of his Emancipation Proclamation, invited criticism, and finally directed that copies should be furnished to each. It is a good and well-prepared paper, but I suggested that a part of the sentence marked in pencil be omitted.1 Chase advised that fractional parts of States ought not to be exempted. In this I think he is right, and so stated. Practically there would be difficulty in freeing parts of States, and not freeing others, — a clashing between central and local authorities.

There is discontent in the public mind. The management of our public affairs is not satisfactory. Our army operations have been a succession of disappointments. General Halleck has accomplished nothing, and has not the public confidence. General McClellan has intelligence but not decision; operated understandingly but was never prepared. With General Halleck there seems neither military capacity nor decision. I have not heard nor seen a clear and satisfactory proposition or movement on his part yet.

Information reaches us that General Butler has been superseded at New Orleans by General Banks.

The wisdom of this change I question, and so told the President, who called on me one day last week and discussed matters generally. I have not a very exalted opinion of the military qualities of either. Butler has shown ability as a police magistrate both at Baltimore and New Orleans, and in each, but particularly at the latter place, has had a peculiar community to govern. The Navy captured the place and turned it over to his keeping. The President agreed with me that Butler had shown skill in discharging his civil duties, and said he had in view for Butler the command of the valley movement in the Mississippi. Likely he has this in view, but whether Halleck will acquiesce is more questionable. I have reason to believe that Seward has effected this change, and that he has been prompted by the foreigners to do it. Outside the State and War Departments, I apprehend no one was consulted. I certainly was not, and therefore could not apprize any of our naval officers, who are cooperating with the army and by courtesy and right should have been informed. Banks has some ready qualities for civil administration and, if not employed in the field or active military operations, will be likely to acquit himself respectably as a provisional or military governor. He has not the energy, power, ability of Butler, nor, though of loose and fluctuating principles, will he be so reckless and unscrupulous. The officer in command in that quarter must necessarily hold a taut rein.
_______________

1 Just what this suggestion referred to does not appear.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 207-10

John Hay to John G. Nicolay, August 24, 1861

Washington, Aug. 24 (1861).
DEAR GEORGE:

Yours of the 22d received this morning. I don't wish to hurry you, but write simply to say that Dr. Pope’s prediction has been realized.

I am flat on my back with bilious fever. I had a gay, old delirium yesterday, but am some better to-day. Doctor thinks I will be round in a day or two. Bob Lincoln came this morning bringing positive orders from his mother for me to join her at New York for an extension of her trip. Of course I can't go — as things look. There is no necessity whatever for you to return just now. There is no business in the office, and Stoddard is here all the time. He can do as well as either of us. As soon as I get able I shall leave. The air here is stifling. You had better stay as long as you like, for there is nothing but idleness here. As soon as I get on my pins I shall start. It will be a sort of breach of etiquette, but as Joe Gargery feelingly observes: — “Manners is manners, but your ’elth ’s your ’elth!”

Don't come till you get ready.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 39; Michael Burlingtame, Editor, At Lincoln’s Side: John Hay’s Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings, p.12-3.

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard, May 20, 1862

Camp On Flat Top Mountain On Line Between
Mercer And Raleigh Counties, May 20, 1862.

Dear Uncle: — The last three weeks has been a period of great activity with us — severe marching, sharp fighting, and all sorts of strategy and manoeuvring. I had command of the advance southward and marched to within ten miles of the railroad, seventy miles south of this. This was ten days ago. On the morning of the 10th the enemy attacked us in greatly superior numbers and with artillery. In obedience to orders we have been falling back ever since. I was much vexed that we were not reinforced. Perhaps I was wrong. It is now believed that the enemy, since their reverses in eastern Virginia, have been sending heavy bodies of troops this way; that our force is wholly inadequate to its task, and must wait here until largely strengthened. I am not sure about this, but accept it without much grumbling. As I had command of the advance, I also had command of the rear-guard during the two most perilous days of the retreat. I am glad to know that nobody blames me with anything. Perhaps nobody ought to be blamed, certainly not if the force of the enemy is correctly reported. We have got off very well, having the best of all the fighting, and losing very little property in the retreat, and conducting it in good order.

General Cox and staff narrowly escaped capture. My command had a narrow escape. With any common precautions we should have been captured or destroyed, but luckily I had mounted pickets two miles further out than usual and got notice of the trap in time. The total loss of my command up to yesterday since May 1 inclusive is seven killed, six missing, and thirty-five wounded. We have killed forty to fifty of the enemy, captured about fifty, and wounded a large number. We have captured and destroyed many arms, and lived on the enemy's grub a week. We also took several teams and waggons. We have lost our tents (except headquarters) and part of our mess furniture.

We shall remain here and hereabouts some time to get reinforced and to get supplies. We are in telegraphic communication with the world and only sixty miles from navigation.

Dr. James Webb is now in this brigade, assistant surgeon of the Twelfth Regiment O. V. I. Dr. Joe is brigade surgeon. We shall enjoy a few days' rest here. The Twenty-third is a capital set. They always stood up squarely to the work and enjoyed it. A vast difference between raw troops and those who have tried it enough to be at home.

Love to all. Good-bye.
R. B. Hayes.
S. BlRCHARD.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 273-4

Diary of Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett: Sunday, August 21, 1864

This has been rather a pleasant Sabbath day. I have so much to be grateful for. I had a very good dinner. My appetite has returned. Have been reading Prayer-book and Rogers's “Italy.” To-night smoked my first and only cigar, one that has been in my coat-pocket all the time. Just six weeks ago to-night, at this very time, I went to see Agnes at the homestead. Where shall I be six weeks hence? In our lines? I fear the hope is vain. I wonder if they have been thinking of me at home to-day as much as I have of them. I expect they have not as much spare time. Perhaps they think that now I am out of danger, and on the whole it's rather a good thing!!

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 129

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 26, 1862

We have no news to-day — not even a rumor. We are ready for anything that may come. No doubt the assailants of Mobile, Wilmington, or Charleston, will meet with determined resistance.

The President will be in Richmond about the first day of January. I saw a man who traveled with him in Alabama.

Vicksburg, I understand, cannot be taken by water. And Grant, the Federal general, is said to be retreating out of Mississippi.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 225

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: September 25, 1863

Received provisional commission from Major General Banks as Second Lieutenant Company C First Louisiana Volunteer Infantry (white) Date of Commission September 8, 1863, Number of Commission 544.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 90

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Monday, June 13, 1864

The effective force of our regiment now is twelve officers and three hundred and fifty-two enlisted men. We left Vermont with a thousand enlisted men or more. I wrote hastily last evening, being crowded for time. I left the skirmish line in the dark without difficulty, but it was very nerve-trying. My post was in second growth hard timber, and the enemy could be plainly heard creeping up close — very close, within a few feet, to see if we had gone after dark. When one's alone in the dark under such circumstances and he don't know but what all his comrades are miles away on the march except his part of the skirmish line, such conditions are disconcerting, for pickets are sometimes sacrificed when an army moves. The enemy mistrusting our designs followed us up closely — so close we had to run with hair on end to get away without drawing their fire for if we did it meant perhaps that we would be abandoned to our fate by the assembled picket a goodly distance off awaiting us. But O, what a relief it was when we joined the reserve! We were on the extreme left and the last to leave the enemy's front as our position protected our army in its flank movement. It was the most trying similar position I have ever been in up to this time during the war. We traveled like racehorses all night and to-day, and I, at least, was frequently so near asleep while marching in the heat of the day, as to unconsciously walk right up against any object in my path which would of course arouse me; marched about twenty miles, but I should think it was forty — indeed, forty is what we called it at the time — via Charles City Court House and bivouaced at Jones bridge on the Chickahominy. I don't think I was ever so tired in my life as to-night; don't think I could march much further; got a daily paper to-day for the first time since we left our winter quarters. We were the rear of the army last night, and it was a trial to wait after leaving the skirmish line till all the men of the Division assembled before taking up our line of march. I got testy several times in the night walking into scrub trees by the wayside half asleep. We laughed at each other for doing it, though, for we have our fun even under the most trying circumstances.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 80-2

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Sunday, October 5, 1862

In the morning rode about town and visited the different places of interest connected with the battle. Went into the stable where the Dutch were confined. At noon, after a hearty meal got up by us non-commissioned officers, started south. Capt. Seward came on and took command. N. officer of the day. Encamped on Big Indian, 15 miles from Pineville.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 35

Diary of 1st Sergeant John S. Morgan: Wednesday, January 25, 1865

Cold. off at daylight. road tolerable in Pine Bluffs at 12. camp at 1.30 ½ mile from town 40th Ia reported at the Rocks, and boats captured on Ark river. March today 13 miles Rations come up this Evening. 33d in advance today

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 572

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Diary of Gideon Welles: Friday, December 26, 1862

Some talk in Cabinet of Thayer's scheme of emigration to Florida.1

Blair read his opinion of the proposition for making a new State of Western Virginia. His views correspond with mine, but are abler and more elaborately stated. Mr. Bates read a portion of his opinion on the constitutional point, which appeared to me decisive and conclusive. The President has called for opinions from each of his Cabinet. I had the first rough draft of mine in my pocket, though not entirely copied. Chase said his was completed, but he had not brought it with him. Seward said he was wholly unprepared. Stanton assured the President he would be ready with his in season. The President said it would answer his purpose if the opinions of each were handed in on or before Tuesday.
_______________

1 This was a proposal to colonize Florida with loyal citizens from the North. Its author was Eli Thayer, whose Emigrant Aid Company had been largely instrumental in making Kansas a Free State. He afterwards advocated it in a public speech at the Cooper Institute, New York, February 7, 1863.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 206-7

John Hay to John G. Nicolay, August 21, 1861

(Washington) Aug. 21, 1861.
MY DEAR GEORGE:

Nothing new. An immense crowd that boreth ever. Painters, who make God's air foul to the nostril. Rain, which makes a man moist and adhesive. Dust, which unwholesomely penetrates one's lungs. Washington, which makes one swear.

There is not an item. We are waiting for your arrival to make one.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 38

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Tuesday, May 20, 1862

Camp on Flat Top Mountain. — Monday, 19th, marched from camp on Bluestone River to this point (yesterday) — a hot dry march — with knapsacks. I supposed we were to go only five miles; was disappointed to find we were retreating so far as this point. Being out of humor with that, I was out of sorts with all things; scolded “some” because the column was halted to rest on the wrong side of a stream which had to be crossed single file; viz., the near instead of the opposite side; mad because Colonel Scammon halted us in the sun half an hour — no water — without telling us how long we were to halt, etc., etc. But got good-humored again soon. Must swear off from swearing. Bad habit. Met Dr. Jim Webb, assistant surgeon of [the] Twelfth, yesterday as we approached here. March fourteen miles.

[Today], Tuesday, 20th, rains occasionally — a cold rain. No tents, some trouble, but men are patient and hardy. Heard of Ike Nelson's wounds, four to six in number and twenty bullet holes in his clothing. Left for dead but got well.

Avery and Captain Drake go to Raleigh this morning. We are holding on, waiting for supplies in the place of the tents, etc., we have lost. No news yet of Richmond's having been taken, but it is likely soon to fall unless we are defeated.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 272

Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett to Harriett Plummer Bartlett, August 23, 1864

August 23. Still improving and gaining strength.
W.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 129

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 25, 1862

Christmas Day.—Northern papers show that there is much distraction in the North; that both Seward and Chase, who had resigned their positions, were with difficulty persuaded to resume them. This news, coupled with the recent victory, and some reported successes in the West (Van Dorn's capture of Holly Springs), produces some effect on the spirits of the people here; and we have a merrier Christmas than the last one.

It is said the Federal Congress is about to provide for the organization of 100 regiments of negroes. This does not occasion anxiety here. The slaves, once armed, would cut their way back to their masters. The only possible way to restore the Union — if indeed it be possible — is to withdraw all the Federal troops, and maintain an effeitive blockade. There might possibly ensue dissensions among our politicians and States, detrimental to any required unity of purpose. But the Yankees, with all their smartness, cannot perceive this. They can never appal us with horrors, for we have fed upon nothing else for so long a period, that we have become accustomed to them. And they have not men enough to subjugate us and hold us in subjugation. Two millions would not suffice!

The boys are firing Chinese crackers everywhere, and no little gunpowder is consumed in commemoration of the day.

But turkeys are selling at $11 each! Shoes for $25 per pair. Salt, however, has fallen from $1.50 to 33 cents per pound. Fresh meats sell at from 35 to 50 cents per pound.

A silver (lever) watch, which had been lying in my trunk for two years, and which cost me $25, sold at auction yesterday for $75. This sufficed for fuel for a month, and a Christmas dinner. At the end of another month, my poor family must be scattered again, as this house will be occupied by its owner. I have advertised for boarding in the country, but get no response. It would require $300 per month to board my family here, and that is more than my income. What shall we do? Trust in God!

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 224-5

Diary of Sergeant George G. Smith: August 31, 1863

Opened a recruiting office at No. 5 St. Charles street.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 90

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Sunday, June 12, 1864

Relieved the skirmish line yesterday without great difficulty; all quiet through the night; not a gun fired to-day thus far in front of us; can hear the rebs talk and sing quite plain in our immediate front; was informed this afternoon the army would move tonight at 7 o'clock; dread leaving the skirmish line, but I suppose we can do it; very quiet this evening; bands playing and big guns booming; wonder if it isn't a bluff? The moon is shining brightly.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 80

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Saturday, October 4, 1862

Rainy and cold early. At sunrise got in sight of the enemy at Newtonia. Got batteries and men into position and fired upon them. The scene of the cannonading of our troops and the enemy was grand. The enemy in force are massed behind a fence and upon the plain near the woods. Our troops occupied the surrounding hills. The enemy at first scatter at the artillery fire, then collect again and commence a retreat. Rabb's Battery, infantry and cavalry follow. We had been support to this battery. Now we change to the 2nd Battery, our own, which had been shelling the town and driven 100 men out. Boys rush into town and soon report 23 wounded of the Dutch retaken. Soon camped for the day. Horses saddled. The enemy fight Rabb. He follows closely and pours shell into them. Boys lay down, half frozen, and slept. One adj. regiment and one Adj. General captured. Took one piece of artillery, a long wire arrangement. Got rails and water and had coffee. Horse grows stronger. Rode about town.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 35

Diary of 1st Sergeant John S. Morgan: Tuesday, January 24, 1865

Night cold, off at 7.30. Regt in rear roads very bad. Camp at dark in a wet swamp, marched 12 miles

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 571

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Diary of Gideon Welles: Wednesday, December 24, 1862

Congress has adjourned over until the 5th of January. It is as well, perhaps, though I should not have advised it. But the few real business men, of honest intentions, will dispatch matters about as well and fast without as with them. The demagogues in Congress disgrace the body and the country. Noisy and loud professions, with no useful policy or end, exhibit themselves daily.

Most of the Members will go home. Dixon says the feeling North is strong and emphatic against Stanton, and that the intrigue against Seward was to cover and shield Stanton. Others say the same. Doolittle, though less full and explicit, has this opinion. Fox tells me that Grimes declares his object was an onslaught on Stanton. If so, it was a strange method. Grimes went over the whole debate in caucus with F.; said he believed opposition manifested itself in some degree towards every member of the Cabinet but myself; that towards one or two only slight exhibitions of dislike appeared, and most were well sustained. All who spoke were complimentary of me and the naval management, but Hale, while he uttered no complaint, was greatly annoyed with the compliments of myself and the quiet but efficient conduct of the Navy.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 206

John Hay to Mrs. Frances Campbell Eames, August 19, 1861

Executive Mansion,
Aug. 21, 1861.
DEAR MRS. Eames:

If the events of the last few days were to be taken as an earnest of the future, I would invest my surplus shekels in a cheap tombstone, write “Miserrimus” on it, and betake myself to Prussic acid glacé I have been like Poe's Raven's “unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster followed fast and followed faster, till he thought all life a bore.” It is not a particularly hilarious chronicle, but here it is.

Finding it hideously dull at Long Branch (the gay and festive Jenkins of the Herald is paid by the line for making the world believe that the place is not ghastly and funereal, the crowd a sort of queer half-baked New Jersey confectionery, with a tendency to stammer when spoken to and to flatten its nose against our windows while we ate), I determined to go up to New York and accept a most kind invitation from Col. Hamilton to come to him Saturday. Arriving there I found there was no telegraph to Irvington or Dobb's Ferry. I could not apprize him of my coming or arrange for him to meet me. I blasphemed at this a little, and went quietly down town and was busy for an hour or two. Coming back I found Mr. Hamilton's card at the Hotel. He had been and gone.

My rage transcended grief. I was so mad at myself that I was uncivil to everyone else. Mr. Dennison came in with brilliant plans for the next day. I mildly but firmly requested him to mobilize himself for an instant trip to the Court of His Most Sulphurous Majesty. I concluded to take a royal revenge on myself by ordering myself back to Washington.

I came and found the air like a damp oven. They are painting the White House, and the painters from their horrid hair (I mean their brushes) shake pestilence and things. The people in the streets are stupid or scared. It is a bad neighborhood.

I can do nothing but wish it were “not me but another man.”

Let me tell you a fact which proves me insane or Washington preternaturally dull. Yesterday I went to dinner at Willard's late, and after taking my seat I saw a solitary diner at a distance. I took up my soup and walked. I sat down and ate dinner with

BING.

I was so dull he was almost endurable.

I have not seen Mr. Eames since I returned. I have not felt like proper company for a gentleman and a Christian. I have felt as outlawed as a hasheesh eater.

There is another offshoot of English nobility coming over in a day or two, a son of the Earl
of Mayo, Hon. Robert Bourke. I hope Willis will find it out, and by way of showing him a delicate attention, take him to the observational settee whence, on clear afternoons is to be seen, windows favoring, the Presidential ensarking and bifurcate dischrysalisizing. In view of his late letter, I would mildly inquire "What next?" Please make your brother and sister remember me, and give my love to F .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 35-8; Michael Burlingtame, Editor, At Lincoln’s Side: John Hay’s Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings, p.11-2.

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Sunday, May 18, 1862

Sunday!! Came again unawares upon me at Princeton. At 1 or 2 A. M. aroused to prepare to move. Moved off quietly; got off, again unmolested, to this point, viz., Bluestone River, Mercer County, Virginia. I hope this is the last of the retreat. We have [the] Thirty-fourth, Twenty-eight, Twelfth, Twenty-third, Thirtieth, Thirty-seventh O. V. I.; Second Virginia Cavalry; and Simmonds' and McMullen's Batteries. The enemy reported to have three thousand or so under General Heth and five thousand or so under General Humphrey Marshall. The numbers are nothing, but at present our communications can't well be kept up. All will soon be remedied under Fremont. Then, forward again! In the fights we have lost in our army, chiefly Thirty-seventh and Thirty-fourth, near one hundred killed, wounded, and prisoners.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 271-2

Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett to Harriett Plummer Bartlett, August 20, 1864

Prisoners' Hospital,
Danville, Va., August 20, 1864.

My Dear Mother, — I have been very ill with dysentery, consequent on the exposure after the over-exertion and exhaustion on the 30th of July. I am still very weak, but have turned the corner and am out of danger. General Young, C. S. A., came to see me while I was sick, and told me he would see Commissioner Ould when he went to Richmond, and do all that he could to get me sent to our lines (either exchanged or paroled), where I could soon get well, or at least die among friends. I have not heard from him yet. It is more than a week, and as he promised to write as soon as he saw Ould, I fear his letter must have miscarried. I am not so anxious, now that I am getting better. Still I hope we shall be exchanged before long. All the other generals have been exchanged down at Charleston, S. C. I shall probably go to Columbia, S. C, as soon as I get well enough. I had a letter from Captain Amory from there a few days ago. They are much more comfortable there, and want me to come. I shall be glad to get anywhere, where I can have company. I walked out a few steps on crutches to-day for the first time. I am still very weak. I have heard nothing from our lines since our capture. See Richmond paper occasionally. Give my love to all at home, and to Aunt Carry and Uncle Edwin. Send them a copy of this letter if it reaches you.

Much love,
W. F. B.

I hope my horses and all my things got home safely. Dr. White promised to see to it.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 128-9

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 24, 1862

The Louisville Journal says the defeat of Burnside is “sickening,” and that this sad condition of affairs cannot be borne long.

It is said that Confederate bonds are bringing quite as much in New York as in Richmond; and that the bonds of Southern men are freely discounted in the North. These, if true, are indications of approaching peace. Cotton at 50 cents per pound, and our capacity to produce five million bales per annum must dazzle the calculating Yankees. A single crop worth $1,000,000,000! What interest or department of industry in the United States can promise such results?

Letters were received to-day from Nassau, dated 12th December. Mr. L. Heyliger, our agent, reports a number of steamers sailing, and about to sail, with large amounts of stores and goods of all kinds, besides plates for our navy. A Mr. Wiggs has several steamers engaged in this business. Our government own some, and private individuals (foreign speculators) are largely engaged in the trade. Most of these steamers run sixteen miles an hour.

A Mr. Hart, agent for S. Isaac Campbell & Co., London, proposes to clothe and equip 100,000 men for us, and to receive certificates for specific amounts of cotton. This same house has, on this, it is said, advanced as much as $2,000,000 on our account. This looks cheering. We have credit abroad. But they are Jews.

Mr. Heyliger says he has seen letters from the United States, conveying information that Charleston is to be attacked about the holidays — the ensuing week — by four iron-clad gun-boats. Well, I believe we have three there; so let them come!

Every day we have propositions to supply the army and the country with goods, for cotton; and they succeed in delivering stores, etc., in spite of the vigilance of the Federal blockading squadrons. There is a prospect that we shall have abundance of everything some of these days. But there is some wrangling. The Quartermaster-General complains to-day that Lieut.-Gen. Pemberton has interfered with his agents, trading cotton for stores. Myers is a Jew, and Pemberton a Yankee — so let them fight it out.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 223-4

Diary of Sergeant George G. Smith: August 24, 1863

Received an order from Colonel Fiske detailing myself and four others on recruiting service in New Orleans.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 89

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Saturday, June 11, 1864

Goodness! We traveled all night and haven't got out of sight of our old position. Did ever anyone see such stupidity? I'm getting more fault-finding than an old maid, but loss of sleep and shattered nerves from being overtaxed in every way will account for it. Nature will collapse when continually over-taxed. I'm all out of patience, but it will do no good to mutter, so I'll stop. We relieved a portion of the Second Corps to-day; don't know where they are going; probably some strategic movement afoot; was sent out on picket about noon. It's not a very agreeable job to relieve the skirmish line in daylight when the enemy is so near, yet we did it; heavy cannonading to-night.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 79-80

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Friday, October 3, 1862

Was going to the river to wash when I was detailed for picket guard. My first experience. Reported with 14 men. Relieved 12 on the Granby road and stayed there till 10 P. M. Drawn in to go with command. Whole body moved at 12. Got ready and fell in. N. gave me the command of a platoon of 20 men. Quite an honor! Horse had belly-ache. Bled him most to death. Had to leave him. Saw Sturtevant coming. Had the rear guard.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 35

Diary of 1st Sergeant John S. Morgan: Monday, January 23, 1865

Morning clear & cold with 3 inches of snow, off at 7.15 walking tolerable. teams sticks. P. M. bad bottom roads very bad camp at 1. P. M. at Widow Campbells marched 12 miles. Evening cold

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 571

Monday, November 28, 2016

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Saturday, May 17, 1862

A very hard day, — muddy, wet, and sultry. Ordered at 3 A. M. to abandon camp and hasten with whole force to General Cox at Princeton. He has had a fight with a greatly superior force under General Marshall. We lost tents, — we slit and tore them, — mess furniture, blankets, etc., etc., by this hasty movement. I was ordered with the Twenty-third, Gilmore's Cavalry, and two pieces McMullen's Battery, to cover the retreat to Princeton. We did it successfully, but oh, what a hard day on the men! I had been up during the night, had the men out, etc., etc. We were all day making it. Found all in confusion; severe fighting against odds and a further retreat deemed necessary. Bivouacked on the ground at Princeton.

Mem.: — I saved all my personal baggage, tent included; but no chance to use it at Princeton.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 271

Diary of Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett: Saturday, August 20, 1864

Another day and week gone. Three weeks to-night since my capture. It seems like three months at least. What a difference though between my condition now and one week ago! I did not then expect to be alive now. My only hope was that my body should get sent home. To-night I am well, getting stronger every day. Walked out on crutches a little; very weak still. But how much I have to be grateful for! I hope I may never forget it. I wish I could relieve their anxiety at home. And Agnes, I fear she worries. I am glad they have not known the worst. They think I am safe and comfortably off, I expect.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 127-8

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: December 23, 1862

The battle of Fredericksburg is still the topic, or the wonder, and it transpired more than nine days ago. It will have its page in history, and be read by school-boys a thousand years hence. The New York Times exclaims, “God help us — for man cannot.” This is another war sheet. The Tribune is bewildered, and knows not what to say. The Herald says “everything by turns, and nothing long.” Its sympathies are ever with the winning party. But it is positively asserted that both Seward and his son have resigned, to be followed by the rest of the cabinet. That example might be followed here without detriment to our cause. And it is said Burnside has resigned. I doubt that — but no doubt he will be removed. It is said Fremont has been appointed his successor. That would be good news. I think Halleck will be removed, and MeCIellan will be recalled. No matter.

It is said our President will command in Mississippi himself — the army having no confidence in Pemberton, because he is a Yankee.

We have a letter to-day from Gen. Pike (another Yankee), saying the Indian country is lost — lost, because Gens. Holmes and Hindman — Southern men — won't let him have his own way! The news from North Carolina is still cloudy. Gen. G. W. Smith is there (another Northern man).

Gen. Elzey has been appointed to command this department during Gen. L.'s abseuce. Gen. E. is a Marylander. In the President's absence, it is said this appointment was made by Gen. S. Cooper (another Yankee) to insult Virginia by preventing the capital from being in the hands of a Virginian. The Richmond papers occasionally allude to the fact that the general highest in rank in the Confederacy is a Yankee — Gen. S. Cooper.

Gen. Lee says his ammunition is bad in quality, and that his new guns burst in the late battle — all under charge of the chief of the Bureau of Ordnance — another Yankee. Gen. D. H. Hill writes a scathing letter to the department in response to a rebuke from the new Secretary, occasioned by some complaints of Major Palfrey in Gen. Cooper's (A. and I. General) office. I do not know where Major P. came from; but the fact that he was not in the field, gave the general occasion to rasp him severely. It must have been caused by an order transferring, furloughing, or discharging some soldier in Gen. H.'s division — and his patience vanished at the idea of having his men taken out of the ranks without consulting him, by carpet knights and civilian lawyers. He says 8000 are now absent from his command — and that Gen. Johnston's army, last spring, was reduced from the same cause to 40,000 men, where he had to oppose 138,000 of the “rascally Yankees.” He concludes, however, by saying it is the duty of subordinate generals in the field to submit in all humility to the behests of their superiors comfortably quartered in Richmond. But if justice were done, and the opinions of the generals in the field were regarded in the matter of discharges, etc., the lawyers, who have grown fat on fees by thinning our ranks, would be compelled to resort to some more laudable means of making a living.

A letter from Gov. Shorter, of Alabama, introduces Judge Rice, agent for P. S. Gerald and J. R. Powell, who propose to bring goods into the Confederate States through Mexico, to be paid for in cotton, etc. This was referred by the Secretary to the Quartermaster-General — who protests against it on the ground that it might interfere with his agents already engaged in the business.

The President publishes a retaliatory proclamation to-day against Gen. Butler, for hanging Mr. Munford, of New Orleans, who took down the United States flag before the city had surrendered. He declares Butler to be out of the pale of civilization; and orders any commander who may capture him, to hang him as an outlaw. And all commissioned officers serving under Butler, and in arms with negroes, to be reserved for execution.

There is a rumor that an agent of the Federal Government has arrived in the city, to propose an armistice. No armistice, unless on the basis of uli possidetis ante bellum!

Bethel, Leesburg, and Fredericksburg are victories memorable for our great success when fighting in advantageous positions. They teach a lesson to generals; and it will be apparent that no necessity exists for so great an expenditure of life in the prosecution of this war. The disparity of numbers should be considered by our generals. I fear the flower of our chivalry mostly perished in storming batteries. It is true a prestige was gained.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 221-3

Diary of Sergeant George G. Smith: July 29, 1863

The [1st] Louisiana was again ordered to garrison Fort Butler. The twenty-eighth Maine having served out its time was discharged. General Bank's army too vanished away, brigade after brigade until not a canvas could be seen in the vicinity, leaving us alone again in quiet possession of the country about Fort Butler. And thus ended one of the most important campaigns of the war.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 89

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Friday, June 10, 1864

Oh, dear! Another day finds us in the same old position. I wonder if this awful war will ever find an end? It looks worse to me than ever. Here we are within ten miles of Richmond, and I can't see any prospect of our ever getting nearer to it without sacrificing half our noble army, and this in my opinion won't pay. But I fear I am getting faint-hearted! I must have more faith in our Generals. Indeed, I think I have faith in them, but they can't do what they want without they have the men to do it with.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 79

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Thursday, October 2, 1862

Renewed our march without breakfast. Scoured the woods for our old friends. Took five men and acted as skirmishers. No bird discovered. Reached camp in the P. M. Heard the boys relate their stories about the fight. Somewhat tired.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 35

Diary of 1st Sergeant John S. Morgan: Sunday, January 22, 1865

Morning drizzly, over to Amb. C. & to see Lt Sharman who is better before day. Regt to St Johns Square at 9 a. m. all there at 11.30 and start. 1st Mo cav. 1st Iowa cav 43d Ill Inft. 50th Ind Inft. 28th Wis Inft 9th Wis Inft 33 Iowa Inft. 2 secs, of 25th Mo battery, all light order. Roads rough. Camp at 4. P. M. at Mill burned by Webs jeorillas 8 miles from town. Snow from 3.30

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 571