Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Diary of Gideon Welles: Friday, October 10, 1862

Some vague and indefinite tidings of a victory by Buell in Kentucky in a two days' fight at Perryville. We hear also of the capture of batteries by the Navy on the St. John's in Florida, but have no particulars.

A telegram from Delano1 at New Bedford tells me that the pirate or Rebel steamer 290, built in Great Britain and manned by British seamen, fresh from England, has captured and burnt five whaling vessels off the Western Islands. The State Department will, I suppose, submit to this evidence that England is an underhand auxiliary to the Rebels, be passive on the subject, and the Navy Department will receive as usual torrents of abuse.

At Cabinet to-day, among other subjects, that of trade at Norfolk was under consideration. We were told the people are in great distress and trouble, cannot get subsistence nor make sale of anything by reason of the blockade. Chase thought it very hard, was disposed to open the port or relax the blockade. Stanton opposed both; said Norfolk was hot with rebellion, and aid to Norfolk would relieve Richmond. The President, in the kindness of his heart, was at first inclined to grant relief. Chase said I had instructed the squadron to rigidly enforce the blockade. I admitted this to be true as regarded Norfolk and all the blockaded ports, and assured him I should not relax unless by an Executive order, or do otherwise until we had another policy. That to strictly maintain the blockade caused suffering I had no doubt; that was the chief object of the blockade. I was doing all in my power to make rebellion unpopular, and as a means, I would cause the whole insurrectionary region to suffer until they laid down their arms and became loyal. The case was not one of sympathy but of duty. Chase urged that they might be permitted to bring out and exchange some of their products, such as shingles, staves, tar, etc., which they could trade for necessaries that were indispensable. “Then,” said I, “raise the blockade. Act in good faith with all; let us have no favoritism. That is my policy. You must not use the blockade for domestic traffic or to enrich a few.”

The President said these were matters which he had not sufficiently considered. My remarks had opened a view that he had not taken. He proposed that Seward and Chase should see what could be done.

There is, I can see, a scheme for permits, special favors, Treasury agents, and improper management in all this; not that Chase is to receive any pecuniary benefit himself, but in his political aspirations he is courting, and will give authority to, General Dix, who has, he thinks, political influence. It is much less, I apprehend, than Chase supposes. Dix is, I presume, as clear of pecuniary gain as Chase, but he has on his staff and around him a set of bloodsuckers who propose to make use of the blockade as a machine to enrich themselves. A few favorites design to monopolize the trade of Norfolk, and the Government is to be at the expense of giving them this monopoly by absolute non-intercourse, enforced by naval vessels to all but themselves. As we have absolute possession of Norfolk and its vicinity, there is no substantial reason for continuing the blockade, and it can benefit none but Army and Treasury favorites. General Dix has, I regret to see, lax notions. Admiral Lee holds him in check; he appeals to Chase, who is very severe towards the Rebels, except in certain matters of trade and Treasury patronage carrying with them political influence.

Seward wishes me to modify my second letter on the subject of instructions under the British slavery treaty, so as to relieve him in a measure. I have no objection; he does not appear to advantage in the proceedings. In a scheme to obtain popularity for himself, he has been secretive, hasty, inconsiderate, overcunning, and weak. The Englishmen have detected his weak side and taken advantage of it. His vanity and egotism have been flattered, and he has undertaken an ostentatious exhibition of his power to the legations, and at the same time would secure favor with the Abolitionists and Anti-Slavery men by a most singular contrivance, which, if carried into effect, would destroy our naval efficiency. His treaty binds us to surrender for a specific purpose the general belligerent right of search in the most important latitudes. The effect would be in the highest degree advantageous to the Rebels, and wholly in their interest. It seems to me a contrivance to entrap our Government, into which the Secretary of State, without consulting his associates, has been unwittingly seduced.

D. D. Porter left Wednesday to take command of the Mississippi Squadron, with the appointment of Acting Admiral. This is an experiment, and the results not entirely certain. Many officers of the Navy who are his seniors will be dissatisfied, but his juniors may, by it, be stimulated. The river naval service is unique. Foote performed wonders and dissipated many prejudices. The army has fallen in love with the gunboats and wants them in every creek. Porter is wanting in some of the best qualities of Foote, but excels him perhaps in others. The service requires great energy, great activity, abundant resources. Porter is full of each, but is reckless, improvident, often too presuming and assuming. In an interview on Wednesday, I endeavored to caution him on certain points and to encourage him in others. In conformity with his special request, General McClernand is to command the army with which the Navy cooperates. This gratifies him, for he dreads and protests against association with any West Point general; says they are too self-sufficient, pedantic, and unpractical.

The currency and financial questions will soon be as troublesome as the management of the armies. In making Treasury notes or irredeemable paper of any kind a legal tender, and in flooding the country with inconvertible paper money down to a dollar and fractional parts of a dollar, the Secretary of the Treasury may obtain momentary ease and comfort, but woe and misery will follow to the country. Mr. Chase has a good deal of ability, but has never made finance his study. His general ideas appear to be crudely sound, but he does not act upon them, and his principal and most active and persistent advisers are of a bad school. The best and soundest financiers content themselves with calmly stating sound financial truths. He has not made his plans a subject of Cabinet consultation. Perhaps it is best he should not. I think he has advised with them but little, individually. Incidentally he and I have once or twice had conversations on these matters, and our views appeared to correspond, but when he has come to act, a different policy has been pursued. It will add to the heavy burdens that overload the people. Singular notions prevail with some of our Cabinet associates, — such as have made me doubt whether the men were serious in stating them. On one occasion, something like a year ago, Smith expressed a hope that the Treasury would hasten, and as speedily as possible get out the fractional parts of a dollar, in order to put a stop to hoarding. Chase assured Smith he was hurrying on the work as fast as possible. I expressed astonishment and regret, and insisted that the more paper he issued, the more hoarding of coin there would be and the less money we should have; that all attempts in all countries and times to cheat gold and silver had proved failures and always would; that money was one thing and currency another; convertible paper was current for money, inconvertible paper was not; that two currencies could not circulate at the same time in any community; that the vicious and poor currency always superseded the better, and must in the nature of things.

Chase, without controverting these remarks, said I belonged to the race of hard-money men, whose ideas were not exactly adapted to these times. Smith was perfectly confident that hoarding up money would cease when there was no object in it, and if the Treasury would furnish us with paper there would be no object to hoard. He was confident it would do the work. I asked Chase if he indorsed such views, but could get no satisfactory answer. The Treasury is pursuing a course which will unsettle all values.

1 B. F. Delano, Naval Constructor.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 165-9

Monday, July 25, 2016

Salmon P. Chase to William H. Collins*, February 18, 1846

Feb. 18, 1846.

My Dear Sir: I have, for some time, cherished the purpose of writing to you in behalf of the Rev. C. T. Torrey now imprisoned in the penitentiary of your state. If I am not mistaken, your brother informed me that you appeared as Counsel against him, and this constitutes an additional reason for applying to you.

I shall not trouble you with any discussion of the nature of the acts for which Mr. Torrey is imprisoned.1 You know as well as I do, that by a considerable portion of our Countrymen they are regarded as deeds of mercy performed under the constraint of Christian obligation: while by another portion they are regarded as unwarrantable invasions of the rights of property.

Whichever of these opposite opinions may be correct — I hold undoubtingly the first, and perhaps you hold undoubtingly the second — it is certain that Torrey acted under the conviction that he was doing right — doing as he would have others in similar circumstances do to him. It is certain that he is an educated and esteemed Christian minister of unblemished character, unless his aid to the flying slaves must be regarded as a blemish. I hear also that his health is wasting away in confinement, and that he cannot live long unless released. Under these circumstances, I feel confident that I shall not appeal in vain to your benevolence to contribute your influence to his liberation. Surely neither the State of Maryland nor the individuals whose slaves escaped or attempted to escape can desire that Torrey shall die in prison among common felons. The attention of great multitudes is drawn to the fact of his incarceration both in America and Europe. Sympathy with him is deep, strong and wide-spread. Intelligence of his death in the Penitentiary of Maryland would cause a pang of sorrow, to be succeeded by intense indignation in more than a million breasts. His death would, under such circumstances, do more against Slavery than all the efforts of all his life.

Sound expediency, therefore as well as Common Humanity, seems to me to require his liberation. Let me add to you, on the score of old and I hope mutual regard & friendship, my earnest personal solicitation for your good offices in behalf of Torrey. By no act can you lay me under deeper obligation to you: and I am confident that any efforts which you may put forth in his behalf will always be remembered by you with satisfaction.

Please give my most cordial regards to the Doctor and also make my respects to Mrs. Collins.

* From letter book 6, pp. 31.

1 Charles Turner Torrey, 1813-1846, a graduate of Yale College and a Congregational clergyman, early became an active Abolitionist. In 1844 he was convicted in Maryland of having attempted to aid some slaves to escape and was sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary. He died in prison May 9, 1846.

SOURCE: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 107-8

Samuel Kettell to James S. Pike, April 15, 1850

Boston, April 15, 1850.

My Dear Sir: I am quite as fully persuaded as yourself that political matters are in a most critical state. It's more the pity that honest men like you and me have not the power to make everybody obey us in marching straight ahead out of these troubles. I, for one, cannot have my own way in the matter, as you will see by what follows. You know the Courier has taken the side of Webster in the California and Proviso question. I have not space to tell the whole story, but the thing is done and we must stand upon it. You have spoken very freely upon all political subjects through our columns, and I wish to God things were so that nothing would lie in the way of your exertions in the same career. But what can we do? The matter has got beyond the limit of speculative opinions and assumed a practical shape. We have now a real job to do in sustaining Dan, and it is impossible to get ahead if we pull down with one hand what we build up with the other. People are quoting your letters against us, and making capital out of them for t'other side. Just look at the newspapers. Small causes we don't mind, but this is cutting our own throat.

I feel this embarrassment the more sensibly when I reflect on the obligation we are under to you for your long-continued and valuable labor in the service of the Courier. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than the ability to make you some recompense for the same, but Heaven knows I am as void of the pecuniary as of the political appliances and means to do such things. In short, there are such influences gathered round me that I must crave a very liberal forbearance from you in explaining how much I cannot do just now. I heartily wish all party politics at the devil.

In plain English, the political train of the Courier must run for the present on a single track. Don't think hard of me for saying I cannot publish your letters against old Dan. The truth is, a negotiation is now on foot for the transfer of the proprietorship of the Courier, which will place it under new management, and in this conjuncture I am restricted by business obligations from printing political matters of a certain character. This is confidential between ourselves; no one knows it but the parties concerned.

When I am free to fight on my own hook, I hope you and I may go shoulder to shoulder. Till then I must trust to your candor and good sense to put the right construction on my behavior, and, with a thousand thanks for your past services, I remain,

Yours truly,
S. Kettell.
J. S. Pike, Esq.

*Editor of The Boston Courier.

SOURCE: James Shepherd Pike, First Blows of the Civil War: The Ten Years of Preliminary Conflict in the United States from 1850 to 1860, p. 26

Sunday, July 24, 2016

John B. Floyd to Major Robert Anderson, December 21, 1860

Washington, December 21, 1860.
First Artillery, Commanding Fort Moultrie, S.C.:

SIR: In the verbal instructions communicated to you by Major Buell, you are directed to hold possession of the forts in the harbor of Charleston, and, if attacked, to defend yourself to the last extremity. Under these instructions, you might infer that you are required to make a vain and useless sacrifice of your own life and the lives of the men under your command, upon a mere point of honor. This is far from the President's intentions. You are to exercise a sound military discretion on this subject.

It is neither expected nor desired that you should expose your own life or that of your men in a hopeless conflict in defense of these forts. If they are invested or attacked by a force so superior that resistance would, in your judgment, be a useless waste of life, it will be your duty to yield to necessity, and make the best terms in your power.

This will be the conduct of an honorable, brave, and humane officer, and you will be fully justified in such action. These orders are strictly confidential, and not to be communicated even to the officers under your command, without close necessity.

Very respectfully,

This letter delivered to Major Anderson December 23, by Capt. John Withers, A. A. G.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 1 (Serial No. 1), p. 182-3.

Joseph Holt to Major Robert Anderson, February 23, 1861

WAR DEPARTMENT, February 23, 1861.
First Artillery, Commanding Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S.C.:

SIR: It is proper I should state distinctly that you hold Fort Sumter as you held Fort Moultrie, under the verbal orders communicated by Major Buell,* subsequently modified by instructions addressed to you from this Department, under date of the 21st of December, 1860.

In your letter to Adjutant-General Cooper, of the 16th instant, you say:

I should like to be instructed on a question which may present itself in reference to the floating battery, viz: What course would it be proper for me to take if, without a declaration of war or a notification of hostilities, I should see them approaching  my fort with that battery? They may attempt placing it within good distance before a declaration of hostile intention.

It is not easy to answer satisfactorily this important question at this distance from the scene of action. In my letter to you of the 10th of January I said:

You will continue, as heretofore, to act strictly on the defensive, and to avoid, by all means compatible with the safety of your command, a collision with the hostile forces by which you are surrounded.

The policy thus indicated must still govern your conduct.

The President is not disposed at the present moment to change the instructions under which you have been heretofore acting, or to occupy any other than a defensive position. If, however, you are convinced by sufficient evidence that the raft of which you speak is advancing for the purpose of making an assault upon the fort, then you would be justified on the principle of self-defense in not awaiting its actual arrival there, but in repelling force by force on its approach. If, on the other hand, you have reason to believe that it is approaching merely to take up a position at a good distance should the pending question be not amicably settled, then, unless your safety is so clearly endangered as to render resistance an act of necessary self-defense and protection, you will act with that forbearance which has distinguished you heretofore in permitting the South Carolinians to strengthen Fort Moultrie and erect new batteries for the defense of the harbor. This will be but a redemption of the implied pledge contained in my letter on behalf of the President to Colonel Hayne, in which, when speaking of Fort Sumter, it is said:

The attitude of that garrison, as has been often declared, is neither menacing, nor defiant, nor unfriendly. It is acting under orders to stand strictly on the defensive, and the government and people of South Carolina must know that they can never  receive aught but shelter from its guns, unless, in the absence of all provocation, they should assault it and seek its destruction.

A dispatch received in this city a few days since from Governor Pickens, connected with the declaration on the part of those convened at Montgomery, claiming to act on behalf of South Carolina as well as the other seceded States, that the question of the possession of the forts and other public property therein had been taken from the decision of the individual States and would probably be preceded in its settlement by negotiation with the Government of the United States, has impressed the President with a belief that there will be no immediate attack on Fort Sumter, and the hope is indulged that wise and patriotic counsels may prevail and prevent it altogether.

The labors of the Peace Congress have not yet closed, and the presence of that body here adds another to the powerful motives already existing for the adoption of every measure, except in necessary self-defense, for avoiding a collision with the forces that surround you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SOURCES: Samuel Wylie Crawford, The Genesis of the Civil War: The Story of Sumter, 1860-1861, p. 293-4; The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 1 (Serial No. 1), p. 182-3.

Captain William Thompson Lusk to Elizabeth Adams Lusk, December 20, 1861

Headquarters 2d Brigade, S. C.
Beaufort, S. C. Dec. 20th, 1861.
My dear Mother:

Here it is almost Christmas, but there is no hope of dining with you all at home on that joyful day. Still I will try to make myself cheerful here, as that alone is a comfortable philosophy. Duties are a bit lighter to-day — the result, I suppose, of great exertion for a few days back. I received last night three letters from you and one from Horace. Let me thank you, dear mother, very much for the photograph you sent me. It gives me much gratification, and now occupies a conspicuous place in my room. I shall look impatiently for the photographs likewise of my sisters and the little boys. It would do me much good to see Hunt's good-looking face, if he does feel too logy to favor my whims. You write me for my photograph, as though I was living at the seat of civilization, and the abode of elegance. Well, to be sure, I am; but then everything is in Southern style, which does not admit of such vulgar things as tradesmen, much less of itinerant shadow catchers. I have grown immensely aristocratic since in South Carolina. There is something in the air that's infectious. A few more weeks here, and I'll be able to stomach even a Bostonian, which — Oh! I had almost forgotten how soon Hall's wedding comes off; the 25th of December, Walter writes me. Do for Heaven's sake give the bride something from me. I enclose $10.00 to make the purchase. There is nothing one can possibly buy down here. Pay-day is not far off again, and I hope to be able to remit something handsome to Uncle Phelps, which may make him cry, “Oh, provident youth!” Until then Walter's baby must go without the coral and bells destined him by his affectionate Uncle William. Tell Horace I took into consideration the request he made with regard to writing a few lines to Saml. Lord, assuring him of the welfare of Miss Mintzing, concluded to do it, have done it, and think the communication will reach him.

We are quite active here at Beaufort, giving the good people on the mainland all sorts of starts. The other night a young Lieutenant crossed to the mainland with a small party, caught six of their pickets, and brought them safely back as prisoners. A captain takes a boat, glides along the shore, gets fired upon, returns the fire, and, it being his first fight, he has the agreeable sensation of seeing the enemy run. The fact is, though the people of respectability are many of them rampant, the poor whites think the war a hard thing, which they do not like to bear. So much we gathered from the prisoners taken the other night. They say that all who do not volunteer are drafted into the army, and the difference made is, that volunteers receive $25.00 for clothes, and are treated with respect, whereas drafted men get nothing but abuse. Therefore it is not difficult to see how popular volunteering must be in the South.

You will be pleased to hear that my friend William Elliott has gained perhaps the most brilliant reputation for cool courage and daring, of any man in the Army down here. He is a rare hero, and is bound to make his mark.

Give my best love to all, dear mother.


SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 109-11

Brigadier-General Isaac I. Stevens to Brigadier-General Thomas W. Sherman, December 10, 1861

Beaufort, S. C. December 10, 1861.

Brigadier-General SHERMAN,
Commanding Expeditionary Corps:

GENERAL: Lieutenant Ransom and the section of Hamilton's battery under his command moved at 3 o'clock this morning, and I followed with two members of my staff, Acting Aides-de-Camp Lusk and Taylor, of, respectively, the Highlanders and Fiftieth Pennsylvania, a half hour afterwards. We reached the ferry at daylight. I found, however, on careful examination that the Confederates had not commenced the erection of any works since our occupation of the island. After an examination of the country adjoining the ferry, especially of the old ferry at Seabrook, a mile and a half to the westward of the present ferry, I determined to take positive possession of both sides of the existing ferry, especially as an effort had been made during my absence at Seabrook to fire the ferry building on the island side. Lieutenant Ransom, bringing, under my direction, his battery into position at Stuart's place, fired four shots and dispersed the enemy's pickets, and Lieutenant-Colonel Brenholts, commanding the detachment at the ferry, advanced immediately a picket of 12 men to the ferry, and took possession of both banks, with some four boats. These have since been secured. A small block-house commanding the ferry on the main was destroyed. I left the battery at the ferry, with instructions to return to-morrow, unless, after conference with Lieutenant-Colonel Brenholts, Lieutenant Ransom should be satisfied from the unexpected developments of circumstances he ought to remain at the ferry. In this event he was promptly to advise me by messenger.

I have had the points carefully examined where it was alleged stockades were being built to close the channel. East of the ferry the attempt was actually made, but nothing was accomplished. I have, with the assistance of my aides and scouting parties, examined nearly all portions of the island to-day. The conduct of the troops is exemplary, and there will be considerable additions made to our stock of quartermaster's stores.

I am, sir, very respectfully, yours, most obediently,

 Brigadier-General Commanding.

SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 6 (Serial No. 6), p. 199-200; William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 108-9

John L. Motley to Mary Lothrop Motley, June 22, 1862

Marien Villa, Vöslau bei Wien,
June 22, 1862.

Darling Kleine Mary: Your letter of June 1 from Washington was most delightful. Every word of it was full of interest, and every sentiment expressed in it is very just and quite according to my heart. . . .  The copy of your little note from the President touched me very much. I have the most profound respect for him, which increases every day. His wisdom, courage, devotion to duty, and simplicity of character seem to me to embody in a very striking way all that is most noble in the American character and American destiny. His administration is an epoch in the world's history, and I have no more doubt than I have of my existence that the regeneration of our Republic for a long period to come will date from his proclamation calling out the first 75,000 troops more than a year ago.

That proclamation was read “amid bursts of laughter by the rebel Congress”; but people do not laugh at Abraham Lincoln now in any part of the world, whatever else they may do or say.

Your affectionate

SOURCE: George William Curtis, editor, The Correspondence of John Lothrop Motley in Two Volumes, Library Edition, Volume 2, p. 260

Saturday, July 23, 2016

William Cullen Bryant to Abraham Lincoln, December 25, 1860

New York Dec. 25, 1860
My dear Sir,

The rumor having got abroad that you have been visited by a well known politician of New York who had a good deal to do with the stock market and who took with him a plan of compromise manufactured in Wall Street, it had occurred to me that you might like to be assured of the manner in which those Republicans who have no connection with Wall Street regard a compromise of the slavery question. The feeling of decided aversion to the least concession was never stronger than it is now. The people have given their verdict and they do not expect that either their representatives in Congress or their politicians out of Congress will attempt to change or modify it in any degree. The restoration of the Missouri Compromise would disband the Republican Party. Any other concession recognizing the right of slavery to protection or even existence in the territories would disgust and discourage the large majority of Republicans in the state and cool their interest in the incoming administration down to the freezing point. Whatever else be done the slavery question, so far as it is a federal question must remain as it is or the Republican party is annihilated. Nor will any concession of the sort proposed satisfy the South. South Carolina cannot be hired to return to the Union by any thing short of the removal of all restraints on the African slave trade. To do that would convert at once into friends of the Union, a class of the Southern politicians who are now doing a great deal to foment the discontents of the South and might effect what the Wall Street managers hope to bring about by restoring the Missouri line, and give protection to slavery South of it.

You will excuse me if I say a word concerning the formation of the Cabinet. I am glad to hear that it is decided to have regard to the in its composition, to that part of the Republican party which is derived from the old democratic party. It would be most unfortunate if the Cabinet were to be so constituted as to turn the policy of the administration into the old whig channels. To instance a single branch of that policy – the policy of restraints upon trade for the advantage of the manufacturers. We of the old democratic party who are the friends of free trade are perfectly willing that this should be regarded as an open question, but we shall be placed in immediate antagonism to the administration, the moment this is made a part of its governing policy. A bigot to protection placed at the head of the Treasury department would at once open a controversy on that question which would be carried on with zeal, perhaps with heat.

You will I know excuse these suggestions. If not vile they are at least disinterested. I have not, that I know of the remotest interest in politics except that our country should be governed with wisdom and justice, and with the allowance of the largest liberty in all things consistent with good order. You will receive perhaps from me letters in favor of persons desiring some office under the federal government or see my signature to recommendations got up by them or their friends. I pray you, in all these cases to believe, that no personal favor will be conferred on me, in any possible instance by bestowing the desired office on the person whom I may recommend. What I say for them should be taken as my opinion of their fitness and nothing more.

I am, dear Sir,
very truly yours

W. C. Bryant.

P. S. In regard to the slave trade, the zeal for its restoration arises from its profitableness. Large capitals are invested in it and it is the most lucrative of all branches of commerce.

W. C. B.

Abraham Lincoln to William Cullen Bryant, December 29, 1860

Springfield, Illinois, December 29, 1860.
My dear Sir:

Yours of the 25th is duly received. The “well-known politician” to whom I understand you to allude did write me, but not press upon me any such compromise as you seem to suppose, or in fact, any compromise at all.

As to the matter of the cabinet, mentioned by you, I can only say I shall have a great deal of trouble, do the best I can.

I promise you that I shall unselfishly try to deal fairly with all men and all shades of opinion among our friends.

Yours very truly,

SOURCE: Roy P. Basler, Editor, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 4, p. 163

William Cullen Bryant to Abraham Lincoln, January 3, 1861

New York January 3d 1861.
My dear Sir,

I have this moment received your note Nothing could be more fair or more satisfactory than the principle you lay down in regard to the formation of your council of official advisers. I shall always be convinced that whatever selection you make it will be made conscientiously.

The community here had been somewhat startled this morning by the positiveness with which a report had been circulated, reaching this city from Washington that Mr. Simon Cameron was to be placed in the Treasury Department. Forgive me if I state to you how we all should regard such an appointment – I believe I may speak for all parties, except perhaps some of the most corrupt in our own – The objection to Mr. Cameron would not be that he does not opinion hold such opinions as we approve, but that there is among all who have observed the course of our public men an utter, ancient and deep seated dullness of his integrity – whether financial or political. The announcement of his appointment, if made on any authority deserving of credit would diffuse a feeling almost like despair. I have no prejudices against Mr Cameron except such as arise from observing in what transactions he has been engaged as I have reason to suppose that whatever opinion had been formed respecting him in this part of the country has been formed on perfectly impartial and disinterested grounds. I pray you, again, to excuse this my giving you this trouble. Do not reply to this letter – Only let us have honest rigidly upright men in the departments – whatever may be their notions of public policy. I am, dear Sir,

Very truly &c &c
W C Bryant
Hon. A. Lincoln.

William Cullen Bryant to Abraham Lincoln, January 4, 1861

New York January 4th 1861.
My dear Sir,

I wrote to you yesterday concerning the rumored intention to give Mr. Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania a place in the Cabinet which you are to form. I had then scarcely spoken to any body on the subject, but since that time I have heard the matter much discussed and I assure you that the general feeling is one of consternation.

Mr. Cameron has the reputation of being concerned in some of the worst intrigues of the democratic party a few years back. His name suggests to every honest Republican in this State no other than disgusting associations, and they will expect nothing from him when in office but repetition of such transactions. At present those who favor his appointment, in this State, are the men who last winter seduced our legislature into that shamefully corrupt course by which it was disgraced. If he is to form one of the Cabinet, the Treasury Department, which rumor assigns him, is the very last of the public interests which ought to be committed to his charge.

In the late election, the Republican party, throughout the Union, struggled not only to overthrow the party that sought the extension of slavery, but also to secure a pure and virtuous administration of the government. The first of these objects we have fully attained, but if such men as Mr. Cameron are to compose the Cabinet, however pure and upright the Chief Magistrate may himself be, and it is our pride and rejoicing that in the present instance we know him to be so, – we shall not have succeeded in the second.

There is no scarcity of able and upright men who would preside over the Treasury department with honor. I believe Mr. Gideon Welles of Hartford has been spoken of. There is no more truly honest man, and he is equally wise and enlightened. We have a man here in New York whom I should rejoice to see at the head of that department, Mr Opdyke, the late Republican candidate for Mayor of this city a man who had made finance the subject of long and profound study, and whom no possible temptation could move from his integrity. If a man from Pennsylvania is wanted, that State has such whose probity has never been questioned – so that there will be no need to take up with a man hackneyed in those practices which make politics a sordid game played for the promotion of personal interests.

I must again ask you to pardon this freedom for the sake of its motive. It has cost me some effort to break through my usual reserve on such matters, but I feel a greater interest in the success and honor of your administration than in that of any which have preceded it

I am dear sir, truly yours,
W C Bryant
Hon. A. Lincoln

[An extract from this letter, though misdated as February 5, 1861, may be found in Parke Godwin’s, A Biography of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 1, p. 152-3 included below:]

New York, February 5th, 1861

I wrote to you yesterday! in regard to the rumored intention of giving Mr. Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, a place in the Cabinet. I had not then spoken much with others of our party, but I have since heard the matter discussed, and the general feeling is one of consternation. Mr. Cameron has the reputation of being concerned in some of the worst intrigues of the Democratic party. His name suggests to every honest Republican in the State no other associations than these. At present, those who favor his appointment in this State are the men who last winter so shamefully corrupted our Legislature. If he is to have a place in the Cabinet at all, the Treasury department is the last of our public interests that ought to be committed to his hands.

In the last election, the Republican party did not strive simply for the control, but one of the great objects was to secure a pure and virtuous administration of the Government. In the first respect we have succeeded; but, if such men as Cameron are to form the Cabinet, we shall not have succeeded in the second. There are able men who would fill the place of Secretary of the Treasury whose integrity is tried and acknowledged. I believe Mr. Gideon Welles, of Hartford, has been spoken of. There is no more truly upright man, and few men in public life are so intelligent. If we look to New York, we have Mr. Opdyke, the late Republican candidate for Mayor of this city, a man also who has made finance a long study, and whom no temptation could cause to swerve in the least respect from the path of right. [Illegible.] . . .

SOURCES: Abraham Lincoln Papers in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Parke Godwin, A Biography of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 1, p. 152-3

John M. Forbes to Senator William P. Fessenden, November 15, 1862

Boston, November 15, 1862.

My Dear Sir, — Your note received. I must differ from you about the President. He has been in the hands of a vacillating, undecided man like Seward!

With your decided opinions, if you were once in the cabinet, he and all the political aspirants there would form into line and march to your music. Even Chase would be glad to see some one else put at the head to take the responsibility. His opinions are firm enough, but he lacks your uncompromising directness of will. The only possible doubt is your health, and you may as well die at the head of the nation a few months hence, after saving it, as at the head of the Senate a few years hence, fighting the compromisers and rebels combined.

A prominent New York man ascribes, in a private letter, the late failure there1 to Seward and his friends, and says the President ought to know and act upon it. He adds, “The accession of Mr.W. P. F. would delight me.” He [my correspondent] is a man who, perhaps, next to you, ought to be there himself, though known at the bar rather than in public life.

1 Referring to the defeat of the Republican party in New York, and the election of Seymour, the Democratic candidate for governor. — ED.

SOURCE: Sarah Forbes Hughes, Letters and Recollections of John Murray Forbes, Volume 1, p. 338

John Brown’s Address to the Citizens of Connecticut: delivered at Hartford and Canton, Connecticut, approximately March, 1857

I am trying to raise from twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars in the free States, to enable me to continue my efforts in the cause of freedom. Will the people of Connecticut, my native State, afford me some aid in this undertaking? Will the gentlemen and ladies of Hartford, where I make my first appeal in this State, set the example of an earnest effort? Will some gentleman or lady take hold and try what can be done by small contributions from counties, cities, towns, societies, or churches, or in some other way? I think the little beggar-children in the streets are sufficiently interested to warrant their contributing, if there was any need of it, to secure the object. I was told that the newspapers in a certain city were dressed in mourning on hearing that I was killed and scalped in Kansas, but I did not know of it until I reached the place. Much good it did me. In the same place I met a more cool reception than in any other place where I have stopped. If my friends will hold up my hands while I live, I will freely absolve them from any expense over me when I am dead. I do not ask for pay, but shall be most grateful for all the assistance I can get.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 379

Colonel Marshall Lefferts to Brigadier-General Benjamin F. Butler, April 22, 1861

ANNAPOLIS ACADEMY, Monday night, April 22nd, 1861

General B. F. BUTLER, Commdg. Mass. Vols.

Sir: Upon Consultation, my Officers do not deem it proper under the circumstances to co-operate in the proposed march by R. R., laying track as we go along. Particularly in view of a large force hourly expected, and with so little ammunition as we possess. I must be governed by my Officers in a matter of so much importance. I have directed this to be handed to you upon your return from the transport ship. I am, Sir,

Yours respectfully,

MARSHALL LEFFERTS, Col. 7th Regt. N. Y. Vols.

SOURCE: Jessie Ames Marshall, Editor, Private and Official Correspondence of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler During the Period of the Civil War, Volume 1: April 1860 – June 1862, p. 22-3

Major-General John A. Dix to Governor Horation Seymour, August 18, 1863

Head-quarters, Department of the East, New York City,
August 18, 1803.

His Excellency Horatio Seymour, Governor of the State of New York:

Sir,—I did not receive until last evening your letter of the 15th instant.

Immediately on my arrival in this city on the 18th ultimo I called on you with General Canby; and in a subsequent interview with you at my head-quarters I expressed the wish that the draft in this State should be executed without the employment of troops in the service of the United States. In a letter addressed to you on the 30th ultimo I renewed, more formally, the expression of this wish, and stated that if the military power of the State could be relied on to enforce the draft, in case of forcible resistance to it, I need not call on the Secretary of War for troops for that purpose. In the same spirit, when some of the Marshals in the interior applied to me for aid against threatened violence, I referred them to you, in order that they might be protected by your authority. It was my earnest wish that the Federal arm should neither be seen nor felt in the execution of the law for enrolling and calling out the national forces, but that it might be carried out under the ӕgis of the State, which has so often been interposed between the general Government and its enemies.

Not having received an answer from you, I applied to the Secretary of War on the 14th instant for a force adequate to the object. The call was promptly responded to, and I shall be ready to meet all opposition to the draft. I trust, however, that your determination, of which your letter advises me, to call into requisition the military power, if need be, to put down violations of good order, riotous proceedings, and disturbances of the public peace, as infractions of the laws of this State, will render it unnecessary to use the troops under my command for the purpose, and that their only service here may be to protect the public property and the officers of the United States in the discharge of their duties, and to give to those who intend to uphold the Government, as well as those who are seeking to subvert it, the assurance that its authority will always be firmly and effectually maintained.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John A. Dix, Major-general.*

* See Appendix, No. VII.

SOURCE: Morgan Dix, Memoirs of John Adams Dix, Volume 2, p. 83

Diary of William Howard Russell: May 23, 1861

As the mail communication has been suspended between North and South, and the Express Companies are ordered not to carry letters, I sent off my packet of despatches to-day, by Mr. Ewell, of the house of Dennistoun & Co.; and resumed my excursions through New Orleans.

The young artist, who is stopping at the St. Charles Hotel, came to me in great agitation to say his life was in danger, in consequence of his former connection with an abolition paper of New York, and that he had been threatened with death by a man with whom he had had a quarrel in Washington. Mr. Mure, to calm his apprehensions, offered to take him to the authorities of the town, who would, no doubt, protect him, as he was merely engaged in making sketches for an English periodical, but the young man declared he was in danger of assassination. He entreated Mr. Mure to give him despatches which would serve to protect him, on his way northward; and the Consul, moved by his mental distress, promised that if he had any letters of an official character for Washington he would send them by him, in default of other opportunities.

I dined with Major Ranney, the president of one of the railways, with whom Mr. Ward was stopping. Among the company were Mr. Eustis, son-in-law of Mr. Slidell; Mr. Morse, the Attorney-General of the State; Mr. Moise, a Jew, supposed to have considerable influence with the Governor, and a vehement politician; Messrs. Hunt, and others. The table was excellent, and the wines were worthy of the reputation which our host enjoys, in a city where Sallusts and Luculli are said to abound. One of the slave servants who waited at table, an intelligent yellow “boy,” was pointed out to me as a son of General Andrew Jackson.

We had a full account of the attack of the British troops on the city, and their repulse. Mr. Morse denied emphatically that there was any cotton bag fortification in front of the lines, where our troops were defeated; he asserted that there were only a few bales, I think seventy-five, used in the construction of one battery, and that they and some sugar hogsheads, constituted the sole defences of the American trench. Only one citizen applied to the State for compensation, on account of the cotton used by Jackson's troops, and he owned the whole of the bales so appropriated.

None of the Southern gentlemen have the smallest apprehension of a servile insurrection. They use the univeral formula “our negroes are the happiest, most contented, and most comfortable people on the face of the earth.” I admit I have been struck by well-clad and good-humored negroes in the streets, but they are in the minority; many look morose, ill-clad, and discontented. The patrols I know have been strengthened, and I heard a young lady the other night, say, “I shall not be a bit afraid to go back to the plantation, though mamma says the negroes are after mischief.”

SOURCE: William Howard Russell, My Diary North and South, p. 232-3

Friday, July 22, 2016

Diary of Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle: Monday, June 8, 1863

I arrived at Charleston at 5 A.M., and drove at once in an omnibus to the Charleston hotel. At nine o'clock I called at General Beauregard's office, but, to my disappointment, I found that he was absent on a tour of inspection in Florida. He is, however, expected to return in two or three days.

I then called on General Ripley, who commands the garrison and forts of Charleston. He is a jovial character, very fond of the good things of this life; but it is said that he never allows this propensity to interfere with his military duties, in the performance of which he displays both zeal and talent. He has the reputation of being an excellent artillery officer, and although by birth a Northerner, he is a red-hot and indefatigable rebel. I believe he wrote a book about the Mexican war, and after leaving the old army, he was a good deal in England, connected with the small-arms factory at Enfield, and other enterprises of the same sort. Nearly all the credit of the efficiency of the Charleston fortifications is due to him. And notwithstanding his Northern birth and occasional rollicking habits, he is generally popular.

I then called on Mr Robertson, a merchant, for whom I had brought a letter of introduction from England. This old gentleman took me a drive in his buggy at 6 P.M. It appears that at this time of year the country outside the city is quite pestilential, for when we reached the open, Mr Robertson pointed to a detached house and said, “Now, I am as fond of money as any Jew, yet I wouldn't sleep in that house for one night if you gave it to me for doing so.”

I had intended to have visited Mr Blake, an English gentleman for whom I had a letter, on his Combahee plantation, but Mr Robertson implored me to abandon this idea. Mr Robertson was full of the disasters which had resulted from a recent Yankee raid of the Combahee river. It appears that a vast amount of property had been destroyed and slaves carried off. This morning I saw a poor old planter in Mr Robertson's office, who had been suddenly and totally ruined by this raid. The raiders consisted principally of Northern armed negroes, and as they met with no Southern whites to resist them, they were able to effect their depredations with total impunity. It seems that a good deal of the land about Charleston belongs either to Blakes or Heywards. Mr Blake lost thirty negroes in the last raid, but he has lost since the beginning of the war about 150.

Mr Robertson afterwards took me to see Mrs –––, who is Mr Walter Blake's daughter. To me, who had roughed it for ten weeks to such an extent, Charleston appeared most comfortable and luxurious. But its inhabitants must, to say the least, be suffering great inconvenience. The lighting and paving of the city had gone to the bad completely. Most of the shops were shut up. Those that were open contained but very few goods, and those were at famine prices. I tried to buy a black scarf, but I couldn't find such an article in all Charleston.

An immense amount of speculation in blockade-running was going on, and a great deal of business is evidently done in buying and selling negroes, for the papers are full of advertisements of slave auctions. That portion of the city destroyed by the great fire presents the appearance of a vast wilderness in the very centre of the town, no attempt having been made towards rebuilding it; this desert space looks like the Pompeian ruins, and extends, Mr Robertson says, for a mile in length by half a mile in width. Nearly all the distance between the Mills House hotel and Charleston hotel is in this desolate state. The fire began quite by accident, but the violent wind which suddenly arose rendered all attempts to stop the flames abortive. The deserted state of the wharves is melancholy — the huge placards announcing lines of steamers to New York, New Orleans, and to different parts of the world, still remain, and give one an idea of what a busy scene they used to be. The people, however, all seem happy, contented, and determined. Both the great hotels are crowded; and well dressed, handsome ladies are plentiful; the fare is good, and the charge at the Charleston hotel is eight dollars a day.

SOURCE: Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, Three Months in the Southern States: April-June, 1863, p. 179-82

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes, April 18, 1862

A. M. Finished letter to Lucy. Must get ready to move. Put all the regiment into tents today, by one o'clock. A shower fell just after the tents were up.

Colonels Scammon and Ewing [arrived]; Lieutenant Kennedy, A. A. A. G. to Colonel Scammon, and Lieutenant Muenscher, aide, with an escort of horsemen came with them. The Thirtieth began to arrive at 2:30 P. M. They came in the rain. Major Hildt came to my quarters. I joined the regiment out in camp — the camp in front of General Beckley's residence one mile from Raleigh. Rainy all night. Our right rest on the road leading southwardly towards Princeton, the left on the graveyard of Floyd's men. The graves are neatly marked; Twentieth Mississippi, Phillips' Legion, Georgia, Fourth Louisiana, furnished the occupants. Four from one company died in one day! (November 2, 1861.)

Slept in Sibley tent. Received orders to proceed with Twenty-third, thirty [of] Captain Gilmore's Cavalry, and a section of McMullen's Battery to Princeton tomorrow at 7 A. M.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 230-1

Major Charles Fessenden Morse: September 6, 1864

Atlanta, Ga., September 6, 1864.

I take my first opportunity to write you a few words. Our corps came in here on the 2d and took possession. Colonel Coggswell was put in command of the post by General Slocum, with two regiments besides his own for guard. I was appointed Provost Marshal of the city, and have been overrun with business ever since. I have an office in the City Hall and quarters in an elegant house near by. Our corps and the Fourteenth are to occupy the defences of the city, General Slocum commanding. You can imagine my hands are full of work, being “Mayor” and answerer of all questions to the citizens of a good-sized city, besides having to look after cotton, tobacco, and other valuable stores, and arrest all marauders. However, I have got the thing in running order now, and, with my two assistants and their clerks, shall get along very well.

We shall be here a month or two, probably. Sherman and Thomas will make their headquarters here in a few days.

SOURCE: Charles Fessenden Morse, Letters Written During the Civil War, 1861-1865, p. 187-8

Major Wilder Dwight: Monday, March 24, 1862

winchester, Virginia (again), March 24, Monday.

I've only a minute in which to send you greeting. Again are we hurried by a forced march, over rough roads, to see the dregs and debris of a battle, — heaps of wounded, dying, and dead. Well, again fortune is against us. We left here on Saturday morning for Centreville. The bridge across the Shenandoah broke, and luckily delayed us. Back we were ordered at midnight of last night. An angry, bitter, well-fought fight followed, yesterday afternoon, upon an artillery duel which had occupied nearly all day. So little did any one know it was coming, that General Banks went up to Harper's Ferry at three, P. M., and the sharp fight commenced at four! The battle-ground was that on which my pickets had been posted until we left town. It seems to have been an exhibition of dogged courage by unruled and undisciplined soldiers.

So we go The lees and flatness of the sparkling goblet of victory are all that we taste. Jackson and Ashby are clever men. We are slow-w-w!

SOURCE: Elizabeth Amelia Dwight, Editor, Life and Letters of Wilder Dwight: Lieut.-Col. Second Mass. Inf. Vols., p. 215-6

Colonel William F. Bartlett, May 3, 1864

Rappahannock Station, Va., May 3, 1864.

We move to-morrow morning with the grand army of the Potomac. I have been here three days, and not found time to go over to the Twentieth, only five miles distant. My regiment is in no condition to take into action, but I must do the best I can. It will be a long and hard fight. God, I hope, will give us the victory. The chances I think are even. Grant, I fear, does not appreciate Lee's ability, nor the qualities of his army. Let us hope for the best . . . .  I am very well Give me twenty days and I could make a splendid regiment of this, but man proposes and Grant disposes. Good-by.

Ever faithfully yours.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 98

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 29, 1862

There was a rumor yesterday that the enemy were marching on Weldon; but we have no confirmation of it to-day.

Loring, after all, did not send his cavalry into Pennsylvania, I presume, since nothing has been heard of it.

The Charleston Mercury has some strictures on the President for not having Breckinridge in Kentucky, and Price in Missouri, this fall. They would doubtless have done good service to the cause. The President is much absorbed in the matter of appointments.

Gen. Wise was again ordered down the Peninsula last Saturday; and again ordered back when he got under way. They will not let him fight.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 177

Diary of Sergeant George G. Smith: August 30, 1862

Generals Butler and Dudley reviewed the brigade. After the review General Butler had the First Louisiana drawn up in close column by divisions. After complimenting them for their soldierly appearance he gave them a lecture on military discipline, closing his remarks with this sentence, “The lightnings of heaven do not fall more swiftly than will justice overtake the evil doer.” We found Camp Williams not the healthiest place in the world. Lake Ponchartrain opening out to sea, was of course affected by the tides. When the tides were in the marshes would be full of water, but when they were out the contrary would be the result, and the portions exposed covered with ooze and silt would fester and ferment in the burning sun: while on the other side was the swamp, furnishing prolific breeding grounds for the festive mosquito: It is not strange that the result should prove to be what it was. In less than a week fully one half the regiment was at the surgeons tent on sick call in the morning; there were from two to four funerals in a day. Most all the time officers were sick so that the non commissioner officers were in command of companies. The writer of this was put in command of Company A. When it left the recruiting camp, a little over four weeks before it numbered 112 enlisted men. One night, a few days before we left, but four men turned out for dress parade and other companies were in a similar condition. The First Louisiana 12th and 13th C. V., the 75 N. Y., a company of Louisiana cavalry and two batteries were brigaded, General Weitzel commanding.

SOURCE: George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 27-9

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Friday, April 15, 1864

Weather fine this forenoon but began to cloud up towards night. Major Harper has paid off the regiment to-day. The sutler is also selling off his stock of goods, as to-morrow is the time appointed for all sutlers to leave the army; looks like a move in a few days; am detailed for picket to-morrow; no letter from home to-night, am sorry to say.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 36

Diary of Corporal Charles H. Lynch: November 11, 1864

Had a very pleasant short visit at home. The regiment assembled this forenoon, soon in line, on the march through New Haven, to the railroad station. We received a great send off by the citizens of New Haven, cheering and wishing us good luck. Soon on board train bound for New York. Made good time. Marched through the city. All quiet. No toughs in sight. Mr. Lincoln's election made things quiet. Crossed the Cortlandt Street ferry to Jersey City. Soon on board train, bound for Martinsburg, which we were anxious to reach.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 134

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: August 8, 1862

Commenced "Woman in White" again. Fairly begun when I was ordered off with Capt. Smith to find a camp. Selected one up on the hill west of town. Somewhat fortified. Moved camp in the forenoon. All tired after moving. Had one meal. Continued the story. Our new site for camp overlooks a large tract of country. The horses are picketed away from the immediate vicinity of the camp so that we will be free from the dust, and be nearer water for horses.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 24

Diary of 4th Sergeant John S. Morgan: Friday May 1, 1863

At 12 M. saw the 5th Kansas cav start out. 12.30 orders to fall in line in 15 minutes with 60 ronds carts, went out 10 miles within 4 miles of where 3 comps. 3d Iowa were repulsed. met cav. scouts. No enemy near returned 2½ mile camped of the 3d Iowa. 150 were out, 3 killed 9 wounded 29 missing

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 7, January 1923, p. 488

Diary of 4th Sergeant John S. Morgan: Saturday May 2, 1863

Started for Helena at 7. A. M. arrived at Helena at 11 A. M. tired but no one hurt.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 7, January 1923, p. 488

Diary of 4th Sergeant John S. Morgan: Sunday May 3, 1863

Company inspection at 10. A. M. Preaching in the grove at the river side, day quiet.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 7, January 1923, p. 488

Diary of Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle: Sunday, June 7, 1863

Augusta is a city of 20,000 inhabitants; but its streets being extremely wide, and its houses low, it covers a vast space. No place that I have seen in the Southern States shows so little traces of the war, and it formed a delightful contrast to the war-worn, poverty-stricken, dried-up towns I had lately visited. I went to the Episcopal church, and might almost have fancied myself in England: the ceremonies were exactly the same, and the church was full of well-dressed people.

At 2 P.M. I dined at the house of Mr Carmichael, son-in-law to Bishop Elliott, who told me there were 2000 volunteers in Augusta, regularly drilled and prepared to resist raids. These men were exempted from the conscription, either on account of their age, nationality, or other cause — or had purchased substitutes. At 3 P.M. Mr Carmichael sent me in his buggy to call on Colonel Rains, the superintendent of the Government works here. My principal object in stopping at Augusta was to visit the powder manufactory and arsenal; but, to my disappointment, I discovered that the present wants of the State did not render it necessary to keep these establishments open on Sundays.

I had a long and most interesting conversation with Colonel Rains, who is a very clever, highly-educated, and agreeable officer. He was brought up at West Point, and after a short service in the United States army, he became Professor of Chemistry at the Military College. He was afterwards much engaged in the manufacture of machinery in the Northern States. At the commencement of this war, with his usual perspicacity, President Davis selected Colonel Rains as the most competent person to build and to work the Government factories at Augusta, giving him carte blanche to act as he thought best; and the result has proved the wisdom of the President's choice. Colonel Rains told me that at the beginning of the troubles, scarcely a grain of gunpowder was manufactured in the whole of the Southern States. The Augusta powder-mills and arsenal were then commenced, and no less than 7000 lb. of powder are now made every day in the powder manufactory. The cost to the Government of making the powder is only four cents a pound. The saltpetre (nine-tenths of which runs the blockade from England) cost formerly seventy-five cents, but has latterly been more expensive. In the construction of the powder-mills, Colonel Rains told me he had been much indebted to a pamphlet by Major Bradley of Waltham Abbey.

At the cannon foundry, one Napoleon 12-pounder is turned out every two days; but it is hoped very soon that one of these guns may be finished daily. The guns are made of a metal recently invented by the Austrians, and recommended to the Confederate Government by Mr Mason. They are tested by a charge of ten pounds of powder, and by loading them to the muzzle with bolts. Two hundred excellent mechanics are exempted from the conscription, to be employed at the mills. The wonderful speed with which these works have been constructed, their great success, and their immense national value, are convincing proofs of the determined energy of the Southern character, now that it has been roused; and also of the zeal and skill of Colonel Rains. He told me that Augusta had been selected as a site for these works on account of its remoteness from the probable seats of war, of its central position, and of its great facilities of transport; for this city can boast of a navigable river and a canal, besides being situated on a central railroad. Colonel Rains said, that although the Southerners had certainly been hard up for gunpowder at the early part of the war, they were still harder up for percussion caps. An immense number (I forget how many) of these are now made daily in the Government factory at Atlanta.

I left Augusta at 7 P.M. by train for Charleston. My car was much crowded with Yankee prisoners.

SOURCE: Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, Three Months in the Southern States: April-June, 1863, p. 176-8

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, April 17, 1862

Raleigh, Virginia, April 17, 1862.

Dearest: — I was made happy by your letter and the fine picture of you it contained. You seem undecided which you intended should have it, Uncle Joe or your husband. But I shall keep it. You will have to send another to Joe.

Very glad the money and everything turned out all right. I get the Commercial quite often — often enough to pay for taking it. And you paid Mr. Trenchard! Why, you are getting to be a business woman. I shall have to let the law out to you when I come home again. I do not know that I shall have an opportunity to do much for Will De Charmes, but I shall bear him in mind. If Fremont ever comes along here I may succeed.

We are still hunting bushwhackers, succoring persecuted Union men, and the like. Our intended advance was stopped by a four-days rain which, like the old four-days meeting, I began to think never would end. We are now getting ready to go on — in fact we are ready, but waiting for others. A great battle at Pittsburg [Landing] and probably not a very great victory. It will all come right, however. We are told that Captain Richardson of the Fifty-fourth was killed. You will perhaps remember him as a gigantic lieutenant of Company D, whose wife was at Camp Chase when you were there.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 229-30

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, April 18, 1862

18th, A. M. — We shall make a short march today. Letters, etc., may be directed as heretofore. Very glad to hear your talk about the boys. It is always most entertaining to me. You will be a good instructor for them. Let me hear from you as often as you can. You need not feel bound to write long letters — short ones will do. I always like your letters to be long, but I don't want you to put off writing because your time will not allow you to write long ones.

It begins to look like spring at last. We are on very elevated ground. The season is weeks later than in the valley of the Kanawha.

Kiss all the boys. Love to Grandma. I wish so much to be with you all. I think of you constantly and with much happiness and love. Good-bye.

Affectionately, your

P. S. — 18th, P. M. I am ordered to advance to Princeton tomorrow morning, in command of [the] Twenty-third, a section of McMullen's Battery, and a squadron of cavalry. We are all delighted with this plan.

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 230

Major Charles Fessenden Morse: August 30, 1864

Near Railroad Bridge, C HattAhoochIe,
August 30, 1864.

We have changed our base, as you may perceive. On the night of the 25th, we learned that our corps was to go back to the river and hold a strong “tête du pont covering the bridges and ferries, while the remainder of the army made a grand movement towards the right to get position on the Macon Railroad. Our move was executed very well, all the caissons and wagons going to the rear on the night of the 25th, the troops remaining in position during the next day and moving back at night.

Our division holds a very strong line, covering the railroad bridge and two important wooden ones for wagons. We have made ourselves very strong here, with good earthworks and timber slashed into an impenetrable abattis for five hundred yards in our front, and are now ready for any part of the rebel army that sees fit to attack us. Hood will probably have all he wants on his hands, to look after Sherman and his communications. The 27th was a bright day in our calendar. On that day, General Slocum returned and took command; he rode along our position, and was received with the greatest enthusiasm by the whole line. I had a chance to shake hands with him and say a few words. He is looking finely. I set him down now as one of the very best generals in the whole army, and I think time will prove him so. He is, in every way, a good soldier, and what is better, a true man, devoid of humbug and “rich in saving common sense.” Professional bummers and loafers must make themselves scarce now, and men who do their duty will be recognized once more.

SOURCE: Charles Fessenden Morse, Letters Written During the Civil War, 1861-1865, p. 186-7

Major Wilder Dwight: March 21, 1862

camp Near Winchester, Virginia, March 21, 1862.

If you had looked upon our camp at sunrise reveillé, this morning, you would have seen a dreary, wintry picture. The mules gathered closely about their wagons in the scourging snow-storm with sullen endurance, their tails drawn tightly down, and standing in a vicious attitude of expectant kicking. The horses crossly laying back their ears with half-closed eyes and hanging necks. The soldiers standing up to their roll-call in the attitude of the traveller in the spelling-book, against whom the wind is striving to gain the victory of the fable. The ground whiter than the morning's early light, but only serving to darken the tents into a cheerless and gloomy hue. The air itself thick with snow and sleet. The camp-fires just beginning to smoke, and men hopelessly endeavoring to allure a blaze from black coals and dripping wood. The camp-kettles and mess-pans crusted with ice, suggestive of anything else than a warm breakfast. Would you not expect every mind of the thousand men, remembering also their two thousand wet feet, to be in harmony with the scene? Yet, I know not how it is, from some inherent perverseness perhaps, I was in excellent spirits.

The order has now come to march. Our destination is Centreville, en route, perchance, for the enemy. At any rate, I have grown philosophical again.

I buried hope yesterday, had a glorious wake, and resolved to sink every other wish in the absorbing one of the progress of the war without or with the Massachusetts Second, as it may happen.

We cross the Shenandoah at Snicker's Gap. The march is one of about sixty miles, and will occupy at least four days.

General Banks, who has just returned from Washington, seems in good spirits. He gives, however, a depressing account of the Congressional and political folly which continues to assail McClellan. If McClellan were all they charge him to be, their lips should be sealed.

Every good man will now seek to strengthen the hand and animate the purpose of the General under whose guidance the decisive campaign begins

The weather is breaking away, and promises no very severe penance for our march, though it is not fun that is before us next week. No news yet of Howard, I suppose. It is clear that he has been in one of the hottest battles of the war. You will not hear from me again till Centreville probably.

SOURCE: Elizabeth Amelia Dwight, Editor, Life and Letters of Wilder Dwight: Lieut.-Col. Second Mass. Inf. Vols., p. 214-5