Monday, June 26, 2017

William Henry Gilliam to William Still, June 8, 1854

St. Catherine, Canada, June 8th, 1854.

MR. STILL, DEAR FRIEND: — I received a letter from the poor old widow, Mrs. L. E. White, and she says I may come back if I choose and she will do a good part by me. Yes, yes I am choosing the western side of the South for my home. She is smart, but cannot bung my eye, so she shall have to die in the poor house at last, so she says, and Mercer and myself will be the cause of it. That is all right. I am getting even with her now for I was in the poor house for twenty-five years and have just got out. And she said she knew I was coming away six weeks before I started, so you may know my chance was slim. But Mr. John Wright said I came off like a gentleman and he did not blame me for coming for I was a great boy. Yes I here him enough he is all gas. I am in Canada, and they cannot help themselves.

About that subject I will not say anything more. You must write to me as soon as you can and let me here the news and how the Family is and yourself. Let me know how the times is with the U G. R. R. Co. Is it doing good business? Mr. Dykes sends his respects to you. Give mine to your family.

Your true friend,

SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 59

Edwin Morton to Franklin B. Sanborn, April 18, 1859

April 18.

Brown left on Thursday the 14th, and was to be at North Elba to-morrow the 19th. Thence he goes “in a few days” to you.1 He says he must not be trifled with, and shall hold Boston and New Haven to their word. New Haven advises him to forfeit five hundred dollars he has paid on a certain contract, and drop it. He will not. From here he went in good spirits, and appeared better than ever to us, barring an affection of the right side of his head. I hope he will meet hearty encouragement elsewhere. Mr. Smith gave him four hundred dollars, I twenty-five, and we took some ten dollars at the little meeting. . . . “L’expérience démontre, avec toute l'evidence possible, que c'est la société que prépare le crime, et que le coupable n'est que l'instrument que l'exécute.” Do you believe Quetelet?

1 He actually reached [Sanborn’s] house in Concord, Saturday, May 7, and spent half his last birthday with me.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 467-8

Diary of Gideon Welles: Thursday, July 16, 1863

It is represented that the mob in New York is about subdued. Why it was permitted to continue so long and commit such excess has not been explained. Governor Seymour, whose partisans constituted the rioters, and whose partisanship encouraged them, has been in New York talking namby-pamby. This Sir Forcible Feeble is himself chiefly responsible for the outrage.

General Wool, unfitted by age for such duties, though patriotic and well-disposed, has been continued in command there at a time when a younger and more vigorous mind was required. In many respects General Butler would at this time have best filled that position. As a municipal and police officer he has audacity and certain other qualities in which most military men are deficient, while as a general in the field he is likely to accomplish but little. He, or any one else, would need martial law at such a time, and with such element, in a crowded and disorderly city like New York. Chase tells me there will probably be a change and that General Dix will succeed General Wool. The selection is not a good one, but the influences that bring it about are evident. Seward and Stanton have arranged it. Chase thinks McDowell should have the position. He is as good, perhaps, as any of the army officers for this mixed municipal military duty.

Lee's army has recrossed the Potomac, unmolested, carrying off all its artillery and the property stolen in Pennsylvania. When I ask why such an escape was permitted, I am told that the generals opposed an attack. What generals? None are named. Meade is in command there; Halleck is General-in-Chief here. They should be held responsible. There are generals who, no doubt, will acquiesce without any regrets in having this war prolonged.

In this whole summer's campaign I have been unable to see, hear, or obtain evidence of power, or will, or talent, or originality on the part of General Halleck. He has suggested nothing, decided nothing, done nothing but scold and smoke and scratch his elbows. Is it possible the energies of the nation should be wasted by the incapacity of such a man?

John Rodgers of the Weehawken was here to-day. He is, I think, getting from under the shadow of Du Pont's influence.

Mr. Hooper and Mr. Gooch have possessed themselves of the belief — not a new one in that locality — that the Representatives of the Boston and Charlestown districts are entitled to the custody, management, and keeping of the Boston Navy Yard, and that all rules, regulations, and management of that yard must be made to conform to certain party views of theirs and their party friends.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 372-4
To-day I received a letter from Wm. N. Grover saying certain of his friends had agreed to press his name for Judge of the District Court, Western Missouri, in place of Judge Welles. He adds, however, that, in case Judge Bates, Attorney-General, should desire the appointment, he would not stand in his way, believing that Bate’s appointment would be very advantageous and satisfactory to the Union people of the State. He requested me to make this known both to Mr. Bates and the President. I read his letter to the President, and, at the same time referred to the recent indiscreet announcement made by Cameron, that in the event of a reelection the President would call around him fresh and earnest men. He said: “They need not be especially savage about a change. There are now only three left of the original Cabinet with the Government.” He added that he rather thought he would appoint Mr. Bates to the vacant judgeship if he desired it. He said he would be troubled to fill his place in the Cabinet from Missouri, especially from among the radicals. I thought it would not be necessary to confine himself to Missouri; that he might do better farther South by taking Mr. Holt from Kentucky.

He did not seem to have thought of that before. But said at once: “That would do very well; that would be an excellent appointment. I question if I could do better than that. . . . I had always thought, though I had never mentioned it to anyone, that if a vacancy should occur in the Supreme Bench in any Southern District, I would appoint him, . . . but giving him a place in the Cabinet would not hinder that.”

I told him I should show Grover’s letter to Judge Bates, to which he assented.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 230-2; Michael Burlingame and John R. Turner Ettlinger, Editors, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 234-5.

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard: Received October 31, 1862

Columbus, October 31, 1862.

Dear Uncle: — Lucy has had a pretty severe attack of diphtheria. For three or four days she was in a good deal of pain and could neither swallow nor talk. Yesterday and today she has been able to sit up, and is in excellent spirits. We expect to return to Cincinnati next week, and in a week or ten days after I shall probably go to the Twenty-third. My arm has improved the last week more than any time before.

You are glad to hear so good an account of Ned! Lucy says you ought to be glad to hear so good an account of her! That she drove him so skillfully, she thinks a feat.

Unless you come down here by Monday next, we shall be gone home. Laura is looked for with her spouse tomorrow.


SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 363

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: May 14, 1864

A band of music came from Macon yesterday to attend the picnic. A large crowd of women were present to grace the occasion. The grounds on which the festivities were held lay a mile off and in sight of all. In the evening a Bowery dance was one of the pleasures enjoyed. “The Girl I Left Behind Me,” was about all they could play, and that very poorly.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 57

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: May 22, 1863

A letter from Gen. Howell Cobb, declining the offer of the Secretary of War, of the position of Quartermaster-General, was received to-day. His wife is ill, and he prefers to remain with her; besides, he doubts his qualifications — he, who was Secretary of the Treasury of the United States! He says, moreover, referring to the imperfect ordnance stores of his brigade, that there can be no remedy for this so long as Col. G. is the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. So Col. Myers is to be disposed of at last, and Col. G. has but an uncertain tenure.

We have sad rumors from Vicksburg. Pemberton, it is said, was flanked by Grant, and lost 30 guns, which he abandoned in his retreat. Where Johnston is, is not stated. But, it is said, Vicksburg is closely invested, and that the invaders are closing in on all sides. There is much gloom and despondency in the city among those who credit these unofficial reports. It would be a terrible blow, but not necessarily a fatal one, for the war could be prolonged indefinitely.

I met with Robt. Tyler to-day, who offers to wager something that Gen. Stuart will be in Philadelphia in a fortnight, and he said there was a proposition to stop the publication of newspapers, if the President would agree to it, as they gave information to the enemy, and at such a time as this did no good whatever. He thinks they are on the eve of revolution in the North, and referred to Gov. Seymour's letter, read at a public meeting in New York.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 329

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Monday, October 31, 1864

Stormed this forenoon; went up to see Nate and Ardelia Harrington and remained all night; called on Mrs. Patterson and Mr. Hiram Blanchard's family. Captain L. D. Thompson's remains arrived at Waterbury this evening; funeral tomorrow; cold tonight; army news good this evening.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 226

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: April 7, 1862

Headquarters 7th Illinois Cavalry,
In a very fine House,
Point Pleasant, Mo., April 7, 1862.

If this isn’t fine your brother is incapable of judging. Cozy brick house, damask curtains, legged bedsteads, splendid tables and chairs, big looking glass, and everything just as fine as a peacock’s tail. I do wish you could have been with me the last two days. They've been two of the best days of my life. (During the storm of Saturday night, the 5th instant, one of the gunboats ran by Island 10.” I heard of it early Sunday morning, and got put a pass for Andy Hulit and myself to look for forage, intending, of course, to ride down to the river and watch the gunboat as we knew there'd be fun if she attempted to run below Madrid. We rode up the river about, six miles (half way) to a point that expends into the river on our side, and got there just as the boat did. ’Twas the “Carondelet,” and indeed she looked like an old friend. The sight of her did me more good than any amount of furloughs could. At this point, I spoke of, we have three batteries within a half-mile, and there were two Rebel batteries visible right at the water's edge, opposite. We just got there in time to see the ball open. Besides the two secesh batteries visible, they opened from four others masked by the brush and. trees, and hitherto unknown to us. Their six, our three, the gunboats, all firing together made by far the grandest thing I ever witnessed. I suppose there were from 30 to 40 guns used, and at least a half thousand shots fired. Andy and I were on a little rise of ground a couple of hundred yards from our main battery and where we could see every shot fired and its effect. There were lots of shots fell around that battery, but none near enough us to be disagreeable. About an hour’s fighting silenced the Rebel batteries, and that fun was over. Our boat didn't go over to them at that time, but came into our shore and laid up. She was not struck once, nor was there a man hurt on our side. Andy and I rode out in the country and got our dinners with a friend of mine, and. about 3. p. m. started home. We just got back here' as the gunboat was preparing to attack the batteries immediately opposite here. She ran down the river off our side, a mile below their guns and then turning her bow sqare toward the enemy, started for them and commenced firing, we could see every motion of the Rebel gunners plainly, and they worked like men, until the boat got within about 300 yards of them, when they broke, and I tell you they used their legs to advantage; all but one and he walked away with his arms folded perfectly at ease. There's an immense sight of enjoyment in witnessing such fights as these. Well, I saw another fight this morning, but ’twas too far off for interest, after what I saw yesterday. Two more gunboats came down last night in the rain and darkness past the island. This fight this morning was commenced by the Carondelet, on a five-gun battery, only four miles below and across from Madrid. She called the Louisville to her aid, and then one walked up on the battery from below and the other from above. It is grand to see these gunboats walk into the enemy. They go at them as though they were going fight on land, if the Rebels would stay there. (One hour later, 9 p. m.)

Just as I finished the last period, an artillery captain came dashing up through the door, just from Madrid, and wanted to know where the gunboats were. He said that the Rebel floating battery, that has been lying at Island 10, was floating down and the transports were afraid to try and bring her into land, and he wanted to notify the gunboats so they could catch her. We told him they had gone down to Palmer's division, six miles below, and away he went. I've been out waiting to see her pass, but she hasn't arrived yet. He said she was not more than three miles above. All such items help to make soldiering interesting. Our three transports have taken 20,000 troops over into Tennessee since 9:30 this a. m. I call that good work. Colonel Kellogg has gone over with Pope to see the battle, if there is any. These Rebels don't begin to fight a gun equal to our boys, and all the people here say so. I really do not believe they have the “bullet-pluck” that our men show. Our regiment is left here alone in its glory. We're occupying the town, enjoying life, and having all the fun we want. I killed a mosquito to-night, and it brought up such disagreeable thoughts that I couldn't eat supper. If they don't eat my surplus flesh off me, I know I'll fret myself lean as they increase. The colonel got back yesterday. You ought to have seen him look at the eatables last night, and shaking his head with disgust, go back to his tent without touching a bite. The first camp meal after a furlough I suppose isn't particularly delightful. There's no telling whether there'll be a fight to-morrow or not. We'll probably not assist if there is. But after the fight is over and the victory won we'll come in and chase the Rebels until they scatter. The infantry do the heavy, dirty work and get the honor, and we have all the fun and easy times there are going. I'm willing. I'd rather scout and skirmish than anything I know of, and am perfectly willing to let the infants do the heavy fighting, for they only make an artillery target of us when we're brought on battle fields.

There wouldn't be much left of my letters if I'd leave out the war gossip! Forty of the Rebels deserted and came to our gunboats to-day. Sergeant Wells, who while over there is a spy, was taken prisoner the other day, escaped to our gunboats. It saved his neck.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 78-81

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: May 24, 1863

In the morning early issued potatoes and beef. Thede felt a little better. After breakfast got water and helped him bathe. Bathed myself and changed clothes. Read Independents and Congregationalist. Word that chaplain would preach at 5 P. M. but ne'er a sermon. Report came that Grant had defeated Pemberton. Wrote home. Made thickened milk. Slept with Thede.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 70

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Letter of John H. Hill to William Still

MY FRIEND, I would like to hear from you, I have been looking for a letter from you for several days as the last was very interesting to me, please to write Right away.

Yours most Respectfully,
John H. Hill.

SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 58

Edwin Morton to Franklin B. Sanborn, Wednesday Evening, April 13, 1859

Wednesday Evening, April 13, 1859.

You must hear of Brown's meeting this afternoon, — few in numbers, but the most interesting I perhaps ever saw. Mr. Smith spoke well; G. W. Putnam read a spirited poem; and Brown was exceedingly interesting, and once or twice so eloquent that Mr. Smith and some others wept. Some one asked him if he had not better apply himself in another direction, and reminded him of his imminent peril, and that his life could not be spared. His replies were swift and most impressively tremendous. A paper was handed about, with the name of Mr. Smith for four hundred dollars, to which others added. Mr. Smith, in the most eloquent speech I ever heard from him, said: “If I were asked to point out — I will say it in his presence — to point out the man in all this world I think most truly a Christian, I would point to John Brown.” I was once doubtful in my own mind as to Captain Brown's course. I now approve it heartily, having given my mind to it more of late.1

1 When I first met Brown at Peterboro', in 1858, Morton played some fine music to us in the parlor, — among other things Schubert's “Serenade,” then a favorite piece, — and the old Puritan, who loved music and sang a good part himself, sat weeping at the air.

“Northward he turneth through a little door,
And scarce three steps ere music's golden tongue
Flattered to tears this aged man and poor.
But, no; already had his death-bell rung;
The Joys of all his life were said and sung."

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 467

Diary of Gideon Welles: Wednesday, July 15, 1863

We have the back mails this morning. The papers are filled with accounts of mobs, riots, burnings, and murders in New York. There have been outbreaks to resist the draft in several other places. This is anarchy, — the fruit of the seed sown by the Seymours and others. In New York, Gov. Horatio Seymour is striving — probably earnestly now — to extinguish the flames he has contributed to kindle. Unless speedy and decisive measures are taken, the government and country will be imperiled. These concerted outbreaks and schemes to resist the laws must not be submitted to or treated lightly. An example should be made of some of the ringleaders and the mob dispersed. It is reported that the draft is ordered to be stopped. I hope this is untrue. If the mob has the ascendency and controls the action of the government, lawful authority has come to an end. In all this time no Cabinet-meeting takes place.

Seward called on me to-day with the draft of a Proclamation for Thanksgiving on the 29th inst. With Meade's failure to capture or molest Lee in his retreat and with mobs to reject the laws, it was almost a mockery, yet we have much to be thankful for. A wise Providence guards us and will, it is hoped, overrule the weakness and wickedness of men and turn their misdeeds to good.

I have dispatches this evening from Admiral Dahlgren with full report of operations on Morris Island. Although not entirely successful, his dispatch reads much more satisfactorily than the last ones of Du Pont.

We hear through Rebel channels of the surrender of Port Hudson. It was an inevitable necessity, and the rumors correspond with our anticipations.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 371-2

Diary of John Hay: September 29, 1864

. . . . Webster has just returned here from the North. He says New York is absolutely safe; that Weed is advising his friends to bet; that Dean Richmond is despondent — saying the Democratic party are half traitors.

Things looked very blue a month ago. A meeting was held in New York (to which Geo.Wilkes refers) of Union men opposed to Lincoln, and it was resolved that he should be requested to withdraw from the canvass. But Atlanta and the response of the country to the Chicago infamy set matters right. . . . .

Grant is moving on Lee. This morning early the President telegraphed to Grant expressing his anxiety that Lee should not reinforce Early against Sheridan. Grant answered that he had taken measures to prevent it by attacking Lee himself. He is moving in two columns; Ord south, and Birney north of the James. Stanton was much excited on hearing the news and said “he will be in Richmond to-night.” “No,” said the President; “Halleck, what do you think?” Halleck answered that he would not be surprised if he got either Richmond or Petersburg by the manoeuvre.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 229-30; Michael Burlingame and John R. Turner Ettlinger, Editors, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 234.

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard: Received October 23, 1862

Columbus, October 23, 1862.

Dear Uncle: — Laura married and off yesterday — all sensible and happy. We had a delightful visit to the boys and kin at Pickaway and Ross Counties. Lucy drove young Ned to Chillicothe and back from here. He is a safe horse and Platt expects to send him back to you when he begins to use his colt. My arm mends very slowly. Mother and all here well. I am to be colonel of [the] Twenty-third and to go to western Virginia. Shan't go for seme weeks. Lucy goes home to Cincinnati next week — about the last of the week. My regards to all.

R. B. Hayes.
S. Birchard.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 362

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: May 13, 1864

Rainy morning. We are guarded by an Alabama regiment, who are about to leave for the front. Georgia militia to take their places. Making preparations for a grand picnic outside, given by the citizens of the vicinity to the troops about to leave. I must here tell a funny affair that has happened to me, which, although funny is very annoying. Two or three days before I was captured I bought a pair of cavalry boots of a teamster named Carpenter. The boots were too small for him and just fitted me. Promised to pay him on “pay day,” we not having been paid off in some time. We were both taken prisoners and have been in the same hundred ever since. Has dunned me now about 1,850 times, and has always been mad at not getting his pay Sold the boots stortly after being captured and gave him half the receipts, and since that have paid him in rations and money as I could get it, until about sixty cents remain unpaid, and that sum is a sticker He is my evil genius, and fairly haunts the life out of me. Whatever I may get trusted for in after life, it shall never be for a pair of boots. Carpenter is now sick with scurvy, and I am beginning to get the same disease hold of me again. Battese cut my hair which was about a foot long. Gay old cut. Many have long hair, which, being never combed, is matted together and full of vermin. With sunken eyes, blackened countenances from pitch pine smoke, rags and disease, the men look sickening The air reeks with nastiness, and it is wonder that we live at all. When will relief come to us?

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 57

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: May 21, 1863

There was a rumor on the street last night that Gen. Johnston had telegraphed the President that it would be necessary to evacuate Vicksburg. This has not been confirmed to-day, and I do not believe it. It would be irremediably disastrous.

Mr. N. S. Walker writes from Bermuda, May 11th, 1863, that seventeen additional British regiments have been ordered to Canada. A large amount of ordnance and ordnance stores, as well as several war steamers, have likewise been sent thither. He states, moreover, that United States vessels are having their registers changed. Does this really mean war?

Strawberries were selling in market this morning at $4 for less than a pint. Coal $25 per load, and wood $30 per cord.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 329

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Sunday, October 30, 1864

A beautiful day; have been to church twice. Mr. Bliss preached two excellent sermons. He always preaches well; is a remarkably gifted, brainy, interesting speaker from the pulpit. Dr. Carpenter's funeral was this afternoon from the Congregational Church. Mr. Beckley's funeral services were attended this afternoon from the M. E. Church; beautiful evening; have been up to the cemetery with Mr. and Mrs. Mower.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 226

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: April 5, 1862

April 5, 1862, — One of our boys has just returned from Madrid and says he saw our gunboat Cairo there. She slipped by the batteries at Island No. 10 in the storm last night. Mosquitoes here already.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 78

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: May 23, 1863

Drew rations for the 7th Ohio. Got rations over for the remainder of the month. Potatoes and beans. Thede went out a mile or so with the horses and came back used up. Looks miserable. Eyes glaring and face emaciated. Made me frightened. Had the doctor look at him. Gave some rhubarb, uneasy during the night, cramps. Slept with him. Wrote to Fannie.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 70

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Robert Bogardus Snowden

ROBERT BOGARDUS SNOWDEN, financier, Memphis, Tenn., son of John Bayard Snowden, one of the early settlers and the leading dry goods merchant of Nashville, was born in New York city, May 24, 1836, at the home of his grandfather, Gen. Robert Bogardus. He is a descendant of Everardus Bogardus, the Dominie, who married Anneke Jans, and, through his grandmother, Susan Bayard Breese, is of the kin of Judge Sidney Breese, of Illinois Admiral Breese of the Navy, and Samuel Finley Breese Morse, inventor of the telegraph. The subject of this sketch graduated from a Western military institute in 1855, and engaged in the wholesale grocery business in New Orleans with the firm of Dyas & Co. In 1856, he joined the local vigilance committee, and took part in the scrimmage with the “thugs” at Jackson square. In 1858, Mr. Snowden went into business in Nashville, under the name of R. B. Snowden & Co., and, in 1861, was commissioned Adjutant of the 1st Tenn. Vols., and served with distinction until the end of the Civil War. After service in Virginia, he went through the Kentucky campaign as Adjutant General on Gen. Bushrod R. Johnson's staff, and, in the battle of Murfreesboro, Tenn., won promotion to the command of the 25th Tenn., as Lieutenant Colonel, by desperate, gallant and persistent fighting, this being followed with promotion to the rank of Colonel and being one of the few occasions in which a staff officer was advanced over officers of the line. After further active and gallant services in Tennessee and Virginia, during which he often commanded his brigade, Colonel Snowden was surrendered with Lee at Appomattox. After the War, he engaged in business in New York city as an importer, under the style of Snowden & Riva. In 1870, he removed to Memphis, and has since been occupied with land, real estate, banking, turnpike, insurance, street railroad and other enterprises. He is president of The George Peabody Real Estate & Improvement Co. Colonel Snowden commanded the Interstate encampment in Memphis in May, 1895, and was made a Major General of militia. In 1868, he married Miss Annie Overton, daughter of Robert C. Brinkley and granddaughter of John Overton, the original proprietor and founder of Memphis.

SOURCE: Henry Hall, Editor, America's Successful Men of Affairs: The United States at Large, Volume 2, p. 736-7

Thomas Overton Moore

This gentleman was a North Carolinian. The esteem in which his family were held in their native State is evidenced by the naming of Moore County for them. Governor Moore's grandfather on the distaff side was General Thomas Overton, who held the position of major during the Revolutionary War under General Lee's father. He acted as Second for General Jackson in a duel, and his son, General Walter H. Overton, was aid to Jackson at New Orleans.

When Governor Moore came to Louisiana he settled in Rapides Parish as a cotton planter, and was sent from there to the State Senate in 1856, where his political course was so creditable he was elected Governor on the Democratic ticket of 1860. Early in his administration “he convened the Legislature in extra session to determine the course Louisiana should pursue in view of the evident determination of the General Government to destroy the institution of slavery.”

Through Governor Moore's advice a convention was called by the Legislature, at Baton Rouge, on the 23d of January, 1861. The 26th of the same month the Convention passed the Ordinance of Secession and Louisiana bid farewell to the Union. Thus were fulfilled the prophetic warnings of every Governor who had controlled the State for during more than forty years, beginning with Governor Robertson, in 1820. No sooner had the decree of Secession been declared than Governor Moore ordered Adjutant General Grivot to organize the militia force of the State, consisting of 24,000 men, ready for active service. With these troops the military posts and garrisons within the State were taken possession of, with many thousands of stands of arms and immense quantities of ammunition. A Soldiers' Relief Association was formed, and free markets opened in New Orleans. Governor Moore compelled the banks to suspend specie payments, even though by this move they forfeited their charters, as he considered this necessary for their protection. Being petitioned by many cotton factors of New Orleans to issue an order forbidding the introduction of cotton within its limits, he did so, although such a course was not guaranteed by law of any kind but that of practical sense and emergency of circumstance. When, by the disastrous fate of war, New Orleans passed under Federal control, in 1862, Governor Moore called together the Legislature at Opelousas; the quorum of members being small they were reassembled at Shreveport. Here his official term drew to a close, and he passed the scepter of State Government on to his successor, the brave and gallant Allen.

Governor Moore cannot be described better than in the words of Meynier: “He was remarkable for his truthfulness and strict integrity as well as for the purity of his private life. His disposition was fiery, and, politically a democrat, he believed in the precepts of Jefferson and Jackson, being a great admirer of the General's determination whose example he followed in his gubernatorial career.”

Governor Moore's life ended at his home in Rapides Parish, June, 1876, aged seventy-one.

SOURCE: Mrs. Eugene Soniat du Fossat, Biographical Sketches of Louisiana's Governors, p. 37-8

William Henry Gilliam, May 15, 1854

St. CATHARINES, C. W., MAY 15th, 1854.

MY DEAR FRIEND:- I receaved yours, Dated the 10th and the papers on the 13th, I also saw the pice that was in Miss Shadd's paper About me. I think Tolar is right  About my being in A free State, I am and think A great del of it. Also I have no compassion on the penniless widow lady, I have Served her 25 yers 2 months, I think that is long Enough for me to live A Slave. Dear Sir, I am very sorry to hear of the Accadent that happened to our Friend Mr. Meakins, I have read the letter to all that lives in St. Catharines, that came from old Virginia, and then I Sented to Toronto to Mercer & Clayton to see, and to Farman to read fur themselves. Sir, you must write to me soon and let me know how Meakins gets on with his tryal, and you must pray for him, I have told all here to do the same for him. May God bless and protect him from prison, I have heard A great del of old Richmond and Norfolk. Dear Sir, if you see Mr. or Mrs. Gilbert Give my love to them and tell them to write to me, also give my respect to your Family and A part for yourself, love from the friends to you Soloman Brown, H. Atkins, Was. Johnson, Mrs Brooks, Mr. Dykes. Mr. Smith is better at presant. And do not forget to write the News of Meakin‘s tryal. I cannot say any more at this time; but remain yours and A true Friend ontell Death.

W. H. GILLIAM, the widow's Mite.

SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 57-8

Gerrit Smith to Franklin B. Sanborn, July 26, 1858

Peterboro', July 26, 1858.
Mr. F. B. Sanborn.

My Dear Sir, — I have your letter of the 23d instant. I have great faith in the wisdom, integrity, and bravery of Captain Brown. For several years I have frequently given him money toward sustaining him in his contests with the slave-power. Whenever he shall embark in another of these contests I shall again stand ready to help him; and I will begin with giving him a hundred dollars. I do not wish to know Captain Brown's plans; I hope he will keep them to himself. Can you not visit us this summer? We shall he very glad to see you.

With great regard, your friend,
Gerrit Smith.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 466

Diary of Gideon Welles: Tuesday, July 14, 1863

We have accounts of mobs, riots, and disturbances in New York and other places in consequence of the Conscription Act. Our information is very meagre; two or three mails are due; the telegraph is interrupted. There have been powerful rains which have caused great damage to the railroads and interrupted all land communication between this and Baltimore.

There are, I think, indubitable evidences of concert in these riotous movements, beyond the accidental and impulsive outbreak of a mob, or mobs. Lee's march into Pennsylvania, the appearance of several Rebel steamers off the coast, the mission of A. H. Stephens to Washington, seem to be parts of one movement, have one origin, are all concerted schemes between the Rebel leaders and Northern sympathizing friends, — the whole put in operation when the Government is enforcing the conscription. This conjunction is not all accidental, but parts of a great plan. In the midst of all this and as a climax comes word that Lee's army has succeeded in recrossing the Potomac. If there had been an understanding between the mob conspirators, the Rebels, and our own officers, the combination of incidents could not have been more advantageous to the Rebels.

The Cabinet-meeting was not full to-day. Two or three of us were there, when Stanton came in with some haste and asked to see the President alone. The two were absent about three minutes in the library. When they returned, the President's countenance indicated trouble and distress; Stanton was disturbed, disconcerted. Usher asked Stanton if he had bad news. He said, “No.” Something was said of the report that Lee had crossed the river. Stanton said abruptly and curtly he knew nothing of Lee's crossing. “I do,” said the President emphatically, with a look of painful rebuke to Stanton. “If he has not got all of his men across, he soon will.”

The President said he did not believe we could take up anything in Cabinet to-day. Probably none of us were in a right frame of mind for deliberation; he was not. He wanted to see General Halleck at once. Stanton left abruptly. I retired slowly. The President hurried and overtook me. We walked together across the lawn to the Departments and stopped and conversed a few moments at the gate. He said, with a voice and countenance which I shall never forget, that he had dreaded yet expected this; that there has seemed to him for a full week a determination that Lee, though we had him in our hands, should escape with his force and plunder. “And that, my God, is the last of this Army of the Potomac! There is bad faith somewhere. Meade has been pressed and urged, but only one of his generals was for an immediate attack, was ready to pounce on Lee; the rest held back. What does it mean, Mr. Welles? Great God! what does it mean?” I asked what orders had gone from him, while our troops had been quiet with a defeated and broken army in front, almost destitute of ammunition, and an impassable river to prevent their escape. He could not say that anything positive had been done, but both Stanton and Halleck professed to agree with him and he thought Stanton did. Halleck was all the time wanting to hear from Meade. “Why,” said I, “he is within four hours of Meade. Is it not strange that he has not been up there to advise and encourage him?” I stated I had observed the inertness, if not incapacity, of the General-in-Chief, and had hoped that he, who had better and more correct views, would issue peremptory orders. The President immediately softened his tone and said: “Halleck knows better than I what to do. He is a military man, has had a military education. I brought him here to give me military advice. His views and mine are widely different. It is better that I, who am not a military man, should defer to him, rather than he to me.” I told the President I did not profess to be a military man, but there were some things on which I could form perhaps as correct an opinion as General Halleck, and I believed that he, the President, could more correctly, certainly more energetically, direct military movements than Halleck, who, it appeared to me, could originate nothing, and was, as now, all the time waiting to hear from Meade, or whoever was in command.

I can see that the shadows which have crossed my mind have clouded the President's also. On only one or two occasions have I ever seen the President so troubled, so dejected and discouraged.

Two hours later I went to the War Department. The President lay upon a sofa in Stanton's room, completely absorbed, overwhelmed with the news. He was, however, though subdued and sad, calm and resolute. Stanton had asked me to come over and read Dana's1 report of the materials found at Vicksburg. The amount is very great, and the force was large. Thirty-one thousand two hundred prisoners have been paroled. Had Meade attacked and captured the army above us, as I verily believe he might have done, the Rebellion would have been ended. He was disposed to attack, I am told, but yielded to his generals, who were opposed. If the war were over, those generals would drop into subordinate positions.

1 Charles A. Dana, Assistant Secretary of War.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 369-71

Diary of John Hay: September 26, 1864

Blair has gone into Maryland stumping. He was very much surprised when he got the President's note. He had thought the opposition to him was dying out. He behaves very handsomely, and is doing his utmost. He speaks in New York Tuesday night.

Blair, in spite of some temporary indiscretions, is a good and true man and a most valuable public officer. He stood with the President against the whole Cabinet in favor of reinforcing Fort Sumter. He stood by Fremont in his Emancipation Decree, though yielding when the President revoked it. He approved the Proclamation of January, 1863, and the Amnesty Proclamation, and has stood like a brother beside the President always. What have injured him are his violent personal antagonisms and indiscretions. He made a bitter and vindictive fight on the radicals of Missouri, though ceasing it at the request of the President. He talked with indecorous severity of Mr. Chase, and with unbecoming harshness of Stanton, saying on street-corners “this man is a liar, that man is a thief.” He made needlessly enemies among public men who have pursued him fiercely in turn. Whitelaw Reid said to-day that Hoffman was going to placard all over Maryland this fall:— “Your time has come!” I said, “he won't do anything of the kind, and moreover Montgomery Blair will do more to carry emancipation in Maryland than any one of those who abuse him.”

Nicolay got home this morning, looking rather ill. I wish he would start off and get hearty again, coming back in time to let me off to Wilmington. He says Weed said he was on the track of the letter and hoped to get it. . . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 228-9; Michael Burlingame and John R. Turner Ettlinger, Editors, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 233.

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard: Received October 17, 1862

I know Mr. Mitchell (Colonel Mitchell) well. He is a young lawyer, educated at Kenyon, of good family, entered the war as lieutenant, then adjutant, then captain, and now lieutenant-colonel of [the] One Hundred and Thirteenth. A member of the Episcopal Church, and a capital fellow. He is neither tall nor slim, but good-looking. He is taller than Laura and about as “chunky.”

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 362

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: May 12, 1864

Received a few lines from George Hendryx, who again went out to work on the outside last night. Wirtz with a squad of guards is about the camp looking for tunnels. Patrols also looking among the prisoners for deserters. A lame man, for telling of a tunnel, was pounded almost to death last night, and this morning they were chasing him to administer more punishment, when he ran inside the dead line claiming protection of the guard. The guard didn't protect worth a cent, but shot him through the head. A general hurrahing took place, as the rebel had only saved our men the trouble of killing him. More rumors of hard fighting about Richmond. Grant getting the best of it I reckon. Richmond surrounded and rebels evacuating the place. These are the rumors. Guards deny it.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 56-7

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: May 20, 1863

Reports from the West say we lost 3000 and the enemy 6000 men in the battle of the 15th inst, when Pemberton fell back over the Black River. Our forces numbered only 12,000, Grant's three times that number. Something decisive must occur before Vicksburg in a few days.

Mr. J. W. Henry writes from New's Ferry, that parties of cavalry, going about the country, professing to belong to our Gen. Stuart's corps, are probably Yankee spies making observations preparatory for another raid. The city councils are organizing the citizens for local defense, thinking it probable another dash may be made.

Gen. Dix threatens to hang the citizens of Williamsburg if they co-operate with Gen. Wise in his frequent attacks on the Federals. Gen. Wise replies, threatening to hang Gen. Dix if he carries his threat into execution, and should fall into his hands, in a more summary manner than John Brown was hung for making his raid in Virginia.

Butter is worth $4 per pound. A sheep is worth $50. A cow $500.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 328

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Saturday, October 29, 1864

Fair day. The Smith band came up and gave a serenade this forenoon; have had a pleasant time at Mr. West's. News came today that Captain L. D. Thompson of Waterbury was decapitated by a solid shot in battle at Cedar Creek, Va., and that Adjutant Wyllys Lyman, Captain C. F. Nye, Lieuts. G. E. Davis, G. P. Welch, A. W. Fuller and B. B. Clark were also wounded there. We have had seven officers killed, twelve wounded and two captured since the first of June, making twenty-one in all, the regiment's full quota not including non-combatants, were they all present which is never the case, being thirty-four. Who will say we haven't stood up to the rack? I guess they intend to kill us all off — men and all! I may not-have included all the casualties among the officers in the foregoing. Poor Dillingham, Stetson and Thompson! They were my original officers in Company B — all gone — killed in battle. They were good fellows — intrepid and valiant to a fault. Lieut. Stetson was a considerate, kindly friend, and a man who was fair and manly, and never took a mean, unfair advantage of anyone so far as I know; he won my esteem. I became fond of Captain Thompson; he grew on me constantly until we were good friends, and the manner of his unfortunate death shocks me. Poor fellow! I sincerely regret his tragic end; He was brave, always genial, obliging and friendly. They grew to like, respect and esteem me, and I have lost three staunch friends — probably among the best in the regiment with the officers. They have all been martyrs to the cause of the Union. May their souls go marching on and finally welcome mine in eternity!

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 225-6

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: April 4, 1862

Camp, near Point Pleasant, Mo., April 4, 1862.

I received your last letter within three days after it was mailed, and praised Uncle Sam duly therefor. Our regiment has had a run of bad luck since we've been here. Two men killed on the plank road, two wounded at same place, two killed by falling trees in a storm of night of April 1st, and a dozen wounded, and yesterday one drowned while watering his horse in the swamp, and our horses dying off very fast of horse cholera. The latter is a serious thing in a regiment were the men own the horses themselves. For they (or nearly all of them) cannot buy others. Most of them are still owing for the horses they have. The positions of troops and state of the war generally remains the same here as it has been ever since we took Madrid. Main body of our forces at that place. Five regiments here under Plummer and five seven miles further down the river with Palmer. That is as far down as we can go on this side for the swamps. Between here and Madrid we have batteries every three miles and the Rebels have rather more on the opposite side. Both are right on their respective banks and have their flags fluttering their mutual hatred in each others faces. We can see them very plainly without the aid of a glass. The Rebel gunboats lie just below our lower battery and 'tis rumored to-night that several new ones have arrived from Memphis or New Orleans.

This fuss about “Island 10” I think is all humbug. Don't believe they have attacked it yet. It don't sound like Foote's fighting. Look on the map and see what a nice pen there is between the rivers Tennessee and Mississippi. Don't it look that if Grant and company can whip them out at Corinth, that we'll have all the forces at Memphis and intermediate points to “Island 10” in a bag that they'll have trouble in getting through? If they run it will be into Arkansas, and they can take nothing with them but what their backs will stand under. Seems to me that the plans of the campaign are grand from the glimpses we can get of them and have been planned by at least a Napoleon. Certain it is we are checkmating them at every point that's visible. I firmly believe the summer will see the war ended. But it will also see a host of us upended if we have to fight over such ground as this. It is unpleasantly warm already in the sun. It's 10 p. m. now and plenty warm In my shirt sleeves, with a high wind blowing, too. We had an awfu1 storm here to commence April with. We are camped just in the wood's edge and the wind struck us after crossing a wide open field and knocked trees down all through our camp; killed First lieutenant Moore, one private, seriously wounded Captain Webster and a dozen men. During the storm I though[t] of our fleet at “Island 10” and it made me almost sick. Don't see how they escaped being blown high and dry out of water.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 76-8

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: May 22, 1863

After breakfast sleeked up. Charlie blacked my boots. Bill shaved me. Played two games of chess with Capt. N. Even games. Wrote to Sarah. Received two papers. Very warm day —  uncomfortable. Major Purington's horse died. Seems to have very bad luck.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 70

Friday, June 23, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Monday, July 13, 1863

The army is still at rest. Halleck stays here in Washington, within four hours of the army, smoking his cigar, doing as little as the army. If he gives orders for an onward movement and is not obeyed, why does he not remove to headquarters in the field? If this army is permitted to escape across the Potomac, woe be to those who permit it!

The forces which were on the Pamunkey have been ordered up and are passing through Baltimore to the great army, which is already too large, four times as large as the Rebels, who have been driven on to the banks of the Potomac, and are waiting for the river to fall, so that they can get back into Virginia without being captured or molested, — and Meade is waiting to have them. Drive them back, is Halleck's policy.

Wrote a congratulatory letter to Porter on the fall of Vicksburg. Called on the President and advised that Porter should be made a rear-admiral. He assented very cheerfully, though his estimate of Porter is not so high as mine. Stanton denies him any merit; speaks of him as a gas-bag, who makes a great fuss and claims credit that belongs to others. Chase, Seward, and Blair agree with me that Porter has done good service. I am aware of his infirmities. He is selfish, presuming, and wasteful, but is brave and energetic.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 368-9

Diary of John Hay: Sunday, September 25, 1864

Yesterday Nicolay who has been several days in New York telegraphed to the President that Thurlow Weed had gone to Canada, and asking if he (N.) had better return. I answered he had better amuse himself there for a day or two. This morning a letter came in the same sense. The President, when I showed it to him, said, — “I think I know where Mr. W. has gone. I think he has gone to Vermont not Canada. I will tell you what he is trying to do. I have not as yet told anybody.

“Some time ago, the Governor of Vermont came to me ‘on business of importance’ he said. I fixed an hour and he came. His name is Smith. He is, though you wouldn't think it, a cousin of Baldy Smith. Baldy is large, blonde, florid. The Governor is a little, dark sort of man. This is the story he told me, giving General Baldy Smith as his authority.

“When General McClellan was here at Washington, Baldy Smith was very intimate with him. They had been together at West Point, and friends. McClellan had asked for promotion for Baldy from the President, and got it. They were close and confidential friends. When they went down to the peninsula, their same intimate relations continued, the General talking freely with Smith about all his plans and prospects; until one day Fernando Wood and one other politician from New York appeared in camp and passed some days with McClellan. From the day that this took place Smith saw, or thought he saw, that McClellan was treating him with unusual coolness and reserve. After a little while he mentioned this to McC. who, after some talk, told Baldy he had something to show him. He told him that these people who had recently visited him, had been urging him to stand as an opposition candidate for President; that he had thought the thing over, and had concluded to accept their propositions. and had written them a letter (which he had not yet sent) giving his idea of the proper way of conducting the war, so as to conciliate and impress the people of the South with the idea that our armies were intended merely to execute the laws and protect their property, etc., and pledging himself to conduct the war in that inefficient, conciliatory style. This letter he read to Baldy, who, after the reading was finished, said earnestly:— ‘General, do you not see that looks like treason? and that it will ruin you and all of us.’ After some further talk, the General destroyed the letter in Baldy’s presence, and thanked him heartily for his frank and friendly counsel. After this he was again taken into the intimate confidence of McClellan. Immediately after the battle of Antietam, Wood and his familiar came again and saw the General, and again Baldy saw an immediate estrangement on the part of McClellan. He seemed to be anxious to get his intimate friends out of the way, and to avoid opportunities of private conversation with them. Baldy he particularly kept employed on reconnoissances and such work. One night Smith was returning from some duty he had been performing, and seeing a light in McClellan’s tent, he went in to report. Several persons were there. He reported and was about to withdraw when the General requested him to remain. After everyone was gone, he told him those men had been there again and had renewed their proposition about the Presidency:— that this time he had agreed to their proposition, and had written them a letter acceding to their terms, and pledging himself to carry on the war in the sense already indicated. This letter he read then and there to Baldy Smith.

“Immediately thereafter Baldy Smith applied to be transferred from that army.

“At very nearly the same time, other prominent men asked the same; Franklin, Burnside and others.

“Now that letter must be in the possession of Fernando Wood, and it will not be impossible to get it. Mr. Weed has, I think, gone to Vermont to see the Smith’s about it.”

I was very much surprised at the story and expressed my surprise. I said I had always thought that McClellan’s fault was a constitutional weakness and timidity which prevented him from active and timely exertion, instead of any such deep-laid scheme of treachery and ambition.

The President replied:— “After the battle of Antietam I went up to the field to try to get him to move, and came back thinking he would move at once. But when I got home he began to argue why he ought not to move. I peremptorily ordered him to advance. It was nineteen days before he put a man over the river. It was nine days longer before he got his army across, and then he stopped again, delaying on little pretexts of wanting this and that. I began to fear he was playing false, — that he did not want to hurt the enemy. I saw how he could intercept the enemy on the way to Richmond. I determined to make that the test. If he let them get away, I would remove him. He did so, and I relieved him.

“I dismissed Major Key for his silly, treasonable talk because I feared it was staff-talk, and I wanted an example.

"The letter of Buell furnishes another evidence in support of that theory. And the story you have heard Neill tell about Seymour’s first visit to McClellan, all tallies with this story.”

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 224-8; Michael Burlingame and John R. Turner Ettlinger, Editors, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 230-3.

Dr. Joseph T. Webb to Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Received October 5, 1862

[Sharpsburg, Maryland.]

We all expect to be on our way back in a few days. There is much dissatisfaction at the prospect of returning to western Virginia. For my part, I will not remain in western Virginia another winter for any consideration whatever, if there is any way to avoid it.

. . . Our young friend, William McKinley, commissary sergeant, would be pleased with a promotion, and would not object to your recommendation for the same. Without wishing to interfere in this matter, it strikes me he is about the brightest chap spoken of for the place.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 361-2

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: May 11, 1864

Rainy weather and cold nights. Men shiver and cry all night — groan and “holler.” I lay awake sometimes for hours, listening to the guards yell out “Post number one; ten o'clock and all's well!” And then Post No. 2 takes up the refrain, and it goes all around the camp, every one with a different sounding voice, squeaky, coarse, and all sorts. Some of them drawl out “Here's y-e-r m-u-1-e!” and such like changes, instead of “All's well.” Rumors of hard fighting about Richmond, and the rebels getting whipped which of course they deny.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 56

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: May 19, 1863

A dispatch from Gen. Johnston says a battle has been fought between Pemberton and Grant, between Jackson and Vicksburg, Mississippi, which lasted nine hours. Pemberton was forced back. This is all we know yet.

Another letter, from Hon. W. Porcher Miles, remonstrating against the withdrawal of Beauregard's troops, was received today. He apprehends the worst consequences.

The government is buying 5000 bales of cotton for the Crenshaw scheme. Jas. R. Crenshaw, of this city, is at Charleston on this business. Why not arrange with Lamar?

Gov. Shorter forwards another strongly written memorial from Mobile, against the traffic of cotton with the enemy, and, indeed, against all blockade-running.

Gov. Jno. Milton, of Florida, also writes a powerful denunciation of the illicit traffic, which it seems the policy of the government has been to encourage. They all say this traffic is doing the work of subjugation more effectually than the arms of the enemy.

The President is too ill again to come to the Executive Office. His messenger, who brought me some papers this morning, says he is in a “decline.” I think he has been ill every day for several years, but this has been his most serious attack. No doubt he is also worried at the dark aspects in his own State — Mississippi.

If Vicksburg falls, and the Valley be held by the enemy, then the Confederacy will be curtailed of half its dimensions Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Arizona, New Mexico, all the Indian country, Kentucky, half of Tennessee, one-third of Virginia, Eastern North Carolina, and sundry islands, etc. of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, will be wrested from us. What will remain of the Confederacy? Two-thirds of Virginia, half of Tennessee, the greater part of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the whole of Alabama, — less than six States! But still the war will go on, as long as we have brave armies and great generals, whether the President lives or dies.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 327-8

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Friday, October 28, 1864

I did not get up till 10 o'clock a. m.; am feeling some better this morning; rained hard all day. Roger Bixby brought me up to Barre this afternoon. The Smith band came up to give a concert but as it rained so hard it postponed it till next week.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 224-5

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: March 28, 1862

Point Pleasant, Mo., March 28, 1862.

There isn't a thing to write only that they keep up the infernal “boom, boom;” with their cannons all day and night long. It's perfectly disgusting the way they waste powder and iron without killing anyone. They have knocked every house in town to flinders, and round shot and grape and shell are lying thick on the ground and yet we haven't a man touched. They were having a hot time with their cannon and some musketry firing, too, down at Palmer's last night from 10 p. m. to 2 a. m., but haven't heard yet what was up. I have my own reasons for thinking that they are evacuating Island 10. If they don't do it this week I'll believe that they are waiting for a lot of gunboats to come up from Orleans, and that we'll have the fun of a naval engagement in the vicinity. If there is one within 40 miles of here I'm going to see it if I have to wade a swamp ten feet deep, as I probably will, but see it I'm bound to. Then if the Rebels whale our craft you'll be likely to hear the sound of their cannon before long without leaving home, for there's nothing to prevent their going anywhere after they pass our gunboats. It will be a great joke on Uncle Sam if they do make that riffle. Wonder what would become of the home guards. About the worst feature of the case would be the Southern officers sparking our girls as we do theirs now and the worst yet is, there is no doubt the girls would take to it kindly, for they do here, and I'm satisfied there is no difference in the feminines of the two sections, except that ours do not say “thar” and “whar.” I see that it requires a good many “ifs” and “theirs” to arrange a case of this kind, but I assure you that it is not out of the range of possibilities. How'd you like to see a “Captain St. Clair de Monstachir” with C. S. A. on his buttons, making calls in Canton? I'll bet ten to one he could enjoy himself in that burg. Bang! Boom! D--n the cannons! It's awful tiresome. I do hope we'll get them cleaned out of this ere long. I don't understand why it is that our mails are so tardy. We get the Chicago and St. Louis papers two days after publication. I almost think that Pope has ordered our mail to lay over in Cairo until further orders.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 75-6

Diary of Sergeant Major Luman Harris Tenney: May 21, 1863

Played some chess with Thede. Beat Chester two games. Thede and I one apiece. In the afternoon issued rations of sugar and coffee. Pork, bread and beef in the evening. In the evening two papers came, Independent. Commenced letter to Sarah.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 70

Thursday, June 22, 2017

In The Review Queue: Lincoln and the Abolitionists

by Fred Kaplan

The acclaimed biographer, with a thought-provoking exploration of how Abraham Lincoln’s and John Quincy Adams’ experiences with slavery and race shaped their differing viewpoints, provides both perceptive insights into these two great presidents and a revealing perspective on race relations in modern America.

Lincoln, who in afterlife became mythologized as the Great Emancipator, was shaped by the values of the white America into which he was born. While he viewed slavery as a moral crime abhorrent to American principles, he disapproved of anti-slavery activists. Until the last year of his life, he advocated "voluntary deportation," concerned that free blacks in a white society would result in centuries of conflict. In 1861, he had reluctantly taken the nation to war to save it. While this devastating struggle would preserve the Union, it would also abolish slavery—creating the biracial democracy Lincoln feared. John Quincy Adams, forty years earlier, was convinced that only a civil war would end slavery and preserve the Union. An antislavery activist, he had concluded that a multiracial America was inevitable.

Lincoln and the Abolitionists, a frank look at Lincoln, "warts and all," provides an in-depth look at how these two presidents came to see the issues of slavery and race, and how that understanding shaped their perspectives. In a far-reaching historical narrative, Fred Kaplan offers a nuanced appreciation of both these great men and the events that have characterized race relations in America for more than a century—a legacy that continues to haunt us all.

The book has a colorful supporting cast from the relatively obscure Dorcas Allen, Moses Parsons, Violet Parsons, Theophilus Parsons, Phoebe Adams, John King, Charles Fenton Mercer, Phillip Doddridge, David Walker, Usher F. Linder, and H. Ford Douglas to Elijah Lovejoy, Francis Scott Key, William Channing, Wendell Phillips, and Rufus King. The cast includes Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln’s first vice president, and James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, the two presidents on either side of Lincoln. And it includes Abigail Adams, John Adams, Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and Frederick Douglass, who hold honored places in the American historical memory.

The subject of this book is slavery and racism, the paradox of Lincoln, our greatest president, as an antislavery moralist who believed in an exclusively white America; and Adams, our most brilliant statesman, as an antislavery activist who had no doubt that the United States would become a multiracial nation. It is as much about the present as the past.

About the Author

Fred Kaplan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, which was named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times and Washington Post, among other publications. His biography of Thomas Carlyle was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Maine.

ISBN 978-0062440006, Harper, © 2017, Hardcover, 416 pages, Photographs & Illustrations, End Notes & Index. $28.99.  To purchase a copy of this book click HERE.

Mrs. Louisa E. White to William Henry Gilliam, 1854

RICHMOND, 16th, 1854.

DEAR HENRY: —Your mother and myself received your letter; she is much distressed at your conduct; she is remaining just as you left her, she says, and she will never be reconciled to your conduct.

I think Henry, you have acted most dishonorably; had you have made a confidant of me I would have been better off; and you as you are. I am badly situated, living with Mrs. Palmer, and having to put up with everything — your mother is also dissatisfied — I am miserably poor, do not get a cent of your hire or James’, besides losing you both, but if you can reconcile so do. By renting a cheap house, I might have lived, now it seems starvation is before me. Martha and the Doctor are living in Portsmouth, it is not in her power to do much for me. I know you will repent it. I heard six weeks before you went, that you were trying to persuade him off — but we all liked you, and I was unwilling to believe it — however, I leave it in God's hands He will know what to do. Your mother says that I must tell you servant Jones is dead and old Mrs. Gall. Kit is well, but we are very uneasy, losing your and James’ hire, I fear poor little fellow, that he will be obliged to go, as I am compelled to live, and it will be your fault. I am quite unwell, but of course, you don't care.


If you choose to come back you could. I would do a very good part by you, Toler and Cooke has none.

SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 56

Samuel Gridley Howe to Henry Wilson, May 15, 1858

May 15, 1858.

When I last wrote to you, I was not aware fully of the true state of the case with regard to certain arms belonging to the late Kansas Committee. Prompt measures have been taken, and will be resolutely followed up, to prevent any such monstrous perversion of a trust as would be the application of means raised for the defence of Kansas to a purpose which the subscribers of the fund would disapprove and vehemently condemn.

Faithfully yours,
S. G. Howe.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 462

Diary of Gideon Welles: Saturday, July 11, 1863

Am sorry to see in the New York Tribune an attempt to compliment me by doing injustice to Mr. Seward. On the question of the French tobacco we differed. I think it should remain in Richmond until the blockade is raised. In regard to the claims of Spain to a maritime jurisdiction of six miles, Mr. S., though at first confused and perplexed, seemed relieved by my suggestion. I apprehend that Mr. Fox, who is intimate with one of the correspondents of the Tribune, may, with the best intentions to myself, have said something which led to the article. It may have been Mr. Sumner, who is acquainted with the facts, and often tells the newspaper people things they ought not to know and publish.

I fear the Rebel army will escape, and am compelled to believe that some of our generals are willing it should. They are contented to have the war continue. Never before have they been so served nor their importance so felt and magnified, and when the War is over but few of them will retain their present importance.

I directed Colonel Harris a few days since to instruct the Marine Band when performing on public days to give us more martial and national music. This afternoon they begun strong. Nicolay soon came to me aggrieved; wanted more finished music to cultivate and refine the popular taste, — German and Italian airs, etc. Told him I was no proficient, but his refined music entertained the few effeminate and the refined; it was insipid to most of our fighting men, inspired no hearty zeal or rugged purpose. In days of peace we could lull into sentimentality, but should shake it off in these days. Martial music and not operatic airs are best adapted to all.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 367-8

John Hay to John G. Nicolay, September 24, 1864

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Sept. 24, 1864.

Your despatch was just brought in. I took it to the President, and he told me to tell you, you had better loaf round the city a while longer. You need some rest and recreation and may as well take it in New York as anywhere else. Besides, you can't imagine how nasty the house is at present. You would get the painters' colic in twenty-four hours if you came home now.

Politicians still unhealthily haunt us. Loose women flavor the anteroom. Much turmoil and trouble. . . . The world is almost too many for me. I take a dreary pleasure in seeing Philbrick eat steamed oysters by the half-bushel. He has gotten a haven of rest in the family of some decayed Virginian gentry; really a very lucky chance, good, respectable, and not dear.

Schafer must be our resource this winter in clo’. If you don't want to be surprised into idiocy, don't ask Croney and Lent the price of goods. A faint rumor has reached me and paralyzed me. I am founding a “Shabby Club” to make rags the style this winter. Write to me some morning while you are waiting for your cocktail, and tell me how's things. Give my love to the fair you are so lucky as to know.

Isn't it bully about Sheridan?

SOURCES: Abstracted from Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 222-3; Michael Burlingam, Editor, At Lincoln’s Side: John Hay’s Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings, p. 95

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: October 4, 1862

Visited the battle-field with Lucy, Mr. Rudy, Corporal West, and Carrington this [my] fortieth birthday, Hunted up the graves of our gallant boys.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 361

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: May 10, 1864

Capt. Wirtz very domineering and abusive. Is afraid to come into camp any more. There are a thousand men in here who would willingly die if they could kill him first. Certainly the worst man I ever saw. New prisoners coming in every day with good clothes, blankets, &C., and occasionally with considerable money. These are victims for the Raiders who pitch into them for plunder. Very serious fights occur. Occasionally a party of new comers stick together and whip the raiders, who afterward rally their forces and the affair ends with the robbers victorious Stones, clubs, knives, sling shots, &C., are used on these occasions, and sometimes the camp gets so stirred up that the rebels, thinking a break is intended, fire into the crowds gathered, and many are killed before quiet is again restored. Then Wirtz writes out an order and sends inside, telling he is prepared for any break, etc., etc. No less than five have died within a radius of thirty feet in the last twenty-four hours. Hendryx has a sore arm and in turning over last night I hurt it He pitched in to me while I was in a sound sleep to pay me for it. Woke up in short order and we had it, rough and tumble. Tore down the tent poles — rolled around — scaring Lewis and all the rest. I am the stoutest, and soon get on top and hold him down, and keep him there until he quiets down, which is always in about five minutes. We have squabbles of this sort often, which don't do any particular harm. Always laugh, shake and make up afterwards. The “Astor House Mess,” or the heads rather, have gently requested that we do our fighting by daylight, and Sanders very forcibly remarked that should another scene occur us happened last night, he will take a hand in the business and lick us both. Battese laughed, for about the first time this summer He has taken quite a shine to both Hendryx and myself. In the fore part of to-day's entry I should have stated that Hendryx has been sent inside, they not being quite ready for him at the cookhouse. He is a baker by trade.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 55-6

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: May 17, 1863

The last few days have been cool and dry; fine weather for campaigning. And yet we hear of no demonstrations apparently, though I believe Lee's army is moving.

Mr. Lamar, of Savannah (formerly president of the Bank of the Republic, New York), writes that he and others are organizing an Exporting and Importing Company, and desires the government to take an interest in it. So far the heads of bureaus decline, and of course the Secretary will do nothing. But the Secretary has already engaged with Mr. Crenshaw in a similar enterprise, and so informed Mr. Mason, at London.

About 10 A.M., some 2500 men of all arms arrived at “double quick,” having left Ashland, eighteen miles distant, at 5 o'clock this morning. That was brisk marching. The guns were sent down on the railroad. The government has information that Gen. Keyes, with a full division of infantry and a brigade of cavalry, had marched up to West Point, to threaten Richmond. The troops, however, which arrived from Ashland, had been taken from the batteries here, and did not belong to Gen. Lee's army.

Messrs. Davenport & Co., Mobile, charge Gen. Buckner with permitting 1000 bales of cotton to be shipped to New Orleans.

The president of the Fredericksburg Road states, in a letter to the Secretary, that, after the battle, by military authority, the cars were appropriated by the Federal officers (prisoners), while our wounded soldiers had to remain and await the return of the trains.

Hon. Mr. Dargin, of Alabama, writes to the Secretary, to procure from the President a disavowal of the “organship” of the Enquirer, as that paper, under the belief that it speaks for the government, is likely to inflict much mischief on the country. He alluded to the bitter articles against the Democrats and peace men of the North, who would soon have been able to embarrass, if not to check the operations of the Republican war party. He says now, that they will write against us, and deal destruction wherever they penetrate the land.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 326-7