Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review: Of Blood and Bothers - Book Two

by E. Michael Helms

To say this is the second in a series is a little bit of a stretch.  It is, however, the second half of a single novel.  Helms frequently refers back to events from his first book with no exposition of those events.  A reader not having read the first book would not pick up on these queues nor understand their inferences.  Consequently, “Of Blood and Brothers: Book Two” is merely a continuation of the original story and not a stand-alone book.

That aside I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with the stories of the Malburn brothers.  Daniel, fighting on for the Confederates and Elijah fighting with the Union Army during the Civil War, their reunion and the fiery aftermath of the early stages of reconstruction in the South.

The war is not the only thing dividing the Malburn brothers.  The love of a woman also pits Daniel and Elijah against each other in a love triangle.  We already know that Elijah is the brother who won Annabelle “Annie” Gainer’s hand in marriage, now we find out how that happened and what the fallout from that event was.  Needless to say the Malburn’s reunion at the war’s conclusion does not bring forth only tears of joy but tears of anguish as well.

Calvin Hogue, the newspaper reporter who brings the saga of the Malburn brothers to the readers of his uncle’s newspaper, is noticeably absent during most of this book.  His interactions with the brothers and other members of the extended Malburn family were part of the driving narrative of the first book in this series.  In this second installment he only appears in the beginning of the book, to restart the story, and at the end of the book, asking what became of the rest of the family.

Taken together, the two parts of “Of Blood and Brothers” is a great retelling of the Civil War, from both sides (though Eli is not a willing volunteer for the Union Army) and shows the horrors of battle and its aftermath, as well as life in the Northern Confederate Prison Camps.  In an interesting twist to the Civil War Fiction genre, Helms demonstrates that the conditions in Northern Prison Camps was just as bad as those in the South, such as Andersonville and Libby, which are overly portrayed in Civil War fiction.

Helms’ writes in a smooth, easily read style, and the story of the Malburn brothers is a compelling page turner.  I just wish it had been published as one book instead of being split into two, as each is weaker without its other half.

ISBN 978-1938467509, Koehler Books, © 2014, Paperback, 274 pages, $17.95.  To purchase click HERE.

Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood to Governor Israel Washburne Jr, April 3, 1862

Executive Office, Iowa, April 3, 1862.

Hon. Israel Washburne, Jr., Governor of Maine, Augusta, Maine:

Sir: — I have just received a certified copy of the resolution of the general assembly of your state in reference to “our victories in the west.”

Please accept my thanks for the compliment paid to our western troops.

Permit me, however, to state that in my judgment strict justice has not been done to the troops from Iowa. The troops of Illinois are specially selected in the resolution for commendation for their gallant conduct at Fort Donelson. Too much honor cannot be given to the Illinois men for their gallantry there, unless, as in this case, it is done by preferring them to the troops of other states. The men of Illinois did bravely and well, and I shall never seek to pluck one leaf from the wreath of honor they there so nobly won; but it is not true, as is implied in the resolution, that they did more bravely or better than the men of Iowa. There was not any better fighting done by any of our troops at Fort Donelson than at the right of their entrenchments. There the crest of a long and steep hill was covered by well built rifle pits, defended by three of the best regiments in the rebel service. To their left, some 1,500 yards, was a rebel battery that swept the face of the hill with a cross fire. The face of the hill had been heavily timbered, but every standing tree had been cut down and thrown, with the tops down hill, in such manner as most effectually to retard the approach of an attacking force. At that point, through the fallen timber, exposed to that cross fire, and in the face of the three rebel regiments behind the rifle pits, a regiment of western men, with fixed bayonets, with guns at the trail, and without firing a shot, steadily and unswervingly charged up the hill and over the entrenchments, and planted the first union flag on that stronghold of treason. The men who did this were men of Iowa. The flag borne by them and the first planted on Fort Donelson now hangs over the chair of the speaker of the house of representatives, and will soon be deposited in our State Historical Society as one of the most sacred treasures of the state.

I cannot, therefore, by my silence, acquiesce in the implied assertion of the resolution of your general assembly that any other troops did better service at the capture of Fort Donelson than the troops of Iowa.

Three other Iowa regiments were engaged in the same fight, and although our gallant second, from the fact that they led the charge, deserved and received the greater honor, all did their duty nobly. Elsewhere than at Donelson — at Wilson's Creek, at Blue Mills, at Belmont, and at Pea Ridge — our Iowa men have been tried in the fiery ordeal of battle, and never found wanting. Their well earned fame is very dear to our people, and I trust you will recognize the propriety of my permitting no suitable occasion to pass of insisting upon justice being done them.

I have sent a copy of this letter to his excellency the governor of Illinois.

Very respectfully, your Obdt. Sevt.,
Samuel J. Kirkwood

SOURCES: State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa Historical Record, Volumes 1-3, Volume 2, No. 3, July 1886, p. 327-8;  Henry Warren Lathrop, The Life and Times of Samuel J. Kirkwood, Iowa's War Governor, p. 180-1, which I believe incorrectly dates this letter as April 8, 1862, since this letter does not mention the Battle of Shiloh, which took place on April 6th & 7th, it is likely that April 3rd is the correct date for this letter.

Thanksgiving Proclamation of Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood, November 1, 1862

THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION.

To the People of Iowa:

In token of our dependence upon the Supreme Ruler of the universe, the more especially in this the hour of peril to the nation, in fervent thanksgiving to him, that no pestilence has prevailed in our midst, that the labors of the husbandman have been measurably rewarded, and for the many blessings vouchsafed us as individuals and citizens, in devout acknowledgment of His sovereignty and over-ruling Providence, and in heartfelt gratitude that our armies in the field have won such renown in the great cause of the Union, that our citizens at home have been inspired with such devoted loyalty, and munificence in relieving our brave soldiers, and that we have been permitted to follow in a peaceful manner our usual pursuits, while war is desolating our land, I, Samuel J. Kirkwood, do hereby appoint Thursday, the 27th day of November inst., as a day of thanksgiving, prayer and praise, and do hereby entreat the people, abstaining from their usual pursuits, to assemble together on that day in their chosen places of worship and offer up their prayers to Almighty God, humbly acknowledging their short comings and their dependence upon Him, thanking Him for the manifold blessings conferred upon them by His hand, beseeching Him to crown our arms and cause with signal triumph, to confer strength upon our gallant soldiers, to mitigate the sufferings of the sick, wounded and imprisoned, and to succor and heal the anguish of the bereaved, and imploring the speedy extinction of rebellion, a return of peace in His own good time to our distracted land, and that we may prove ourselves worthy of the institutions bequeathed us by the fathers of the republic by becoming once more a united, fraternal and happy people.

In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and caused the great seal of the State to be affixed this 1st day of November, 1862.

SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD.
By the Governor,
ELIJAH SELLS,
Sec'y of Stale.

SOURCE: Henry Warren Lathrop, The Life and Times of Samuel J. Kirkwood, Iowa's War Governor, p. 232-3

Senator James W. Grimes to Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont, October 19, 1863

Burlington, October 19, 1863.

Your favor of the 11th ult. reached my home about ten days after I began my political canvass of this State, and I only returned three days ago. Hence it is that it has been so long unanswered. I know so little of the official etiquette of your profession, or of any other, for that matter, that I am the last man in the world to advise you on the matter about which you ask my opinion. I can, however, give you what I believe to be the best advice; to follow the promptings of your own cool, good judgment. If you do, you will not much err, I am convinced.

I wish I could do something for Rodgers, and, if the matter is not disposed of for the year beyond recall, I will attempt it when I go to Washington next month. There is no man for whom I have a higher regard, and I know no one who would more adorn the position, or who deserves it more. Should I write, the letter would probably be thrown aside, and the subject be prejudged without a full hearing.

I think everybody is becoming convinced that your recall from the South Atlantic Fleet was a hasty, ill-advised measure, and that the clamor raised against you, and finding utterance in the Baltimore American, was wholly groundless. Such, at any rate, is the sentiment of those with whom I have conversed, and I think it is universal.

I shall go eastward in about four weeks. I do not expect hereafter to have much connection with naval matters, nor do I intend to serve any longer on the Naval Committee of the Senate.

SOURCE: William Salter, The Life of James W. Grimes, p. 239

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Saturday, December 26, 1863

The Eleventh and the Fifteenth Iowa returned from Redstone, and they report that there was no sign of the rebels out there. The rebels being out there was all a humbug. The regiments were sent out there so that the officers in town could have a spree on Christmas.1
_______________

1 Many thought at the time that it was a put-up job to give the boys a march — and I still believe it. — A. G. D.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 159

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: April 5, 1864

Governor Wm. A. Buckingham reelected. Pleasing to the boys in blue. The body of William Town, Company A, having arrived, was given a military funeral by the regiment in Greenville, Norwich. Bought one dollar's worth of postage stamps. Writing letters is one of the pleasing features of the army life. Orders for our return tomorrow. All members must assemble here tomorrow morning.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 51

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: November 28, 1861

C. G. and D. R. returned to camp. Visited, called at Fannie's. Splendid time. Attended a small charade party at Mrs. Holtslander's. Thanksgiving meetings.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 4

9th Indiana Infantry – 3 Months

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., April 22-27, 1861. Ordered to Grafton, W. Va., May 29. Attached to Kelly's Command, West Virginia, to July. Action at Philippi June 3. Attached to Morris' Indiana Brigade, West Virginia, July. West Virginia Campaign July 6-17. Laurel Hill July 7-8. Bealington July 10. Carrick's Ford July 12-14. Pursuit of Garnett's forces July 14-17. Mustered out August 2, 1861.

Regiment lost 3 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Enlisted men by disease. Total 5.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1121

9th Indiana Infantry – 3 Years

Organized at Laporte September 5, 1861. Ordered to Cheat Mountain, West Virginia, September 10. Attached to Cheat Mountain District, West Virginia, to March, 1862. 19th Brigade, 4th Division, Army of the Ohio, to September, 1862. 19th Brigade, 4th Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Ohio, to November, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Left Wing 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 21st Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 4th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to June, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 4th Army Corps, to August, 1865. Dept. of Texas to September, 1865.

SERVICE. – Duty at Cheat Mountain, West Virginia, till January 9, 1862. Action at Greenbrier River October 3-4, 1861. Expedition to Camp Baldwin December 11-13. Greenbrier River December 12. Camp Allegheny December 13. Moved to Fetterman, W. Va., January 9, 1862, and duty there till February 19. Ordered to Louisville, Ky., February 19; thence march to Nashville, Tenn. March to Savannah, Tenn., March 18-April 6. Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Occupation of Corinth May 30, and pursuit to Booneville May 31-June 12. March to Iuka, Miss., thence to Tuscumbia, Florence and Athens, Ala., June 12-July 8. Duty at Athens till July 17, and at Murfreesboro, Tenn., till August 17. March to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg August 17-September 26. Pursuit of Bragg, to Loudon, Ky., October 1-22. Battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8. Danville October 11. Wild Cat Mountain, near Crab Orchard, Big Rockcastle River and near Mt. Vernon October 16. Wild Cat October 17. Rockcastle River and Nelson's Cross Roads October 18. Pittman's Forks October 20. March to Nashville, Tenn., October 22-November 5, and duty there till December 26. Advance on Murfreesboro December 26-30. Lavergne December 26-27. Stewart's Creek December 27. Battle of Stone's River December 30-31, 1862, and January 1-3, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro and Readyville till June. Woodbury January 24. Expedition from Readyville to Woodbury April 2. Middle Tennessee (or Tullahoma) Campaign June 23-July 7. At Manchester till August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign August 16-September 22. Lee and Gordon's Mills, Ga., September 11-13. Battle of Chickamauga September 19-20. Siege of Chattanooga September 22-November 23. Before Chattanooga September 22-27. Reopening Tennessee River October 26-29. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23-27. Lookout Mountain November 23-24. Mission Ridge November 25. Ringgold Gap, Taylor's Ridge, November 27. At Whitesides, Ala., till March, 1864, and at Cleveland, Tenn., till May. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1-September 8. Tunnell Hill May 6-7. Demonstration on Rocky Faced Ridge and Dalton May 8-13. Buzzard's Roost Gap May 8-9. Near Dalton May 13. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Near Kingston May 18-19. Cassville May 19 and May 24. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill June 11-14. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Ruff's Station Smyrna Camp Ground July 4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Peach Tree Creek July 19-20. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Operations against Hood in North Georgia and North Alabama, September 29-November 3. Nashville Campaign November-December Columbia Duck River November 24-27. Battle of Franklin November 30. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. Moved to Huntsville, Ala., and duty there till March, 1865. Operations in East Tennessee March 15-April 22. Duty at Nashville till June. Ordered to New Orleans, La., June 16; thence to Indianola, Tex., July 7. Duty at San Antonio and at New Braunfels till September. Mustered out September 28, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 11 Officers and 120 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 220 Enlisted men by disease. Total 353.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1121

Friday, October 24, 2014

Colnel Richard Borden to John M. Forbes, April 17, 1861

Fall River, April 17, 1861.
To J. M. Forbes, Boston:

I hope to get the State of Maine ready to go this evening.

Richard Borden.

SOURCE: Sarah Forbes Hughes, Letters and Recollections of John Murray Forbes, Volume 1, p. 209

James Russell Lowell to James T. Fields, November 30, 1863

Elmwood, Nov. 30, 1863.

My dear Fields, — You know I owe you a poem — two in my reckoning, and here is one of them. If this is not to your mind, I can hammer you out another. I have a feeling that some of it is good — but is it too long? I want to fling my leaf on dear Shaw's grave. Perhaps I was wrong in stiffening the feet of my verses a little, in order to give them a kind of slow funeral tread. But I conceived it so, and so it would be. I wanted the poem a little monumental, perhaps I have made it obituary. But tell me just how it strikes you, and don't be afraid of my nerves. They can stand much in the way of friendly frankness, and, besides, I find I am acquiring a vice of modesty as I grow older. I used to try the trumpet now and then; I am satisfied now with a pipe (provided the tobacco is good).

I have been reading the “Wayside Inn” with the heartiest admiration. The introduction is masterly — so simple, clear, and strong. Let 'em put in all their ifs and buts; I don't wonder the public are hungrier and thirstier for his verse than for that of all the rest of us put together. Curtis's article was excellent. I read also Hale's story with singular pleasure, increased when I learned whose it was. Get more of him. He has that lightness of touch and ease of narration that are worth everything. I think it the cleverest story in the Atlantic since “My Double” (also his), which appeared in my time. I confess I am rather weary of the high-pressure style.

Yours always,
J. R. L.

SOURCE: Charles Eliot Norton, Editor, Letters of James Russell Lowell, Volume 1, p. 373-4

George William Curtis to Charles Eliot Norton, December 19, 1860


19th December, '60.

No, I did not speak in Philadelphia, because the mayor thought he could not keep [the peace], and feared a desperate personal attack upon me. The invitation has been renewed, but I have declined it, and have recalled another acceptance to speak there. It would be foolhardy just now. I am very sorry for the Mayor.

There must be necessarily trouble of some kind from this Southern movement. But I think the North will stand firmly and kindly to its position. If the point shall be persistently made by the South, as it has been made so far, the nationalization of slavery or disunion, the North will say, and I think calmly, Disunion, and God for the right. The Southerners are lunatics, but what can we do? We cannot let them do as they will, for then we should all perish together.

SOURCE: Edward Cary, George William Curtis, p. 138-9

Charles Russell Lowell to Anna C. Jackson Lowell, June 9, 1861

Washington, June 9, '61.

Banks leaves here to-night for Baltimore and has promised to write in a day or two if I can be of use to him. Until I get my commission, he thinks of putting me at Baltimore as Censor over the telegraphic communications — a sug            gestion of Mr. Forbes. I believe I can be of use there.

Thanks to Wilson and Sumner, I am down for a Captaincy of Cavalry. There may be a slip, but the thing is as sure as anything of that sort can be made in Washington. When I shall get the commission signed I cannot guess.

If I get sick or wounded at any time, I promise to have Anna out at once to nurse me — she is a good little girl.1

I am glad Father is pleased with my military prospects — I wish I knew as much about the business as he does, or even Jim must. A more ignorant Captain could scarcely be found. I suppose you scarcely fancy the life — though like a good Mother you don't say so.
_______________

1 Miss Anna Lowell, his younger sister, became an army nurse in the hospitals at Washington, and devoted herself to this service throughout the war.

SOURCE: Edward Waldo Emerson, Life and Letters of Charles Russell Lowell, p. 211-2, 403

Diary of Josephine Shaw Lowell: September 29, 1861

Mother and Howard went to hear Mr. Beecher, and talking of Fremont, etc., etc., he told her she must have trust in God. “But I do,” she answered. “What good does it do you?” he asked. “You trust in God and worry all the time. It's just as if I should pay my passage through to Albany in the cars and then walk up all the way.”

SOURCE: William Rhinelander Stewart, The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell, p. 20

Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Lyman to Elizabeth Russell Lyman, November 9, 1863

Headquarters Army Of Potomac
November 9, 1863

We have once more moved our Headquarters. . . . Reveille was beaten so early that, when I popped my sleepy head out of the tent, there were the stars, most magnificent, especially Venus who sat above the moon and looked like a fire-ball. The moon was but a little one, but her circle was completed by that kind of image you often see, only the figure of the Man-in-the-Moon was plainly reflected on this image, a thing I never noticed before. These were the astronomical observations of Lyman, as he stood in the sharp air, clad in a flannel shirt and drawers. A sense of coldness about the legs roused me to a sense of my position, and I speedily added more warm garments. Breakfast was ready by the time it was light; and, every mouthful of beef I stowed away, I expected to hear the cannon that would announce the opening of the great battle. The General was confident of a battle and remarked cheerfully that “he meant to pitch right into them.” The idea was that they would take a chosen position, near Brandy Station, and there await our attack, for which they would not have been obliged to wait long. The bulk of the army was therefore crossed at Kelly's Ford, so as to advance with undivided force; General Sedgwick, however, with nearly his whole corps, held the redoubt he had taken on the north side, and, at the proper moment, was ready to throw his bridges, cross the river and take them in the flank. An hour wore away, and there was no sound of battle; so we all mounted, and rode to a small house on Mt. Holly. This is a low, steep hill, close to Kelly's Ford and commanding it. . . . Presently there appeared a couple of dragoons, with five fresh prisoners.  . . . “How were you taken?” quoth the Provost-Marshal. “Well, we were on guard and we went to sleep, and, when we woke up, the first thing we seed was your skirmish line” (which was only a roundabout way of saying they were common stragglers). “Where is the rest of your army?” “All gone last night to the breastworks behind the Rapidan!” And this was the gist of the matter. We passed Ewell's Headquarters, a little while after, and there I learned that, when news of the capture of the redoubt was brought him, he exclaimed with some profanity, “Then it's time we were out of this!” and immediately issued orders to fall back, along the whole line, after dark. There we crossed on a pontoon bridge, and found the 5th Corps massed, on the other side. As the cavalcade trotted by, the men all ran to the road and cheered and yelled most vociferously for General Meade. Soon we came up with General Warren. He looked like a man of disappointed hopes, as he gazed round the country and said, “There's nobody here — nobody!” And so we passed on, and beheld our English friends, with the Staff of General Webb. They had a very bewildered air, which seemed to say: “Oh, ah, where are these Rebel persons? pray could you tell me where they are?” Near Brandy Station we met good “Uncle John” Sedgwick, who said it was a cool day, as if there was nothing particular on hand, and he hadn't been doing anything for a week or two. It was now late on this Sunday afternoon and the troops were massing, to bivouac. There seemed really no end of them; though but part of the army was there; yet I never saw it look so big, which is accounted for by the fact that the country is very open and rolling and we could see the whole of it quite swarming with blue coats.  . . . We recrossed the Rappahannock at the railroad, and saw the fresh graves of the poor fellows who fell in the assault of the redoubt. The Rebel officers said it was the most gallant thing they had seen. Two regiments, the 6th Maine and 7th Wisconsin, just at sundown, as the light was fading, charged up a long, naked slope, in face of the fire of a brigade and of four cannon, and carried the works at the point of the bayonet.  . . . I think it no small praise to General Meade to say that his plans were so well laid out that our loss in all is but about 400. No useless slaughter, you see, though there was plenty of room for a blunder, as you would have known had you seen the lines of breastworks the fellows had; but we took part of them and scared them out of the rest.

SOURCE: George R. Agassiz, Editor, Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, p. 44-6

Major-General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Mead, June 4, 1864 – 8 a.m.

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac, 8 A. M., June 4, 1864.

I have only time to write you that we had a big battle yesterday, on the field of the old Gaines's Mill battle-ground, with the positions of the contending forces reversed. The battle ended without any decided results, we repulsing all attacks of the enemy and they doing the same; losses estimated about equal on both sides; ours roughly estimated at seven thousand five hundred in all.1

I had immediate and entire command on the field all day, the Lieutenant General honoring the field with his presence only about one hour in the middle of the day. The papers will, however, undoubtedly inform you of all his doings, and I will therefore confine myself to mine.

George2, myself, and all your friends, are well and unhurt. The enemy, as usual, were strongly fortified, and we have pretty well entrenched ourselves. How long this game is to be played it is impossible to tell; but in the long run, we ought to succeed, because it is in our power more promptly to fill the gaps in men and material which this constant fighting produces.

Baldy Smith's corps has joined, and he is placed under my orders.
_______________

1 Battle of Cold Harbor. Federal loss — killed, wounded, and missing — June 2-10, 1864 — 13,153 (O. R.).

2 Son of General Meade.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 2, p. 200-1

Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, March 20, 1862

Executive Office, March 20, 1862.

H. W. Halleck, Maj.-Gen. Comg, St. Louis, Mo.:

Sir: — Your assuming responsibility of and defending Gen. Hamilton's order disgracing the 2d Iowa Regt. Vol. Infy. at St. Louis was read by me in the newspapers at Cairo, and was found on my table on my return.

I regret your position in this matter, but my opinion of it is not changed. Certain unknown members of that regiment destroyed and carried away, as is alleged, specimens from a museum in McDowell's college, then occupied by rebel prisoners and guarded by that regiment. Admitting the truth of the allegation, and not inquiring whether the property destroyed was the property of a loyal man or a rebel, it must also be true that but few members of the regiment could have participated in the act, or could have known the guilty parties. There must have been many members of the regiment as guiltless of the wrong done and as ignorant of the names of the guilty parties as either of us. Many of them too are just as proud and as sensitive of their good names as either of us, and their feelings deserve just as much consideration as ours. Now, I cannot admit that these men had done any wrong or deserved any punishment. And when I was required to admit this by placing the evidence of their punishment on the records of my office, I could not and did not do it, and I am yet satisfied with my action, and I yet ask earnestly, but respectfully, that the censure cast upon them be removed.

Accept my congratulations upon the brilliant success of the forces under your command.

Very respectfully, your Obdt. Sevt.
Samuel J. Kirkwood

SOURCE: State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa Historical Record, Volumes 1-3, Volume 2, No. 3, July 1886, p. 326-7

Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood to the Legislature of Iowa, September 10, 1862

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:

The burthens of the war now being waged by our people for the preservation of our government bear heavily on us, and should be borne as equally as possible. These burthens are of two kinds: First, that of military duty in the field, and second, that of taxation at home. It seems to me to be unequal and unfair that those of us who bear the first of these burthens should be compelled to share with those of us who remain at home the second; that the soldiers who are fighting our battles in the field should also be compelled to pay their share of taxes equally with those who do not share their perils and privations.

The compensation paid to those of our soldiers who hold commissions is sufficiently liberal to enable them to pay their taxes without inconvenience, but it is not so with their no less worthy, but less fortunate comrades. It would be a just recognition by us of our appreciation of the patriotism and self-sacrifice of the latter, if we were to release them during their services from all taxes levied under State laws and it doubtless would be news of comfort and cheer to them amid the dangers and trials by which they are surrounded for our sakes, that we be careful that the houses that sheltered their wives and little ones had been secured from danger of sale for taxes, by our voluntary assumption of their share of the one burthen, while they are bravely bearing our share of the other. I therefore recommend to you that you pass a law exempting from all taxation under the laws of the State the real and personal property of all non-commissioned officers and privates in the regiments of this State in the army of the United States during their continuance in service, and that for the current year there be added to the per centum of taxation upon the valuation of the property of all the other tax payers the sum of one-fourth of one mill on each dollar of such valuation to cover the deficiency in revenue created thereby.

SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD.

SOURCE: Henry Warren Lathrop, The Life and Times of Samuel J. Kirkwood, Iowa's War Governor, p. 224-5

Senator James W. Grimes to Elizabeth Nealley Grimes, October 2, 1863

Dubuque, October 2d.

It is a comfort to me to know that one week from to-night my labors will be over. My health is very good, save that I am worn down by speaking every day, and nearly every day in the open air. We shall carry the State by an unprecedentedly large majority, because the people are in earnest to sustain the Government.

SOURCE: William Salter, The Life of James W. Grimes, p. 238-9

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Friday, December 25, 1863

It was a false alarm. The rebel attack did not materialize and we came in from picket at the usual time. The extra force from the other two regiments returned late in the afternoon. The camp is a lonely place with so many out at Redstone, and it is Christmas Day, too. I went to the regimental hospital and purchased from the steward a nice mince pie for my Christmas dinner, costing me fifty cents.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 159

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: April 3, 1864

Sunday. Attended church and Sunday School at Hanover, New London County, where I spent my boyhood days.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 51

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: November 27, 1861

Went home on the freight. Surprised the folks. In the evening attended a party at Delos'. Had a grand time — all the young people there.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 4

8th Indiana Infantry – 3 Months

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., April 21-27, 1861. Ordered to West Virginia June 19. Attached to Rosecrans' Brigade, McClellan's Provisional Army of West Virginia. Moved to Clarksburg, W. Va., June 19; thence march to Buckhannon June 29. Occupation of Buchannon June 30. West Virginia Campaign July 6-17. Battle of Rich Mountain July 11. Mustered out August 6, 1861.

Regiment lost during service 4 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Enlisted men by disease. Total 7.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1120

8th Indiana Infantry – 3 Years

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., August 20-September 5, 1861. Ordered to St. Louis, Mo., September 10. Attached to Fremont's Army of the West and Dept. of Missouri to January, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of Southwest Missouri, Dept. of Missouri, to May, 1862. 1st Division, Army of Southwest Missouri, to July, 1862. District of Eastern Arkansas, Dept. of Missouri, to October, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, District of Southeast Missouri, Dept. of Missouri, to March, 1863. 1st Brigade, 14th Division, 13th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to July, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 13th Army Corps, Dept. of the Tennessee, to August, 1863, and Dept. of the Gulf to June, 1864. District of LaFourche, Dept. of the Gulf, to August, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Army Corps, Army of the Shenandoah, Middle Military Division, to August, 1864. 4th Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Army Corps, to December, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Army Corps, to January, 1865. 1st Brigade, Grover's Division, District of Savannah, Ga., Dept. of the South, to August, 1865.

SERVICE. – Fremont's advance on Springfield, Mo., September 22-October 15. Camp at Otterville till January 25, 1862. Expedition to Milford December 15-19, 1861. Action at Milford, Blackwater or Shawnee Mound December 18. Curtis' advance on Springfield January 25-February 14, 1862. Pursuit of Price to Cassville, Ark. Battle of Pea Ridge March 6-8. At Sulphur Rock till May. March to Batesville, Ark.; thence to Helena, Ark., May 25-July 14. Action at Hill's Plantation, Cache River, July 7. Expedition to Coldwater, Miss., July 22-25 (Cos. "B," "E"). White Oak Bayou July 24 (Cos. "B," "E"). Austin, Tunica County, August 2. At Helena till October. Ordered to Pilot Knob, Mo., and operations in Southeast Missouri till March 5, 1863. Moved to Helena, Ark., thence to Milliken's Bend, La. Movement on Bruinsburg and turning Grand Gulf April 25-30. Battle of Port Gibson May 1. Battle of Champion's Hill May 16. Big Black River May 17. Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., May 18-July 4. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19 and 22. Advance on Jackson, Miss., July 4-10. Siege of Jackson, Miss., July 10-17. Duty at Vicksburg till August 20. Ordered to New Orleans, La. Duty at Carrollton, Brashear City and Berwick till October. Western Louisiana "Teche" Campaign October 3-November 8. Moved to New Orleans, La., November 8, thence to Texas November 12. Capture of Mustang Island November 17. Fort Esperanza November 27-30. Duty at Matagorda Bay till February, 1864. Duty at Indianola and Lavacca, Tex., till April. Veterans on furlough April and May. Duty in District of LaFourche, La., till July. Ordered to Washington, D.C. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 7 to November 28. Berryville, Va., September 3. Battle of Opequan. Winchester, September 19. Fisher's Hill September 22. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. Duty in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, till January, 1865. Moved to Baltimore, Md., January 6-7, 1865; thence to Savannah, Ga., January 14-20. Duty there and at various points in Georgia and South Carolina till August. Mustered out August 28, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 7 Officers and 84 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 5 Officers and 166 Enlisted men by disease. Total 258.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1120-1

George William Curtis to Charles Eliot Norton, October 14, 1860

North Shore, 14th October, 1860.

My Dear Charles, — I have been scribbling and scrabbling at such a rate that I have recently cut all my friends for my country. We are having a glorious fight. This State, I think, will astonish itself and the country by its majority. The significance of the result in Pennsylvania is, that the conscience and common sense of the country are fully aroused. The apostle of disunion spoke here last week, and, if there had been any doubt of New York before, there could have been none after he spake. Even Fletcher Harper, after hearing it, said to me, “I shall have hard work not to vote for Lincoln.”

I have been at work in my own county and district, and the other day I went to the convention to make sure that I was not nominated for Congress!

I have been writing a new lecture, “The Policy of Honesty,” and am going as far as Milwaukee in November. Here's a lot about myself, but we country philosophers grow dreadfully egotistical. I did cherish a sweet hope (it was like trying to raise figs in our open January!) that I should slip over and see you, and displace my photograph for a day or two, but I can only send the same old love as new as ever. The ball for little Renfrew1 was a failure, though I was one of the 400, — and his reception was the most imposing pageant, from the mass of human beings, that I ever saw.
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1 The Prince of Wales.

SOURCE: Edward Cary, George William Curtis, p. 137-8

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Charles Russell Lowell to Charles E. Perkins, June 7, 1861

Washington, June 7, '61.

I am down for a Captaincy of Cavalry and have good hopes of being put upon N. P. Banks's staff: but I cannot say I take any great pleasure in the contemplation of the future. I fancy you feel much as I do about the profitableness of a soldier's life, and would not think of trying it, were it not for a muddled and twisted idea that somehow or other this fight was going to be one in which decent men ought to engage for the sake of humanity, — I use the word in its ordinary sense. It seems to me that within a year the Slavery question will again take a prominent place, and that many cases will arise where we may get fearfully in the wrong if we put our cause wholly in the hands of fighting men and Foreign Legions.

SOURCE: Edward Waldo Emerson, Life and Letters of Charles Russell Lowell, p. 210-1

Diary of Josephine Shaw Lowell: September 26, 1861


Today was the National Fast and Mother and I went over to Brooklyn to hear Mr. Beecher, but behold! when we reached the Church we found it shut and the sexton said that Mr. Beecher would not preach today, as he had said all he had to say on the state of the country, and didn't know what to preach about. His daughter Hattie was married last evening.

After the disappointment, “ma chere mere” and I betook ourselves to Mr. Chapin's1 where we heard a splendid sermon. One thing he said particularly pleased me. Speaking of the Nation, he said: “God Almighty doesn't thresh chaff; it's wheat he takes the trouble with.” It was so true and exactly what I had thought myself that the Lord would not give us so much suffering if it were not to purify us in the end.
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1 Rev. Edwin Hubbell Chapin, 1814-1880, minister of Universalist Church, Fifth Avenue.

SOURCE: William Rhinelander Stewart, The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell, p. 20

Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Lyman to Elizabeth Russell Lyman, November 7, 1863

Headquarters Army Of Potomac
(not Far From Rappahannock River)
November 7, 1863

. . . This morning, forward march! horse, foot, and artillery, all streaming towards Dixie; weather fresh and fine, nothing to mar but a high wind, and, in some places, clouds of dust. Everyone was hearty; there was General Hays, in bed with rheumatism, but he hopped up, and got on his horse, remarking that, “if there were any Rebs to catch, he was all well.” Our last Headquarters were on the Warrenton branch railroad, half a mile north of it and three miles from Warrenton Junction. This morning, about 8.30, when all the troops were reported under way, the General started and rode, first to Warrenton Junction, and then down the railroad, towards the Rappahannock. At a rising ground, where a smoke-stained chimney marked the ruins of “Bealton,” we halted. Hence we could see a considerable distance, in both directions, and here was canny Warren, waiting while his corps filed past, his little black eyes open to everything, from the grand movements of the entire army down to the inscription on my sword-guard, which he immediately detected, and read with much gravity. The last I saw of him he climbed on his big white horse and remarked with a wink: “As soon as I get there, I shall bring on a general action, right off.” It was here that I had quite a surprise. Looking through my glass at General Webb's division, I detected two civilians, in English-looking clothes, riding with the Staff. As they approached, it seemed to me that the face of one was familiar; and as they rode up, behold, to be sure, the Hon. Mr. Yorke, who was our fellow passenger and played on the fiddle and admired the baby! He was in the Royal Artillery, you know, and had come down to see what he could. And there he was, much covered with dust, but cheerful and pleasant to the last.

It was a fine sight to see the great, black columns of infantry, moving steadily along, their muskets glittering in the sun (for the day was quite perfect as to clearness), and then the batteries on the flank, and, in the rear, the train of ambulances preceded by their yellow flag. As the masses drew near, they resolved themselves, first into brigades, then into regiments, and then you could distinguish the individual soldiers, covered with dust and bending under their heavy packs, but trudging manfully along, with the patient air of old sojers. And so we kept on to these Headquarters; but we were only half way (at 1.30), when bang! bang! we heard the cannon, in the direction of Rappahannock station. It was General Sedgwick attacking the enemy's works on this side of the river. We had not got a mile, when whang! whang! in another direction, announced General French preparing to force Kelly's Ford. For, at these two points, among others, we proposed to cross and wake up our Uncle Lee. The gallant General did not wait to play long shots or throw pontoon bridges. An entire division took to the water, forded the river, in face of the enemy, and, charging up the opposite bank, took 300 prisoners. The Rebs threw forward a supporting division, but the crafty French had established guns on this side of the river, that suddenly opened on them and drove them back. All the afternoon Sedgwick has been engaged against the rifle-pits and a redoubt, that the enemy held on this side of the river. Quite late, we got a despatch that he had driven them from their rifle-pits, and we thought he had done pretty well for an afternoon. But, just at dusk, the distant roll of musketry indicated that he was assaulting; and a telegraph has just come, that he has taken the redoubt with four cannon, and some prisoners; I do not yet know how many. So we go to sleep, encouraged and hopeful. Our losses I do not know, but they can hardly be much, as but a portion has been engaged. . . .

SOURCE: George R. Agassiz, Editor, Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, p. 42-4

Major-General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Mead, June 1, 1864 – 6 p.m.

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac, 6 P. M., June 1, 1864.

We are pegging away here, and gradually getting nearer and nearer to Richmond, although its capture is yet far off. Our advance is within two miles of Mechanicsville, which, if you remember, is the place where the fighting commenced in the Seven Days. The rebs keep taking up strong positions and entrenching themselves. This compels us to move around their flank, after trying to find some weak point to attack. This operation has now occurred four times, namely, crossing the Rapidan, at Old Wilderness, at Spottsylvania Court House, and recently at North Anna. We shall have to do it once more before we get them into their defenses at Richmond, and then will begin the tedious process of a quasi-siege, like that at Sebastopol; which will last as long, unless we can get hold of their railroads and cut off their supplies, when they must come out and fight.

Whilst I am writing the cannon and musketry are rattling all along our lines, over five miles in extent, but we have become so accustomed to these sounds that we hardly notice them.

The weather is beginning to be hot, but I keep in the saddle during the day, and sleep soundly at night.

The papers are giving Grant all the credit of what they call successes; I hope they will remember this if anything goes wrong.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 2, p. 200

Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood to the Legislature of Iowa, September 3, 1862

Executive Office, Sept. 3, 1862.

Gentlemen of The Senate and House of Representatives:

You have been convened in extraordinary session to consider some questions vitally affecting the public welfare, which, in my judgment, require your immediate action.

When you closed your last regular session, the belief prevailed very generally that the strength of the rebellion against the General Government had been broken, and your legislation upon some questions of great public interest was controlled by that belief. The lapse of time has shown that belief to be erroneous, and a change of legislation on those questions has therefore become necessary.

The provision made for our sick and wounded soldiers, and for their return to their homes on furlough, will, under existing circumstances, prove wholly inadequate. The largely increased number of our soldiers that will be shortly in the field, and the great length of time they will be exposed to the danger of disease and the casualties of battle, will render absolutely necessary a large increase of the fund provided for their care and comfort. The extraordinary expenses of my office have also been, and will probably continue to be, largely increased in consequence of the new demands that have been and may be made upon the State. I, therefore, recommend to your favorable consideration such increase of the contingent fund for extraordinary expenses of this office as will be sufficient to enable me to do for the gallant men, who so nobly represent our State in the army of the Union, when suffering from wounds and disease, that which every loyal heart so anxiously desires should be done, and also enable me to carry on successfully the many and arduous labors imposed upon this office, in promptly responding to all the demands made upon the State for the support of the Government.

The labors of the office of Adjutant-General have been largely increased, and must continue to be very great as long as the war lasts, and for some time after its close. This State will soon have in the field nearly or quite 50,000 men, and the interest and welfare of our soldiers and their friends require that the records of that office should be fully and carefully kept. The Adjutant-General now discharges, in addition to the proper duties of that office, the duties of Quartermaster-General and Paymaster-General. It is, in my judgment, impossible for one officer properly to superintend the labors of these three departments.  The amount of labor and attention required is more than one person can give, and the necessary work cannot be so promptly done or so well done as if there was a proper division of labor. I recommend that I should be authorized to appoint an assistant Adjutant-General, who shall act as Paymaster-General. A Quartermaster-General can be appointed under existing law, and then the duties now imposed upon the Adjutant-General can be so divided and arranged as, in my judgment, to greatly benefit the public service.

In my judgment, the compensation of the Adjutant-General is not adequate, either to the labor or responsibility of his position, and I recommend an addition thereto, either by allowing him a contingent for traveling expenses or by an increase of his salary.

Congress has provided by law an allotment system by which our soldiers can set aside a portion of their monthly pay and have the same paid at their homes to such persons as they may designate, without risk or expense. The benefits of this system are obvious and great. Commissioners have been appointed by the President, but under the law the compensation of these commissioners must be paid by the States, and as no appropriation has been made for that purpose, our soldiers and their friends have not, as yet, enjoyed the benefits of the system. One of the commissioners is now engaged in procuring the allotments of our regiments before they leave the State, and I earnestly recommend such an appropriation as will secure the benefits of this system to all our soldiers.

Since your adjournment Congress has passed a law donating public lands to such of the several States and territories as may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts. Under this law, this State is entitled to a donation of 240,000 acres of land. It is a most munificent donation, and for a most worthy purpose. It is of great importance that immediate action be had by you touching this grant. By taking such action the State can secure the entire amount of the lands within her own limits, and consequently control their management and disposition. Should action in this matter be postponed till the next regular session, other States may select their lands within the limits of this State, and manage and dispose of them in a manner very undesirable to us. I recommend the subject to your careful consideration.  *  *  *

It is of the highest importance that the numerical strength of the regiments from this State be maintained in the field. Many of our old regiments have been much reduced in numbers, and thus the expense of maintaining them in proportion to their numbers is much increased, while their efficiency is much diminished. Our new regiments will go out full, and the old ones will soon be filled, but in a short time their numbers will be again reduced. To remedy this evil, 1 recommend that with the approval of the proper Federal authorities a camp of instruction be established at some suitable point in this State sufficient to accommodate 1,000 men; that the several counties be required to furnish their equitable proportion of that number of men to place in camp under instruction; that when men are needed to fill the ranks of any of our regiments, requisitions be made for the proper number which shall be filled as nearly as may be from the men in camp from the counties in which the companies composing the regiment were organized, and their places in camp be immediately supplied by new men from the same counties. This is entirely just to all the counties; will send the men into companies composed of their neighbors and friends, and will keep up our regiments to their effective strength.

On the 17th day of August I issued a proclamation urging upon our people the strong necessity of filling up our old regiments, and as an inducement to enlistments for that purpose declared my intention of recommending to you the payment of bounties by the Stale to all who should enlist for the old regiments, between the date of proclamation and the first day of the present month. I have not yet learned the number of men who have thus enlisted between the dates named, but I recommend to you that an appropriation for the purpose of paying to each of them such bounty as you may deem advisable.

The theory of our government is that the people rule. This theory can be carried into practical effect only through the ballot box. Thereby the people mould and direct the operations of the government and settle all questions affecting the public welfare. The right of suffrage is therefore highly prized by all good citizens, and should be exercised by them at all times, and especially at times when questions of grave importance are presented for solution. There never has been, perhaps there never will again be a time when questions so important, interests so vital as those now demanding action at the hands of our people were, or will be submitted to them. The very life of the nation is at stake, and may be as fatally lost at the ballot box as on the battlefield. Under such circumstances it is not only the right but the duty of all good citizens to exercise the right of suffrage, and to see to it that the principles for the preservation of which our people are so freely offering their treasure and life, are not jeopardized, are not lost in the halls of legislation — State or National. A very large number of the electors of the State are in the army. We say but little when we say that these men are as good citizens, as intelligent, as patriotic, as devoted to their country, as those who remain at home. Under existing laws these citizens cannot vote, and unless these laws can be changed it may be that the same cause they are periling life in the field to maintain, may be lost at home through supineness or treachery. I therefore recommend that the laws be so modified that all members of Iowa regiments, who would be entitled to vote if at home on the day of election, be allowed to vote wherever they may be stationed in the United States, and that provision be made for receiving and canvassing their votes.

There are in this State some religious bodies who entertain peculiar views on the subject of bearing arms, and whose religious opinions conscientiously entertained preclude their doing so. Their members are generally among our most quiet, orderly and industrious and peaceful citizens, and their sympathies are wholly with the government in this struggle now going on for its preservation, yet they cannot conscientiously bear arms in its support. It appears to me it would be unjust and wholly useless to force such men into the army as soldiers, and yet it would not be just to the government or to other citizens that they should be wholly relieved from the burdens that others have to bear. I suggest therefore that these persons who cannot conscientiously render military duty be exempted therefrom in case of draft upon payment of a fixed sum of money to be paid to the State.

Startling rumors have recently reached me of danger to our people on the northwestern frontier from hostile Indians. I immediately despatched Schuyler R. Ingham of Des Moines to the scene of danger with arms and ammunition and full authority to act as circumstances might require. I have not yet had a report from him, but will immediately upon receipt of such report communicate with you by special message should the emergency require your attention.

The condition of the country is such as justly to cause anxiety and distrust, but not despondency to the patriot. It is true the rebellion against the government has assumed a magnitude and shown a strength we did not anticipate, but it is also true that the government has exhibited a degree of power for its suppression that the most sanguine did not dream of. Our rulers and our people have at last realized the extent of the task before them, and have girded themselves to the work like men. We have all, rulers and people, at last learned, on a page all blotted with tears and blood, that in this war conciliation and kindness are more than useless, and that the enemy, whose social fabric is based upon force, respects only force, and can be subdued by force alone. We are learning, if we have not yet learned, that it is wise to strike the enemy where he is weakest, and to strike him there continually and with all our power, that God's blessing upon our cause will surely bring its triumph, and that we cannot with confidence claim that blessing until our cause by being made in all things like Him — pure and holy, fully deserves it. If we have fully learned these lessons, and shall fairly act upon them, we will soon triumph. If we have not learned them we will yet do so and we will then triumph.

SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD.

SOURCE: Henry Warren Lathrop, The Life and Times of Samuel J. Kirkwood, Iowa's War Governor, p. 220-4

Senator James W. Grimes to Elizabeth Nealley Grimes, September 28, 1863

West Union, Fayette County, September 28th

My course has finally brought me to this place, and my face is at last turned homeward, though I have many angles to make, and about three hundred miles to travel before I reach there.

Stone will be elected by a very large majority; larger, I think, than was ever given to any candidate for Governor. You may be interested to know that the people seem to be unanimously in favor of my reelection to the Senate. So far as I can learn, no Senator or Representative will be elected by the Republicans who is not pledged to my election. Of course this makes me proud, for I have not electioneered for it.

SOURCE: William Salter, The Life of James W. Grimes, p. 238

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Thursday, December 24, 1863

I went on picket again this morning. Late in the evening the Eleventh and the Fifteenth Regiments were ordered out to a little town called Redstone, as it was reported that a strong force of the rebels was there. At 10 o'clock at night a detail of sixty men from the Thirteenth and Sixteenth Regiments was sent out to reinforce our pickets, as it was feared the rebels' cavalry would make an attack upon Vicksburg in the early morning.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 159

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: March 31, 1864

Norwich, Connecticut. It is good to be home once more among friends. Wishing the war was over. I am afraid that many more of the 18th Regiment must fall before the end comes. Some will never see home again. These are dark, sad days, but we are trying to enjoy our visit at home, visiting relations and friends. The cemeteries in the cities and the country show that many young fellows have given their lives for our country.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 50-1

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: November 26, 1861

Made arrangements to go home but couldn't.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 4

7th Indiana Infantry – 3 Months

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., April 21-27, 1861. Left State for West Virginia May 29. At Grafton, W. Va., June 1. Attached to Kelly's Command. Action at Philippi June 3. Attached to Morris' Indiana Brigade Army of West Virginia, July. West Virginia Campaign July 6-17. Laurel Hill July 7. Bealington July 8. Carrick's Ford July 12-14. Pursuit of Garnett's forces July 15-17. Mustered out August 2, 1863.

Regiment lost during service 1 Enlisted man killed and 2 Enlisted men by disease.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1120

7th Indiana Infantry – 3 Years

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., and mustered in September 13, 1861. Ordered to Cheat Mountain, W. Va., September, 1861. Attached to Cheat Mountain District, West Virginia, to January, 1862. 3rd Brigade, Landers' Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. 3rd Brigade, Shields' 2nd Division, Banks' 5th Army Corps. and Dept. of the Shenandoah, to May, 1862. 4th Brigade, Shields' Division, Dept. of the Rappahannock, to June, 1862. 4th Brigade, 2nd Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. 2nd Brigade. 1st Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Virginia, September, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 5th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 5th Army Corps, to August, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, to September, 1864.

SERVICE. – Duty in Cheat Mountain District, West Virginia, to December, 1861. Action at Greenbrier October 3-4. Scouting Expedition through the Kanawha District October 27-November 7. Expedition to Camp Baldwin December 11-14. Moved to Green Springs Run December 18, and duty there till March, 1862. Advance on Winchester March 5-13. Middletown March 18. Battle of Winchester March 22-23. Mt. Jackson March 25. Occupation of Mt. Jackson April 17. March to Fredericksburg, Va., May 12-21, and return to Front Royal May 25-30. Burner's Springs, near Front Royal, May 31. Battle of Port Republic June 9. March to Cloud's Mills, near Alexandria, June 10-26, and duty there till July 24. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 6-September 2. Fords of the Rappahannock August 21-23. Thoroughfare Gap August 28. Battles of Groveton August 29; Bull Run August 30. Maryland Campaign September 6-22. Battles of South Mountain, Md., September 14; Antietam September 16-17. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 29-November 17. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth till April 27. Expedition to Martex Creek February 12-14. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Operations at Pollock's Mill Creek April 29-May 2. Fitzhugh's Crossing April 29-30. Battle of Chancellorsville May 2-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3. Duty on line of the Rappahannock and Rapidan to October, 1863. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864. Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River May 4-June 15. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. Jericho Ford May 23. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16-September 20. Weldon R. R. August 18-21. Non-Veterans mustered out September 20, 1864. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 19th Indiana Infantry September 23, 1864.

Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 108 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 111 Enlisted men by disease. Total 229.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1120

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Major-General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Mead, May 30, 1864

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac, May 30, 1864.

We are within sixteen miles of Richmond, working our way along slowly but surely. I expect we shall be a long while getting in, but I trust through the blessing of God we will at last succeed, and if we do, I think, from the tone of the Southern press, and the talk of the prisoners, that they will be sensible enough to give it up. They are now fighting cautiously, but desperately, disputing every inch of ground, but confining themselves exclusively to the defensive.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 2, p. 199

Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood to Brigadier-General Schuyler Hamilton, March 20, 1862

Executive Office, Iowa., March 20, 1862.

Schuyler Hamilton, Brig. Gen. U. S. A., St. Louis, Mo.:

Sir:—Your letter of the 7th inst., in reply to mine returning you certain papers concerning the 2d Regt. Iowa Vol. Infy., is before me.

I regret to perceive, as I think I do, by the tone of your letter, that you have taken offense at my action. I certainly did not intend to offend you, nor do I think my action properly understood can afford just ground for offense. You doubtless did what you deemed your duty in issuing the order sent by you and returned by me. I certainly did what I deemed my duty in returning it. I think you erred in issuing the order; you think I erred in returning it. I do not take offense that you differ with me, nor do I think that you should take offense that I differ with you, or think that my action is intended by me “as a rebuke” to you. This is a great mistake, unless you insist that an expression of difference of opinion is a rebuke.

You say that but for certain reasons you would publish, side by side, your “orders” and my letter. I have no objection to such publication at any time you may think advisable, either for your justification or my condemnation.

I shall not discuss further the matter in issue between us. Each of us is doubtless satisfied of the correctness of his position, and others must decide between us in the future. The flag that our 2d regiment could not carry open through the streets of St. Louis they did carry proudly through the storm of battle at Fort Donelson, and planted it first of all others on the intrenchments of that stronghold of treason. It now hangs on the chair of the speaker of the house of representatives, and will soon be deposited among the most sacred treasures of our state in our State Historical Society. I am content that what I have done in connection with it shall be so written that all who see may read the record. The “miscreants” of whom your order speaks either died in upholding it on that bloody day or helped to carry it over the entrenchments. They may not have entertained as high a regard for the property of a traitor and rebel, as was required by the orders of their superiors, and if punishment had fallen on them alone, I perhaps should not have complained, but when others, as guiltless as either of us, were punished because they either would not or could not point out those of their comrades who had violated orders or failed to obey them, the case is, in my judgment, very different.

I should not have troubled you with this long letter had it not been that I was satisfied from the tone of your letter that you had taken offense at my action. Permit me to again assure you that no offense was intended. I believed then, and from conversation with Col. Tuttle since, am fully convinced you did what you believed to be your duty, and that the performance of that duty was painful to you. I then believed and now believe none the less that you erred, and so said to you frankly. But I cannot admit that in this there is any cause for offense.

Very respectfully, your Obdt. Svt.,
Samuel J. Kirkwood

SOURCE: State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa Historical Record, Volumes 1-3, Volume 2, No. 3, July 1886, p. 324-6

Senator James W. Grimes to Elizabeth Nealley Grimes, September 20, 1863

Independence, September 20th.

I have spoken every day since I was at Des Moines, in the open air, to large crowds, and generally in a strong gale of wind. Still I got along very well until yesterday, when I made pretty much of a break-down. I caught a very bad cold, and my strength is nearly exhausted. I do not believe that I can keep up long. I never had anything to do with a campaign that required half the labor that this does.

SOURCE: William Salter, The Life of James W. Grimes, p. 238

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Wednesday, December 23, 1863

The weather continues quite pleasant. There is no news. All is quiet here. There has been no foraging for two months now, for the reason that there is nothing left to forage. I often wonder what the farmers in this section live on; whatever they have certainly cannot be in abundance. The citizens of Vicksburg are a little more fortunate; that is, if they have the greenbacks, for since July 4th, last. Confederate scrip is no longer legal tender. Some people still have a little gold and silver, which comes from its hiding place when their larders run low.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 158

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: March 30, 1864

After an all-night's ride on a slow train we reached Jersey City at eight o'clock this morning. We were due in Connecticut this morning in time for the men to register, so they could vote, this being the last day. At Jersey City marched on board a small transport. By the time half of the regiment was on board, the old craft began to sink. Not fit to take us around New York, and surely not through Long Island Sound. We returned to the dock. Informed the officers we were ready to pay our fares home by cars, as we would not risk our lives on that frail craft. After waiting awhile orders came to fall in. Then marched on board a Cortlandt Street ferry-boat for New York, thence through Cortlandt Street to Broadway, on up to 14th Street, then up 4th Avenue to 27th Street, to the station, to the New York, New Haven, and Hartford R. R. Going on board train we were soon bound for Connecticut. Passed on through New Haven, out on the Shore Line road. The train was often side-tracked, making the journey a tedious one. Nothing important happened during the journey until we reached the Connecticut River. Up to this time cheers and congratulations had been shouted for good old Connecticut. It was believed that the managers of the railroad were in sympathy with the South and were copper-heads. The crossing of the Connecticut River was by ferry-boat. It was obliged to make two trips in order to get the regiment over. The river was very high and very swift, owing to the spring freshet. Our company went over in the first load with safety. The second boat-load was carried out into the Sound. Great anxiety was felt for those on board as the boat struggled in the swift current to make the dock. After making slow progress the boat finally reached the dock, after a long time. It began to grow dark before the train started again. After many delays the train arrived in Norwich about midnight, in a cold rain-storm. Forming in line we marched to Treadway's Hall on Water Street, a good lunch having been provided. Many people were out, waiting to greet the regiment. After the reception at the hall many made their way home. Those from out of town remained in the hall until morning. All were happy, being home once more. Pretty well tired out. Not much sleep for the past three days and nights on the cars, homeward bound. My home was with an aunt on Franklin Street, where I received a hearty welcome.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 49-50

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: November 25, 1861

Was kept very busy all day with wood.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 4

6th Indiana Infantry – 3 Months

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., April 22-27, 1861. Left State for Grafton, W. Va., May 30. Attached to Kelly's Command. Action at Philippi June 3. Morris' Indiana Brigade, Army of West Virginia, July. West Virginia Campaign July 6-16. Carrick's Ford July 12-14. Pursuit of Garnett's forces July 15-16. Mustered out August 2, 1861. Lost 3 by disease.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1119

6th Indiana Infantry – 3 Years

Regiment organized at Madison, Ind., and mustered in September 20, 1861. Ordered to Louisville, Ky., September 20. Duty at Muldraugh's Hill till October 14. Moved to Nolin River, Ky. Duty at Bacon Creek and Green River till February, 1862. Attached to 1st Brigade, McCook's Command, at Nolin, Ky., October-November, 1861. 4th Brigade, Army of the Ohio, to December, 1861. 4th Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of the Ohio, to September, 1862. 4th Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Ohio, to November, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, Right Wing 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 20th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 4th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to September, 1864.

SERVICE. – March to Nashville, Tenn., February 14-March 3, 1862. March to Duck River, thence to Savannah, Tenn., March 16-April 6. Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Duty at Corinth till June 10. March to Iuka, Miss., thence to Tuscumbia, Florence, Huntsville and Stevenson, Ala., June 10-July 5. Expedition to Tullahoma July 14-18. March to Pelham July 24, thence to Altamont August 28. Reconnoissance toward Sequatchie Valley August 29-30. March to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg, August 30-September 26. Pursuit of Bragg into Kentucky October 1-15. March to Nashville, Tenn., October 16-November 7, and duty there till December 26. Advance on Murfreesboro December 26-30. Battle of Stone's River December 30-31, 1862, and January 1-3, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro till June. Middle Tennessee (or Tullahoma) Campaign June 23-July 7. Liberty Gap June 24-27. (Guard Ammunition Trains through Liberty Gap.) Occupation of Middle Tennessee till August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign August 16-September 22. Battle of Chickamauga September 19-20. Siege of Chattanooga, Tenn., September 24-November 23. Reopening Tennessee River October 26-29. Brown's Ferry October 27. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23-27. Orchard Knob November 23-24. Mission Ridge November 25. March to relief of Knoxville, Tenn., November 28-December 8. Operations in East Tennessee December, 1863, to April, 1864. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1 to August 22. Demonstrations on Rocky Faced Ridge and Dalton May 8-13. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Adairsville May 17. Near Kingston May 18-19. Near Cassville May 19. Advance on Dallas May 22-25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Pickett's Mills May 27. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill June 11-14. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Ruff's Station, Smyrna Camp Ground, July 4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Pace's Ferry July 5. Peach Tree Creek July 19-20. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 22. Ordered to Chattanooga, Tenn., August 22. Mustered out September 22, 1864. Expiration of term. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 68th Indiana Infantry.

Regiment lost during service 9 Officers and 116 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 140 Enlisted men by disease. Total 267.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1119-20

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Diary of Josephine Shaw Lowell: September 25, 1861

Gen. Fremont is to be allowed by the Administration to carry out his own plans unmolested and he is going to take the field himself, which is a good move as his reputation is at stake. Mother had a lovely letter from Mrs. Fremont, telling her, among other things, to “Watch my Chief,” and speaking of “Our General.” It is really delightful to see a woman so much in love with her husband.

SOURCE: William Rhinelander Stewart, The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell, p. 20

Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Lyman to Elizabeth Russell Lyman, November 3, 1863

Headquarters Army Of Potomac
November 3, 1863

Did I mention that, since Centreville, some two weeks, I have had a tent-mate, a Swede, one of those regular Europeans, who have been forever in the army, and who know no more about campaigning than a young child. After staying five months in this country, he got, at last, a commission as 2d Lieutenant of cavalry; and came down to study our system of artillery. He appeared with a large stock of cigars and hair-brushes, but without bedding, of any sort whatsoever. I gave him, pro tem, a buffalo, rubber blanket, etc., and, with these, and a borrowed cot, he has gone on since, apparently thinking that a kind Providence will ever care for his wants. He hasn't got mustered in yet, and seems to suppose that the officers will come to Headquarters and remove all the trouble in his commission. Now he is going to Washington about it; or rather has said he was going, for the last three days. Au reste, he is a quiet, polite man, who, I think, will not do much to improve the Swedish artillery. He has obtained a nigger boy, whose name is Burgess, but whom he calls “Booyus,” remarking to me that it was a singular name, in which I fully agreed! . . .

SOURCE: George R. Agassiz, Editor, Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, p. 41