Sunday, October 22, 2017

Joint Resolutions Adopted By the Confederate Congress on the Subject of Retaliation, April 30-May 1, 1863.

Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America in response to message of the President transmitted to Congress at the commencement of the present session, That in the opinion of Congress the commissioned officers of the enemy ought not to be delivered to the authorities of the respective States as suggested in the said message, but all captives taken by the Confederate forces ought to be dealt with and disposed of by the Confederate Government.

2. That in the judgment of Congress the proclamations of the President of the United States dated respectively September 22, 1862, and January 1, 1863, and the other measures of the Government of the United States and of its authorities, commanders and forces designed or tending to emancipate slaves in the Confederate States or to abduct such slaves or to incite them to insurrection, or to employ negroes in war against the Confederate States or to overthrow the institution of African slavery and bring on a servile war in these States would if successful produce atrocious consequences, and they are inconsistent with the spirit of those usages which in modern warfare prevail among civilized nations; they may therefore be properly and lawfully repressed by retaliation.

3. That in every case wherein during the present war any violation of the laws or usages of war among civilized nations shall be or has been done and perpetrated by those acting under the authority of the Government of the United States on the persons or property of citizens of the Confederate States or of those under the protection or in the land or naval service of the Confederate States or of any State of the Confederacy the President of the Confederate States is hereby authorized to cause full and ample retaliation to be made for every such violation, in such manner and to such extent as he may think proper.

4. That every white person being a commissioned officer or acting as such who during the present war shall command negroes or mulattoes in arms against the Confederate States or who shall arm, train, organize or prepare negroes or mulattoes for military service against the Confederate States or who shall voluntarily aid negroes or mulattoes in any military enterprise, attack or conflict in such service shall be deemed as inciting servile insurrection, and shall if captured be put to death or be otherwise punished at the discretion of the court.

5. Every person being a commissioned officer or acting as such in the service of the enemy who shall during the present war excite or attempt to excite or cause to be excited a servile insurrection or who shall incite or cause to be incited a slave to rebel shall if captured be put to death or be otherwise punished at the discretion of the court.

6. Every person charged with an offense punishable under the preceding resolution shall during the present war be tried before the military court attached to the army or corps by the troops of which he shall have been captured or by such other military court as the President may direct and in such manner and under such regulations as the President shall prescribe; and after conviction the President may commute the punishment in such manner and on such terms as he may deem proper.

7. All negroes and mulattoes who shall be engaged in war or be taken in arms against the Confederate States or shall give aid or comfort to the enemies of the Confederate States shall when captured in the Confederate States be delivered to the authorities of the State or States in which they shall be captured to be dealt with according to the present or future law of such State or States.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

President of the Senate.

Approved May 1, 1863.

SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series II, Volume 5 (Serial No. 118), p. 940-1; Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, Volume 6, 486-7.

Edwin M. Stanton to Governor David Tod, June 27, 1863

Washington, D.C., June 27, 1863.
Governor TOD,

A careful examination of the acts of Congress by the Solicitor of the War Department has led him to the conclusion that the Government can pay to colored troops only $10 per month and no bounty. A month's advance pay will be authorized. For any additional pay or bounty colored troops must trust to State contributions and the justice of Congress at the next session. Upon this basis the organizations have been made elsewhere.

Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series III, Volume 3 (Serial No. 124), p. 420

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Charles A. Dana to Edwin M. Stanton, May 5, 1863

WAR DEPARTMENT, May 5, 1863.
Smith's Plantation, or Grant's Headquarters, via Memphis:

General Grant has full and absolute authority to enforce his own commands, and to remove any person who, by ignorance, inaction, or any cause, interferes with or delays his Operations. He has the full confidence of the Government, is expected to enforce his authority, and will be firmly and heartily supported; but he will be responsible for any failure to exert his powers. You may communicate this to him.

Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 25, Part 2 (Serial No. 36), p. 84

Edwin M. Stanton to Major-General Ambrose Burnside, May 7, 1863

May 7, 1863.

Major-General BURNSIDE,  Cincinnati, Ohio

The President and General-in-Chief have just returned from the Army of the Potomac. The principal operation of General Hooker failed, but there has been no serious disaster to the organization and efficiency of the army. It is now occupying its former position on the Rappahannock, having recrossed the river without any loss in the movement. Not more than one-third of General Hooker's force was engaged. General Stoneman's operations have been a brilliant success. A part of his force advanced to within 2 miles of Richmond, and the enemy's communications have been cut in every direction. The Army of the Potomac will speedily resume offensive operations.

Secretary of War.

Similar letters sent to Generals Grant, Rosecrans, Dix, Pope and Curtis, and to the Governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, California, Oregon, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Kansas and Connecticut.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 25, Part 2 (Serial No. 40), p. 437-8

Edwin M. Stanton to Major-General Joseph Hooker, May 7, 1863 – 9:30 p.m.

May 7, 1863 9.30 p.m.
Major-General HOOKER:

Richmond papers of Tuesday received at this Department are full of accounts of the panic and destruction accomplished by Stoneman. From the several papers, and the statement of General Stoughton, just arrived, the following, among other facts, appear:

1. That a portion of Stoneman's force was within 2 miles of Richmond on Monday. This is stated by the Richmond papers. General Stoughton reports that there was not at that time a single soldier in Richmond.

2. The road was torn up at various points, and General Stoughton says the canal broken, but the papers assert it was not broken.

3. Stoneman's force is represented to be divided into detachments, operating in different directions, and producing great panic everywhere in that region.

Other details are given at great length, but the above are the principal points. The result at Chancellorsville does not seem to have produced any panic. Gold has only risen 6 per cent. in New York, and at the close to-day had gone down 4. The public confidence seems to remain unshaken in the belief of your ultimate success.

[Secretary of War.]

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 25, Part 2 (Serial No. 40), p. 439

Abraham Lincoln to Major-General Joseph Hooker, June 10, 1863

United States Military Telegraph
War Department.
Washington D.C.  June 10, 1863.
Major General Hooker

Your long despatch of to-day is just received. If left to me, I would not go South of the Rappahannock, upon Lee's moving North of it. If you have Richmond invested to-day, you would not be able to take it in twenty days; meanwhile, your communications, and with them, your Army would be ruined.  I think Lee's Army, and not Richmond, is your true objective point. If he comes towards the Upper Potomac, follow on his flank, and on the inside track, shortening your lines, whilst he lengthens his. Fight him when oppertunity offers. If he stays where he is, fret him, and fret him.

A Lincoln

Edwin M. Stanto to Governor David Tod, June 15, 1863 – 2 a.m.

June 15, 1863 2 a.m.
Governor TOD,
Columbus, Ohio:

Reports received yesterday and last night have rendered it certain that Lee is advancing with his whole army to invade the States of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and probably Ohio. The President, to meet the exigency, has called for 100,000 militia, to serve for six months, unless sooner discharged. Of these, 50,000 are called from Pennsylvania, 30,000 from Ohio. I hope you will speedily have Ohio's proportion ready for Pittsburgh and Wheeling, or wherever required. Order has been made for the issue of arms and ammunition immediately.

Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 3 (Serial No. 45), p. 144

Simon Cameron to Abraham Lincoln, June 15, 1863 – 3:50 p.m.

HARRISBURG, June 15, 1863.
(Received 3.50 p.m.)

I do not believe that you can get troops in time under your call for six months, but if you authorize General Couch to accept them for the emergency, a very large force will be on hand immediately.


SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 3 (Serial No. 45), p. 141

Edwin M. Stanton to Simon Cameron, June 15, 1863 – 7:30 p.m.

WAR DEPARTMENT, June 15, 1863 7.30 p.m.
Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Harrisburg:

The President has referred your telegram to me for answer. No one can tell how long the present emergency for troops in Pennsylvania may continue. The present movement is but the execution of Jeff. Davis' original plan to make Pennsylvania and the loyal States the theater of war. The rebels are encouraged by the hope of assistance and encouragement held out to them by opposition to the war and resistance to the enrollment in Pennsylvania. The law has fixed the period for which troops shall be called. If the emergency is over before that time, they can be discharged; but as human foresight cannot say how long it may take to drive out the rebels, especially if they should find aid and comfort in Pennsylvania, the President thinks he must obey the law.


SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 3 (Serial No. 45), p. 141-2

Edwin M. Stanton to Governor Horatio Seymour, June 27, 1863

War Department, Washington City,
June 27th, 1863.

Dear Sir: I cannot forbear expressing to you the deep obligation I feel for the prompt and cordial support you have given the Government in the present emergency. The energy and patriotism you have exhibited I may be permitted personally and officially to acknowledge, without arrogating any personal claims on my part, to such service, or any service whatever.

I shall be happy always to be esteemed your friend.

Edwin M. Stanton.
His Excellency Horatio Seymour.

SOURCE: James D. McCabe, The Life and Public Services of Horatio Seymour, p. 66

Charles A. Dana to Edwin M. Stanton, June 14, 1863 – 8 a.m.

BEHIND VICKSBURG, June 14, 1863 8 a.m.,
VIA MEMPHIS, June 17 Noon.
(Received 7 p.m.)

All the indications point to the speedy surrender of this place. Deserters who came out yesterday say that the Tennessee and Georgia regiments have determined to stack their arms within three days and refuse to continue the defense on the ground that it is useless, and that it is impossible to fight on the rations they receive. All the deserters are worn out and hungry, and say the whole garrison are in the same condition; besides, the defense has for several days been conducted with extraordinary feebleness, which must be due either to the deficiency of ammunition, or exhaustion and depression in the garrison, or to their retirement to an inner line of defense. The first and third of these causes no doubt operate to some extent, but the second we suppose to be the most influential. These deserters also say that fully one-third of the garrison are in hospital, and that officers, as well as men, have begun to despair of relief from Johnston. The troops of General Herron got into position yesterday. The advance of the Ninth Army Corps is also believed by General Grant to have arrived at Young's Point, though he has no positive report, and does not expect one till it has its place as a part of the besieging force on the south of the city, whither he has sent orders for it to proceed. After the arrival there of this corps, General Herron is to move to the right of General Lauman, and occupy that portion of the lines which is now held by Hovey's division, which McClernand will then station as a reserve to support the other divisions of his corps. All of W. S. Smith's division are now at Haynes' Bluff, where I saw them yesterday working upon the intrenchments with admirable zeal. The fortifications there for an army of 25,000 troops will be in a condition for practical use by the 16th instant. It is a stronger defensive position even than Vicksburg. The distance hence to Drumgould's Bluff is 11 miles, to Haynes' Bluff 14. Drumgould's, on which the rebels placed their most elaborate works, is an isolated mamelon. Snyder's and Haynes' Bluffs are connected by a ridge, though flanks on the river side are separated by two ravines and a bayou slope. Snyder's commands the lower, Haynes' the upper bend of the Yazoo. Snyder' Bluff is now being fortified. When the works there are completed, they will be extended around Haynes' also. They will then form an intrenched camp for 50,000 troops. From Joe Johnston there is no news since my last dispatch, except that which merely confirms its principal contents. He has made no new movements in this quarter.

Sebastian, Senator from Arkansas, has determined to claim his seat in the next Congress. With the fall of Vicksburg, he says that all west of the Mississippi is emancipated from the Confederacy, and that Arkansas can be brought back into the Union. He has taken no part in the war.

Please inform me by telegraph whether you wish me to go to General Rosecrans after the fall of Vicksburg, or whether you have any other orders for me. I should like to go home for a short time.

Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 24, Part 1 (Serial No. 36), p. 98-9

Charles A. Dana to Edwin M. Stanton, June 29, 1863 – 9 a.m.

NEAR VICKSBURG; June 29, 1863 9 a.m.,
VIA MEMPHIS, July 1 10 p.m.
(Received July 4 8 p.m.)

Two separate parties of deserters from Vicksburg agree in the statement that the provisions of the place are near the point of total exhaustion; that rations have now been reduced lower than ever; that extreme dissatisfaction exists among the garrison, and that it is agreed on all hands that the city will be surrendered on Saturday, July 4, if, indeed, it can hold on so long as that. Col. C. R. Woods, who holds our extreme right on the Mississippi, has got out five of the thirteen guns of the sunken gunboat Cincinnati, and this morning opens three of them from batteries on the bluff. The others, including those still in the vessel, he will place as rapidly as possible in a battery he has constructed on the river half a mile in the rear of his lines. Though this battery has no guns on it, yet the enemy has been firing its heaviest ordnance at it for several days past, and has done to the embrasures some little damage, easily repairable. It commands the whole face of the town. On McPherson's front a new mine is now nearly completed, and will at furthest be ready to spring at daylight to morrow. It is intended to destroy internal rifle-pits with which the rebels still hold the fort whose bastion was overthrown by McPherson's former mine. If successful, it will give us complete possession of that fort, as the narrowness of the ridge on which it stands and the abruptness of the ravine behind it made it impossible that it should be defended by any third line in the rear of that now being undermined. The new line in Sherman's front will probably not be ready so soon, but the engineer's morning report has not been made. No news from Joe Johnston.

Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 24, Part 1 (Serial No. 36), p. 112

Friday, October 20, 2017

Major-General Henry W. Halleck to Major-General William S. Rosecrans, June 16, 1863 – 2 p.m.

Washington, June 16, 1863 2 p.m.
Major-General ROSECRANS,
Murfreesborough, Tenn.:

Is it your intention to make an immediate movement forward? A definite answer, yes or no, is required.


SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 23, Part 1 (Serial No. 34), p. 10

Major-General William S. Rosecrans to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, June 16, 1863 – 6:30 p.m.

June 16, 1863 6.30 p.m.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,  General-in-Chief:

In reply to your inquiry, if immediate means to-night or to-morrow, no. If it means as soon as all things are ready, say five days, yes.


SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 23, Part 1 (Serial No. 34), p. 10

Abraham Lincoln to Major-General Darius Couch, June 24, 1863 – 8:55 a.m.

WASHINGTON, June 24, 1863 8.55 a.m.
Major-General COUCH,
Harrisburg, Pa.:

Have you any reports of the enemy moving into Pennsylvania? And, if any, what?


SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 3 (Serial No. 45), p. 295

John H. Hill to William Still, March 8, 1854

TORONTO, March 8th, 1854.

MY DEAR FRIEND STILL:—We will once more truble you opon this great cause of freedom, as we know that you are a man, that are never fatuged in Such a glorious cause. Sir, what I wish to Say is this. Mr. Forman has Received a letter from his wife dated the 29th ult. She States to him that She was Ready at any time, and that Everything was Right with her, and she hoped that he would lose no time in sending for her for she was Ready and awaiting for him. Well friend Still, we learnt that Mr. Minkens could not bring her the account of her child. We are very sorry to hear Such News, however, you will please to read this letter with care, as we have learnt that Minkens Cannot do what we wishes to be done; we perpose another way. There is a white man that Sale from Richmond to Boston, that man are very Safe, he will bring F's wife with her child. So you will do us a favour will take it upon yourself to transcribe from this letter what we shall write. I. E. this there is a Colored gen. that workes on the basin in R—d this man's name is Esue Foster, he can tell Mrs. forman all about this Saleor. So you can place the letter in the hands of M. to take to forman’s wife, She can read it for herself. She will find Foster at ladlum’s warehouse on the Basin, and when you write call my name to him and he will trust it. this foster are a member of the old Baptist Church. When you have done all you can do let us know what you have done, if you hears anything of my uncle let me know.

SOURCES: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 196

Senator Salmon P. Chase to Charles Sumner, February 26, 1851

Washington City, Feb. 26, 1851.

My Dear Sumner, I have long desired to write you, but have postponed it from day to day in the hope that I might be able to congratulate you on your election. I suppose another attempt has been made today, but the past has discouraged me. The treachery of the rascals who have hitherto defeated you is probably too deep to be repented of. But there will be a glorious issue to go to the people upon. The Free Democracy and the Old Line Democracy will now be drawn into closer sympathy. I think this approximation is needed. Your old style for our organization of the Free Democracy, rather than Free Soil, you know, was always most acceptable to me. In fact I should not myself be willing to fight in a mere free soil party at the present time. I should be too uncertain whither it would drift. We must soon grapple with the great question of emancipation. It will not be long before the gentlemen who are always for compromise, will be ready for some scheme of emancipation by which the masters will be indemnified. Capital in mills and shops and stocks and capital in men women & children will ally themselves together and propose a grand national debt for raising the means of compensation. To be safe we must place ourselves on the ground of the separation of the Genl. Government from slavery leaving all questions of slavery within states to the states themselves. This is the democratic view, and harmonizes with the original policy of the Government.

But why talk to you of these things, when you know all about them? Let me hear from you. I shall leave on Tuesday morning or evening for Cincinnati.

Yours ever,

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 234

Diary of Gideon Welles: Thursday, October 15, 1863

News from the front vague and unsatisfactory. Our papers dwell on the masterly movements of Meade, and street rumor glorifies him, but I can get nothing to authenticate or justify this claim of wonderful strategy. Lee has made a demonstration, and our army has fallen back, — “changed its base,” they call it at the War Department; in the vernacular, retreated. This retreat may have been, and probably was, skillfully executed. It is well to make the most of it. It is claimed Meade has shown great tact in not permitting the enemy to outflank him. Perhaps so. I shall not controvert, if I doubt it. I would not decry our generals, nor speak my mind freely if unfavorably impressed concerning them, in public. Meade does the best he knows how; Halleck does nothing.

The election returns come in triumphantly for the Union. Woodward and Vallandigham, both Rebel sympathizers, have been defeated. General McClellan, whose reticence and caution have hitherto been well maintained, unwisely exposed himself. I am informed he refused to write a letter until assured by those in whom he had full trust that there was no doubt of Woodward's election. I doubt if his letter helped Woodward to one vote, but it has effectually killed McClellan.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 470-1

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Saturday, March 28, 1863

Rain all night. Yesterday, a clear, cold morning; a white frost; cloudy and hazy all day; rain at night.

P. M. Rode with Dr. Webb, Lieutenant McKinley, and a dragoon out on road to Coal Forks as far as Davis Creek, thence down the creek to the Guyandotte Pike (river road), thence home. Crossed the creek seven times; water deep and bottom miry.

Today a fight between four hundred Jenkins' or Floyd's men and two hundred and seventy-five Thirteenth Virginia [men] at Hurricane Bridge. Rebels repulsed. Our loss three killed and six wounded, one mortally. Floyd's men coming into Logan, Boone, Wayne, Cabell, and Putnam [Counties], reporting Floyd dismissed and his troops disbanded. The troops from being state troops refuse to go into Confederate service but seem willing to fight the Yankees on their own hook.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 398

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: July 19, 1864

There is no such thing as delicacy here. Nine out of ten would as soon eat with a corpse for a table as any other way. In the middle of last night I was awakened by being kicked by a dying man. He was soon dead. In his struggles he had floundered clear into our bed Got up and moved the body off a few feet, and again went to sleep to dream of the hideous sights. I can never get used to it as some do. Often wake most scared to death, and shuddering from head to foot. Almost dread to go to sleep on this account. I am getting worse and worse, and prison ditto.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 88

Captain William Thompson Lusk to Elizabeth Adams Lusk, September 18, 1862

Capt. W. T. Lusk, A. A. A. Gen.
1st. Brig. 1st. Div. 9th. A. C.
Washington, D. C.
(To be forwarded)

Sept. 18th, 1862.
My dearest Mother:

After the battle of South Mountain, as we were being pushed on to this point (near Sharpsburg), unable to write myself, the Chaplain of the 79th kindly promised to inform you of my safety. Yesterday there was another fierce battle in which I took an active part, but he who lends a pitying ear to the prayers of the widow and the fatherless, vouchsafed to spare me in the time of danger. To-morrow I suppose there will be another battle, so to-night, though it is late, I write you hurriedly. Our successes in Maryland have been signal. We have been cheered for the bloodshed of the past few days by the sight of a retreating foe. God grant us such victories as may speedily end the war. All wish for peace, and so are willing to fight with desperation. Our division has done splendidly so far.

I long to hear from home. Your letter of the 25th of August, telling me that I was an unsuccessful candidate for position in the 18th Conn., is the last news I have received from home. Well, my fate is the fate of thousands. Those of us who have borne all the dangers and privations of the past, have no pretensions in comparison with such as can control a few votes in a country parish. I have taken part now in seven grand battles, and over a half dozen smaller engagements, have been constantly in service for fifteen months, have received the most gratifying expression of the esteem of my superior officers, but promotion is not the result of service according to our present system. In my old position as Acting Asst. Adjt.-General to the Division, with a change of Generals, I was superseded by a private of the 7th Regiment of New-York, who received a Commission from the President. This is perfectly right, as each General must choose his own Adjutant and form his own staff. Of the fifteen months I have held a Commission, fourteen months I have held acting appointments, that is, have had the labor and responsibility of various positions without the emolument. I am now Acting A. A. General to the first Brigade of this division, the regular pay of which position is between $160 and $170 per month. Holding only an acting appointment I receive $120.00. There is not much encouragement in this, but still I am content to be of any assistance, or to do my duty in any position which may be allotted me. I fear my old friends who hoped for much, feel more distressed than I do. I saw Charley Farnsworth in Washington. He feels that he has done much, and has received only neglect in return. His wound troubles him still, and I think he is not sorry to make it a pretext for quitting a service where there is no glory, no recognition of service to promote and foster a soldier's pride. Charley is a fine fellow, and his parents may feel proud of him.

I have had those two bad teeth of mine extracted. Tried a Regimental Surgeon first. Surgeon breaks one of them off, and I decline to have the experiment repeated — suffer all sorts of agony for about a month. At Frederick find a regular dentist who feels confident that he can draw any tooth. I let him try first the one not already partially operated upon. Dentist puts on the forceps and crushes in one side, then cuts the gum, tries again — pleasantly assures me he can do it, and crunch goes the old tooth again. Dentist grows radiant and tells how he extracted twelve from one lady the day before, and is more confident than ever that he can do it; puts on his forceps and by a succession of wrenches breaks the crown of the tooth, lays it complacently on a sheet of paper, and says that is just what he most ardently desired; makes another effort, smashes the root, and with the face of an angel, tells me it's all right — that now he can do it. Here human endurance failed. I objected to any further torture, took chloroform, sank into a state of insensibility, recovered minus two teeth, and all right.

Good-bye, dear, darling mother, keep up good heart. God is merciful as well as just. Love to all the dear ones.


SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 199-202

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: August 9, 1863

No news from the armies.

Mrs. ex-President Tyler, who has already been permitted to visit her native State, New York, once or twice during the war — and indeed her plantation has been within the enemy's lines — has applied for passage in a government steamer (the Lee) to Nassau, and to take with her "a few bales of cotton." I suppose it will be "allowed."

We have fine hot August weather now, and I hope my tomatoes will mature, and thus save me two dollars per day. My potatoes have, so far, failed; but as they are still green, perhaps they may produce a crop later in the season. The lima beans, trailed on the fence, promise an abundant crop; and the cabbages and peppers look well. Every inch of the ground is in cultivation — even the ash-heap, covered all over with tomato-vines.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2, p. 9

Captain Charles Wright Wills: June 4, 1863

Middleton, Tenn., June 4, 1863.

We made another little change yesterday. The regiment is now guarding the M. C. & R. R. from Grand Junction to Pocahontas. We are in detachments of two companies each. H Company is with mine. We marched 23 miles to make this point yesterday, and arrived at 10 o'clock p. m. We only made four miles after dark, and the road was so horrible and the woods so thick we had much difficulty in finding it at all. We occupy the depot and have strengthened it by a revetment of fascines, so that we consider ourselves perfectly safe if attacked by even ten times our number of infantry. Artillery would scoop us. This little town had when the war commenced some 40 houses; now it boasts of not more than 12 or 15, though a number of extra chimneys add so much to the picturesqueness of the scene, that I can excuse the houses for "going out." This country has literally been scraped, swept and scoured. The guerrillas first ran the Union men off, and then when we came here the Unionists returned, took up arms and drove out all the secesh families. You can hear of murders being committed in every neighborhood by either one party or the other. It will take at least 8,000 years for this people alone to make this country what Illinois is now, on the average, and at least 1,000 to bring it up to the standard of poor, God-forsaken Lewistown township. I have never been so comfortably situated in the army, except when with Colonel Mizner, as I am now. The boys have rigged up nice bunks in the depot wareroom, which are dry and comfortable, have good water, light guard duty, and the citizens bring in to us their extra vegetables, etc., and trade them for our surplus rations. The boys give one pound of coffee for two dozen eggs, or two pounds of butter; sell them bacon for 15 cents per pound, etc. Two very fine elderly ladies pleading for a horse to-day, told stories of tremendous length about how "Union" their husbands were prior to their deaths. I'd almost rather give up my head than have two women of their age begging of me for anything that way. I have the telegraph room for myself and have fixed it up nicely. I know well enough that it is too good to last long and shall resign it without a sigh, and if ordered to Vicksburg, with a cheer. I fixed up our last camp as well as I could in hopes that my pains would bring us marching orders, and we got them, but the direction was wrong. This is so much better that it must surely win. Maybe you don't know that there is a superstition (almost) among soldiers that arranging a camp particularly nice and comfortable brings marching orders.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 177-9

Franklin B. Sanborn to John Brown, July 27, 1859

[July 27, 1859.]

Dear Friend, — Yours of the 18th has been received and communicated. S. G. Howe has sent you fifty dollars in a draft on New York, and I am expecting to get more from other sources (perhaps some here), and will make up to you the three hundred dollars, if I can, as soon as I can; but I can give nothing myself just now, being already in debt. I hear with great pleasure what you say of the success of the business, and hope nothing will occur to thwart it. Your son John was in Boston a week or two since. I tried to find him, but did not; and being away from Concord, he did not come to see me. He saw S. G. Howe, George L. Stearns, Wendell Phillips, Francis Jackson, etc.; and everybody liked him. I am very sorry I could not see him. All your Boston friends are well. Theodore Parker is in Switzerland, much better, it is thought, than when he left home. Henry Sterns, of Springfield, is dead.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 534-5

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: December 5, 1863

A damp cloudy day. Sent out for meat and wheat. All failed save the butchers. Some talk of moving. Played checkers with Ordnance Sergt. Got badly beaten. Went to bed early with orders to be ready to march at 7 A. M. the next morning. All quiet.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 100

John H. Hill to William Still, December 29, 1853

TORONTO, December 29th, 1853.

MY DEAR FRIEND:— It affords me a good deel of Pleasure to say that my wife and the Children have arrived safe in this City. But my wife had very bad luck. She lost her money and the money that was belonging to the children, the whole amount was 35 dollars. She had to go to the Niagara falls and Telegraph to me come after her. She got to the falls on Sat'dy and I went after her on Monday. We saw each other once again after so long an Abstance, you may know what sort of matting it was, joyful times of corst. My wife are well Satisfied here, and she was well Pleased during her stay in your city. My Trip to the falls cost Ten Eighty Seven and half. The things that friend Brown Shiped to me by the Express costed $24¼. So you can see fiting out a house Niagara falls and the cost for bringing my things to this place, have got me out of money, but for all I am a free man.

The weather are very cold at Present, the snow continue to fall though not as deep here as it is in Boston. The people haves their own Amousements, the weather as it is now, they don't care for the snow nor ice, but they are going from Ten A. M. until Twelve P. M., the hous that we have open don't take well because we don't Sell Spirits, which we are trying to avoid if we can.

Mr. Still, I hold in my hand A letter from a friend of South, who calls me to promise that I made to him before I left. My dear Sir, this letter have made my heart Bleed, since I Received it, he also desires of me to remember him to his beloved Brethren and then to Pray for him and his dear friends who are in Slavery. I shall Present his letter to the churches of this city. I forward to your care for Mrs. Moore, a few weeks ago. Mrs. Hill sends her love to your wife and yourself.

Please to write, I Sincerely hope that our friends from Petersburg have reached your city before this letter is dated. I must close by saying, that I Sir, remain humble and obedient Servant,

J. H. H.

SOURCES: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 195-6

Senator Salmon P. Chase to Edward S. Hamlin, February 1851

Washington City, Feb. 1851.

My Dear Sir, I am in debt to you, but not absolutely insolvent. I have taken to be sure rather an unreasonable stay of execution, but I always meant to pay up at last. But you will have even now to take payment in depreciated currency and that you will say is half way to repudiation. I can only give you a very hurried and unsatisfactory letter for your good one.

The papers will shew you that agitation has not been entirely excluded from the Senate. Clay has himself been the arch agitator. For myself I thought it a good occasion to appear in the character of a friend to the progress of business, and the postponement of slavery discussions, which would interfere with it at this session. I was really anxious for the progress of business — for the fate of cheap postage and the harbor & river bill depended upon it. And besides I decided to show the country the hypocrisy of those pretences which always put the "other public interests" in competition with "freedom" but never in competition with slavery. You will see my speech and I hope approve of it. It had one capital effect. It brought out Rhett in an able speech vindicating the same views of the fugitive servant clause of the Constitution which I adopt. These southern ultras are altogether more honest than the southern doughfaces. They believe slavery to be right most of them and the rest believe it to be a necessity. They all agree in believing that in the present state of the races in the slave states slavery is best for both and indeed indispensable to the safety of both. They believing and holding also that the Constitution recognizes their right of property in slaves, their conclusions are natural enough. They avow them boldly and act upon them. The Compromisers on the other hand, generally, regard slavery as a temporary institution; but use it as a means of gaining and retaining political power.

It seems to me that the only course for us who believe in equal rights without limitations or exceptions, is to act together. We shall be ruined if we undertake to act with the Whigs. We cannot merge in the Old Line Democracy, so long as it cleaves to its alliance with the slave power, without being submerged. It seems to me that our true course, in the event, that the young men's Democratic Convention in May fail, as I fear they will fail, to take ground on the slavery questions which we can approve, is to call a Convention of Radical Democrats or Jeffersonian Democrats to meet in June or thereabouts and organize throughout the State. This course will bring Hunkerism to its senses.

All on the subject of the Presidency is much as it was when I last wrote you. Douglas is figuring, but he can't come it.

Write me at Cincinnati immediately on receiving this. I expect to be there on Friday night or Saturday morning of next week: and I hope to be able to spend a day or two in Columbus before the Legislature adjourns. I desire much to see our friends there.

Miller of the Toledo Republican writes me that he is about to sell out. I am sorry; but if he and Riley can be secured for the Columbus paper the cause may not lose by it. Under existing circumstances it is very important to have a paper of the right kind at the Capital.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 232-4

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Wednesday, October 14, 1863

The election returns from Pennsylvania and Ohio are cheering in their results. The loyal and patriotic sentiment is strongly in the ascendant in both States, and the defeat of Vallandigham is emphatic. I stopped in to see and congratulate the President, who is in good spirits and greatly relieved from the depression of yesterday. He told me he had more anxiety in regard to the election results of yesterday than he had in 1860 when he was chosen. He could not, he said, have believed four years ago, that one genuine American would, or could be induced to, vote for such a man as Vallandigham, yet he has been made the candidate of a large party, their representative man, and has received a vote that is a discredit to the country. The President showed a good deal of emotion as he dwelt on this subject, and his regrets were sincere.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 470

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Friday, March 27, 1863

Bitterly cold last night; a bright, frosty morning. Election yesterday in all these counties on accepting the conditions which Congress affixes to the admission as a State of West Virginia. The condition is abolition of slavery. The people doubtless have acquiesced.

Rumors of enemy in Boone and Logan [Counties], also on the Sandy. All pointing to an attempt to take this valley and the salt-works.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 398

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: July 18, 1864

Time slowly dragging itself along. Cut some wretchs hair most every day. Have a sign out “Hair Cutting,” as well as “Washing,” and by the way, Battese has a new wash board made from a piece of the scaffold lumber. About half the time do the work for nothing, in fact not more than one in three or four pays anything — expenses not much though, don't have to pay any rent. All the mess keeps their hair cut short which is a very good advertisement. My eyes getting weak with other troubles. Can just hobble around. Death rate more than ever, reported one hundred and sixty five per day; said by some to be more than that, but 165 is about the figure Bad enough without making any worse than it really is. Jimmy Devers most dead and begs us to take him to the hospital and guess will have to. Every morning the sick are carried to the gate in blankets and on stretchers, and the worst cases admitted to the hospital. Probably out of five or six hundred half are admitted Do not think any lives after being taken there; are past all human aid. Four out of every five prefer to stay inside and die with their friends rather than go to the hospital. Hard stories reach us of the treatment of the sick out there and I am sorry to say the cruelty emanates from our own men who act as nurses. These dead beats and bummer nurses are the same bounty jumpers the U. S. authorities have had so much trouble with. Do not mean to say that all the nurses are of that class but a great many of them are.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 88

Elizabeth Adams Lusk to Captain William Thompson Lusk, September 16, 1862

Norwich, Sept 16th, 1862.
My own dear Son:

I have very little reason to believe in the probability of your receiving my many letters, yet I continue to write with the bare possibility that they may some of them reach you. Last night came the news of a glorious victory for us, but alas! also came the sad and sickening news that another of our good and able Generals was killed. In the general rejoicing my heart is heavy, for my dear son was in Reno's command when I last heard, and I am looking with fear and dread for the terrible list to come from that battlefield. How my God is trying me, and how merciful he has been to preserve my precious son through so many appalling dangers! My heart was so full of sympathy for Mrs. Stevens. I wrote her a letter a few days ago. I saw that her husband was buried at Newport, and an extract from an address delivered on the occasion impressed me wonderfully. We are all occupied by the same train of thought, deepened in intensity of course with some of us, by the danger our loved ones are in. I received a very kind letter from Horace a few days since, wherein he dwells upon the birth of your reputation; he says at twenty-four you have won honors enough to suffice for a life time. You are not forgotten my own son, my heroic boy. Many hearts are watching, eager for every word from you. The extract from your letter in the N. Y. Post has attracted the attention of many who know you personally, or have heard of you. They say the account is interesting, and written too, by one who observes. . . .

SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 197-8

Elizabeth Adams Lusk to Captain William Thompson Lusk, September 17, 1862

17th. To-day our rejoicing is somewhat subdued by the news of the surrender of our forces at Harper's Ferry. Burnside's corps is said to have fought splendidly at South Mountain; Reno's Command is highly complimented, not a man faltered. I am so longing for another letter from you. I see the 79th was in the recent engagements. It seems they are always where work is to be done. I saw too that Capt. Pier, of whom I have heard Dr. Elliott speak, was slightly wounded. I trust you have escaped unhurt, that God's good angels have guarded you, and brought you safely through. I noticed the names of one or two from Co. K, 79th, among the wounded. Uncle John's faith in Gen. Pope remains firm. Mine is lost, yet I wish all to receive full justice, and am very glad to discover merit among our officers; our men are almost beyond praise.

Miss Abby Bond (Dr. Bond's daughter) is to be married to-day, to a Mr. Adriance from St. Louis. Nannie Day has come up to attend the wedding. Hunt is in good spirits this morning; he sends love, thinks you are doing great things, and hopes the ball now in motion, will move until the great end for which it was started, is accomplished. He says he sees McClellan has been under a chiropodist, and he is glad to see so glorious a result.

Again, good-bye, my own dear son. I pray that you, so marvellously preserved as a soldier of our country, may likewise always remain a soldier of the Cross. God bless you, guard you, guide you, wherever you may be.

With much love from all, I remain, my precious son,

Always your loving

SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 198-9

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: August 8, 1863

There is nothing new from any of the armies, except that my old friend, Gen. Rains, sent to Mississippi, stopped and stampeded Grant's army, after Johnston retreated from Jackson, with his "subterra batteries." It appears that hundreds of the enemy and their horses were killed and wounded by the shells planted by him beneath the surface of the earth, and which ignited under the pressure of their weight. They knew not where to go to avoid them, and so they retreated to Vicksburg. This invention may become a terror to all invading.

A letter received some days ago from a Mr. Bible, in Georgia, proposing to contribute one-quarter of his slaves as teamsters, cooks, etc. for the army, came back from the President, to-day, approved, with directions to quartermasters to employ in such capacities all that could be procured.

Col. Myers, the Quartermaster-General, who is charged with saying “Let them suffer,” when the soldiers wanted blankets last winter, is to go out of office at last — to be succeeded by Brig.-Gen. Lawton.

Oak-wood is selling to-day for $35 per cord; coal, $25 per cartload; and flour, $45 per barrel. Mr. Warwick, however, sells any family one barrel for $34. I got one from him, and the promise of another for $33 — from Commissary Warner; and I hope to get two loads of coal, under the navy contract, at $20 each. There is much excitement against the speculators in food and fuel — and some harsh proceeding may ensue.

The Tribune (New York) now says no terms will be listened to so long as we are in arms. We will not yield our arms but with life — and this insures independence.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2, p. 8-9

Captain Charles Wright Wills: May 29, 1863

Camp 103d Illinois Infantry, Lagrange, Tenn.,
May 29, 1863.

’Tis becoming fiendishly warm in this latitude again; but the delightfully cool nights of which I wrote you so much last summer, are also here again, and amply repay one for the feverish days. We have moved our camp from the town to a grove on a hill about midway between Grand Junction and Lagrange It is one of the best defensive positions that I know of. It seems to me much better than Corinth, or Columbus, Ky., or New Madrid. Our negro troops are fortifying it. I suppose that no one anticipates danger from the Confederates, on this line, any more; but I can understand that the stronger we make our line, the less object the secesh will have in visiting us. We are raising a regiment of blacks here. Captain Boynton, who has an Illinois Battery, is to be the colonel. He looks like a good man, but I think that a better could have been selected. I am afraid they are not commissioning the right material for line officers. Two are to be taken from our regiment, and if we have two men who are good for nothing under the sun, I believe them to be the ones. I know that first rate men have applied for these places, and why they give them to such worthless fellows, I can't see. I think poor Sambo should be allowed a fair chance, and that he certainly will never get under worthless officers. I suppose that the regiment organization here numbers some 800 now, and will soon be full. I don't know whether I wrote it to you or not, but a year ago I sincerely thought that if the negro was called into this war as a fighting character, I would get out of it as quickly as I could, honorably. I am by no means an enthusiast over the negro soldiers yet. I would rather fight the war out without arming them. Would rather be a private in a regiment of whites than an officer of negroes; but I don't pretend to set up my voice against what our President says or does; and will cheerfully go down the Mississippi and forage for mules, horses and negroes and put muskets in the hand's of the latter. I have no trouble in believing that all these Rebels should lose every slave they possess; and I experience some pleasure in taking them when ordered to. Captain Bishop with some 25 men of Companies A and G did a splendid thing last Thursday night. He surprised Saulstreet and 20 of his gang, about 11:30 p. m., killed three, wounded and captured five and six sound prisoners, without losing one of our men or getting one scratched. Three of the wounded guerrillas have since died. Saulstreet himself escaped. Over at Henderson Station on the M. & O. R. R. lives a Miss Sally Jones who once, when some Rebels set fire to a bridge near there, watched them from the brush until they left and then extinguished the fire. She is a case. Lieutenant Mattison saw her there a few days since. The day before he saw her she had been out scouring over the country horseback, dressed in boys' clothes, with her brother. She often goes out with the soldiers scouting, and the boys think the world of her. Any of them would kill a man who would dare insult her. She is, withal, a good girl. Not educated, but of fine feelings and very pleasing manners. Memphis paper has just arrived. Not a word from Vicksburg but a two column list of wounded. I expect that you have celebrated the capture of that town, long before this. All right, you ought to enjoy yourselves a little once in a while. There are now to my certain knowledge, 20,000 troops on the railroad between Memphis and Corinth, and there are not 1,000 armed Rebels within 100 miles of any point on the road. Our presence at Vicksburg could not help deciding the day in our favor. It makes a man who knows nothing about the matter, sick to think of the way we manage our army. Hold 100,000 in reserve and fight with 10,000.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 176-7

John Henry Kagi to John Brown, August 27, 1859

I to-day received the enclosed letter and check.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 534

Samuel Gridley Howe to John Henry Kagi, about August 25, 1859

Dear Friend, — I begin the investment with fifty dollars, and will try to do more through friends. Our friend from Concord1 called with your note.


1 Franklin B. Sanborn.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 534

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: Tuesday, December 1, 1863

In the morning issued rations to the 9th Mich. Sent Coats to see Fisher. Promised to send to me or come himself. Rebels reported across the river. Scout sent out. Maj. Gen. Foster arrived last night. Guns fired in his honor. Telegram from Leavitt to know about rations.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 99

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: December 2, 1863

Finished Burns yesterday. Pleased with him except that he tends too much to vulgarity. A good deal of wit. Firing all day in the direction of Walker's Ford. Infantry moved down. Cavalry obliged to fall back across the river. Commenced running mill at Big Springs. Fisher failed to return the meal. Teams sent back in evening. Put on my Regimentals.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 99

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: December 3, 1863

During the day was quite busy getting wheat, etc., together. Ordered to be ready to march this P. M. Got all ready but failed to move. Issued meal and flour till Tuesday. Wrote in the evening. Had some apples to eat. Boys played checkers. Two poor stoves.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 99

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: December 4, 1863

Considerable movement among the troops. Beers and Woods up from the 2nd Ohio. Played considerably at checkers with the boys. Saw paper of the 27th. Several scouting parties sent out and appearances of rebs leaving Tennessee for W. Virginia. Sent letters yesterday home and to Fannie.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 99-100

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

John H. Hill to William Still, November 12, 1853

TORONTO, November 12th, 1853.

MY DEAR STILL:— Your letter of the 3th came to hand thursday and also three copes all of which I was glad to Received they have taken my attention all together Every Time I got them. I also Rec’d. a letter from my friend Brown. Mr. Brown stated to me that he had heard from my wife but he did not say what way he heard. I am looking for my wife every day. Yes I want her to come then I will be better sattisfied. My friend I am a free man and feeles alright about that matter. I am doing tolrable well in my line of business, and think I will do better after little. I hope you all will never stop any of our Brotheran that makes their Escep from the South but send them on to this Place where they can be free man and woman. We want them here and not in your State where they can be taken away at any hour. Nay but let him come here where he can Enjoy the Rights of a human being and not to be trodden under the feet of men like themselves. All the People that comes here does well. Thanks be to God that I came to this place. I would like very well to see you all but never do I expect to see you in the United States. I want you all to come to this land of Liberty where the bondman can be free. Come one come all come to this place, and I hope my dear friend you will send on here. I shall do for them as you all done for me when I came on here however I will do the best I can for them if they can they shall do if they will do, but some comes here that can’t do well because they make no efford. I hope my friend you will teach them such lessons as Mrs. Moore Give me before I left your city. I hope she may live a hundred years longer and enjoy good health. May God bless her for the good cause which she are working in. Mr. Still you ask me to remember you to Nelson. I will do so when I see him, he are on the lake so is Stewart. 1 received a letter to-day for Stewart from your city which letter I will take to him when he comes to the city. He are not stoping with us at this time. I was very sorry a few days ago when I heard that a man was taken from your city.

Send them over here, then let him come here and take them away and I will try to have a finger in the Pie myself. You said that you had written to my wife ten thousand thanks for what you have done and what you are willing to do. My friend whenever you hear from my wife please write to me. Whenever she come to your city please give instruction how to travel. I wants her to come the faster way. I wish she was here now. I wish she could get a ticket through to this place. I have mail a paper for you to day.

We have had snow but not to last long. Let me hear from you. My Respect friend Brown. I will write more when I have the opportunity.

Yours with Respect,

P. S. My dear Sir. Last night after I had written the above, and had gone to bed, I heard a strange voice in the house, Saying to Mr. Myers to come quickly to one of our colod Brotheran out of the street. We went and found a man a Carpenter laying on the side walk woltun in his Blood. Done by some unknown Person as yet but if they stay on the earth the law will deteck them. It is said that party of colord people done it, which party was seen to come out an infame house.

Mr. Myers have been down to see him and Brought the Sad news that the Poor fellow was dead. Mr. Scott for Henry Scott was the name, he was a fugitive from Virginia he came here from Pittsburg Pa. Oh, when I went where he laid what a shock, it taken my Sleep altogether night. When I got to Sept his Body was surrounded by the Policeman. The law has taken the woman in cusidy. I write and also send you a paper of the case when it comes out.


SOURCES: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 194-5

Senator Salmon P. Chase to Milton Sutliff,* January 16, 1851

Washington City, Jany. 16, 1851.

My Dear Sir, Mr. Hoadly, of Cincinnatti, has requested me to write you in relation to his election as Judge of the Superior Court, and it gives me real pleasure, — except so far as his election would deprive the office in which I am interested of his services — to comply with his request. He is a gentlemen, of very rare abilities, and in my judgment, peculiarly qualified to fill a judicial station with honor to himself and credit to his appointers. His energy and industry give assurances that the business of the Court, which is terribly in arrear, would be brought up and expedited to the great advantage of suitors and lawyers. These qualifications are first worthy of consideration, in some respects but not in all. I rank even before these a generous devotion to human liberty and a disposition to make law answer the ends of justice instead of the purposes of oppression. His views, I believe, of the Constitution and Law as bearing on the question of Human Rights are, I believe, the same as my own. What they are you know. It is something to be added to these considerations that Mr. Hoadly was one of that — it is not too much to say he was the leader — of that band of democrats, who forsook Cass when he forsook Democracy by writing the Nicholson letter, & stood with us on the Buffalo Platform. I hope, if your views of public duty permit it, that you will not, if it be possible to elect Hoadly, concur in the election of any other man, not as amply qualified, and especially not in the election of a Whig with the cooperation or under any arrangement with the friends of this administration.

Sumner is, I suppose, defeated at Boston. Websterism and Cassism coalesced against him, and every nerve was strained to defeat him by every appliance. The Hunkers have probably succeeded.

I enclose an article from the Toledo Republican, which seems to me to take right views of the course proper to be pursued in the Legislature by Free Democrats, if they cannot elect a man, [sic] out and out, of themselves. But I do not yet despair of such an election. Morse gave me a gleam of hope that you might yet be elected. I should be more than delighted to welcome you to a share of my toils. If it be impossible, however, to elect a radical free democrat, and the democrats should tender a man whose course of action has inspired his friends with the assurance that he is as good a freesoiler as I am a democrat it would be wisdom in my judgment, under present circumstances, to [sic] make arrangments with the old line for his election to the Senate & of an equitable proportion of Free Democrats to other offices. But I do not anticipate that the freesoilers can be satisfied in this way, for I do not suppose that men who refuse to vote for Medary could be brought to vote for any man who would be satisfactory to Freesoilers, even though taken from the old line ranks.

I do not myself anticipate any election. It has been said that the Whigs will elect Hitchcock. If they will, without any arrangment as to other offices, I take it for granted the Free Democrats would not refuse their votes to a man who has shewn his fidelity to our cause as he did during the campaign of '48, and has abided in the Free Democratic organization ever since. True his views are not radical like yours or mine; but that difference would not excuse such as you and I from his support, any more than it excused such as he is from my support in 1849. I would not imitate their bad example. But I would enter into no arrangement with the supporters of this Administration in relation to elections upon any terms. It would be, I verily believe, fatal to our organization and our progress. If they choose to vote for one of our men without consideration, except a preference for his character & capacity over opposing candidates, well & good. Our Natural allies are the old line democrats. If, under evil influences, they refuse the alliance, and you cannot elect independently, I say, for one, let the election go over and let us appeal to the people. I have no fears as to the result.

Nothing new here. The Hunker Leaders of the old Line are down hearted. It becomes daily more and more apparent that no one of them can unite the democratic party. One of them remarked to me the other day that the democratic party was broken up for ten years to come. I told I thought we should be able to unite on true principles in two or three years: but he didn't seem desirous of that.

Shew this to Pardee and give my best regards to him.

* Lent by Mr. Homer E. Stewart, Warren, Ohio.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 230-2

Diary of Gideon Welles: Tuesday, October 13, 1863

No news from the front. President read this noon a dispatch from Meade, written last night, in which he says if the Rebels do not attack him to-day, he will attack them. I doubt it. He cannot do much on the offensive except under orders. As second in command or in any capacity under an intelligent superior, I think Meade would do well. He will never have another such opportunity to do the Rebels harm as when he supinely let Lee and his army cross the Potomac and escape unmolested.

The elections in Ohio and Pennsylvania absorb attention. The President says he feels nervous. No doubts have troubled me. An electioneering letter of McClellan in favor of Woodward for Governor of Pennsylvania, written yesterday, is published. It surprises me that one so cautious and intelligent as McC. should have been so indiscreet and unwise. The letter can do him no good, nor can it aid Woodward, who is a party secessionist. It is a great mistake, and must have been extorted from McClellan by injudicious partisan friends, under the mistaken idea that his personal influence might control the election. What errors prevail in regard to personal influence among party men! A good and wise man can do but little on the day of election, particularly in a bad cause. He can often aid in a good one by confirming the rightminded who are timid and may hesitate and doubt. McClellan lost balance when he wrote this letter.

Preston King spent the evening with me. Young Ulric Dahlgren called. The gallant fellow lost a leg at Gettysburg and is just recovering, so that he gets around on crutches. It is the first of his calls, and King was wonderfully interested in him — affected to tears — and listened to his modest accounts with the earnestness of a child.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 469-70

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Thursday, March 26, 1863

A cold, rainy day. Last night the coldest of the season. Yesterday with Dr. Joe and four oarsmen rowed in his large skiff up Elk, three or four miles; caught in a wild storm of rain and sleet.

Had a dispatch today from Captain Simmonds at Gauley; he reports rumors of an early advance on all our posts. "Sensational!" General Scammon in a "stew" about it.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 397

Monday, October 16, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: July 17, 1864

Cords contracting in my legs and very difficult for me to walk — after going a little ways have to stop and rest and am faint, Am urged by some to go to the hospital but don't like to do it; mess say had better stay where I am, and Battese says shall not go and that settles it. Jimmy Devers anxious to be taken to the hospital but is pursuaded to give it up. Tom McGill, another Irish friend, is past all recovery; is in another part of the prison. Many old prisoners are dropping off now this fearful hot weather; knew that July and August would thin us out; cannot keep track of them in my disabled condition. A fellow named Hubbard with whom I have conversed a good deal, is dead; a few days ago was in very good health, and its only a question of a few days now with any of us. Succeeded in getting four small onions about as large as hickory nuts, tops and all for two dollars Confederate money. Battese furnished the money but won't eat an onion; ask him if he is afraid it will make his breath smell? It is said that two or three onions or a sweet potato eaten raw daily will cure the scurvy. What a shame that such things are denied us, being so plenty the world over. Never appreciated such things before but shall hereafter. Am talking as if I expected to get home again. I do.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 87-8

Chaplain James C. Wyatt to Elizabeth Adams Lusk, September 15, 1862

Sept. 15th, 1862.
Mrs. Lusk:

Capt. Lusk desired me to pen you a line, as he did not have the time or opportunity, informing you that he has passed through another bloody and fearful carnage and is spared and in good health. I met him this morning as I was returning to the General Hospital at this place. The enemy has been badly beaten. Our Regt. has not suffered much comparatively. You have reason to be proud of your son. May God bless him and protect him.

Yours truly,
JAs. C. Wyatt,
Chaplain 79th N. Y. V.

SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 197

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: August 7, 1863

Nothing new from Lee's army — only that his troops are eager for another battle, when they are resolved to gain the day. There will probably not be so many prisoners taken as usual, since the alleged cruel treatment of our men now taken at Gettysburg, and the sending of Gen. Morgan to the Ohio Penitentiary, and shaving his head, by order of Gen. Burnside.

A dispatch from Beauregard, to-day, states that the enemy are getting large reinforcements, and are at work on their island batteries. There was a slow firing — and but one man killed.

It is believed that Governor Letcher will, reluctantly, call the Legislature together; but he says the members will exhibit only the bad spirit of the people they represent. What that means, I know not.

The Governor elect — commonly called “Extra-Billy Smith” — has resigned his brigadiership. But he is a candidate for a major-generalship, until inauguration day, 1st January. He has had an interview with the President, and proposes to take command of the troops defending the city — that Gen. Elzey may take the field. Smith would undoubtedly have a strong motive in defending the capital — but then he knows nothing of military affairs, yet I think he will be appointed.

Gen. Wise's batteries crippled and drove off the enemy's monitor and gun-boats day before yesterday. The monitor was towed down the James River in a disabled condition.

To-day, for the third time since the war began, I derived some money from our farm. It was another interposition of Providence. Once before, on the very days that money was indispensable, a Mr. Evans, a blockade-runner to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, came unexpectedly with $100 obtained from my agent, who has had the management of the farm for many years, and who is reported to be a Union man. To-day, just when my income is wholly insufficient to pay rent on the house — $500 per annum and $500 rent for the furniture, besides subsisting the family — at the very moment when my wife was about to part with the last of her little store of gold, to buy a few articles of furniture at auction, and save a heavy expense ($40 per month), the same Evans came to me, saying that although he had no money from my agent, if I would give him an order on the agent for $300, he would advance that amount in Treasury notes. I accepted the sum on his conditions. This is the work of a beneficent Providence, thus manifested on three different occasions, — and to doubt it would be to deserve damnation!

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2, p. 7-8

Captain Charles Wright Wills: May 21, 1863

Camp 103d Illinois Infantry, Lagrange, Tenn.,
May 21, 1863.

I am still sitting on this Court Martial. We may finish up this week. Everything is quiet here. To-day three or four regiments have gone out with seven days' rations. All mounted. Rumors reach us daily that Grant is in a critical situation; but I can't so see it. He has enough men to annihilate in a field fight all the Rebels south of this line. We know that he has captured Jackson, Miss., and has now turned his attention to Vicksburg.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 175