Friday, December 14, 2018

Martin F. Conway to George L. Stearns, August 18, 1861

An attack by the Southern force is daily expected on Fort Scott, which has been made the depot recently of large supplies of provisions. The place is but poorly defended, and will probably fall into the hands of the enemy. We have not arms enough. The Government has been too slow. Our military is in a very backward state. Lane is at work, doing his best to hasten their organization. He is now on his way to Fort Scott. Many persons charge Governor Robinson with having thrown obstacles in the way of the organization of Lane's brigade, which I think quite likely.*
_______________

* Appendix A.

SOURCE: Preston Stearns, The Life and Public Services of George Luther Stearns, p. 256

Samuel Gridley Howe to Horace Mann, January 21, 1852


Boston, January 21st, 1852.

My Dear Mann: — It seems an age since I have seen you and long since I have had a word about you. There was a saying about “icicles in breeches” reported of some member of the House, and of course we knew it was aut Mann aut Diabolus who originated it. Was there never any report of your remarks upon that occasion? if there was pray send it to me.

I have little to say to you that will be new or interesting. Of matters personal — first and foremost, my babies are well and beautiful and good; I hope yours are ditto. These little banyan branches of ours that are taking root in the earth keep us tied to it, and keep us young also. My wife is well; we are passing the winter at South Boston; and between Blind and Idiots and my chicks, the time flies rapidly away.

I have luckily secured Dr. Seguin, formerly the life and soul of the French school for idiots. . . .

As to politics, I know little of them. Alley1 was in here just now and asked me what I thought of the present position of the Free-soil party; I replied that in my opinion it was so much diluted that it would not keep; that the most active Dalgetties had got comfortably placed in office, and did not trouble themselves much about Free-soil; that at the State House, among the Coalitionists, the first article of the creed was preservation and continuation of the Coalition as a means of retaining power — and that the 39th or 339th was Free-soil — just enough to satisfy outside impracticables like myself: in a word we were sold. He laughed and said — “You are more than half right.”

Alley is shrewd and honest, I think. Boutwell goes in for Davis's place [in the Senate] and will have to fight with Rantoul for it.

I told I. T. Stevenson the other day that there was one man whom the Lord intended to lift up to the State House and into the Gubernatorial Chair, in his own good time, and that was you. He replied he did not doubt the intention, but that you had been doing everything in your power to defeat it.

With kind regards to Mrs. M—.
Ever yours,
S. G. Howe.

_______________

1 John B. Alley of Lynn, afterwards Congressman.

SOURCE: Laura E. Richards, Editor, Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley Howe, Volume 2, p. 361-3

William T. Sherman, December 28, 1859

Seminary, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 1859.

. . . I was disappointed the two last mails at not hearing from you, but to-morrow I feel certain. I will go to town myself and take this. The time is now near at hand for opening the Seminary. I have the mess started in the building, all the carpenters are out, all the furniture ready, a pretty good stock of wood on hand and generally all things are about as far advanced as I could expect. Still I am the only one ready. The steward is sick on his plantation twelve miles off, his son and niggers are here, a good for nothing set. He has a white under steward who has some work in him and another white boy to help, and I have three negro women scrubbing out from top to bottom.

The weather is rainy, sloppy, warm and misty, everything is wet and uncomfortable, yet I have pushed things so that I at least am ready. Smith is sleeping on the floor in my room on a bed I bought for the cadets and he is waiting for his furniture from New Orleans. None of the other professors are here excepting Mr. Vallas whom I have told you about. There have been forty-three pay appointments and sixteen public, so we may expect fifty or sixty this year, which is a reasonable number as this is no time to begin. Everybody has made arrangements for this winter. Had we begun in November it would have been better. Still as this affair is designed to last forever it may be well to commence moderately first.

I had rather a lonely Christmas, nobody here but my poor drummer and myself. The three negro women rushed to my room at daylight and cried “Christmas gift, Massa,” and the negro boy Henry that chops wood and the old negro woman Amy that cooks in an outhouse for the carpenters all claimed Christmas of me thinking I am boss and as rich as Croesus himself. I disbursed about $5 in halves as each of them had done me some service uncompensated.

The old cook Amy always hid away for me the last piece of butter and made my breakfast and dinner better than the carpenters’, always saying she “knowed” I wasn't used to such kind of living. She don't know what I have passed through. Negroes on plantations are generally allowed holiday the whole week, but we can't give it here, as this week is devoted to cleaning up after the dirt of plastering, painting and tobacco spitting over seventy-two rooms, halls and galleries. An immense quantity of dirt is cleaned away, but enough yet remains to find fault with.

As to Christmas I had invitation to General Graham's, to a Mr. Henarie's in Alexandria and Professor Vallas, all declined, because of the property exposed here, which it was not prudent to leave unprotected. Soon all these things will be distributed, others will be here and sentinels to guard when I take my holiday. . .

SOURCES: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 93-5

Thursday, December 13, 2018

John Brown his sisters Mary Hand and Martha Davis, November 27, 1859

Charlestown, Jefferson Cottnty, Va.,
Nov. 27, 1859 (Sabbath).

My Dearly Beloved Sisters Mary A. And Martha, — I am obliged to occupy a part of what is probably my last Sabbath on earth in answering the very kind and comforting letters of sister Hand and son of the 23d inst., or I must fail to do so at all. I do not think it any violation of the day that God made for man. Nothing could be more grateful to my feelings than to learn that you do not feel dreadfully mortified, and even disgraced, on account of your relation to one who is to die on the scaffold. I have really suffered more, by tenfold, since my confinement here, on account of what I feared would be the terrible feelings of my kindred on my account, than from all other causes. I am most glad to learn from you that my fears on your own account were ill founded. I was afraid that a little seeming present prosperity might have carried you away from realities, so that “the honor that cometh from men” might lead you in some measure to undervalue that which “cometh from God.” I bless God, who has most abundantly supported and comforted mo all along, to find you are not ensnared. Dr. Heman Humphrey has just sent me a most doleful lamentation over my “infatuation and madness” (very kindly expressed), in which, I cannot doubt, he has given expression to the extreme grief of others of our kindred. I have endeavored to answer him kindly also, and at the same time to deal faithfully with my old friend. I think I will send you his letter; and if you deem it worth the trouble, you can probably get my reply, or a copy of it. Suffice it for me to say, “None of these things move me.” Luther Humphrey wrote me a very comforting letter.

There are things, dear sisters, that God hides even from the wise and prudent. I feel astonished that one so exceedingly vile and unworthy as I am should even be suffered to have a place anyhow or anywhere among the very least of all who, when they come to die (as all must), were permitted to pay the debt of nature in defence of the right and of God's eternal and immutable truth. Oh, my dear friends, can you believe it possible that the scaffold has no terrors for your own poor old unworthy brother? I thank God, through Jesus Christ my Lord, it is even so. I am now shedding tears, but they are no longer tears of grief or sorrow; I trust I have nearly done with those. I am weeping for joy and gratitude that I can in no other way express. I get many very kind and comforting letters that I cannot possibly reply to; wish I had time and strength to answer all. I am obliged to ask those to whom I do write to let friends read what I send as much as they well can. Do write my deeply afflicted and affectionate wife. It will greatly comfort her to have you write her freely. She has borne up manfully under accumulated griefs. She will be most glad to know that she has not been entirely forgotten by my kindred. Say to all my friends that I am waiting cheerfully and patiently the days of my appointed time; fully believing that for me now to die will be to me an infinite gain and of untold benefit to the cause we love. Wherefore, “be of good cheer,” and “let not your hearts be troubled.” “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne.” I wish my friends could know but a little of the rare opportunities I now get for kind and faithful labor in God's cause. I hope they have not been entirely lust.

Now, dear friends, I have done. May the God of peace bring us all again from the dead!

Your affectionate brother;
John Brown.

SOURCES: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 607-9

Rebecca Jones to William Still, October 18, 1856

PARKER House, School street, Boston, Oct. 18th, ’56.

MY DEAR SIR: — I can hardly express the pleasure I feel at the receipt of your kind letter; but allow me to thank you for the same.

And now I will tell you my reasons for going to California. Mrs. Tarrol, a cousin of my husband, has sent for me. She says I can do much better there than in Boston. And as I have my children's welfare to look to, I have concluded to go. Of course I shall be just as likely to hear from home there as here. Please tell Mr. Bagnale I shall expect one letter from him before I leave here.

I should like to hear from my brothers and sisters once more, and let me hear every particular. You never can know how anxious I am to hear from them; do please impress this upon their minds.

I have written two letters to Dr. Lundy and never received an answer. I heard Mrs. Lundy was dead, and thought that might possibly be the reason he had not replied to me. Please tell the Doctor I should take it as a great favor if he would write me a few lines.

I suppose you think I am going to live with my husband again. Let me assure you ’tis no such thing. My mind is as firm as ever. And believe me, in going away from Boston, I am going away from him, for I have heard he is living somewhere near. He has been making inquiries about me, but that can make no difference in my feelings to him. I hope that yourself, wife and family are all quite well. Please remember me to them all. Do me the favor to give my love to all inquiring friends. I should be most happy to have any letters of introduction you may think me worthy of, and I trust I shall ever remain

Yours faithfully,
Rebecca Jones.

P. S — I do not know if I shall go this Fall, or in the Spring. It will depend upon the letter I receive from California, but whichever it may be, I shall be happy to hear from you very soon.

SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 327

George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase, October 16, 1862

(Private and Unofficial)

New Orleans, October 16th, 1862.

Dear Sir: My last letter was in reference to trade with the enemy.

After Gen. Butler's return from Pensacola — for the purpose of discussing the matter, Gen. B. asked me to his house, where I met also Gov. Shepley. In a long conversation, I stated to them fully my own views, and it was understood that there should be no more trade with the enemy — that no supplies of any kind or in any quantity, should pass into insurrectionary districts not even supplies for loyal residents of such locality, because Guerillas would in most cases, take away such supplies for their own use.

Gen. Butler and Gen. Shepley each said, however, that he had given one permit to cross the Lake, not yet carried into effect. The goods were bought and vessels loaded, but that I had stopped them. It was insisted that these vessels should be allowed to proceed. I said that the permission of the Secretary of Treasury ought first to be obtained.

The next morning Gen. Butler sent me the list of cargo for the vessel, on the second leaf of which was endorsed his request that she be allowed to proceed. Gen. Shepley sent me a note to the same effect in regard to the other. A copy of the list of cargo, with Gen. Butler's original endorsement on second leaf, is herewith enclosed, marked A. A copy of the list of cargo of second vessel, with Gen. Shepley's note, is herewith enclosed, marked B.

It is inexpedient that I should have a controversy with the military authorities, and I let these two vessels go, with the distinct understanding however, that nothing more was to go out.

Gen. Butler's permit was to Judge Morgan, a good Union man, who has lost much by the Rebellion.

Gen. Shepley's was to one Montgomery, who has previously taken over, among other things, 1,200 sacks salt. Gen. S. says he granted this permit at the earnest solicitation of Mr. Bouligny — formerly in Congress from this state, but now in Washington — and that Montgomery told him Bouligny was part owner of the cargo with him (Montgomery).

I think there will be no more of this trade. Gen. B. has always carried out (so far as I know) the wishes of the Gov't. when distinctly made known, and I believe he will fully carry out (in future) your views respecting this matter.

Gen. B. has more brains and energy than any other three men in New Orleans. He does an immense amount of work, and does it well. He knows and controls everything in this Department. I regret that it was necessary to write my last letter — or rather, that the statements therein made were facts. Besides, no other officer appreciates, like Gen. Butler, the importance of freeing and arming the colored people — and he is not afraid to do it. All the pro-slavery influence in this State cannot change him in this matter.

When Weitzel's expedition (spoken of in a late letter) goes out, Gen. B will send the 1st. Colored Regiment right into the heart of the section of the country to be taken. They will move nearly west from here, on the line of the Opelousas Railroad. I think they will do a great work. The expedition is expected to start in about two weeks. Late New York papers indicate the adoption of some plan for getting out cotton from Rebeldom. I hope it will not be done by means of trade with the enemy, which is objectionable for many reasons.

It will benefit the enemy ten times as much as the Government — it demoralizes the army, who imagine themselves fighting for speculators — officers will be interested, directly or indirectly, in the trade, and they and other speculators, will wish the war prolonged for the sake of great profits — the Rebels will not keep their engagements nine cases out of ten — the rebels are terribly in want, and now is the time to deprive them of supplies. There are other objections besides those enumerated.

The greatest distress prevails in insurrectionary districts all around us. The Guerilla system injures Rebels more than the Government, and the people are becoming heartily tired of it.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 326-7

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Commandant Samuel F. DuPont to Gustavus V. Fox, Tuesday, October 29, 1861 – 9 a.m.

[Written in pencil in Fox's writing: “Before capture of Port Royal.” — EDS.]

Wabash under Steam 
Tuesday, 9 AM. 29. Oct 61
My Dear Sir

Please inform Mr. Welles that we are off — and the Pilot will soon leave — There seems but one opinion now as to having waited for such a start—and I trust our present prospects & hopes will be realized.

Twenty Eight days ago this Expedition though long meditated by the wisdom of the Department, had in reality no form or substance. In my judgment nothing more could well have been added in that time. I felt at the time of the final decision at Mr. Sewards house, 1. Oct that the embarkation at Annapolis was an error — the troops have been too long on board and are too raw — but the Generals are able.

The ships of my squadron are in as high condition as I can expect — and I am thankful to the Department for its endeavors to make it as efficient as possible, & to your practical, intelligent & personal supervision & zeal I shall ever recur whatever the results in store for us may be.

We have considerable power to carry on an offensive warfare, that of endurance against forts is not commensurate. But in so righteous a cause as ours, & against so wicked a rebellion, we must overcome all difficulties.

Please give my highest regards to Mr. Welles and believe me My Dear Sir

Yours faithfully
S. F. Dupont

Hon. G. V. Fox
Ass. Sec. Navy
Washington D.C.

9.30 Pilot leaves.

SOURCE: Robert Means Thompson & Richard Wainwright, Editors, Publications of the Naval Historical Society, Volume 9: Confidential Correspondence of Gustavus Vasa Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1861-1865, Volume 1, p. 64-5

Diary of Gideon Welles: Friday, April 1, 1864

The Chronicle of this morning contains my letter with some errors, to the Senate in response to a call relating to transfers.  It makes some commotion among the members of congress, and will cause some in the War Department I presume.

There was nothing of special interest to day in the cabinet.  Stanton was not present, nor was Blair. Chase calls for largely additional taxes which I have no doubt are necessary.  There should have been heavier taxes the last two years.  At least double what have been collected.  Undoubtedly demagogues will try to prevent this necessary measure for party ends, but I believe the good sense and intelligence of the people will prevail over the debasing abuse of party.  I apprehend that Chase is not making the most of his position, and think he has committed some errors.  No one could have altogether avoided them.

Seward spoke to me concerning the case of the Sir William Peel, captured at the mouth of the Rio Grande.  Had carried contraband ostensibly to Matamoras, but portions had gone direct to Brownsville, and cotton brought direct from that place in return.  It is claimed, however that she was captured in Mexican waters though near the U. States, and therefore Seward says she must be given up.  I asked him to whom.  If captured in Mexican waters, no power but Mexico could make the claim.  This he undertook to deny, provided the government of Mexico was enfeebled by revolution and not able to sustain itself.  But, I told him, if able to assert and maintain neutrality, then she, and she alone could intervene.  If not able to maintain her claim of neutrality, no other one could make a claim of Mexican jurisdiction.

I am fearful he will make a miss-fire on this question.  He has never looked into maritime law, and will make any sacrifice of national or individual rights to keep in with England.

SOURCES: William E. Gienapp & Erica L. Gienapp, Editors, The Civil War Diary of Gideon Wells: Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, p. 383-4; *Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 2: April 1, 1864 — December 31, 1866, p. 3-4 which reprinted the entry of March 30, 1864 under the date of April 1, 1864.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: October 7, 1863

A rain a few days ago gave us a rise of two or three feet in the Kanawha River. It is falling again, but is raining today again with prospects of water.

Another order to give no passes and take up all old ones. Funny business, this pass business. “Finds something still for idle hands to do.”

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 438-9

James C. Dobbin* to Howell Cobb, June 15, 1848

Fayetteville [N. C], June 15th, 1848.

My Dear Sir: Your esteemed favour in reply to my first communication was duly received, and its perusal gave me no little pleasure, awakening, as it did, pleasing recollections of incidents during my brief political career in Washington.

I think, my dear sir, I am not deceived in inferring from the spirit and tenor of your letter that an occasional correspondence will not be unacceptable, and will serve but to keep alive that kindly attachment which I trust neither time nor separation will extinguish. Still, plunged as I have been for many months in the laborious practice of the law, I cannot but occasionally abandon the courthouse and stroll into the avenue of politics. They have rather forced me to consent to become a candidate for our Legislature. I have no opposition, and of course will have a quiet time, and a little dish of Legislative politics may not be disagreeable. Well, the agony is over and Cass and Butler are nominated, and Taylor and Fillmore; and although it has produced some sensation, the tickets seem to have been anticipated by the popular mind. We have had a large Democratic meeting here and responded very zealously to the nomination of Cass and Butler. Judge Strange and myself addressed them. The meeting was large, enthusiastic, and everything passed off well.

I struggled hard to prove Cass orthodox on the slavery question, and I would not have done [so] had I suspected him. And his letter to Nicholson is certainly liberal and magnanimous for a Northern man. I was provoked at Yancey's conduct in the convention. The introduction of his resolution1 was unnecessary. The resolution reported by the committee was comprehensive. There was no evidence that Cass had wrong views, and the adoption of Yancey's resolution squinted very much towards a suspicion of Cass and looked too much like pressing nice, hair-spliting distinctions on the subject upon our Northern democratic friends, whose liberality should be appreciated but not abused. My own notion is that the Territorial Legislature while legislating as such and for the Territory and for territorial purposes has no right to pass a law to prohibit slavery. Because if we adopt that doctrine we at once practically exclude the slaveholder forever. The Territory acquired is filled at the time of acquisition with non-slaveholders. The Legislature meets and a law excluding slavery is enacted. This will exclude the slaveholder, for he can't get there to repeal the law. I regard the Territory as the common property of the States. And the people of each State have a right to enjoy it with or without their peculiar property. But when the people are meeting to pass a fundamental law, to adopt a Constitution and to ask admission into the Union as a State, then the prohibition or establishment of slavery becomes a subject for legitimate action. It will not do for us to admit that the first Legislature in New Mexico can pass a law immediately and exclude every slaveholder from the territory — if we do, are we not admitting that it is not the property of each and all the States? But I do not think Cass has publicly — certainly not in his Nicholson letter — expressed any opinion contravening my position. He says “leave to the people affected by the question” its regulation. He does not say that he thinks the Territorial Legislature can prohibit it. I hope he will not say so. Because it may never in all probability become a practical question on which he as President could act. Yet the expression of such an opinion would prejudice him in the South with many, very many.

But enough of this. When you write me give me your views. I can not express to you my feelings about the Whigs' nomination. If they succeed, my confidence in popular virtue and intelligence will be a little shaken. I know much virtue and much intelligence will vote the ticket. I regard it as evidence that the Whigs are afraid of their principles. They know the people are against them. They put up “Old Zac” and surround him with a blaze of military glory, and just behind him is Fillmore lurking, holding ready to fasten upon the country all the odious and rejected measures of the Whig Party. Can they succeed? What do our friends think of it? I was pleased to see that yourself and distingue were on the tour, lionizing. That is right. I have given up South Carolina and am afraid of Georgia and Louisiana. Massachusetts will bolt. Ohio will vote for Cass, so likewise Pennsylvania. But for those miserable Barnburners, New York would be all right. The South will have a hard fight. The slavery question and “Old Zac” being a slaveholder may for a moment shake some of the faithful — but I have faith in our Principles and in Providence.

I can't say much to please you about North Carolina. Reid is doing his best. I don't think he will succeed, although he has sprung up a suffrage question which is taking well. I do think we will carry the legislature. There is a strong probability of it.

But enough of politics. Tell Stephens I heartily appreciate his remembering me so kindly and assure him that the feeling is cordially reciprocated. I like Stephens. With all his bad politics he is a generous hearted fellow and of brilliant genius.

By the by, lest I forget it, in confidence, a friend of mine wishes to go abroad. Do you know of a vacancy — Naples, Rome, Belgium, etc., etc. Remember this when you write . . .
­­­­_______________

* Member of Congress from North Carolina, 1845-1847.

1 Proclaiming the doctrine of congressional non-intervention with slavery in the Territories. See footnote 1, p. Ill, infra.

SOURCE: Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Editor, The Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1911, Volume 2: The Correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander H. Stephens, and Howell Cobb, p. 107-9

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 23, 1863

Gen. Lee has retired to the south side of the Rappahannock again, while Meade remains in the intrenchments at Centreville. Gen. Imboden occupies Winchester.

From the West we have only newspaper reports, which may not be true.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 80

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 16, 1864

Another adventure, and a red hot one. Started down the river in our dug-out boat somewhere near midnight. Ran down all right for an hour, frequently seeing rebel pickets and camp fires. Saw we were going right into the lion's mouth, as the farther down the more rebels. All at once our boat gave a lurch and landed in a tree top which was sticking out of the water, and there we were, swaying around in the cold water in the middle or near the middle of the Ogechee. Dave went ashore and to a negro hut, woke up the inmates, and narrated our troubles. A negro got up, and with another boat came to the rescue. Were about froze with the cold and wet Said not more than a mile farther down we would have run right into a chain boat, with pickets posted on it. It really seems as if a Divine providence were guiding us. After getting a breakfast of good things started off toward the Big Ogechee River, and have traveled three or four miles. Are now encamped, or rather laying down, on a little hillock waiting for evening, to get out of this vicinity which is a dangerous one. In our river escapade lost many of our things, but still hang to my coverlid and diary. There are three or four houses in view, and principally white residences, those of the poor white trash order, and they are the very ones we must avoid. Have caught cold and am fearfully out of traveling condition, but must go it now. A mistake in coming down the river  Am resting up, preparatory to traveling all night up the country. No chance of getting out by the coast. Have enough food to last all day and night, and that is a good deal. Can't carry more than a day's supply. Have now been out in the woods, this is the fourth day, and every day has been fresh adventures thick and fast. If I could only travel like my comrades, would get along. Bucks praise me up and encourage me to work away, and I do. For breakfast had more of those imported sardines. Storm brewing of some sort and quite chilly. Saw rebel infantry marching along the highway not more than eighty rods off. Hugged the ground very close. Dogs came very near us, and if they had seen us would have attracted the rebels' attention. Am writing with a pencil less than an inch long. Shall print this diary and make my everlasting fortune, and when wealthy will visit this country and make every negro who has helped us millionaires. Could not move from here half a mile by daylight without being seen, and as a consequence we are feeling very sore on the situation Don't know but I shall be so lame to-night that I cannot walk at all, and then the boys must leave me and go ahead for themselves. However, they say I am worth a hundred dead men yet, and will prod me along like a tired ox. Dave goes now bareheaded, or not quite so bad as that, as he has a handkerchief tied over his head. The programme now is to go as straight to Mr. Kimball's as we can. He is probably twenty miles away; is a white Union man I spoke of a day or so ago in this same diary. Wil stick to him like a brother. Can hear wagons go along the road toward Savannah, which is only thirteen or fourteen miles away.  Later — Most dark enough to travel and I have straightened up and am taking an inventory of myself. Find I can walk with the greatest difficulty. The boys argue that after I get warmed up I will go like a top, and we will see.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 143-4

Captain Charles Wright Wills: June 16, 1864

One mile South of Ackworth, June 16, 1864.

We moved through town and arrived here this p. m. Ackworth is a nice little town. All the ton have moved south.

We will lay here two days, and then for Atlanta again. I was out of provisions all day yesterday, and when I got a supply last night filled up to suffocation, but feel splendidly to-day. They credit a prisoner with saying that Sherman will never go to hell, for he'll flank the devil and make heaven in spite of all the guards. The army is in glorious spirits. I hope the next time to date from Atlanta, but can hardly hope that for three weeks yet.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 256

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 16, 1865

Cleared up the snow from the ground in the morning. Boys came in from picket. How bright the war prospect looks. Hope to see home by July 4th, '65.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 144

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Friday, February 17, 1865

Class in evening. Good news of Sherman's march. Barnitz returned. Inspection in the morning by Capt. Lawder. The regt. looked splendidly. Talk with Nettleton about home.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 144

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Saturday, February 18, 1865

Another stormy day. Snowed all the P. M. No mail or papers. Read and wrote. Class in evening. Am enjoying the discussions very much. Home Sweet Home — on the brain.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 144

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Sunday, February 19, 1865

Battalion inspection in the morning. Had a good bath. Cleaned up grounds. In the evening Capt. Newton came in. Had a good visit. Talked Tenn. experiences. Traver and Barnitz in awhile.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 144

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 20, 1865

Officer of the Day. Beautiful day. Clear and mild. Went the rounds with Div. Officer of the Day and Sergt. Bail. Pleasant time. Lots of deserters coming in. One batch of 23. News of fall of Columbia, S. C. Glory! Read to troops. God be praised for the prospect. Chet back.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 144

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 21, 1865

Went down and saw Chester. Went home with Houghton and played chess. Beat him three games. Cold and chilly. In P. M. studied my lesson. No school in evening — very stormy. Signed and returned a Warranty Deed for a lot.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 144

Monday, December 10, 2018

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 118. Report of Lieut. Col. Charges H. Butterfield, Ninety-first Indiana Infantry, of operations December 15-28, 1864.

No. 118.

Report of Lieut. Col. Charges H. Butterfield, Ninety-first Indiana Infantry,
of operations December 15-28, 1864.

HDQRS. NINETY-FIRST INDIANA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY,                    
In the Field, Tenn., December 23, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor herewith to transmit a report of the part taken by the Ninety-first Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the campaign since December 15, 1864.

On the morning of the 15th the regiment broke camp in Nashville and moved with the brigade to the right of our lines around Nashville, marching during the day some eight miles, and during the afternoon was engaged in a slight skirmish with the enemy, with a loss of two men severely wounded. During the night of the 15th of December the regiment constructed a strong line of works in the enemy's front, throwing pickets in advance. The regiment remained in these works until the afternoon of the 16th. During a charge in front of the regiment on the 16th the picket-line advanced with the charging party, with a loss of one man severely wounded. Camped for the night near the Granny White pike. On the morning of the 17th crossed to the Franklin pike, and during the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st the regiment has marched from near Nashville to this point.

The following is a list of the casualties which have occurred in the regiment since the morning of the 15th of December, 1864.*

I have the honor to be, lieutenant, yours, very respectfully,

 CHAS. H. BUTTERFIELD,            
 Lieut. Col. Ninety-first Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Comdg.
 Lieut. C. A. VAN DEURSEN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
_______________

* Nominal list (omitted) shows 5 men wounded.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 394

6th Indiana Cavlary

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., February 23, 1863, from the 71st Indiana Infantry. Company "L" organized September 1, 1863. Company "M" organized October 12, 1863. Regiment left State for Kentucky August 26, 1863. Attached to 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Lexington, Ky. Dept. of the Ohio to September, 1863. Wilcox's Command, Left Wing forces 23rd Army Corps, Dept. of the Ohio, to January, 1864. District of the Clinch, Dept. of the Ohio, to April, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division Cavalry Corps, Dept. of the Ohio, to May, 1864. 1st Brigade, Cavalry Division, 23rd Army Corps, to July, 1864. 2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, 23rd Army Corps, to August, 1864. Dismounted Brigade, Cavalry Division, 23rd Army Corps, to September, 1864. 1st Brigade, Cavalry Division, 23rd Army Corps, to November, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 6th Division, Wilson's Cavalry Corps, Military Division Mississippi, to June, 1865. District of Middle Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to September, 1865.

SERVICE. — Reconnoissance to Olympian Springs, Ky., October 8-11, 1863. Moved to Cumberland Gap, Tenn. Knoxville Campaign November 4-December 23. Action at Lenoir Station November 14-15. Campbell's Station November 16. Siege of Knoxville November 17-December 5. Been's Station December 14. Lee County, Va., December 24. Big Springs January 19, 1864 (Detachment). Tazewell January 24. Duty at Mt. Sterling and Nicholasville, Ky., till April. March from Nicholasville to Dalton, Ga., April 29-May 11. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May to August. Demonstrations on Dalton May 9-13. Varnell's Station May 12. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Pine Log Creek May 18. Etowah River, near Cartersville, May 20. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Allatoona Pass June 1-2. Lost Mountain June 9. Pine Mountain June 10. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Lost Mountain June 11-17. Cheyney's Farm June 27. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Sandtown July 6-7. Campbellton July 12-14. Turner's Ferry July 16 and 22. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Sweetwater July 23. Stoneman's Raid to Macon July 27-August 6. Macon and Clinton July 30. Hillsborough Sunshine Church July 30-31. Jug Tavern, Mulberry Creek, August 3. Moved to Nashville, Tenn., August 28. Pursuit of Wheeler September 24-October 18. Pulaski, Tenn., September 26-27. Waterloo, Ala., October 3. Moved to Dalton, Ga., November 1, and return to Nashville, Tenn., November 26. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Duty at Nashville till April 1, 1865. At Pulaski, Tenn., and in Middle Tennessee till September. Non-Veterans mustered out June 17, 1865. Regiment mustered out September 15, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 66 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 201 Enlisted men by disease. Total 273.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Part 3, p. 1107-8

Sunday, December 9, 2018

George Thompson: Lecture at Lowell, Massachusetts, October 5, 1834

On Sunday evening, October 5th, GeoRGE THOMPsoN, Esq. the abolitionitst, delivered a lecture on Slavery in the Town Hall, Lowell. The spacious room was filled some time before the commencement of the proceedings, and when Mr. Thompson began his lecture, there were upwards of one thousand persons present. The meeting was opened with singing and prayer.

The following is a faint sketch of Mr. Thompson's discourse, which occupied an hour and three quarters in the delivery.

He (the lecturer) felt truly grateful for the present very favorable opportunity of discussing before an American audience, the merits and bearings of a question, which, more than any other that could agitate their minds, was connected with the honor, happiness, and prosperity of the people of this land. He besought a kind, patient, and attentive hearing. He asked no favor for his doctrines, his arguments, or his opinions. Let these be subjected to the severest ordeal. Let them be tested by reason, truth and scripture, and if they squared not with the dictates and requirements of these, let them be repudiated. The West Indies had already witnessed the operation of the great measure, which the justice and humanity of the British Nation had obtained for the slave. All eyes were now turned towards the United States of America, to see if that land of Liberty, of Republicanism, of Bibles, of Missions, of Temperance Societies, and Revivals, would direct her matchless energies to the blessed work of enfranchising her slaves, and elevating her entire colored population.

As a feeble and unworthy instrument in the hand of Him, without whom there was neither wisdom, nor strength, nor goodness, he (Mr. T.) had come amongst them to tell of the conflicts and triumphs he had witnessed in his native land, and to encourage, and, if possible, aid his brethern here in the accomplishment of a similarly great and glorious object. His was no sectarian or political embassay. Higher and broader principles than those of politics or party animated and sustained him. He came not to uphold the dogmas of a faction, or to expound the charter of human rights according to the latitude, longitude, clime, or color. As a citizen of the world, he claimed brotherhood with all mankind. The medium through which he contemplated the varied tribes of this peopled earth, was one which blended all hues, and brought out only the proud and awful distinctive mark of one common nature — “the image of God.” He honored that ‘image in whomsoever he found it, and would labor lest a prize so glorious should be lost, lest a being so capable should be wretched here and forever. Such were the views he cherished, and the principles he maintained, and he hoped he should be enabled to discuss them with temper and christian charity. He knew that men were all compounded of the same common elements — all sinful, erring and guilty; and, therefore, it became not any human being to assume the tone of innocence or infallibility, but to address himself to others as their fellow sinner, and be grateful to God, if divine grace had caused him in any degree to differ from the rest. He deemed such feelings perfectly consistent with a fearless denunciation of vicious principles and oppressive practices. Towards sin in every form, no mercy should be shown. A war of extermination should be waged with the works of the devil, under all their manifold and delusive appearances, and that man was the truest and kindest friend of the sinner, who, with a bold and unsparing hand, dragged forth to light and condemnation the abomination that would have ruined his soul.


After this introduction, the lecturer took a compendious view of slavery as its exists in the Southern States. He spoke of it as reducing man to the condition of a thing — a chattel personal — a marketable brute — the property and fee simple of his fellow-man — consigning the helpless victim to bondage, wretchedness, ignorance and crime here, and ruining his soul forever and ever. The lecturer next proceeded to speak of the prevailing prejudice against the free people of color, and attributed it principally to an antichristian and guilty feeling of pride. That this prejudice did not originate in a natural repugnance to color, was evident from the fact, that while the colored person remained in a state of civil and intellectual degradation, no indisposition was shown to the nearest physical approach. It was only when the colored person attempted to rise in intellect or station to a level with the white, that the hatred and prejudice appeared. He (Mr. T.) solemnly and affectionately exhorted all who heard him to renounce their cruel and unholy antipathies. This prejudice was an offence against God. The controversy was not with him who wore the colored skin, but with the being who had formed him with it. Who was bold enough to stand before God, and vindicate the prejudice which dishonored and defaced the image and superscription of the Deity, as stamped upon his creature man?

Such was the state of things in these christian States. What was the remedy? The immediate emancipation of the whites from prejudice, and the blacks from slavery. Mercy implored it. Justice demanded it. Reason dictated it. Religion required it. Necessity urged it.

Fear cried, “No! The danger of immediate emancipation!”

Prejudice exclaimed, “You want to amalgamate the races — to break the cast to lift the blacks into our ranks. It must not be!”

A misguided Patriotism spread the alarm, “The Union is in danger!”

Interest muttered, “You will ruin our manufactures you will destroy our commerce — you will beggar the planter!”

Despotism vociferated, “Let my victims alone! Rob me not of my dominion!” and a

Mistaken philanthrophy would set on foot a piecemeal reformation, and recommend gradualism for the special benefit of the pining slave.

Whom, then, should they obey? He boldly answered, God; who required that men should cease to do evil.” But that he might not be accused of dealing only in abstract views of this question, he would take up the various objections to immediate emancipation, and endeavor to show that in the eye of reason and selfishness too, they were groundless and absurd.

Mr. Thompson proceeded to prove the safety, practicability and advantages of immediate emancipation. It would be impossible to do justice to this part of the lecture in this brief notice.

The question was frequently asked, “Why should New England interfere in the slave-system of the South?” Because, said Mr. T., the slaves are your fellow-men — they are your neighbors, and you are commanded to love them as yourselves, and to remember them in bonds as bound with them. They are your fellow-citizens — declared to be so by your glorious Declaration of Independence. You supply the South, and therefore are connected with this trade of blood. You consume the produce of the South, and thus effectually promote the cause of oppression there. You are taxed to maintain the Slavery of the South. You are in the habit of giving up the slaves of the South who seek refuge amongst you. Your colored citizens are liable to be seized and sold, if they go to the South. You live under the same Constitution as the South, and are therefore bound to amend that constitution, if it be at present unjust in any of its parts. Your Congress has supreme control over the District of Columbia, Arkansas, and Florida, and you ought, therefore, to call for the immediate extinction of Slavery in these places. You exert a powerful influence over the South and the States generally. You are able to control the destinies of the shaves in this country. You are responsible to God for the employment of your moral energies. Come, then, to the work. First, let the question be fairly discussed amongst you. Do not be afraid to entertain it. Sooner or later, you must grapple with it. The speedier the better. Discard your prejudices. Give up your pre-conceived opinions, and bring to the consideration of this great subject, open and impartial minds, a tender regard for the interests of your fellowman, — a sincere and enlightened desire for your country's true honor and greatness, and a deep sense of your accountability to God.

Mr. Thompson next addressed the ladies present, and urged the necessity of their engaging in this work of mercy. It was not a political, but a moral and religious question. All were called upon to labor in the cause — all were able to do so. While some preached and lectured on the subject, others could distribute tracts, collect contributions, and converse with their friends. The principles of justice and truth would thus be diffused — prejudice and ignorance would give way, and an amount of influence finally created, sufficient to purge the stain of slavery forever from the land.

Mr. Thompson was listened to throughout with the most profound attention, and every appearance of deep interest. The Rev. Messrs. Rand, Twining, and Pease, were present. At the conclusion of the lecture, the last named gentleman gave out a hymn suited to the occasion, which was sung by the choir, and after a benediction had been pronounced, the audience separated.

SOURCE: Isaac Knapp, Publisher, Letters and Addresses by G. Thompson [on American Negro Slavery] During His Mission in the United States, From Oct. 1st, 1834, to Nov. 27, 1835, p. 1-5

Gerrit Smith at Syracuse, New York, January 9, 1851


Would to God, brethren, that you were inspired with self-respect! Then would others be inspired with respect for you; — and then would the days of American slavery be numbered. We entreat you to rise up and quit yourselves like men, in all your political and ecclesiastical and social relations. You admit your degradation; — but you seek to excuse it on the ground that it is forced — that it is involuntary. An involuntary degradation! We are half disposed to deny its possibility, and to treat the language as a solecism. At any rate, we feel comparatively no concern for what of your degradation comes from the hands of others. It is your self-degradation which fills us with sorrow — sorrow for yourselves, and still more for the millions whose fate turns so largely on your bearing. We know, and it grieves us to know, that white men are your murderers. But, our far deeper grief is that you are suicides.

SOURCES: Octavius Brooks Frothingham, Gerrit Smith: A Biography, p. 230

Amos A. Lawrence to John Brown, March 20, 1857

(Private.)
Boston, March 20, 1857.

My Dear Sir, — Your letter from New Haven is received. I have just sent to Kansas near fourteen thousand dollars to establish a fund to be used, first, to secure the best system of common schools for Kansas that exists in this country; second, to establish Sunday-schools.

The property is held by two trustees in Kansas, and cannot return to me. On this account, and because I am always short of money, I have not the cash to use for the purpose you name. But in case anything should occur, while you are engaged in a great and good cause, to shorten your life, you may be assured that your wife and children shall be cared for more liberally than you now propose. The family of “Captain John Brown of Osawatomie” will not be turned out to starve in this country, until Liberty herself is driven out.

Yours with regard,

Amos A. Lawrence.

I hope you will not run the risk of arrest.

I never saw the offer to which you refer, in the “Telegraph,” and have now forgotten what it was. Come and see me when you have time.

A. A. Lawrence.

SOURCES: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 374; William Lawrence, Life of Amos A. Lawrence: With Extracts from His Diary and Correspondence, p. 127-8

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, November 1861

November, 1861

. . . Lecturing in Chelsea last night, I spent the night at their [the Fields] house in Boston for the first time. . . . Nothing could be pleasanter, more hospitable, and more entertaining than the bibliopole himself. Such treasures as that house is crammed with. Most of the books there described I saw and some not mentioned; as, for instance, a Greek book, marked in the title-page “Percy Shelley and Leigh Hunt,” in the latter's hand, but the blank leaves full of Shelley's notes in pencil-writing, delicate as himself. The Wordsworth volumes were captivating, with his own later alterations put in with ink in the neatest way, and showing the delicacy of his literary work. They have the original engravings from Sir George Beaumont, giving the actual scenes of “Lucy Gray,” “Peter Bell,” and other poems. Fields described Wordsworth's reading of his own poems in old age, quite grandly, and his reading Tennyson aloud also with equal impressiveness; and turning on a silly lady too profuse in her praise of passages, with “You admire it? But do you understand it?

A long parlor, in a house on Charles Street like Louise's, looking on the beautiful river at full tide, and crowded from end to end with books and pictures. Beautiful engravings of great men, framed with an autograph below — Addison with a note to a friend to meet him at the Fountain Tavern; Pope, with a receipt for a subscription to the Iliad; Dickens, Tennyson, Scott, Washington, etc., each with an original note or manuscript below. An original drawing of Keats by Severn, his artist friend, in whose arms he died; given to Fields by Severn, as was also a lovely little oil painting of Ariel on the bat's back. Two superb photographs, of a wild, grand face, more like Professor Peirce than any one, with high, powerful brow, long face, masses of tangled hair, and full black beard; they might be a gipsy or a wandering painter or Paganini, or anything weird — and they are Tennyson.

SOURCE: Mary Potter Thacher Higginson, Editor, Letters and Journals of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1846-1906, p. 102-3

George L. Stearns, about July 22, 1861

It is the first step toward the emancipation. If we had won a decisive victory, in less than six months the rebellious states would be back in the Union, the government would be out-voted in Congress, and we should have all our work to do over again.

SOURCE: Preston Stearns, The Life and Public Services of George Luther Stearns, p. 254

Samuel Gridley Howe to Senator Charles Sumner, Thursday Evening, January 10, 1852

Boston, Thursday eve., January 10th, 1852.

My Dear Sumner: — I have a welcome line from you to-day; the first for several days; thanks!

I have been dining (a wonder for me) with Mrs. Ward, when we had Mr. and Mrs. Hare, Emerson, Hillard, &c.

Mrs. Hare makes me feel young again, yet very old. Hare I did not like, mainly however because he spoke not worthily of you — talked of your land speech as a bid for the Presidency!!

Ye Gods, what are we coming to when Charles Sumner is considered by any man with brains in his head as an aspirant for office?

I hope you may cross Felton's path and be brought together in kindness and affection; you would find him changed — sadly — yet your generous catholic nature would find much to dwell upon in his character with regard and esteem.

Our Free-soilers in the State are doing nothing for the cause — nothing. I think some of us outsiders should address them a letter of inquiry as to what they mean to do. I am sure that they need a fillip from somebody.

Can you not mark out some course of policy that they should pursue to forward the great principle of our party?

They are becoming mere politicians, mere office holders. They talk, some of them, of making the Maine liquor law a Shibboleth of our party!

I cannot see my way clear to advocate the enacting of such a law, or any unnecessary sumptuary law. I know that they hold this to be necessary; it seems to me doing wrong that good may come out of it.

Faithfully ever yours,
s. G, H.

SOURCE: Laura E. Richards, Editor, Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley Howe, Volume 2, p. 360-1

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, December 25, 1859

Seminary, Dec. 25, 1859.

Dear General: . . . I wish to be understood as perfectly willing that encampments should be inaugurated at once, but only that I, comparatively a stranger, should not seem disposed to make this too military, against or with the lukewarm consent of the people of Louisiana. The proper rule is for me to execute the decrees of the legal authorities, leaving them to determine the objects of the Seminary.

I take pleasure in informing you that our mathematical books have arrived and I will send for them to-morrow. The publisher deducts ten per cent for cash. So that I advise you to cause the cashier of the Mechanics' and Traders' Bank to remit to A. S. Barnes and Brown . . . the sum of $448.65 to the credit of the “Seminary of Learning.” A prompt business-like mode of payments will give us good credit, and be of vast service to us, should we ever get into a tight place. I am satisfied our present funds are sufficient, and in a few days, we will be reimbursed in full, by the sale of these books and furniture to the cadets.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

I am uneasy about the steward being fully ready. I have his sub-steward here at work as cook, he got supper and breakfast. Our range requires more draft than the flues in the side-chimney afforded. I changed it to the inner large fireplace, walling up its front, and it now works to a charm. I also apprehended a scarcity of wood. I have failed in every effort to get negroes, or men to cut and draw wood. Can you advise when they are to be had. Or if you can send or cause to be sent two, immediately, I will give them a month's employment, trusting to Jarreau's boys after that. He has only three left that are worth a sou, and he will need two of them. It will take the three girls every day this week to clean up.

I have also offers from New York for our clothing, much more satisfactory than any in New Orleans. Coat from $13 to $16, vest and pants from $3.50 to $4.00; samples of cloth are with the offer. A beautiful suit of good flannel - navy - all wool, can be made, coat $7, pants $4, vest $3, a really beautiful article. I have also samples for overcoats from $10 to $16. After the arrival of cadets by taking their measures carefully, sending them on, I would in six weeks have everything delivered. It can't be done at all in Alexandria. In New Orleans I found too many if's and and's: New York is the great commercial center of America, and it would be in my judgment extreme squeamishness to pay more for a worse article elsewhere.

If prejudice, non-intercourse, such as Mr. Manning evinced is to restrict me in supplies, we shall be at a stand still soon enough, for I assure you, New Orleans could not fill our small orders for books, which left New York the day my letter reached the publisher. Admitting we buy in New Orleans, your merchants there are northern men or would at once order of northern men, thus subjecting us to double profits and commission. Of course in matter of clothing, arms, and accoutrements I will not be called on to act till after cadets are here, and I know I will see you in the mean time.

I have been quite unwell for two days. I attributed it to an attempt at chicken-pie by our old cook, but since the receipt of yours I suspect the oysters. This cause and my unwillingness to entrust our property here to irresponsible servants deter me from accepting your kind invitation for to-day, as also a similar one from Mr. Henarie and Professor Vallas. My Christmas pleasure must consist of thinking of my little family, enjoying as I know they do all they could wish, in their snug home at Lancaster. . .

I'm afraid from our frequent letters, the Post Master will think we have commenced courting again.

SOURCES: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 91-3

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Marie Sterns to Governor Henry A. Wise, November 19, 1859


Springfield, [Mo.], 1859, November 19th.
Gov. Wise:

Dear Sir, — May I ask of you, the favor, of sending to my friend John Brown the enclosed letter, which is merely one, expressive of my sympathy for him, in his present trying situation — if you wish, you can open & read it, but I earnestly beg you, to send the letter to him & oblige, yours

very Sincerely,
MARIE S. STEARNS,
Gov. Wise, Charlestown, Va.

SOURCE: The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 10, No. 4, April 1903, p. 385

John Brown to Marie Sterns, November 27, 1859

Charlestown, Jefferson County, Va., Nov. 27, 1859.

My Dear Miss Sterns, — Your most kind and cheering letter of the 18th instant is received. Although I have not been at all low-spirited or cast down in feeling since being imprisoned and under sentence (which I am fully aware is soon to be carried out), it is exceedingly gratifying to learn from friends that there are not wanting in this generation some to sympathize with me and appreciate my motive, even now that I am whipped. Success is in general the standard of all merit. I have passed my time here quite cheerfully; still trusting that neither my life nor my death will prove a total loss. As regards both, however, I am liable to mistake. It affords me some satisfaction to feel conscious of having at least tried to better the condition of those who are always on the under-hill side, and am in hopes of being able to meet the consequences without a murmur. I am endeavoring to get ready for another field of action, where no defeat befalls the truly brave. That “God reigns,” and most wisely, and controls all events, might, it would seem, reconcile those who believe it to much that appears to be very disastrous. I am one who has tried to believe that, and still keep trying. Those who die for the truth may prove to be courageous at last; so I continue "hoping on," till I shall find that the truth must finally prevail. I do not feel in the least degree despondent or degraded by my circumstances; and I entreat my friends not to grieve on my account. You will please excuse a very poor and short letter, as I get more than I can possibly answer. I send my best wishes to your kind mother, and to all the family, and to all the true friends of humanity. And now, dear friends, God be with you all, and ever guide and bless you!

Your friend,
John Brown.

SOURCES: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 607

William W. Hall’s Advertisement for the Return of W. W. Davidson’s Negroes, about February 1, 1856

$300 REWARD is offered for the apprehension of negro woman, REBECCA JONES and her three children, and man ISAIAH, belonging to W. W. Davidson, who have disappeared since the 20th inst. The above reward will be paid for the apprehension and delivery of the said Negroes to my Jail, by the attorney in fact of the owner, or the sum of $250 for the man alone, or $150 for the woman and three children alone.

WM. W. HALL, for the Attorney.
feb. 1.

SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 326

George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase, October 10, 1862

(Private and unofficial)
New Orleans, Oct. 10th, 1862.

Dear Sir: I have received your official letter of Sept. 22nd. enclosing letters of Mr. Barney and Mr. Norton — and asking information whether any portion of shipments to this port reach the enemy. My official reply dated yesterday, is correct so far as it goes, but additional facts exist, proper to be stated only in a private letter.

Ever since the capture of this city, a brisk trade has been carried on with the rebels, by a few persons, under military permits, frequently with military assistance and as I believe, much to the pecuniary benefit of some of the principal military officers of this Department. I have suspected it for a long time, and spoke of it in my private letters to you, of Aug. 26th. and Sept. 9th. On the 5th. October, your regulations of Aug. 28th. reached me. I immediately stopped all trade with the enemy, and as this brought me in contact with the persons who have been conducting the trade, I acquired much information. Almost all the information to be given in this letter, has been collected this week.

A brother of Gen. Butler is here, who is called Col. Butler, though he occupies no position in the army. Government officers, citizens, and rebels, generally believe him to be the partner or agent of Gen'l. Butler. He does a heavy business and by various practices has made between one and two million dollars since the capture of the City. Gov. Shepley and especially Col. French (Provost Marshal) are supposed to be interested, but these officers, I believe to be entirely under control of Gen'l. Butler, who knows everything, controls everything, and should be held responsible for everything.

There are two channels of trade with the rebels — the River and Lake Pontchatrain.

River trade must be conducted by steam boats. There are eight or nine. River boats here, all seized and now in the hands of the military authorities. Col. Butler has used these boats as he pleased, for carrying up and bringing down freight. I had no control over them and could not know what was transpiring, for the military authorities controlled them, with whom I had no authority to interfere. Troops were at Baton Rouge and below Vicksburg, and it was to be supposed the boats were used for public, not private purposes. Of late, frequently, one or two infantry companies would accompany a boat taking up cargo and bringing back produce. This service was unpopular with officers and men, who enlisted for the benefit of the country and not of speculators. I say no more concerning the River trade, except that it has been constant and sometimes active.

Of the trade across the Lake I have more accurate and more information, because there are no government vessels there, and it was conducted with schooners. Shortly after arriving here I learned that large quantities of salt had crossed the lake to the rebels, and supposing it to be smuggled, took measures to stop it thenceforth. Two weeks later a schooner loaded with 1,000 sacks salt to cross the Lake. I directed the inspector to seize the vessel, and immediately called upon Gen. Butler, and requested a guard to be put on board. This was about 9 o'clock at night. He appeared indignant at the attempt to take salt to the enemy — ordered a guard on board the vessel — and ordered the immediate arrest of the Captain and shippers. The next day I had an interview with Provost Marshal French, who told me it was all a misunderstanding. The shipper had a permit for 500, but not for 1,000. That the shipper and captain were released — the vessel unladen and released also. I told him, he had no authority to release my seizures, but it was now too late to help it.

After this but little trade was done until six or eight weeks ago, when Gen. Butler gave a permit to a rebel, to ship four large cargoes, much of which was contraband, across the lake. I immediately called upon the General, who said that it was the policy of the Gov’t. to get cotton shipped from this port, and for that purpose, to trade with the enemy. In the conversation he left upon my mind the impression that this course was approved at Washington. I then had entire confidence in Gen'l. Butler, and my letter of instructions had directed me to consult with him frequently. For the last two months trade has been active across the lake, nor had I any authority to stop it, until the arrival of your regulations on the 5th. Oct., as above mentioned.

The following statements are made to me by various persons.

One man says — that he took over 600 sacks salt just before I arrived, and was gone six weeks. Gen'l Butler gave permit. Two dollars per sack was paid for permission to take from New Orleans. He sold 400 sacks to Confederate army at $25. per sack, and was permitted to sell the other 200 to citizens, at $36. per sack. He did not own the cargo, but received one fourth of net profits. He cleared $2,000. The owners cleared $6,000 — good money.

Dr. Avery, Surgeon 9th. Reg't. Conn. Vol., states that he accompanied an expedition to Pontchitoula, just North of Lake Pontchartrain, about three weeks ago. A skirmish ensued — he was taken prisoner and taken to Camp Moore. He saw a large quantity of salt in sacks there, lying by the railroad. A rebel officer said to him. “We bought that salt from Col. Butler. We paid $5. per sack for the privilege of shipment from New Orleans. To-day that salt goes to Richmond for the army. To-morrow or next day another cargo will arrive. The army get their salt from New Orleans. The Yankees “will do anything for money.”Dr. A. was subsequently released and is now in this city.

Capt. Cornwell, Co. A. 13th. Conn. Reg't. was stationed with his company at mouth of New Canal, for about three weeks, ending last Saturday. He states that the first schooner going out, was laden with large am't. of contraband articles — some medicines, including 80 gals, castor oil — It had Shepley's permit. He sent his 2nd. Lieut. (Kinney) to Gen. Butler — who said “Go to Gov. Shepley and ask him if he does not know that these articles will go right into the hands of the enemy.” Gov. Shepley said, “Return to Gen. Butler and say that I consulted him before giving this permit.” Whereupon Gen. B. said, “Well, let it go, since Gov. S. has granted a permit.” The same thing happened two or three days afterward, when Gen. B. received the messenger, and at once wrote on the back of the permit — “Gov. Shepley's passes must be respected.” Capt. Cornwell now wants to go home.

The inspector of Customs at the New Canal is very sick, and therefore I cannot get his statement at present.

Mr. Clark applies for permission to trade with the enemy on a large scale and states that he made the arrangement by Gen. Butler's consent. I let his vessel leave in ballast, taking bond in double the value of the vessel, that she would be returned into my custody within 20 days. He had a letter from Gen. B. which I caused to be privately copied, and also a letter from Col. Butler. Both are enclosed herewith, marked A.

Don D. Goicouria (of the firm of D. D. Goicouria and Co., New St., N. Y.) has been here four months and has made about $200,000. He asks to continue trade with the enemy authorized by Gen'l. Butler. He has taken two thousand sacks salt to the confederate army. He made an arrangement with Gen. Butler and Benjamin (Rebel Secretary of War) to take salt to the enemy, bringing back cotton — in exchange, at the rate of ten sacks in one bale of cotton. He goes North next steamer, and will apply to Secretary of Treasury for permit to continue the trade. He has rec'd. here 200 bales cotton. His salt goes to the Confederate Army. He says, Col. Butler told him that he (Col. B.) had sent North 8,000 hogs, sugar of his own, worth in N. Y. $800,000 or $900,000. Besides salt, he has taken to the enemy large amount of other goods. In his interview with you he will be able to tell you everything about trade with the Rebels if disposed so to do.

A Roman Catholic Priest, from Bay St. Louis, told me yesterday that in his vicinity, Salt was selling for $3.50 per gallon — or $25. per bushel — and Flour at $55. per barrel.

(A Sack of salt contains about 4 bushels).

Mr. Lloyd applies for permit to trade. He states that Gen. B. granted him permit, to take effect whenever he pleased — and offered him Gunboats and soldiers. He declined such aid, preferring to make arrangements with Confederate authorities, which are now completed. That he promised to bring hither 5,000 bales cotton and sell them to Gen. Butler, at the market price. He insinuates that there is a further understanding between himself and Gen. Butler, but declines stating what it is. His agent's name is Burden and his application (with list of cargo) is enclosed herewith, marked B.

Another, application comes from Wm. Perkins and is enclosed herewith marked C.

E. H. Montgomery's vessels was stopped by me in New Canal on the 5th. October. His permit from Gov. Shepley and list of Cargo is enclosed herewith marked D.

All the vessels crossing the Lake since Sept. 23rd. have had Gen. Shepley's pass. The inspector has furnished a list of them with their cargoes — which list is enclosed herewith, marked E.

After receiving copy of your regulations, I told Gen. Butler that this trade gave aid and comfort to the enemy without benefit to the Gov't. — that it demoralized the army — disgusted loyal citizens — and degraded the character of the Gov't. He smilingly assented — said it ought to be stopped — that he didn't see why Shepley granted such permits — and that he was going to visit Ship Island, and when he returned would see me about it again!

The stringent blockade enhances prices in the Rebel States, and is a great thing for the military speculators of this Department — and their friends.

I know of 5,000 sacks being sent to the enemy, and I think more than 10,000 have been sent.

I suppose your regulations (28th. Aug.) apply equally to the portion of the State within our lines—as well as to that under insurrectionary control. That supplies can be sent anywhere to a loyal citizen for his own use, but not to sell to rebels, and that I am to control the whole matter. If I mistake please inform me.

Most of this trade can be stopped, but I believe the present military authorities are so corrupt that they will take all means to make money. The amount of goods smuggled from this point to the enemy, has been trifling. Gen. Butler has always been kind to me, and our personal relations are upon the most pleasant footing. He has great ability, great energy, shrewdness and activity, and industry, but he can never acquire a character here for disinterestedness. Many officers and soldiers want to go home, not wishing to risk their lives to make fortunes for others.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 320-5