Friday, November 4, 2016

Diary of John Hay: April 26, 1861

Massachusetts and Rhode Island troops in large numbers arrived to-day. . . . I called on Sprague, the Governor of Rhode Island, with Nicolay. A small insignificant youth, who bought his place; but who is certainly all right now. He is very proud of his company, of its wealth and social standing.

Carl Schurz was here to-day. He spoke with wild enthusiasm of his desire to mingle in this war. He has great confidence in his capability of arousing the enthusiasm of the young. He contemplates the career of a great guerilla chief with ardent longing. He objects to the taking of Charleston and advises forays on the interior states. . . .

The Seventh Regiment band played gloriously on the shaven lawn at the south front of the Executive Mansion. The scene was very beautiful. Through the luxuriant grounds, the gaily dressed crowd idly strolled, soldiers loafed on the promenades, the martial music filled the sweet air with vague suggestion of heroism, and Carl Schurz and the President talked war.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 25-6; Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letters of John Hay, p. 12; Michael Burlingame & John R. Turner Ettlinger, Editors; Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 12

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