Showing posts with label Dabney H Maury. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dabney H Maury. Show all posts

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 8, 1864

The air is filled with rumors—none reliable. It is said Gen. Lee is much provoked at the alarm and excitement in the city, which thwarted a plan of his to capture the enemy on the Peninsula; and the militia and the Department Battalions were kept yesterday and to-day under arms standing in the cold, the officers blowing their nails, and “waiting orders,” which came not. Perhaps they were looking for the “conspirators;” a new hoax to get “martial law.”

A Union meeting has been held in Greensborough, N. C. An intelligent writer to the department says the burden of the speakers, mostly lawyers, was the terrorism of Gen. Winder and his corps of rogues and cut-throats, Marylanders, whose operations, it seems, have spread into most of the States. Mr. Sloan, the writer, says, however, a vast majority of the people are loyal.

It is said Congress is finally about to authorize martial law. My cabbages are coming up in my little hot-bed—half barrel. Gen. Maury writes from Mobile that he cannot be able to obtain any information leading to the belief of an intention on the part of the enemy to attack Mobile. He says it would require 40,000 men, after three months' preparation, to take it.

Gov. Brown, of Georgia, says the Confederate States Government has kept bad faith with the Georgia six months’ men; and hence they cannot be relied on to relieve Gen. Beauregard, etc. (It is said the enemy are about to raise the siege of Charleston.) Gov. B. says the State Guard are already disbanded. He says, moreover, that the government here, if it understood its duty, would not seize and put producers in the field, but would stop details, and order the many thousand young officers everywhere swelling in the cars and hotels, and basking idly in every village, to the ranks. He is disgusted with the policy here. What are we coming to?

 Everywhere our troops in the field, whose terms of three years will expire this spring, are re-enlisting for the war. This is an effect produced by President Lincoln's proclamation; that to be permitted to return to the Union, all men must first take an oath to abolish slavery!

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 145-6

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: August 20, 1863

A few weeks ago Gen. Cooper wrote to Bragg, suggesting that he advance into Middle Tennessee, reinforced by Gen. Johnston, and attack Rosecrans; Gen. Bragg replied (8th inst.) that with all the reinforcements he could get from Johnston, he would not have more than 40,000 effective men, while Rosecrans has 60,000, and will be reinforced by Burnside with 30,000 more — making 90,000 against 40,000 — and as a true patriot he was opposed to throwing away our armies in enterprises sure to terminate disastrously. He said, moreover, that the enemy could starve him out, if he were to advance to the place designated, and thus destroy his army without a battle. Gen. Cooper sent this response to the President, asking if Bragg should not be ordered to fight under such circumstances. But the President paused, in following the guidance of this Northern man at the head of all our Southern generals — and to-day sent back the paper indorsed that “only a suggestion could be given to a commanding general to fight a battle; but to order him to fight when he predicted a failure in advance, would be unwise.”

A paper from Beauregard intimates that even if batteries Wagner and Gregg should be taken by the enemy, he has constructed another which will render that part of Morris Island untenable. But he relied upon holding Sumter; and there is a vague rumor to-day that Sumter must surrender—if indeed it has not already been reduced.

Hon Wm. Porcher Miles writes another most urgent letter, demanding reinforcements of seasoned troops. He says Charleston was stripped of troops against the remonstrances of Beauregard to send to Mississippi — to no avail — which invited this attack; and now he asks that Jenkins's brigade of South Carolinians be sent to the defense; that South Carolinians are fighting in Virginia, but are not permitted to defend their native soil in the hour of extremity; and that if the enemy, with overwhelming numbers, should take James's Island, they would, from thence, be able to destroy the city. We are looking with anxiety for further news from Charleston.

Gen. Maury writes from Mobile that he has seized, in the hands of Steever (who is he ?), receipts for 4000 bales of cotton — orders for 150 bonds, each £225 sterling, and two bags of coin, $10,000. The President indorses on the paper that the money had better be turned over to the Secretary of the Treasury. What is all this?

The Secretary sent a paper to the President relating to some novel action performed or proposed, asking his “instructions.” The President returned it to-day indorsed, “The Secretary's advice invited.” How in the mischief can such non-committalists ever arrive at a conclusion?

Hon. E. S. Dargan writes that if Pemberton be restored to command (as he understands this to be the government's purpose), our cause is ruined beyond redemption. I say so too. When he made up his mind to surrender, it is unpardonable that he did not destroy the 50,000 stand of arms before he made any overture. I shall never forgive him!

The signal officers report that three large ocean steamers passed down the Potomac day before yesterday, having on board 1000 men each; and that many large steamers are constantly going up —perhaps for more.

Brig.-Gen. Roger A. Pryor, after dancing attendance in the ante-rooms for six months, waiting assignment to a command, has resigned, and his resignation has been accepted. He says he can at least serve in the ranks as a private. The government don't like aspiring political generals. Yet Pryor was first a colonel, and member of Congress — resigned his seat — resigned his brigadier-generalship, and is now a private.

Our cause is dim in Europe, if it be true, as the Northern papers report, that the Confederate loan has sunken from par to 35 per cent, discount since the fall of Vicksburg.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 19-20

Monday, September 18, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: July 28, 1863

The rumor that Gen. Lee had resigned was simply a fabrication. His headquarters, a few days ago, were at Culpepper C. H., and may be soon this side of the Rappahannock. A battle and a victory may take place there.

Col. J. Gorgas, I presume, is no friend of Pemberton; it is not often that Northern men in our service are exempt from jealousies and envyings. He sends to the Secretary of War to-day a remarkable statement of Eugene Hill, an ordnance messenger, for whom he vouches, in relation to the siege and surrender of Vicksburg. It appears that Hill had been sent here by Lieut.-Gen. Holmes for ammunition, and on his way back to the trans-Mississippi country, was caught at Vicksburg, where he was detained until after the capitulation. He declares that the enemy's mines did our works no more injury than our mines did theirs; that when the surrender took place, there were an abundance of caps, and of all kinds of ordnance stores; that there were 90,000 pounds of bacon or salt meat unconsumed, besides a number of cows, and 400 mules, grazing within the fortifications; and that but few of the men even thought of such a contingency as a surrender, and did not know it had taken place until the next day (5th of July), when they were ordered to march out and lay down their arms. He adds that Gen. Pemberton kept himself very close, and was rarely seen by the troops, and was never known to go out to the works until he went out to surrender.

Major-Gen. D. Maury writes from Mobile, to the President, that he apprehends an attack from Banks, and asks instructions relative to the removal of 15,000 non-combatants from the city. He says Forts Gaines and Morgan are provisioned for six months, and that the land fortifications are numerous and formidable. He asks for 20,000 men to garrison them. The President instructs the Secretary, that when the purpose of the enemy is positively known, it will be time enough to remove the women, children, etc.; but that the defenses should be completed, and everything in readiness. But where the 20,000 men are to come from is not stated — perhaps from Johnston.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 389-90

Friday, August 25, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: July 19, 1863

We have no news this morning. But a rumor prevails, which cannot be traced to any authentic source, that Texas has put herself under the protection of France. It is significant, because public sentiment seems to acquiesce in such a measure; and I have not met with any who do not express a wish that it may be so. Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas are now isolated, and no protection or aid can be given them by the government here; and it is natural, after the fall of New Orleans and Vicksburg, for the people to hope that the invaders may be deprived of their prey just at the moment when they anticipated a realization of its enjoyment.

Hon.Wm. Porcher Miles writes that, after consultation, the officers have decided that it would be impracticable to hold Morris Island, even if the enemy were driven from it at the point of the bayonet. Therefore they call loudly for Brooke guns of long range, and guns of large calibre for Sumter, so that the fort may prevent the enemy from erecting batteries in breaching distance. They say, in their appeal, that since the fall of Vicksburg there is no other place (but one) to send them. They are now idle in Richmond. I understand the Secretary of War, etc. are in consultation on the subject, and I hope the President will, at last, yield to Gen. Beauregard's demands.

Gen. Maury also writes for guns and ordnance stores for the defense of Mobile, which may be attacked next. He will get them.

If the insurrection in New York lives, and resistance to conscription should be general in the North, our people will take fresh hope, and make renewed efforts to beat back the mighty armies of the foe — suffering, and more than decimated, as we are.

But if not — if Charleston and Richmond and Mobile should fall, a peace (submission) party will spring up. Nevertheless, the fighting population would still resist, retiring into the interior and darting out occasionally, from positions of concentration, at the exposed camps of the enemy.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 382-3

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Diary of 1st Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Monday, April 17, 1865

Spend most of day writing, at 12. m. a salute of 200 guns fired by order of Genl Canby in honor of the surrender of Genls Lee to Grant & Genl Jonston to Sherman, Maury is reported in camp 40 miles from here & Meridian is in the hands of the yankees, take a stroll this evening, find the whole army in fine spirits & it is reported that Col Forest has surrendered at Memphis, weather very warm.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 592

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Wednesday, April 12, 1865

Were waked up at daylight & most of the men had made coffee when the Regt. was ordered on board the Gulf Steamer. Genl Banks, Genl Granger & suit embark on the same boat, as we are about the last Regt to embark the fleet set sail immediately, the fleet consisted of 6 musketo gunboats & about as many transports, two men of war, these boats carried the 13th A. C. the gunboat Cincinatti took the lead across the Bay arond with a torpedo rake. I was surprised that the Land batteries in the Bay did not open on us as we were in good range of it, crossed over to cat fish landing. A man of war run up close & lifted a shell over which called no reply but caused a display of white rags at every house along the landing. A boat was sent ashore which brought back word that there was no enemy in Mobile & the Mayor would surrender the city at the approach of our army. Genl Grangers orders were to beach the boats & men to wade on shore, but these orders were not carried out where it was certain there was no enemy, the boats run up to an old pier hardly stout enough to hold itself up. & the men disembarked. slowly, our boat was not light enough draft to move up to the pier & we were transferred to another boat and landed at 11. o clock. Admiral Thatcher was on board our boat before we disembarked. I hear the navy feel very soar about the little work they have done to reduce Mobile. When the sand forts were fond to be evacuated Genl Granger determined to run the Genl Banks to the city although the Admiral was afraid to run his musketo boat with a torpedo rake to the city. Col. Mackey wanted to have the regt remain on the boat & go in with the Genl but he would not allow it saying “I dont want to loose the men but if they blow me up with a torpedo they may blow & be D—d” his boat went in without running on any torpedo although the pilot was unacquainted with the channel & run by guess we lay arond on the banks after disembarking until 1. P. M. when we started for Mobile but from some cause we moved slow moving about 200 yds & then rest an hour so it took until dusk to get us in camp between the 1st & 2d lines of fortification about the city & about 1 mile from the city, I take a look at some of the forts an the line of forts which are the best earth works I ever saw & cannot understand how Genl Maury got the consent of his mind to leave such works without firing a gun. The forts mounted large Siege guns of heavy calibre many of them marked “Selma Mob 1865.” the guns were all well spiked & carriages mostly destroyed most of the magazines were open & much of the ammunition destroyed although there was a great amont left, the citizens close by tell me that not much of the cotton was burned for Genl Canby sent in word if the cotton was burned he would burn the city. The big fire we noticed last night was the burning of the navy yard. Say when the Rebs left the commissaries with 6 months rations for the men were thrown open & citizens helped themselves, in the rush several citizens were hurt. a Co of Reb cavalry did not leave until our army was disembarkng & a small squad remained in town until the straglers who run ahead of the command were entering the city they snatched up one of these straglers & made off with him. The 1st Brig marched into town & 8th Ill was put on provost duty.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 589-90

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Friday, March 31, 1865

Rested tolerably last night, At 8. A M. The batteries open on the Forts & keep up a vigorous shelling for 3 hours. P. M. the felled timber front of the forts where our skirmish line is gets on fire. Rebs open on them with shell & small arms. Could not see how the skirmishers could stand the heat & firing but they did it nobly, firing became so heavy at 6. P. M. the men were ordered to arms Co G. was ordered to the forward rifle pits to reinforce Co. B as a support to the skirmishers, Capt Ledyard was on duty as Brig off of the day, which left me in comd of the co. I took them down on the double quick although almost too week to stand. The bullets whistled thick arond but no one was struck. At 11. P. M. the heavy firing ceased & I reed orders to keep my co in the pits all night. I hear of several men being killed but none from our Regt, hear a report that on our right Smith with some of the heavy Parrots disables one of the Enemy's gunboat & drives another off 2 miles, one battery of heavy guns on our left is silenced by the fire save the main Fort. It is rumored that Thomas has made connection with Steele. The Gunboats advance slowly taking out the torpedos, advanced about 100 yds and that Genl Maury commands at Mobile & Genl Gibson at Spanish Fort. We rec mail today one from cous John who is with Thomas & says under date of 10th Feb that the comd was preparing for an expedition against Mobile.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 582

Friday, June 17, 2016

Diary of Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle: Monday, May 25, 1863

I was disappointed in the aspect of Mobile. It is a regular rectangular American city, built on a sandy flat, and covering a deal of ground for its population, which is about 25,000.

I called on General Maury, for whom I brought a letter of introduction from General Johnston. He is a very gentlemanlike and intelligent but diminutive Virginian, and had only just assumed the command at Mobile.

He was very civil, and took me in a steamer to see I the sea defences. We were accompanied by General Ledbetter the engineer, and we were six hours visiting the forts.

Mobile is situated at the head of a bay thirty miles long. The blockading squadron, eight to ten in number, is stationed outside the bay, the entrance to which is defended by forts Morgan and Gaines; but as the channel between these two forts is a mile wide, they might probably be passed.

Within two miles of the city, however, the bay becomes very shallow, and the ship channel is both dangerous and tortuous. It is, moreover, obstructed by double rows of pine piles, and all sorts of ingenious torpedos, besides being commanded by carefully constructed forts, armed with heavy guns, and built either on islands or on piles.

Their names are Fort Pinto, Fort Spanish River, Apalache, and Blakeley.1

The garrisons of these forts complained of their being unhealthy, and I did not doubt the assertion. Before landing, we boarded two iron-clad floatingbatteries. The Confederate fleet at Mobile is considerable, and reflects great credit upon the energy of the Mobilians, as it has been constructed since the commencement of the war. During the trip, I overheard General Maury soliloquising over a Yankee flag, and saying, “Well, I never should have believed that I could have lived to see the day in which I should detest that old flag.” He is cousin to Lieutenant Maury, who has distinguished himself so much by his writings, on physical geography especially. The family seems to be a very military one. His brother is captain of the Confederate steamer Georgia.

After landing, I partook of a hasty dinner with General Maury and Major Cummins. I was then mounted on the General's horse, and was sent to gallop round the land defences with Brigadier-General Slaughter and his Staff. By great good fortune this was the evening of General Slaughter's weekly inspection, and all the redoubts were manned by their respective garrisons, consisting half of soldiers and half of armed citizens who had been exempted from the conscription either by their age or nationality, or had purchased substitutes. One of the forts was defended by a burly British guard, commanded by a venerable Captain Wheeler.2

After visiting the fortifications, I had supper at General Slaughter’s house, and met some of the  refugees from New Orleans — these are now being huddled neck and crop out of that city for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States. Great numbers of women and children are arriving at Mobile every day; they are in a destitute condition, and they add to the universal feeling of exasperation. The propriety of raising the black flag, and giving no quarter, was again freely discussed at General Slaughter's, and was evidently the popular idea. I heard many anecdotes of the late “Stonewall Jackson,” who was General Slaughter's comrade in the Artillery of the old army. It appears that previous to the war he was almost a monomaniac about his health. When he left the U. S. service he was under the impression that one of his legs was getting shorter than the other; and afterwards his idea was that he only perspired on one side, and that it was necessary to keep the arm and leg of the other side in constant motion in order to preserve the circulation; but it seems that immediately the war broke out he never made any further allusion to his health. General Slaughter declared that on the night after the terrific repulse of Burnside's army at Fredericksburg, Stonewall Jackson had made the following suggestion: — “I am of opinion that we ought to attack the enemy at once; and in order to avoid the confusion and mistakes so common in a night-attack, I recommend that we should all strip ourselves perfectly naked.”3 Blockade-running goes on very regularly at Mobile; the steamers nearly always succeed, but the schooners are generally captured. To-morrow I shall start for the Tennessean army, commanded by General Braxton Bragg.

1 A description of either its sea or land defences is necessarily omitted.

2 Its members were British subjects exempted from the conscription, but they had volunteered to fight in defence of the city.

3 I always forgot to ask General Lee whether this story was a true one.

SOURCE: Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, Three Months in the Southern States: April-June, 1863, p. 129-33

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Brigadier-General Thomas Kilby Smith to Bettie Smith, April 19, 1865

Headquarters District Of South Alabama,
Fort Gaines, Ala., April 19, 1865.
My Dear Daughter Bettie:

I have just returned from Mobile, where I have been sojourning for three or four days past, and you will want some description of the city and what I saw there. You must know that Mobile, the principal city and only seaport of Alabama, was the original seat of French colonization in the southwest, and for many years the capital of the colony of Louisiana. I shall transcribe for you a little bit of history, while for its geographical position you must go to the map. In 1702, Lemoine de Bienville, acting under the instructions of his brother Iberville, transferred the principal seat of the colony from Biloxi, where it had been established three years previously, to a point on the river Mobile, supposed to be about twenty miles above the present site of the city, where he established a post to which he gave the name of “St. Louis de la Mobile.” At the same time he built a fort and warehouse on “Isle Dauphine,” at the entrance of Mobile Bay (where my headquarters now are).

The settlement at Biloxi was soon afterwards broken up. In 1704, there was an arrival of twenty young girls from France, and the next year of twenty-three others, selected and sent out under the auspices of the Bishop of Quebec, as wives for the colonists. Many of the original settlers were Canadians, like Iberville and Bienville. In 1705, occurred a severe epidemic, supposed to be the first recorded visitation of yellow fever, by which thirty-five persons were carried off.

The year 1706 is noted for the “petticoat insurrection,” which was a threatened rebellion of females in consequence of the dissatisfaction with the diet of Indian corn, to which they were reduced. The colony meanwhile frequently suffered from famine as well as from the attacks of Indians although relieved by occasional supplies sent from the mother country. In 1711 the settlement was nearly destroyed by a hurricane and flood in consequence of which it was removed to its present situation. In 1712 the King of France made a grant of the whole colony to Antoine Crozat, a wealthy French merchant, and in the following year Bienville was superseded as governor by M. de la Motte Cadillac. In 1717 Crozat relinquished his grant to the French government, and Bienville was reinstated. In 1723, the seat of the colonial government was transferred to New Orleans. In 1763, by the treaty of Paris, Mobile with all that portion of Louisiana lying east of the Mississippi and north of Bayou Iberville, Lake Maurepas, and Pontchartrain, passed into the possession of Great Britain. In 1780, the Fort, the name of which had been changed into Fort Condé, and subsequently by the British to Fort Charlotte, was captured by the Spanish General, Don Galvez, Governor of Louisiana, and in 1783, its occupancy was confirmed to Spain by the cession to that power of all the British possession on the Gulf of Mexico. On the 13th of April, 1813, just fifty-two years before the time it had been taken possession of by General Canby, the Spanish Commandant Gayatama Perez surrendered the fort and town to General Wilkinson. At that period, the population, which in 1785 had amounted to eight hundred and forty-six, was estimated at only five hundred, half of whom were blacks. In December, 1819, Mobile was incorporated as a city. Mobile is now a city of moderate size, a population of probably forty thousand inhabitants and before the war was opulent and characterized as the most aristocratic city of the South, though I suppose Charleston would dispute, or rather would have disputed, this point. There has evidently been a lavish display of money and many of the houses and public buildings are elegant and tasteful in their style and adornment. The luxuriance of vegetation in this climate gives great advantages in the adornment of the streets and grounds with shade trees and beautiful shrubs, vines and flowers. The present season corresponds with June with you, and to me it was a rare and beautiful sight yesterday to look down the long vista of “Government” street, their principal avenue through the aisle of magnolia in full leaf and bloom, the pride of China, the crape myrtle and many other trees, the names of which I do not know, but all laden with bud and leaf and flower; while in relief, the houses were wreathed with ivy, climbing roses, while the sweet-scented double violet added delicious perfume to the fragrance of countless varieties of standard roses. The people have great taste and wonderful love for flowers in the South; even the ragged urchins and barefooted little girls carry bouquets that would be the envy of a ball-room belle in Cincinnati. The streets are very broad, and have been paved with shells, but the sandy nature of the soil has caused them to disappear beneath the surface. The sidewalks are brick, as in Cincinnati. The city was like a city of the dead. The principal men being in the army, were either prisoners or had fled. The ladies secluded themselves from the public gaze. A semi-official notice from the headquarters of the rebel General Maury had warned them that General Canby had promised his soldiers three days' pillage; consequently, the people, when our troops took possession, were frightened and anticipated all sorts of enormities. Since, they have been in a constant state of profound astonishment. The drinking houses were all closed, and a rigid system of discipline has been enforced, quiet and order prevails.

While in Mobile, I was the guest of General Canby, who has taken quarters at one of the best houses. I met there in the family of the owner a fair sample of the young and middle-aged ladies of the place, and the schoolgirls.

Everything is as old-fashioned as four years non-intercourse with the “outside barbarians,” as they would style us, would be apt to induce. This in dress, literature, and conversation. You will hear that there is Union sentiment in Mobile, perhaps that not more than ten per cent, of its people are secessionists; but my word for it, that not a man, woman, or child, who has lived in Mobile the last four years, but who prays death and destruction to the “damned Yankees.”

Well, I have given you a birds-eye view of the city. If there is anything more you want to know, you must ask. In case anybody should ask the question, you may say, that there were taken with Mobile upwards of thirty-five thousand bales of cotton, over a million bushels of corn, twenty thousand bushels of wheat, and large stores of tobacco. I don't think that mother, for some time hereafter, will be compelled to give a dollar a yard for domestics and double the price for calico. You must all have new dresses. I am glad to get back from Mobile to my little island. There the weather was warm and the air close and heavy, here I have always a delicious sea breeze. It is very cool and pleasant. I have a fine hard beach as level as your parlor floor, upon which I can ride for twenty miles and see the great ocean with its mighty pulses break at my feet. I have a little fleet of boats; one, a beautiful steamer called the Laura, that had been built by the rebels as a blockade runner, as quick as lightning and elegantly fitted up, was sunk a day or two since by running on to a pile. I am now having her raised again. I have also a beautiful little yacht, a light sailboat rigged as a sloop with one mast bowsprit and jib. She sails beautifully on the wind; is large enough to carry half a dozen very well. I have just had her elegantly painted, and one of my officers is to-day manufacturing a streamer for her. She has been called the Vivian, but I am going to change her name and rechristen her the Bessie and Belle. When I get a little more leisure I shall sail in her down to the coral reefs and fish for pompino, sheepsheads and poissons rouge. Oysters now are going out of season. I am told they eat them here all the year round, but to my notion they are becoming milky. I shall now take to crabs and fish. I have been keeping Lent admirably.

You say you hope “peace will be declared.” I should be glad, my dear daughter, to see your hopes fulfilled; but peace will be long coming to our country and papa; it would do to dream and talk of, but the snake is only scotched, not killed. Our hope may rest on a foreign war, and to-day I could unite many of our enemies to march with us under the folds of our own starry banner to fight the swarthy Mexicans or the dull, cold Englishman, but without this event we must fight on among ourselves for many a year to come. God grant our jubilee may not have rung out too soon. How long will it take the North to learn the South? But these are questions, my dear daughter, not for your consideration, yet, at least. Study your books, my child, and learn to love God and keep his commandments, and when you pray, pray first for wisdom and then for strength, and if you want your prayers answered, study your books and go about much in the open air.

I send you some lines you may put away in your scrapbook and when you get to be an old lady like grandma, and have your own grandchildren on your knee, one day you may get out the old battered book and read to them what your father sent you from the war.

SOURCE: Walter George Smith, Life and letters of Thomas Kilby Smith, p. 387-91

Monday, June 2, 2014

Jefferson Davis to Lieutenant-General William J. Hardee, September 5, 1864

RICHMOND, September 5, 1864.
General W. J. HARDEE:

Your dispatch of yesterday received. The necessity for re-enforcements was realized, and every effort was made to bring forward reserves, militia, and detailed men for the purpose. Polk, Maury, S. D. Lee, and Jones had been drawn on to fullest extent; E. K. Smith had been called on. No other resource remains. It is now requisite that absentees be brought back, the addition required from the surrounding country be promptly made available, and that the means in hand be used with energy proportionate to the country's need.


SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 38, Part 5 (Serial No. 76), p. 1021; John Bell Hood, Advance and Retreat, p. 245 in which this letter was addressed to “General John B. Hood”

Sunday, May 4, 2014

General Robert E. Lee to John C. Breckinridge, March 17, 1865


Sec. of War, Richmond, Va.

SIR: A dispatch from Lieutenant-General Taylor at Meridian on the 12th inst. states that he had returned that morning from West Point; that Thomas was reported to be moving with the Fourth Army Corps and about 12,000 cavalry; that General Maury reports enemy, some 30,000 strong, moving with fleet and by land from Pensacola on Mobile; that about 30,000 bales of cotton in Mobile will be burned as soon as the city is invested; that he has provided for these movements as fully as his resources permitted, but that he had received no aid from Mississippi or Alabama, yet hoped to embarrass the enemy in his efforts to take those States. If the estimate of the enemy's strength is correct, I see little prospect of preserving Mobile, and had previously informed him that he could not rely upon the return of the Army of Tennessee to relieve that city, and suggested the propriety of withdrawing from it, and endeavor to beat the enemy in the field. I hope this course will meet with the approbation of the Department.

General Johnston on the 16th, from Smithfield, reports the Federal army south of the Cape Fear, but near Fayetteville. He had ordered 1,000 wagons of the Tennessee army to be used in filling gaps in railroads and 100 wagons to collect supplies in South Carolina for this army. I hope this will furnish some relief.

General Echols at Wytheville, on the 12th, reports that a portion of the troops in East Tennessee had removed south of Knoxville, destination not known, and that the engineer corps which had commenced to repair the Tennessee Railroad from Knoxville east had been withdrawn and sent to Chattanooga for the purpose, it was thought, of repairing the road toward Atlanta. He also states that an intelligent scout just from Kentucky reports Burbridge's force had been taken to Nashville, and that considerable bodies of troops were passing up the Ohio on their way to Grant. He believed all these reports may be relied on.

The enemy seems still to be collecting a force in the Shenandoah Valley, which indicates another movement as soon as the weather will permit. Rosser's scouts report that there is some cavalry and infantry now at Winchester, and that Hancock has a portion of his corps at Hall Town. I think these troops are intended to supply the place of those under General Sheridan, which it is plain General Grant has brought to his army. The addition of these three mounted divisions will give such strength to his cavalry, already numerically superior to ours, that it will enable him, I fear, to keep our communications to Richmond broken. Had we been able to use the supplies which Sheridan has destroyed in his late expedition in maintaining our troops in the Valley in a body, if his march could not have been arrested it would at least have been rendered comparatively harmless, and we should have been spared the mortification that has attended it. Now, I do not see how we can sustain even our small force of cavalry around Richmond. I have had this morning to send Gen. William H. F. Lee's division back to Stony Creek, whence I had called it in the last few days, because I cannot provide it with forage. I regret to have to report these difficulties, but think you ought to be apprised of them, in order if there is any remedy it should be applied.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,

SOURCE: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 360-2