Showing posts with label Fernandina FL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fernandina FL. Show all posts

Monday, November 16, 2020

Dr. Seth Rogers to his daughter Dolly, January 28, 1863

STEAMER Ben Deford, FERNANDINA, FLA.,
January 28, 1863.

 While superintending the transfer of the wounded from the John Adams last night, I sent ashore for mattrasses, but without success. This morning I have been ashore and procured a bale of fine hay from Quartermaster Seward, a gentleman who was my partner at euchre on the Delaware and who is now very prompt in doing what he can for us, so that now our men are about as comfortably placed as if they were in a hospital. Yesterday I saw how difficult it is to keep down vandalism when a town is to be burned. In this respect the blacks are much more easily controlled than the whites. Of course we have a right to appropriate what we need in the service of Uncle Sam, but I would be as severe as the Colonel is on individual appropriations. My only regret about burning the town is that we did not give those “unprotected ladies” the protection of our flag and then burn every house. I find the same feeling among officers here in Fernandina. If we are ever to put down this ungodly rebellion, we must act on the broadest principles of justice. If I offer my life in the defence of my country I shall not be slow nor economical in my demands upon my enemies. This is true justice and wise humanity. Just now two companies were sent to St. Mary's on the Planter to load brick; I let Dr. Minor go with them. That I did not go myself instead was the bravest thing I have done since I came to Dixie.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 43, October, 1909—June, 1910: February 1910. p. 351-2

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Salmon P. Chase to Thomas M. Key, January 26, 1864

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 26, 1864.

My Dear JUDGE: Mr. Goodrich sent me your kind note, and it was a real delight to me to see your handwriting once more. God grant that it may foretoken your complete restoration to health.

Among the gratifications which have more than compensated the vexation and chagrin I have had to endure here, I prized few more highly than that which your appreciation of my work and your prompt award to me of your esteem and friendship gave me. Would that your chief had had the wisdom to see and the courage to act as you would have had him! How much might have been spared to our country!

What I did to aid you when you first came from Ohio, I should have done for any one charged with the same mission. I simply did my duty. How generously you overpaid me by your confidence and good-will will pass from memory only when memory retains no traces.

If it is too much trouble for you to write yourself, will you oblige me by having some friend write me how you are? You remember that I proposed to you when in New York to take a Southern voyage on one of the revenue cutters. If your health will now permit you to go round to Fernandina, I shall be very glad to have you avail yourself of her accommodations, which are really good, while she cruises for the coming two or three months on the Florida and South Carolina coasts. Can't you do so?

I am terribly worked and had no time to talk with Mr. Goodrich about his plan, but referred him to a friend in the Senate. As to political affairs and prospects, it is absolutely impossible for me to keep myself posted. Some friends are sanguine that my name will receive favorable consideration from the people in connection with the Presidency. I tell them that I can take no part in anything they may propose to do, except by trying to merit confidence where I am.

Faithfully your friend,
S. P. CHASE.
Hon. Thomas M. Key, Cincinnati, Ohio.

SOURCE: Robert Bruce Warden, An Account of the Private Life and Public Services of Salmon P. Chase, p. 563-4

Monday, June 3, 2019

Commander John Rodgers to Captain Charles Henry Davis, January 2, 1862

[Copy]
Confidential
Flag, Wassaw Sound
Jany 2, 186[2]
Dear Davis

I learn from Isaac Tatnall Gillis, Contraband, who escaped from the Str St. Mary at Savannah to Tybee, 3 weeks ago, that there are 5 Batteries on St. Simon's Island and two on Jekyl Isld. All these batteries are made of railroad iron and palmetto logs, the guns in bomb proofs.

These Batteries may be avoided however in going to Brunswick by entering St. Andrews Sound and passing through the Jekyl Creek with about fathoms at Spring tide. This passage debouches about 2½ miles from the Batteries on Jekyl Isld. The passage through St. Andrews leads to Fernandina. There is but one Battery on Amelia Island, none on Cumberland Isld, the guns having been removed.

The guns on Amelia Isld, old ones brought from St. Augustine, are pointed across the channel towards Cumberland Isld and cannot be brought to bear upon a vessel coming upon them from the inside.

No work has been done on Ft Clinch and no use made of it.

Through Ossabaw Sound, there is a passage to Montgomery, about ten miles from Savannah, with a good road leading to that city.

There is a sand Battery on Green Island, which must be passed in going to Montgomery.

There are no batteries at St. Catherine's Sound nor at Sapelo, Doboy, Altamah nor St. Andrews. There is a battery of 5 guns at St. John's, and one with 4 at Nassau.

Genl Yulee (Query The famous Senator?) commands at Fernandina. In the scramble for the Virginia guns, poor Florida was pushed aside, and left without any. Therefore, and because she cannot get back her troops from Virginia, Isaac thinks the Floridians will not fight with any very good will. About 2000 troops at Fernandina. These people were formerly fed by Steamboat from Savannah through the Romilly marshes which we now block, so that at present they must be fed from Brunswick, by Railroad from Savannah.

Freeborn cut has plenty of water, Isaacs thinks 4 fath. to the Savannah River which it enters about 3 miles below Ft Jackson, and one below the entrance to St. Augustine Creek (See Savannah Chart). About 200 yards from the River, Freeborn's cut has a short double bend. Isaac was in a Steamer with double engines disconnected; by giving away on one paddle and backing with the other, she could scarcely get through; men with lines could have a vessel round. Isaac heard about 2 months ago that a section of the dry dock was sunk in Freeborn Cut. He does not know whether this is so.

Isaac says that Fort Pulaski is badly provisioned, that it depends upon daily supplies from Savannah, and that in a weeks blockade it must fall from starvation.

He can take vessels into the Savannah River at night if desired thro' Freeborn cut or thro' St. Augustine or Wilmington River. These two last names belong to different parts of the same stream, or by ascending through Freeborn cut and coming down St. Augustine Creek, the forts may be approached in a direction they were not intended to resist.

If a force to resist the Georgia Navy can be got into the Savannah River above Fl Pulaski then the fort will be starved sooner or later, and fall without a blow. This will open Savannah River and Savannah to our Guns. Fort Jackson is on our way, but its guns are all en barbette.

By sounding here, we have found only 9 ft water at low tide into Freeborn cut.

After emerging from Freeborn Cut into the Savannah, Isaac thinks 2 fathoms can be carried down and across the river to Venus Point. See Savannah Chart.

The Flag is now between G. Wassaw & Little Tybee Islds blocking Freeborn Cut. The H. Andrew disabled nr Gt Wassaw Battery. The Seminole and Alabama at the entrance of the Romilly marshes.

Isaac has been pilot for years in these waters, he thinks he is worth $1500 — his master got $35 per month for his services. Gillis, I think, scarcely sees his way clear in putting him upon his Books for pay. I do not think he ought to be made to risk his neck for nothing. Gillis said he would enter him, upon my urging it, but I do not think he has done so.

I send the Commodore his chart of Port Royal colored by Mr McCauley and backed. It is, I think neatly done.

All the information I have gleaned from Isaac is interesting to me, and you will I presume find it valuable as confirming or raising doubts, and getting better knowledge thereby, from other sources.

Yours most truly
John Rodgers
Capt. Davis

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. 94-6

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Commandant Samuel F. DuPont to Gustavus V. Fox, December 16, 1861

Private
Wabash, 16 Dec
Port Royal
My Dear Sir

I have been merged in reports, surveys, sick, broken machinery &c, so this mail by Atlantic our favorite steamer only takes just such things and no general report of my proceedings which Mr. Welles and yrself would like to have. So I will jot down whatever comes up first.

1". Sherman thinks Fernandina wholly secondary now, and it must fall with Savannah. While I want to take it, more because it entered the original programme, and because it is a nice naval operation, though I am much of the same opinion. With this Harb. St. Helena, and Tybee Sound in the very centre of the stations we have as many harbours of refuge as I want — but I think it may help the Union people to hoist the flag there and so soon as Davis closes up Charleston with the Stone vessels I will take the matter up. In the meantime the Genl has unloaded the vessels — for which he was paying exorbitantly I mean those intended for F. and when I can get ready — if he gives me a Regiment with the marines, it may be quite enough to hold the place. The taking it will not be much, with my present knowledge of it.

2. I shall have Charleston closed this week. Davis was to sail this morg — but the Easterly weather makes work impossible on these bars, particularly with the hulks drawing so much water — they have been very troublesome, but will all pay in some way or other. I gave two yesterday unfit to go to sea again to the QrMaster for wharf and breakwater. The same for sheltering a landing on Tybee very necessary. Davis thinks he will succeed in closing main entrance at Charleston and so do I. Boutelle thinks not, but we will see — if it lasts till March or April it will be worth all the trouble.

3. The Sabine came in yesterday in want of water. St. Lawrence already in for the same purpose. Susquehannah out of coal and then the lame ducks in machinery and the easterly wind keeping in Drayton who with a Division is going to North Edisto and Stono. I felt almost sick at seeing so many vessels in port—but there will be a scattering tomorrow.

I cannot water the Sabine from our resources, she wants some repairs and she may as well go North. Ringgold has shown a good spirit and wishes to be fitted up and sent immediately back, but I declare to you in confidence you can keep her if you can find any use for her but do send me a gun boat or two. The St. Lawrence ought to go home too but I may force her into Brunswick and I am going to send R. Rodgers to reconnoitre there.

The Seminole is next to nothing because she can catch nothing. The Forbes goes to-day. I recommend sending her crew to the Recg. Ship and laying her up until the repairs are completed and then recommissioning — in this way we get rid of poor Newcomb without any notification to him — he is wholly incompetent to command such a vessel and she was the most valuable steamer of her size in my squadron. I have given her rifle gun to Missroon — who is anxious in his responsible position but the very man to be there. I am hurrying Sherman to get his guns down there.

4. All well at St. Helena under Nicholson and Truxtun. The Dale is paying for herself there. Henry Andrew just back from there — made the trip over via Beaufort and Coosaw in five hours! Luce went in her — reports highly as every body does of Mather her Capt. I am going to collect the Cotton again around that Sound letting the Andrew go around. There is much to be had and Nicholson and Truxtun want employment. The Gov. here shirks this cotton question, but I do not care for that. I collect it to keep it from being burnt.

5. Many thanks for Vermont. She will be all in all. She should have a condenser and a place fitted for Machine Shop. Sailing vessels are a drug, but steamers have their weak side — the breaking downs break my heart. Unadilla, Forbes, Flag, Florida, Seminole, tinkering all the time, and the three first done — Susquehannah touch and go. If you would like me to break up the inland Rebel Steamers I must have more Gunboats. Where is the Adger — all this time at Balto?

The most active vessel I have after the Gunboats is the Pawnee since she is under Drayton. How came his predecessor in command again after giving up so fine a ship, every one is speaking about it here.

Sherman is preparing for his campaign. I think he knows what he is about, and seems confident of doing something. I wish I could feel any degree of confidence in his troops. Some of our officers the other night while up beyond Beaufort, went out to the outer pickets and found every mother's son asleep and that is not all, they were a long time awaking them.

I am asked every day about that detailed report — do have it published. In great haste

Yrs most truly
S. F. Dupont

A Condenser in the Vermont — see King's report.

Tell Bridge no tobacco nor soap in Relief. Much wanted.

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. 78-81

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Commandant Samuel F. DuPont to Gustavus V. Fox, November 25, 1861

Wabash Port Royal Str
Nov. 25th 61. 
My Dear Mr. Fox

I don't think there is much use in writing private above, after your sending my hurried note to those murderers the press, who seemed to have taken pains to make nonsense of most of it, if not mischief for the paragraph about the big frigates was sadly mutilated, and might give offence, for I am made to express the opinion that the Sabine has gotten clear up to the St. Lawrence, which people will of course understand as the river.

The dispatches by this opportunity (by Illinois) are pretty full and cover various subjects which I thought Mr. Welles would like me to touch upon.

We are yet without a line from the Dept. since our occupation here, and the detention of the Bienville with our ammunition and the suggestions which doubtless she brings from the Secrety and yrself, to say nothing of not hearing from our friends, cause her delay to be annoying to us.

The dispatch about Savannah I am sure will gratify you. The blow here is still shaking fruit in all directions. If you have forwd the stone vessels, we may use them for wharves or caissons or coffer dams.

Will you please give a thought to the following suggestions—

1. A Depot Ship like Brandywine for hospital and other purposes, with medical officer and Paymaster.

2. We do not know what there is at Fernandina — this ship cannot go in — the Brooklyn or Hartford and a couple of Gunboats more I feel we ought to have — I am much spread now.

3. Don't forget the Pilot books and aids to Navigation. Our tugs are working all the time for army as well as for our ships.

4. Davis says if you want him to pray for you to send some of those new Side wheel steamers, for the Sound cruising — for I don't mean to have rebel steamers running in them much longer. He sends his best regards to Mr. You and Mr. Welles, to which add mine to the latter if you please.

Do me the favor to send me some first quality dispatch paper — a ream if you please — the stationery furnished is very inferior.

In haste
Yrs most truly
S. F. Dupont
Cap. Fox,
Ass Sec.
Washington

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. 73-4

Friday, May 5, 2017

Diary of John Hay: Saturday, March 12, 1864

A fine day. Got away from Fernandina at half past five a. m. and arrived at Hilton Head at three p. m.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 178. See Michael Burlingame & John R. Turner Ettlinger, Editors, Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 179 for the full diary entry.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Diary of John Hay: March 11, 1864

. . . . We reached Fernandina between four and five, entering the muddy water of this coast soon after dinner. We found there had been a heavy hailstorm here this morning. . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 178. See Michael Burlingame & John R. Turner Ettlinger, Editors, Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 178-9 for the full diary entry.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Diary of John Hay: March 3, 1864

We went out to the bar and passed it. I heard the sea hammering on the guards, and turned over for another nap. Came back to Fernandina. The sea was very heavy; a steady line of breakers rolling in over the bar without a break in three fathoms water. . . .

I spent part of evening on board the Peconic. Trash for a little while till I got opportunity to talk to Judge Fraser who seems a sincere and candid man with clear views. He thinks the time is not yet come for Florida.

I am very sure that we cannot now get the President's 10th, and that to alter the suffrage law for a bare tithe would not give us the moral force we want. The people of the interior would be indignant against such a snap-judgment taken by incomers and would be jealous and sallow.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 170-1; The entire entery may be found in Michael Burlingame’s Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 173.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Diary of John Hay: March 1, 1864

Fernandina. I opened my books this morning and got a few more names. Some refused to sign on the ground that they were not repentant rebels. . . . The Dictator came in this afternoon and reported to me for orders. I will start for Key West in the morning.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 170; Michael Burlingame, Editor, Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 172.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Diary of John Hay: February 29, 1864

This morning, as we neared Fernandina, I persuaded the General to go on to Jacksonville and send boat back here for us. We landed. . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 170; Michael Burlingame, Editor, Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 172.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Diary of John Hay: February 12, 1864


Received orders from the General to go to St. Augustine with despatches for Col. Osborne to move his force, except two companies, to Picolata. (Seymour asked last night for the 54th Mass. without delay. “One company is enough for St. Augustine.” “Cool for a subordinate,” said Q. A.) I went over to Halliwell and transferred my blasphemy business to him, and made ready at once to go to the Helen Getty. I concluded to go by way of Fernandina to get near my base of supplies. . . .

My first day's operations in Jacksonville were such as to give me great encouragement. I enrolled in all sixty names — some of them men of substance and influence. The fact that more than fifty per cent. of the prisoners of war were eager to desert and get out of the service shows how the spirit of the common people is broken. Everybody seemed tired of the war. Peace on any terms was what they wanted. They have no care for the political questions involved. Most of them had not read the oath, and when I insisted on their learning what it was, they would say listlessly: — “Yes, I guess I'll take it.” Some of the more intelligent cursed their politicians and especially South Carolina; but most looked hopefully to the prospect of having a government to protect them after the anarchy of the few years past. There was little of what might be called loyalty. But what I build my hopes on is the evident weariness of the war, and anxiety for peace.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 166-7; Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 161-2; Michael Burlingame, Editor, Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 162.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Commodore Samuel F. Du Pont to Senator James W. Grimes, March 6, 1862

[Wabash, off Fernandina, March 6th, 1862]

Captain Davis has in charge for you a rifle captured at Fernandina, which I desire you to do me the honor to accept. The victory was bloodless, but most complete in results. The defenses have astounded us by their capabilities, scientific location, and formidable character, with wonderful immunity from danger. Their cannon are heavy and fine; one 120-pounder rifle-gun, which they had slung in the trucks to get away with, but dropped on the beach, we have nothing to compare with. The most curious feature in the operations was the chase of a train of cars by a gunboat for one mile and a half; two soldiers being killed, the passengers rushed out into the woods, one of your late members among them, Mr. Yulee; he passed the night under a bush, and I hope had a blanket, for it was the coldest of the season.

SOURCE: William Salter, The Life of James W. Grimes, p. 170

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Diary of Edward Bates, September 30, 1861

<Sept 30, 1861>5  The public spirit is beginning to quail under the depressing influence of our prolonged inaction. Our people are weary of being kept always and every where upon the defensive. The ardent spirit of our young men is checked and mortified because no scope is given to their enterprising boldness. We absolutely need some dashing expeditions — some victories, great or small, to stimulate the zeal of the Country, and, as I think, to keep up the credit of the Government.

I hear, on pretty good authority, that the enemy is so posted at several points along the Potomac, as to command, at pleasure, the navigation of that river.

Why is this allowed? Is it from sheer weakness on our part? It compromises our safety at home, and degrades our honor abroad. It isolates the Capital by closing its only outlet to the ocean, and
thus makes the impression upon both parties to the contest, and especially upon foreigners, that we are both weak and timid.

Are we to encounter no risk? Can war be conducted without any danger? I care not how cautious our commanders may be in securing certain important points (such as this city) which must, on no account, be put to hazard. But some gallant enterprizes are necessary to establish the prestige of the army and thus increase its positive strength. And I have no doubt that a few such enterprises — even at the hazard of some Regiments — some Brigades — would contribute largely to the general result, and accelerate our final success.6

It were easy to indicate several inviting theatres for such enterprises; and our army, both officers and men are eager for such active service.

I do trust that the naval expedition to the southern coast, will not be delayed much longer.

The whole coast, from Hat[t]eras to Fernandina,7 with the exception of some 2 or 3 points, lies absolutely, at our mercy. We should scour that coast—look into every bay and river — thread the passages among the islands, and make every planter along the coast feel that he is in our power.

The well-armed, light-draft, quick-moving steamers (of which we must by this time have a good supply) will be able to perform all this good service; while the larger ships can carry whatever troops may be needed to garrison the few places which we may desire to take and hold, and to make incursions into the country, when desirable, and at the same time may dominate the open sea.

I am credibly informed that along the coast — on the islands and on the main — between Charleston and Fernandina, there are from 3 to 4 millions dollars worth of Sea Island Cotton, now in course of harvest. To say nothing of the Rice plantations, which abound on the coast of Georgia — all this cotton is easily within our reach.  There are very few white people along that coast, but large plantations and many negro[e]s. The cotton already picked and ginned, is merchandize [sic], ready to our hand — and as to that still in the fields, there are plenty of negro[e]s there to pick and gin it for our use — and, with a little management by way of increased bonus for over work — they will do it quicker for us than for their masters.

I suppose it would not be hard for us to seise one or more of the Cotton Ports; and, in that case, we could easily get out enough cotton to make a full supply for home consumption, and some for
Europe.

A fair success in such an enterprise would, I think be attended by immediate and great results[.]

1.  It would, at least harras [sic] and alarm the enemy, weakening his resources, while it necessitates increased and more extensive action on his part.

2.  It would call back, for home defence, a large number of troops, now engaged at distant points, in aggressive operations against us.

3.  It would revive the spirit of the north, already beginning to droop under the depressing influence of our non action. That spirit will rise high, as soon as we shew that we have taken the affirmative, and mean henceforth to do something, and we have heretofore suffered all things.

4.  It Will restore and strengthen the public credit[.]

5.  It will satisfy foreign nations that we are in earnest, and willing and able to win success — and then, we will have little trouble about Blockade[.]8
___________

5 This whole entry was written on a double and a single letter sheet and inserted into the diary, with the date added later in pencil.

6 Bates, like Lincoln, had an early comprehension of the political side of military strategy.

7 i.e., from North Carolina to the northern boundary of Florida.

8 Bates, again like Lincoln, realized fully the importance of victories to the securing of
European confidence in Northern success and hence to the prevention of aid for the
South.

SOURCE: Howard K. Beale, Editor, The Diary of Edward Bates, published in The Annual Report Of The American Historical Association For The Year 1930 Volume 4, p. 194-195

Saturday, November 9, 2013

General Robert E. Lee to Colonel G. W. Custis Lee, January 19, 1862

January 19, 1862

I have just returned from a visit to the coast as far as Fernandina. Our defenses are growing stronger, but progress slowly. The volunteers dislike work and there is much sickness among them besides. Guns too are required, ammunition, and more men. Still, on the whole, matters are encouraging and if the enemy does not approach in overwhelming numbers, we ought to hold our ground. He is quiescent still. What he is preparing for or when he will strike I cannot discover. His numerous boats cut off all communications with the islands, where he hides himself, and his works. I saw in Fernandina Miss Matilda. I fear she is out with me. She had written me another tremendous long letter, which I had never been able to read, and it seems she wanted some companies placed near her at old Fort Carlos, which I could not do. I was also at Dungeness. The garden was beautiful. Filled with roses, etc., which had not so far been touched with frost this winter. The place is deserted. Mrs. N. and her daughters occupy a log cabin in the pines near Thebeanville, junction of Brunswick and S. & Gulf R. R's. Mr. N. is on the St. Mary's. Every one on the coast has suffered, but they bear it manfully. No civilized nation within my knowledge has ever carried on war as the U. S. Govt, has against us. I saw good old Mrs. Mackay, the young Stiles, etc., in S. Everybody inquired kindly for you. Ives is in S. helping Echols lay out intrenchments around the city. Give much love to all friends, your mother, etc., and believe me always,

Your affectionate father,
R. E. LEE.
COL. G. W. CUSTIS LEE.

SOURCES: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 158

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

General Robert E. Lee to Mary Custis Lee, January 18, 1862

COOSAWHATCHIE, South Carolina, January 18, 1862.

I am truly grateful for all the mercies we enjoy, notwithstanding the miseries of war, and join heartily in the wish that the next year may find us in peace with all the world. I am delighted to hear that our little grandson is improving so fast and is becoming such a perfect gentleman. May his path be strewn with flowers and his life with happiness. I am very glad to hear also that his dear papa is promoted. It will be gratifying to him, I hope, and increase his means of usefulness. While at Fernandina I went over to Cumberland Island and walked up to Dungeness, the former residence of General Greene. It was my first visit to the house, and I had the gratification at length of visiting my father's grave. He died there, you may recollect, on his way from the West Indies, and was interred in one corner of the family cemetery. The spot is marked by a plain marble slab, with his name, age, and date of his death. Mrs. Greene is also buried there, and her daughter, Mrs. Shaw, and her husband. The place is at present owned by Mr. Nightingale, nephew of Mrs. Shaw, who married a daughter of Mrs. James King. The family have moved into the interior of Georgia, leaving only a few servants and a white gardener on the place. The garden was beautifully enclosed by the finest hedge of wild olive I have ever seen.

SOURCES: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 153-4; A more complete transcription of this letter can be found in Captain Robert Edward Lee’s Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee, p. 60-1 which I have used to date this letter fragment.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

From Washington

Herald’s Dispatch

WASHINGTON, May 4.

It is the intention of the President to issue a proclamation in a few days opening the ports of Newbern, Beaufort, Savannah, Fernandina, and New Orleans to the trade of the world.  This important measure will release the Administration for any international embarrassments, and largely tend to restore the entente cordial between the sections of the country.

The Senate finance committee has determined to report the tax bill to-morrow, or Tuesday at the farthest.  They have been unable to make many important changes contemplated, and will probably leave whisky and tobacco untouched.  It is a singular fact, worthy of note in Congress, that no remonstrance from any quarter has been made against a high tariff upon these articles, but the dealers and manufacturers are all in favor of placing it at the highest figure.  This will probably be done either by the Senate or a committee of conference.


Special to Tribune.

We have news from Richmond via Fredericksburg, of importance.  The people of the rebel capital are panic stricken.  The wealthy citizens are packing up their furniture and sending in into the country.

An apparently intoxicated person the past week, passing by the tobacco works where our soldiers are confined, cried out to them, “Cheer up, boys, McClellan or McDowell will be here in a few days.”  Then a sentry shot him dead.

Our Commanding General galloping into Fredericksburg yesterday afternoon, with his staff, was received with closed doors.  Not a door open of house or store; not a face to be seen, except now and then that of a curious damsel peering through half closed blinds at the cavalcade of Yankees.


WASHINGTON, May 4.

The following important circulars have been addressed to the foreign ministers, announcing the reopening of communication with southern localities, reconquered from the insurgents.


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON.

SIR – I have the honor to state, for  your information, that the mails are now allowed to pass to and from New Orleans and other places, which having been heretofore seized by insurgents, have since been recovered and are now reopened by the land and naval forces of the Unites States.  It is proper, however, to add that a military surveillance is maintained over such mails as far as the Government finds it necessary for the public safety.

I am sir, your ob’t serv’t,

(Signed,)
WM. H. SWEARD


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON,
May 5.

SIR – I have the honor to state, for the information of your Government, that a collector has been appointed by the President for New Orleans, and that the necessary preparations are being made to modify the blockade so far as to permit limited shipments to be made to and from that and one or more other ports, which are now closed, at times and upon considerations which will be made known by proclamation.

I am sir, your ob’t serv’t

(Signed,)
WM. H. SWEARD.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Tuesday Morning, May 6, 1862, p. 1