Showing posts with label Nigger(s). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nigger(s). Show all posts

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: May 11, 1862

MR. BOGEY. 

This place is what is called a turpentine plantation, where they get the pitch from which turpentine is distilled. The owner, Mr. Bogey, a harmless, inoffensive old gentleman, claims to be a Union man, and I reckon he is, because he does not run away or seem to be afraid of us. He tells me he owns 2000 acres of land, nearly all turpentine forest, and has 10,000 trees running pitch. He said the war had ruined him and thinks it has the whole south. He said the rebels had taken all but one of his horses and about everything else he had that they wanted. His niggers had all left him and gone down town. He expected that when we came, but cared very little about it, as he had only a few and they were about as much trouble and expense to him as they were worth. He said he was getting old, his business was all broke up and by the time the war was over and things settled he would be too old for anything. I asked him if all those pigs running about in the woods were his. He reckoned they were. I inquired if he knew how many he had. He couldn’t tell exactly, but reckoned there was right smart. The thought occurred to me that if that was as near as he could tell, if a few of them were gobbled they would never be missed, provided the squeal could be shut off quick enough. I learn that Gen. Burnside has given Mr. Bogey a protection, whatever that is. That perhaps may do well enough for him, but I should not want to warrant it a sure thing for all these pigs and sheep running about here. 

CAMP BULLOCK. 

Our camp is named Camp Bullock, in honor of Alex. H. Bullock of Worcester, Mass. Today the boys are busy writing letters home, and it troubles them to tell where to date their letters from. They invent all sorts of names; some of them with a romantic turn of mind, date from Camp Rural, Woodlawn, Forestdale, Riverdale, etc., but Mason, with a more practical turn of mind, dates his from Hell Centre. The boys who were out in the woods last night say it is great fun, although they were not disturbed; there is just enough excitement and mosquitoes to keep them from getting drowsy. 

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 56-7

Friday, June 12, 2020

Frederick Douglass to Theodore Tilton, October 15, 1864

Rochester, Oct . 15, 1864.
My Dear Mr. Tilton:

I am obliged by your favor containing a copy of your recent speech in Latimer halL I had read that speech in the Tribune several days ago, and in my heart thanked you for daring thus to break the spell of enchantment which slavery, though wounded, dying and despised, is still able to bind the tongues of our republican orators. It was a timely word wisely and well spoken, the best and most luminous spark struck from the flint and steel of this canvass. To all appearance we have been more ashamed of the negro during this canvass than those of '56 and '60. The President's “To whom it may concern, frightened his party and his party in return frightened the President. I found him in this alarmed condition when I called upon him six weeks ago — and it is well to note the time. The country was struck with one of those bewilderments which dethrone reason for the moment. Every body was thinking and dreaming of peace — and the impression had gone abroad that the President's antislavery policy was about the only thing which prevented a peaceful settlement with the Rebels. McClellan was nominated and at that time his prospects were bright as Mr. Lincoln's were gloomy. You must therefore, judge the President's words in the light of the circumstances in which he spoke. Atlanta had not fallen; Sheridan had not swept the Shenandoah —and men were ready for peace almost at any price. The President was pressed on every hand to modify his letter “To whom it may concern”— How to meet this pressure he did me the honor to ask my opinion. He showed me a letter written with a view to meet the peace clamour raised against him. The first point made in it was the important fact that no man or set of men authorized to speak for the Confederate Government had ever submitted a proposition for peace to him. Hence the charge that he had in some way stood in the way of peace fell to the ground. He had always stood ready to listen to any such propositions.

The next point referred to was the charge that he had in his Niagara letter committed himself and the country to an abolition war rather than a war for the union, so that even if the latter could be attained by negotiation, the war would go on for Abolition.

The President did not propose to take back what he had said in his Niagara letter but wished to relieve the fears of his peace friends by making it appear that the thing which they feared could not happen and was wholly beyond his power. Even if I would, I could not carry on the war for the abolition of slavery. The country would not sustain such a war and I could do nothing without the support of Congress. I could not make the abolition of slavery an absolute prior condition to the re-establishment of the union. All that the President said on this point was to make manifest his want of power to do the thing which his enemies and pretended friends professed to be afraid he would do. Now the question he put to me was “Shall I send forth this letter?” To which I answered “Certainly not.” It would be given a broader meaning than you intend to convey — it would be taken as a complete surrender of your antislavery policy — and do yon serious damage. In answer to your Copperhead accusers your friends can make this argument of your want of power — but you cannot wisely say a word on that point. I have looked and feared that Mr. Lincoln would say something of the sort, but he has been perfectly silent on that point and I think will remain so. But the thing which alarmed me most was this: The President said he wanted some plan devised by which we could get more of the slaves within our lines. He thought that now was their time— and that such only of them as succeeded in getting within our lines would be free after the war is over. This shows that the President only has faith in his proclamations of freedom during the war and that he believes their operation will cease with the war. We were long together and there was much said—but this is enough.


I gave my address, To the People of the U. S., to the Committee appointed to publish the Minutes of the Convention. It is too lengthy for a newspaper article though of course I should be very glad to see it noticed in the Independent. You may not be aware that I do not see the Independent now-a-days. It was discontinued several months ago. If you were not like myself taxed on every hand both by your own disposition to give and the disposition of others to ask I should ask you to send me the Independent for one year on your own account .

We had Anna Dickinson here on Thursday night. Her speech made a profound impression. Nothing from Phillips, Beecher or yourself could have been more eloquent, and in her masterly handling of statistics she reminded one of Horace Mann in his palmiest days. I never listened to her with more wonder. One thing however I think you can say to her, if you ever get the chance, for it ought to be said and she will hear it and bear it from you, as well or better than from most other persons, and that is Stop that waiting. She walked incessantly— back and forth — from one side the broad platform to the other. It is a new trick and one which I neither think useful or ornamental but really a defect and disfigurement. She would allow me to tell her so, I think, because she knows how sincerely I appreciate both her wonderful talents and her equally wonderful devotion to the cause of my enslaved race.

I am not doing much in this Presidential Canvass for the reason that Republican committees do not wish to expose themselves to the charge of being the "Niggar" party. The negro is the deformed child which is put out of the room when company comes. I hope to speak some after the election, though not much before, and I am inclined to think I shall be able to speak all the more usefully because I have had so little to say during the present canvass. I now look upon the election of Mr. Lincoln as settled.

When there was any shadow of a hope that a man of more decided antislavery convictions and policy could be elected, I was not for Mr. Lincoln, but as soon as the Chicago convention my mind was made up and it is made up still. All dates changed with the Domination of McClellan.

I hope that in listening to Mr. Stanton's version of my visit to the President you kept in mind something of Mr. Stanton's own state of mind concerning public affairs. 1 found him in a very gloomy state of mind, much less hopeful than myself, and yet more cheerful than I expected to find him. I judge from your note that he must have imparted somewhat of the hue of his own mind to my statements. He thinks far less of the President's honesty than I do, and far less of his antislavery than I do. I have not yet come to think that honesty and politics are incompatible. Well, here I am, my Dear Sir, writing you a long letter—needlessly taking up your precious time—and with no better expense for the impertinence than a brief not from you and a knowledge of your good temper and disposition toward me.

Make all the speeches of this Latimer Hall kind you can—They will look better after the election than now—though they bear with them the grace of fitness now. Please remember me kindly to Mrs Tilton—and all the Dear bright eyed little Tiltons—who sparkle like diamonds about your hearth—

Truly yours Always,
FREDERCK DOUGLASS.

P.S. I wish you would drop a line to John S. Rock Esqur asking him to send you advanced sheets of my address to the people of the United States.

He is at 6. Fremont Street—
Boston.

SOURCES: Descriptive Catalogue of the Gluck Collection of Manuscripts and Autographs in the Buffalo Public Library, p. 35-7; The Frederick Douglass Papers: Series III: Correspondence, Volume 2: 1853-1865, p. 460-3

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Major-General William T. Sherman to Major-General Ulysses S. Grant, August 17, 1862

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH DIVISION,                 
Memphis, August 17, 1862.
Major-General GRANT, Corinth:

DEAR SIR: A letter from you of August 4, asking me to write more freely and fully on all matters of public interest, did not reach me till yesterday.

I think since the date of that letter you have received from me official reports and copies of orders telling almost everything of interest hereabouts; but I will with pleasure take every occasion to advise you of everything that occurs here.

Your order of arrest of newspaper correspondent is executed, and he will be sent to Alton by the first opportunity. He sends you by mail to-day a long appeal and has asked me to stay proceedings till you can be heard from. I have informed him I would not do so; that persons writing over false names were always suspected by honorable men, and that all I could hold out to him was that you might release him if the dishonest editor who had substituted his newspaper name to the protection of another would place himself in prison in his place. I regard all these newspaper harpies as spies and think they could be punished as such.

I have approved the arrest of the captain and seizure of the steamboat Saline for carrying salt down the river without permit and changing it off for cotton. I will have the captain tried by a military commission for aiding and abetting the public enemy by furnishing them salt wherewith to cure bacon, a contraband article; also for trafficking on the river without license or permit. I hope the court will adopt my views and stop this nefarious practice. What use in carrying on war while our people are supplying arms and the sinews of war? We have succeeded in seizing a good deal of Confederate clothing, percussion caps, &c., some mails, &c.

At our last regular muster I caused all absentees to be reported “deserted,” whereby they got no pay; but inasmuch as the order for the muster for to-morrow, August 18, is universal, I will have the muster to-morrow and all absent then will be treated as deserters, and I will remit the former penalties as they are incurred under my orders.

I have sent out several infantry parties, as also cavalry, and am certain there is nothing but guerrillas between this and Senatobia and Tallahatchie. All the people are now guerrillas, and they have a perfect understanding. When a small body gets out they hastily assemble and attack, but when a large body moves out they scatter and go home.

Colonel Jackson commands at Senatobia, Jeff. Thompson having been ordered away. Villepigue is at Abbeville Station, 18 miles south of Holly Springs. They have guards all along the railroad to Grenada and cavalry everywhere. I think their purpose is to hold us and Curtis here while they mass against you and Buell or New Orleans. Price has been reported coming here, but of this we know nothing. If he comes he can and will take care that we know nothing of it till the last moment. I feel certain that no force save guerrillas have thus far passed north toward McClernand.

All the people here were on the qui vive for Baton Rouge and Nashville, but there seems to be a lull in their talk. I find them much more resigned and less presumptuous than at first. Your orders about property and mine about "niggers" make them feel that they can be hurt, and they are about as sensitive about their property as Yankees. I believe in universal confiscation and colonization. Some Union people have been expelled from Raleigh. I have taken some of the richest rebels and will compel them to buy and pay for all the land, horses, cattle, and effects, as well as damages, and let the Union owner deed the property to one or more of them. This they don't like at all. I do not exact the oath universally, but assume the ground that all within our lines are American citizens, and if they do any act or fail in any duty required of them as such then they can and will be punished as spies.

Instead of furnishing a permanent provost guard I give Colonel Anthony two good officers to assist him and change the regiment weekly. All are in tents and have their transportation ready to move. I am also in tents. I think 4,000 men could land opposite Helena, march rapidly to Panola, destroy that bridge, then to Oxford and Abbeville and destroy that, thus making the Tallahatchie the northern limits of their railroad. Afterward, Grenada, Jackson, and Meridian must be attacked. Break up absolutely and effectually the railroad bridges, mills, and everything going to provide their armies and they must feel it. The maintenance of this vast army must soon reduce their strength.

The lines of the Mississippi must be under one command. As it is, Curtis and I are perfectly independent of each other. He was here the other day. I know him well; he is very jealous of interference and will do nothing at another's suggestion. If you want him to do anything you must get Halleck to order it. Fort progresses too slow; 1,300 negroes at work on it. One installment of guns received; balance expected every hour. Weather heretofore unbearably hot, but now pretty cool.

Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN,                
Major-general.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 17, Part 2 (Serial No. 25), p. 178-9

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Major-General William T. Sherman to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, September 17, 1863

HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,                       
Camp on Big Black, Miss., September 17, 1863.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, Washington, D.C.:

DEAR GENERAL: I have received your letter of August 29, and with pleasure confide to you fully my thoughts on the important matters you suggest, with absolute confidence that you will use what is valuable and reject the useless or superfluous.

That part of the continent of North America known as Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas is in my judgment the key to the whole interior. The Valley of the Mississippi is America, and although railroads have changed the economy of intercommunication, yet the water channels still mark the lines of fertile land and afford carriage to the heavy products of it. The inhabitants of the country on the Monongahela, the Illinois, the Minnesota, the Yellowstone, and Osage are as directly concerned in the security of the Lower Mississippi as are those who dwell on its very banks in Louisiana, and now that the nation has recovered its possession this generation of men would commit a fearful mistake if we again commit its charge to a people liable to mistake their title, and assert, as was recently done, treat because they dwell by sufferance on the banks of this mighty stream they had a right to control its navigation.

I would deem it very unwise at this time, or for years to come, to revive the State Governments of Louisiana, &c., or to institute in this quarter any civil government in which the local people have much to say. They had a government, and so mild and paternal that they gradually forgot they had any at all, save what they themselves controlled; they asserted absolute right to seize public moneys, forts, arms, and even to shut up the natural avenues of travel and commerce. They chose war; they ignored and denied all the obligations of the solemn contract of government and appealed to force. We accepted the issue, and now they begin to realize that war is a two-edged sword, and, it may be, that many of the inhabitants cry for peace. I know them well and the very impulses of their nature; and to deal with the inhabitants of that part of the South which borders the great river we must recognize the classes into which they have naturally divided themselves.

First, the large planters owning lands, slaves, and all kinds of personal property. These are on type whole the ruling class. They are educated, wealthy, and easily approached. In some districts they are as bitter as gall, and have given up slaves, plantations, and all, serving in the armies of the Confederacy, whereas in others they are conservative. None dare admit a friendship to us, though they say freely that they were opposed to war and disunion. I know we can manage this class, but only by action; argument is exhausted, and words have not their usual meaning. Nothing but the logic of events touches their understanding, but of late this has worked a wonderful change. If our country were like Europe, crowded with people, I would say it would be easier to replace this population than to reconstruct it subordinate to the policy of the nation; but as this is not the case, it is better to allow them, with individual exceptions, gradually to recover their plantations, to hire any species of labor, and adapt themselves to the new order of things. Still their friendship and assistance to reconstruct order out of the present ruin cannot be depended on. They watch the operations of our armies, and hope still for a Southern Confederacy that will restore to them the slaves and privileges which they feel are otherwise lost forever. In my judgment we have two more battles to win before we should even bother our minds with the idea of restoring civil order, viz, one near Meridian in November, and one near Shreveport in February and March, when Red River is navigable by our gunboats. When these are done, then, and not until then, win the planters of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi submit. Slavery is already gone, and to cultivate the land negro or other labor must be hired. This of itself is a vast revolution, and time must be afforded to allow men to adjust their minds and habits to the new order of things. A civil government of the representative type would suit this class far less than a pure military rule, one readily adapting itself to actual occurrences and able to enforce its laws and orders promptly and emphatically.

Second, the smaller farmers, mechanics, merchants, and laborers. This class will probably number three-fourths of the whole, have in fact no real interest in the establishment of a Southern Confederacy, and have been led or driven into war on the false theory that they were to be benefited somehow, they knew not how. They are essentially tired of the war, and would slink back home if they could. These are the real tiers-├ętat of the South, and are hardly worthy a thought, for they swerve to and fro according to events they do not comprehend or attempt to shape. When the time for reconstruction comes they will want the old political system of caucuses, legislatures, &c., something to amuse them and make them believe they are achieving wonders, but in all things they will follow blindly the lead of the planter. The Southern politicians, who understand this class, use them as the French use their masses. Seemingly consulting their prejudices, they make their orders and enforce them. We should do the same.

Third, the Union men of the South. I must confess I have little respect for this class. They allowed a clamorous set of demagogues to muzzle and drive them as a pack of curs. Afraid of shadows, they submit tamely to squads of dragoons, and permit them, without a murmur to burn their cotton, take their horses, corn, and everything, and when we reach them they are full of complaints if our men take a few fence rails for fire or corn to feed our horses. They give us no assistance or information, and are loudest in the complaints at the smallest excess of our soldiers. Their sons, horses, arms, and everything useful are in the army against us, and they stay at home, claiming all the exemptions of peaceful citizens. I account them as nothing in this great game.

Fourth, the young bloods of the South, sons of planters, lawyers about towns, good billiard players, and sportsmen—men who never did work nor never will. War suits them, and the rascals are brave; fine riders, bold to rashness, and dangerous subjects in every sense. They care not a sou for niggers, land, or anything. They hate Yankees per se, and don't bother their brains about the past, present, or future. As long as they have good horses, plenty of forage, and an open country, they are happy. This is a larger class than most men supposed, and are the most dangerous set of men which this war has turned loose upon the world. They are splendid riders, shots, and utterly reckless. Stuart, John Morgan, Forrest, and Jackson are the types and leaders of this class. This class of men must all be killed or employed by us before we can hope for peace. They have no property or future, and therefore cannot be influenced by anything except personal considerations. I have two brigades of these fellows to my front, commanded by Cosby, of the old army, and Whitfield, of Texas, Stephen D. Lee in command of the whole. I have frequent interviews with the officers and a good understanding. Am inclined to think when the resources of their country are exhausted we must employ them. They are the best cavalry in the world, but it will tax Mr. Chase's genius of finance to supply them with horses. At present horses cost them nothing, for they take where they find and don't bother their brains who is to pay for them. Some of the corn-fields which have, as they believe, been cultivated by a good-natured people for their special benefit, we propose to share with them the free use of these corn-fields planted by willing hands that will never gather it.

Now that I have sketched the people who inhabit the district of country under consideration, I will proceed to discuss the future. A civil government for any part of it would be simply ridiculous. The people would not regard it, and even the military commanders of the antagonistic party would treat it lightly. Governors would be simply petitioners for military assistance to protect supposed friendly interests, and military commanders would refuse to disperse and weaken their armies for military reasons. Jealousies would arise between the two conflicting powers, and instead of contributing to the end we all have in view, would actually defer it. Therefore I contend that the interests of the United States and of the real parties concerned demand the continuance of the simple military rule till long after all the organized armies of the South are dispersed, conquered, and subjugated. All this region is represented in the Army of Virginia, Charleston, Mobile, and Chattanooga. They have sons and relations in each, and naturally are interested in their fate. Though we hold military possession of the key-points of this country, still they contend, and naturally, that should Lee succeed in Virginia or Bragg at Chattanooga, a change will occur here also. We cannot for this reason attempt to reconstruct parts of the South as we conquer it till all idea of the establishment of a Southern Confederacy is abandoned. We should avail ourselves of the lull here to secure the geographical points that give us advantage in future military movements, and should treat the idea of civil government as one in which we as a nation have a minor or subordinate interest. The opportunity is good to impress on the population the truth that they are more interested in civil government than we are, and that to enjoy the protection of laws they must not be passive observers of events, but must aid and sustain the constituted authorities in enforcing the laws; they must not only submit themselves, but pay their taxes and render personal services when called on. It seems to me, in contemplating the past two years history, all the people of our country, North, South, East, and West have been undergoing a salutary political schooling, learning lessons which might have been taught all by the history of other people, but we had all become so wise in our own conceit that we would only learn by actual experience of our own.

The people, even of small and unimportant localities, North as well as South, had reasoned themselves into the belief that their opinions were superior to the aggregated interest of the whole nation. Half our territorial nation rebelled on a doctrine of secession that they themselves now scout, and a real numerical majority actually believed that a little State was endowed with such sovereignty that it could defeat the policy of the great whole. I think the present war has exploded that notion, and were this war to cease now, the experience gained, though dear, would be worth the expense.

Another great and important natural truth is still in contest and can only be solved by war. Numerical majorities by vote is our great arbiter. Heretofore all have submitted to it in questions left open, but numerical majorities are not necessarily physical majorities. The South, though numerically inferior, contend they can whip the Northern superiority of numbers, and therefore by natural law are not bound to submit. This issue is the only real one, and in my judgment all else should be deferred to it. War alone can decide it, and it is the only question left to us as a people. Can we whip the South? If we can, our numerical majority has both the natural and constitutional right to govern. If we cannot whip them, they contend for the natural right to select their own government, and they have the argument. Our armies must prevail over theirs. Our officers, marshals, and courts must penetrate into the innermost recesses of their land before we have the natural right to demand their submission.

I would banish all minor questions and assert the broad doctrine, that as a nation the United States has the right, and also the physical power, to penetrate to every part of the national domain, and that we will do it; that we will do it in our own time, and in our own way; that it makes no difference whether it be in one year or two, or ten or twenty; that we will remove and destroy every obstacle—if need be, take every life, every acre of land, every particle of property, everything that to us seems proper; that we will not cease until the end is attained. That all who do not aid are enemies, and we will not account to them for our acts. If the people of the South oppose, they do so at their peril; and if they stand by mere lookers-on the domestic tragedy, they have no right to immunity, protection, or share in the final result.

I even believe, and contend further, that in the North every member of the nation is bound by both natural and constitutional to "maintain and defend the Government against all its opposers whomsoever." If they fail to do it they are derelict., and can be punished or deprived of all advantage arising from the labors of those who do. If any man, North or South, withholds his share of taxes or physical assistance in this crisis of our history, he should and could be deprived of all voice in the future elections of this country, and might be banished or reduced to the condition of a denizen of the land.

War is upon us; none can deny it. It is not the act of the Government of the United States but of a faction. The Government was forced to accept the issue or submit to a degradation fatal and disgraceful to all the inhabitants. In accepting war it should be pure and simple as applied to the belligerents. I would keep it so till all traces of the war are effaced; till those who appealed to it are sick and tired of it, and come to the emblem of our nation and sue for peace. I would not coax them or even meet them half way, but make them so sick of war that generations would pass before they would again appeal to it.

I know what I say when I repeat that the insurgents of the South sneer at all overtures looking to their interest. They scorn the alliance with copperheads. They tell me to my face that they respect Grant, McPherson, and our brave associates who fight manfully and well for a principle, but despise the copperheads and sneaks who profess friendship for the South and opposition to the war as mere covers for their knavery and poltroonery.

God knows that I deplored this fratricidal war as much as any man living; but it is upon us, a physical fact, and there is only one honorable issue from it. We must fight it out, army against army and man against man, and I know and you know and civilians begin to realize the fact that reconciliation and reconstruction will be easier through and by means of strong, well-equipped and organized armies than through any species of conventions that can be framed. The issues are made, and all discussion is out of place and ridiculous.

The section of 30-pounder Parrott rifles now drilling before my tent is a more convincing argument than the largest Democratic meeting the State of New York could assemble at Albany, and a simple order of the War Department to draft enough men to fill our skeleton regiments would be more convincing as to our national perpetuity than an humble pardon to Jeff. Davis and all his misled host.

The only government now needed or deserved by the States of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi now exists in Grant's army. It needs simply enough privates to fill its ranks; all else will follow in due season. This army has its well-defined code of laws and practice, and can adapt itself to the wants and necessities of a city, the country, the rivers, the sea; indeed, to all parts of this land. It better subserves the interest and policy of the General Government, and the people prefer it to any weak or servile combination that would at once, from force of habit, revive and perpetuate local prejudices and passions. The people of this country have forfeited all right to a voice in the councils of the nation. They know it and feel it, and in after years they will be the better citizens from the dear-bought experience of the present crisis. Let them learn now, and learn it well, that good citizens must obey as well as command. Obedience to law—absolute, yea, even abject—is the lesson that this war, under Providence, will teach the free and enlightened American citizen; as a nation we will be the better for it. I never have apprehended foreign interference in our family quarrel. Of course governments founded on a different, and it may be antagonistic, principle with ours, would naturally feel a pleasure at our complications, but in the end England and France will join with us in jubilations in the triumph of a constitutional government over faction; even now the English manifest this.

I do not profess to understand Napoleon's design in Mexico, but I do not see that his taking military possession of Mexico concerns us. We have as much territory as we want. The Mexicans have failed in self-government, and it was a question to what nation she would fall a prey. That is solved, and I don't see that we are damaged. We have the finest part of the North American continent, all we can people and take care of, and if we can suppress rebellion in our land and compose the strife generated by it, we will have people, resources, and wealth which, if well combined, can defy interference from any and every quarter.

I therefore hope the Government of the United States will continue as heretofore in collecting in well-organized armies the physical strength of the nation; apply it as heretofore in asserting the national authority, persevering without relaxation to the end. This, whether near or far off, is not for us to say, but, fortunately, we have no choice. We must succeed; no other choice is left us but degradation. The South must be ruled or will rule. We must conquer them ourselves or be conquered. There is no middle course. They ask and will have nothing else, and all the talk of compromise is bosh, for we know they would even now scorn the offer. I wish the war could have been deferred for twenty years, till the superabundant population of the North should flow in and replace the losses sustained by war, but this could not be, and we are forced to take things as they arise.

All therefore I can now venture to advise is the pushing the draft to its maximum, fill the present regiments to as large a standard as possible, and push the war, pure and simple.

Great attention should be paid to the discipline of our armies, for on them will be founded the future stability of our Government. The cost of the war is of course to be considered, but finances will adjust themselves to the-actual state of affairs, and even if we would we could not change the cost. Indeed, the larger the cost now the less will it be in the end, for the end must be attained somehow, regardless of cost of life and treasure, and is merely a question of time.

Excuse so long a letter.

With great respect,
W. T. SHERMAN,                
Major-general.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 30, Part 3 (Serial No. 52), p. 694-700

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Major-General William T. Sherman to H. W. Hill, September 7, 1863

HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,                       
Camp on Big Black, September 7, 1863.
H. W. HILL, Esq.,
Chairman of Meeting of Citizens, Warren Co., Miss.:

SIR: The communication addressed to General Grant, myself, and other officers, in the nature of a petition* is received. I think it proper and right that the property-holding classes of Warren County, and indeed of the whole State of Mississippi, should meet in their capacity as citizens to talk over matters, so that they may take any steps they deem to their interest, and if such meetings be open and with the knowledge of the nearest military commander, I will protect them whilst so engaged.

Your preamble, however, starts out with a mistake. I do not think any nation ever undertook to feed, supply, and provide for the future of the inhabitants of an insurgent district. We have done so here and in other instances in this war, but my reading has discovered no parallel cases. If you know of any, I will thank you for a copy of the history which records them. I know it is the purpose of the controlling generals of this war to conduct it on the most humane principles of either ancient or modern times and according to them. I contend that after the firing on our steam-boats navigating our own rivers after the long and desperate resistance to our armies at Vicksburg, on the Yazoo, and in Mississippi generally, we are justified in treating all the inhabitants as combatants and would be perfectly justifiable in transporting you all beyond the seas if the United States deemed it to her interest; but our purpose is not to change the population of this country, but to compel all the inhabitants to acknowledge and submit to the common laws of the land. When all or a part of the inhabitants acknowledge the just rights of the United States, the war as to them ceases. But I will reply to your questions in the order you put them.

First. The duty of the Government to protect and the inhabitants to assist is reciprocal. The people of Warren County have not assisted the United States much as yet, and are therefore not entitled to much protection. What future protection they receive will depend on their own conduct.

Second. The negroes, former slaves by inheritance or purchase, that now fill the country have been turned loose upon the world by their former owners, who by rebelling against the only earthly power that insured them the rightful possession of such property have practically freed them. They are a poor, ignorant class of human beings, that appeal to all for a full measure of forbearance. The task of providing for them at present devolves on the United States because, ex necessitate, the United States succeeds by act of war to the former lost title of the master. This task is a most difficult one, and needs time for development and execution. The white inhabitants of the country must needs be patient, and allow time for the work. In due season the negroes at Roach's and Blake's will be hired, employed by the Government, or removed to camps where they can be conveniently fed; but in the mean time no one must molest them, or interfere with the agents of the United States intrusted with this difficult and delicate task. If any of them are armed it is for self-defense, and if they mistake their just relation to the Government or the people, we will soon impress on them the truth.

Third. Your third inquiry is embraced in the above. I don t know that any fixed and determined plan is matured, but some just and proper provisions will be made for the negro population of this State.

Fourth. Congress alone can appropriate public money. We cannot hire servants for the people who have lost their slaves, nor can we detail negroes for such purposes. You must do as we do, hire your servants and pay them. If they don't earn their hire, discharge them and employ others. Many have already done this and are satisfied with the results.

Fifth. I advise all citizens to stay at home, gradually put their houses and contiguous grounds in order, and cast about for some employment or make preparations on a moderate scale to resume their former business and employment. I cannot advise any one to think of planting on a large scale, for it is manifest no one can see far enough in the future to say who will reap what you sow. You must first make a government before you can have property. There  is no such thing as property without government. Of course, we think that our Government (which is still yours) is the best and easiest put in full operation here. You are still citizens of the United States and of the State of Mississippi. You have only to begin and form one precinct, then another; soon your country will have such organization that the military authorities would respect it. The example of one county would infect another, and that another, in a compound ratio, and it would not be long till the whole State would have such strength by association that, with the assistance of the United States, you could defy any insurgent force. The moment the State can hold an open, fair election, and send Senators and Members to Congress, I doubt not they would be received, and then Mississippi would again be as much a part of our Government as Indiana and Kentucky now are, equal to them in all respects, and could soon have courts, laws, and all the machinery of civil government. Until that is done, it is idle to talk, about little annoyances, such as you refer to at Deer Creek and Roach's. As long as war lasts these troubles will exist, and, in truth, the longer the war is protracted, the more bitter will be the feeling, and the poor people will have to bear it, for they cannot help themselves.

General Grant can give you now no permanent assurance or guaranties, nor can I, nor can anybody. Of necessity, in war the commander on the spot is the judge, and may take your house, your fields, your everything, and, turn you all out, helpless, to starve. It may be wrong, but that don't alter the case. In war you can't help yourselves, and the only possible remedy is to stop war. I know this is no easy task, but it is well for you to look the fact square in the face and let your thoughts and acts tend to the great solution. Those who led the people into war promised all manner of good things to you, and where are their promises? A child may fire a city, but it takes a host of strong men to extinguish it. So a demagogue may fire the minds of a whole people, but it will take a host like ourselves to subdue the flames of anger thus begotten. The task is a mammoth one, but still you will in after years be held recreant if you do not lend your humble assistance. I know that hundreds and thousands of good Southern men now admit their error in appealing to war, and are engaged in the worthy effort to stop it before all is lost. Look around you and see the wreck. Let your minds contemplate the whole South in like chaos and disorder, and what a picture! Those who die by the bullet are lucky compared to those poor fathers and wives and children who see their all taken and themselves left to perish, or linger out their few years in ruined poverty. Our duty is not to build up; it is rather to destroy both the rebel army and whatever of wealth or property it rounded its boasted strength upon. Therefore don't look to any army to help you; act for yourselves. Study your real duties to yourselves and families, and if you remain inert, or passively friendly to the power that threatens our national existence, you must reap the full consequences, but if, like true men, you come out boldly, and plainly assert that the Government of the United States is the only power on earth which can insure to the inhabitants of America that protection to life, property, and fame which alone can make life tolerable, you will have some reason to ask of us protection and assistance, otherwise not.

General Grant is absent. I doubt if he will have time to notice your petition as he deals with a larger sphere, and I have only reduced these points to writing that your people may have something to think about, and divert your minds from the questions of cotton, niggers, and petty depredations, in which the enemies of all order and all government have buried up the real issues of this war.

I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,                
Major-General, Commanding.
_______________

* See Grant to Halleck, September 19, p. 732.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 30, Part 3 (Serial No. 52), p. 401-4

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Major-General William T. Sherman to “an Old Resident of St. Louis, Missouri,” September 8, 1864

IN THE FIELD, ATLANTA, GA., Sept. 8, 1864

DEAR SIR:—Yr kind note of Aug. 24 from Rochester, N. Y. reached me here and I am really thankful for the warm terms in which you write, and I know you will not feel the less kindly when you know we are inside Atlanta.  I don’t see why we cant have some sense about negroes as well as about horses, mules, iron, copper, etc.—but say nigger in the U. S. and from Sumner to Atty Kelly to the whole country goes crazy.  I never thought my nigger letter would get into the papers but since it has I lay low—I like niggers well enough, as niggers, but when fools & idiots try & make niggers better than ourselves I have an opinion.  We are also ruining our country in this bounty & substitute business.  It only amounts to spending money, it don’t make a single soldier.

Fools think they can buy off, and will spend their money on some worthless substitute who shirks and as is of no use & after spending all his money will have to serve besides.

Well this thing will work out its natural solution.

W. T. SHERMAN,
Maj. Gen.

SOURCES: “Negroes in Their Places,” The Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, Alabama, Tuesday, December 17, 1889, p. 4; “General Sherman on ‘Niggers,’” The Sentinel, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Thursday, December 26, 1899, p. 1.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Major-General William T. Sherman to William M. McPherson, Esq., March 24, 1865

HEADQUARTERS, MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISISIPPI, IN THE FIELD                  
GOLDSBORO, N. C., March 24, 1865

DEAR SIR:—On reaching Goldsboro yesterday I find many letters and among them yours of January 27—one of later date I think reached me at Fayetteville a fortnight since.  I thank you kindly for your kindly expressions.  As my opinions of the various questions which arise in the progress of events are formed for my own use, and not designed to please the people, or self-constituted representatives of the people I am utterly indifferent whether they please or displease.  I am a better judge of what is right and proper touching the negro with who I deal hourly, than Ben Butler, Sumner, Giddings, or any mere theorist dealing with the hypothetical negro, of their own creation.  If I risk my life & health in the vindication of a cause; I claim to prove my sincerity by a more honest test than all the mouthings of the noisiest preacher or demagogue.  I believe the honest working People of the United States agree with me, to fight to maintain the government according to form bequeathed to us, and not to carry out any specialty.  When the just powers of the President[,] Congress & Supreme Court are recognized by all the people of our country, reason  argument may use their sway, and settle the thousand little questions that always have and always  will agitate human councils—but of what use is congress?  or laws  when the Marshal & Sheriff cant go & enforce his writs?—Then the sword steps in and commands the Peace.  When peace is restored, the men find it is to their interest to submit to Law, whether right or wrong, then the machinery resumes its motion, and generally all interests are reconciled.

I have always thought we mixed up too many little side issues in this War.  We should make a single plain issue & fight it out.  The extreme Radicals, North & South, have long since dodged, shirked the dangers of this War & left the Moderates to blow each others brains out.  I again repeat I make up my opinions for facts & reasoning, and not to suit anybody but myself.  If people dont like my opinions, it makes little difference as I dont solicit their opinions or votes.  But a man who preached and thunders offensive opinions, and when the storm raises, sneaks out and lets others in to catch the blows is a villain ten thousand times worse than a murderer, and I know many such who are coiled away in fancied security, but the day will come when they will be dragged out and made to taste the cup they have drugged—We have no time for this now—The Constitution & Laws must be obeyed implicitly from the Lakes to the Gulf and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

I see my name occasionally alluded to in connection with some popular office.  You may tell all that I would rather serve four years in the Sing Sing penitentiary than in Washington, & I believe I could come out a better man.  If that aint emphatic enough use stronger expressions, and I will endorse them.  Let those who love niggers better than white folks follow me, and we will see who loves his country best—A nigger as such is a most excellent fellow, but he is not fit to marry, to associate or vote with me or mine.

Your friend,
W. T. SHERMAN.

SOURCES: “The Negro Question,” The Wichita Weekly Beacon, Wichita, Kansas, Firday January 31, 1890, p. 1; “Sherman on the Hypothetical Negro,” Iron County Register, Ironton, Missouri, Thursday, January 30, 1890, p. 4;  Brooks D Simpson & Jean V. Berlin, Editors, Sherman's Civil War: Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman 1860-1865, p. 832-3.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Major-General William T. Sherman to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, January 12, 1865

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,                       
In the Field, Savannah, January 12, 1865.
Major-General HALLECK:

MY DEAR FRIEND: I received yours of January 1* about the “negro.” Since Mr. Stanton got here we have talked over all matters freely, and I deeply regret that I am threatened with that curse to all peace and comfort—popularity; but I trust to bad luck enough in the future to cure that, for I know enough of “the people” to feel that a single mistake made by some of my subordinates will tumble down my fame into infamy.

But the nigger? Why, in God's name, can't sensible men let him alone? When the people of the South tried to rule us through the negro, and became insolent, we cast them down, and on that question we are strong and unanimous. Neither cotton, the negro, nor any single interest or class should govern us.

But I fear, if you be right that that power behind the throne is growing, somebody must meet it or we are again involved in war with another class of fanatics. Mr. Lincoln has boldly and well met the one attack, now let him meet the other.

If it be insisted that I shall so conduct my operations that the negro alone is consulted, of course I will be defeated, and then where will be Sambo?

Don't military success imply the safety of Sambo and vice versa? Of course that cock-and-bull story of my turning back negroes that Wheeler might kill them is all humbug. I turned nobody back. Jeff. C. Davis did at Ebenezer Creek forbid certain plantation slaves—old men, women, and children—to follow his column; but they would come along and he took up his pontoon bridge, not because he wanted to leave them, but because he wanted his bridge.

He and Slocum both tell me that they don't believe Wheeler killed one of them. Slocum's column (30,000) reports 17,000 negroes. Now, with 1,200 wagons and the necessary impedimenta of an army, overloaded with two-thirds negroes, five-sixths of whom are helpless, and a large proportion of them babies and small children, had I encountered an enemy of respectable strength defeat would have been certain.

Tell the President that in such an event defeat would have cost him ten thousand times the effort to overcome that it now will to meet this new and growing pressure.

I know the fact that all natural emotions swing as the pendulum. These southrons pulled Sambo's pendulum so far over that the danger is it will on its return jump off its pivot. There are certain people who will find fault, and they can always get the pretext; but, thank God, I am not running for an office, and am not concerned because the rising generation will believe that I burned 500 niggers at one pop in Atlanta, or any such nonsense. I profess to be the best kind of a friend to Sambo, and think that on such a question Sambo should be consulted.

They gather round me in crowds, and I can't find out whether I am Moses or Aaron, or which of the prophets; but surely I am rated as one of the congregation, and it is hard to tell in what sense I am most appreciated by Sambo—in saving him from his master, or the new master that threatens him with a new species of slavery. I mean State recruiting agents. Poor negro—Lo, the poor Indian! Of course, sensible men understand such humbug, but some power must be invested in our Government to check these wild oscillations of public opinion.

The South deserves all she has got for her injustice to the negro, but that is no reason why we should go to the other extreme.

I do and will do the best I can for negroes, and feel sure that the problem is solving itself slowly and naturally. It needs nothing more than our fostering care. I thank you for the kind hint and will heed it so far as mere appearances go, but, not being dependent on votes, I can afford to act, as far as my influence goes, as a fly wheel instead of a mainspring.

With respect, &c., yours,
 W. T. SHERMAN.
_______________

* General Halleck’s copy is dated December 30, 1864; see Vol. XLIV, p. 836

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 47, Part 2 (Serial No. 99), p. 36-7

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

W. H., July 27, 1857

Philadelphia, Monday, July 27, 1857.

Yesterday afternoon a rumor was afloat that a negro man named Jim, who had accompanied his master (Mr. Charles Parlange), from New Orleans to this city, had left his master for the purpose of tasting the sweets of freedom. It was alleged by Mr. Parlange that the said “Jim” had taken with him two tin boxes, one of which contained money. Mr. Parlange went, on his way to New York, via the Camden and Amboy Railroad, and upon his arrival at the Walnut street wharf, with two ladies, “Jim ” was missing. Mr. Parlange immediately made application to a Mr. Wallace, who is a Police officer stationed at the Walnut street depot. Mr. Wallace got into a carriage with Mr. Parlange and the two ladies, and, as Mr. Wallace stated, drove back to the Girard House, where “ Jim ” had not been heard of since he had left for the Walnut street wharf.

A story was then set afloat to the effect, that a negro of certain, but very particular description (such as a Louisiana nigger-driver only can give), had stolen two boxes as stated above. A notice signed “Clarke,” was received at the Police Telegraph Office by the operator (David Wunderly) containing a full description of Jim, also offering a reward of $100 for his capture. This notice was telegraphed to all the wards in every section. This morning Mr. Wunderly found fault with the reporters using the information, and, in presence of some four or five persons, said the notice signed “Clarke,” was a private paper, and no reporter had a right to look at it; at the same time asserting, that if he knew where the nigger was he would give him up, as $100 did not come along every day. The policeman, Wallace, expressed the utmost fear lest the name of Mr. Parlange should transpire, and stated, that he was an intimate friend of his. It does not seem that the matter was communicated to the wards by any official authority whatever, and who the “Clarke” is, whose name was signed to the notice, has not yet transpired. Some of the papers noticed it briefly this morning, which has set several of the officers on their tips. There is little doubt, that “ Jim ” has merely exercised his own judgment about remaining with his master any longer, and took this opportunity to betake himself to freedom. It is assumed, that he was to precede his master to Walnut street wharf with the baggage; but, singular enough to say, no complaint has been made about the baggage being missed, simply the two tin boxes, and particularly the one containing money. This is, doubtless, a ruse to engage the services of the Philadelphia police in the interesting game of nigger hunting. Mr. Parlange, if he is sojourning in your city, will doubtless be glad to learn that the matter of his man “ Jim” and the two tin boxes has received ample publicity.

W. H.

SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 405-6

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Nathaniel Peabody Rogers: Reverend Ralph Randolph Gurley, December 8, 1838

[From the Herald of Freedom of Dec. 8, 1838.]

We must give the whole of this euphonic line, so harmonious to the colored ear. This silver-spoken expatriationist has appeared again, we understand, in our New England horizon, with his northern aspect on, having doffed his slaveholder phases, as he crossed his equinoctial—the Mason and Dixon line. He ranges from tropic to tropic along his crooked ecliptic—from New Orleans on the south, to — the old town hall in Concord (his northmost declination) on the north—shifting his disk, like the changing moon.

Hail to thee, in the “clear cold sky” of the North, thou star of evil promise to liberty! Welcome, caterer of slavery, to the regions of paid labor! Thou reverend advocate of a double origin of the human family, and denier that “God hath made of one blood all nations of men,” &c. Thou promoter of human banishment, and sunderer of the strong ties of native country, hail to thy dubious aspect—thy Janus facies! Come, stir, with thy magician's rod, among the hushed and abashed mobocracy of your native New England. Kindle afresh the slumbering fires of prejudice. Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of persecution! Mount the consecrated pulpit, under the ushering of the shepherds of the flock, who care for the sheep, and “pour” thence “your leprous distilment into” the common ear, till “public sentiment” shall “posset and curd” under your infusion, and the blotch and tetter of colonization shall “bark out over all” the surface of the body politic.

Thou angler for consent to exile! thou fisher for funds in the pockets of prejudice! thou recruiting sergeant for the ranks of banishment! Thou art earning the deep and indelible displeasure of thy colored brother. He must forgive thee unpardonable enmity, and “seventy times seven,” and God help him to charity unbounded—for he needs it in this emergency.

Elliot[T] Cresson, too, a satellite of the Secretary, is up here, on a winter campaign. Why does not Elliot cast the shadow of his broad brim on the snows of Canada, this winter, in the service of the Patriots, and help them become a free republic, and so break up that nest of self-emancipated niggers? For if this province of Canada were only a free, democratic state, it would not afford a refuge to those insolent fugitives, but they would have to be “given up on claim of those to whom” their souls and bodies, their time and eternity, “might be due.” Bethink thee, Friend! Elliot, thou mightest strike a capital stroke for thy master (who can enlarge his brim till it is as broad as William Penn's, to suit his turn) in the extinction of this tyrant monarchy, this refuge of runaway democrats. Thou mightest solicit the fugitives, with good prospect of colonizing them. If thou shouldest succeed in abolishing monarchy in said province, and open a way for the restoration of the lost property to be found there, thou mightest then solicit it for consent to great advantage. Thou mightest offer the candidates, either a sudden, and, as it were, a reluctant return to the patriarchs from whom they strayed, (with fetter on heel and hand-cuff on wrist,) or the glorious alternative of voluntary emigration, “with their own consent,” to the steepled paradise of Liberia. And would they not be free to go or stay? Yea, verily. Thee would say to them, "Friend, I do thee no injustice. Go to Liberia; but go freely. I abate not a tithe of thy free, thy voluntary, thy spontaneous choice. Go if thee choose. If not, stay and return south with me, whence, in an evil hour, thou came out.” Peradventure some of them would "consent," For They Have Been South. Yes, reader, they have been south.

SOURCE: Collection from the Miscellaneous Writings of Nathaniel Peabody Rogers, Second Edition, p. 54-6 which states it was published in the Herald of Freedom of December 8, 1838.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Governor John A. Andrew to Francis Preston Blair, Sr., July 5, 1862

How dreadful it is to see our best boys of all the State, slain, bleeding, worn out by ditching, bridging, dirt digging, and wheeling, and by guarding the property of rebels who, with their very slaves, are in the war against us; — and the cold, people not allowed to lighten the toil. Now — is not a "nigger" who is good enough to fire grape, cannon and rifle shot into the ranks of a Bunker Hill regiment good enough to fight traitors? That is my only question. Before God I believe we are doomed unless we will awake to reason. — But I am a follower—not a leader. I will work with the energy of despair even if I am shorn of the buoyancy of Hope. And I must perhaps be allowed — as Todd1 — in my letters to Mr. Stanton [to] make a humble suggestion, sometimes. — You know the old proverb that “A cat may look at a king.”
_______________

1 Governor Tod of Ohio.

SOURCE: Henry Greenleaf Pearson, The Life of John A. Andrew: Governor of Massachusetts, 1861-1865, Volume 2, p. 23-4

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Nathaniel Peabody Rogers: The New Hampshire Patriot, November 17, 1838

A Friend has shown us this week's number, and we see by it that poor Mr. Barton is yet at home. We wonder people should be so insensible to the pleasures of journeying. To be sure, the season is getting to be inauspicious—the trees are naked, and the landscape muddy, and the winds chilled, and the music of the birds hushed—all, all very uncongenial to such a mellifluous spirit as the patriot's of New Hampshire. But still we somehow feel disappointed that he don't travel more. We would respectfully suggest to Mr. Barton the interesting objects with which this free country abounds—all parts of which he cannot yet have visited. Has he ever been to the White Sulphur springs? He need be under no apprehension in going there. To be sure, complexion is attended with inconvenience there, and blood has its hazards. But we think Judge Larrimer and Colonel Singleton and General Carter and Major Thornton would stand the friend of a Colonel from the North, and prevent him any disagreeable consequences of an indiscriminate operation of the domestic slave trade. They are keen observers. They know the invasions the peculiar institution has made upon the Anglo-Saxon color, and they know how the pure Americo-Anglo-Saxon has verged towards the servile shadows without coming within the lawful scope of the institution, and then the symptomatic cry of “nigger,” ever and anon breaking out asleep and awake, would reveal to them at once that the Colonel had the genuine negro-phobia, which a nominal slave never has, and which goes so hard with doubtful white people. They would protect any northern gentleman against being imprisoned and sold for fees, provided they could be satisfied that his proslavery merits overbalanced his colored liabilities—which we think might easily be vouched. The Colonel has a vein of “chivalry” about him, which would go a good way in offset to mere color of liability, which after all is but prima facie evidence of servility.—We warrant him a journey to the White Sulphur against the lawful claims of any person or persons whomsoever.

Then there is Texas—the Colonel has not, peradventure, been to Texas. It is a place of resort for people of enterprise, and where patriotism is a ready passport to consideration, although it has been slanderously styled a valley of villains, field of felons, sink of scoundrels, sewer of scamps, &.c. &,c. Yet it is a most republican clime, “where patriots most do congregate.”

There is Arkansas too—all glorious in new-born liberty—fresh and unsullied, like Venus out of the ocean—that newly-discovered star in the firmament-banner of this republic. Sister Arkansas, with her bowie knife graceful at her side, like the huntress Diana with her silver bow—her knife dripping with the heart's blood of her senators and councillors, shed in legislative debate,—O, it would be refreshing and recruiting to an exhausted patriot to go and replenish his soul at her fountains. The newly-evacuated lands of the Cherokee, too—a sweet place now for a lover of his country to visit, to renew his self-complacency by wandering among the quenched hearths of the expatriated Indians, a land all smoking with the red man's departing curse— a malediction that went to the centre. Yes, and Florida—blossoming and leafy Florida, yet warm with the life-blood of Osceola and his warriors, shed gloriously under flag of truce. Why should a patriot of such a fancy for nature immure himself in the cells of the city, and forego such an inviting and so broad a landscape? Ite viator. Go forth, traveller, and leave this mouldy editing to less elastic fancies. We would respectfully incite our Colonel to travel. What signifies? Journey—wander—go forth —itinerate—exercise—perambulate—roam.

We cannot sustain ourselves or our waning cause against the reasonings of this military chieftain if he stays at home and concentrates his powers. Nigger nigger nigger, and nigger, and besides that nigger, and moreover nigger, and therefore nigger, and hence nigger, and wherefore nigger, and more than all that, and yielding every thing else, “bobalition!” urged with the peculiar force and genius of this deadly writer—with his grace, point and delicacy—with his “nihil tetigit, quod non ornavit." We crave a truce. We appeal to the magnanimity of the Patriot,— to his nighthood—to go abroad, and leave us in apprentice hands or some journeyman's; or if he won't travel in courtesy, we beseech him to turn his editorship upon other enemies than us. Let him point his guns at the Statesman, or the Courier.

But if we must meet him, we protest against encountering the arguments aforesaid. That we are a nigger we can't deny, and we can't help it. That our little paper is a "Nigger Herald," we can't deny, and we can't help it. What signifies arguing that against us, all the time? We don't deny it—we never did deny it—we never shall. And what can we do? We can't wash off our color. We cannot change our Ethiopian skin any more than the Patriot can its “spots.” The sun has looked upon us, and burnt upon us a complexion incompatible with freedom?

Is it so? Will the demoeratic Patriot aver this? Are we to be denied the right of a hearing because we are a "nigger?" Are we to be deprived in New Hampshire of human consideration because we are black, and shall Cyrus Barton dispose of us thus, because he is White? We lay before the yeomanry of New Hampshire the appalling truth, that slavery has rooted itself deep into the heart of American liberty;—“Nigger Herald,” argues this snow-drop Colonel; “Bobalition!” and our appeal is silenced. We warn the country that slavery is overshadowing the North, and that ranting and rampant professing democrats will give their very backs to the southern cart-whip. "Nigger!" replies the Honorable Cyrus Barton; “eh, old nigger!” “old black nigger!” Is it an answer, we ask the country?

But poor Mister Barton is jealous we are after votes for James Wilson. If he is really so, we pity him. He is non compos if he suspects it. He ought to be sent right up to the town farm. Votes for James Wilson! Is this the purpose and aim of the great anti-slavery enterprise that now shakes Europe and America to the centre? Is West India emancipation a plot to defeat the Patriot's democracy here in universal New Hampshire? Are George Thompson and Daniel O'Connell and Henry Brougham thundering for human liberty in Exeter Hall, (henceforth and forever the cradle of liberty—not the cradle of the bastard infant, rocked in Faneuil Hall of Boston, now formally dedicated to the Genius of Slavery,) are these champions of liberty plotting with the fifteen hundred anti-slavery societies of America to defeat the election of Governor John Page?

We give our poor jaundice-visioned neighbor no other answer than this to his paltry accusations about plotting against his partisans. We have other and bigger objects altogether.

SOURCE: Collection from the Miscellaneous Writings of Nathaniel Peabody Rogers, Second Edition, p. 51-4 which states it was published in the Herald of Freedom of November 17, 1838.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Nathaniel Peabody Rogers: The New Hampshire Courier, November 10, 1838

The New Hampshire Courier has a correspondent, “Homo,” out in defence of colonization and against anti-slavery. "Homo" is a man every inch of him, for coming out in black and white. Welcome, good Homo. And thanks to brother Courier (if niggers may be allowed the expression) for giving “Homo” place in his columns. It will take a Homo to maintain the ground — not against us, but against his own readers. But courage, good Homo! — on with your numbers. We have glanced over No. 1, and seen the face of No. 2. Courage! we say. You have no great of a task — not much of a stint—nothing more to encounter than humanity and divinity — and heaven and earth. Cheer, man, the odds are with you.

Welcome, Homo, to the tented field. Abolitionists are tired of fighting intangible enemies. They glory to see one visible and tangible take the plain, and stretch his lines. They rejoice at the unfurling of flags and the glitter of the drawn blade. We will diligently and respectfully peruse “Homo,” and if, by and by, we shall copy any thing unhomogeneous in his appeals to his countrymen, we will give it such essay as our people may. We rejoice that the great rights of humanity are at length being esteemed of sufficient dignity to be argued down.

SOURCE: Collection from the Miscellaneous Writings of Nathaniel Peabody Rogers, Second Edition, p. 47 which states it was published in the Herald of Freedom of November 10, 1838.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Diary of William Howard Russell: July 18, 1861

After breakfast. Leaving head-quarters, I went across to General Mansfield's, and was going up-stairs, when the General* himself, a white-headed, gray-bearded, and rather soldierly-looking man, dashed out of his room in some excitement, and exclaimed, “Mr. Russell, I fear there is bad news from the front.” “Are they fighting, General?” “Yes, sir. That fellow Tyler has been engaged, and we are whipped.” Again I went off to the horse-dealer; but this time the price of the steed had been raised to £220; “for,” says he, “I don't want my animals to be ripped up by them cannon and them musketry, and those who wish to be guilty of such cruelty must pay for it.” At the War-Office, at the Department of State, at the Senate, and at the White House, messengers and orderlies running in and out, military aides, and civilians with anxious faces, betokened the activity and perturbation which reigned within. I met Senator Sumner radiant with joy. “We have obtained a great success; the rebels are falling back in all directions. General Scott says we ought to be in Richmond by Saturday night.” Soon afterwards a United States officer, who had visited me in company with General Meigs, riding rapidly past, called out, “You have heard we are whipped; these confounded volunteers have run away.” I drove to the Capitol, where people said one could actually see the smoke of the cannon; but, on arriving there, it was evident that the fire from some burning houses, and from wood cut down for cooking purposes, had been mistaken for tokens of the fight.

It was strange to stand outside the walls of the Senate whilst legislators were debating inside respecting the best means of punishing the rebels and traitors; and to think that, amidst the dim horizon of woods which bounded the west towards the plains of Manassas, the army of the United States was then contending, at least with doubtful fortune, against the forces of the desperate and hopeless outlaws whose fate these United States senators pretended to hold in the hollow of their hands. Nor was it unworthy of note that many of the tradespeople along Pennsylvania Avenue, and the ladies whom one saw sauntering in the streets, were exchanging significant nods and smiles, and rubbing their hands with satisfaction. I entered one shop, where the proprietor and his wife ran forward to meet me. . . “Have you heard the news? Beauregard has knocked them into a cooked hat.” “Believe me,” said the good lady, “it is the finger of the Almighty is in it. Didn't he curse the niggers, and why should he take their part now with these Yankee Abolitionists, against true white men?” “But how do you know this?” said I. “Why, it's all true enough, depend upon it, no matter how we know it. We've got our underground railway as well as the Abolitionists.”

On my way to dinner at the Legation I met the President crossing Pennsylvania Avenue, striding like a crane in a bulrush swamp among the great blocks of marble, dressed in an oddly cut suit of gray, with a felt hat on the back of his head, wiping his face with a red pocket-handkerchief. He was evidently in a hurry, on his way to the White House, where I believe a telegraph has been established in communication with McDowell's head-quarters. I may mention, by the by in illustration of the extreme ignorance and arrogance which characterize the low Yankee, that a man in the uniform of a colonel said to me to-day, as I was leaving the War Department, “They have just got a telegraph from McDowell. Would it not astonish you Britishers to hear that, as our General moves on towards the enemy, he trails a telegraph wire behind him, just to let them know in Washington which foot he is putting first?” I was imprudent enough to say, “I assure you the use of the telegraph is not such a novelty in Europe or even in India. When Lord Clyde made his campaign, the telegraph was laid in his track as fast as he advanced.” “Oh, well, come now,” quoth the Colonel, “that's pretty good, that is; I believe you'll say next, your General Clyde and our Benjamin Franklin discovered lightning simultaneously.”

The calm of a Legation contrasts wonderfully in troubled times with the excitement and storm of the world outside. M. Mercier perhaps is moved to a vivacious interest in events. M. Stoeckl becomes more animated as the time approaches when he sees the fulfilment of his prophecies at hand. M. Tassara cannot be indifferent to occurrences which bear so directly on the future of Spain in Western seas; but all these diplomatists can discuss the most engrossing and portentous incidents of political and military life, with a sense of calm and indifference which was felt by the gentleman who resented being called out of his sleep to get up out of a burning house because he was only a lodger.

There is no Minister of the European Powers in Washington who watches with so much interest the march of events as Lord Lyons, or who feels as much sympathy perhaps in the Federal Government as the constituted Executive of the country to which he is accredited; but in virtue of his position he knows little or nothing officially of what passes around him, and may be regarded as a medium for the communication of despatches to Mr. Seward, and for the discharge of a great deal of most causeless and unmeaning vituperation from the conductors of the New York press against England.

On my return to Captain Johnson's lodgings I received a note from the head-quarters of the Federals, stating that the serious action between the two armies would probably be postponed for some days. McDowell's original idea was to avoid forcing the enemy's position directly in front, which was defended by movable batteries commanding the fords over a stream called “Bull's Run.” He therefore proposed to make a demonstration on some point near the centre of their line, and at the same time throw the mass of his force below their extreme right, so as to turn it and get possession of the Manassas Railway in their rear; a movement which would separate him, by the by, from his own communications, and enable any General worth his salt to make a magnificent counter by marching on Washington, only 27 miles away, which he could take with the greatest ease, and leave the enemy in the rear to march 120 miles to Richmond, if they dared, or to make a hasty retreat upon the higher Potomac, and to cross into the hostile country of Maryland.

McDowell, however, has found the country on his left densely wooded and difficult. It is as new to him as it was to Braddock, when he cut his wreary way through forest and swamp in this very district to reach, hundreds of miles away, the scene of his fatal repulse at Fort Du Quesne. And so, having moved his whole army, McDowell finds himself obliged to form a new plan of attack, and, prudently fearful of pushing his underdone and over-praised levies into a river in face of an enemy, is endeavoring to ascertain with what chance of success he can attack and turn their left.

Whilst he was engaged in a reconnoissance to-day, General Tyler did one of those things which must be expected from ambitious officers, without any fear of punishment, in countries where military discipline is scarcely known. Ordered to reconnoitre the position of the enemy on the left front, when the army moved from Fairfax to Centreville this morning, General Tyler thrust forward some 3000 or 4000 men of his division down to the very banks of “Bull's Run,” which was said to be thickly wooded, and there brought up his men under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, from which they retired in confusion.

The papers from New York to-night are more than usually impudent and amusing. The retreat of the Confederate outposts from Fairfax Court House is represented as a most extraordinary success; at best it was an affair of outposts; but one would really think that it was a victory of no small magnitude. I learn that the Federal troops behaved in a most ruffianly and lawless manner at Fairfax Court House. It is but a bad beginning of a campaign for the restoration of the Union, to rob, burn, and destroy the property and houses of the people in the State of Virginia. The enemy are described as running in all directions, but it is evident they did not intend to defend the advanced works, which were merely constructed to prevent surprise or cavalry inroads.

I went to Willard's, where the news of the battle, as it was called, was eagerly discussed. One little man in front of the cigar-stand declared it was all an affair of cavalry. “But how could that be among the piney woods and with a river in front, major?” “Our boys, sir, left their horses, crossed the water at a run, and went right away through them with their swords and six-shooters.” “I tell you what it is, Mr. Russell,” said a man who followed me out of the crowd and placed his hand on my shoulder, “they were whipped like curs, and they ran like curs, and I know it.” “How?” “Well, I’d rather be excused telling you.”
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* Since killed in action.

SOURCE: William Howard Russell, My Diary North and South, Vol. 1, p. 427-31