Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Emory Upton to Maria Upton, April 12, 1857

WEST POINT, April 12,1857.

MY DEAR SISTER: . . . In your last letter you asked if I sincerely believed in a God.  I can say yes.  I also believe in the religion inculcated by the ministers of God. . . . Few men now disbelieve religion, and those are mostly ignorant men.  Voltaire, the greatest modern infidel, shrank from death; and why?  Because of his unbelief.  He was afraid to enter eternity.  I hope that you will never desert the good cause you have espoused, and that you will do much good in your life.  As for myself, I take the Bible as the standard of morality, and try to read two chapters in it daily.

SOURCE: Peter Smith Michie, The Life and Letters of Emory Upton, p. 13

Emory Upton to Maria Upton, September 7, 1857

WEST POINT, September 7, 1857.

MY DEAR SISTER: . . . In your letter you allude to my demerit.  I must say that it gave me the bluest kind of blues; not because it made me have any apprehension of being “found,” but because you look upon them in a wrong light.  Now, I’ll disabuse you of this error.  You use the term “bad marks.” Bad signifies to you, evil, wrong, immoral, and wicked, which placed before Marks signifies that I have been doing something wrong or immoral—something which conscience disapproves.  That is wrong, not only in the sight of a military man, but of God.  Now, what moral wrong is there in “laughing in the ranks,” in being “late at roll-call,” “not stepping off at command,” “not having coat buttoned throughout,” and kindred reports?  Now is that wrong in the sight of God?  I say, no!  But it is wrong only in the sight of a military man, and it is from such reports that I get my demerits or “bad marks.”  I can say I have never received an immoral report, such as “using profane language.”  I thank you for the kind admonition, and to please you I will try to get as few as possible. I have only one so far this month, and if I get no more that will come off. I certainly shall be careful enough to prevent being cut a single day on furlough.

SOURCE: Peter Smith Michie, The Life and Letters of Emory Upton, p. 13-4

Emory Upton to Maria Upton, February 13, 1858

WEST POINT, February 13, 1858.

DEAR SISTER: . . . I received a letter from Sister L— in which she says that she and S— have experienced religion. I hope they may have the strength to defend and exemplify it throughout their whole lives. I also hope they have attained it through a firm conviction of its being right, and that the irresistible current of a protracted meeting did not hasten them to take such an important step. Do not infer from this that I am opposed to such meetings, for I am not; on the contrary, I think they cause two thirds of the true conversions, but you know that young and inconsiderate persons often catch the enthusiasm of an excited minister, and believe they have found religion; but, as soon as the meetings cease, their enthusiasm subsides, from the want of thorough conviction, and they necessarily revert to their primitive state. My reason for not seeking religion can only be ascribed to a queer kind of apathy.

SOURCE: Peter Smith Michie, The Life and Letters of Emory Upton, p. 14

Emory Upton to Maria Upton, March 26, 1859

WEST POINT, March 26, 1859.

DEAR SISTER: . . . Dear Le Roy’s request to me shall not be unheeded.  I have resolved, yes, begun to seek the Lord, and shall continue till I find him.  “He is slow to anger and of great kindness.”  Relying on the promise that “whosoever will seek mercy shall obtain it.”  I will leave no effort untried, but will work diligently to the end. . . .

SOURCE: Peter Smith Michie, The Life and Letters of Emory Upton, p. 15

Emory Upton to Maria Upton, April 23, 1859

WEST POINT, April23, 1859.

DEAR SISTER: . . . You have doubtless heard that I have my trust in the “Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”  Such is my hope.  Life is but an instant as compared with eternity, and, when we reflect that our future condition depends upon our actions here in this world, it is but reasonable that we should bow before the Creator, to acknowledge his supremacy and ask his forgiveness for our manifold violations of his law. I feel that I could resign everything to do his will and to gain his approbation. To-day being Easter, the Lord's Supper will be celebrated. I intend to partake of it willingly, and hope that I may be strengthened in my resolutions to serve him faithfully to the end. The army is a hard place to practice religion; though few scoff at it, yet a great majority totally disregard it. Still, through the prayers of others I hope to lead a Christian life, and to do as much good in the army as in any other profession. I do not think that Christians have ever disgraced the profession of arms; on the contrary, they are those who have most ennobled it.

SOURCE: Peter Smith Michie, The Life and Letters of Emory Upton, p. 15-16

Emory Upton to his cousin E——, May 1, 1859

WEST POINT, May 1, 1859.

DEAR COUSIN E——: I have heard that you have experienced a change of heart, and that you propose to live hereafter a Christian life. This gives me great joy. I, too, have given myself up to God. Being, therefore, new laborers in the vineyard of the Lord, I thought that a correspondence might mutually benefit and strengthen us in the determination we have made. I do sincerely hope that you have “offered yourself as a sacrifice, holy and acceptable before the Lord,” and have a hope of immortality. What a blessed thought! Is it not a sufficient inducement to remain faithful to the end? Yes! what is the length of life, compared with never-ending eternity?  Infinitely small.  Yet our actions during this instant are to determine our future condition throughout the eternity.  Let us strive to show ourselves worthy of the kingdom of heaven.  Let us be true to the trust confided in us.  We must necessarily encounter difficulties.  We may have to bear the scoffs of the world, but we should recollect that the Son of God not only had to bear this, but he was crucified, and his blood was shed for us.  Doubts may arise in our minds; but we must remember that we are infinite beings, and God is infinite.  How, therefore, can we expect to comprehend the ways of an Infinite Being?  Let us drop these doubts whenever they arise, and I hope and trust in God, “who is just and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.” The more difficulties we triumph over, the greater will be our reward.  Let us not, therefore, be discouraged our disheartened, but may we grow in the knowledge and love of God, that we may finally be accounted worthy of a seat at his right hand.

SOURCE: Peter Smith Michie, The Life and Letters of Emory Upton, p. 16-17

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Diary of Caroline Cowles Richards: After August 20, 1862

The New York State S. S. convention is convened here and the meetings are most interesting. They were held in our church and lasted three days. A Mr. Hart, from New York, led the singing and Mr. Ralph Wells was Moderator. Mr. Noah T. Clarke was in his element all through the meetings. Mr. Pardee gave some fine blackboard exercises. During the last afternoon Mr. Tousley was wheeled into the church, in his invalid chair, and said a few words, which thrilled every one. So much tenderness, mingled with his old time enthusiasm and love for the cause. It is the last time probably that his voice will ever be heard in public. They closed the grand meeting with the hymn beginning:

“Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love."

In returning thanks to the people of Canandaigua for their generous entertainment, Mr. Ralph Wells facetiously said that the cost of the convention must mean something to Canandaigua people, for the cook in one home was heard to say,

“These religiouses do eat awful!”

SOURCE: Caroline Cowles Richards, Village Life in America, 1852-1872, p. 144-5

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Diary of Caroline Cowles Richards: Sunday, February 23, 1862

Everybody came out to church this morning, expecting to hear Madame Anna Bishop sing. She was not there, and an "agent" made a “statement.” The audience did not appear particularly edified.

SOURCE: Caroline Cowles Richards, Village Life in America, 1852-1872, p. 139

Diary of Caroline Cowles Richards: June —, 1862

There was great excitement in prayer meeting last night, it seemed to Abbie Clark, Mary Field and me on the back seat where we always sit. Several people have asked us why we sit away back there by old Mrs. Kinney, but we tell them that she sits on the other side of the stove from us and we like the seat, because we have occupied it so long. I presume we would see less and hear more if we sat in front. To-night just after Mr. Walter Hubbell had made one of his most beautiful prayers and Mr. Cyrus Dixon was praying, a big June bug came zipping into the room and snapped against the wall and the lights and barely escaped several bald heads. Anna kept dodging around in a most startling manner and I expected every moment to see her walk out and take Emma Wheeler with her, for if she is afraid of anything more than dogs it is June bugs. At this crisis the bug flew out and a cat stealthily walked in. We knew that dear Mrs. Taylor was always unpleasantly affected by the sight of cats and we didn't know what would happen if the cat should go near her. The cat very innocently ascended the steps to the desk and as Judge and Mrs. Taylor always sit on the front seat, she couldn't help observing the ambitious animal as it started to assist Dr. Daggett in conducting the meeting. The result was that Mrs. Taylor just managed to reach the outside door before fainting away. We were glad when the benediction was pronounced.

SOURCE: Caroline Cowles Richards, Village Life in America, 1852-1872, p. 140-1

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Diary of Caroline Cowles Richards: June 1861

At the anniversary exercises, Rev. Samuel M. Hopkins of Auburn gave the address. I have graduated from Ontario Female Seminary after a five years course and had the honor of receiving a diploma from the courtly hands of General John A. Granger. I am going to have it framed and handed down to my grandchildren as a memento, not exactly of sleepless nights and midnight vigils, but of rising betimes, at what Anna calls the crack of dawn. She likes that expression better than daybreak. I heard her reciting in the back chamber one morning about 4 o'clock and listened at the door. She was saying in the most nonchalant manner: “Science and literature in England were fast losing all traces of originality, invention was discouraged, research unvalued and the examination of nature proscribed. It seemed to be generally supposed that the treasure accumulated in the preceding ages was quite sufficient for all national purposes and that the only duty which authors had to perform was to reproduce what had thus been accumulated, adorned with all the graces of polished style. Tameness and monotony naturally result from a slavish adherence to all arbitrary rules and every branch of literature felt this blighting influence. History, perhaps, was in some degree an exception, for Hume, Robertson and more especially Gibbon, exhibited a spirit of original investigation which found no parallel among their contemporaries.” I looked in and asked her where her book was, and she said she left it down stairs. She has “got it ” all right, I am sure. We helped decorate the seminary chapel for two days. Our motto was, “Still achieving, still pursuing.” Miss Guernsey made most of the letters and Mr. Chubbuck put them up and he hung all the paintings. It was a very warm week. General Granger had to use his palm leaf fan all the time, as well as the rest of us. There were six in our class, Mary Field, Lucy Petherick, Kate Lilly, Sarah Clay, Abby Scott and myself. Abbie Clark would have been in the class, but she went to Pittsfield, Mass., instead. General Granger said to each one of us, “It gives me great pleasure to present you with this diploma,” and when he gave Miss Scott hers, as she is from Alabama, he said he wished it might be as a flag of truce between the North and the South, and this sentiment was loudly cheered. General Granger looked so handsome with his black dress suit and ruffled shirt front and all the natural grace which belongs to him. The sheepskin has a picture of the Seminary on it and this inscription: “ The Trustees and Faculty of the Ontario Female Seminary hereby certify that —— has completed the course of study prescribed in this Institution, maintained the requisite scholarship and commendable deportment and is therefore admitted to the graduating honors of this Institution. President of Board, John A. Granger; Benjamin F. Richards, Edward G. Tyler, Principals.” Mr. Morse wrote something for the paper:

To the Editor of the Repository:

DEAR SIR—June roses, etc., make our loveliest of villages a paradise this week. The constellations are all glorious and the stars of earth far outshine those of the heavens. The lake shore, “Lovers’ Lane,” “Glen Kitty” and the “Points” are full of romance and romancers. The yellow moon and the blue waters and the dark green shores and the petrified Indians, whispering stony words at the foot of Genundewah, and Squaw Island sitting on the waves, like an enchanted grove, and “Whalesback” all humped up in the East and “Devil's Lookout” rising over all, made the “Sleeping Beauty” a silver sea of witchery and love; and in the cottages and palaces we ate the ambrosia and drank the nectar of the sweet goddesses of this new and golden age.

I may as well say to you, Mr. Editor, that the Ontario Female Seminary closed yesterday and “Yours truly” was present at the commencement. Being a bachelor I shall plead guilty and appeal to the mercy of the Court, if indicted for undue prejudice in favor of the charming young orators. After the report of the Examining Committee, in which the scholarship of the young ladies was not too highly praised, came the Latin Salutatory by Miss Clay, a most beautiful and elegant production (that sentence, sir, applies to both salutatory and salutatorian). The ‘Shadows We Cast,' by Miss Field, carried us far into the beautiful fields of nature and art and we saw the dark, or the brilliant shades, which our lives will cast, upon society and history. Then “Tongues in Trees” began to whisper most bewitchingly, and “Books in the Running Brooks” were opened, and “Sermons in Stones” were preached by Miss Richards, and this old bachelor thought if all trees would talk so well, and every brook would babble so musically, and each precious stone would exhort so brilliantly, as they were made to do by the “enchantress,” angels and dreams would henceforth be of little consequence; and whether the orator should be called “Tree of Beauty,” “Minnehaha” or the “Kohinoor” is a “vexata questio.”

In the evening Mr. Hardick, “our own,” whose hand never touches the piano without making delicious music, and Misses Daggett and Wilson, also “our own,” and the musical pupils of the Institution, gave a concert. “The Young Volunteer” was imperatively demanded, and this for the third time during the anniversary exercises, and was sung amid thunders of applause, “Star of the South,” Miss Stella Scott, shining meanwhile in all her radiant beauty. May her glorious light soon rest on a Union that shall never more be broken.

Soberly yours,

There was a patriotic rally this afternoon on the campus of Canandaigua Academy and we Seminary girls went. They raised a flag on the Academy building. General Granger presided, Dr. Coleman led the choir and they sang “ The Star Spangled Banner.” Mr. Noah T. Clarke made a stirring speech and Mr. Gideon Granger, James C. Smith and E. M. Morse followed. Canandaigua has already raised over $7,000 for the war. Capt. Barry drills the Academy boys in military tactics on the campus every day. Men are constantly enlisting. Lester P. Thompson, son of “Father Thompson,” among the others.

A young man asked Anna to take a drive to-day, but Grandmother was not willing at first to let her go. She finally gave her consent, after Anna's plea that he was so young and his horse was so gentle. Just as they were ready to start, I heard Anna run upstairs and I heard him say, “What an Anna!” I asked her afterwards what she went for and she said she remembered that she had left the soap in the water.

Dr. Daggett's war sermon from the 146th Psalm was wonderful.

SOURCE: Caroline Cowles Richards, Village Life in America, 1852-1872, p. 132-7

Diary of Caroline Cowles Richards: January 26, 1862

We went to the Baptist Church this evening to hear Rev. A. H. Lung preach his last sermon before going into the army.

SOURCE: Caroline Cowles Richards, Village Life in America, 1852-1872, p. 138

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Dr. Seth Rogers to his Daughter, January 9, 1863

January 9, 1863.

This morning, the adjutant and I, with eight oarsmen, went down to Hilton Head in our surf boat. The distance cannot be far from twelve miles and the trip is a charming one, though the shores are wanting in those rugged qualities which help to make the difference in character between the North and the South. Our black soldiers sang as they rowed — not the songs of common sailors — but the hymns of praise mingled with those pathetic longings for a better world, so constant with these people. There are times when I could quite enjoy more earthly songs for them, even a touch of the wicked, but this generation must live and die in sadness. The sun can never shine for them as for a nation of freemen whose fathers were not slaves.

My special business in going to Hilton Head was to test the honesty of a certain medical purveyor, who does not incline to honor the requisitions of the surgeon of the 1st Reg. S. C. Vol's. He has not yet heard of the popularity of the black regiments, but Uncle Samuel will teach him that, as well as a few other things. But it will be too late for him to repent in this world when he shall have learned the lesson.

The Flora – Gen. Saxton's steamer — came down from Beaufort and we were towed back by her to our camp. I met the General on the steamer and was delighted to find him in that mood over the purveyor's second refusal, which will work out a line of retributive justice. He read to me a letter just received by him from Secretary Stanton, which authorizes me to draw direct from New York. So we shall be all right within two weeks, I hope. In addition to all my other duties, I should quite like to prescribe for some of those pro-slavery scamps who disgrace the federal shoulder-straps. This particular case was polite enough to me, for which I was sorry. When Gen. (David] Hunter gets here there will be a bowing and scraping to the anti-slavery men that may awaken wickedness in my heart. . . .

I am just now busy in trying to discover the causes of such an excess of pleurisy and pneumonia in our camp, as compared with white regiments. Thus far I can only get the reiteration of the fact that negroes are more subject to these diseases than are the whites. I should be very sorry to find that their nightly “praise meetings,” or “shouts,” acted an important role in the development of these diseases, yet, thus far, our gravest cases are the most religious. It would be a sad but curious coincidence, if while the Colonel and young captain are diligently taking notes of the songs and hymns of the soldiers, the surgeon should note a marked fatality resulting from this sweet religious expression. We shall see. It is as difficult to inculcate temperance in religion here, among these sun-burned children, as to introduce it into a Methodist camp-meeting. I hope we shall not have to shut in religious expressions by military rules.

Speaking of coincidences, reminds me that I found the steward, this morning, putting up prescriptions in bits of the “ Liberator." I don't believe Mr. Garrison's editorials ever before came so near these black soldiers. I wondered if the powders would not have some magic power conveyed to them. South Carolina is getting a simultaneous doctoring of body and soul.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 43, October, 1909—June,1910: February 1910. p. 341-2

Dr. Seth Rogers to his Daughter, January 13, 1863

January 13, 1863.

. . . When I sit down at evening it always seems as if there could be but one subject to write upon, the music of these religious soldiers, who sing and pray steadily from supper time till “taps” at 8.30, interrupted only by roll-call at eight. The chaplain's pagoda-like school-house is the scene of earnest prayers and hymns at evening. I am sure the President is remembered more faithfully and gratefully in prayer by these christian soldiers than by any other regiment in the army. It is one thing for a chaplain to pray for him, but quite another for the soldiers to kneel and implore blessings on his head and divine guidance for his thoughts. These men never forget to pray earnestly for the officers placed over them; such prayers ought to make us true to them.

This afternoon, for the first time, our men are getting some money — not direct from the Government, but through that constant friend to them — Gen. Saxton, who waits for Government to refund it to him. The real drawback to enlistments is that the poor fellows who were in the Hunter regiment have never been paid a cent by the Government. Without reflection, one would suppose the offer of freedom quite sufficient inducement for them to join us. But you must remember that not the least curse of slavery is ignorance and that the intellectual enjoyment of freedom cannot, by the present generation, be so fully appreciated as its material gifts and benefits. Just think how few there are, even in New England, who could bravely die for an Idea, you will see that the infinite love of freedom which inspires these people is not the same that fills the heart of a more favored race. . . .

Before breakfast this morning I stood on the shore and listened to the John Brown hymn, sung by a hundred of our recruits, as they came up the river on the steamer Boston, from St. Augustine, Fla. Our Lieut. Col. [Billings]1 went down last week for them and today we have received into our regiment all but five, whom I rejected in consequence of old age and other disabilities. It seemed hard to reject men who came to fight for their freedom, but these poor fellows are a hindrance in active service, and we might be compelled to leave them to the mercy of those who know not that “It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

. . . I wish you could see how finely the Colonel appears in my dress coat. His was sent from Worcester quite a time before I left New England, but has never reached him. Very likely some miserable colonel of a poor white regiment appropriated it. I pity those who get so demoralized by association and wish they could have the benefit of our higher code. As I am less for ornament than for use here, I offered my coat to the Colonel, and was glad to find that Theodore [a tailor in Worcester] had applied his “celestial ” principle “ under the arms,” so that a Beaufort tailor could easily make an exact fit for the upper sphere. To sick soldiers it is unimportant whether I have one or two rows of buttons, and my handsome straps fit just as well on my fatigue coat as on the other. . . .

At this moment the camp resounds with the John Brown hymn, sung as no white regiment can sing it, so full of pathos and harmony. I know you will think me over enthusiastic about these people, but every one of you would be equally so, if here. Every day deepens my conviction that if we are true to them they will be true to us. The Colonel arrives at the same conclusion. When I think of their long-suffering at the hands of the whites, and then of their readiness to forgive, I feel a reverence for the race that I did not know before coming among them. You need not fancy that I find them perfect; it has not been my fortune to find mortals of that type, — even in Worcester, — but I do find them, as a people, religious, kind hearted, forgiving and as truth loving as the average of whites, more so than the Irish of the lowest rank.

1 Col. Liberty Billings.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 43, October, 1909—June, 1910: February 1910. p. 344-5

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: March 16, 1862


Today, for the first time since we left home, Chaplain James held services in a meeting-house. We occupied the large house of the Presbyterian society, which was well filled with a miscellaneous congregation of soldiers, sailors, citizens and negroes, both men and women. Col. Upton had improvised a choir, and, with the aid of the organ, led the singing. The chaplain preached a very good discourse, and I hardly knew which felt the best, he or the colonel. There are several other meetinghouses here, which are or have been occupied by the Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Catholic and negro societies. It would seem that this people have sometime been a God-fearing people, but since Jeff. Davis inaugurated a new regime, every man has done that which seemed good in his own sight. Hence we are here on this little excursion.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 47

Monday, August 10, 2020

Dr. Seth Rogers to his Daughter, December 27, 1862

December 27, 1862.

. . . There is a little more of solid reality in this work of camp-life than I have found in any previous experience. You remember my delight in the life of ship surgeon, when I had three hundred and fifty of the lowest Irish to care for. Multiply that delight by ten and you will approximate to what I get among these children of the tropics. A more childlike, jovial, devotional, musical, shrewd, amusing set of beings never lived. Be true to them and they will be devoted to you. I leave all my things in tent unguarded and at loose ends, as I could never think of doing in a white regiment, and if I ever lose anything you shall be informed. Their religious devotion is more natural than any I ever witnessed. At this moment the air is full of melody from the tents, of prayer and hymns, mingled with the hearty yah, yah, of the playful outsiders.

Last night I had too many business letters to get off in today's mail to allow me time for writing half of what I wished, and since then I have lived so long that much has been lost in the ages. I want, once for all, to say that Col. H. is splendid — pardon the McClellan word, — beyond even my anticipation, which, you know, has for years been quite exalted. I stood by General [Rufus] Saxton, who is a West Pointer, the other night, witnessing the dress parade, and was delighted to hear him say that he knew of no other man who could have magically brought these blacks under the military discipline that makes our camp one of the most enviable. Should we by possibility ever increase to a brigade I can already foresee that our good Colonel is destined to be the Brigadier General.

I am about selecting my orderly from among the privates, and just now a Lieutenant brought little “ Charlie" before me: a boy of fourteen or fifteen, who saw his master shot at Hilton Head without weeping over it; who had some of his own teeth knocked out at the same time. He has always taken care of his master and knows so many things that I shall probably avail myself of his bright eyes and willing bands. We have had an old uncle “Tiff,” whom I should take if I had the time and strength to wait upon him when he should get too tired to wait upon me. He is a dear old man who prays day and night.

I have forgotten whether I have written that the mocking-bird sings by day and the cricket by night. To me it is South America over again. The live oak grows to enormous size. Today I made thirty of my longest paces across the diameter of the branches of one of these handsome trees. The beautiful gray moss pendent everywhere from its branches gave the most decided impression of fatherliness and age.

Col. H. kindly invited James and me to mess with him and the adjutant. Thus we have a pleasant little table under the supervision of “William and Hattie,” in an old home just outside the camp. I am yet sharing the young captain's tent, but in a day or two shall have my own pitched. . . . We are not more than fifty rods from the shore. Our landing is remarkable for its old fort, built of shells and cement in 16— by Jean Paul de la Ribaudière. Its preservation is almost equal to monuments perpetuated by Roman cement.

The chance for wild game here is excellent, and in anticipation I enjoy it much, while in reality I doubt whether I shall ever find time for such recreation, and actual profit to our stomachs. It is not very easy for us to get fresh meat here, but we shall not suffer, because oysters are plentiful and fresh.

Our Chaplain is a great worker, and has a good influence over the soldiers — I presume Mr. Wasson knows him, — Mr. [James H.] Fowler, who was not long ago at Cambridge.

My first assistant surgeon is Dr. [J. M.] Hawks of Manchester, N. H. He is a radical anti-slavery man, somewhat older than I, and has had a large medical experience and in addition has been hospital surgeon at Beaufort during several months. He has been rigidly examined by three regimental surgeons from New England, and they have given him a very flattering certificate of qualification. I consider myself fortunate in having a man so well fitted for the place. The men and officers like him, and I fancy will take to him quite as much as to me. The second assistant is not yet decided upon, but will probably be a young man who has already been several months in the army. The hospital steward has also had experience . . .

SOURCE: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 43, October, 1909—June,1910: February 1910. p. 338-9

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: March 9, 1862

A beautiful Sabbath morning, not a ripple disturbs the smooth surface of the sound. Religious services this morning in the saloon; in the afternoon on the promenade deck. All the troops, except one or two regiments, left to garrison the island, are again afloat, and the talk now is that Newbern is the next point of attack.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 41

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: February 2, 1862

A high wind prevailed this morning and the sea was somewhat rough; the boat had considerable motion, but the boys had their sea legs on, so it caused them very little trouble.


Our company cooks, with commendable enterprise and industry and with an eye to our present well being, furnished us with baked beans and hot coffee for breakfast. This was a great treat, and every man had all he wanted; a vote of thanks was given the cooks. For dinner boiled beef was served, the first we have had since leaving Fortress Monroe.

I hope this kind of fare will hold out, but fear we shall have a relapse of the worst kind. The chaplain held services in the saloon this morning and afternoon. The boys spent most of the day writing letters, reading newspapers and making up their diaries.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 31

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

An Agreeable Disappointment

Mr. Lincoln, as the highest public officer of the nation is necessarily very much bored by all sorts of people calling upon him.

As an officer of the government called one day at the White House, and introduced a clerical friend.  “Mr. President,” said he, “allow me to present to you my friend, The Rev. F. of —— has expressed a desire to see you and have some conversation with you, and I am happy to be the means of introducing him.”  The President shook hands with Mr. F., and, desiring him to be seated, took a seat himself.  Then—his countenance having assumed an expression of patient waiting—he said “I am now ready to hear what you have to say.”  “O bless you, sir,” said Mr. F., “I have nothing especially to say.  I merely called to pay my respects to you, and, as one of the million, to assure you of my hearty sympathy and support.”  “My dear sir,” said the president, rising promptly—his face showing instant relief, and with both hands grasping that of is visitor—“I am very glad to see you; and am very glad to see you indeed.  I thought you had come to preach to me.”

SOURCE: New York Daily Herald, New York, New York, Friday, February 19, 1864, p. 5, and copied from the New York Evening Post, New York, New York, Wednesday, February 17, 1864.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Major-General Benjamin F. Butler: General Orders, No. 27, May 13, 1862

New Orleans, May 13, 1862.

It having come to the knowledge of the commanding general that Friday next is proposed to be observed as a day of fasting and prayer, in obedience to some supposed proclamation of one Jefferson Davis, in the several churches of this city, it is ordered that no such observance be had. "Churches and religious houses are to be kept open as in time of profound peace," but no religious exercises are to be had upon the supposed authority above mentioned.

By command of Major-General Butler:
GEO. C. STRONG,               
Assistant Adjutant-General.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 15 (Serial No. 21), p. 426

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: January 26, 1862

Quite a number of boats have been hauled off, and are now lying in the sound. They are still at work on the Eastern Queen, which seems to be as firmly imbedded in the sand as were her timbers in the soil in which they grew. The steamer Louisiana, with the 6th New Hampshire aboard, lies high and dry on the shoal, and it will be a job to get her off, but I reckon she will have to come, or come to pieces. When half a dozen big steamers get hold they make a pretty strong team, and something has got to come or break. I learn she is hogged, whatever that is. I shouldn’t be surprised if she was, if she has been well supplied with this gull bait they call pork. We had religious services this morning and afternoon, the first we have had since leaving Annapolis. We had excellent singing, and the chaplain's remarks were well timed and to the point. He recounted the dangers and troubles, which under the blessing of God, we have been brought through, and spoke words of cheer and comfort for the future.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 28