Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 189. — Report of Maj. Lewis D. Joy, Eighteenth U. S. Colored Troops, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

No. 189.

Report of Maj. Lewis D. Joy, Eighteenth U. S. Colored Troops,
of operations December 15-16, 1864.

Bridgeport, Ala., January 17, 1865.

SIR: I hereby have the honor to make report of the part taken by the detachment of the Eighteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, under my command, at the battles before Nashville, December 15 and 16, 1864.

On the 15th we were ordered by Colonel Morgan, commanding colored brigade, to the support of a section of the Twentieth Indiana Battery, which position we occupied during the day, having one man wounded while changing position from the brick house on the extreme lest of the line. That night 100 men, in charge of First Lieut. George J. Drew, Company B of our regiment, were engaged in throwing; up earth-works at Camp Foster for the protection of the battery. On the morning of the 16th crossed to the west of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad with the battery, and marched out on the pike west of that road until ordered to form connection with the Seventeenth U.S. Colored Infantry. Afterward reported to Colonel Shafter, Seventeenth U.S. Colored Infantry, and then to Lieutenant-Colonel Grosvenor, Eighteenth Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, by order of Colonel Morgan. When the final charge was ordered on Overton Hill, at 4 p.m., we were ordered to take position on the left of Colonel Thompson's brigade in the first line, but having to pass through a thick mass of brush while the brigade was marching in open ground we failed to make the connection, and as the brigade continued obliquing to the left in our front, we did not regain our position during the charge. After the repulse of the first charge we reformed and took position on the right of the Seventeenth U.S. Colored Infantry, throwing up breast-works of rails for our protection, and there remained until the enemy were driven from the field.

I inclose list of killed, wounded, and missing during the two days' battle.*

Five men of my command who went through the fight in safety have since died from the effects of the severe exposure to which we were subjected, and two of my best officers were not expected to live, but I believe are now recovering.

Very respectfully, yours,
L. D. JOY,                 
Major Eighteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, Comdg. Detachment.
 Lieut. J. E. CLELAND,
            Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Colored Brigade,
Major-general Steedman's Division, Army of the Cumberland.

* Embodied in table, p. 103.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 539-40

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 188. — Report of Col. William R. Shafter, Seventeenth U. S. Colored Troops, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

No. 188.

Report of Col. William R. Shafter, Seventeenth U. S. Colored Troops,
of operations December 15-16, 1864.

Nashville, Tenn., January 30, 1865.

COLONEL: In obedience to your instructions, I have the honor to report the part taken by the Seventeenth U.S. Colored Infantry in the battle of Nashville, December 15, 1864, as follows:

On the morning of December 15 I reported to you for duty with my regiment, in pursuance of orders from Brigadier-General Miller, commanding post of Nashville, and was by you assigned to the First Provisional Brigade. At about 7 a.m. I marched out on the Murfreesborough pike about one mile from the city, and formed line of battle to the right of and parallel with the pike, the Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry forming on my left, that regiment being our extreme left. Skirmishers from the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry reporting the enemy as too strong for them, my regiment, with the Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, was ordered to advance and drive the enemy from his rifle-pits, which was at once done, the two regiments charging to the railroad, but were prevented from going farther by a deep cut, known as Rains' Cut. At that time we were at least 100 yards beyond and to the rear of the enemy's earth-works near Rains' house, and had we been well supported on our right I think the work could have been taken. As it was, we were soon obliged to fall back, which was done in rather a disorderly manner. As soon, however, as we were out of range of the enemy's canister we reformed and were soon afterward moved around to the right of the enemy's earth-work and took a second position near Rains' house, where we kept up a sharp skirmish with the enemy till night, when he withdrew from our immediate front.

The conduct of all my officers was all that I desire, and from the fact that it was the first time the men had ever been under fire I think they, too, did well I am satisfied that with practice they would make good fighters.

My loss was: Commissioned officers, killed, 2; mortally wounded, 1; badly wounded, 3. Enlisted men, killed, 14; wounded, 64; missing, none; many of the wounded have since died.

I inclose complete list of killed and wounded.*

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. SHAFTER,                  
Colonel Seventeenth U. S. Colored Infantry, Commanding.
Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry.

* Embodied in table, p. 103.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 538-9

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 187.—Report of Capt. Clarence W. Baker, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Troops, of operations December 2, 1864.

No. 187.

Report of Capt. Clarence W. Baker, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Troops,
of operations December 2, 1864.

Nashville, Tenn., November [December] —, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have herewith the honor to submit a report concerning the conduct and loss of Companies A and D, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, in action at Stockade No. 2, December 2, 1864.

The train was very unexpectedly fired upon by a rebel battery from a commanding position. The men left the cars hastily, were formed in line, and moved upon the hill in rear of the stockade, subsequently deployed as skirmishers, lying exposed to a heavy fire from artillery and musketry from 11 a.m. until about 6 p.m., when the larger part of the command was drawn in, leaving pickets posted upon the skirmish line held during the day, and throwing up a rude breast-work, with traverses, on two sides of the stockade. Upon a due consultation the evacuation of the place was determined upon, whereat the men were much pleased, expressing themselves as ready to cut through the rebel lines, or, failing, die in the attempt. Fortunately we succeeded in passing through the line of rebel pickets without losing a man in killed or wounded.

Our loss was as follows: Company A, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry—killed, 1 private; wounded, 1 corporal, 2 privates; missing, 1 corporal, 7 privates; total, 2 corporals, 10 privates. Company D, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry—killed, 1 private; wounded, 1 corporal, 1 private; missing, 10 privates; total, 1 corporal, 12 privates. One wounded man from A and 2 wounded from D Company were left in the stockade, unable to be moved.

It is no more than simple justice to say for the men and officers under my command that they behaved admirably and did credit to the regiment.

CLARENCE W. BAKER,                
Capt., 14th U. S. Colored Infty., Comdg. Companies A and D. Lieut.
Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infty., Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 538

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 186. — Report of Col. Thomas J. Morgan, Fourteenth U. S. Colored Troops, commanding First Colored Brigade, of operations November 29, 1864-January 12, 1865.

No. 186.

Report of Col. Thomas J. Morgan, Fourteenth U. S. Colored Troops, commanding
First Colored Brigade, of operations November 29, 1864-January 12, 1865.

CHATTANOOGA, TENN., January 16, 1865.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the forces under my command in the recent campaign:

On November 29, 1864, by order of Major-General Steedman I assumed command of the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Corbin, the Sixteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, Col. William B. Gaw, and the Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, Col. L. Johnson, at Chattanooga, Tenn., and proceeded by railroad to Cowan, Tenn., and thence by railroad to Nashville, Tenn., reaching there with the Sixteenth and the main portion of the Fourteenth Regiments U.S. Colored Infantry on the 1st day of December, 1864. Col. L. Johnson, with the Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, and Capt. C. W. Baker, with Companies A and D of the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, occupied the rear section of the train which was transporting General Steedman's command to Nashville, Tenn. Seven miles north of Murfreesborough a train containing artillery and horses ran off the track and stopped the progress of the rear train, which, for some reason unexplained, was taken back to Murfreesborough with troops on board, a guard being left with the wrecked cars. During the night a construction train from Nashville removed the wreck and brought the remaining cars, horses, artillery, and guard, at an early hour on the 2d ultimo, to Nashville. At 8 a.m. 2d ultimo Colonel Johnson again started for Nashville, but when near Mill Creek he was attacked by a rebel cavalry command under General Forrest. The fight that ensued was quite creditable to the forces under Colonel Johnson. Colonel Johnson and Captain Baker are entitled to credit for the skill with which they fought and baffled the enemy and brought out their commands. I append the reports of those officers concerning this affair, marked A, B.1 During the 2d ultimo the portion of the brigade with me, conforming to the movements of General Cruft, occupied the extreme left of the first line of battle, formed near house of Robert Rains, and constructed in its front, hastily, a line of defense, a breast-work of rails and earth with a light palisade in front. On the 3d this line was abandoned and a new line established nearer the city, where the brigade, increased by the return of Colonel Johnson and Captain Baker and the addition of a battalion of the Eighteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, under Major L. D. Joy, took position near the residence of Maj. William B. Lewis. On December 5 and 7 reconnaissances were made by the brigade, in conjunction with other troops, and the enemy were found to occupy the first line of works built by General Steedman near Rains' house; each day the enemy was driven from the left of their works, with slight loss to us. On the 5th one lieutenant and seven enlisted men of the enemy were captured by this brigade. A citizen living near the Murfreesborough pike was killed by a member of Company B, Sixteenth U.S. Colored Infantry. The report of Colonel Gaw concerning this is inclosed, marked C.2 The conduct of officers and men on those occasions, save the misconduct of Colonel Gaw, which was reported at the time, was, so far as came under my observation, good. The coolness of the enlisted men under fire was especially gratifying to me.

On the night of the 14th of December orders were received to move at daybreak to make a demonstration upon the left, to occupy our first line of works, near Rains' house, if practicable, and to strongly menace the enemy's right to prevent the moving of his troops to resist the advance of the right of [the] Federal army when the main attack was to be made. On the evening of the 14th Colonel Gaw, by unsoldierly process, succeeded in getting his regiment taken from the First Brigade and ordered to a safer place in the rear. An excellent regiment, the Seventeenth U.S. Colored Infantry, under a brave and gallant officer, Colonel Shafter, reported to me instead of the Sixteenth. Lieutenant-Colonel Grosvenor, commanding brigade of white troops, reported to me, and remained with me during the two days’ battle. I inclose Colonel Grosvenor's report of the part taken by his command.3 A section of artillery from Captain Osborne's (Twentieth Indiana) battery likewise was put under my charge. In company with my adjutant-general, during the night of the 14th ultimo, I visited the picket-line near the enemy's work, which it was designed to attack on morning of the 15th. The Murfreesborough pike at this point runs a little east of south, nearly parallel with Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. The line of works was built almost at right angles with these roads. We ascertained from the pickets that the rebels had been at work actively during the afternoon with the spade, and their line of fires extended well toward the south. I concluded that a curtain had been built to protect the flank of the work, and that a line of rifle-pits had been made on the ground marked by the fires, and that if these rifle-pits could be carried and a column pushed well to the rear, the works near Rains’ house would become untenable and the ground east of Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad be given up to us with little loss. Accordingly, on the morning of the 15th, when the fog, which lay like a winding sheet over the two armies, began to disappear, I moved my command out upon the Murfreesborough pike and disposed it as follows: The Fourteenth Colored Infantry was deployed in front as skirmishers; the Seventeenth and Forty-fourth Colored Infantry were formed in line of battle in rear of Fourteenth, and given in charge of Colonel Shafter, of the Seventeenth; the section of Captain Osborne's (Twentieth Indiana) battery was supported by the battalion Eighteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, Maj. L. D. Joy; Colonel Grosvenor was directed to send one battalion of his command to guard the left flank and to hold the remainder of his command in rear of Colonel Shafter. The artillery then opened upon the enemy, and the lines moved forward. The Fourteenth advanced until they drew a severe fire, when Colonel Shafter was ordered to carry the rifle-pits, which he did handsomely, killing, wounding, capturing, or driving away the enemy from his front. He pushed forward until he reached the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, when he was met by a destructive fire at short range from a battery planted on the opposite side of a deep cut made by railroad. Seeing that Colonel Shafter had carried the line in his front, and that the enemy still held their position on his right, I ordered up to his support the reserve of Colonel Grosvenor. This command carried a portion of the line, but was quickly compelled to return, with severe loss, by reason of musketry fire on its right flank. What I had thought to be a mere curtain, proved to be a rude but strong lunette, with ditch in front and heavy head-logs on top of parapet, forming a very safe cover for Granbury's brigade, which occupied it. About the time of the repulse of Colonel Grosvenor Colonel Shafter was compelled to withdraw his line from the range of the artillery. The entire command was then withdrawn, by order of General Steedman, and moved to the north of Rains' house. A strong skirmish line, connecting on the right, at the railroad, with Colonel Thompson's command, advanced very close to the enemy's line. Sharpshooters loop-holed a dwelling-house and outbuildings and silenced the enemy. Thus the day wore away; the general's purpose, as communicated to me the night previous, had been accomplished; the enemy had been deceived, and, in expectation of a real advance upon his right, had detained his troops there, while his left was being disastrously driven back. The troops under my command have, as a whole, behaved well, and if they failed to accomplish all I expected it was my fault, not theirs; I was deceived as to the character of the work built by the enemy on the 14th. Could I have known the exact nature of the work, the troops would have carried it by a direct assault from the north side, with perhaps less loss than was sustained. During the night of the 15th the enemy retired from our front.

On the 16th my command, by order of General Steedman, crossed the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, the Nolensville pike, and the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad, skirmishing with and driving the enemy. At an early hour in the afternoon the command joined the left of Colonel Thompson and confronted Overton Hill. Colonel Grosvenor was ordered to join the left of Second Colored Brigade and conform to its movements.  He thus took part in the first assault upon Overton Hill. Colonel Shafter, with Seventeenth, was in echelon to rear of Grosvenor; Lieutenant-Colonel Corbin, with Fourteenth, was directed to support and protect the artillery; Colonel Johnson, Forty-fourth, was directed to guard the left. Captain Osborne's (Twentieth Indiana) battery and Captain Aleshire's (Eighteenth Ohio) battery kept up an incessant fire upon the enemy, and did excellent work. Subsequently the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry was deployed as skirmishers in front of the artillery and directly facing the enemy's works, where they kept and received a brisk fire. When the first assault upon the hill failed the assaulting column retired in disorder, passing through my skirmish line without shaking it. At one time I thought and so reported that the line was being forced back, but it was not true. The line remained; did its work amid the confusion that followed the repulse. When the Sixty-eighth Indiana struck this line they asked what regiment. Being answered, Fourteenth, they cried, “Bully for you; we'll stay with you,” and they did. I assisted Colonel Thompson in reforming his broken lines. When the final assault was being made upon Overton Hill the forces under me moved forward and joined in the pursuit of the enemy, which followed as far as Franklin, Tenn. Subsequently the First Colored Brigade, as part of Second Provisional Division, accompanied the expedition toward Tuscumbia, Ala., going as far as Leighton, Ala. On its return it joined General Cruft's forces in the fruitless chase after General Lyon's rebel cavalry. The brigade was disbanded January 12, 1865.

Colonel Shafter, Seventeenth, acquitted himself well, is cool and brave, and a good disciplinarian. Lieutenant-Colonel Corbin, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, does not possess sufficient courage to command brave men.4 Captain Baker in reality commanded the Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry in the battle of the 15th and 16th, and acquitted himself with great credit. He is brave, cool, untiring, and deserves promotion. Lieutenant-Colonel Grosvenor obeyed every order with promptness, and is a good soldier. To each member of my staff, Lieutenants Cleland and Hall, Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, Wadsworth and Dickinson, Sixteenth U.S. Colored infantry, and Wyrill, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry, I am indebted for the promptness with which they carried out my desires, exposing themselves cheerfully to necessary danger. The wounded of the First Colored Brigade were faithfully cared for by Surgeon Clemons, Seventeenth U.S. Colored Infantry, Surgeon Strong, Forty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, and Assistant Surgeon Oleson, Fourteenth U.S. Colored Infantry.

I have as yet received no reports from battalion commanders and no lists of casualties; these will be forwarded as soon as received.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. J. MORGAN,            
Colonel Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry.
 Maj. S. B. MOE,
            Asst. Adjt. Gen., District of the Etowah.

1 See pp. 540, 538.

2 Not found.

3 See p. 526.

4 Colonel Corbin was subsequently tried before a general court-martial on the charge of “cowardice” and “misbehavior before the enemy,” &c.; was found not guilty, and “most honorably” acquitted.  Vide General Orders, No. 6, headquarters First Separate Divion, Army of the Cumberland, March 14, 1865.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 534-8

Monday, October 5, 2020

Jonathan Worth to Joseph John Jackson, December 17, 1860

RALEigh, Dec. 17, ‘60.
I can not find time to write you as often as I ought to.

To-day the Senate voted 27 to 15 to suspend the rules in order to pass through its 2d and 3d readings a bill offered this morning by Erwin, who is a manly disunionist, not a disunionist under the disguise of secession, authorizing the Gov. to expend $300,000 in buying arms. The reason given for this remarkable precipitancy is that there are reasons to fear that a considerable insurrection is on foot, and secondly, that just now a gun factory offers him the guns at cash prices and payment to be made in State bonds at par. I need not say that such pretext is equally silly. The bill is made the order of the day for 12 to-morrow. It will probably pass its second and third readings. Its real object is to enable the Governor to arm volunteers to aid S. C. The State will soon be involved in war unless, to the great disappointment and mortification of the leaders in this General Assembly, the committee of 33 should make a pacification.

Cass has resigned because B. would not reinforce Ft. Moultrie. This is the report here, fully credited. Cass is too much of a Statesman to connive at the refusal of the President to execute the laws. Lincoln would not be permitted to execute them.

So So. Ca. will become another Paradise—By her cotton will rule the world—Get plenty of cheap negroes from Africa, and we may possibly be allowed to attach ourselves to her as an humble dependency.

Slavery, as Gen. Jackson well predicted, is only a “pretext.” Slavery is doomed if the South sets up a Southern Confederacy. With Canada in effect for her Northern border from the Atlantic to the Pacific—all hating us, it is madness to think of anything else only to cut the throats of the negroes or have our own throats cut.

I am truly sorry that I am a member of this Assembly which I think contains less of patriotism than any like number of men ever assembled in this State since the close of the Revolution.

Nearly half of the Democratic members desire to preserve the Union, but they are the rank and file and will all ultimately follow their leaders—at least, vote for the measures of Avery and Co.—all of which, openly or in disguise, look to a dissolution.

SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 126-7

Remarks of Jonathan Worth on the Proposition to call a Con[ven]tion, in the Senate, January, 1861.*

The proposition of the Senator from Guilford, as I understand it, is to submit it to the vote of the people whether they will have a Convention, altogether unrestricted, without anything in the preamble or body of the resolutions declaratory of the purpose of the calling such Convention. I recognize as the basis of our government the right of the people to govern, and I am therefore willing, if the people desire it, that such a Convention be called, free to consider and act on every principle of government, State or National, with this proviso only, that the action of such Convention shall have no validity until ratified by a vote of the people; but if the bill in any way indicates that the Convention is called to consider our Federal relations, I can not vote for it, because the Constitution authorizes the General Assembly to call no such Convention. Such Conventions have been nowhere called except for the purpose of carrying out secession. I will not discuss this doctrine as a constitutional remedy. This has been sufficiently done. It is sufficient for my present purpose to declare that I regard it as a ruinous heresy, whether the present Union be preserved or a Southern Confederacy be formed. I regard it as the seed of death in any Confederation. A new Republic founded on it would be based on Disintegration. I can therefore vote for no bill which in any way squints toward a recognition of this doctrine.

The only Convention to consider of National affairs, which the General Assembly can constitutionally call, is a Convention provided for in the Fifth Article of the Constitution of the United States to pass on amendments to the Constitution of the United States previously proposed as therein prescribed. Any other Convention called by the General Assembly to consider of National affairs I regard as revolutionary, and I am sure my constituents are not ready for revolution for existing causes.

* In Worth's writing

SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 128-9

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Jonathan Worth: A Resolution.* probably between November 19, 1860 and February 25, 1861

Resolved, That while we recognize the right of the Genl. Government to garrison and defend its forts within our borders, and deem it the duty of the President of the United States to protect and defend said forts against the aggression or adverse occupation of all persons whatsoever; in the present state of affairs we think it highly inexpedient that the general Government exercise such right or make any other military demonstration, tending to civil war.

Resolved, further, That while we earnestly deprecate a military collision between the authorities of the United States and the people or authorities of any State of this Union, we deem it inexpedient to declare, in advance, what part we should take, in the event of such collision, until all the attending circumstances shall be known.

* This resolution is in Jonathan Worth's writing, and was probably prepared by him during the General Assembly of 1860-61.

SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 129

Jonathan Worth’s Address to People Of Randolph And Alamance, January 31, 1861

To My Constituents of the Counties of Randolph and Alamance:

On the 28th of February next you are called upon, by the question of a an act of the General Assembly, by your vote to declare whether or not you want a State Convention, restricted to the consideration of our National Affairs; and also, at the same time, to vote for delegates for said Convention, in case a majority of the whole State shall call it. The Act provides that the action of the Convention shall have no validity until ratified by a vote of the people. I voted against this act because neither the Constitution of the United States, nor of this State, contemplates any such convention, and because I can see no way by which it can do any good, and I fear it may do much mischief. Such a convention is a modern invention of South Carolina, to bring about a sort of legalized revolution. It has been adopted in most of the Southern States. All its original advocates were disunionists. Wherever such a convention has assembled, it has asserted the power to sever the State from the Union, and declare it an independent government. Under my oath to support the Constitution of the United States, I could not vote to call a convention to overthrow that instrument. I thought it improper for the General Assembly to ask you whether you want an unconstitutional Convention. What can it do o lt can do nothing only as a revolutionary body. Everybody looks for a remedy for our national troubles, to an amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The Fifth Article of the Constitution of the United States prescribes two modes of amendment. I give you the words:

“The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution; or on the application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid, for all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratifical by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress.”

Our wise fathers did not intend that the great fundamental law—the Constitution—should be lightly altered. If bare majorities of the popular vote could have altered it, a written Constitution would have been idle.

You will see that there are two constitutional modes of amendment. Congress has been endeavoring to agree on amendments. There is little prospect that two-thirds of both houses can agree on anything. The members were all elected as partizans. Many of them have indulged in crimination and recrimination in mutual abuse of each other till they are not in the temper to act as patriots and statesmen. They have become excited—excited men rarely act prudently and wisely. The other mode of amendment has not been tried. Shall we not try all constitutional modes of amendment before we resort to strange and unconstitutional modes? That other mode seems peculiarly adapted to our present condition. Let a National Convention be called. Surely two-thirds of the State will join in such a call. If called, it is hoped wise and discreet men, not men lately engaged in party strife, will be called to fill it. Can anybody doubt that such an assembly could compose the National commotions. I do not doubt it. The provision for such a convention, in common with all their works, shows the forecast and wisdom of our fathers. In such an assembly, composed of calm and prudent men, all sections could be heard, could interchange views, each could make some concessions to the feelings and prejudices of others, the same sort of concession we all have to make to each other in religion, morals, and everything else, which makes civilized society.

They would agree on a basis of settlement. In all the States excepting South Carolina, perhaps in a few other Southern States, the people still cherish a love for the name of Washington and for the Union. The doings of such a convention would be likely to be heartily ratified by three-fourths of the States. At all events let no one break up this great Union till we have fully tried all constitutional modes of amendment.

If the proposed State Convention does what its most ardent advocates desire it to do, it will be what all conventions south of us have done—declare the State out of the Union and an independent State. Every artifice will be employed to make you believe that a convention is to be 
called to save the Union. Believe it not. It is true, many members who are Union men voted for submitting it to a vote of the people whether they would have a convention or not, throwing upon you, with little time to consider, a responsibility which I think they should have met themselves. A majority refused to pass an amendment allowing you to endorse on your tickets whether you are for Union or disunion. It will be said that the convention can do no harm since whatever it may do will have no validity till ratified by you. The disunion leaders boldly maintain that the Legislature can not restrict the convention, that it may pass whatever ordinance it pleases, regardless of the restraints attempted to be imposed upon it by the Act of Assembly; and that it may, or may not, at its pleasure, submit its action to the people for ratification. If war begins it will probably be brought on during the sitting of the convention.

It is now the policy of disunionists to postpone hostilities until President Buchanan goes out and President Lincoln comes in. They will probably court a fight as soon as Lincoln takes the reins. If war shall have actually commenced before the convention closes its session, and an ordinance of secession be passed, it is to be feared that its action will not be referred to the people for ratification. Not one of the five States which seceded, though acting under no emergency, has submitted its action to the people for ratification. We have not yet exhausted constitutional remedies. We can not have exhausted them before this convention shall assemble. Believe not those who may tell you this convention is called to save the Union. It is called to destroy it. If you desire to preserve the Union vote “No Convention,” and at the same time, be careful for whom you vote as delegates.

When we shall have seen what the Commissioners shall effect, who are to meet in Washington on the 4th of February, to look for a remedy for the National disturbances, when we shall have called for a National Convention and it shall be refused, or shall have failed to accomplish a pacification, it will be time enough to resort to revolution. I think that those only should vote for a convention who regard disunion as the only remedy for the disease of the times.

I have felt it due to you to present this hasty explanation of my views, on a momentous question on which you are called upon to vote with such extraordinary haste.

To go into a discussion of the ground on which the disunionists claim that we ought to dissolve the Union, would require more time than I could properly withdraw from my legislative duties. I content myself with saying that I have carefully read nearly all the debates in Congress, and I see no sufficient reason for abandoning the counsels of the Father of his Country, and the Government under which we have become the freest and most powerful nation of the earth, and launching, probably through civil war, upon the dark sea of experiment.

January 31, 1860 [sic]

SOURCES: “Circular,” Fayetteville Semi-Weekly Observer, Fayetteville, North Carolina, published February 7, 1861, p. 2;  J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 129-33

Friday, October 2, 2020

Jonathan Worth to his Brother,* March 16, 1861

ASHEBORO, March 16th, 1861.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

In your letter of the 8th inst., I was taken a little by surprise. But I now fear to begin to believe that revolution can't be stayed, and if I consulted the dictates of prudence, would, to some extent, yield to the current. I was surprised because the evidence has seemed to me abundant since the vote of La, and N. C. and the adjournment of Congress, the report of the peace convention, and the inaugural, that revolution was arrested. The votes of La. and N. C. raised a wall between the madness of the South and the uncertain turbulence of Va. which neither could pass. The plan of the peace Congress, when duly considered, will be approved by an increased majority both North and South. It is better for all sections and for the whole country than the Crittenden plan, that is, as to the main question—territory; no more territory would be likely to be acquired at all, and if acquired, the slavery question would be settled simultaneously. Congress having adjourned without passing the force bill and without supplying the executive with men or money to wage war, or even to reinforce Fort Sumter, the Prest., as commander-in-chief of the army, would be compelled in a military point of view, and not in a recognition of the right of Secession, to evacuate Ft. Sumter. Lincoln's inaugural breathes peace to any candid mind. Since the final act of Congress, the President's inaugural and the vote of N. C. against convention reached me, I have considered the Revolution arrested. Reaction must soon follow in the United States. I do not know whether the Prest. has ordered the evacuation of Ft. Sumter, but I presume he has because Congress did not furnish him the means of maintaining the occupation, in which I think Congress acted wisely. As to any other fort, still in the occupation of the national troops, which the Prest. can defend with the means at his command, he would make himself contemptible in the estimation of the world if he should voluntarily surrender them. IIe is bound by his oath to protect the public property and execute the laws so far as the legislative power will furnish him the means. I fear you caught a slight singe of gloom from our quondam friend Geo. Davis.1 I know not how you regard him. You ought not to regard him any longer as a Whig. You have heard Vance's anecdote as to the pet lamb Billy. Say to Davis personally, “Billy.” He has gone over, whatever he may think or say, to Democracy and red Republicanism. Democracy has fought for months with the rope around its neck. Its votaries should now have their coffins made and say their prayers.

Twiggs ought not to be shot. He ought to be hanged and his name for all time to be written in connection and immediately after Benedict Arnold. I am garrulous and will quit.

* Probably B. G. Worth.

* George Davis, a prominent member of the Wilmington bar, had become a secessionist after the Peace Conference. As a member of the Whig party this change greatly incensed many of the party. He was later Confederate Senator and Attorney General in the Confederate Cabinet.

SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 133-5

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Jonathan Worth to proably Joseph John Jackson [fragment]*, after December 3, 1860

The late election of Clingman2 to the U. S. Senate awakens painful reflections in every lover of Union, whose patriotism raises him above the influences of party. He has been long known as a sympathizer with the Disunionists of S. C.—originally a Henry Clay Whig–reviling Democracy more than his leader, of late years he got his eye on his present position, abandoning all his early principles and became a Democrat of the straightest order. At the opening of this Congress, upon the reading of President Buchanan's message, he was the first to condemn it on account of its pacific tone. He has long been known as favoring Disunion.

In the election for members of the present Legislature, it has often been asserted in debate here and in no instance denied, so far as I have heard, that every member, while a Candidate, professed devotion to the Union and declared the election of Lincoln, which we all expected would happen, would not justify breaking up the Union. Since then no one pretends that any new cause of offense to the South has occurred. It is well known that nearly all the unpretending Democratic members were at heart what they had professed to be before their constituents— Union men. But their leaders had doubtless joined the Southern league. Avery,3 Hall,4 Erwin,5 Street,6 Person,7 Hoke,8 Bachelor,9 Bridgers,10 in the first caucus, assumed the lead and demanded the decapitation of Holden, because he was known to be for Union. The rank and file were astounded. When required to abandon their old and approved leader, one who was known to have been the very heart of Democracy for long years past, the most talented and hitherto the most influential of their party, plain, honest members, gaped in wonder; and very many of them had the moral courage, at first, to oppose their leaders. Many honest Democrats, largely interested in slave property, could not at first understand why a native North Carolinian, himself a slave owner, lately deemed worthy to be Governor and United States Senator and a Union man, was to be superseded by a man lately from England, naturalized last April, without interest in slaves, an avowed Disunionist, a man without social position in Raleigh, where he was best known. The most prositable office in the gift of the General Assembly was the public printing. This first important move of the leaders was carried by a bare majority in Caucus; but being carried the rank and file, true to discipline, came in the next day and voted unanimously for John Spelman for public printer. The leaders next demanded that they should vote for Clingman. Many of the more worthy members

* This fragment of a letter in Worth's writing was probably to J. J. Jackson.

2 Thomas L. Clingman, b. 1812. Whig member of Commons 1835 and 1841. Member of Congress 1843-45, 1847-58. United States Senator 1858-61. In 1850 he became a Democrat. He was a Consederate Brigadier General during the war. In 1875 he was a member of the State Convention.

3 W. W. Avery of Burke.
4 Eli W. Hall of New Hanover.
5 Marcus Erwin of Buncombe
6 Nathaniel H. Street of Craven.
7 Saml. J. Person of New Hanover.
8 John F. Hoke of Lincoln.
9 Jos. B. Batchelor of Warren.
10 Robt. R. Bridgers of Edgecombe

SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 125-6

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: December 1 1861

Dr. Carr is dead. He had a stroke of paralysis two weeks ago and for several days he has been unconscious. The choir of our church, of which he was leader for so long, and some of the young people came and stood around his bed and sang, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.” They did not know whether he was conscious or not, but they thought so because the tears ran down his cheeks from his closed eyelids, though he could not speak or move. The funeral was from the church and Dr. Daggett's text was, “The Beloved Physician.”

SOURCE: Caroline Cowles Richards, Village Life in America, 1852-1872, p. 137

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

Diary of Caroline Cowles Richards: February 17, 1862

Glorious news from the war today. Fort Donelson is taken with 1,500 rebels. The right and the North will surely triumph!

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

Diary of Caroline Cowles Richards: February 21, 1862

Our society met at Fanny Palmer's this afternoon. I went but did not stay to tea as we were going to Madame Anna Bishop's concert in the evening. The concert was very, very good. Her voice has great scope and she was dressed in the latest stage costume, but it took so much material for her skirt that there was hardly any left for the waist.

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

Diary of Private Louis Leon: June 20, 1862

Up until this date there has been nothing worth recording, but to-day got orders to fall in line with two days’ rations cooked. Left at 12 M. in box cars. We knocked holes in them to get fresh air. We laid over six hours eight miles from Gerresburg in order to let the passenger cars pass us. Several of our company left the train in quest of supper. We found a house where a lady promised to give us supper for fifty cents each. As we were doing full justice to her supper the train started, we left in a hurry, and did not have time to pay for our meal. I don't suppose she gave us her blessing.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 6-7

Diary of Private Louis Leon: June 21, 1862

We reached Petersburg, Va., this morning at half-past two, and had barely laid down with a brick wall for my pillow when breakfast was announced in the shape of Mack Sample, who told us where we could get it. I ran the blockade with Katz, and went to see Mike Etlinger. He was not at home. Afterward we met Wortheim, and we all went again and got something good to eat. We then returned to our regiment, which is the 53d North Carolina Regiment, infantry, Col. William Owens, commander. We are enlisted for three years, or the war. We fell in line and marched to our camp, which is on Dunn's Hill, just outside of the city.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 7

Diary of Private Louis Leon: June 22, 1862

Nothing new.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 7

Monday, September 28, 2020

Diary of Private Louis Leon: June 23, 1862

Moved our camp two miles up the road toward Richmond. It is a very bad camp—low ground and muddy. But there is a factory here, and plenty of girls to make up for the damp ground.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 7

Diary of Private Louis Leon: June 24, 1862

We had a drill to-day, and went to town to see some friends.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 7