Friday, January 31, 2014

150-years-ago -- CONDITIONS IN TEXAS

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
Jan. 30, 1864
Interesting from Texas.
Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder
Cmdr. of Texas Department
           Houston, Texas - Jan. 11th, via Jackson, Jan. 29th.- We have accounts of another serious Indian raid in Cook county in which twelve or fifteen people were killed. The Indians were armed and equipped by the Yankees.
          Fifteen millions of dollars of Confederate money that had run the blockade from some Eastern port to Havana, and had safety reached Monterey, Mexico, en route to the Trans-Mississippi Department, has been attached by the English house of Milmo & Co., of Matamoras, for the alleged failure on the part of Major Hart, A. Q. M., an agent of the Confederate States Government, in meeting his contracts with that house for cotton.--The same house also attached a large amount of cotton in transit in Mexico, belonging to the Government, on the same account.
           Gen. A. J. Hamilton, the Abolition appointee as Military Governor of Texas, had a public reception in Matamoras by Gov. Serna and Cortinas. In a speech at the banquet he announced that in case the French advance on Matamoras the Yankees would help the Mexicans whip them out. Hamilton has as yet issued no proclamation that we have heard of, before of the Yankees 500 strong, have advanced from Brownsville on King's Ranch. They met with no opposition. Col.
Benaredes and Col. John S. Ford, the old ranger, are raising a force in the west to suppress the Mexican bandits now depredating on our soil.
          The Yankee force at Salaria and Dekew's Point is about 12,000 men. They are occupying Indianola with a small garrison, and have visited Lavacca. They did no damage there save sacking a few houses. The railroad from Lavacca to Victoria is thoroughly destroyed. They also landed a force of a few hundred one day last week in the upper part of Matagorda Peninsula, for the purpose of cutting off fifteen of our pickets who were below them. The pickets escaped in some oyster boats. They were a squad of volunteer exempts from the city, under command of ex-Gov. Henderson. A company of men, under Capt. Rudgely, attempted last week to cross from the main land to the peninsula. They were caught in a storm, the boats swamped, and they were obliged to swim out. Fourteen of the men perished in the attempt, their dead bodies being out sequency washed up by the waves. They were frozen to death.
          No engagement of consequence has occurred on our coast since the fall of Eschorazo. Since the 1st inst. we have experienced the coldest weather known for many years. It is believed that nearly all the stubble in the sugar cane has been frozen out. The people have learned to look reverses squarely in the face, and they evince a determination to fight it out, no matter what odds, or under what difficulties. Texas will not succumb, even if every other The proclamation of Lincoln excites hardly a thought. The health and spirits of our troops are good, and the organization of the army is thorough. Veterans are in command of every brigade, and many of the regiments are from eight hundred to a thousand strong. In a word, Texas is all right. The enemy has in two months taken no point that was regarded as defensible, and intended to be defended. They will not attempt to do so with less than two to one.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

150-years-ago -- MOSBY'S CONFEDERACY, CONDITIONS IN THE ARMY

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
Jan. 29, 1864


Mosby's Rangers. Col. John Singleton Mosby is standing second from
left. (Library of Congress)
        Mosby, Stringfellow, and Kincheins, are still harassing the enemy on flank and rear. Scarcely a day passes that prisoners are not received at the office of the Army Provost Marshal. Not are prisoners all that they capture — each of these gallant, partisans are getting no insignificant amount of horse flesh and other valuable plunder in these predatory raids.
          It is a gratifying fact that so many of the soldiers in the army of Tennessee should be re- enlisting for the war, and it cannot but reassure the country of the spirit of our soldiers to achieve independence. Thundering responses will, I am sure, issue from this army soon. Indeed, the ball may already he said to be in motion. To-day Battle's gallant brigade of Alabamians, formerly Rodes's old brigade, re-enlisted, I am told, for the war. Thus Alabama leads off in the glorious work which will doubtless widen and deepen until every brigade in the army shall declare itself "in for the war."

Chaplain Robert Bean Sutton, chaplain,
Army of Northern Virginia.
(Liljenquist Family Collection,
Library of Congress)
        The religious interest in the army is unchilled by the cold weather. Meetings are still held in every part of the army; and in many, if not all the brigades, meeting houses have been constructed by the soldiers for their own use, and faithful chaplains nightly preach to large and deeply attentive Congregations.
           A most liberal system of furloughs has been instituted in with army by Gen. Lee, and its influence cannot but be beneficial to the troops. By a recent order twelve to every hundred present at for duty are granted. of indulgence. The cars are daily weighed down with the precious freight which they carry to and from these lines. I am also gratified to state that most of the soldiers return promptly at the expiration of their leaves.
           The army post office of this army, under Capt. John L. Eubank, assisted by his intelligent clerks, young gentlemen detailed from the ranks of the and send not less letters a day; and yet these young men receive only forty cents extra per day for working from early down until long after midnight. Something should be done for them.
           Among the recent promotions in this army is that of Maj. W. H. Taylor, A. A. G, on General Lee's staff, to the rank and pay of Lieutenant-Colonel. Col. T. is one of the most faithful and officiant officers of the army, and his promotion is fully deserved. In nearly all of the routine duties Col. T. is Gen. Lee.
           The County Court of Orange, sitting as a Court of Oyer and Terminer, has been engaged part of the day yesterday and to-day, in the trial of Ben, slave of Mr. Walke, of Norfolk, charged with the murder of a man named Hudson, in Mahone's brigade, in the latter part of December last. Hon. Shelton F. Leake defended the prisoner with marked ability, and secured his acquittal. The Commonwealth was represented by Lewis B Williams and Capt. John H. Gayle. X.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

150-years-ago -- CONDITIONS IN NORTHERN P.O.W. CAMPS

A young Confederate P.O.W.
at Fort Delaware. (C.D.V., M.D.
Jones collection)
The Richmond Daily Dispatch
Jan. 28, 1864
The prisoners of the North.
          It is interesting to the friends of Confederates in prison at the North, to know where the prisoners are located, and with what degree of humanity their inmates are treated. A returned prisoner who has tried them all, writes the following description of their accommodations:
          Fort McHenry is situated on a peninsula in Baltimore city harbor, exposed to the bleak winds that blows from the Chesapeake Bay. It is very uncomfortable in every way. The officers are quartered in tolerably good buildings, but the privates of our army suffer terribly. There is generally some three or four hundred of our men here, it is , however, but a depot for Johnson's Island and Point Lookout, and they are not allowed to accumulate. Here, however, some eighty surgeons, left at Gettysburg by Gen-Lee, were confined for five months in the hay loft of a stable.
           Point Lookout is in the Chesapeake Bay, just where the Potomac river empties into that stream. The quarters here are safeguards against cold and tempest, but the other accommodations are scant and meagre. The food is bad, but this is not the fault of the United States Government--it is the fault of the sergeants, &c. They speculate upon the rations. The small-pox had appeared here, and there were quite a number of cases.
          David Island, near New York, was a very good place for our wounded. The Samaritans of New York, obtaining provisions, furnished our men with food, clothing and money, in great profusion. It is a singular fact, that the further a man goes North the better he is treated. It is explainable, however, in the fact, that what is criminal in a lady of Baltimore is simply an act of charity in a lady of New York. Our men at David Island, I can assure their friends, were treated as kindly as if they were at home.
          Johnson's Island has already been fully described by other writers. It is situated in Sandusky Bay, and is used exclusively for our officers. They make themselves as comfortable and as happy as possible. They have their dramatic societies, etc. A number of our officers are, however, in ball and chain, and many of them have over their heads sentences of death and endless imprisonment. The quarters are most comfortable, and there is no danger of any one suffering with the cold.
            West Hospital Building, Baltimore city, is in the Union block, and is the worst place a Confederate could be carried. He, if wounded, is shown to a comfortable bed; but at its head is a picture of McClellan whipping Lee before Richmond, and over him hangs the confounded Stars and Stripes Hail Columbia is his breakfast and Yankee Doodle sounds in his ear the balance of the day.
            Everything is most loyal. The very bricks he treads upon are red, white and blue, and the whole concern is presided over by the pinions of the American eagle. This nonsense may be unappreciated by those who have not been there. I will leave those who have been there to explain. Dr. Rex, the surgeon in charge while I was there, was a strict officer — he obeyed to the letter the order of his master, Schenck. The Confederate Government has outlawed Butler, pronouncing him unfit to be on earth. Those who have been under him pronounce Schenck to be unfit for hell.
           Besides these above named there are numerous prisons in which our prisoners are confined. The bastile, Fort Warren; the chateau d'lf, Fort Lafayette; the castle d' Vincennes, Baltimore jail; all of which are filled with Confederate soldiers and sympathizers. You have not seen into any of these prisons, but you have seen our prison Libby, at Richmond. It is a palace alongside of any that I have mentioned, and after five months spent in the prisons of the North, on a visit to Libby I said, "Oh, that my lot was cast in such pleasant places."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Birthday Tribute to Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson

In tribute to the anniversary of the birthday of Gen. Thomas J. 
"Stonewall" Jackson, here is a brief excerpt from The Life of Lieut. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson by his chaplain, Rev. Robert Lewis 
Dabney  (1868):

"But it was on the battle-field that his prayerful 
spirit was most impressively displayed. More than 
once, as one of his favourite brigades was rushing past 
him into action, he was seen erect upon his saddle, 
his hand uplifted as the column swept silently by 
into the very hurricane of war. Some who observed 
him thought he was abstracted; but there were those 
who, watching him more narrowly, noted the closed eyes 
and moving lips, and knew what it meant. Solemn 
thoughts of his own responsibility; of his country's 
crisis; of the fate of the brave men he commanded; 
of the widows and orphans who would be left to 
weep; of the peril of precious blood; and of the 
condition and destiny of more precious souls; — 
crowded tumultuously into his soul. "Out of the 
depths" he cried. So Moses on the Mount of God 
upheld the host and prayed down the arms of Amalek ! 
Such is the comparison that has been instituted, and 
it is by no means inapt."

Here are some highlights of Jackson's life:
Born - January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, (West) Virginia.  Orphaned at an early age and raised by an uncle. Graduate: U.S. Military Academy at West Point New York, Class of1846. Service -Mexican War; professor, Virginia Military Institute; War 
For Southern Independence; First Battle of Manassas, Shenandoah 
Valley Campaign; Seven Days Battles; Second Manassas; Sharpsburg; 
Frederiksburg;  Mortally wounded at Chancellorsville and died May 10, 1863.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

CENTENNIAL TRIBUTE TO ROBERT E. LEE IN 1907

Robert E. Lee Centennial Celebration, 1907

Gen. Robert E. Lee
Note: The following is taken from General Robert E. Lee After Appomattox, edited by Franklin L. Riley (New York, 1922), pp. 196–202.

TRIBUTE TO GENERAL LEE AS A MAN

By MR. WM. A. ANDERSON, Rector of Washington and Lee University

Extract from remarks made at a banquet at Washington and Lee University upon the Centennial of the birth of Robert E. Lee, January 19th, 1907.

           WE presented to us here to-day a striking and most gratifying evidence of the restoration of good feeling between the sections in the pilgrimage to this Mecca of the South of a distinguished son of Massachusetts who worthily bears a name honored and illustrious in the history of our country, through five generations, to lay upon the tomb of Lee the tribute of his just praise and admiration.*
*Reference is here made to the visit of Mr. Charles Francis Adams and his address at the centennial celebration of General Lee's birth, which celebration was held in the chapel of Washington and Lee University, January 19, 1907. In after years Mr. Adams wrote: “The Lee Centennial is my one effort . . . which I now regard as having been somewhat better than a mere waste of time and force. Indeed, from the literary point of view, I should put it in the forefront of anything I may have done.” It has “since been for me one of the pleasantest things in life to look back on. . . . This occasion was in every way a success and constituted a very grateful incident in life—good and altogether pleasant to look back on. It was not marred, as I afterwards realized, by a single untoward incident. . . . What I offered was received with a warmth of applause which I have never elsewhere or on any other occasion had equalled. Most of all, I gratified a large number of most excellent people. Altogether pleasant at the time, it was in retrospect an occasion yet more pleasant.” See Charles Francis Adams, 1835–1915, an Autobiography, 206–208.
           In June, 1916, there was placed on the wall of the Lee Memorial Chapel a bronze table which bears the following legend:
Charles Francis Adams
Presented by Southern Men
In Appreciation of
His Friendship for the South
And His Noble Tribute to
Robert Edward Lee.
 Above the inscription is a profile of Mr. Adams in bas relief.—Editor
          Those who were once his enemies in war, and their descendants, have come to recognize the greatness and goodness of him who was the very incarnation of the Confederate cause, and whom the educated civilized world is beginning to regard as the greatest man of the century which gave him to mankind.
         While they begin to discern the beauty, the symmetry, and the majestic proportions of his character, they can never see or know him as the Southern people saw and knew him, in all the grace, and manliness, and glory of his perfect manhood; for to us he was what a true and loving father is to his children, guide, counselor, benefactor, and devoted friend.
           And it is this which measurably explains what is, as well the most marked feature of his career as one of the strongest proofs of his true greatness, namely, that he was and continues to be the most beloved man among the masses of the people among whom he lived and whom he served, that this land has ever known.
          Not only his soldiers, but the people of the South loved him and still love him with a devotion which is very nearly akin to adoration. Thousands of his soldiers would have esteemed it a privilege to die for him. The world would understand this, if the world could have seen and known him as we saw and knew him.
          It would be difficult to conceive of a nobler presence or a more attractive personality than his! A form “of noblest mold” crowned by a countenance perfect in its calm benignity, and manly beauty. Large lustrous dark brown eyes, kindly eyes—honest, earnest eyes—which you saw at once were the windows of a great soul. Eyes that gleamed with a high unfaltering purpose, and a dauntless courage, and could serenely look impending disaster and death in the face; and anon would beam with a loving sympathy and a tenderness which were almost divine. A bearing, simple, graceful, and natural, in which there was modesty without diffidence, and supreme dignity without self-assertion.
          It was this actual personal Lee whom his soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of the women and children of the Southern States knew and loved as no leader of men, certainly none of this continent, has ever been loved, before, or since his day.
          And this was the Lee who made his home here in Lexington for the last five years of his life on earth, and whom it was the priceless privilege of the men, women and children of this community to see and know, and to honor and to love as no man has ever been loved by the generous and devoted hearts of a loyal and a grateful people.
          This was the Lee who, while the people whom he had led to victory after victory, had been compelled, by exhausting, to surrender to overwhelming numbers and resources, sitting amid the ashes of their homes and their hopes, still benumbed by the shock of their great disaster, were slowly gathering up their energies to wrest a livelihood for their children from a wasted and desolate land, bade them to trust in God, take hope, and be of good cheer. It was even then that with a prescience which stamps him not only as a statesman, but as a prophet, he saw clearly that immeasurably the most important interest of the South was the education of her children; that through their right training and education alone the people of these states could regain their preĆ«minence and attain to a degree of surpassing prosperity, power and usefulness.
          He determined to devote, and he did devote, what was left to him of strength and energy and enthusiasm for the remaining years of his life, to this great cause—the cause of education, and primarily to the education of the young men of the Southern States.
          This was the Lee who then accepted the presidency of Washington College.
          The institution had then already been enriched by patriotic associations and memories, and appropriately bore the name of the Father of his Country, till then its greatest benefactor; but its walls had been dismantled, its apparatus and educational appliances destroyed, and its small endowment diminished in value, so that the work of its regeneration was almost ad difficult as the building up of a new school would have been.
           Here he came on that lovely autumn day of 1865, and from that moment till now, and for all coming time, if the custodians of this university are faithful to their high trust, the influence of his personality, of his character, and his name, is, and will be, a part of the very atmosphere and life and being of this university, as it is now, and must ever be, its most precious possession.
           His life and the lessons of his example served while he was here, and will serve for all time, to inculcate in the minds of the ingenuous youth of the country who, if we are true to his memory and his teachings, shall in increasing numbers gather here as the years and the centuries go by, not only the lessons of devotion to civic duty, of duty to man,—but the higher lessons of piety, and religion, of duty to God; for of all the Godly and Christian men who have been connected with this venerable institution as academy, college and university, none were more Godly, none more devout, none more sincere, consistent and humble followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, than the modest Christian gentleman who lies buried over yonder by the chapel for the worship of the living God, which he caused to be erected there.
          Well may we cherish his memory.
          Well may we again and again recall the lessons of his life and repeat those lessons to our children and our children's children.
          Well may we remember the measureless debt of gratitude which the people of this whole land, but particularly the people of Virginia and the Confederate South, and most of all the alumni, students, faculty, and trustees of this university owe to him who was their greatest benefactor.
          I have spoken of Lee as a prophet. His was the optimism which came not merely from hope, but was founded in faith,—faith in God, faith in his countrymen, and faith in the free institutions of his country.
          In perhaps the darkest hours which followed the surrender of the armies of the Confederacy, when the vials of sectional wrath were being poured out upon a helpless and almost defenseless people, and dark and darkening clouds seemed to cover the political and commercial horizon of the lately Confederated States, General Lee wrote as follows:
Although the future is still dark, and the prospects gloomy, I am confident that if we all unite in doing our duty, and earnestly work to extract what good we can out of the evil that now hovers over our dear land, the time is not distant when the angry clouds will be lifted from our horizon, and the sun in his pristine brightness shine forth again.

           And here to-day, and for all coming time, we who are Virginians can have no nobler motto and no more inspiring call to patriotic duty than the eloquent reply which our immortal commander made to a despairing young Virginian who had inquired of him, “what the future had in store for us poor Virginians,” an answer which deserves to live forever in the hearts of all Virginians:
You can work for Virginia, to build her up again. You can teach your children to love and cherish her!

Monday, January 13, 2014

150-years-ago -- THE SITUATION OF THE CONFEDERACY AT THE BEGINNING OF 1864

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
Jan. 16, 1864.
          

A well equipped and determined
looking Confederate soldier.
(Liljenquist Collection, Library
of Congress)
        That the Yankees are making desperate efforts to bring the war to a speedy termination cannot be doubted, and we, at least, are not at all disposed to deny it. But the very prices which they offer for the re-enlistment of their veterans, proves that this effort will be their last. Nevertheless, they will make this effort, and it will be gigantic. And how do we propose to meet it? Not, we presume, by a tame surrender; not by turning over all our goods and chattels to be confiscated for the benefit of the Yankees; not by sitting with our arms folded, or wringing our hands and blubbering over our misfortunes. These are the inevitable consequences of submission, and we do not suppose even the most gloomy of the substitute purchasers contemplate such a surrender as that. If they do not, there is but one alternative. It is to obey the laws of Congress cheerfully and with alacrity — to fight the enemy, since better may not be done. While our Congressmen are talking, they are preparing for their formidable onset. We must be prepared to meet them, and we can be prepared if the proper steps be taken. We must meet them, and we must beat them. What is more, we can meet them, and we can beat them. What is most of all, we will meet them, and we will beat them. Away, then, with all this childish despondency. There is no occasion for it, and if there were, this is not the time to indulge in it. The Confederacy has not yet put forth one-half its strength. It has risen always with the occasion, and thus it will continue to rise, as fast as fresh occasions present themselves. For our own part, we never have doubted of the issue, even when McClellan was around this city, and that, we take it, was the darkest hour of the Confederacy.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

150-years-ago -- APPEAL FOR 1st LOUISIANA BRIGADE

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
Jan. 12, 1864

Brig. Gen. Harry T. Hays
Hays's Louisiana brigade.
           Upon information received that the brave Louisiana brigade  of Gen. [Harry T.] Hays [5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th regiments] are suffering for the want of blankets, overcoats, socks, and shoes, and appeal is made for contributions of such articles, or for money with which to purchase them. These brave soldiers have been in almost every battle in Virginia for the last two years; their ranks have been sadly thinned; numbering now only about six hundred men; they are cut off from their homes and families, and deserve that special provision shall be made for their comfort.
          The members of the original committee for the relief of the Louisiana exiles, together with a few other gentlemen have kindly consented to serve and receive subscriptions. The names and address of the committee are given as follows: Hon. C. M. Conrad, Hon. T. J. Semmes; Major Bayne, Ord. Dep't; John Freeland; Col. Palpey, A. and L. Gen.'s Office; Samuel J. Hanesen; Ellett, Bell & Fox; Samuel M. Price, D. T. Williams, H. E. C. Baskerville.
Persons may subscribe by calling at the Va. Life Insurance office.

Monday, January 6, 2014

150-years-ago -- GEN. PATRICK CLEBURNE'S PROPOSAL TO ENLIST BLACK CONFEDERATES

The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 52 (Part II), Pages 582-592.
[Jan. 2, 1864]
Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne
(Library of Congress)
Commanding General,
The Corps, Division, Brigade, and Regimental Commanders of the Army of Tennessee
General: Moved by the exigency in which our country is now placed we take the liberty of laying before you, unofficially, our views on the present state of affairs.  The subject is so grave, and our views so new, we feel it a duty both to you and the cause that before going further we should submit them for your judgment and receive your suggestions in regard to them.  We therefore respectfully ask you to give us an expression of your views in the premises.  We have now been fighting for nearly three years, have spilled much of our best blood, and lost, consumed, or thrown to the flames an amount of property equal in value to the specie currency of the world.  Through some lack in our system the fruits of our struggles and sacrifices have invariably slipped away from us and left us nothing but long lists of dead and mangled.  Instead of standing defiantly on the borders of our territory or harassing those of the enemy, we are hemmed in to-day into less than two-thirds of it, and still the enemy menacingly confronts us at every point with superior forces.  Our soldiers can see no end to this state of affairs except in our own exhaustion; hence, instead of rising to the occasion, they are sinking into a fatal apathy, growing weary of hardships and slaughters which promise no results. In this state of things it is easy to understand why there is a growing belief that some black catastrophe is not far ahead of us, and that unless some extraordinary change is soon made in our condition we must overtake it.  The consequences of this condition are showing themselves more plainly every day; restlessness of morals spreading everywhere, manifesting itself in the army in a growing disregard for private rights; desertion spreading to a class of soldiers it never dared to tamper with before; military commissions sinking in the estimation of the soldier; our supplies failing; our firesides in ruins.  If this state continues much longer we must be subjugated.  Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late.  We can give but a faint idea when we say it means the loss of all we now hold most sacred — slaves and all other personal property, lands, homesteads, liberty, justice, safety, pride, manhood.  It means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision.  It means the crushing of Southern manhood, the hatred of our former slaves, who will, on a spy system, be our secret police.  The conqueror's policy is to divide the conquered into factions and stir up animosity among them, and in training an army of negroes the North no doubt holds this thought in perspective.  We can see three great causes operating to destroy us:  First, the inferiority of our armies to those of the enemy in point of numbers; second, the poverty of our single source of supply in comparison with his several sources; third, the fact that slavery, from being one of our chief sources of strength at the commencement of the war, has now become, in a military point of view, one of our chief sources of weakness.
The enemy already opposes us at every point with superior numbers, and is endeavoring to make the preponderance irresistible.  President Davis, in his recent message, says the enemy "has recently ordered a large conscription and made a subsequent call for volunteers, to be followed, if ineffectual by a still further draft."  In addition, the President of the United States announces that "he has already in training an army of 100,000 negroes as good as any troops," and every fresh raid he makes and new slice of territory he wrests from us will add to this force.Every soldier in our army already knows and feels our numerical inferiority to the enemy. Want of men in the field has prevented him from reaping the fruits of his victories, and has prevented him from having the furlough he expected after the last reorganization, and when he turns from the wasting armies in the field to look at the source of supply, he finds nothing in the prospect to encourage him.  Our single source of supply is that portion of our white men fit for duty and not now in the ranks.  The enemy has three sources of supply:  First, his own motley population; secondly, our slaves; and thirdly, Europeans whose hearts are fired into a crusade against us by fictitious pictures of the atrocities of slavery, and who meet no hindrance from their Governments in such enterprise, because these Governments are equally antagonistic to the institution.  In touching the third cause, the fact that slavery has become a military weakness, we may rouse prejudice and passion, but the time has come when it would be madness not to look at our danger from every point of view, and to probe it to the bottom.  Apart from the assistance that home and foreign prejudice against slavery has given to the North, slavery is a source of great strength to the enemy in a purely military point of view, by supplying him with an army from our granaries; but it is our most vulnerable point, a continued embarrassment, and in some respects an insidious weakness.  Wherever slavery is once seriously disturbed, whether by the actual presence or the approach of the enemy, or even by a cavalry raid, the whites can no longer with safety to their property openly sympathize with our cause.  The fear of their slaves is continually haunting them, and from silence and apprehension many of these soon learn to wish the war stopped on any terms.  The next stage is to take the oath to save property, and they become dead to us, if not open enemies.  To prevent raids we are forced to scatter our forces, and are not free to move and strike like the enemy; his vulnerable points are carefully selected and fortified depots.  Ours are found in every point where there is a slave to set free.  All along the lines slavery  is comparatively valueless to us for labor, but of great and increasing worth to the  enemy for information.  It is an omnipresent spy system, pointing out our valuable men to the enemy, revealing our positions, purposes, and resources, and yet acting so safely and  secretly that there is no means to guard against it.  Even in the heart of our country, where our hold upon this secret espionage is firmest, it waits but the opening fire of the enemy's battle line to wake it, like a torpid serpent, into venomous activity.
In view of the state of affairs what does our country propose to do?  In the words of President Davis "no effort must be spared to add largely to our effective force as promptly as possible.  The sources of supply are to be found in restoring to the army all who are improperly absent, putting an end to substitution, modifying the exemption law, restricting details, and placing in the ranks such of the able-bodied men now employed as wagoners, nurses, cooks, and other employe[e]s, as are doing service for which the negroes may be found competent."  Most of the men improperly absent, together with many of the exempts and men having substitutes, are now without the Confederate lines and cannot be calculated on.  If all the exempts capable of bearing arms were enrolled, it will give us the boys below eighteen, the men above forty-five, and those persons who are left at home to meet the wants of the country and the army, but this modification of the exemption law will remove from the fields and manufactories most of the skill that directed agricultural and mechanical labor, and, as stated by the President, "details will have to be made to meet the wants of the country," thus sending many of the men to be derived from this source back to their homes again.  Independently of this, experience proves that striplings and men above conscript age break down and swell the sick lists more than they do the ranks.  The portion now in our lines of the class who have substitutes is not on the whole a hopeful element, for the motives that created it must have been stronger than patriotism, and these motives added to what many of them will call breach of faith, will cause some to be not forthcoming, and others to be unwilling and discontented soldiers.  The remaining sources mentioned by the President have been so closely pruned in the Army of Tennessee that they will be found not to yield largely.  The supply from all these sources, together with what we now have in the field, will exhaust the white race, and though it should greatly exceed expectations and put us on an equality with the enemy, or even give us temporary advantages, still we have no reserve to meet unexpected disaster or to supply a protracted struggle.  Like past years, 1864 will diminish our ranks by the casualties of war, and what source of repair is there left us?  We therefore see in the recommendations of the President only a temporary expedient, which at the best will leave us twelve months hence in the same predicament we are in now.  The President attempts to meet only one of the depressing causes mentioned; for the other two he has proposed no remedy.  They remain to generate lack of confidence in our final success, and to keep us moving down hill as heretofore.  Adequately to meet the- causes which are now threatening ruin to our country, we propose, in addition to a modification of the President's plans, that we retain in service for the war all troops now in service, and that we immediately commence training a large reserve of the most courageous of our slaves, and further that we guarantee freedom within a reasonable time to every slave in the South who shall remain true to the Confederacy in this war.  As between the loss of independence and the loss of slavery, we assume that every patriot will freely give up the latter — give up the negro slave rather than be a slave himself.  If we are correct in this assumption it only remains to show how this great national sacrifice is, in all human probabilities, to change the current of success and sweep the invader from our country.
Our country has already some friends in England and France, and there are strong motives to induce these nations to recognize and assist us, but they cannot assist us without helping slavery, and to do this would be in conflict with their policy for the last quarter of a century.  England has paid hundreds of millions to emancipate her West India slaves and break up the slave-trade.  Could she now consistently spend her treasure to reinstate slavery in this country?  But this barrier once removed, the sympathy and the interests of these and other nations will accord with our own, and we may expect from them both moral support and material aid. One thing is certain, as soon as the great sacrifice to independence is made and known in foreign countries there will be a complete change of front in our favor of the sympathies of the world.  This measure will deprive the North of the moral and material aid which it now derives from the bitter prejudices with which foreigners view the institution, and its war, if continued, will henceforth be so despicable in their eyes that the source of recruiting will be dried up.  It will leave the enemy's negro army no motive to fight for, and will exhaust the source from which it has been recruited.  The idea that it is their special mission to war against slavery has held growing sway over the Northern people for many years, and has at length ripened into an armed and bloody crusade against it.  This baleful superstition has so far supplied them with a courage and constancy not their own.  It is the most powerful and honestly entertained plank in their war platform.  Knock this away and what is left?  A bloody ambition for more territory, a pretended veneration for the Union, which one of their own most distinguished orators (Doctor Beecher in his Liverpool speech) openly avowed was only used as a stimulus to stir up the anti-slavery crusade, and lastly the poisonous and selfish interests which are the fungus growth of the war itself.  Mankind may fancy it a great duty to destroy slavery, but what interest can mankind have in upholding this remainder of the Northern war platform?  Their interests and feelings will be diametrically opposed to it.  The measure we propose will strike dead all John Brown fanaticism, and will compel the enemy to draw off altogether or in the eyes of the world to swallow the Declaration of Independence without the sauce and disguise of philanthropy.  This delusion of fanaticism at an end, thousands of Northern people will have leisure to look at home and to see the gulf of despotism into which they themselves are rushing.
The measure will at one blow strip the enemy of foreign sympathy and assistance, and transfer them to the South; it will dry up two of his three sources of recruiting; it will take from his negro army the only motive it could have to fight against the South, and will probably cause much of it to desert over to us; it will deprive his cause of the powerful stimulus of fanaticism, and will enable him to see the rock on which his so-called friends are now piloting him.  The immediate effect of the emancipation and enrollment of negroes on the military strength of the South would be:  To enable us to have armies numerically superior to those of the North, and a reserve of any size we might think necessary; to enable us to take the offensive, move forward, and forage on the enemy.  It would open to us in prospective another and almost untouched source of supply, and furnish us with the means of preventing temporary disaster, and carrying on a protracted struggle.  It would instantly remove all the vulnerability, embarrassment, and inherent weakness which result from slavery.  The approach of the enemy would no longer find every household surrounded by spies; the fear that sealed the master's lips and the avarice that has, in so many cases, tempted him practically to desert us would alike be removed.  There would be no recruits awaiting the enemy with open arms, no complete history of every neighborhood with ready guides, no fear of insurrection in the rear, or anxieties for the fate of loved ones when our armies moved forward.  The chronic irritation of hope deferred would be joyfully ended with the negro, and the sympathies of his whole race would be due to his native South.  It would restore confidence in an early termination of the war with all its inspiring consequences, and even if contrary to all expectations the enemy should succeed in over-running the South, instead of finding a cheap, ready-made means of holding it down, he would find a common hatred and thirst for vengeance, which would break into acts at every favorable opportunity, would prevent him from settling on our lands, and render the South a very unprofitable conquest.  It would remove forever all selfish taint from our cause and place independence above every question of property.  The very magnitude of the sacrifice itself, such as no nation has ever voluntarily made before, would appal [sic] our enemies, destroy his spirit and his finances, and fill our hearts with a pride and singleness of purpose which would clothe us with new strength in battle.  Apart from all other aspects of the question, the necessity for more fighting men is upon us.  We can only get a sufficiency by making the negro share the danger and hardships of the war.  If we arm and train him and make him fight for the country in her hour of dire distress, every consideration of principle and policy demand that we should set him and his whole race who side with us free.  It is a first principle with mankind that he who offers his life in defense of the State should receive from her in return his freedom and his happiness, and we believe in acknowledgment of this principle.  The Constitution of the Southern States has reserved to their respective governments the power to free slaves for meritorious services to the State.  It is politic besides.  For many years, ever since the agitation of the subject of slavery commenced, the negro has been dreaming of freedom, and his vivid imagination has surrounded that condition with so many gratifications that it has become the paradise of his hopes.  To attain it he will tempt dangers and difficulties not exceeded by the bravest soldier in the field.  The hope of freedom is perhaps the only moral incentive that can be applied to him in his present condition.  It would be preposterous then to expect him to fight against it with any degree of enthusiasm, therefore we must bind him to our cause by no doubtful bonds; we must leave no possible loop-hole for treachery to creep in.  The slaves are dangerous now, but armed, trained, and collected in an army they would be a thousand fold more dangerous; therefore when we make soldiers of them we must make free men of them beyond all question, and thus enlist their sympathies also.  We can do this more effectually than the North can now do, for we can give the negro not only his own freedom, but that of his wife and child, and can secure it to him in his old home.  To do this, we must immediately make his marriage and parental relations sacred in the eyes of the law and forbid their sale.  The past legislation of the South concedes that a large free middle class of negro blood, between the master and slave, must sooner or later destroy the institution.  If, then, we touch the institution at all, we would do best to make the most of it, and by emancipating the whole race upon reasonable terms, and within such reasonable time as will prepare both races for the change, secure to ourselves all the advantages, and to our enemies all the disadvantages that can arise, both at home and abroad, from such a sacrifice.  Satisfy the negro that if he faithfully adheres to our standard during the war he shall receive his freedom and that of his race.  Give him as an earnest of our intentions such immediate immunities as will impress him with our sincerity and be in keeping with his new condition, enroll a portion of his class as soldiers of the Confederacy, and we change the race from a dreaded weakness to a position of strength.
 Will the slaves fight?  The helots of Sparta stood their masters good stead in battle.  In the great sea fight of Lepanto where the Christians checked forever the spread of Mohammedanism over Europe, the galley slaves of portions of the fleet were promised freedom, and called on to fight at a critical moment of the battle.  They fought well, and civilization owes much to those brave galley slaves.  The negro slaves of Saint Domingo, fighting for freedom, defeated their white masters and the French troops sent against them.  The negro slaves of Jamaica revolted, and under the name of Maroons held the mountains against their masters for 150 years; and the experience of this war has been so far that half-trained negroes have fought as bravely as many other half-trained Yankees.  If, contrary to the training of a lifetime, they can be made to face and fight bravely against their former masters, how much more probable is it that with the allurement of a higher reward, and led by those masters, they would submit to discipline and face dangers.
We will briefly notice a few arguments against this course.  It is said Republicanism cannot exist without the institution.  Even were this true, we prefer any form of government of which the Southern people may have the molding, to one forced upon us by a conqueror.  It is said the white man cannot perform agricultural labor in the South.  The experience of this army during the heat of summer from Bowling Green, Ky., to Tupelo, Miss., is that the white man is healthier when doing reasonable work in the open field than at any other time.  It is said an army of negroes cannot be spared from the fields.  A sufficient number of slaves is now administering to luxury alone to supply the place of all we need, and we believe it would be better to take half the able-bodied men off a plantation than to take the one master mind that economically regulated its operations.  Leave some of the skill at home and take some of the muscle to fight with.  It is said slaves will not work after they are freed.  We think necessity and a wise legislation will compel them to labor for a living.  It is said it will cause terrible excitement and some disaffection from our cause.  Excitement is far preferable to the apathy which now exists, and disaffection will not be among the fighting men.  It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all.  Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for.  It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.  We have now briefly proposed a plan which we believe will save our country.  It may be imperfect, but in all human probability it would give us our independence.  No objection ought to outweigh it which is not weightier than independence.  If it is worthy of being put in practice it ought to be mooted quickly before the people, and urged earnestly by every man who believes in its efficacy.  Negroes will require much training; training will require much time, and there is danger that this concession to common sense may come too late.
[signed]

P. R. Cleburne, major-general, commanding division
D. C. Govan, brigadier-general
John E. Murray, colonel, Fifth Arkansas
G. F. Baucum, colonel, Eighth Arkansas
Peter Snyder, lieutenant-colonel, commanding Sixth and Seventh Arkansas
E. Warfield, lieutenant-colonel, Second Arkansas
M. P. Lowrey, brigadier-general
A. B. Hardcastle, colonel, Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Mississippi 
F. A. Ashford, major, Sixteenth Alabama
John W. Colquitt, colonel, First Arkansas
Rich. J. Person, major, Third and Fifth Confederate
G. S. Deakins, major, Thirty-fifth and Eighth Tennessee
J. H. Collett, captain, commanding Seventh Texas
J. H. Kelly, brigadier-general, commanding Cavalry Division 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

150-years-ago GENERAL MORGAN'S ESCAPE

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
Jan. 5, 1864

Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan
(Library o0 Congress)
        The Atlanta Appeal announces the arrival there of two Kentuckian, of Morgan's command, who escaped from Camp Douglas in the latter part of November. They proceeded to Louisville — their homes. The Appeal says:

           On their way out from Louisville, they accidentally fell in with Gen. Morgan in Nelson county, near Bardstown, with whom they remained until they reached this side of the Tennessee river. --They found Gen. Morgan with an or whip in his possession, passing himself off with those to whom he did not care to reveal himself as a Government agent, engaged in buying up mules. They traveled altogether at night by the assistance of faithful guides, and lay by in day time, making at one time as many as sixty-five miles in one night. As a general thing, they found the people of Kentucky true and loyal, always ready and willing to aid them in any way in their power. Oftener than otherwise, Gen. Morgan made himself known to the people, who seemed to be in raptures at his escape, and offering him every assistance in their power. During his progress through the State he was presented with very fine horses. We should have stated that Capt. T. H. Hines, who planned the escape of Morgan from the Ohio penitentiary, came through with the party. Captains Shelton and Taylor were recaptured in Kentucky.

The party crossed Cumberland river at Turkey Neck Bend, three miles below Burkesville. In Overton county, Tenn.; they met up with some thirty five others of Morgan's men, who came out with them, crossing the Tennessee river at Ferchee's Island on rafts hastily constructed from logs.--Here all but four or five lost their horses, a party of Federal soldiers falling upon them before they had perfected the crossing. One of their party was also captured here, all the others making their escape. Here Gen. Morgan and Capt. Hines, having saved their horses, separated from the main party and pursued their way into South Carolina.

The remainder, under the command of Capt. Dan. Ray, made the best of their way on foot, traveling over the rough and mountainous country all that night and were at one time two days without food. They very soon, however, succeeded in pressing a sufficient number of horses for their use, when they moved on more rapidly, crossing the East Tennessee and Georgia railroad near Athens, Tenn. They thence proceeded across the Hiawassee river, and came into our lines at Dalton.

The entire trip of these gentlemen, from Chicago to Dalton, was marked with almost uninterrupted success, though they mention many hairbreadth escapes, which only served to give zest to the adventure. They are of opinion that at least half of Morgan's men have escaped from Camp Douglas, as hardly a day passed that a greater or less number did not make their escape. When the news of Morgan's escape reached the camp, a body of forty of his men broke over the guards, most of whom made their escape.