1861: In Their Words – Conclusion

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsIt’s the end of the year. And it’s the end of our series “1861: In Their Words.” What did we learn?

Each blog post featured a quote from 1861, background information, and some historical musings. The primary sources allowed us to “hear” and explore perspectives on the Civil War by people who were really there, living through the excitement, tragedy, frustrations, and loneliness. Personally, I found the quotes helped me gain a new appreciation for the Americans who found themselves in war with all its ideals and realities. Continue reading

1861: “Nobody Knows His Plans”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsDecember 31, 1861

GenlĀ [General] McClelllan and his chief of staff, Genl Marcey, are both very sick – Said to be typhoid fever – and this making much difficulty.

The Genl it seems, is very reticent. Nobody knows his plans. The Sec {Secretary] of war and the President himself are kept in ignorance of the actual condition of the army and the intended movements of the General – if indeed they intend to move at all. In fact the whole administration is lamentably deficient in the lack of unity and co-action. There is no quarrel among us, but an absalute [absolute] want of community of intelligence, purpose and action. Continue reading

1861: “I Send You Some Sweet Violets”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsDecember 25, 1861

My Dear Daughter:

Having distributed such poor Christmas gifts as I had to those around me, I have been looking for something for you. Trifles even are hard to get these war times, and you must not therefore expect more. I have sent you what I thought most useful in your separation from me and hope it will be of some service. Though stigmatized as “vile dross”, it has never been a drug with me. That you may never want for it, restrict your wants to your necessities. Yet how little will it purchase!

But see how God provides for our pleasure in every way. To compensate for such “trash,” I send you some sweet violets that I gathered for you this morning while covered with dense white frost, whose crystals glittered in the bright sun like diamonds, and formed a brooch of rare beauty and sweetness which could not be fabricated by the expenditure of a world of money. Continue reading

1861: “A Glorious Indifference Is Coming Over Me”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsBoston, December 10, 1861

…We have blundered all summer long and now we have capstoned our blunders by blundering into a war with England. So be it. While there’s life, there’s hope; but I go into the army with a bitter feeling against those under whose lead we hae come to this pass, and amid all the shattered idols of my whole life I don’t feel as if I cared much when my turn came. Continue reading