1861: “We Shall Depend On Ourselves”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their Words

Richmond, November 18, 1861

…Feeling that such views must be taken by the neutral nations of the earth, I have caused the evidence to be collected which proves completely the utter inefficiency of the proclaimed blockade of our coast, and shall direct it to be laid before such governments as shall afford us the means of being heard. But, although we should be benefited by the enforcement for the successful prosecution of the war.

As long as hostilities continue the Confederate States will exhibit a steadily increasing capacity to furnish their troops with food, clothing, and arms. If they should be forced to forego many of the luxuries and some of the comforts of life, they will at least have the consolation of knowing that they are thus daily becoming more and more independent of the rest of the world. If in this process labor in the Confederate States should be gradually diverted from those great Southern staples which have given life to so much of the commerce of mankind into other channels, so as to make them rival producers instead of profitable customers, they will not be the only or even the chief losers by this change in the direction of their industry. Continue reading

1861: “The Victory Was Most Complete”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsCairo, November 8th, 1861

Dear Father,

It is late at night and I want to get a letter into the Mail for you before it closes. As I have just finished a very hasty letter to Julia that contains about what I would write, and having something els [else] to do myself, I will have my clerk copy it on to this.

Day before yesterday, I left here with about 3,000 men in five steamers, convoyed by two Gun Boats, and proceeded down the river, to within twelve miles of Columbus. The next morning the Boats were dropped down just out of range of the enemies [enemy’s] Batteries, and the troops debarked – Continue reading

1861: “You Are The First Brigade”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsNovember 8, 1861

“Officers and men of the First Brigade, I am not here to make a speech but simply to say farewell. I first met you at Harper’s Ferry in the commencement of the war, and I cannot take leave of you without giving expression to my admiration of your conduct from that day to this, whether on the march, in the bivouac, the tented field, or on the bloody plains of Manassas, where you gained the well-deserved reputation of having decided the fate of the battle. Continue reading

1861: “Behaved As Well As If On The Parade Ground”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsOctober 22, 1861

…Our company made the last charge. The general was killed, shot by 5 balls; nobody knew who was the senior in command & Col. Lee ordered a retreat. But we were determined to have one more shot. So Frank ordered a charge & we rushed along, followed by all our men without an exception, & by Lieut. Hallowell with 20 men, making about 60 in all. So we charged across the field about half way, when we saw the enemy in full sight. They had just come out of the wood & had halted at our advance. There they were in their dirty gray clothes, their banner waving, cavalry on the flank. For a moment there was a pause. And then, simultaneously, we fired & there came a murderous discharge from the full rebel force. Of course we retreated, but not a man went ¬†faster than a walk. Continue reading

1861: “Lost In The Potomac”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsNovember 5, 1861

Voluminous accounts of the repulse of our forces at Ball’s Bluff have been published, including several official reports.

In the official list of the killed, wounded and missing of the Massachusetts 15th, Lt. Greene, mentioned in our last, is named among the missing. He may be a prisoner. The killed named in that list are 14, and no less than 228 missing.

Of the 20th Massachusetts, 22 are reported killed[,] 50 wounded, and 114 missing.

No list of prisoners have been received. Many have doubtless been buried unrecognized, and it is not known how many or who were lost in the Potomac. Continue reading

1861: “This, Governor, Is For Your Own Eye”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their Words

September 17, 1861

My Dear Governor: I received your very kind note of the 5th instant just as I was about to accompany General Loring’s command on an expedition to the enemy’s works in front, or I would have before thanked you for the interest you take in my welfare, and your too flattering expressions of my ability. Indeed, you overrate me much, and I feel humbled when I weight myself by your standard. I am, however, very grateful for your confidence, and I can answer for my sincerity in the earnest endeavor I make to advance the cause I have so much at heart, though conscious of the slow progress I make.

I was very sanguine of taking the enemy’s works on last Thursday morning. I had considered the subject well. With great effort the troops intended for the surprise had reached their destination, having traversed twenty miles of steep, rugged mountain-paths; and the last day through a terrible storm which lasted all night, and in which they had to stand drenched to the skin in cold rain. Still their spirits were good. Continue reading