Publish affairs unchanged. Will Uncle Abe Lincoln stand firm and issue his promised proclamation on the first of January, 1863? Nobody knows, but I think he will. Continue reading
Blockade Running: A Primary Source
After the Civil War (1876 to be exact), John Wilkinson wrote and published his memoirs of his blockade running days as captain aboard the Giraffe – later, renamed the Robert E. Lee. This excerpt describes the Giraffes arrival in Wilmington, North Carolina with a tense situation adding to the blockade running challenge.
(Note: This is the second maritime blog post today. I accidentally missed a post in November and decided to post double today. If you’re looking for today’s first post, it’s here: 5 Blockade Runner Captains You Should Know About)
Everything being in readiness, we sailed on December 26th, 1862. Having on board a Charleston pilot, as well as one for Wilmington, I had not determined, on sailing, which port to attempt; but having made the land near Charleston bar during thick weather on the night of the 28th, our pilot was afraid to venture further. We made and offing, therefore before daylight; and circumstances favouring Wilmington, we approached the western bar on the night of December 29th. We had been biding our time since twelve o’clock that day close in to the shore about forty miles southwest of the bar and in the deep bay formed by the coast between Wilmington and Charleston. Continue reading
1862: “We Had No Christmas”
[Christmas Day was not even] a holiday, much less a Christmas. No, we had no Christmas, merely the 25th of December come and gone. No chimes of gladness at the recurring anniversary of the advent of the Prince of Peace – no outward recognition of the fact that anything was commemorated by the day – only incessant work of the army which brought in the regular routine of the day – a pause of only two hours with a better dinner than usual – a glance of surprise to see our table garnished with oysters & turkey – a hearty meal, a great joke & Christmas was gone, and we in camp watching the Yankees, and only anxious as to the duration of the war. Continue reading
1862: Harper’s Images Of Fredericksburg
I decided to feature something a little different today. As usual in this series, I’m sharing a historical source, but today it’s a visual source instead of a quote.
The Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862) was – like all major battles during the conflict – reported in the newspapers. In the North, Harper’s Weekly famously published engravings of battles, leaders, and military life. (For more details about Fredericksburg, please view last week’s post here.)
Here are a few of the newspaper engravings that accompanied the news of the Fredericksburg’s battle: Continue reading
1862: “War Is So Terrible”
“It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.” Continue reading
1862: “Poor Fredericksburg!”
Poor Fredericksburg! The enemy on the Stafford side of the river in force; their cannon planted on the hills. Day before yesterday they demanded the surrender of the town, which was declined by General Lee. They then threatened to shell it, at nine o’clock this morning, but it is now night and it has not been done. It is hourly expected, however, and women and children are being hurried off, leaving every thing behind, except what they can get off in bundles, boxes, etc. There is no transportation for heavy articles. The Vandals threw a shell at a train of cars filled with women and children. It burst very near them, but they were providentially protected. A battle is daily expected. In the mean time the sufferings of the wandering women and children are very great. Continue reading