Off the land twelve miles. The morning is thick and hazy. The shore is scarcely distinguishable. There is all the preparations being made for our Sabbath Day devotions. Inspection at quarters at ten o’clock after which we are all waiting to hear the Church bell till. At ten minutes after ten the fore top man at the mast head sang out – Steamer under the land! Standing out! That’s the Alabama, said the quarter master. We were all anxious to catch a glimpse of her before going into battle. The bell sounded fire quarters and the boys were to be seen tumbling down the forecastle ladders – fore rigging Jacob’s Ladders & c trying who could be first at their quarters. She was coming straight out for us and we were all ready for the conflict in just three minutes. Decks sanded down. Batteries cast loose and manned. Magazines opened & all reported ready. Go ahead fast, said the Captain. The Alabama was now about two miles distant and coming on fast. Lay down! Every man, said the Captain, and down we all lay flat on the deck. And now as I lay down not knowing how soon I might be killed or maimed for life I thought of home and how I had been neglected by those who should have been all in all to me…
I positively tremble to think of receiving any more news from America since the batch that we received last Sunday. Why can’t we sink the steamers till some more good news comes? It is like an easterly storm after a glorious June day, this returning to the gloomy chronicle of varying successes and disasters, after exulting in the grand excitement of such triumphs as you sent us on the 4th. For once, there was no drawback, unless I except anxiety about you. I wanted to hug the army of the Potomac. I wanted to get the whole of the army of Vicksburg drunk at my own expense. I wanted to fight some small man and lick him. Had I a single friend in London capable of rising to the dignity of the occasion, I don’t know what mightn’t have happened. But mediocrity prevailed and I passed the day in base repose.Continue reading →
…Your delightful letter of six pages received a welcome reception this evening. I am thankful to see that our kind Heavenly Father is again restoring mother to health. I felt uneasy about her, and thought that Joseph had better make a visit home. I have made the restoration of mother’s health a subject of prayer; but then we know that our dear ones are mortal, and that God does not always answer prayer according to our erring feelings. I think that if, when we see ourselves in a glass, we should consider that all of us that is visible must turn to corruption and dust, we would learn more justly to appreciate the relative importance of the body that perishes and the soul that is immortal…
Your accounts of baby are very gratifying, and intensify my desire to see her. If peace is not concluded before next winter, I do hope you can bring her and sped the winter with me. This would be very delightful. I f we are spared, I trust an ever-kind Providence will enable us to be together all winter. I am glad little Julia was pleased with her present, and wish I could have seen her laugh… Continue reading →
I have but a moment till it grows dark and the [mail] bag closes, but I don’t think I have much to say, so it don’t matter. I’ve had a hard day’s work too, as we generally do on Fridays, and am tired. We are in the dark as to movements at home since the 8th, no steamer being yet in owing I suppose to the awful gales.
We are as usual very quiet, having been dragged to rounds of the Christmas pantomimes and bored to death with them. I wish you or John were here to be funny and amuse people; you know I never could do it, and now I grow stupider and stupider every year as my hair grows thinner. I haven’t even the wit left to talk to girls. I wish I were fifty years old at once, and then I should feel at home.Continue reading →
Here are ten things you’ll want to know about Europe and European rulers and their roles during the American Civil War. The facts we’re briefly presenting tie to the blockade runner situation, and it’s not a comprehensive list. Europe and the American Civil War is a complicated topic, and today is a cliff-note version.
(My apologies for missing the maritime post last week. You’ll get an extra post soon!) Continue reading →
It’s the post that some of my readers have been waiting for…
Let’s talk about Blockade Runners’ role in the Confederate economy and their economic impact. These unarmed merchant vessels – owned privately or by the state or Confederate governments – carried cargoes worth thousands of dollars in and out of the blockaded Southern states. Today, we’ll do a “twenty-thousand” foot overview of King Cotton, the gross value of the cargoes, who was paying for the cargoes, and what happened (economically) when they were captured. Continue reading →