Skip to content

1864 September 17: Pierce County Volunteers Rejected, Draft Set, Lots of News on Local Soldiers

September 23, 2014

The following smaller items are from the September 17, 1864, issues of The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.

From The Polk County Press:


There will be a Grand Union Mass Meeting of the loyal electors of the St. Croix Valley.


Saturday afternoon and evening, Sept, 24th 1864.  Distinguished speakers from abroad have been invited and will be present.

Let everybody who is opposed to stoping [sic] the advance of our victorious columns, and cowardly sueing rebels for peace ;  everybody who is in favor of suppressing rebellion and punishing traitors with the sword—everybody who is annimated [sic] by the Glories of the past, the perils of the present and the hopes of the future, join hands, and have one GRAND DEMONSTRATION in favor of LINCOLN & JOHNSON !  LIBERTY AND LAW !  [Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson]

IMPORTANT TO TOWNS WHICH HAVE NOT FILLED THEIR QUOTAS UNDER THE LAST CALL.—Provost Marshal General FRY [James B. Fry], telegraphs to Gov. Miller [Stephen Miller] of Minnesota :

“The draft is ordered to commenc [sic] in Ohio and other States whose quotas have not been filled up, on Monday the 19th day of September.”

The same official, as we see by St. Paul papers, has promulgated instructions for Minnesota—which doubtless apply to other States—to the effect that delinquent sub-districts which are making successful efforts to raise their quotas will be encouraged to do so, and will be credited with men raised for that purpose, at the latest practicable moment before the drafted men are accepted and sent to the general rendezvous.  The District Provost Marshal is required even to delay the draft in favor of a town endeavoring with a show of success to fill its quota.  Therefore any town in which said efforts are being made and are deemed hopeful, sho’ld give immediate notice thereof to the District Provost Marshal.

FROM SURGEON GARLICK.—Our old friend DR. GARLICK [Carmine "Carmie" P. Garlick] writes us from Memphis, Tenn., dated Aug. 29th.—He was there during the Forrest raid upon that city.  He gives a good description of that event, but owing to the crowded state, of our columns we are obliged to omit his letter.  He was in good health and spirits.—While at Memphis he visited the Hospitals,—found Orin Richardson and Erastus Guard—says “Rich” has lost his foot and is doing well—Guard is getting along finely—will not loose the use of his hand.  He says he is now seeing the tracks of the “war elephant.”  Andrew Colby has been commissioned a 2nd Lieut. in a black regiment.  He is, however, still in the hands of the rebels.  We are sorry we cannot publish his interesting letter, but will try and do better by him next time.

RAFFLE.—The cow given to the Volunteer Fund by Capt. H. H. Herrick, was won by Charles Ayers the butcher, at a raffle on Thursday.—Very appropriate.

THE “FRONTIER SCOUT.”—We are in receipt of No. 3, Vol. 1, of the “Frontier Scout”¹—a neat little three column paper published at Fort Union, Dakota Territory, by Co. “I,” 30th Wis. Volunteers.  We are thankful for the favor.

CHARLEY EMORY.—Charley Emory [Charles D. Emory] writes us from Milkin’s Bend.—He is well.  Has been commissioned Second Lieut. of a Negro Battery—likes the new service—sends us a new variety of cotton &c.  Are much obliged to him for the favor.

FROM THE 1ST REGIMENT.—Sergt. ELIAS HOOVER writes that the boys of Co. “F,” are at Chattanooga ;  are all well.  They will be at home before long.  He says the army is enthusiastic for “old Abe” and “Andy” Johnson.  Bully for the “boys in blue.”

We have before us a letter written to us by Prof. E. E. EDWARDS, Chaplain of the 7th Minn. Vol., while the regiment was at Tallahatchie, on the 17th of Aug.  He writes a good letter—says the boys were all getting along well at that date.  He likes the service—is having fine times sketching Southern scenery—and making himself generally useful.  He gives no later news than we have had of our wounded friends, left behind at Tupelo.  His friends will doubtless be glad to learn of his good health and prosperity.

RETURNED FROM THE WAR.—We had the pleasure of again taking by the hand our old friend and fellow townsman, MOSES T. CATLIN, Sergt. 10th Wisconsin Battery.  Friend C. had the misfortune to be severely injured at the battle of Resaca, and for the past four months has been an inmate of several different hospitals.  He is now home on a short furlough from Harvey hospital, Madison.  He gives a very interesting history of his service, and we should judge has seen considerable of war and its associations.  He speaks highly of our Polk County boys in the Battery—says they are all brave men and true.  Sergt. C. is improving and will soon be able to return to duty.

THE DEMOCRATIC MEETING.—The Democratic mass meeting here last Saturday, was rather a slim affair.—Reason, the “speakers from abroad,” and the masses didn’t come.  There was scarsely [sic] anybody present from outside the city, except a delegation of about a dozed [sic: dozen] from Prescott.—There was about a hundred in all at the meeting.  Not much of a mass.  Dr. Beardsley [Joseph W. Beardsley], of Prescott, was chairman.  Speeches were made by Judge Wetherby, Joel Foster, of River Falls, and A. Dawson.  The meeting was quite enthusiastic, for the number present.  Capt. Page was committee on cheers, and performed his part well.

Now that McClellan has made out a new programme, another meeting will have to be called, and the speakers revise their speeches to suit the new condition of affairs.  The speeches of Saturday would not sound well now.  Tune up the “harp of a thousand strings.”²—Hudson “Star and Times.”

M A R R I E D.

At Kingston, Tenn., on the evening of the 24th of August, by Rev. M. Fleming, John S. Durham,³ of Co. F, 1st Wis. Infantry, to Miss Louise Pulliam of that place.

St. Croix Valley papers please copy.

From The Prescott Journal:

— Last Friday, about 200 ex-rebels, who have taken the oath of allegience [sic], and gone into Uncle Sam’s service, went through here on their way to the Minnesota frontier.

THE DRAFT.—The draft will begin in this district on the 19th, commencing first in those counties most behind.

MASS MEETING.—The Democrats are to have a mass meeting in this city next Saturday, and a dance in the evening.  On the same day there will be a Grand Union Rally at Hudson.

Finger002  The Democrats have organized a McClellan Club in this city.  [George B. McClellan]

REJECTED.—Several of the volunteers from this county were rejected by the mustering officer at Madison.  Prescott lost 3, Hartland 2, Isabelle 1, Clifton 2, Oak Grove 2.

Finger002  Let every man carefully read the important letter from Gen. Grant on the inside of this paper.

— Last Saturday the Democrats had a Meeting at Hudson, and were addressed by Hon. L. P. WETHERBY, ALLEN DAWSON, Esq., and JUDGE JOEL FOSTER of River Falls.  About twenty went up from this city.

Finger002  The rebels will grant peace if we will concede their independence.  This we cannot do.  Democracy says offer them peace on the basis of Union and a Nationalized Slavery.  This we cannot do, either.  Peace can be had if the rebels will only return to the Union.  Who, then, is to blame for the War ?

The sum and substance of the Chicago Democratic Platform says the New York Tribune, are just this :  Uncle Same is dead, and Jeff. Davis is appointed to administer on the estate.  The children object, and demand a rehearing of the case.  They don’t believe in the reported decease.

Finger002  “If Sherman conquers Atlanta, an essential portion of the Constitution is thereafter dead.”

The above is from an editorial article which appeared in the Milwaukee News a few weeks ago.  SHERMAN [William T. Sherman] has conquered Atlanta.  The News will now probably claim that by electing McCLELLAN and restoring Atlanta to JEFF. DAVIS [Jefferson Davis], the extinct part of the Constitution can be brought again to life.

Finger002  The Democracy blame Lincoln for not obtaining peace.  Why do they not blame those who first drew the sword, and who now refuse to accept peace on the basis of a restored Union ?  Because if they did, their whole party capital would be used up.

1.  Copies of the Frontier Scout are available at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Archives Division.
2.  The Harp of a Thousand Strings, or, Laughter for a Lifetime, illustrated by Samuel P Avery (New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1858), was a humorous anthology that included a mock sermon of the same name that first appeared in the Spirit of the Times in 1855. During the Civil War, the comic Alf Burnett featured it during his appearances for Union troops.
3.  John S. Durham was from Saint Croix Falls. He enlisted August 27, 1861, and mustered out October 13, 1864, when his term expired.

1864 September 17: News of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry From the “Frontier Scout”

September 22, 2014

The following article on the 30th Wisconsin Infantry comes from the September 17, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.  Companies A, D, F, I, and K of the 30th contained men from northwest Wisconsin.

From the Indian Frontier and the Thirtieth Regiment.

We have received a copy of the Frontier Scout,¹ a neat and spicy little three column, four page paper, started and owned by Co. I of the 30th Regiment, and published by WINNGAR [sic] & GOODWIN² at Fort Union, Dakota Territory.

The Sioux Indians are reported as pretty thick in that neighborhood, and very hostile.

An extra of the Scout, under date of July 29th, gives the following account of a skirmish on that day, from which it appears that our soldiers are aided by friendly Indians :

At a very early hour this morning we were aroused from our slumbers by the cry of “Indians !”  In a few moments the forces were out, but the Sioux kept at a respectful distance ;  they succeeded, however, in getting possession of two horses belonging to a small party of Assinnaboines [sic] camped near the fort.  After a few minutes skirmishing with them the big gun was brought to bear and a shrapnel shot fired at them, which killed one as it burst—tearing the bowels completely out of him.  The Assinnaboines [sic]  and three or four Mandans and Gros Ventres, with some of the soldiers, immediately gave chase.

About two miles and a half below they came up with the Sioux, who turned and gave battle.  Quite a sharp fire was kept up by both sides for a few minutes, when one of the Mandans succeeded in killing a Sioux and his horse.  After some more skirmishing it got too warm for the Sioux, and they retreated, leaving one warrior and two horses on the field.  The Assinnaboines [sic] immediately scalped their fallen enemy and cut off his hand bringing both hand and scalp to the fort as trophies.  They also recovered their two horses.  The Sioux fought bravely and made some desperate attempts to recover the body of their fallen friend, but their efforts were unaviling ;  they did succeed, however, in carrying off the body of the one killed by the shell.  Three Assinnaboines [sic] were wounded by arrows.

The Indians around the fort are having a big scalp dance—brandishing their bloody trophies aloft, singing, dancing, drumming, &c., in honor of the great victory.  We learn that at one time some of the boys were nearly surrounded by the red devils, but others coming up, they were rescued from their perilous situation, and so succeeded in driving the Sioux back.

The arrival of Chaplain GREEN³ at the Fort is mentioned in terms of warm rejoicing.  He had been seriously ill, but was better, and had visited this detached company to minister the wants of the soldiers, purposing soon to return to the other companies below.  The Scout says :

Mr. Green is truly the soldiers friend and we will venture the assertion that there are few men that have done as much for the benefit and comfort of the soldiers.  He is ever ready to assist the soldier in any manner that will conduce to his comfort to the utmost of his abilities.  In the hospital he is unremitting in his attentions to the sick, cheering and encouraging the down hearted and homesick and relieving their many wants in a thousand ways rarely thought of by the regular attendants.

Chaplain GREEN gives the following with regard to the present location of the different companies of the 30th:

Companies A, C, F and H, with Col’s Dill [Daniel J. Dill] and Bartlett,4 are on the west bank of the Missouri, five miles above Cannon Ball river, and thirty above the 46th deg. of north latitude, building Fort Rice (named after Gen. Rice [James C. Rice], the christian [sic] hero, who fell in the battle of the Wilderness.)  The boys are well and happy as possible so far from home and the struggle we enlisted for.  They have a band organized with a fine set of brass instruments.

Companies B, E, G, and K, under Major Clowney [John Clowney], left Fort Snelling, in Minnesota, about the 1st of June for James river, where they will work on a fort until the 8th Minnesota, now with Gen. Sully [Alfred Sully], relieves them in the fall, when they will join Colonel Dill at Fort Rice.  Company D remains at Fort Sully.

1.  Copies of the Frontier Scout are available at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Archives Division.
2.  Robert Winegar and Charles H. Goodwin, both from Eau Claire and both in Company I of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry.
3.  Asa B. Green, also from Eau Claire, was formerly a steamboat captain on the Mississippi. Rev. Green was commissioned chaplain of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry on October 25, 1862, and he mustered out September 20, 1865.
4.  Edward M. Bartlett, from Durand, was lieutenant colonel of the 30th Wisconsin.

1864 September 17: General Grant—“All we want now, to ensure the early restoration of the Union, is a determination on the part of the North, and unity of sentiment in the North”

September 21, 2014

The following article is from the September 17, 1864 issue of The Prescott Journal.  It also appeared in the The Polk County Press issue of September 17, 1864, under the heading of “Letter From Gen. Grant.”



The following extract from a letter [telegram in the Journal] from Lieut. Gen. Grant [Ulysses S. Grant], dated Headquarters, City Point, Va., Sept. 6.“

Hon. E. B. Washburne¹ :

DEAR SIR—I would state to all citizens whomsoever it may concern, that all we want now, to ensure the early restoration of the Union, is a determination on the part of the North, and unity of sentiment in the North.  The rebels have now in their ranks the last man.  Their boys and their old men are guarding bridges and forming a good part of their garrison for entrenched positions.  Any man lost by them cannot be replaced.  They have robed the cradle and the grave equally to get their present force.  Besides what they lose in frequent skirmishes and battles, they are losing from desertion and other causes, at least one regiment per day.  With this drain upon them, the end is not far distant, if we will only be true to ourselves.

Their only hope now is in a divided North.  This might give them reinforcements from Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri, while it would weaken us.  With the draft enforced, the enemy would make but little resistance.  I have no doubt the rebels are anxious to hold out until after the Presidential election.  They hope for the election of the peace candidate—in fact like Micawber, they hope for “something to turn up.”  Our peace friends, if they expect peace from separation are much mistaken.  It would but be the beginning of the war, with thousands of northern men joining the South, because of our disgrace.  In allowing separation to have peace on any terms, the South would demand restoration of their slaves already freed ;  they would demand indemnity for losses sustained ;  and they would demand a treaty which would make the North slave hunters for the South.

Yours truly,                    U. S. GRANT.

1. Elihu Benjamin Washburne (1816-1887), was a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Illinois who served from 1853 to 1869. He was a strong supporter of Gen. Grant and would serve as Secretary of State during Grant’s first presidential term for only eleven days, after which he became the United States Minister to France.

1864 September 17: McClellan’s Acceptance Speech

September 20, 2014

The following is also from the September 17, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.


McClellan’s Letter of Acceptance. 

Made up of Glittering Generalities. 

Copperhead Platform Avoided. 

No Dissent Expressed from it. 

Union Must be Preserved. 

Peace on any Other Basis is Impossible. 

NEW YORK, Sept. 8.

The Committee appointed by the Chicago Convention to notify Gen. McClellan [George B. McClellan] of his nomination, met this morning at the St. Nicholas Hotel.  Nearly all the members of the committee were present.  At one o’clock the committee left the hotel and proceeded in carriages to the mansion of Gen. McClellan in 81st street where they were received by the General and Col. Lansing.  After the ceremony of introduction and a brief interview, the committee presented to General McClellan a copy of the proceedings of the Chicago Convention and a letter advising him of his nomination.

The General accepted the nomination, and his letter to that effect is a as follows :

ORANGE, N. J. Sept. 8.

To Hon. Horatio Seymour and others, Committee, etc. :

GENTLEMEN—I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter informing me of my nomination by the Democratic National Convention recently held at Chicago, as their candidate at the next election for President of the United States.

It is unnecessary for me to say to you that this nomination comes to me unsought.  I am happy to know that when the nomination was made, the record of my public life was kept in view.  The effect of long and varied service in the army, during war and peace, has been to strengthen and make indelible in my mind and heart the love and reverence for the Union, Constitution, laws and flag of our country impressed upon me in early youth.  These feelings have thus far guided the course of my life, and must continue to do so until its end.  The existence of more than one Government over the region which once owned our flag is incompatible with the peace, the power, and the happiness of the people.  The preservation of our Union was the sole avowed object for which the war was commenced.  It should have been conducted for that object only, and in accordance with these principles which I took occasion to declare when in active service.  Thus conducted the work of reconciliation would have been easy, and we might have reaped the benefits of our many victories on land and sea.

The Union was originally formed by the exercise of a spirit of conciliation and compromise.  To restore and preserve it, the same spirit must prevail in our councils and in the hearts of the people.  The re-establishment of the Union, in all its integrity, is and must continue to be the indispensable condition in any settlement.  So soon as it is clear and even probable, that our present adversaries are ready for peace, upon the basis of the Union, we should exhaust all the resources of statesmanship practiced by civilized nations, and taught to the traditions of the American people, consistent with the honor and interests of the country, to secure such peace, re-establish the Union, and guarantee for the future the constitutional rights of every State.  The Union is the one condition of peace–we ask no more.

Let me add what I doubt not was, although unexpressed, the sentiment of the Convention, as it is of the people they represent, that when any one State is willing to return to the Union, it should be received at once, with a  full guarantee of all its constitutional rights.  If a frank, earnest and persistent effort to obtain those objects should fail, the responsibility for superior consequences will fall upon those who remain in arms against the Union.  But the Union must be preserved at all hazards.  I could not look in the face of my gallant comrades of the army and navy, who have survived so many bloody battles, and tell them that their labors and the sacrifice of so many of our slain and wounded brethren had been in vain; that we had abandoned that Union for which we had so often periled our lives.  A vast majority of our people, whether in the army and navy or at home, would, as I would, hail with unbounded joy the permanent restoration of peace, on the basis of the Union under the Constitution without the effusion of another drop of blood.  But no peace can be permanent without Union.

As to the other subjects presented in the resolutions of the Convention, I need only say that I should seek, in the Constitution of the United States, and the laws framed in accordance therewith, the rule of my duty, and the limitations of Executive power; endeavor to restore economy in public expenditure, re-establish the supremacy of law, and by the operation of a more rigorous nationality, resume our commanding position among the nations of the earth.  The conditions of our finances, the depreciation of the paper money, and the burdens thereby imposed on labor and capital, upon the necessity of a return to a sound financial system; while the rights of citizens and the rights of States, and the binding authority of law over President, Army and People, are subjects of not less vital importance in war than in peace.

Believing that the views here expressed are those of the Convention and the people you represent, I accept the nomination.  I realize the weight of the responsibility to be borne, should the people ratify your choice.  Conscious of my own weakness, I can only seek fervently the guidance of the Ruler of the Universe, and, relying on His all-powerful aid, do my best to restore union and peace to a suffering people, and to establish and guard their liberties and rights.

I am, gentlemen,
. . . . . . .Very respectfully,
. . . . . . . . . . .Your obed’t servant,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .GEO. B. McCLELLAN.

1864 September 17: McClellan’s Nomination, the Chicago Platform, and a Copperhead Conspiracy

September 19, 2014

The following reprinted article from the New York Herald appeared in the September 17, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.

The New York Herald on McClellan’s Nomination. 


The Copperhead Conspiracy to Inaugurate a Revolt in the North. 

The New York Herald, the most widely circulated, and the most influential Democratic newspaper in the United States, thus speaks of the Chicago peace platform, the nomination of Gen. McClellan [George B. McClellan], and the Copperhead conspiracy to inaugurate an insurrection in the North.  The force of the article is not diminished by the fact that the Herald is a violent opponent of the Administration and for some time past has been advocating an armistice.  But the proposition for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” is a step beyond where it is willing to go :


We have not the slightest doubt that there is a mutual understanding between the Seymours [Thomas H. Seymour], the Woods [Fernando Wood], Vallandigham [Clement L. Vallandigham] and the rebels. This understanding is shown in the secession platform adopted by the Chicago Convention, and in the nomination of Mr. Pendleton [George H. Pendleton], of Ohio—who is a practical secessionist—for Vice President. We have now driven the rebels completely to the wall. Gen. Grant [Ulysses S. Grant] has the best of them at Richmond, and General Sherman [William T. Sherman] has succeeded in capturing Atlanta. This is not the time, then, that any reasonable man would be talking about ” an immediate cessation of hostilities.” We are in favor of an armistice, like that between Prussia and Denmark, where both sides hold their ground and are ready to begin the conflict at any moment, but there is a vast deal of difference between such an armistice and the “immediate cessation of hostilities” which the Chicago platform requires. Nothing can explain such a platform except the hypothesis that it was dictated by Jeff. Davis [Jefferson Davis] to the peace Democrats, and that these peace men foisted it upon the Chicago Convention as the price of their endorsement of General McClellan’s nomination.

For three years past the Herald has sustained and defended the hero of Antietam.  We have done full justice to his generalship, his statesmanship, his honesty and his patriotism.  But when McClellan takes his stand upon a cowardly peace platform, we are at a loss how to follow him and defend him.  This the General has not yet done, and we hope that he will never be foolish enough to do it.  We advise and urge him to come out boldly and declare that his only platform is his past record as a Union General, and that his sentiments are those expressed in his letter from Harrison’s Landing and his  at West Point.  If he hesitates to do this he is lost.  There must be no prevarication nor equivocation.  The rotten Chicago platform must be kicked to pieces, and McClellan’s own platform substituted.  He had better a thousand fold decline the nomination than to accept it upon such conditions as those imposed by the Convention.  The Chicago Platform invites defeat, it must be broken up, either by McClellan himself or by the voice of the people at the polls.

We candidly and sincerely believe that the peace copperheads at the North do not desire election of McClellan any more than the Southern secessionists declared the election of Douglas [Stephen A. Douglas] or Breckenridge [sic: John C. Breckinridge] in 1860.—They bitterly opposed McClellan at Chicago, and openly denounced him as a tyrant and a usurper.  Finally they accepted him upon condition that they should have the platform and the Vice President.  But even now the copperheads are not earnest in his support.  There is no saying but that Mr. Lincoln may be elected by a small majority and in that event the Copperheads intend to raise a revolution at the North.  This they can very readily do if the people do not beware of the trap.  Suppose the election to be decided by only a few thousand votes, then the Democratic minority will be nearly as strong as the Republican majority.  In fact, the minority will be stronger ;  for the Democrats will fight, while the Abolitionists will not.  What then is to hinder a revolution ?  Is it the army ?  The moment the army is withdrawn to put down an insurrection here the rebels will come out of their intrenchments and capture Washington.  This, as we understand it, is part of the Copperhead plan, and if successful it will put an end to the Government of the country.

That this idea of a vast northern conspiracy between the copperheads and the rebels is no more bugbear, is evident from the fact that the Chicago Convention, instead of adjourning sine die,¹ as conventions usually do, adjourned to meet again at the call of the Executive Committee.  This is equivalent to the organization of a revolutionary body.  Our merchants and capitalists so consider it ;  for they are closing up business, shipping their goods back to Europe, turning their property into gold, sending their property across the water, and in every way preparing to leave the country as soon as the revolution begins.  These movements are not to be lightly considered.  They mean mischief and show that trouble is brewing.  Gen. McClellan can avert that trouble and restore public confidence if he have the pluck and sagacity to ignore the Chicago platform and come out boldly as a Jackson Democrat on the platform of  his past record.  Then he will have a fair chance of election, because he will not be bound to a cowardly policy if he be elected.  But what could Washington himself do if he were to pledge to negotiate for “an immediate cessation of hostilities ?”  The Chicago platform will encourage the rebels to hold out until election, and, as things stand at present, the Peace Copperheads have promised them one of two things :  either the election of Mr. Lincoln and a Northern insurrection—in which case the rebels will have the upper hand of us ;  or, in the event of McClellan’s election, “an immediate cessation of hostilities,” in which case the rebels will have everything their own way.  General McClellan can destroy these schemes by framing his own platform out of it.  Then a northern insurrection will be impossible ;  and, if the people do their duty in the meantime, there will be no rebellion left to make terms with, and no Jeff. Davis in existence to receive an offer for “an immediate cessation of hostilities.”  This is as great a crisis as that as Harrison’s Landing or at Antietam.  Let Little Mac² reflect deeply and act wisely.

1.  A Latin phrase meaning to adjourn with no future date of meeting assigned.
2.  “Little Mac” was a nickname for McClellan.

1864 September 18-19: Ed Levings — “All the talk is about the elections and the military campaigns”

September 18, 2014

A letter started by Homer Levings and finished by his older brother Edwin.  The original letter is in the Edwin D. Papers (River Falls Mss BO), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Camp near Atlanta Ga, Sept 18th

Dear Parents,

                          It has been a long time since I have had the pleasure writing to you, but I hope that we will have the privilege of writing to you now, for a while a[t] least, though I do no expect we that we [sic] shall lay here long.  I do not propose to write any news however, for Ed has told you everything.  It is Sunday and everything quiet, we are having a nice shower at the present time.  It reminds that the rainy season is upon us again.  It will be bad, I think, for this army, without tents and exposed to all kinds of weather.  I see a¹ good many of the boys are coming down with the ague [fever] again, it is a dreadful sickness.  Ed told you to send me some allumb² but I shall not need it now, for I have some sinc [sic].³  [paragraph break added]

He wrote, [“]We read yours of the 29th ult., last night[”], it must have been delayed somewhere, for we have had letters of a later date.  You speak of buying Comodores’ team, I think by the discription [sic]  you gave of them that it would be a good piece of property to own, but I suppose it would be necessary to dispose of the mare and colt, and I do not suppose that it would be very easy matter while the fear of the draft prevails.  I see that most of a good many of the papers [are] anxious to have the draft postponed so that the quotas may be filled by volunteering.  I think that it is the worst thing that can be done for it gives those miserable cowards and copperheads a chance to stay at home, while if there was a draft they would stand a chance [to] come into the field well as the rest.

[Edwin takes over:] 19th.  Homer says to me close his letter for him as he does not feel first rate this afternoon. I will add a word or so.

We expect to be paid this week.  Whether we shall receive any installments of bounty, I can not tell.

You speak of Commodore’s horses.  If they suit you and you could do better by buying them than keeping the mare & colt, then you should make the trade.  Were I you, I would make the trade if I though I could better myself by so doing.  We can soon aid you with what money you want for what purpose, or anything else.

Every body in the army now, the Tenn. army, at least, is in confident mood as to speedy end of the rebellion.  All the talk is about the elections and the military campaigns.  Maine & Vermont have given heavy Union majorities and it is believed the other States will do likewise.  Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln] & Johnson’s [Andrew Johnson] election is looked upon now with far more confidence than awhile ago.  The hellish designs of the Peace Democracy & Copperheads are clearly understood.  We know what they intend.  The Chicago platform of these men is a very nice thing on the outside.  The Union they mean is the “Union as it was,” that is, with slavery which is to again resume sway over the nation.  McClellan [George B. McClellan] says he will make “the Constitution and the laws the rule of his conduct.”  Yes, he knows that to outstep the limits of the Constitution as Mr. Lincoln is doing, will crush the rebellion forever.  He knows this is the only & right way to do it, but for the sake of policy, the interest of the Democry [sic], both North & South, that it may rise into power, he pledges himself to make the “Constitution & laws the rule of his conduct.”  No wonder his supporters are pleased, “The Union of all hazards.”  They would make it appear that a Union on the basis of dishonorable peace, though they do not say so, is far better than that the war should go on till the rebels are made to accept our own terms & the Union be thus preserved !  Their platform is only a mask of their real designs.  [paragraph break added]

We are in good spirits.  We have delayed our letters longer than intended.  Write soon.  Yours &c., E.D. & H.W. Levings

1.  Homer’s poor handwriting makes this look like one word: Iseea.
2.  If you have never read a “Homer letter,” he was a terrible speller. This is alum, which was used to treat fever, among other things.
3.  This was probably another misspelling by Homer and should be zinc, which was also used to cure fevers.

Homer Levings letter of September 18, 1864, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Homer and Edwin Levings letter of September 18, 1864, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

1864 September 17: “The News of the War is Not Very Exciting” — A Lull in the Battles

September 17, 2014

The following news summary is from the September 17, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.  There does not seem to be much happening.

The News.

The news of war is not very exciting.  Gen. SHERMAN is resting his army at Atlanta, and will soon make another demonstration against the rebellion.  His communications with Chattanooga have been restored, and he is in telegraphic communication with Washington.  [William T. Sherman]

GRANT is watching LEE as a cat watches a mouse.  If LEE comes out of his hole before GRANT stops it up he will be “gobbled.”  If GRANT is successful in stopping up the hole, LEE will be smothered.  Of course.  [Robert E. Lee]

SHERIDAN is fighting, with good success, with the rebels in the Shenandoah valley.  [Philip H. Sheridan]

GOLD is from 219 to 227, very unsettled owing to speculation.

The News Paragraphs. 

The weather is excessively hot, at Memphis, and numerous fatal cases of sun-strokes have occurred, including six soldiers.

The New Ironsides, which has been under repairs for some time past at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, has left that port active for duty.

At the request of the War Department the 189th Illinois, 100 day men, have consented to extend their services fifteen days beyond the regular term of their enlistment.

The Union men along the river below New Madrid have organized and armed themselves under Granville Hays, and already have had several fights with guerrillas, killing a considerable number of them.

Richmond papers say that in the battle near Atlanta our troops were at first repulsed, but finally drove the enemy back with heavy loss, including Generals Anderson,¹ Patten² and Hardee [William J. Hardee].

The Union citizens of Tennessee, hold a convention at Nashville, to-day, to consider the propriety and means of reorganizing civil government in that State, and to take part in the Presidential election.

Benj. G. Harris, who goes for McClellan and secession, calls McClellan a “tyrant.”—And so the Quaker Democracy has to choose between two “tyrants”—Lincoln and McClellan.  Alas for the Quaker Democracy !

The Richmond Examiner, in reviewing the prospect for peace at the hands of the North, says :  “One material Yankee success now, and that peace party at the North which our soldiers have created, and now sustain, wold sink overwhelmed, abashed and silenced, under a renewed and universal shriek for war.”

Gen. Herron [Francis J. Herron] has returned from an expedition to Redwood, seven miles from Baton Rouge on the Clinton road, where he had a fight with the enemy, inflicting a loss of 150 men, besides destroying a large amount of stores.  Our loss was thirty, killed and wounded.

The Chicago Convention sneers at our “four years failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war.”  So with far greater show of truth might Benedict Arnold, in 1784, have sneered at our “six years failure to secure our independence by the experiment of war.”  It is the last year which determines whether a war is a success or a failure.

The Boston Journal denies the statements, for which there was very excellent authority, that Col. Charles P. Stone had resigned his commission in the army, and that his wife is of a rich secesh family in Louisiana.  The Journal says he has gone to the front to report to General Warren [Gouverneur K. Warren], and that his wife’s family were loyal Louisianians, whom, for their loyalty, were despoiled of their property by the rebels.

The Herald’s City Point correspondence of the 4th says Richmond papers affect to ridicule the idea of a single line of railroad being vital to their occupation of Petersburg and Richmond, but a general despondency betrays itself.  In the same issue a correspondent writes from Reams Station battle ground, several days after the withdrawal of our forces, and speaks sorrowfully of the thorough destruction of nine miles of the railroad track and iron by Hancock’s corps [Winfield S. Hancock], and pronounces its repossession by the rebels hopeless and impossible.  He says the crops adjacent to the road on both sides are utterly destroyed the entire distance.  The fences were destroyed by using them to fire the bimers of the track, and houses and barns generally reduced to smouldering ashes.

1.  James Patton Anderson (1822-1872), known as Patton Anderson, was a medical doctor and then lawyer in Kentucky, and a politician, serving in the Mississippi House of Representatives with Jefferson Davis, as a U.S. Congressman from the Washington Territory (1855-1857), and a delegate at the Florida state secession convention to withdraw from the United States. He fought in the Mexican War, serving as lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Battalion, Mississippi Rifles (1848). Just prior to the start of the American Civil War, Anderson was appointed a captain in the Florida Militia. Anderson was one of three delegates from Florida to the Provisional Confederate Congress. He accepted a commission as the colonel of the 1st Florida Infantry on April 1, and initially served under Braxton Bragg in Pensacola. He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in February 1862 and was assigned to the Western Theater, fighting at the battles of Shiloh, Perryville, Stones River, Chckamauga, and Chattanooga. In February 1864 he was promoted to major general. During the Atlanta Campaign. He led a division in Leonidas Polk’s Corps in the Army of Tennessee at the battles of Ezra Church, Utoy Creek, and in the early stages of the Battle of Jonesboro before suffering a serious wound on August 31. He returned to duty in April 1865, against his physicians’ orders, and served with his men during the Carolinas Campaign and for the remainder of the war until their surrender at Greensboro, North Carolina, later in the spring of 1865. Anderson eventually died in relative poverty in Memphis, due primarily to lingering effects of his old war wound.
2.  There was not a Confederate general with the surname Patten. They were probably mistaking Anderson’s middle name, which he used as his first name, to be another general.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 279 other followers