Tuesday, November 19, 2013

*** Historical Moment ... November 19, 1863 ***

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The traveling exhibitions, Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War and Civil War 150 hosted by the Rolling Hills Consolidated Library have left. I hope you were able to view the exhibits. If you would like to listen to our speaker presentations, visit our Home page. They will be kept there until the New Year. Thank you for following this blog and allowing me the privilege of posting on it.

Sincerely, Martin

About 10 A.M. President, dressed in black, wearing white gauntlets and usual crepe around hat in memory of Willie, leaves Wills house to join procession. Receives round after round of "three hearty cheers," and shakes many hands as crowd gathers. Washington Chronicle, 21 November 1863.

Thousands welcome President in Gettysburg. Weather fine. Flags in Washington at half-mast in honor of dead in cemetery at Gettysburg. Washington Star, 19 November 1863.

Gov. Curtin (Pa.), who arrived last evening with numerous important people on special train from Harrisburg, Pa., remarks to Lincoln about serenade given Gov. Seymour (N.Y.), and Lincoln replies: "He deserves it. No man has shown greater interest and promptness in his cooperation with us." Rice, 514.

President mounts "a magnificent chestnut charger." Monaghan, Diplomat, 341.

Rides in procession to cemetery. Hay, Letters and Diary.

Procession delayed; starts to move about 11 A.M. LL, No. 1425.

Head of procession arrives at speaker's platform inside cemetery at 11:15 A.M. President receives military salute. President and members of cabinet, with group of military and civic dignitaries, occupy platform. "The President was received with marked respect and a perfect silence due to the solemnity of the occasion, every man among the immense gathering uncovering at his appearance."Washington Chronicle, 20 November 1863.

Lincoln shakes hands with Gov. Tod (Ohio), who introduces Gov.-elect John Brough (Ohio), and takes his place between chairs reserved for Sec. Seward and Edward Everett, orator to make principal address. At 11:40 A.M. Everett arrives, is introduced to President, and program music begins. Washington Chronicle, 21 November 1863.

Once during Everett's two-hour oration Lincoln stirs in his chair. "He took out his steel-bowed spectacles, put them on his nose, took two pages of manuscript from his pocket, looked them over and put them back." Monaghan, Diplomat, 341.


About 2 P.M. Lincoln "in a fine, free way, with more grace than is his wont" delivers Gettysburg Address. He holds manuscript but does not appear to read from it. John G. Nicolay, "Lincoln's Gettysburg Address," The Century Magazine 25:602; Dennett, Hay Diaries and Letters, 121; Address Delivered at the Dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg, 19 November 1863, CW, 7:22-23.

Pronounces his "r" plainly, does not speak like Southerner. Henry B. Rankin, Intimate Character Sketches of Abraham Lincoln (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1924), 285.

John R. Young, recording speech in shorthand for Philadelphia "Press," leans across aisle and asks President if that is all. Lincoln replies, "Yes, for the present." John R. Young, Men and Memories: Personal Reminiscences, 2 vols., edited by May D. Russell Young (New York: F. T. Neely, 1901), 1:69.  The Lincoln Log

It was the day of dedication for the new National Military Cemetery at Gettysburg. As was expected on such a solemn occasion, the greatest orator of the day, Edward Everett, was engaged to speak. He delivered a brilliant performance, declaiming for two hours on the history of war from ancient times to now. After he was done, the President of the United States rose to the podium. His voice, often described as thin and reedy, was not a match for Everett’s. Some in the crowd, unable to hear, pushed forward, or complained that Lincoln should speak louder. About the time they got within earshot, Lincoln sat down again. Newspaper reviews the next day were mixed. Lincoln, who had left a gravely ill child and very nervous wife back in Washington, and who was not feeling very well himself, headed at once for the train station and home.   This Day in the American Civil War

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Historical Moment ... November 18, 1863

During ride to Gettysburg President relates number of stories and puts everyone at ease. Little girl presents flowers to President at one stop and receives kiss in return. Rice, 509-13.
Presidential party reaches Bolton Station in Baltimore in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Train is transported to North Central tracks and proceeds on that line to Hanover Junction, Pa. Changes to Hanover Line for remainder of trip. Proceeds west to Hanover where "train passing east compelled the Presidential train to halt. . . . The President stepped upon the platform . . . and delivered one of the brief, quaint speeches for which he is celebrated. Said he: 'Well, you had the rebels here last summer . . . did you fight them any?' " Train is delayed 8 minutes at Hanover. DNA—WR, RG 107, Sec. of War Telegrams Received, J. W. Garrett to Stanton, W. P. Smith to Stanton, 18 November 1863; Philadelphia Inquirer, 21 November 1863.  The Lincoln Log

As a part of the continuing operations along the Louisiana coast, Union gunboats were frequently under fire from Confederate artillery batteries ashore. One such back-and-forth battle took place at Hog Point, along the Mississippi-Louisiana border, today. Combatants were Captain Thomas A. Faries, Confederate States Army, on land, and the officers and men of the USS Choctaw out to sea. Sailing passed the redoubt the Choctaw fired her bow (front), stern (rear) and side guns, enfilading the shore battery. The extent of damage inflicted was not known, as landing parties were not sent ashore. While all this was going on the Choctaw's sister ships, USS Franklin and Carondelet, simply stood by and observed.  This Day in the American Civil War

Historical Moment ... November 17, 1863

Alters original one-day schedule to Gettysburg arranged by Stanton : "I do not like this arrangement. I do not wish to so go that by the slightest accident we fail entirely, and, at the best, the whole to be a mere breathless running of the gauntlet." Abraham Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, [17 November 1863], CW, 7:16.  The Lincoln Log

There had been several attempts to tackle the Western jewel of the Confederate States of America, Texas, but none had succeeded very well or lasted very long. Another such strike was made today, and this time considerably greater force was being employed. The USS Monongahela was the escort gunboat for a fleet of troop transporters. They, in turn, were carrying more than a thousand soldiers as they traveled toward Aransas Pass, Tex. The immediate target was the Confederate garrison guarding this pass from Mustang Island. After a preliminary softening-up barrage from the ships’ guns, an amphibious landing was made. The defenders, trapped, had no solution but surrender, and the first day went well for the Union.  This Day in the American Civil War

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Historical Moment ... November 16, 1863

Telegraphs Gen. Burnside at Knoxville: "What is the news?" Abraham Lincoln to Ambrose E. Burnside, 16 November 1863, CW, 7:14.  The Lincoln Log

After Gettysburg, James Longstreet’s corps had been detached from the Army of Northern Virginia and sent West to assist the Army of Tennessee. They arrived just in time to help win the Battle of Chickamauga, but since then they had had little to do except help maintain the siege of the Union forces stuck in Chattanooga. Finally they had headed in the direction of Knoxville, and today Longstreet was at the little town of Campbell’s Station. Burnside’s forces were nearby, and if Confederate intelligence had been just a little better, or if the army could have moved just a little faster, events could have been greatly different. Longstreet, however, did not move quite fast enough to cut off Burnside’s retreat, and his forces escaped into Knoxville.  This Day in the American Civil War

Historical Moment ... November 15, 1863

President's bodyguard, Marshal Lamon, announces program for dedication of National Cemetery at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863. Washington Chronicle, 15 November 1863.  The Lincoln Log

The bombardment of Ft. Sumter had been going on for a few days now, and 2328 shells had been thrown at the dilapidated pile of masonry since Thursday. This evening the defenders responded, and the guns at Confederate Ft. Moultrie commenced their own bombardment of Cummings Point on Morris Island elsewhere in Charleston Harbor. Concerned that this might presage an amphibious attack, US. Gen. Gilmore asked his Navy counterpart, Admiral Dahlgren, to send some ships to screen the point. Dahlgren promptly sent the requested vessels, some tugs and the USS Lehigh, but it was after dark before they reached station. The Lehigh promptly ran aground. It proved impossible to free her till the tide turned at dawn, and she attracted heavy fire before getting out of range.  This Day in the American Civil War

Historical Moment ... November 14, 1863

Withholds permission from Gen. Rosecrans to publish certain official reports of Battle of Chickamauga. Abraham Lincoln to William S. Rosecrans, 14 November 1863, CW, 7:14.  The Lincoln Log

Still on duty in the Charleston, S. C area, Gen. P. T. G. Beauregard had a different assignment today than last year, but not a more pleasant one. His job was to inspect the gunboats protecting the harbor and river, and report on them His report was not happy. “Our gunboats are defective in six respects”, he wrote. “First, they have no speed...second, they are of too great a draft to navigate our inland waters. Third, they are unseaworthy...even in the harbor they are at times...unsafe in a storm. Fourth, they are incapable of resisting the enemy’s...shots. Fifth, they can not fight at long range. Sixth, they are very costly, warm, uncomfortable and badly ventilated; consequently sickly.” Beauregard’s bluntness gained him no friends. Everybody knew the ships were awful, but they were the only ships the South had.  This Day in the American Civil War

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Historical Moment ... November 13, 1863

Acknowledges message from E. H. E. Jameson, member Missouri Legislature: "Yours saying [B. G.] Brown and [John B.] Henderson are elected Senators, is received. I understand, this is one and one. If so, it is knocking heads together to some purpose." Abraham Lincoln to E. H. E. Jameson, 13 November 1863, CW, 7:13.  The Lincoln Log


Gen. Robert E. Lee and his men had had a rough summer. Heavy action in the spring, constant movement, finally the desperate move into Maryland and Pennsylvania culminating in the three days of Gettysburg. Even after that, movement if not active battle had been constant. This had been hard on the men of the Army of Northern Virginia, harder on their supplies and equipment. It had, however, been hardest of all on the members of the army least able to protest: the horses and other beasts of burden. Gen. Lee sent a telegram from Orange Court House, Va., to Jefferson Davis in Richmond today, imploring him to find a supply of food for the animals, saying that they had had only three pounds of corn per day per horse for the last five days. Davis ordered other supplies delayed until corn could be shipped in.  This Day in the American Civil War